Schulteis Pumping rigged up the perfect truck to meet customer demands in Slinger, Wisconsin
Many of the customers Schulteis Pumping serves in and around Slinger, Wisconsin, own homes with very large septic or holding tanks. And the company’s newest vacuum truck — a 2016 Mack Granite, rigged up by Imperial Industries with a 4,400-gallon aluminum tank and a National Vacuum Equipment blower (540 cfm) — is well suited for the task at hand.
Large tank for more efficient operations? Check. An Allison automatic transmission for easier and safer driving in the area’s hilly terrain? Got it. A low-maintenance blower pump that’s not prone to overheating? Yup. A Bluetooth-enabled cab that provides safer, hands-free operation? Absolutely. A digital SeeLevel tank gauge, made by Garnet Instruments Ltd., for increased accuracy? Book it. A Cummins 345 hp diesel engine? You bet.
“The Mack has the exact combination of features that every guy should have,” says Nate Hill, who co-owns the company with his cousin, Tim Schulteis.
Ordering a blower instead of a pump means they don’t need regular oil lubrication and they don’t overheat. Moreover, technicians don’t lose vacuum when they get to the bottom of a tank, where a conventional pump starts to suck just air.
“When that happens with a conventional pump, you have to wait in order to build the vacuum back up,” says Jim Schulteis, Nate’s stepfather and a now-retired former owner of the company. “A blower, on the other hand, provides continuous vacuum, which is very beneficial to the technician. It might save 10 to 15 minutes per job, which really adds up over the course of a year.”
And, he says, it’s easier on the technicians because they don’t have to stand there and hold the hose in place while it builds up vacuum.
The SeeLevel gauge is also a time saver and productivity enhancer because technicians know exactly how much room is left in the tank, which helps them determine if they can fit in one more job before making a disposal run. “It’s so much more accurate than sight glasses,” Jim says.
Nate believes that a nice-looking truck is also important because it tells customers that the company is conscientious. As such, he splurged on Alcoa Dura-Bright wheel rims (they never need polishing) and plenty of chrome accents to dress it up. “It looks pretty nice as we’re running up and down the roads,” he says. “It’s a rolling billboard. That’s also why our drivers wear uniforms — so they look professional. Septic pumping isn’t the most desirable thing for people, so we want to look as professional as we can.”