A Smart Investment

In New York, getting burned in the new construction market can be a costly event. So, after being left with the supplier bill one too many times, Joe Collins decided to go out on his own.

He embraced flat rate pricing and joined Service Roundtable. Then in September 2004 he began his search for new company names and logo ideas on the Internet.

Like PSI's Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, he was looking for an inspirational figure for his customers. That's when he came across a quote from Albert Einstein, who told a newspaper in 1954 that if he could live his life over again he'd be a plumber.

Collins thought it was “genius.”

In February, Collins bought and lettered his single 2005 GMC truck and Hackney body with the cartoon image of Einstein. The backdoor lettering is reflective, which helps his vehicle stand out even more.

“If I'm on the bridge and a driver sees my truck, he'll remember it,” he says. “Branding your image and increasing awareness is very important, and having a stand-out truck helps a lot.”

What helps Collins out most, though, is the added organization and stocking abilities his new truck offers. The spacious Hackney body arrived with factory-installed bins and shelves, and space for a 40-gallon and 50-gallon water heater. A slight bin- removal modification by Collins gives him another 20 inches to carry a decent-sized Spartan 300 drain cleaning machine, which can be stored out of the way but still accessible.

“All the material I need is on that truck. I only re-stock at the supply house once every two weeks,” Collins says about his costs running lower due to the new vehicle's capacity. Also, being able to complete a job without running for supplies is definitely a plus in the tight parking neighborhoods of Manhattan. “If you find a close spot, you just thank the Lord and stay put. If you have to leave, you'd circle for another hour trying to find parking.”

Collins is currently a one-man shop, but he's designing for the future. In six to eight months he hopes to add another technician and another truck. He's looking into GPS tracking and dispatching features now so everything will be ready to go. But there won't be any changes to the Einstein logo. “My customers love it and so do I. This truck is the best investment I've had so far.”