Educating yourself and your customers about the operation of your restroom trailers is important for successful rentals
All restroom trailers are not created equal. So it takes some time to learn how to operate and service them.
While some operators have their units delivered to them, Charlie Senecal, general manager of the trailer division at Satellite Suites, says, “We encourage people to pick their units up at the factory.” There, they’ll get a tour of how the trailer is made. “We’ll walk them around the trailer and see how it works,” he says. “There is a little bit of a learning curve; we try to help with this.”
The company also offers 24-hour service, so eleventh-hour questions are welcome. Often those questions revolve around proper maintenance of trailers.
Senecal estimates about 90 percent of restroom trailers aren’t on a routine maintenance schedule, but they really need to be. Owners need to be aware of things like cleaning air conditioner filters, inspecting the roof, lubricating hubs and other key items. “We recommend that you have a dedicated person,” Senecal says.
Dan Fischer, sales manager of Comforts of Home Services, notes that in addition to educating themselves on the specifics of the trailers, operators should also consider their plans for waste disposal, and water and electrical hookups. “Don’t forget these little things,” he says.
Gretchen Hole, owner of Swanky Restroom Trailers in Michigan, includes all such considerations — hookups, delivery and service schedule, level ground where the unit will be placed, any low-hanging wires, etc. — when she gives client quotes “so they know it all up front.”
In addition to talking about these things with customers, many operators recommend these considerations be part of a written service contract or rental agreement to provide further protection.
Travis Vargo, a business attorney and co-owner of Texas Waste Company in Alvin, Texas, says communicating these necessary items increases the professionalism of the company and sets expectations for the customers right away.
“Communicate to your customers the rules of the game before you start,” he says. “You cannot make up the rules after the game starts.”
This article is part of a series on breaking into the portable restroom trailer market.