Favorite Equipment Packs a One-Two Productivity Punch

This vacuum truck and excavator duo makes Barefoot Septic & Sewer more efficient and profitable.
Favorite Equipment Packs a One-Two Productivity Punch
Cal Stetzel of Barefoot Septic works on an excavator in Caledonia, New York.

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Septic pumping and onsite system installations generate the bulk of Barefoot Septic & Sewer’s revenue, so it’s no surprise that a vacuum truck and a mini-excavator rank high on co-owner Scott Barefoot’s list of most valuable pieces of equipment.

Based in Caledonia, New York, Barefoot Septic relies heavily on two workhorses: a 2011 Mack built out by Vacutrux Limited with a 4,000-gallon steel tank and Wallenstein pump, and an SL75V compact excavator made by Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment America.

“Over the years, we’ve had various sizes of pumper trucks,” Barefoot explains. “But the 4,000-gallon truck has proven to be the most efficient and the most profitable. This truck is as large as we dare to go, while still being able to back safely into our customers’ driveways.

“The chief benefit is that it allows us to pump at several locations before emptying the truck,” he continues. “Less time driving to and from the disposal site results in more septic tanks pumped and more invoices generated on a daily basis. … The more hours you spend actually pumping out tanks, the better off you are.”

Using one of the company’s two 3,800-gallon trucks can sometimes mess up route logistics, Barefoot says. “If they are pumping out four 1,000 gallon tanks, which is a pretty standard size around here, they can’t finish the last one,” he points out. “I can’t quantify the productivity gain, but we know we’re doing more pumpouts per week when we use the 4,000-gallon truck.”

Going larger isn’t always better, as the company learned with excavating equipment such as backhoes. Ground conditions in upstate New York, where the company is located, are often wet and muddy. As such, the company slowly phased out larger backhoes in favor of rubber track midsize and mini-excavators, Barefoot says.

“An excavator like the Doosan, which works on rubber tracks, distributes its weight much better than the wheeled backhoe,” he says. “That allows us to complete excavation projects even when the weather is not ideal. Backhoes can be heavy and cumbersome and make a mess of customers’ lawns … especially around here, where we have four distinct seasons: wet springs, dry summers, wet falls and wet winters.”

Read more about Barefoot Septic & Sewer in a full profile. 


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