A portable restroom truck isn’t just any regular machine and they certainly aren’t ‘one size fits all’. Your vacuum truck is a specialized, finely-tuned machine designed to help you do a very specific job. Other than yourself or your employees, it is easily the most important asset on your team. That is why you want something that is well-made and masterfully crafted, engineered to hold up for the long run and outlast even through the toughest jobs.
When you are browsing through portable restroom trucks for sale, whether it’s your very first one or you are adding another investment in your fleet, there are a few things you need to know. Due to the expense of vacuum trucks, it is important to take your time in making the right decision and reviewing exactly what is on the market prior to finalizing your purchase.
Choosing your chassis is important because it is the foundation of your vacuum truck. Chassis are sold in a wide variety of major manufacturers, including Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Freightliner, Hino, International, Izusu, Kenworth, Mack, Mitsubishi, Peterbilt, Sterling, etc. Some people are brand loyal and have a preference which manufacturer they use, and that’s okay!
If you don’t know what you’re after, it’s important to keep a few considerations in mind. The biggest one is your budget. What size of truck do you need for your business? If you’re a smaller operation, you may need something like a Ford 450 and a 999 gallon tank. For bigger outfits, consider something along the lines of a Hino 268A or a Freightliner M2. You don’t want to buy too small of a truck and be ill-equipped for a job, nor do you want to buy too much and have more overhead than necessary.
2. Fuel Consumption
The price of gasoline is an ever-changing thing, but at the moment, it’s sky-high. This is a huge expense that can’t be avoided: your truck needs fuel to run, plain and simple. So when choosing a truck, it’s important to keep a few factors in mind.
Ask yourself a couple of questions: does your route include a lot of hills? Or do you have to go over gravel/dirt roads as opposed to paved ones? If so, this can eat up the fuel efficiency of your vehicle and require you to budget more for gas.
Another factor to consider is diesel vs. gasoline. Many trucks are diesel but smaller sizes can be available with regular gasoline.
A few advantages of gas include:
- Total cost of ownership is less due to the reduced purchase price and maintenance costs
- Gas is readily available
- No special requirements in handling fuel
- Simple, reliable emission system
- Reduced downtime; many repair shops
Some of the disadvantages are:
- Requires higher rpm to generate torque
- Less mpg
- More frequent maintenance
- Limited PTO applications
- Not environmentally friendly
The storage tank, along with all of your vacuum truck’s parts and accessories, is part of a complex system that all work in tandem to make septic services as simple and effective as possible. When it comes to selecting your tank, there are a range of options available.
If you don’t know what size of tank you need, that’s okay! Run through this easy checklist of questions: what is your budget? How long is your route? How big is your business and what are you capable of taking on? Answering these questions will help point you to the tank that will work best for you and your business.
Tanks are made from different materials as well, each one coming with advantages and disadvantages, as well as varying price tags.
- Carbon Steel: Carbon steel is both durable and affordable, but it is heavier and can rust easier, which requires more maintenance. Most manufacturers add a coating or lining inside the tank to help improve durability. Because it is a bit heavier, it can also affect the maneuverability of the truck as well.
- Stainless Steel: While stainless steel won’t rust and will hold up the longest, it is also the most expensive. If you’re willing to make this kind of investment up front, it will save you a lot of money in maintenance fees in the long run. Once again, the heavier weight does hinder maneuverability.
- Aluminum: Among one of the lightest metals on earth, aluminum helps to significantly reduce the weight of your truck, which saves you in costs as far as fuel and tire wear and tear. You can also have a bigger tank size without added weight.
4. Workstation & Accessories
While your chassis and your tank are the two biggest things that come to mind when you think of a vacuum truck, you also need to think about your workstation. This is the unsung hero of your vacuum truck and where all the action happens. Your cleaning implements, tools, and accessories are all located at your workstation and are responsible for giving you complete control to vacuuming out the holding tank, as well as clean and restock the unit and handle any emergencies.
Your vacuum pump is also located here, the device that is responsible for pumping out septic tanks. The pump is operated by the power take-off (PTO) system and the controls are often here if they are not located in the cab. Toolboxes, cabinets, and compartments are standard here for storage and holding other important supplies. The bucket fill is the water tank outlet where you fill up your back for washing and refreshing the unit.
Keeping all of these things in mind, it’s now time to purchase your vacuum truck. Portable restroom trucks for sale are a dime a dozen, but finding the best fit for you and your business is what matters.
Contact Flowmark today and let us help you get in the best truck for your budget, company size, and needs. We can guarantee you a fast and easy quote, or feel free to browse through our current inventory. Either way, we are here to help get you on the road and doing the work that matters.