Truck of the Month: Capital Plumbing Contractors, Tallahassee, Florida
Betting on himself and winning big
Darrell Jones found himself in quite a pickle back in 1986. At the time, Jones was working for close friend and mentor Louie Garner at Garner’s contracting business.
Unfortunately, Jones notes that Garner lost funding and had to lay him off in October of that year. “I had such an extreme passion for plumbing,” he says.
So Jones wasted no time in making sure that passion could continue to burn brightly. “I went to the Clara Adams Credit Union and borrowed $2,500 and opened Capital Plumbing Contractors on Nov. 19, 1986,” he explains. “When the company first formed, I was so tight on money I had to build my own toolbox.”
Three decades later Capital Plumbing Contractors continues to hum right along in Florida’s capital city. Capital Plumbing Contractors has 11 employees (6 in the field, 5 in the office) and serves customers in Tallahassee and the surrounding counties, performing 95% residential work and specializing in service, repair and remodel work.
Jones’ two daughters (Nikki and Audrey) work in the office and stepson, Justin Crowe, is a plumber apprentice currently learning the trade. Jones hopes to hire youngest daughter, Autumn, when she becomes of appropriate age.
“All our employees are well-experienced,” says Jones, who became a master plumber at age 24 and opened Capital when he was 25. “All our technicians have more than 15 years of experience and I am a very hands-on employee. We also use OEM parts on everything.”
Capital currently has one truck and four vans on the road. That fleet includes two 2015 Chevrolet Express 2500s, a 2019 Express 2500, a 2017 GMC Sierra and a 2002 GMC Savannah 2500. The company also has a 2016 enclosed trailer that hauls a MyTana jetter.
“We like the 135-inch wheel-base GM vans because we use the same wrap and design on each van and they can look identical,” Jones explains. “The 2500s also are versatile and are able to pull everything we need. GMs also are cheaper to maintain.”
Jones, a North Carolina native, says three must-haves in his fleet are a pipe rack, storage shelves and high-quality signage and wrapping.
“Our trucks are eye-catching, bold and bright red. We wanted something bright red that would stick out,” he says. “All our designs are 100% original and have been professionally created by top-notch graphic designers.”
Capital uses Limelight Signs & Graphics for the truck wraps. “We work with Devin at Limelight to ensure our vans are wrapped perfectly,” Jones says.
Jones notes the goal of standing out has been met. “People will always tell me that they’ve seen me around and about, and we always get phone calls on the weekends saying they saw a van,” he says.
Capital also has a catchy company slogan: “One call away from saving the day.”
“We are very honest, passionate and everyone who works here is considered family,” Jones says.