How to Balance the Ups and Downs of Seasonal Revenue With Diversification

How to Balance the Ups and Downs of Seasonal Revenue With Diversification

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When Dwight Woelkers and his brother Dennis bought Royden Clemens Excavating in 2000, they supplemented the excavation work with septic pumping and installations. Today the situation is reversed. Excavation is now a minor sideline while septic pumping and repairs are the bread and butter of the company, now called Clemens Septic Service, located in Telford, Pennsylvania.

But diversification is always a good idea as industries, the economy and weather can be fickle. So Woelkers keeps his excavation equipment on hand and makes use of all of it — large and small Kubota excavators, a skid-steer, two Peterbilt dump trucks. The trucks and machines give the team access to fill-in jobs when work slows down and provide a helpful service to the community of 5,000. “If someone wants to put a pole barn up, for instance, we’ll dig out for that and run stone,” Woelkers says.

Woelkers came up with another diversification idea that helps the company handle the winter slowdown brought on by Pennsylvania’s cold, snowy weather. And, at 70 years old, it also gives him something to do as he starts to back away from the heavy lifting of septic work, leaving that to his young competent crew. 

“I bought a 2013 Peterbilt 386 tractor along with a 53-foot refrigerated trailer and a 53-foot dry van trailer,” he says. “We can haul anything — bottled water, meat, whatever we can find.” He says there is a year-round need for these services. They limit their work to local routes only.

He’s currently running a route every Monday and Tuesday before working back at the office. “I load refrigerated gel packs and bring them back here to a pharmaceutical company,” he says. “They pack drugs in them and send them out all over the country.”

For legal purposes, each business has its own name under the umbrella of Woelkers LLC — Clemens Septic Service, Clemens Excavating and Clemens Transport — but they all operate out of the same facility and with the same crew. “Our main thing is septic pumping, repair and installation,” Woelkers says. “But the other work is there if we need it.”

Read more about Clemens Septic Service in the March issue of Pumper magazine.


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