Keep an Open Mind for Your Auxiliary Business Ideas

B&S Port-O-Jons' courier side business delivers everything from restrooms to body parts

Keep an Open Mind for Your Auxiliary Business Ideas

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Lots of portable restroom operators develop sidelines that tie in with their main service, such as portable lighting, office trailers or fencing. But B&S Port-O-Jons in Waco, Texas, has a more unusual side business: a delivery service.

Bullet Delivery Service was started by Clayton Smith in Waco long before he joined the wastewater industry. Originally Bullet delivered mail to rural post offices, but after a while, the company got involved with delivering machinery. That led to work delivering for PolyJohn Enterprises, which was an introduction to the growing portable restroom business.

Smith and a partner created B&S Port-O-Jons in 1995, and six years later, Smith bought out the partner. He also kept the delivery service, which operated out of the same office then, and it still does.

The vehicle fleets are different, of course, but some of the office staff is shared, including Caryn Smith, the office manager for both companies and now also Clayton Smith’s wife and co-owner.

“We deliver anything legal,” Caryn Smith says.

Sometimes Bullet gets called to transport body parts for transplant operations from the hospital to the airport. That’s a complicated business now with all the security checks by the Transportation Safety Administration. “It’s a whole different thing,” she says. “You have to have clearance. All of our Bullet drivers have clearances.”

Clayton Smith, 62, is semiretired now, but he recalls some exciting times in the courier business. In the early 1990s, he used to make frequent deliveries to the Branch Davidian compound near Waco. “We delivered everything from gates to pallets to tents. I was going out there every day,” he recalls.

The compound was raided by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in 1993 and led to a standoff between compound residents, led by David Koresh, and federal officials for 51 days. On the national news every day, the standoff ended on April 19, 1993, when the compound burned to the ground after the FBI fired tear gas and attempted to enter.

Bullet Delivery Service made deliveries to the Branch Davidian compound nearly every day prior to the Waco, Texas, siege.
Bullet Delivery Service made deliveries to the Branch Davidian compound nearly every day prior to the Waco, Texas, siege.

“I was delivering items to the Branch Davidian compound before it went crazy,” Smith recalls. “Once it did go crazy, we started dealing with the news people and the law enforcement and that type of stuff. It was an exciting deal. It was one of my first big experiences.”

As exciting as the delivery service was at times, the portable restroom business has grown to be the bigger operation. “The potty business took off and way surpassed the delivery business,” he says.

Although Bullet Delivery Service used to deliver a lot of equipment such as engines and transmissions to the coal-mining region of eastern Texas, it doesn’t do much delivering of heavy equipment today. It takes a back seat to the portable restroom rentals, septic pumping and the warehousing and assembly of portable restrooms, which is another unusual aspect of the business for B&S Port-O-Jons.

“We don’t deliver much heavy stuff anymore,” Caryn Smith says. “We have enough to do with the rentals and the (restroom) assembly.”


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