Strategic Equipment Purchases Entice Workers

A Ring-O-Matic vacuum trailer helps North Dakota pumper cope with shortage of CDL drivers.
Strategic Equipment Purchases Entice Workers

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Truck drivers carrying CDLs in North Dakota are typically attracted to high-paying jobs in the oilfields, so attracting them to a pumping company can be a big challenge. When you can’t fill your trucks with qualified drivers, you might lose out on some profitable work.

As one solution to that problem, Big Muddy Septic Service in Mandan, North Dakota, purchased a Ring-O-Matic 850 Deep Vac vacuum trailer that can be pulled by anyone with a regular driver’s license. Kirt Pelster, who started the pumping company in partnership with Missouri Valley Petroleum and Mitch Blitz (founder of Spot-A-Pot portable restrooms), reports that the vacuum trailer is used about four times a week and is a good addition to the fleet.

“The selling point is that a CDL isn’t required,” he says, but there are additional benefits.

Big Muddy purchased the largest size it could (12,800 pounds fully loaded) for an operator with a standard license, towing it with an F-350 Ford diesel pickup. The 850-gallon steel tank has a Masport pump and a pneumatic load breaker, which fills a bottom liner with air from a 230 cfm blower to help break up mud and sand when the tank is hydraulically lifted to dump.

“It gets the sediment out better,” Pelster says.

Because the tank isn’t very big, the Ring-O-Matic is used for pumping smaller loads.

“For example, we have a plant 125 miles from here. Every Wednesday it’s used for pumping car washes and shop pits,” Pelster explains.

The smaller unit is maneuverable to easily back into tight spaces and also used for runs in conjunction with one of the company’s standard vacuum trucks to finish big jobs more quickly and reduce overtime.

The vacuum trailer is self-contained with an 18 hp electric start, twin cylinder, OHV engine, gas tank and oiler box. Big Muddy ordered the optional lockable engine compartment for security. Custom graphics were added to brand the truck to Big Muddy.

“We can respond quickly to calls because anyone can pull this,” Pelster says. “We envision getting another one or two.”

Read more about Big Muddy Septic Service in a full profile in the November issue


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