How a Couple of Trailer Jetters Proved To Be a Company’s Pathway to Profitability

Employee retention and complete customer satisfaction are among the benefits Baltimore’s DrainPro says it derives from its US Jetting trailer units

How a Couple of Trailer Jetters Proved To Be a Company’s Pathway to Profitability

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Anyone who doubts that a water jetter is a worthwhile investment should talk to Pat Martin, general manager of DrainPro in Baltimore. According to him, the company’s two trailer jetters, 4018 and 4025 models built by US Jetting, completely changed the company’s fortunes by opening up new business markets.

“The trailer jetters really opened doors for us,” he says. “They helped customers see us as a one-stop shop for cleaning any kind of drain. A simple call for a plugged bathtub can quickly turn into a much larger disastrous call, but customers know we have the equipment to handle it. Plus they’re big and impressive-looking. Out of all our equipment, those jetters really put us on the map more than anything else. They really changed the course of our business.”

The jetters, which feature larger-than-usual 375-gallon water tanks, provide DrainPro with several advantages. First, not many competitors are willing to make the kind of investment required for a water jetter — about $40,000 — so it’s easier to gain market share. Also, if a drain job goes sideways and requires more muscle, DrainPro can lean on the jetters right away. That’s better than hiring another company to perform the jetting as a subcontractor and potentially waiting hours while a customer fumes about the delay, Martin says.

The jetters also indirectly serve as an employee-retention tool by giving employees something to aspire to operate.

“Guys who start out with snake machines have something ahead of them that they can grow into, both in terms of pay and experience,” Martin says. “A drain guy who can do all the usual things as well as operate a jetter earns a certain level of respect and recognition. And they typically make more because they have a larger skill set.”

Martin says that drain cleaning contractors shouldn’t underestimate the value of investing in the latest technology when it comes to employee retention.

“I’m never afraid to try something new if it’ll make our employees and our customers happy,” he says.

The US Jetting jetters (one generates pressure and flow of 4,000 psi at 18 gpm and the other produces 4,000 psi at 25 gpm) are reliable and easy to operate. Martin says it’s worth the extra money to get a larger water tank, noting that falling even a little short on water during a job requires a time-consuming and profit-killing trip to refill the tank. He also points out the value of U.S. Jetting’s run-dry plunger pumps, which help avoid expensive pump replacements.

The 4018 unit is designed to work in pipes ranging from 1 to 24 inches in diameter and comes with 500 feet of 1/2-inch-diameter hose. The 4025 unit can work in pipes up to 48 inches in diameter and is equipped with 500 feet of 5/8-inch-diameter hose. Both units offer seven-position swiveling hose reels.

Read more about DrainPro in the January 2020 issue of Cleaner magazine.


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