Nate and Brianne Geetings Bring Technology and Sales Sizzle to The Pumping Service

A new name, expanded territory and marketing moxie fuel growth for a successful Michigan pumping company

Nate and Brianne Geetings Bring Technology and Sales Sizzle to The Pumping Service

 The team at The Pumping Service is shown with the company’s five Freightliner vacuum trucks, four built by Imperial Industries and one from Marsh Industrial. They all feature NVE pumps. Shown from left are Trent Wittbecker, Matt Bennet, Garret Leiva, Nate and Brianne Geetings. (Photos by Aubrey Ann Parker)

When Nate Geetings was born in 1984, his parents had already been operating Benzie Pumping for nine years. He has nothing but respect for the hard work of his parents who built the business into a strong local brand. But following the death of his father in 2020, Nate and his wife Brianne have taken the company in new directions, building on the legacy they were given but enhancing it with an emphasis on new tools, such as a digital scheduling system, new business opportunities and a new approach to branding and advertising.

Nate’s father Kim bought the company in 1975 as Benzie Pumping Service, Inc., a single-pumper business headquartered in the small town of Beulah, in Northwest Michigan’s Benzie County. The company offered three primary services: septic tank, holding tank and grease trap pumping. As Kim bought out other companies, the service area grew, and so did the name, eventually becoming Benzie, Crystal & Interlochen Pumping Service,0 Inc., reflecting its larger service area.

“My mother, Patty, and father ran the business together and were hard workers,” says Nate. “They built the business through strong personal connections, paper-based scheduling and traditional advertising through vehicles like the Yellow Pages. They had the personal touch and when someone called, they knew one of them would pick up the phone.”

Nate rode in his father’s truck from an early age and watched the company grow, adding pumpers and hiring an extra employee, Kim’s cousin Paul Little, along the way. Nate worked for the company part time, riding shotgun, and then driving himself starting in 2003 after graduating high school.


“Taking over the company wasn’t something I had honestly thought about,” he says. “My mom and dad never pushed me to take over. They made sure I got good grades in school and let me forge my own path.”

He moved away to attend college but still spent summers driving a vacuum truck for his father. His studies took him from business to human biology — and an introduction to his wife Brianne, an advertising major, on the campus of Michigan State University. After graduating in 2008, they settled near Nate’s hometown where he returned to a full-time position with the pumping business. At that time conversations about taking over the business became more serious.

Kim was diagnosed with cancer in 2017, requiring Nate to take on more of the day-to-day operations. He and longtime driver Trent Wittbecker handled most calls. They hired an additional driver, Matt Bennett, in 2019.

“My dad passed away in 2020 and that was a long year for all of us,” Nate says. “My mom decided it was her time to retire and we bought the business from her, effective January 2021.”

Today, the company employs an additional driver, Garret Leiva, while Brianne has taken a greater role in supporting the company’s marketing efforts and administration.


The majority of the work involves pumping septic and holding tanks (when required in lake country). About 10% of the work is pumping grease traps.

The Pumping Service operates five vacuum trucks, all of them Freightliner Columbias carrying National Vacuum Equipment pumps. The 2006 features a 3,500-gallon steel tank built by Marsh Industrial. It’s the company’s “good-old girl” that carries them through road salt season and tough winter weather. The remaining four offer aluminum tanks and are built out by Imperial Industries: a 2007 with a 4,000-gallon tank, a 2010 with a 4,000-gallon tank, a 2016 with a 4,500-galllon tank, and a 2020 with a 6,000-gallon tank.

The company continues to take advantage of the 30-by-50-foot heated garage on land owned by Nate’s mother, as well as a large barn used to park service trucks indoors as needed. Most truck maintenance is completed on site.

“Taking over the business, I believed that there was further room to grow,” says Nate. “We were effectively providing service inside a 15-mile radius, but not beyond.”

One reason was the company name, which specifically listed Benzie, Crystal and Interlochen.

“We were getting calls from Traverse City asking us if we pumped outside those areas,” says Nate. The company was recently rebranded as The Pumping Service to emphasize a broader service area. 

Working outside the 15-mile-radius was also less profitable, in part because paper-based scheduling made logistics less efficient. Brianne chose Jobber, a service scheduling program and app, to streamline the system and take it to a digital level.

“There’s no paperwork, and the guys bring their schedules with them electronically,” Nate says. “All they need to do is make sure their phone is charged. They can create invoices and even collect payments electronically.”


Nate also reviewed all existing suppliers from insurance to accounting and replaced them with suppliers he believes reflect his ambitions and vision for the company.

Less than year after taking the helm, business is booming. The company has increased its service area for septic pumping and grease trap service, now stretching 25 miles to Traverse City and beyond. Nate notes that in 2020 the company had four trucks on the road simultaneously only a handful of times. From the summer of 2021 on, four trucks are on the road more often than not.

Nate still drives a service rig as needed, but generally assists with the most challenging tasks and oversees work on larger projects. Brianne now answers most calls and slots customers into the schedule. Nate then assigns crew members to each job through the Jobber app, based on their location. 

The Pumping Service will take on related work such as line repairs, pump work and riser installations (most often Polylok), but it’s not the company’s bread and butter. They own a pair of Kubotas — a mini-excavator and backhoe — along with a dump trailer. They’ll take the work when they’re less busy but pass it off to subcontractors when schedules are tight. 

This year, the company has also become the local installer and distributor for SludgeHammer, a modular biological wastewater treatment system that can be installed inside conventional septic systems. Nate acts as the contractor on each job, subcontracting most of the excavation and installation work.


What does the future hold for The Pumping Service? Nate says he might consider branching into portable restroom rentals if he sees a market niche to fill without stretching his labor force too thin. Right now, he aims simply to do better each year than he did the last.

Will the couple’s three sons Mason 9, Carter 7, and Winston 4 one day take over the company?

“Like my parents, we’re not pushing them toward any outcome,” says Nate. “We’re just going to be supportive of whatever they choose to do. But if they did one day decide they wanted to own and operate the company, that would be awesome.” 


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