Truck of the Month: Stuart's Plumbing, Lakeland, Florida
Warm, welcoming design
Stuart’s Plumbing has been a family business for more than 28 years. The company was established in 1990 by the late Stuart Baldick Jr. But after 10 years of owning the franchise, he decided to branch out and establish his own brand.
When it came time to choose a new name, he went with Stuart’s Plumbing simply because everyone around town knew him by his first name, according to his son and current owner, Stuart Baldick III.
Stuart Baldick III officially joined his father in the family business in 2003, at age 18. Fast-forward nine years to 2012, and Stuart Baldick Jr. decides to retire, handing over the reins of the business to his son.
“Since the transition, we have experienced 20 to 30% growth each year,” Stuart Baldick III says.
Stuart’s Plumbing is still very much a family business. Stuart Baldick III’s mother, Linda Baldick, still handles bookkeeping for the business while his wife, Tayler Baldick, handles payroll and human resources.
What started out as a second-generation father-and-son team operating out of the Baldick family home has grown to a company of 12 employees and seven trucks headquartered in a 3,500-square-foot building.
Of the company’s seven fleet vehicles — which include a box truck, van and several Ford KUVs — Stuart Baldick III prefers the 2018 Ford Transit HD with a Hackney Box and shelving system.
“We love the Transit HDs with the Hackney bodies,” Stuart Baldick III says. “There is plenty of room to stand up inside them and carry all the bells and whistles, including sewer machines, cameras, more than 500 pieces of inventory, two toilets and a water heater with plenty of room to spare.
“The transit front ends are comfortable to drive, not like the old-style vans. It feels like you are driving a car. The large flat sides are great for advertising. They are like a rolling billboard.”
Prior to 2018, Stuart’s Plumbing did not have graphics on most of its trucks. Keeping that rolling billboard idea in mind, Stuart Baldick III decided the company needed a rebranding initiative that included truck wraps.
“We were able to get all our trucks wrapped and our building painted to match,” he says. “Our truck wraps really pop. They are simple, sleek and soft on the eyes, yet stand out from a mile away. A lot of trucks in our town all have hard lines and sharp edges — a more masculine look. We went with a softer design that’s more warm and inviting.
“Since that time we have received tons of recognition and positive feedback. People are stopping at gas stations to tell us how nice it looks.”
Stuart’s Plumbing worked with NICE Branding Agency to come up with the new design and Southern Graphics to wrap the vehicles. Additionally, the company is working with Lowry Creative Ad Agency for its 2019 marketing strategy, which includes building the new Stuart’s Plumbing brand by redesigning the current website and social media accounts.
In the meantime, Stuart’s Plumbing will continue business as usual and follow its company slogan, “Protecting Health, Home and Family.”
“This slogan is important because it reflects our family culture and represents that we genuinely care about our customers and want to provide the best service with keeping their most important interests at heart,” Stuart Baldick III says.
“We aim to stand out by building a better future for tomorrow. We are not here to just do a job, we are here to train, grow and develop leaders in our company that not only serve our customers, but serve in the community as well.”