Tight Spots, Tough Duty

A custom-built waterjetter truck helps Floodwatch LLC work in crowded areas in and around Paramus, N.J.

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Did you ever try to park a service truck in a congested urban area while towing a trailer-mounted jetter? If so, you’ll appreciate why Angel Cartagena raves about his emergency-support truck, customized with a built-in 4018 waterjetter from US Jetting.

Two sliding doors on each side of the 16-foot R-O-M Corp. body, built on a 2006 Nissan UD truck chassis, allow crews at Floodwatch LLC, a drain-cleaning company in Paramus, N.J., to operate the jetter from either side. The hydraulic-powered hose reel extends fully outside the forward door on the passenger and swivels 180 degrees. It doesn’t fully extend out the opposite door but still is operational from there.

The unit carries 500 feet of 5/8-inch hose and is designed to handle mainly 4- to 6-inch lines, but it can effectively handle up to 8-inch pipes. In the rear of the truck, an attachment reel holds 200 feet of 1/2-inch hose for cleaning smaller 2- and 3-inch lines.

“I brainstormed with the guys at US Jetting, and we decided this type of vehicle would best suit my needs,” says Cartagena, company owner. “I bought the truck used a couple years ago. It was used to support emergency firefighting units in New York. I drove it down to US Jetting in Georgia to get it customized.”

Winning business

“I didn’t want to tow a trailer with jetting equipment on it anymore. The area we cover is very urban – sort of a miniature Manhattan, with many homes only 10 feet apart and bad traffic congestion. If you get a job in a high-rise apartment or condo building and you try to park a trailer, it’s almost impossible. You can’t always find a nice driveway or a double-parking spot to set up and perform your services.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve obtained jobs with this truck because no one else could access them. With this truck, all I have to do is back in like I’m making a delivery, open the side door, and I’m working. It’s ideal.”

Cartagena likes the fact that the truck body shields the jetting equipment from the elements. “You roll up the side door, and everything is nice and dry and stays nice and clean,” he says. “It looks presentable. Customers judge you by your equipment. If your vehicle is battered, or your uniforms look bad, they may think you don’t take pride in your work.”

Well equipped

The truck’s two rear partitions hold a 300-gallon water tank and miscellaneous tools and equipment, including a Gen-Eye inspection system and J-1400 portable waterjetter (1,500 psi/1.7 gpm) from General Pipe Cleaners.

“This truck gives me the ability to bring a lot more equipment to the job site, as well as keep it out of sight and locked up for security purposes,” Cartagena says. “It’s also one of the bigger units among competitors in my area. Pushing 4,000 psi really makes a difference. We can turn around more jobs in a week.”


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