Getting behind the wheel of Pumper’s Classy Trucks.
Septic pumpers deal with the worst filth imaginable, but that doesn’t mean the industry can’t have a clean image.
“One of the things I like to do is try to keep it professional. To each his own, but I see ‘Stinky’s’ or ‘Your shit’s our bread and butter’ on the back of some trucks. … I think we need to get away from that as an industry,” says Mike Humbert of Humbert Sanitary Service in North Canton, Ohio. “I’ve been doing this a long time and I think this industry has slowly gotten a lot more professional than what it used to be.
“There are still some guys out there that are doing the little cutesy things, but I want to shy away from that. We don’t have to look like or act like what we pump.”
Humbert has a fleet of pump trucks, but one in particular has helped him brand his company differently. The 2007 International 7500 — one of August Pumper’s Classy Trucks — features a Masport pump and larger 4,000-gallon Progress tank.
“If we’re doing some grease traps, we can haul four, five or six grease traps depending on their size. We can just pump more at one time before having to go dispose.
“The profile of this truck is higher and longer and heavier than the other ones, so this one gets used a lot on commercial (jobs). We just went two hours away to do some work the other day and it comes in handy. I went to three Kroger stores and didn’t have to dispose. You can put more on it so it saves you time and money.”
Humbert says he does some residential work with this truck, but usually sends his smaller 2,500-gallon rigs out for those jobs. “When some people see that bigger truck coming up they’re like, ‘Don’t put that on my driveway!’ It’s longer, and naturally when you put 4,000 gallons on there it’s going to weigh a lot more. … (The smaller trucks) fit in driveways better. We never know whether we’ll have trees hanging down or low power lines or something.”
While customers may first notice the truck’s size, it’s the scenery featured on the wrap adorning the aluminum tank that makes an impression. Humbert wanted an image that would make people think “environmental.” The woodsy scene with a stream running through it, created by Rich Hailstone of Dr. Wraps, got the job done.
“In a way it doesn’t have a lot to do with septic cleaning, but it’s just the idea of ‘green,’ and clean water … it’s just environmental,” he says. “It looks pretty cool. A lot of people like it. And it’s held up great. It still has a shine to it years later.”