Having an avid interest in the trade industry since childhood, Thomas Cambron Jr. decided to branch out on his own and opened Kingston Pike Plumbing in 1998. Three years later, Cambron realized his company needed a more memorable name and changed it to Pipe Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Cooling with its trademarked red wrench logo. He is still at the helm of the company as owner and CEO and is preparing his daughter and general manager, Whitney Mitchell, to take over the business in the future.
The company has 26 employees and 17 vehicles and covers all of Knoxville, Tenn., and the surrounding 50-mile radius. It reaches out to its customers through diverse marketing venues — TV commercials, direct mail, email campaigns, social media, Google, billboards, community outreach and events, senior living directories, flyers, door hangers, and yard signs. In addition to offering plumbing and HVAC repairs and replacements for residential and commercial customers, the company specializes in water lines, sewer lines, whole house re-pipes, water heaters, and drain cleaning.
“We are also a part of the Nexstar Network,” Mitchell said. “The benefit of being a part of this group is having access to a wealth of information provided by experts in the industry. We all work together to bring quality products and services to our customers.”
Nine of Pipe Wrench’s 17 fleet vehicles are 2016 Isuzu NPR cab and chassis with utility bed, seven are 2016 Isuzu NPR cab and chassis with box bed, and one is a 2013 Freightliner Sprinter. The beds are made by Knapheide and Reading.
“Our favorite truck is our original design, the Isuzu cab and chassis with utility bed,” Mitchell said. “We love our Isuzu utility vehicles because they are so easy to drive and can turn on a dime. Our techs sit higher in the Isuzus and can easily see their surroundings with the large windows and windshields which provide enhanced safety. Well-groomed and uniformed, our technicians present a polished image.
“The design of the Isuzus is ideal for service technicians with the bins on the exterior of the bed,” Mitchell continued. “This allows technicians to grab tools and parts with ease instead of jumping in and out of the back of the bed when they need something. Each bin has a set inventory and all of the Isuzu utilities are identically equipped. This goes back to our systematic ideology of having a truck fit the needs of our techs with ease of access to tools and management of the inventory.”
In keeping the brand consistent, all 17 vehicles feature the same design with the same patriotic red, white and blue color scheme. The wrap, which was installed by SignZoo, is also reflective so that it may be easily noticed and read.
“Having all our trucks wrapped the same way is a great marketing strategy for promoting the red wrench and our company name to increase top-of-mind awareness in the communities we serve,” Mitchell explained. “When [Cambron] originally established our company, he knew he wanted to stand out and have a unique symbol that represented the services we provide. There truly is elegance in simplicity.”
This article was originally titled “Elegance in simplicity” in the March 2017 print edition of Plumbing & Mechanical.