All over the world, septic services are essential for areas where connection to public water and sewers are not possible. While providing such service is not a glamorous job by any means, it is an important function that many replies upon. Little more than a giant wet vacuum on wheels, septic trucks are a relatively simple concept, although there is one primary requirement that must be considered with every purchase - that good performance and durability lie in the heart of the machine - the pump.
Septic trucks are available in many different capacities that vary according to the size of the tank and the power of the pump, each one suited to a different type of septic service. Smaller trucks with smaller pumps are usually perfect for less-demanding jobs such as portable toilet maintenance at job sites, campgrounds, and individual events; however, it is unlikely that such a size pump would survive on regular residential septic duty. At the same time, having a larger one may not reduce vacuuming time if the truck's tank is not large enough.
There must be a balance between the size of the tank and the size of the pump to have ideal vacuuming conditions. Only with this type of setup can trucks offer the best performance of suction power and speed. Under or over-powered pumps can destroy efficiency both in the time it takes to do a job and the amount of strain placed on it and the truck engine as well.
A few examples of compatible combinations are 50-90 cubic feet per minute (cm) models with tanks between 150 and 500 gallons; 130-150 cm with tanks ranging from 700 to 1200 gallons that are a popular septic size for residential service; and 350-400 cm for trucks with tanks between 3,500 and 4,000 gallons. The size that is most recommended is the one endorsed by the tank and pump manufacturers.
Many times it is possible to buy an unknown-name product that works just as well as the name brand; however, in the case of vacuum pumps for septic tanks, industry professionals advise caution and recommend using better-known brands for more than one reason. Failure of this part can cost a lot regarding lost business; so most industry professionals based on experience recommend known brand names that will perform well and last a long time.
Another positive aspect of using a reputable pump brand is that parts are usually readily available for any necessary repairs; this will return a vehicle to service in a shorter period. The same cannot always be said for some of the lesser-known brands. Bigger, more recognizable brands usually cost a little more than the off brand; however, that is because of better quality, better performance, and better repair time.
Maintenance - The Key for Long Life
Regular maintenance is critical to keep equipment running, especially with vacuum pumps, which includes: careful cleaning of traps and valves; proper overnight truck preparation; and proper apparatus lubrication. Some of these are rebuilt bi-annually to ensure continued good service and revealing of any hidden damage. Pumps are an expensive part of any septic operation, so even though regular maintenance may cost more, it is still less than frequent replacement of parts that could be avoided with regular maintenance and rebuilding.
The main lesson about septic truck servicing is understanding that the right pump for the right tank and truck with the right maintenance will keep a septic service in the business. Without vacuum, there is no vacuuming. That is the bottom line - that is the point of the story. Pick the right pump for the truck and the regular jobs, keep it properly operating - and the result will be more money in the bank!