SAK passed a significant milestone in 2019, reaching $1 billion in total revenue for CIPP projects since starting up just 13 years ago. We caught up with crew members of the “original CIPP project” in Carbondale, Illinois as they shared their memories from that first project that started it all.
Dubbed the ‘Carbondale Crew”, Mark Stoecker, Jeff Hirtz, Scott Hoffman, Dennis Ball, Jason Laney, Scott Campbell, and Tim Bussen were the SAK employees tapped for the inaugural CIPP project.
Thought of as the “maiden voyage” for our new company. SAK was hired to line some sewers of various diameters, mostly 8”. The project would require water cured liner in various small diameter sizes, with less than 3000’ of liner total. The project took about two weeks and was not without its challenges. Rain, a liner stuck in the transition and camera/cutter issues topped out the list of most challenging items during the project. But with a crew full of determined professionals the project was a success and it started SAK down its path to $1 billion in revenue for CIPP.
Here are some of those memories shared by the crew:
Mark Stoecker: “There was one line that had a transition in it that you may have seen the story about Scott Hoffmann jumping up and down on it for over an hour before they called in the “big gun”, me, to bounce it through the transition. The transition was a point repair I think.”
Jeff Hirtz: “The only thing I remember on this job is Scott Hoffman jumping on the liner to get it to go through the 12” section for an hour and Mark jumped once and it went. LMAO!”
Scott Hoffman: “Oh sure, bring that up! Thanks buddy. LOL! I just remember being as green as you could ever expect, considering I had never done any sewer work prior to this. We worked 15 hours or more a lot of days, just trying to get the process and equipment up to speed, and yes ME as well. And, yes, it was funny when Mark jumped once and the liner took off. And to add insult to injury, I had to crank him in and out of a 20+ foot deep manhole! I was basically a TV Tech in training at the time, but we had too much going to train me very much. I just did my best to keep up, and learn as much as I could.”
Dennis Ball: “I remember getting out of the TV truck and stepping into a ditch with water up to my chest! I also remember going hungry and talking to the inspector and getting him to pickup pizza for us then him telling us that someone called in on him. LOL. Sorry Scott you needed to eat more.”
Jason Laney: “I remember staying out onsite all night once liner was in and cooking and trying to take short naps in the tv truck. Jeff stayed out there also so we took turns watching boiler and temps.”