PM's sept. 2002 truck of the month

When people see Chris Connor’s truck on the road, they may wonder what that big scroll is on the side of it. It’s a very large C with its top cut off, courtesy of Connor’s wife, a graphic designer. The couple worked on the design for a while before they came up with a logo they liked, Connor said.

Connor Plumbing Co., located in Augusta, Ga., is a new company specializing in full-service plumbing and drain cleaning. After working for others, Connor decided to branch out on his own and started the business in May 2002. And he began with flat-rate pricing.

“I call it ‘worry-free, up-front pricing,’ and I put it right on my truck,” he said. “My customers know ahead of time what I’m going to charge them, so it’s not a problem later.”

His truck is a 1988 Ford e-350 extended van with a V10 engine. He carries four different drain machines on the truck, with an extra 150 feet of cable for the larger machine. The truck is stocked with a variety of repair parts, as well as several brands and types of faucets.

A long silver box is attached to the top of the truck to hold repair pipe. “It looks better than a bunch of pipes strapped to the roof,” Connor said.

The interior has customized shelving with 20 18-inch x 10-inch x 6-inch plastic pull-out bins and dividers, and a large cabinet for extra storage. To maximize space, the electric winch and fold-down ramp for the large drain cleaner is mounted on a 30-inch x 12-inch x 4-foot pull-out drawer that holds his hand tools.

Connor also carries a large shop vac and an extra uniform.

“Some guys buy a beat-up truck, throw some tools in it and call it a business,” he explained. “That kind of unprofessionalism is a disservice to the customer.”