Speccing the Ultimate Truck for Efficient Pumping Jobs

A swiveling hose reel and remote control package allows the Forest family to pump tanks with the truck parked 300 feet away on Easy Street

Speccing the Ultimate Truck for Efficient Pumping Jobs

Tyler Forest uses a hand-held remote to control the pumping system on his Pike Rite truck while pumping a customer's septic tank at a job site in Indianola, Iowa. (Photo by Mark Hirsch)

Interested in Trucks?

Get Trucks articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Trucks + Get Alerts

The physical work gets harder as pumpers age. Just ask Jody Forest, co-owner of Forest Septic Environmental Services in Des Moines, Iowa. 

At age 57, he’s transitioning the business to sons Tyler and Tory Forest, but he still expects to spend a few more years operating a truck and pumping tanks. A pair of vacuum trucks produced by Pik Rite of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, are helping him do that. 

“I’ve got arthritis in my wrists from doing so much probing,” he says. “My body is telling me to stop; my mind wants to keep going.”

The new trucks greatly speed up the pumping process, save steps, and reduce manual effort, says Forest, who has owned his business for 30 years. He saw a photo of a truck with a rear-mounted hose reel in Pumper magazine and knew he had to have one. He contacted Pik Rite, its fabricator, and then talked to the owner, who swore by the truck. 

Forest promptly ordered one and took delivery in late 2017. After working with it for just two days, he ordered another just like it to make life easier for his team members.

Pumping from the road

Each of the trucks Forest purchased is built on a Freightliner chassis with a 4,700-gallon low-profile painted aluminum tank, a vacuum blower from National Vacuum Equipment, and heated valves. The hose reel swivels and carries up to 300 feet of vacuum hose. The reel and full remote control have made pumping jobs a breeze, Forest reports.

“It’s unbelievable,” he says. “We can pump septic tanks from the road now. We don’t necessarily have to back into people’s driveways. I can grab the end of the hose at the reel and walk to where the septic tank is. Then I can operate everything from the septic tank and never have to go back to the truck.”

The remote control handles all the functions necessary to pump, backflush and empty the tank. “It’s twice as fast. I don’t have to lay the hoses out and make connections. When I’m done, I don’t have to unhook the hoses. I cap the end of the hose, and that prevents any mess at all in the yard. I’ve got to feed the hose onto the reel manually, but that just means guiding it on, left to right. I put a ratchet strap on the hose to snug it down.”

Because the trucks are long, at 42 feet overall, Forest plans to add a backup camera to each one for safer maneuvering. His overall critique: “It’s the ultimate truck.”

Read more about Forest Septic Environmental Services in this month's issue of Pumper.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.