Building a Business: North Carolina Pumper Assembles His Own Trucks

Mike Stancil of Cumberland Septic Services turned his previous experience building garbage trucks into a game-changer for his septic pumping company
Building a Business: North Carolina Pumper Assembles His Own Trucks

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Mike Stancil puts his experience building trucks to good use. To date, he's assembled 17 vehicles — including vacuum trucks — for his septic services company using components he's accumulated over the years.

Stancil previously worked many years for a solid waste company in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where one of his jobs was building the company’s garbage trucks. In 1990, he bought Cumberland Septic Services and operated the pumping business for 15 years before adding portable restrooms.

The owners of Cumberland Septic Service include, from left, Jodi Stancil Reynolds, Audrey Stancil, Mike Stancil and Crystal Stancil McGahee. They're standing in front of the company's 2015 Ford F550 outfitted with an Abernethy tank with a capacity of 550 gallons of waste and 275 gallons of fresh at their Fayetteville headquarters. —Photos By Scott Muthersbaugh

He works out of a shop on his property building trucks for both sides of the business, and he's got just about every tool imagineable. But there’s a couple he says were improvements on old technology, and they’re especially useful for building trucks. One example is his portable magnetic drill from Hougen Manufacturing.

“When you have to drill into the framing on your trucks, it’s got these special bits,” Stancil says. “The drill is magnetic and you can stick it up there and flip the switch, and the drill will stay there as long as you’re on metal.”

Of course he does a lot of welding, so he also appreciates the first plasma cutters he got years ago from Miller Electric — the Spectrum 500 cutting system. “Instead of using a torch, which uses oxygen acetylene, it uses electricity and air,” Stancil says. “It’s got a tip on it and you ground your piece. You set your depth on the machine to which you want to cut and it’s a perfect cut. You could set a straight edge down there and follow it with a plasma cutter, and you couldn’t tell the difference if it was cut with a shear.”

Another welder Stancil uses in the shop is the stick and flux-cored Miller Matic 185. When he has to work in the field, he’s got a trailer-mounted Miller Bobcat 250. And, yes, the trailer was homebuilt. “Miller made the welder and we made the trailer,” he says.

Read more about Cumberland Septic Services in this month’s issue of Pumper magazine.


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