2015 Classy Truck of the Year

2015 Classy Truck of the Year
Patrice Adams and Larry Maznek stand proudly in front of the 2015 Classy Truck of the Year. The rig was built out by Amthor International with a pump from National Vacuum Equipment. (Photo by Oliver Parini)

Many years before Larry Maznek started his septic service business in 2011, he had a vision for a truck that could provide flexible service as a construction site material hauler and a vacuum unit to pump wastewater. Customizing a 2005 Peterbilt 378 roll-off container rig, with the help of truckbuilder Amthor International, turned that dream into reality.

The silver and white Pete, fitted with a 4,100-gallon steel vacuum tank and National Vacuum Equipment Challenger NVE866 pump has been a workhorse for the Bedford, New Hampshire, operator as he built the successful Maznek Septic Service. And the good-looking truck with the ingenious conversion was chosen as Pumper magazine’s Classy Truck of the Year for 2015.

First featured last January as our Classy Truck of the Month, the rig was selected from a top-notch group of trucks for the annual award that lands the winner on the cover of this WWETT Show issue of Pumper. Maznek was thrilled to hear about the honor, and it will make his trip to Indianapolis for the WWETT Show later this month all the more exciting.

“I’ve put time and effort into getting this truck up and running. I’m proud of my truck, and to get this award, it’s just the cherry on top of the ice cream for me,’’ Maznek said when informed of the Classy Truck honor.


Maznek, 56, worked as a union carpenter foreman for 30 years, and as part of his construction job, he obtained an onsite installers license in 1990. He yearned to start his own one-man installing and pumping business after retiring from the trades, and thought the best way to meet a changing workload was to build a truck that could dump trench rock or spoils one day and pump tanks the next.

He approached Butch and Brian Amthor with his idea, and was excited to hear they’d already converted a few roll-off trucks for pumping. He bought the truck and delivered it to Amthor, where the steel tank and sled were fabricated and the pump was installed. The truck employs quick-connect fittings for the slacked suction hose between the rail-mounted pump and vacuum tank and for tank-mounted lighting to conveniently swap the unit for a 20-yard container.

The truck serves as a pumper most of the time. But when the work demands it, Maznek drives to a container rental company, drops the tank on the ground, picks up a container and goes. The process takes about 25 minutes and turns the pumper into a dumper.

“Since the economy turned around, dump trucks have been at a premium, and it’s hard to find guys to run for you,’’ Maznek explains. “Unless you want to buy product from their yards, they don’t want to tie their trucks up.’’


Maznek needs the dump truck functionality several times a year to haul stone to a job site for a system install or haul out spoils that don’t fit on small lots where he’s repairing or replacing a system. Because he doesn’t know exactly when or for how long he’ll need a dump truck, it’s easier to use his own equipment.

Weight or lifting power aren’t an issue for the Pete, powered by a 385 hp Cat C13 ACERT RTO1409 power plant tied to an 8LL Eaton transmission and carrying a 50,000-pound K-Pac Equipment hoist. It capably carries either a loaded vacuum tank or container filled with rock. And the hoist frequently comes in handy to empty stubborn sand and grit from the tank, making other pumpers in line at the treatment plant green with envy.

“I lift it up 4 or 5 feet and the guys say, ‘Hey, that’s cheating!’ I get gravity going for me a little bit better than most of the guys can do. It helps to get out the sand where it seems to collect on me.’’ A wide range of tilting from 0 to 45 degrees can also help in the field, where Maznek has found a slight adjustment depending on the grade where he’s parked can help load a few more gallons in the tank.

The truck has dual PTOs for the lift and the pump, and the tank sled locks into place up front mimicking how the truck carries containers. To secure the loaded tank further, Amthor provided 4-inch-wide tie-down straps – two on each side – evenly spaced along the frame rail to minimize any bounce while running down the road. Quick-connects will also be added to a heated valve system Maznek is installing this winter to make it easier to run in cold weather.


The truck cab is basic and the paint is the original silver color. Simple tank graphics from Universal Sign Works, aluminum wheels and chrome accents, and bright red wheel hubs give the truck an understated look. Maznek purposely left graphics off the doors to keep the appearance simple and clean. The truck currently has 311,000 miles and is kept up with twice-a-year dealer service, weekly washes using the onboard Power Eagle Cleaning Systems pressure washer, and annual waxing.

“Knock on wood, she’s been stellar. There have been no issues with the engine, the transmission or any of the drivetrain,’’ Maznek says. “All in all she’s a great truck.”
The truck carries useful tools, including a Crust Buster tank agitator and a Sludge Judge. He uses both with every service, the sludge tube to show customers the amount of solids to be removed and the agitator to demonstrate that he thoroughly scours the tank.

“(The Crust Buster) does a better job (than back-flushing) at getting as much sludge out as I can. When you can show concrete on the bottom of the tank, that helps,’’ he says.

Maznek is busiest pumping during the spring and fall, when he empties four to six tanks per day, six days a week. Installing picks up in June, July and August, when he’s down to pumping eight to ten tanks a week. Maznek hopes to add another driver and another truck as the business continues to grow. This time he will buy a dedicated vacuum truck for pumping and keep the versatile Peterbilt to pump, haul materials and pull equipment trailers. He says the Peterbilt could also be used to help other companies deliver and pick up containers, but he’s keeping busy enough on the septic work.


Maznek receives support in the office from his girlfriend, Patrice Adams, who helps customers set up appointments and does the company’s marketing. He also has maintained great relationships with other pumping and installing businesses, which he calls “co-petitors’’ rather than competitors. He counts his friend and mentor Dave Joubert among them. The owner of nearby DJ Septic and a fellow member of the New Hampshire Association of Septage Haulers (NHASH) helped him get started in the business.

“The companies around here are very easy to work with and that’s why I call them co-petitors. People try to help each other out,” Maznek says. “Some other industries are so cutthroat. The industry is tough enough. You don’t need people working against you. We’re always sharing ideas and I’m happy with this industry in that respect. There’s plenty of work to go around.”

A septic service truck should convey the professional image a service contractor wants to build and maintain. Maznek hopes he’s hit the mark with his Classy Truck. And the image extends to wearing clean uniforms and spending the time to educate customers about their septic systems.

“Dave Joubert has told me he considers himself an ecologist. We’re trying to keep systems clean and running properly so people can reuse the water. We’re helping them recycle,” Maznek says. “That stuck in my mind. That’s my line of professionalism and I do take it seriously.

“I keep the rig clean and running properly and hopefully that comes through. If you can’t keep your truck clean, how are you going to clean someone’s septic tank?”


I hope you have a chance to congratulate Maznek in person at the WWETT Show. I also invite you to seek me out in Indy. I will be attending the Wednesday and Thursday Kickoff Party networking events from 5-8 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium, as well as checking out the exhibits with you at the Indiana Convention Center. I want to meet you and learn more about your pumping business. I’m looking for your input on the editorial content of this magazine. I’m also looking for good candidates for our regular contractor profile features. Who knows, you and your crew might just land on the cover of Pumper like Maznek’s truck!


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