Personal Touch: Amidst Help Shortage, This Pumper Focuses on Long-Standing Clientele

Staying busy is no problem for this Ontario pumper, but finding enough help to keep up with everything is still a struggle

Personal Touch: Amidst Help Shortage, This Pumper Focuses on Long-Standing Clientele

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Kevin Scoles has relied on the phrase “we’re the cleanest in a dirty business” for a long time. In fact, when other operators ask why his company is the cleanest, he retorts kindly, “Why do you get so dirty?”

Scoles runs Scoles Septic Service in Bolton, Ontario, a company started in 1971 by his parents. They service the greater Toronto area, focusing specifically on the septic work niche and resisting the urge to expand to other services. “That’s all I really have time for,” he says.

Since Toronto is serviced by sewers, Scoles works mainly in rural areas around the region. While the company used to do more septic installations, now the majority of the work is pumping.

And Scoles himself loves being on the road for his job. “It’s nice getting around seeing people. I’ve had the same customers forever.”

With no shortage of work coming in from so many familiar clients over the years, staying busy isn’t a problem. The challenge, Scoles says, is finding good employees. “Getting labor is tough,” he says. “If I could get more drivers, I’d have more trucks on the road.”

Still, he does have some pretty slick trucks in his fleet. Loyal to Vacutrux for its customer services, Scoles owns two 2016 Kenworth T880 with 4,083-gallon (all waste) tanks by Vacutrux. He’s also looking at a 2020 model to add to his inventory. 

But the truck that earned Scoles recognition in the Classy Trucks segment of Pumper recently was the “first fancy truck” he ever bought: a 2005 Kenworth T800. “I bought it and ordered it, and they wanted it as their display model,” he says of the truck that was featured on the show floor of the Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo — now called the Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show — that year in Nashville, Tennessee.

The truck carries a 4,083-gallon galvanized stainless steel Vacutrux tank and Wallenstein 1050 pump. It is powered by a Cummins ISM 385 hp engine wed to a 13-speed Fuller transmission (Eaton Vehicle Group). Features include polished stainless steel hose trays, heated valves, toolbox, remote-controlled pump and valve operation, hoist, hydraulic lift pump, Alcoa aluminum wheels, topside 22-inch manway and rear 34-inch hatch, ladder, work lights, heated collars and chrome stacks. The truck has the Kenworth Splendor interior with high-back air-ride seats, air conditioning, power windows and stereo with CD player. Graphic are from GraFX Group. 


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