No More Trailering

Urban Warrior’s compact size belies its large effect on Florida plumber’s drain cleaning business.

No More Trailering

Marc Carestia, the co-owner of MAC Plumbing in Naples, Florida, prepares to clean a lateral line with the company’s Urban Warrior, a compact, skid-mounted jetter from Spartan Tool that fits in the back of his 2016 Ford Transit.

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There was a time when Marc Carestia, the co-owner of MAC Plumbing in Naples, Florida, spent hours and hours a week driving from job sites to the company’s shop to pick up a Spartan Tool 740 trailer-mounted water jetter, then drive back to the job site to unclog a drain.

“It’s difficult to park when you’re towing a trailer jetter all the time,” says Carestia, who founded his company in 2011 and co-owns it with his brother, Ryan. “So if we needed to jet out a line, we had to tell the customer to hold on, then drive back to our shop, hitch up the jetter, and trailer it back to the job. We do a lot of work downtown, and the traffic can be nuts — especially during tourist season. So it could easily be a two-hour round trip.”

But Carestia and his brother started dramatically reducing windshield time about a year ago when the company purchased an Urban Warrior waterjetting unit made by Spartan Tool. The unit measures about 4 cubic feet and is skid-mounted in the back of Carestia’s 2016 Ford Transit.

The unit’s impact on MAC Plumbing (MAC stands for Carestia’s initials) has been significant. The Carestia brothers now spend less time driving and more time working. They also write more job tickets, enjoy better cash flow and kicked up customer satisfaction a notch.

“Now our jetter is with us all the time — immediately available,” Carestia explains. “We can take care of problems right then and there. It’s been a game-changer.”

The Urban Warrior features a 50 hp Kubota gasoline engine; a Speck/Giant pump that delivers flow of up to 19 gpm and pressure of up to 3,000 psi; two 80-gallon water tanks; a hydraulically operated reel that pivots 180 degrees and holds 460 feet of 1/2-inch-diameter hose; 155 feet of filling hose; automatic run-dry shut-off; and a steel, powder-coated frame. Its dimensions are roughly 52 1/2 by 49 by 47 inches, and it weighs approximately 1,200 pounds. Carestia opted to pay extra for an optional remote control and a footage counter.

The hydraulic rewind and remote control functions are among Carestia’s favorite features. “I don’t have to muscle it or fight it when I’m bringing it back in,” he says. “If you’re pulling back the hose under pressure to bring back debris, you get a nice, consistent pullback. It’s so much easier. Sometimes it even feels like cheating, compared to what we had to do before.”

The remote control features engine on/off, water on/off and engine revolutions per minute capabilities. In addition, the Urban Warrior doesn’t have an actuated water valve, so when the operator shuts down the machine, water flow stops immediately. “If there’s water coming up through a floor drain, for example, you want to be able to turn the water off as fast as possible,” he notes. “It’s very comforting to know that when you press the button, the water turns off immediately. And if I take the remote past its range, the machine shuts down automatically. It’s a great safety feature.”

The machine’s compact design is valuable because it still leaves about half of the Transit’s cargo space available for other equipment. In addition to the Urban Warrior, MAC Plumbing relies on a Spartan 300 drum machine, a RIDGID K-60 sectional machine, and a RIDGID K-45 hand-held sink machine. In addition, the Carestias have invested in a four SeeSnake pipeline inspection systems from RIDGID: one standard SeeSnake, one microReel and two microDrain models. In addition, MAC Plumbing — which mainly performs service and repair work, as well as drain cleaning and pipe rehabilitation — also owns a PipePatch pipe repair system made by Source One Environmental.

“A lot of guys want to take every ounce of profit out of their business,” Carestia says, explaining his philosophy about investing in new technology. “But if you take some of it and reinvest it in equipment, that enables you to either do more work or do the work you have more efficiently, you’ll either make more money or get more time off. You can’t operate with an instant-gratification mentality. When you make good investments in good equipment, you’re going to see a return — reap the benefits of that investment.”

Carestia says the Urban Warrior, which cost north of $33,000, paid for itself in about nine months. Moreover, he says the company gets more and more business from other plumbers who either don’t do drain cleaning or don’t have the equipment. “So we get a lot of referrals,” he says. In addition, the machine has proved to be very durable, with no major repairs required. “That’s important because equipment breakdowns make you look like a hack,” Carestia points out.

Just as importantly as revenue generation, however, the Urban Warrior has boosted the company’s reputation as a top drain cleaning outfit that gets jobs done right. Carestia says the unit never fails to impress the heads of maintenance departments at kitchens and other businesses, especially those who are familiar with contractors that use only smaller cart-mounted jetters.

“When you couple the Urban Warrior with our pipe patching capability, it’s opened a lot of doors for us for jobs,” he explains. “It brings customers to us that otherwise wouldn’t have called us. Essentially, the Urban Warrior is another tool for us to use, but it also helps us build a reputation as the go-to experts for drain issues here in the area.”


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