Heated Equipment Is a Huge Convenience in Cold Climate

Heated Equipment Is a Huge Convenience in Cold Climate

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In Cadott, Wisconsin, the winters can be harsh, and having a truck loaded out with the right equipment is the key to staying on the road. That’s why Tom Jakubowicz — owner of Countryside Septic Service — insisted his 2019 International HX truck with a stainless steel, 5,000-gallon Imperial Industries tank came loaded with many heated parts.

He came to appreciate that decision last winter. The deep cold started early and moved in like an unwelcome guest that was unwilling to leave. Then, hip-deep snow arrived in February.

Thanks to heated valves and jackets on his truck, he never had any freeze-ups (despite temperatures down to lower than 20 degrees F below zero) while pumping tanks or discharging at the wastewater treatment plant.

“I’d recommend heated valves and heated jackets to anybody in cold climates,” he says. “I had heated jackets before, but not heated valves. It made a huge difference. The valves never froze up, and you’re not dealing with torches (to thaw the equipment). What made me appreciate it more was talking to competitors about their valves freezing. I had no issues.”

Prioritizing tank size

His main priority for buying the truck, however, was its 5,000-gallon tank. That allows him to pump more tanks before going to the treatment plant, which saves travel time and allows him to take on an extra two or three jobs a day.

“The 150-gallon heated water tank at the front end turned out to be the best surprise of the winter,” Jakubowicz says. He uses the water to rinse off hoses as he pulls them out of the tank and to flush the hoses with clean water. That keeps the site clean for his customers and the truck clean for him.

The water hose is easier to wind on his new truck, he adds, with the rear bumper mount, rather than the side where he used to keep them. “It’s easily accessible and makes more sense,” he says.

Everything gets washed at the end of the day. Jakubowicz parks the truck outside and washes it with a Beaver of Wisconsin 2,000 psi steamer before driving the truck inside for the night. No matter how cold it is outside, the truck dries overnight and is warm when he starts another day at 6 a.m.

Which brings us to his final heated accessory — heated leather seats. “I never thought I’d appreciate them that much, but it just makes your day go so much better when you come in from the snow and cold,” he says. “Winter is hard enough to work in.”


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