Anyone who’s been around the portable restroom industry for a while likely recognizes the Sansom name. In his more than five-decade career, Clyde Sansom has not only operated a multi-city restroom rental fleet, but his design input is still seen in popular portable restrooms produced today. Sansom Industries used the 2016 Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show to introduce a new portable restroom — the Zenith.
“We actually started on the design of this unit in June 2015,” says Clyde III “Mannie” Sansom, the company’s COO. “Our big mission was to roll it out for the WWETT Show. We were very happy to get it done with two weeks to spare.”
The fully made-in-America Zenith is designed to have at least a 30-year life span, with a 10-year warranty covering each part. Sansom says the durability is by design.
“It’s simply because we don’t want the nuisance of being in the spare parts business,” he says. “Our thought was, if we build these things to last, we’ll sell more on reputation and to return customers than any profit we can make from selling spare parts.”
A Zenith innovation is its hands-free door opening and locking design. The door has a foot pull for users with their hands full or those concerned about germs. Inside the door, a strong open/close latch and opening handle incorporates a hover handle for hands-free locking. In addition, the ergonomically angled seat provides additional legroom for users.
“We’ve been operators in this industry for a long time, so we know what operators are looking for,” says the younger Sansom, whose PRO career began under his father’s tutelage in 1979. “When people use a portable, they want something that’s comfortable and easy to get in and out of. The Zenith is our answer for that.”
In addition to user comfort, the Zenith has several beneficial features for the portable restroom technician. It has durable corners that fit the hand very well and make it easy to move, along with strong plastic hinges that are sonic-welded to the frame, and a ventilation system that generates airflow with the slightest breeze, meaning less odor control product is needed to keep the interior smelling fresh, according to Sansom.
Smooth interior surfaces, including walls, sides and the inside of the door make for easy cleaning with a pressure washer, while a molded corner vent stack sits flush to the wall to prevent buildup of debris. The unit also has an 80-gallon holding tank, and comes standard with a three-roll paper holder. All these features promote longer service intervals, Sansom explains. The unit also has a coat hook, a nonskid/slip tread floor surface, a molded-in area for an optional mirror, a hand sanitizer mounting platform integrated directly above the urinal to eliminate dripping on the floor, and a one-piece corner urinal with clog-resistant piping and wider opening for ease of cleaning and less splashing.
“We wanted a unit that was at home at highly trafficked special events or in situations where it’s only getting used a few times per day,” says Sansom. “We feel there’s no reason an operator should need to buy multiple types of restrooms. The Zenith fits all of those needs.”
Sansom and his father have been regular attendees at the WWETT Show for decades, with past shows not only giving them the opportunity to see new innovations in the portable restroom industry, but also talk with and bounce ideas off fellow operators.
“It basically boils down to other operators seeing the same issues we were facing in our business,” says Sansom. “Fortunately, Dad decided he wanted to do something about it, and he asked me to join him. That’s how this idea was born.”
After the successful rollout of the Zenith at the 2016 WWETT Show, Sansom says he’s already looking forward to next year’s show, where he hopes to unveil an ADA-compliant unit to pair with the Zenith.
“This show has been great, so we’ll definitely be back,” he says. “The ADA unit is already in the planning stage, and it’s going to incorporate a lot of the strong aspects of the Zenith. We’re excited about it.’’ 844/972-6766; www.sansomindustries.com.