Take It From a PRO: World Portable Sanitation Day Edition

In this new monthly feature, portable sanitation professionals share their advice, insights and anecdotes. See what this month’s PROs had to say about the industry.

Take It From a PRO: World Portable Sanitation Day Edition

PROmonthly.com is honoring World Portable Sanitation Day and World Toilet Day (Nov. 19) all week long. Here, we’ve rounded up sage advice and industry hot takes from your fellow portable restroom operators. Share your own thoughts in the comments below.

The importance of portable sanitation

“It’s such a basic necessity for everybody, starting with the construction worker in the field. If we were in the fencing industry, for instance, and I mess up on setting up a fence and it’s a little crooked, it’s just going to be an eyesore for a year. But if I don’t keep a clean bathroom for that year, I can break the morale of that gentleman who’s going to have to use it the whole time he’s there. To me, that’s something very important. We look at it from that perspective — that we need to better our services to the best of our abilities every day.” 

 — Monica Brown, Sarabia’s Portable Jons & Blue Sanitation

“When I ask people, how the shower was, a very common response is ‘I feel human again. I feel like a million bucks.’ It’s amazing what a shower does. And it’s such a simple thing.” 

Lance Olinski, Streetside Showers

The keys to success

“Success is impossible without a great team behind you and a good foundation to stand on. I’m building a team around me. I couldn’t do it without them.” 

Chellene Lane, Best Portables

“The bottom line is no matter how big you are, you’re only as good as your last service. Where the rubber meets the road, it’s all hard work, too.” 

Gary Weiner, Mr. John

“Show up every week and keep your units clean. If you keep (customers) happy, they’re going to talk. Then the next person is happy and they’re going to talk.” 

Dennis Kline,  D&S Portable Toilets 

“We don’t sell restrooms. We sell service. Our service — we feel and have been told — is superior because of the pride we take in our company.”

 — Rick Rogers, MonDak Portables

“You just have to be determined and have some pep in your step. You have to live it and breathe it every day.” 

Tommy Endsley, Charlene’s Waste Services

An industrious community

“We learned the most about our business from asking questions of other professionals, from actively participating in industry associations, and from simply learning by doing. Experience is the key to a successful business, and we all have that to share with each other.” 

— Jeff and Terri Wigley in At Your Service

“It was very last-minute and they gave us a good deal on the trailer. It was very cool. It’s so different in the insurance business, where everyone is trying to beat each other’s prices in order to get a customer’s business. But here, sometimes I need a competitor’s services and sometimes they need ours, too. It’s good (to partner up). … We have a lot of mutual respect for each other.” 

— Nicole Murray, Potty Pros 

“I’ve helped some of (contractors) get their own equipment together, and they’re good customers for me in my shop. I help them with repairs for their pumps and hoses, and I sell them products like chemicals and toilet paper. I’ll sell them whatever they need to be successful.” 

Jay Faubel, AAA Quality Services 

“I like the people I’ve gotten to know through the industry. All my employees are wonderful on a business level and a personal level. All the vendors, to me they are not vendors, they are wonderful friends that just happen to sell me products.” 

Tim Smith, A King’s Throne

The greener route

“Portable sanitation is an environmentally friendly industry in that waste is collected and treated and the effluent eventually makes its way back into our water system. We are familiar with a study that shows worldwide that portable restrooms save 125 million gallons of freshwater per day. We should be proud of these facts and advertise them to the public whenever the opportunity arises. We should all also attempt to recycle our units and keep them out of landfills.” 

Jeff and Terri Wigley in At Your Service

“We literally recycle everything. We recycle all of our boxes; everything that comes in a case — toilet paper, shipment boxes — those are all broken down and recycled. All of the plastic bottles for cleaning solutions are recycled. The only thing that goes in the trash is plastic wrappers, and the trash bin only gets emptied every two or three weeks.”

 — Carolyn Kahle, Onsite Pro Can

“People like it when you are eco-friendly over here. It’s really beneficial for the schools, parks and us to know that, if for some reason there is a tip-over or something like that, the waste isn’t going to be harmful. … A lot of people love the eco-friendly part of it, not to mention that portable restrooms do save a lot of water. Even if you didn’t use eco-friendly products, just the fact that they are using a portable restroom rather than wasting water is a big benefit to the community as well as the environment.” 

Karrie Henricksen, Randy-Kan

The fringe benefits

“We have visited countless companies in our journeys throughout the years, as well as hosted visits to our company. What better way is there to learn than by sharing information with a fellow PRO? One of our best visits was in St. Louis with Clyde Sansom back in 1995. We then returned the favor to Sansom on several of his trips through Georgia throughout the years. Arrange to meet with a fellow operator while traveling around the country.”

 — Jeff and Terri Wigley in At Your Service

“I’m outside every day, not stuck in the office. And I love seeing the joy on the customer’s face. Even on the restroom side of it, people enjoy having a clean toilet. That’s what I enjoy the most — just seeing how excited people can get.” 

Kent Simmons, Columbia Sanitary


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