California PRO Takes Pride in Serving a Hometown Event

California contractor provides down-to-earth site services for annual high-flying air show.
California PRO Takes Pride in Serving a Hometown Event
Cal-State Site Services staff relocate some of the portable restrooms at the air show grounds.

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THE TEAM

Rick Modlin is the owner of Cal-State Site Services. Based in Simi Valley, California, the company provides portable restrooms, temporary fencing and pedestrian barricades to customers throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. Event manager Kelly Kimes coordinates all aspects of servicing Wings Over Camarillo, an annual air show held in Camarillo, California. About 12 Cal-State employees work the event, including route driver Jesus Gomez, who takes care of servicing restrooms; Kimes, who oversees the VIP restroom trailers; and a three-man crew that erects fencing for security and pedestrian barricades for crowd control.

COMPANY HISTORY

Modlin started out with a general engineering and contracting business called Classic Construction Services, which specialized in water and sewer projects. He got into fencing in a roundabout way in the late 1980s when he realized the company was spending some $20,000 a year to erect mandated temporary fencing to protect old oak trees standing on job sites throughout Ventura County.

Modlin used to hang signs on the temporary fencing to promote Classic Construction’s services. But soon calls started rolling in from potential customers who asked if the company did fencing, too. Modlin responded by establishing Cal-State in 1991. He sold Classic Construction a year later to concentrate on temporary fencing.

In 2008, Modlin purchased Nature Calls Sanitation Inc., a portable restroom company in nearby Oxnard that specialized in farming and special-event portable sanitation. The rationale: He realized that customers who need fencing many times also require portable restrooms — and they’d prefer the convenience of getting them from just one vendor.

About two years later, he bought another portable restroom operation. Cal-State’s three primary restroom markets are construction, special events and agriculture, he says.

EQUIPMENT MATTERS

To service customers, Cal-State owns about 1,000 standard Aspen restrooms made by Five Peaks; four restroom trailers made by NuConcepts; about 150 dual hand-wash stations made by PolyJohn Enterprises; roughly 18,00 feet of barricades; and about 1 million linear feet of temporary fencing (which includes both chain-link fencing and 6- by 10-foot fencing panels).

For servicing restrooms, the company relies on a 2017 Hino with a 1,500-gallon waste/500-gallon freshwater aluminum tank made by Tank World; three Freightliner trucks, each outfitted with a 1,500-gallon waste/500-gallon freshwater aluminum tank made by Southwest Tank and Steel; six Ford F-550 trucks that carry 750-gallon waste/400-gallon freshwater stainless steel tanks made by Satellite Industries; and one slide-in unit with a 750-gallon waste/250-gallon freshwater aluminum tank made by KeeVac Industries. All the units are equipped with Masport pumps.

To transport fencing and barricades, the company owns two Freightliner and four International 24-foot flatbed trucks. Modlin says he also buys promotional decals from J.C. Gury Co.

THE MAIN EVENT

Established about 36 years ago, Wings Over Camarillo primarily features retired military airplanes, as well as general aviation aircraft and classic automobiles. About 15,000 people attend the two-day event, held every August.

Cal-State started providing just fencing for the event in 2010, but since then has added barricades, and then portable restrooms and restroom trailers to the mix. “We’ve handled everything for the last three years,” Modlin says. “It’s not the biggest special event we handle each year, but it’s near and dear to our hearts because it’s held in our own backyard and a lot of us live in the area.”

BY THE NUMBERS

To properly service the event, Cal-State supplies about 60 Aspen restrooms, a dozen Bravo dual hand-wash stations, two restroom trailers, about 1,000 feet of fencing, 500 feet of barricades and two Five Peaks ADA-compliant restrooms. To clean restrooms, the company uses just one of its larger vacuum trucks that carries a 1,500-gallon waste/500-gallon freshwater tank equipped with a Masport pump, Modlin says.

READY FOR LIFT-OFF

The event does not pose immense logistical challenges for Cal-State. It’s held only about 20 miles away from the company’s Simi Valley-based headquarters, so equipment either comes from there or is sourced from a service yard in Ventura, which is even closer to the show’s site.

The fencing crew heads out first on the day before the show. Modlin says it takes about six hours or so to set up all the fencing and barricades to secure the perimeter. Then the company uses 18-foot trailers to deliver the bulk of the restrooms plus the hand-wash stations, all on the same day that the fencing is erected. The company also uses three Ford stake-bed trucks, equipped with hydraulic lift gates, that carry four restrooms each. If needed, they can also tow trailers for extra restroom-carrying capacity. “We get everything done the day before the event,” Modlin says.

Restrooms are typically cleaned and restocked with toilet paper only once, starting at around 6 a.m. Sunday. Gomez also refills soap holders and water tanks on the hand-wash stations. Total service time: about four hours. “The grounds for the event don’t open until 11 a.m., so the driver has plenty of time to service the restrooms,” Modlin says. Waste is taken to a municipal treatment plant about 10 miles away, Modlin says.

On Monday morning, crews arrive at the site to break everything down and take it away; this requires about the same number of employees as needed on the previous Friday.

“We pretty much have it down to a science,” Modlin explains. “The whole site is on asphalt, so it’s easy to get around. And because the event is held at the Camarillo Airport, it’s a secure area, so we don’t have to deal with vandalism.”

KEY TO SUCCESS

Modlin says being organized helps Cal-State earn repeat business, year after year, for the high-flying event. “Having done it for a few years doesn’t hurt, either,” he notes.

Thanks to proper planning, the company has figured out how to minimize the amount of trucks and employees required for the job, as well as deliver restrooms and fencing in just one day, and break it down and take it all away in just one day. “Having an event coordinator (Kimes) who’s second to none sure doesn’t hurt,” Modlin adds. “Kelly takes a lot of pride in what he does.”



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