Pumpers Spread Cheer

Connecticut-based Stepule’s Sanitation lit up one of its service trucks to celebrate the holidays
Pumpers Spread Cheer
It took more than 5,000 lights and a portable generator to pull off this rolling Christmas decoration. (Photo courtesy of Stepule’s Sanitation Service Inc.)

For Brenda Stepule, nothing gets you in the Christmas spirit like decorating a pump truck! The co-owner of Stepule’s Sanitation Service Inc., Glastonbury, Conn., had a great time working with her husband, Brian, and the pumping crew adding more than 5,000 twinkling lights to their backup vacuum truck for the 2011 holiday season.

Stepule’s lit its truck and parked it at a downtown shopping mall leading up to the holidays in response to a Pumper story about an Alaskan company that decorated a pumping rig for Christmas the past few years. Peninsula Pumping of Soldotna, Alaska, featured in the November 2011 issue, received a lot of good public relations for its Christmas display of a lighted vacuum truck. So owner Sean Cude issued a challenge to other pumpers to show off their own decorated work vehicles.

Brenda Stepule said she and her crew were glad they took up the challenge.



“We were inspired to spread holiday cheer in our town too,’’ she says. “Decorating the truck was a challenge, but once we displayed it downtown several nights during the holiday season, we realized it was so worth it to see all the smiles. People loved it. They took pictures and stopped to talk to our guys about it. And a picture was sent in to our local newspaper too.’’

As Stepule explains, “We parked the truck at a local busy shopping plaza. And we drove it home or back to the shop each night. A couple times it was driven home with all the lights on. Lots of people saw it then, too (going by their homes). We used a generator for the electricity.

The truck Stepule’s used is a 2003 International 8600 that could be taken out of service for a while during the slow season. To decorate the rig, Stepule started with small-bulb net lights joined together in a large quilt of lights using zip ties. She laid out the lights in the yard at home, then had her crew spend a few evenings fixing the lights to the truck using ties and bungee cords. To form the greeting, Stepule drilled holes forming letters in a piece of wood, then strung the lights through the holes. Wreathes were added to the wheels.

A 2000-watt portable Honda generator was used to light the display. Because they could keep the truck lit while driving down the road, Stepule said she hopes to enter the truck in area nighttime Christmas parades in the future.

Stepule secured permission from the mall owner to park the truck in the lot facing a busy street and Brian or a worker stayed near the truck – sometimes handing out candy canes – from dusk to early evening six or seven nights before Christmas.



“It went off really great. People had great things to say about it,’’ Stepule says. “It’s something we’ll do every year, and every year it will probably get a little better. It was done in the name of spreading holiday cheer, but getting exposure for the business at the same time.’’

Did you decorate your service truck for the holidays? If so, share your story and send a photo to editor@pumper.com.


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