Truck of the Month: Splash Plumbing, Anaheim, Calif.
Daniel Gratz, current president and owner of Splash Plumbing in Anaheim, Calif., graduated high school June 17, 1988, and started digging ditches the following Monday for his future father-in-law. This inspired him to learn the trade as soon as possible and gain the skills to operate his own business one day.
After two and a half years of working in the field, he was granted permission to test for and obtain his Journeyman Plumbers card. Within that same year, the state of California allowed him to test for and obtain his C-36 plumbing license. Two years after acquiring his Plumbing License, he started the business.
Splash Plumbing started off as a small mom-and-pop shop located in Costa Mesa, Calif., in 1996 with the original name of AB&R Plumbing. Most of the work completed by AB&R Plumbing was simple plumbing repairs and backflow preventer testing in Orange County, California. In late 2005, the original owners decided to sell the company to New Technology Plumbing.
The initial company was founded with an investment of $500. Gratz, the owners of NTP, quickly grew the fledgling AB&R Plumbing company from a small shop into a 10-vehicle, 15-employee, 24-hour emergency service and repair shop consistently grossing annual sales of $2.5 million to $3 million.
In late 2009, NTP underwent a complete makeover. It was renamed Splash Plumbing and featured a whole new online presence that included a new interactive website, logo, uniforms and vehicle wraps, which were done by Sunset Signs in Anahiem.
Servicing all of Orange and Los Angeles counties, the 10 vehicles include six 2009-2014 Isuzu NPRs with Hackney bodies, custom interior welding, and shelving by J&M Truck Bodies (Garden Grove, Ca); three 2016 Chevrolet Silverados; and one 2016 Dodge ProMaster City.
“Our favorites are the Isuzus,” Gratz says. “The Isuzu cab and chassis offers us more options when choosing a back-end box. The overall consistency from the manufacturer allows us the ability to project for maintenance and repairs. Also, considering how much weight we put on these trucks, the overall gas mileage is fair.
“We purchase a stock Hackney P2000 truck body and modify to our specifications. The height and interior dimensions of each body allows for our techs to stand in a well-lit work area when looking for parts or equipment. With the large doors at the exit, we are also able to weld on custom attachments allowing us to hold odd items such as shovels, brooms, bolt cutters and more.”
All the box trucks, jetters, equipment and support vehicles have the same look and feel. The overall theme is clear and present on all vehicles, equipment and promotional items, and the design can be described as simple and clean. The name and corresponding logo are clearly visible, and the phone number is easy to remember. The slogan “If water goes through it, we do it” can be seen on the back of the trucks, and the slogan “Large enough to serve, small enough to care” can be seen on the side.
“So many competitors are trying to put too much into their advertisement, logo and truck wraps,” Gratz says. “Most of our clients are commercial while only 10-15% of what we do is residential. The design was created to let our commercial clients ‘see us’ when we arrive — not that it is necessary — but we also wanted a clever enough design to reach and appeal to our residential clients. We wanted to portray ‘here we are’ without being too flashy. The overall response has been ‘wow’ due to the fact we changed all of our wraps simultaneously. We pick up at least one new client per week that ‘saw our truck’ and decided to call.”