Going the Extra Mile to Recognize Our Classy Trucks

It’s time for featured trucks to carry a badge of honor as they roll down the road.

Going the Extra Mile to Recognize Our Classy Trucks

This 1957 Chevy turquoise over Chrysler super white 2005 Sterling was the pride and joy of Pennsylvania pumper Ed McGuire and our first Classy Truck of the Year winner 15 years ago. The truck was built out by Pik Rite with a 2,500-gallon tank and Jurop/Chandler pump.

I was doing some yardwork awhile back when I looked up and saw a beautiful, gleaming specimen of a truck parked down the street. It was bright orange, detailed beautifully and shining so bright, like the early morning sun breaking on the horizon.

         The spectacular Volvo cab had a big integrated sleeper, chromed wheels, accessories and trim, and it looked like it had never seen a road trip. I just had to bring my 1971 Volvo out of the garage and pull up next to this amazing truck for a photo of the two vehicles of the same Swedish marque, nearly 50 years apart in production.

         I greeted the driver sitting in the truck and told him how much I admired his rig. I asked if it was new, and he replied that it was a 2017. I asked him if I could take a photo of my car with his truck; he said to go ahead, that he was just trying to tune in his Chicago White Sox game on the radio.

         “Sorry that the truck hasn’t been washed in three days,” he said, as if to apologize for its shabby appearance. I scoffed. “It looks great to me,” I said.

         As we drove off in different directions, I was sorry I didn’t get his name. But I noticed two large graphics on the side of his trailer crediting him as the Allied Van Lines “Driver of the Year.” Of course, I wasn’t surprised. A guy who keeps his truck looking this good clearly cares about quality workmanship.


         As long as I had the car out, I revved through the gears and took a nice drive in the country. There’s nothing like the feel of driving something truly mechanical with a throaty, carbureted 2-liter engine … and none of the computers and plastic found in modern cars.

         As I drove, I kept thinking about those award emblems on the side of that moving truck. It jogged my memory that for a long time I have wanted to come up with some way to recognize the owners of the rigs in our Classy Truck feature. We’ve chosen Classy Trucks for many years and have named a Classy Truck of the Year for the past 15 years. But we’ve never provided a way for these proud drivers to tell the world that they’ve been featured in Pumper magazine.

         Well, I’m happy to announce that this is about to change. Beginning in 2021, we’re going to send vinyl emblems to the owners of our monthly Classy Truck work vehicles, as well as special graphics for the Classy Truck of the Year. My hope is that this important recognition will make it to the side of the trucks’ tanks, the side of the hose tray or onto the door of a toolbox or the cab.

         Owners of these well-cared-for work trucks are a special breed. They care about the details when it comes to building and maintaining a vehicle. Like car collectors (ahem, I hope my wife isn’t reading this), they spare no expense when seeking out top performance, safety and appearance features. They devote hours every week to keeping their trucks clean and staying on top of issues like the inevitable paint chips, dings and dents, wear and corrosion.


         Oftentimes these guys and gals do a lot of the work themselves. Some-times they order the tanks and work with their crews to build out the trucks themselves. And this all comes after they’ve spent long days pumping tanks and hauling loads to the treatment plant. We’ve had Classy Truck of the Year winners spend multiple days detailing their trucks, top to bottom, for the cover shoot in the February issue of the magazine.

         The upshot is this: Our Classy Truck winners raise the bar for the entire wastewater industry. They understand you are what you drive to many members of the general public. When customers see that beautiful truck pull up to their driveway, it confirms their decision to hire you to pump their tanks. If your truck appearance is any indication, you’ll do right by them and their septic tank, customers will surmise.

         These pumpers know that professionalism in the service industries demands quality, well-maintained equipment operated by efficient, well-trained personnel. They have an admiration for the vehicles and want to protect their investment, sure. But they also realize a Classy Truck is a marketing tool as well as a working tool. They use their trucks to amaze their customers — and market to new ones as they drive down the road.

         Your truck is a source of pride for you and your crews. And we want to recognize that pride in quality service and workmanship. So starting in a few months, the motoring public and pumping customers will start seeing Classy Trucks carrying a vinyl that tells the world about this exclusive distinction.


         I only wish we’d have come up with this idea from the start. I remember something our first Classy Truck of the Year winner, Ed McGuire, said after I told him his truck was chosen from a field of beautiful rigs.

         “I’m tickled to death. I never dreamed we would win,” McGuire said at the time. “I’m overwhelmed. I’ve chuckled to myself a few times about it. It’s not easy to brag about yourself.”

         No longer will pumpers have to announce they have a Classy Truck. They can let the emblem on their work truck do the talking.

Do you have a Classy Truck? If so, let us know about it and maybe you can make in the pages of Pumper. Snap a few photos of the truck, bumper to bumper, and write down some of the important details of the build. Send it to me at editor@pumper.com and I’ll get in touch. We look forward to seeing your favorite truck. 


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