New Truck, Bigger Tank Helps Business Boom for Illinois Pumper

Upgrading to a 2018 International with a larger tank was a wise move for G&L Septic, which operates in a 30-mile radius west of Chicago

New Truck, Bigger Tank Helps Business Boom for Illinois Pumper

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“My primary truck needs to be new.”

Chad Johnson, owner of G&L Septic in St. Charles, Illinois, speaks highly of his 2018 International 7500 — right now the only truck in his fleet. And it’s served him well as he pumps mainly residential septic tanks in a 30-mile radius in the city roughly 40 miles west of Chicago.

Previously, Johnson had run trucks with 3,600-gallon tanks, so his current 4,200-gallon aluminum tank was an upgrade. He has run aluminum tanks since 2002; he prefers them because they are lighter and don’t rust.

“Most of the septic systems out here are 1,250-gallon, two-compartment tanks, so I can get three loads on before I go to the dump,” Johnson says. That’s important, he says, because the dump is 25 miles away and has limited hours, so upgrading to a bigger tank allows him to schedule six loads a day and make two trips. And a 10,000-gallon storage tank allows him to store waste as needed in between trips to the dump.

The International features a 500 cfm National Vacuum Equipment blower, built out by Advance Pump & Equipment. The truck is powered by an L9 Cummins 370 hp engine tied to a rugged-duty six-speed transmission (from Allison Transmission) with full-locking rear end.

Features include 4- and 3-inch inlet valves and a 6-inch dump valve, all with heated collars — a necessity in Midwest winters; a Garnet SeeLevel load indicator; custom toolboxes with stainless steel doors; a custom 40-gallon square water tank; and an insulated cabinet for the blower. “Pretty much, I need everything that is on this truck,” Johnson says. “It’s not extravagant.”

The only thing Johnson wishes he had added to the truck was a jetter, which he left off to save money on the build.

The truck has a premium-grade interior with air conditioning, air-ride cab and seat, satellite radio, wraparound dash, forward and rearview cameras, and cloth seats. Vinyl graphics — red and yellow on the white truck — are provided by Image369.

With a full-time driver now, Johnson is looking to expand his fleet and is considering one with a 2,500-gallon tank, ideally a 2007 or older model with a preemission engine.

“I want to run a smaller truck; it’s way cheaper to insure and plate in Illinois,” Johnson adds, noting that he would drive that truck while his full-time driver mans the bigger International.


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