Branching Out: Make the Most of Vacuum Truck Versatility

Branching Out: Make the Most of Vacuum Truck Versatility

Nathan Chapman, Billy Williams and Raymond Smith of Willco Septic on the job. (Photo by Ryan West)

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Like many contractors located in more rural areas, Willco Septic in Choctaw, Oklahoma, has actively branched out over the years into several different niche markets to generate more revenue streams. Doing so also opens up opportunities to cross-market the company’s various services to customers.

Good examples include pumping grease traps and car wash pits and installing concrete storm shelters, says Billy Williams, the company’s owner. “My grandfather cleaned out grease traps, so I got a license to do that, too,” he says. “It just goes hand-in-hand with pumping septic tanks.

“You can do a lot of things with a vacuum truck,” Williams says, noting that the company also cleans stormwater sump pits at loading docks and holding tanks at dog kennels and machine shops. “There aren’t a lot of sewers around here — it’s mostly septic systems and holding tanks. So if we’re licensed to dispose something and we have a disposal option, we’ll pump it and haul it.”

Willco Septic takes most of its wastewater to a private treatment plant in nearby Oklahoma City. It also takes some waste to a local landfill, where it’s solidified with fly ash and wood chips before disposal.

Installing opens avenues

Willco Septic also installs roughly 15 to 20 storm shelters a year. Since it basically involves excavating a hole and setting a precast concrete storm shelter inside it (Williams buys them from RN Concrete), storm-shelter installation is a great complement to installing septic systems. “It only takes two or three hours,” Williams says. “Since we’re in Tornado Alley and we already had a backhoe, we figured we might as well put in storm shelters, too.

“If someone uses your company to pump septic tanks or install their septic system, why not put in their storm shelter, too?” he says. “Every little bit of revenue counts, especially with so much competition around here.”


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