Equipment Roundup: The Best Moneymakers of 2023

The equipment, trucks and technology installers relied on the most this year

Equipment Roundup: The Best Moneymakers of 2023

AAA Pumping’s Peterbilt truck with a Dragon 6,300-gallon tanker and a Freightliner with a 5,500-gallon Galyean tanker.

Interested in Trucks?

Get Trucks articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Trucks + Get Alerts

The right knowledge, skills and experience are crucial to success in the onsite installation business, but all the expertise in the world gets you nowhere if you don’t have efficient, reliable equipment to execute the work.

Here, installers we featured this year talk about some of the products and equipment they rely on daily. What’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

Clint McCammon, Solid Ground Excavating, La Cygne, Kansas

We have a rake attachment with “Dave’s Dirt Plane” written on it. I haven’t been able to contact him but the story is that he was a paralyzed man who lived in Liberty, Missouri, and he welded this attachment. It works wonderfully for backfilling, leveling dirt, and doing finish grade stuff. It speeds that process up tremendously. We also build lagoon systems and have a post driver called “The Hammer” (Danuser Machine Company). I can drive 8-inch wooden posts straight into the ground 3 feet. Very handy piece of equipment.

Chris Chapman, Show Me Soils, Lonedell/St. Clair, Missouri

I’ve had probably 10 different-sized mini excavators to excavate soil pits since I started my business in 2011. This year I finally bought a brand-new John Deere 26G. And I’ve got a Cronkhite tilt-deck trailer so we don’t have to lift ramps any more. It’s really low-profile. I work in a lot of weird areas where it’s tough to get a truck and trailer in so I don’t want something too big, but some of the minis I’ve used over the years were too small. I think I’ve finally got the perfect setup.

Bruce Ellingson, Ellingson Construction, Park River, North Dakota
Bruce Ellingson, Ellingson Construction, Park River, North Dakota

Bruce Ellingson, Ellingson Construction, Park River, North Dakota

I like my excavators and the small dozer. I have a Bobcat E50 mini and a Hitachi EX200 for bigger jobs, and a John Deere 650 dozer. The excavators are great because of the reach and the lifting capacity if you have the room to open it up. I like the dozer more than a skid-steer — probably because I’m used to it, and it can float better.

Mike Krepfl, AAA Pumping, Albuquerque, New Mexico

We have a 1980 Mack dump truck that my dad used to drive before he retired in 2006. It has the original engine and transmission. We don’t use it daily but it’s still operational. We use it to haul dirt. I love that truck because of the value we got out of it compared to the newer trucks that are much more expensive and problematic and unreliable.

Robert McInerney, United Cesspool Service, Oakdale, New York

My cellphone. It allows us to stay in constant contact with our techs during the day, especially as things change and emergencies come up. We can send them customer information and any special info they may need. It also lets us send real-time photos to our customers about how their systems are performing or alert them to any problems we see. I don’t know how we ever did business without them. A picture really is worth 1,000 words.

Stephen B. Nelson, Clearwater Recovery, Rockland, Massachusetts

I bought a Kubota L47 backhoe six years ago to do soil evaluations. That’s the best backhoe I’ve ever operated. When I run it, I call it backhoe therapy.

Dick Blazer, Blazer Farms, Kokomo, Indiana
Dick Blazer, Blazer Farms, Kokomo, Indiana

Dick Blazer, Blazer Farms, Kokomo, Indiana

I love the Trimble electronic guidance system on my backhoe. It guides you where you’re digging. There’s also one on our dozer that we can just program to automatically grade everything just the way we want it. We also have one on our ditching machine, which we use occasionally for doing perimeter drains when it’s a long way to an outlet.

Dan Micsky, Micsky Excavating and Septic Systems, Greenville, Pennsylvania

My pump truck — a 2007 International 7600 with a 3,100-gallon Amthor International steel tank and a Battioni 720 pump. I’ve done things with that truck it was never designed to do, like sucking out sewer lines when I didn’t have a snake, or vacuuming lateral lines.

Jake Bell, Bell Excavating, Inc., Stillwater, Minnesota

Our Caterpillar 308 excavator is a jack of all trades. We have various attachments for it and can get it into every job, big or small. I also like our vLocPro3 utility locator (Vivax-Metrotech). It makes our life a lot easier.

Rick Miene, Miene Septic Service, Robins, Iowa

I like the skid loaders (Bobcat), the dozer (John Deere), and our mini-excavators (Link-Belt 145, John Deere 245, three Bobcats). It’s nice to get big equipment but I enjoy the smaller ones. It’s amazing what you can do with those in tight areas.

Darrell MacKenzie, MacKenzie Environmental, Alma, Nova Scotia

We have a Vactor 2100 combo unit which we use for sewer flushing and hydroexcavation. It’s a real versatile piece of equipment for us. We have a new one ordered but delivery has been delayed due to difficulty of getting parts and the lack of welders.

Darrell MacKenzie, MacKenzie Environmental, Alma, Nova Scotia
Darrell MacKenzie, MacKenzie Environmental, Alma, Nova Scotia

Chase Kern, Paramount Wastewater Solutions, Temple, Texas

I really enjoy our vehicle tracker software from Samsara. That has been extremely helpful in keeping up with the status of the trucks, telemetry, keeping track of maintenance. We utilize the GPS gateways with the dual-facing cameras to help with complaints, accidents and harsh events.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.