Lady Pumpers Get the Job Done for Indiana's Lappin Septic Service

Lady Pumpers Get the Job Done for Indiana's Lappin Septic Service

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Company owner Ben Lappin’s girlfriend, Mackenzie Stephenson, rode with him and worked as his helper for about four years before working full time as a driver for Lappin Septic Service of Lakeville, Indiana, starting in 2021. Her background and skills are a good fit for the job, and after their initial surprise of seeing a female pumper, customers have reacted positively.

“Mackenzie grew up riding horses and small tractors. She loves riding lawn mowers,” Lappin says. “I was swamped running the only truck and she was getting burned out at her old job and saw that I was stressed. She volunteered to get her CDL license and offered to drive and pump.” 

After just four or five days with Lappin riding along, Stephenson was ready to go solo in her Freightliner truck carrying a Du-Mar Welding 2,500-gallon tank and a Battioni Pagani MEC11000 vacuum pump, Lappin says. 

“When I show up, stay-at-home moms don’t usually come out, and I just leave the bill. But when Mackenzie and April (Stephenson’s sister-in-law) are there, female customers really like it and they come out to talk,” Lappin says. “Mackenzie gets a lot more tips than I do.”

“I had planned to go into running heavy machinery,” Stephenson says. “This was a little out of my comfort zone, but I like pushing myself. I took a three-week course and earned my Class A CDL for driving semi.”

Initially, some male customers questioned her to make sure she knew what she was doing, or tried to help her, Stephenson says. But once she gets started, they back off and often post positive comments on social media. Likewise, workers at one of the treatment plants where she offloads waste were initially surprised to see her. But she quickly earned their respect and praise for doing her job well.

Pumping is definitely physically challenging, Stephenson say, especially lifting concrete slab lids. She appreciates when her sister-in-law April Rebelez is able to help her during the busiest parts of the season. One drags out the hose, while the other digs around the lid. They often get compliments for being hard workers, as well as being efficient and leaving the area clean

“I absolutely love the job — you get used to the smell,” Stephenson says. “It’s empowering. I’d love to see more women do it.”

Read more about Lappin Septic Service in the February issue of Pumper magazine.


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