James Luna never runs from a big job, even if it means buying new equipment the night before.
One day, when he had a high-profile inspection job coming up, he realized his camera was having issues. Luna needed a camera that could deliver quality video, and he needed it fast.
His inspection services company, Power Tech Inc., is based in an isolated area of northwest Washington, but luckily Jetters Northwest is located nearby. He called and the camera he wanted was in stock. “The only problem is, I need it tomorrow,” he told the salesman, late on a Friday afternoon.
The salesman arranged to meet Luna so he could pick up the camera. He did the job the next day and it was a complete success.
“Jetters Northwest always comes through for whatever I need,” Luna says. “If they don't have it, they get it overnight. It seems like a lot of my jobs are emergencies like that."
Luna first worked with Jetters Northwest equipment several years ago when he bought a new jetter for a job at Nippon Paper in Port Angeles, Washington. The paper company was dealing with major blockages in its mill drains.
“They had some local sewer companies and plumbers come in and jet those out and they were using small, almost like homeowner jetters, and they weren’t getting anywhere.
“So I started doing some research since I was doing all their video inspection work. I came across Jetters Northwest and thought that looked like the right equipment to do the job.”
Luna purchased the Brute portable jetter. Its first job was a process line that was plugged with woodchips. The paper mill had worked on it with its own equipment for almost two days. He came in with the Brute and cleared the line in 45 minutes.
The mill also experienced clogging in its sewer lines. One line, about 200 feet long, was plugged with gravel and sand. Luna cleaned the whole line in about a day. “It was 100 percent plugged and I got it 100 percent clean with that Brute jetter and a Warthog.”
The paper mill is now one of his primary customers.
Luna regularly relies on the Brute when he faces difficult cleaning challenges. Another project involved a brand-new oil tanker. Someone let sand get in the hydraulic system and the control rod (the mechanism inside the prop shaft that controlls the pitch) got severely damaged inside the 30-foot-long bore.
“They couldn’t get any dry docks so they came to Port Angeles. They ballasted the prop out of the water, pulled it apart, pulled the control rod out of the shaft, and then needed to inspect it. So I used my Inukton 150 pipe crawler, went through it, and located the damage. They wanted to hone it so I devised a honing system off that crawler and honed the rough areas out. Then we had to clean it, so I used the jetter and attached the Warthog on the crawler. I used a crawler and a camera to monitor the cleaning of the bore. I honed the complete bore with the remote system.”
He does other cleaning work on oil tankers with the Brute jetter and also uses the Brute 20/20 camera system to pre- and post-inspect the work.
Luna’s Brute jetter is now in high demand among both regular clients and other contractors. Jamie Parrish Plumbing, of Sequim, Washington, and sewer contractor RJ Services of Port Angeles, Washington, both rely heavily on Power Tech for jetting jobs, as well as inspection and utility locating needs.
“My Jetters Northwest equipment helps them successfully complete their repairs,” Luna says. “I’m the only one in this area who has the capability of a jetter this size. There are some vac trucks that come up here that obviously have more powerful jetters, but the expense is extreme compared to what I can do. And with the right jetting heads and smaller lines, up to 12 inches, I’m very, very competitive — especially with video. Customers always remark how clear my video is.
“The Brute 20/20 has much better quality video and it’s also really nice to be able to record the video data onto a thumb drive, which I can just give to the customer right on site.”
Having equipment that allows him to take on so many different jobs is pushing Luna into other fields as well. “I’m going down to Anaheim to get certified in cured-in-place pipelining. I’ve got a major project here at the paper mill to take care of all their lift drains. The Brute camera did the pre-inspection, and we determined that pipe lining would be the best avenue to go, so I’m going to get into it. There’s nobody else up in this area doing cured-in-place pipelining. I would say the Brute jetter and camera, along with the customer following I have, led to this jump and me being confident about it.”
Luna says the industry in his area is like a family. “The customer support is more important to Jetters Northwest than the sale. I call it small-town atmosphere in a big-town company.