Truck of the Month: Ron's Plumbing, Heating & AC
Ron’s Plumbing, Heating & AC — Lompoc, California
Ricci Hancock helps manage and run his father’s plumbing, heating and AC full service and repair business. The customer sales rep in the office is Ricci Hancock’s mother, Diane Hancock. She manages most of the office work and scheduling.
“I perform the majority of the plumbing jobs for the business and my father, Eric Hancock, does most of the Heating and AC jobs,” Ricci Hancock says. “Our company once employed 7-plus people, but due to too many issues, we decided 10 years or so ago, to keep our company small. Other than the ‘titles,’ we are a small team and help one another keep our days running smoothly.”
The company is located in Lompoc, California, and services up to a 45-mile radius, which includes Santa Maria, Los Alamos and the Santa Ynez valleys. It was established as Ron’s Plumbing, Heating and Solar in 1975. At the age of 40, Eric Hancock purchased the company from (the late) Ron Fairbanks in 1993.
“My father and Ron worked together for a different company years prior, named Stanley’s Plumbing, which Ron purchased in 1975 and changed the name to our current DBA [or operating name], Ron’s Plumbing, Heating and AC,” Ricci Hancock adds. “As of now we have no big plans on changing the company’s name. Our type of work may change directions in the future, so I may utilize my California plumbing and general building licenses.”
Eric Hancock always spoke to his son about three important rules to live and work by: Pride, integrity and respect. To this day, it’s ingrained into the work ethics and how they treat customers.
“We strive on excellence and are very particular about our work and our customers know it,” Ricci Hancock says. “We are the clean company that shows up to the doorstep with booties, uniforms, tucked in shirts and washed trucks — inside and out — and leave the jobsite the same way.”
As an upfront pricing company that charges by the job, the trucks are fully stocked at all times. The company has two full time running vehicles and one dump trailer in the field. Both are 2015 Ford Transits; one is a Transit 250 van and the other is a Transit 350 HD cab chassis with a Hackney aluminum plumber’s box.
“In the past we worked out of other vehicles, but our favorite is the Ford Transits by far,” Ricci Hancock says. “It was nice to get out of those bouncy work trucks and drive a much nicer looking and comfortable truck.
“Both of our service trucks have a full wrap that cannot be missed going down the road,” he adds. “I sat down with our local and talented tint and vinyl wrapper/graphic designer with Pro Tint — aka wraplife.com — located in Lompoc (next door to Ron’s headquarters) and designed a wrap that brought us back to our roots. We had big, red trucks with a monkey on the side holding a sign saying, ‘Don’t monkey around — call us.’ This was an original symbol and slogan used from the beginning, but was changed in the late 1990s.
“My dad came up with the idea to place a picture of me waving with the door open on the back of the truck. It’s pretty embarrassing still, even after having these wraps done for four years now, but I completely get it and understand. It is great marketing for our company and works very well for us, especially in this very competitive town that has six other known plumbing service and repair companies located in a 10-mile radius.”
Ricci Hancock is 41 now and will be purchasing the company from his father in the near future, close to the same age his father was when he acquired the company.
“I plan on passing the torch to any of my three children that show interest later on in life,” Ricci Hancock says.