Pumper & Cleaner Expo Seminars Consider Safety, Marketing, and Government Contracts

Your admission to the Pumper & Cleaner Expo is a license to fill your head with business-building information to serve you well throughout the coming year.

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Organized training and education programs have taken on a more pivotal role in building professionalism in the portable sanitation industry in recent years. As awareness over safety and cleanliness has grown, local, state and federal governments have mandated more and more regulations over how your company serves customers and the general public.

Nobody’s disputing that this is a positive development. The more we can learn and mature as an industry, the better we can provide the high level of sanitary services demanded by the general public. Portable restroom service has come a long way in a generation, and we’re all better for it … whether we’re talking about workers on remote construction sites or every one of us attending a local festival. We all deserve clean, quality facilities and service when it comes to portable sanitation.

With this message in mind, I’m excited to see the continued evolution and expansion of Education Day, Feb. 24, at the Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo International. Hands down, nowhere will you receive the breadth and depth of training opportunities at one time and in one location than at the Pumper & Cleaner Expo.


As part of the huge slate of classes, the Portable Sanitation Association International will present a full track of seminars aimed at restroom service contractors. Following a year of challenge and change in its organization, the PSAI has emerged with a renewed enthusiasm and sense of purpose. Its enhanced involvement with Education Day reflects a desire to put learning and training opportunities front and center as an association mission. Here’s a brief rundown of a few seminars on the PSAI track and why they reflect important industry trends:

Industry Image

In their talk, speakers Nancy Gump, owner of Andy Gump Inc., and Sarah Nasby, vice president of S & B Porta-Bowl Restrooms, will present ideas for portable restroom contractors to promote a positive image for the industry. They advocate for professional marketing materials and promotions to build good will and a message of cleanliness. The idea is to counter negative stereotypes about portable sanitation and build your reputation and profits.

What’s New With OSHA Safety Requirements?

As a small-business owner, you may dread hearing that four-letter acronym. But speaker Anthony Kuritz, an industrial hygiene consultant with the Bureau of Safety Education and Training within the Indiana Department of Labor, will demystify the sometimes-complex initiatives of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This is a great opportunity to take part in a valuable safety discussion and learn how to keep your company in compliance with the latest rules and regulations.

An Introduction to Entering the Federal Government Contracting Arena

Have you been intimidated by the idea of seeking the large and lucrative government contracts for portable sanitation that can take your company to the next level? You’re not alone. Speaker Terri Baldwin Flanigan, a consultant with Phoenix Site Solutions, will help portable restroom operators navigate the world of government contracts to see if pursuing this type of business is right for your company. She will walk contractors through the bid process and give you the contacts necessary to get started.


Many other seminars will interest portable sanitation providers as well. Among the presentations related to vacuum truck operation and small-business success are the following:

Preventing Tank Truck Rollovers

Transporting wastewater can be a dangerous duty, and rollover crashes caused by heavy, sloshing payloads can be devastating to a portable sanitation company. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 75 percent of rollover crashes are the result of driver action, and most rollovers are preventable. John Conley, past president of the National Truck Tank Carriers, will explain how you can limit the risk of rollover crashes for your drivers and talk about a number of trucking safety issues.

Marketing & Customer Service For Small-business Owners

Delivering and serving restrooms in a timely and thorough fashion is not enough to ensure your business thrives. So says Tom Fritts, of Residential Sewage Treatment Co. Fritts will share ideas for easy marketing methods to jumpstart your profits and grow the small business you pour your heart and soul into. Fritts says PROs all have the skills and tools at their disposal to get started.

Personal Safety

Worker safety is key to the success of any business, but it’s doubly important to a portable restroom operator with only a handful of workers to carry the load. Speaker John Chadwell, Western regional manager for EHS International, will share tips for improved workplace safety through personal awareness training.

DOT Carrier/Driver sessions

U.S. Department of Transportation trucking regulations come into play frequently for companies that haul wastewater down the highways. Knowing the DOT’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) requirements is critical to your company continuing to run within regulations and operating safely. Buddy Mauger, a former police officer and motor carrier safety expert, will give three presentations on topics relating to the DOT, including implementation of CSA 2010, DataQ Challenge Protocol and recent updates and proposed regulations.

Be Always Profitable sessions

A PRO isn’t necessarily a natural when it comes to making a sale and following it up with stellar customer service. That’s where four seminars with contractor Frank Taciak, of C.E. Taciak & Sons, will prove valuable. Taciak shares techniques and tactics PROs can use to maximize sales, charge prices that ensure profitability and create a winning customer service experience. He breaks down all the elements of a successful sales effort and makes sure attendees leave with the skills and motivation for success.


If you’re picking up this issue on the first day of Expo Exhibits, Feb. 25, and you’ve missed all the opportunities on Education Day, don’t fret. There are plenty more chances to learn during the three exhibition days. Your first move should be to grab an Expo program and search out the seminars on Tuesday and Wednesday, where speakers talk on a wide range of topics interesting to portable sanitation contractors, from technical seminars on land application, sizing vacuum pumps and working in confined spaces, to business-building talks on marketing and advertising, managing a multigenerational workforce and tracking profitability.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t add a plug for the roundtable discussions that kick off with a breakfast on Thursday morning. Join COLE Publishing editors and industry experts in the moderated talks beginning at 8 a.m. in the dining area of the Indiana Convention Center. Each table will start with a different topic, and participants can move from table to table to meet new people and discuss a host of relevant issues in the wastewater industry.

The roundtables are a powerful networking tool for contractors. … You may forge valuable friendships with colleagues from across the country, sharing service secrets and techniques that can pay big dividends for your business. I often hear that contractors have formed career-long friendships over breakfast and banter at the roundtable discussions. Come join us!


I want to meet you at the Expo and learn more about your portable sanitation company. I will be staffing the COLE Publishing editors’ booth near the Expo registration area, where I’d enjoy chatting with you about the challenges you face and the topics you’d like to see covered in this magazine. I meet many of the PROs you see featured in the pages of the magazine right here at the Expo. … Who knows, your company might be our next cover story! See you in Indy.


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