Get to Know Rodney Loeb
Rodney Loeb of Hamburg, PA was laid off from his job as an overhead crane operator at a steel company in 2002. He was doing odd jobs — one of which was pumping septic tanks. An old friend, Lester Miller of Millers Sanitary Service in Kutztown, PA eventually talked Rodney into buying his spare truck and starting his own company.
“For the first six months, I was scared to death; I’m not going to lie about it. I didn’t eat or sleep. How was I going to make it? I could have fallen flat on my face,” Rodney recalls. “Lester said it would take three years to go full time, and he was right.”
Rodney has built the business mostly by providing residential and some commercial pumping and mostly through word-of-mouth referrals.
Rodney was well-suited for a one-man operation, as he has a background as a truck mechanic and is willing to put in long hours when needed. At the shop on his 14-acre property, Rodney kept his two trucks running: a 1998 Western Star carrying a 3,500-gallon steel Imperial Industries tank and Masport pump and a 2007 Freightliner with a 2,300-gallon Pik Rite steel tank and Masport pump.
Over the years, Rodney attended the Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo — now the Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show several times and has enjoyed his unexpected career move into the wastewater industry. He wants to work another three years and then look to a young buyer to take over the business.
Rodney did recall that Miller first approached him when he was a young man and talked to him about getting into the pumping business. He didn’t want to do it at the time.
“If I’d have started back then, where would I be today?” he asks. “I guess I’m living the dream right now,” he says. “I can’t complain. The business has been good to me.”