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  • Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

    How often do you run into that tank that is solid from top to bottom? We get one occasionally and it really throws a monkey wrench in the day. Do you charge extra for the extra time involved?

    As I was looking at the thread about prices I got to thinking that instead of a flat fee for pumping, we should break it down to labor and truck/gallonage charge. That way you could make up for those that take extra time.

    You could bill it at x per hour for the man, x per gallon for the septage and x per hour for the truck while it's in use. Then if you had to clear a drain you would add on a machine charge as well.

    Your thoughts?
    www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

  • #2
    Re: Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

    When I called around for quotes, around here it all the companies were about $300 (for 1250 gallons, the base was either 1000 or 1250, usually with a charge per 250 gallons after the start), and the differences in prices were the cost of digging (usually per cu. ft.).

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    • #3
      Re: Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

      We used to charge that way for some it was a little cheaper but the ones that took longer more then made up for it.

      The way we saw it, was that we have schedules to keep and only a few pump trucks and we dumped in Salem at the time and so If we had to run out to Detroit Lake area or the coast that took 1/3 to half that day on that truck and so if took extra time because they neglected their system. It should not be our companies responsibility to pay for the extra time it took. You lose a job or two because you have to reschedule that really hurts.

      You know as well as I do if their tank is solid like that their may also be some underline problems with it as well. So often we offered a free inspection of the system and if we did find any issue with the leach field or the tank then we would offer a quote usually same day. If there was no issue we would try and find what could be causing the biological system of the tank to not break down the sludge properly.
      Last edited by DanLawrence; 03-22-2010, 04:29 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

        Last wednesday got called out bakery factory in Bolingbrook produces tuns of bread and no not $$$ sewer backed up . found manhole In back of building I kid you not { of all days to forget my camera } the pit was so full the manhole lid was 6" off the ground . We had to dig 2' into the pit to see if we would hit water and no such luck . So we called torvack and they borght the pumper truck he only got 1/3 the way douwn. It took two more trucks to suck the pit clean .My only ??? is how the heck didnt they back up earlyer . but at the bottum we found a lift station both pumps bad and they had us replace only one who knows lets just say the cloths that day hit the garbage can and I showerd for neerley 30 min. scrubbing or eles
        SMELLS LIKE $$$$$$ TO ME

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        • #5
          Re: Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

          All tanks in Wisconsin must be pumped every three years by law. There are still a couple that have fallen by the wayside. We charge more for disposal because of the added volume of water needed to get the tank clean. That extra water is then septage. I tell people that the flat rate per gallon is only good if the tank has been pumped in the last three years. An extra hour labor covers the hassle. I try to pick up some holding tank waste to rinse the tank out. Every couple of weeks we will look to see how much grit is stuck in the truck.

          Those job are the one were no one know where the tank is. I would like a Buster auger thing. I think that would make all the differance on stuff like that. On really gritty jobs I will just call the High VAC guy and keep the stuff out of the truck all together. Some of that stuff they want dewatered and taken to the landfill. In that case I could rather clean a kicthen sink.
          Last edited by DANE; 03-22-2010, 11:07 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

            Originally posted by DANE View Post
            All tanks in Wisconsin must be pumped every three years by law. There are still a couple that have fallen by the wayside. We charge more for disposal because of the added volume of water needed to get the tank clean. That extra water is then septage. I tell people that the flat rate per gallon is only good if the tank has been pumped in the last three years. An extra hour labor covers the hassle. I try to pick up some holding tank waste to rinse the tank out. Every couple of weeks we will look to see how much grit is stuck in the truck.

            Those job are the one were no one know where the tank is. I would like a Buster auger thing. I think that would make all the differance on stuff like that. On really gritty jobs I will just call the High VAC guy and keep the stuff out of the truck all together. Some of that stuff they want dewatered and taken to the landfill. In that case I could rather clean a kicthen sink.
            Boy now that would be nice. I sent my driver on one the other day that had been 20 years.
            www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

              The clean water act. If you dont pump by the deadline there is a 375 dollar fine. There are also 15 pumping companys in the area too.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

                We've got about 12 that service our area.
                www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

                  Trent what your thought on trucks.
                  Buy new and keep them or unload them after a couple of years. Buy used run them till there dead. I was think about a used truck and a new tank. The FET tax makes a new truck not so appealing.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

                    I'd buy a used chassis and put new equipment on it. Trucks are dirt cheap right now. Look around and you can find what you want for a reasonable price.

                    Unfortunately I couldn't convince my business partner of this when we bought our last septic truck. She had to have new. Ten more long months until it's paid off.
                    www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

                      We haven't had an "unmaintained tank" extra fee but after a tank encountered last week there will be higher prices instituted.

                      VERY bad shape and took three times as long.

                      And markets vary by housing etc. but in my opinion the minimum charge for any tank pumped should not be less than $400.00.

                      Look at the cost & time of everything involved. Plus what you're having to do.

                      J.C.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

                        My partner and I were marveling at how no one bats an eye when we charge them $175 an hour to jet thier drainfield or sand filter (with a machine that cost's a couple thousand bucks) and they ***** like he!! when you want $325 for pumping thier septic tank with a truck that costs $150 grand! It makes no sense!

                        $400 would not be out of line for pumping a 1000 gallon septic tank.

                        I think the problem is there is not enough professionalism in the industry. Too many good ole' boys that have no idea what it really takes to do a quality job. They don't realize that it's not just pumping the tank but maintaining a small sewer treatment plant.

                        I would like to see continuing education requirements for licencing for pumpers. Or make them become O&M certified.

                        I'll get off my soap box now. Not because I don't have more to say but because I just got home and I'm hungry!
                        www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

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                        • #13
                          Re: Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

                          continuing education is required to maintain a license here...

                          there's still plenty of idiots with a license

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                          • #14
                            Re: Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

                            A thousand gallons around here is 145 to 185 dollars. I will say pumping every three years make it easier. There are a couple of outfits that really hurt the rest of us with low ball rates. Land spreading keeps cost down too. I hope a couple of the low ball die on the vine when they cant replace what they have.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Question and thoughts for the pumpers here...

                              Originally posted by DANE View Post
                              A thousand gallons around here is 145 to 185 dollars. I will say pumping every three years make it easier. There are a couple of outfits that really hurt the rest of us with low ball rates. Land spreading keeps cost down too. I hope a couple of the low ball die on the vine when they cant replace what they have.

                              I know it's tough as I deal with the same crap here but you have to base your price on the costs involved with doing business. When you do a good job for the customer they'll pay for your service. The good customers will anyhow. The others you don't want anyway.
                              www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

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