How a Smaller Truck Can Get You Big Business

Ever since A-Team/Vanscoy Septic Cleaning was founded, the company has preferred smaller-sized trucks
How a Smaller Truck Can Get You Big Business

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Small size equals big business for Gregory Vanscoy, owner of A-Team/Vanscoy Septic Cleaning.

Ever since the company’s founding, A-Team/Vanscoy Septic Cleaning has always opted for smaller-sized trucks. Its most recent pumper, a 2017 F-750 with a 1,600-gallon steel tank, fits those guidelines.

“My dad started the business back in ’56, and pumping tanks was the only thing he did. That’s how he started the business,” Vanscoy says, explaining that now the company also includes plumbing services. “Now, there’s not as many septic tanks around, but we can enter into tighter places that other big trucks can’t get in, so that’s the reason for having this smaller truck. It’s just easier.”

Not only does the company stick with small trucks, it also prefers to buy new. “We always buy new," Vanscoy says. “Then we run them until they’re pretty much done. The last truck was a ’98, so it lasted almost 20 years.”

Pumping trail tanks

The F-750’s small size is particularly helpful when it comes to pumping tanks on area bike trails. “We do a lot of pumping of tanks on bike trails. There’s stations that have outhouses that need to be pumped, and a big truck can’t get in there,” Vanscoy says. “We’ve been pumping (tanks on bike trails) for about 10 years. One day, someone called and asked if we did that type of work, so we went out and looked at them.”

In this specific line of pumping, Vanscoy says you never know what you’re going to find. “People don’t care. They’ll throw anything in it. There was one that had some big rocks in it, and we had to shovel them out. My son actually had to get down into the tank to shovel them out. Syringes were probably the worst thing we’ve ever found, but we see a lot of bottles, beer cans and diapers, and a lot of feminine products.”

Building out the F-750

The F-750 holds a 1,600-gallon steel tank and aluminum catwalks. “We’ve always had steel tanks. They seem to work for us. The last tank lasted for 19 years, and it was good enough for us to resell it to a guy in Florida,” Vanscoy says. “The worst part with the catwalks is they rust out from salt and everything.”

The tank’s capacity is just right for the company's service area. “My truck has a 1,600-gallon tank, and a normal size for a septic is 500 gallons, so we can put three of them on it before we have to dump. And we can pump three or four stations (on bike trails) before we have to dump.”

Vanscoy didn’t have an option when it came to the truck’s transmission. “We would have had a manual but Ford doesn’t make a manual transmission anymore for the 750, so we had to go with the automatic,” he says. “Believe it or not, it’s got just as much power, and it’s easier to drive because you don’t have to worry about the clutch and everything else. We like it a lot.”

Regular maintenance and cleaning contributes to longevity. “We clean the inside of the tank every six months and pull all the rocks and whatever else gets in there,” Vanscoy says. “The outside of the truck is cleaned pretty much daily. We’re pretty much fanatics on keeping it clean and polished and everything. And we keep it under a carport. We try to keep it in the best shape we can.”

Second generation and beyond

A-Team/Vanscoy Septic Cleaning has been in business and stayed in the family for more than six decades, and the future looks promising: Both Vanscoy’s sons work for the company, so there’s opportunity for the company to be run by the third generation.

“And my grandson goes out on the truck with us once in a while, too, so who knows where the company will go,” Vanscoy says.


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