California PRO Doug Gredvig and His Crew Proudly Serve a Major Aviation Event

An awe-inspiring California air show featuring the Blue Angels is a signature service event for Area Portable Services

California PRO Doug Gredvig and His Crew Proudly Serve a Major Aviation Event

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly in close formation at the California Capital Airshow. (Photos by Lezlie Sterling)

THE TEAM

Area Portable Services in Rancho Cordova, California, provides portable restrooms and temporary fencing for events and construction sites within a 45-mile radius around nearby Sacramento. The company is owned by Doug Gredvig. Jason Klapper, sales manager, oversaw the California Capital Airshow project along with J.J. Rengstorff, operations manager, who tapped about 10 of the company’s 35 employees for the event.

COMPANY HISTORY

Gredvig enjoyed a successful minor league baseball career, but after seven years and a couple of back surgeries, he retired in 2006. He thought he might have a knack for business, so he decided to give entrepreneurship a try. A curiosity about the sanitation industry had been piqued during his travels, which led to helping out a Maryland PRO in the offseason — so that industry seemed a natural fit.

Gredvig bought a load of portable restrooms and a vacuum truck and, with a competitive spirit and determination, started knocking on doors. Within a short period of time, he brought on help and has been growing ever since.

MAKING CONNECTIONS

Klapper started with the company in May 2017 and landed the contract for the air show, now their largest event. Klapper shepherded it through the bidding process, but he says it wasn’t just about the numbers. “It was more about being service-oriented and able to take care of such a large event in a short amount of time,” he says, “and making the experience positive for the guests.” The company has had the job every year since.

THE MAIN EVENT

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels’ precision flight demonstration team was a highlight of the California Capital Airshow held at Mather Airport in Sacramento the weekend of Oct. 5-6, 2019. The event drew more than 120,000 attendees. The price of admission covered aerial performances including parachuting, barnstorming and a D‑Day tribute; on-ground military and civilian aircraft displays; interactive informational activities; and the Kiddie Hawk children’s activity area.


BY THE NUMBERS

Klapper and Rengstorff began the planning process by taking the previous year’s numbers, factoring in the organizers’ preliminary attendance guesstimate, which assumed larger crowds because of the Blue Angels, and adjusting for the fact that it was reduced from a three-day event in 2018 to two days. For 2019, they provided 175 gray Maxim 3000 standard units, 27 Freedom, three ADA-compliant units, 50 double-station Breeze hand-wash units and a few 300-gallon holding tanks for food vendors, all from Satellite | PolyPortables. They also brought in seven restroom trailers from JAG Mobile Solutions and NuConcepts, ranging in size from two to eight stalls.

LET’S ROLL

Proper layout for the event is critical, Klapper says. “We don’t want them [units] blocking views or aircraft,” he says. “And planes might come in later than expected so we can’t have certain banks set up because they’d get blown over by the jet blast. When they bring in a big C-5, it needs a lot of space, so there are some units that wait until all the planes are there to get into their final position.” Five or six months out, Area Portable Services got together with event organizers to review the preliminary layout and quantities. Fine-tuning the plan started about a month out and continued right up until showtime.

On Wednesday, the team started transporting equipment to the airfield 5 miles away using eight-unit, 12-unit and 16-unit trailers (McKee Technologies - Explorer Trailers). Units were set up in a dozen locations. Large banks of about 12 were placed throughout the facility including major walkways, the grandstand and the food court. Smaller banks or singles were set up at entrance gates, parking lots, the fire department compound and first-aid stations. Restroom trailers were stationed at private VIP chalets.

KEEPIN’ IT CLEAN

On Saturday morning, the uniformed crew headed out to the airfield in six of the company’s vacuum trucks. The trucks weren’t used until evening but remained on site throughout the day at the company’s base camp. “It gives us a nice presence — our nice shiny trucks lined up in a row,” Klapper says. The crew spent the day restocking and wiping down units. They were mostly feet on the street, but they also had access to facility-provided golf carts. The air show’s volunteer staff was also on hand to help, particularly for the restroom trailers, so there was no chance for cleanliness problems.

Base camp was also where the crew took their breaks. “We put up [a canopy] and some chairs and had plenty of water and Gatorade and snacks on hand,” Klapper says. “I brought donuts in the morning, and we provided lunch. We keep them well hydrated and well fed.”

On Sunday morning, the crew repeated the process, also bringing in a few hauling trailers so they could begin removal that night, finishing by Tuesday.

Pumping took place Saturday night shortly after the show ended at 5 p.m. and again Sunday night when the event concluded using a 2015 Ford F‑550 with a 750-gallon waste and 300-gallon freshwater tank from Crescent Tank, a 2017 Hino with a 1,000-gallon waste and 300-gallon freshwater tank from Crescent Tank, a 2017 Hino with a 1,500-gallon waste and 600-gallon freshwater tank from Davidson Tank, two 2019 Hino 268As with 1,100-gallon waste and 500-gallon freshwater tanks from Davidson Tank, and a 2019 Ford F‑550 with a 900-gallon waste and 400-gallon freshwater tank from Tank World. All have steel tanks and Masport pumps. The company uses deodorant products from Walex Products. Waste was taken to the nearby 24-hour Sacramento County wastewater treatment plant.

THINKING AHEAD

Other than a few hand-wash stations running out of water — quickly swapped out with extras on hand — the event went smoothly, Klapper reports. He and Rengstorff were on site the entire time, already thinking about next year. “We always take notes,” he says. “Then we go through how the event went and where banks were, and we consider if we want to add more in certain areas because of traffic flow.”

In addition to a lot of planning, Klapper gives credit to the team for a smooth-running operation. “Being at the air show and seeing the planes flying, that’s a lot of fun. But taking care of such a large crowd, that’s the most fulfilling part for me — seeing our team working together, making it as seamless as possible. It’s a credit to all the guys who put in the time and hard work. It really makes this thing shine.”



Discussion

Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.