5 Ways to Keep Plumbing Technicians Busy During Slow Season

Whether you operate in a tourist town or provide plumbing services in the snow-rich mountains, staying busy year-round isn’t a guarantee. Learn how to keep technicians busy.
5 Ways to Keep Plumbing Technicians Busy During Slow Season
During your slow season, take time to repair equipment and do vehicle maintenance.

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During the fast-paced summer months there often isn’t time to catch your breath. But what about the slow winter months when snow can reach the rooftops in some locations? How do you keep your workers busy? 

In the snow-rich region of Breckenridge, Colo., 80 miles west of Denver, yearly snowfall totals average 300 inches (25 feet). And it’s not uncommon to have 44 inches fall in a single week. 

That makes for good powder on the nearby slopes and good business for brothers Bill and Chris Tatro, owners of Snowbridge Inc., and their 11 full-time and one part-time employees. 

“Honestly, we haven’t been getting a lot of slack time in the last year or two,” Bill says of the resort community of 4,564 residents that can swell to 35,000 during the peak tourist season. 

“When we do it’s weather related, like last winter,” he says of the 22 inches that fell in 48 hours. “It snowed pretty bad, but we had jobs to get to. So we didn’t have a lot of downtime.” 

The Roto-Rooter franchise provides residential and commercial sewer and drain services, including CCTV pipeline inspections, waterjetting and water line thawing and trenchless pipe repair. 

Do you run into a slow season? Here are five suggestions to beat downtime in your plumbing business: 

1. Maintain equipment

“When we have downtime, we try to take care of our vehicles; make sure the maintenance is up to date,” Bill says. 

It’s also a good time to repair trucks and inventory equipment for the busy season. 

2. Training/education

Bill says slow months provide time for worker training and education.

“Most of my guys go through the NAWT septic inspection class, but unfortunately, that’s usually not during the slow time,” he says. “We just send guys whenever it’s offered.” 

3. Prospect for new customers

Slow times also can be an opportunity to prospect for jobs or make new contacts. “We’re really busy through the late summer into the fall. We’ve been busy the last six months or so,” Bill says. “Traditionally, if we have a slower time it would be from February to May.” 

Hotels and resorts begin to shut down the end of April and call on Snowbridge to clean sewer lines, pump grease traps and sand traps. “We clean their main sewer lines and jet them,” he says. “That usually is what gets us started in spring.” 

Snowbridge traditionally has a busy year thawing frozen pipes, but heavy snowfall and a warmer-than-usual winter in 2014 helped insulate the ground from penetrating cold. 

4. Attend the WWETT show

The relatively slow month of February also is a good time to take in a trade show. Bill makes a point of attending the Water & Wastewater Equipment Treatment & Transport Show in Indianapolis, Ind., coming up in 2015 from February 23-26. 

“We’ll be there,” he says. “We’ve got all of our plans. We just got done with the hotel so we’re good to go.” 

Are you ready for the 2015 WWETT show? Register here!

5. Take a vacation

Hey, even hard-working plumbers deserve a little downtime and a chance to recharge. Step out of the service van and put down the fittings and fixtures to relax and enjoy some warm weather and a cold drink.


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