Twin Trailer Jetters Increase Profits for Plumber

The effectiveness of this Ohio contractor's first trailer jetter quickly led to the purchase of another

Twin Trailer Jetters Increase Profits for Plumber

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Sonny Boyce recalls a request for emergency service in which the property-management company making the call wasn’t very confident 1 Tom Plumber — the company Boyce co-owns — would be able to do much to resolve the problem.

But Boyce had no such qualms. “I told them we had the equipment to do it and that we’d get the job done within two hours,” says Boyce, who co-owns the company with his son, Ryan, and another father-son team, Rocky and Kameron Hensley.

Quick action was required because a clogged 8-inch-diameter overflow line had caused a retaining pond at a large strip mall to flood, blocking the mall’s main entrance. As a result, nearly 30 stores and several restaurants had to shut down in the middle of the day.

The reason for Boyce’s confidence is a Mongoose Jetters 184 trailer jetter, one of two owned by the company, based in Milford, Ohio. (Mongoose is a brand owned by Sewer Equipment.)

As it turned out, the drainline was filled with tree branches. But in about an hour, the Mongoose — outfitted with a Warthog jetting nozzle from StoneAge — powered through, Boyce says.

“There was just a little bit of pressure on us,” Boyce says, noting that the mall had only one other entrance, but it had been shut down because of an ensuing traffic jam. “But I definitely was confident about the equipment we have. And when you tell a customer you can do a job in two hours and you finish in about an hour, you’re a hero. And your equipment is, too.”

The property-management company was impressed with 1 Tom Plumber’s fast response and quick results. In fact, shortly after the incident, it signed a maintenance contract for quarterly cleaning of drainlines at the strip mall, as well as several other malls the company owns.

“Talk about a money machine. That job really showed the value of investing in good equipment,” Boyce says.

After the company bought its first Mongoose 184 jetter around February 2019, it invested in a second one the following October. They’re used primarily to remove tree roots from laterals or to cut through grease at restaurants and debris clogging lines in commercial buildings.

“We bought the second one because we didn’t want to have to turn down jetting work if the one machine went down, and then possibly lose a customer,” Boyce says. “But now our second jetter is just as busy as the first one and we never have any problems with them. They’re very reliable machines … you take care of them and they’ll take care of you.”

Boyce prefers Mongoose jetters because after using them while working for other contractors, he’s convinced they’re one of the better values on the market. The two jetters feature 300-gallon baffled water tanks, remote-control capability, a minimum 70 hp engine and a Mongoose five-cylinder, plunger-style run-dry water pump (4,000 psi at 18 gpm). The baffled tanks allow technicians to drive them full of water, he says.

The standard unit comes with 500 feet of 1/2-inch-diameter hose and also carries 200 feet of 3/8-inch hose and 150 feet of both 1/2- and 1/8-inch hose.

One of Boyce’s favorite features of the jetter is the wireless remote-control capability. This technology enables the company to send only one technician instead of two people to each drain job. That, in turn, increases sales revenue by allowing for more productive and efficient manpower allocation, Boyce says.

“This also allows us to pay our guys a little better because we’re making more money,” he says.

In addition, the remote controls act almost instantaneously. “When you throttle down, it throttles down right way. If it takes two or three seconds to do that, you can have a mess on your hands pretty quickly when you’re working with water pressure and flow of 4,000 psi and 18 gpm.”

Boyce also loves the fact that Mongoose will send a mechanic out to do maintenance work on site, twice a year, with no trip charge. They arrive in a truck fully stocked with repair parts to keep contractors up and running.

“And if you call their toll-free number, they’ll walk you through a problem over the phone,” he says. “If necessary, they’ll then overnight a part to you so that you’re up and running again the next day.”

The machines’ durability and drain cleaning ability are two huge assets. Boyce estimates that both of the company's drain technicians do eight to 10 service calls a day, and half of the calls require the jetters.

“They take the jetters to every job,” he says. “If they can’t open up a drain with a cable machine, they’re trained to upsell the jetters.”

The 184’s proficiency also helps sell regular maintenance contracts, especially after customers find out how expensive emergency service calls can be. Boyce recalls one restaurant owner who called for emergency service; after the Mongoose jetter quickly resolved the problem, he signed up for quarterly maintenance cleanings at that restaurant — and five others he owns, too, which earned the restaurant owner a discounted price.

The first Mongoose 184 cost about $58,000 and the second one around $62,000. They've definitely paid for themselves.

“The income they generate is incredible,” Boyce says. “I can definitely say they that these jetters generate a large part of our company’s profitability. I’m definitely a fan of Mongoose jetters.” 


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