Getting behind the wheel of Pumper’s Classy Trucks

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get exactly what you want in a septic truck.

Just ask Washington pumper Brad Piesch. He found a used truck in Colorado and after making a few adjustments, he’s really happy with it.

The 1993 Kenworth T800 built out by Engle Fabrication is a featured Classy Truck in the June issue of Pumper. Like most pumpers, Piesch knows the look of his truck plays a big role in how customers view his business — and he keeps it looking sharp. “I like the white. I think it’s a nice, clean look,” he says.

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When Piesch bought the truck, he quickly made it his own, with a fresh paint job and some new equipment. He put manways on the tank to allow for easier cleaning, and added a couple different valves in the back: a 3-inch valve for backflushing, a 3-inch inlet and a 5-inch dump valve.

The biggest change was a new drop axle, which allows the truck to carry more weight. The GVW ratings are different in Colorado, and Piesch made the adjustment per Washington’s standards. Adding the drop axle was a challenge. “We had to move cabinets and figure out where the drop axle should go. You have to make sure it’s in the right spot. I didn’t do that; I had a shop do everything.”

Piesch handles some of the maintenance himself, but for any major issues he takes it to the dealership. He has a local shop in town he uses, but for anything big, he trusts the guys at Kenworth to help him out. “We had a head gasket leak this year, so I took it into the Kenworth dealership because they do those day in and day out and they’re good at what they do.”

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The truck helps Piesch excel at what he does, too, which is mainly residential septic work. “We don’t do too much commercial. We’ll do churches and stuff like that. We don’t do any grease traps — just septic.”

The 3,800-gallon steel tank comes in handy on those residential service routes. “I can do a lot of jobs in a day,” he says. “Then I don't have to run to the treatment plant as often. When I’m out in the country, 30 or 45 minutes out, then I’m not running back and forth as much.

“It’s a big truck, so I can put a lot of tools on it. It would sometimes be nice to have a smaller truck to get in some of these driveways. But if it’s tough to get into, or I can’t make a corner, I just have to take off a little more hose.”

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All in all, the truck is exactly what Piesch wanted. “I don’t have any issues with it. It’s been an amazing truck.”

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