As in previous years, PM's 2006 Best-Looking Truck Contest had a large number of outstanding entries, making the selection of winners very difficult. This year, the winners will receive a $250 certificate from contest sponsor General Pipe Cleaners to use toward purchases of any of the manufacturer's tools and equipment.
Using a weighted point system, the panel of judges from marketing firm Creative Elements Inc. selected winners and runner-ups for each of the four categories. Here are the results, and congratulations to all!
Best-Looking Box Truck
Butler Plumbing Co., Rowlett, TexasThis category always seems to be the most competitive, and this year was no exception. After careful consideration, the eventual winner was the truck from Butler Plumbing Co. This colorful box truck is a real attention-getter, and its slogan, “Just Tell Your Friends The 'Butler' Did It,” cleverly plays off of the Butler name while making a memorable impression. In addition, the phone number really stands out.
“Winning the contest is very exciting!” David Butler told us. “As an owner, of course I am very proud, but I think it makes my technicians feel proud of the company and of the trucks they are driving and working out of every day.” Butler said his technicians are “the best there is,” and now he's satisfied they're driving the best-looking plumbing trucks in town.
How will he spend his prize winnings? “We are about to put a fourth truck into service, and the prize from General Pipe Cleaners will certainly be put to good use toward new equipment for that truck.”
Super Service Plumbing, a division of LeDuc & Dexter Inc., Santa Rosa, Calif.The company's “fire engine red” paint combines with clean and simple graphics for a first-class look.
- Arrow Plumbing
- Bill's 24 Hr. Plumbing, Heating & Drain Cleaning
- Vanco Plumbing & Heating
- Dipple Plumbing Inc.
- Allen's Sewer & Drain Cleaning
- Pat The Plumber
Sam's Plumbing Solutions Inc., Middleton, IdahoThe Sam's van cleverly spells out the word “plumbing” with products and materials used in the industry, and once it grabs your attention, it does a good job of touting its services.
“Trying to come up with a logo was very difficult,” owner Sam Kirk told us. “Turns out the most productive resources were my 15-year-old daughter Angelica and her friend. They produced a drawing that got my attention, and the pieces just fell into place after that.”
Kirk gets quite a few comments on the logo. “The 'U' seems to stick out the most,” he said. And, “without a doubt, I will be updating my drain cleaning equipment with the help of General Pipe Cleaners.”
Well Done Rooter Plumbing & Drain Service, San Diego, Calif.This entry features some entertaining graphics that display the company's specialty, while leaving a lasting impression.
- O'Grady Plumbing
- Stoppleworth Plumbing
- Pat The Plumber
Best-Looking Pickup Truck
Pat The Plumber, Topeka, Kan.This winner also had exceptional entries in the Box and Van categories, and if there were an award for the best overall fleet, it would go to Pat! Its attractive trucks have a super-clean, classy and consistent design that portrays an image of quality.
Owner Patrick Grogan said the design process for choosing just the right look was long and painstaking in the beginning. He then involved a good friend, who just happened to be a graphic designer. “We went through numerous drafts and color schemes, and this is what we came up with. Customers' reactions have been great.”
Grogan's advice for choosing a unified look for a larger fleet of trucks: “Get somebody who knows what they are doing. A graphic artist or designer is a great source for this type of work.”
Black Diamond Plumbing, Crystal Lake, Ill.The judges thought this company's trucks were simply “very cool!”
- Royal Flush Plumbing Services
- Dipple Plumbing Inc.
Vanco Plumbing & Heating, Kinnelon, N.J. The last time we judged this contest, we noticed that a good-looking truck on the outside usually meant a good-looking truck on the inside. The same holds true this time around, as Vanco has a very organized bin system and a spacious, open entry for easy access.
Vanco owner Wayne VanVlaanderen has always been neat and organized, and now his customers expect it as well. Besides all the necessary plumbing tools, the company's three box trucks carry cleaning tools, including brooms, dropcloths and even vacuums. “When trucks are organized on the inside, jobs flow better because there is no downtime looking for supplies,” VanVlaanderen said. In fact, Vanco trucks are so organized that it could be pitch black outside, and technicians could still find what they're looking for.
Bill's 24 Hour Plumbing, Heating and Drain Cleaning, Missoula, Mt.A very close second, it maximizes available space for materials and supplies, while leaving plenty of cargo room.
Dark Horse Entry
T.A. Paris Plumbing Inc., Kilmarnock, Va.Sometimes PM receives truck photos that can't easily be classified. This year's dark horse is worthy of a very special mention for its unique - yet practical - “Fire Engine” plumbing truck. Though we can't categorize T.A. Paris Plumbing Inc.'s entry, we feel it still merits some form of recognition.
Owner Tom Paris likes working with an open bed. “This truck is extremely functional for my needs.” And though the fire truck design is fun, its function came first. “I've known for a long time that the Isuzu cab forward with the diesel engine is a great truck for the long haul. Everything the company needs in the way of tools and material is on this truck,” Paris said.
2006 Truck Contest panel of judges: Mike Deam, Joe Flaherty and Scott Hammond, owners of Creative Elements Inc.; Corrie Lee, Scott Sriver and Hilary Daniel, graphic designers, Creative Elements Inc.; and Shirley Pirko, administrative assistant, Creative Elements Inc.