Countdown to Crazy: What’s On Your Preseason Checklist?

Countdown to Crazy: What’s On Your Preseason Checklist?
Use winter months to repair and refresh your portable restroom inventory.

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Busy season — the hectic season of special events and amped-up construction is almost here. What are you doing to prepare? Are you a preseason planner or perpetual procrastinator? 

Take it from a couple of PROs, now is the time to trim your project roster.

Order deodorant and restock paper products

For RS Waste Services of Houston, Texas, even on days when the temperature drops to an unseasonable 32 degrees, the busy season never really ends — it just gets busier. “This year we didn’t have much of a slowdown,” says Owner Nita Bailey. 

Typically, Bailey uses the slower time between November and January to talk with key customers and determine their needs for the upcoming year. 

“From that information I can access what I will need for toilet paper and chemicals,” she says. 

Equipment maintenance

Bailey says truck maintenance is always a priority. “If there’s anything that needs to be done, we try to get it out of the way so we’re not hit with a lot of repairs right as we start the busy construction season.” 

Route optimization, hire and train staff

Office equipment and software is updated and replaced as needed, although Bailey does use the preseason to review routes for maximum efficiency and evaluate staff needs. 

“If we feel like we’re going to need someone, we go out and look for them now,” she says. “We don’t want to train them when it’s crazy out there. You can’t always avoid it, but I always felt it was a better to bring them on when it was a little slower.” 

Expand business

Topping Bailey’s to-do list this spring is acquiring a larger site for her business. “Hopefully we can get closed and moved before it gets really busy,” she says. 

Repair, update restroom inventory

Garren Calkins, owner of Calkins Portable Toilets in Danville, Vt., uses the winter months to repair and refresh his inventory. 

While Calkins services restrooms throughout the year – including 150 to 200 during the winter months, his busy season doesn’t begin until the mud leaves – typically in April, and extends into October. 

“Right now we’re in the process of recycling toilets,” Calkins says. “The only thing we can’t recycle on the older ones is the pressure-treated skid. It doesn’t cost us anything. The trash company provides us with heavy-duty 4- by 4-foot boxes. We cut up the toilets and they’ll come and pick them up.” 

Retired restrooms also are sold as hunting blinds and ice fishing shanties – ADA units are especially popular. 

Attend the Expo, become engaged

“We’re always staying busy to improve something so we don’t have to deal with it later in when we get busy,” he says. And that includes attending the Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo, where Calkins proposed to his girlfriend in 2013. “I went on to buy toilets and ended up bringing home a diamond.”

For rates and other information on the Expo, visit


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