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Everything You Need to Know Before You Purchase Portable Restrooms for Sale

If you’re a current portable restroom operator (PRO) expanding your fleet, and especially if you are new to the portable sanitation industry, the chances are good that you have a list of questions you want to answer before you purchase any portable restrooms for sale. This is to be expected — it’s a big purchase and one that will impact your business for years to come. It’s important that the portable toilets you buy meet your needs, meet the needs of your customers and last for a long time, among other things.

Why are we offering insight into portable restrooms for sale? At PolyJohn, we know that we won’t succeed as a company unless the industry is healthy and the PROs working in it are experiencing success.

Don’t get your credit card out or open your checkbook until you read this article. It examines this topic from several different angles and will provide you with advice designed to make it easier to make your decisions about the units you need and the features to look for. You don’t want to buy portable restroom units, accessories or supplies until you’ve gathered quality information. Consider this the starting point of your research. And if you really want to dive deep and expand your knowledge, be on the lookout for our Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy Your Portable Sanitation Equipment. It’s an in-depth content piece devoted to this topic, and it will be available for download soon — and it will be completely free!


Why are we offering insight into portable restrooms for sale? At PolyJohn, we know that we won’t succeed as a company unless the industry is healthy and the PROs working in it are experiencing success. We want your company to thrive, and our goal with this information is to set you on the right path. Ultimately, we hope that path leads to an ongoing relationship with PolyJohn. We have a lot to offer. But even if it doesn’t, we wish you success, and we’ll see you out there.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some things you should consider when looking for portable restrooms for sale…

Types of Portable Restrooms for Sale

What are the kinds of portable restrooms for sale? This is a great question and a logical place to start. You need to know what your options are before you can even start thinking about making a purchase. You will find standard portable restrooms, luxury portable restrooms and handicap portable restrooms. These are the primary product categories that are available throughout the industry, regardless of the portable toilet supplier. Depending on the manufacturer, there may be multiple models available within each category. But before we get into too many of the details, here’s a brief summary of each:

Standard Portable Restrooms

This is the base portable restroom, the one that is most commonly seen on construction sites and in other industrial settings. The standard unit is the core of the fleet and the workhorse of the industry. It’s built to hold up over the long haul despite constant loading and unloading and prolonged use in industrial environments. It’s important for standard portable restrooms to provide adequate ventilation and be able to withstand all weather conditions and the harsh chemicals that are used for cleaning. Standard units have a static-type waste tank and toilet paper dispenser and can accommodate upgrades including a mirror, hand sanitizer dispenser and coat hook. All portable toilet manufacturers should offer some kind of standard unit.

Luxury Portable Restrooms

Up a level from standard units is the luxury portable restroom, sometimes referred to as the special events portable restroom because it’s used at festivals, fairs, weddings and similar events that are a little more high-end. They commonly come with amenities like handwashing sinks, a hands-free flushable tank, solar lighting and other upgrades that make the user experience top-notch. Most PROs have at least a few luxury units because special events can bring in good income in a short amount of time.

Handicap Portable Restrooms

It’s a good idea to have wheelchair-accessible units in your fleet. It’s a requirement by federal law in many applications. Handicap units are larger than standard units to accommodate wheelchairs. They also are equipped with handrails and, sometimes, with add-ons like a baby-changing station, hand sanitizer dispenser and more to appeal to families with small children.

Introduction: What to Think About When Preparing to Buy Portable Restroom Units

What needs to be considered when preparing to buy portable restroom units? Think about more than simply the price tag or appearance. Key factors that aren’t always apparent on a website or sell sheet include things like manufacturing process and ease of transportation, cleaning and maintenance. This is where it’s important to reach out to a sales or customer service rep from the manufacturer you’re considering to get the insider’s information about the unit.

From a manufacturing standpoint, there are multiple processes that may be used to produce the portable toilets. They include: sheet extrusion, thermoforming, rotational molding, injection molding, metal fabrication, CNC machining, blow molding and vacuum forming. There are pros and cons of each as they apply to you, the buyer. For example, with vacuum forming, a plastic sheet is heated until soft, draped over a mold, then vacuum is applied to pull the sheet into the mold. This is a low-cost manufacturing process, but it can result in parts with uneven thickness. The cost-savings is appealing to the manufacturer, but the uneven thickness could be a concern for you. Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with someone from the company about the processes used and their impact (positive and negative) on you.

Product design is also important to consider when you want to buy portable restroom units. There are design aspects that benefit you, the PRO. There are also design aspects that customers typically look for that you need to think about. You will want portable toilets that are as easy as possible to clean, maintain and transport, while customers expect the toilets to be sanitary, comfortable and easy to use. Manufacturers are aware of these things. However, it’s up to you as a shopper to assess your options to decide the degree to which the manufacturers have addressed these needs.

What to Think About: Standard Portable Restrooms for Sale

What needs to be considered about standard portable restrooms for sale? The standard portable restroom is the industry workhorse. It’s the unit that is used in a variety of settings from residential to commercial and even public events. When looking for standard portable restrooms for sale, make sure they have these essential features:

  • Lightweight, compact design
  • Tough construction
  • Easy set-up and maintenance
  • Maximum ventilation
  • Roomy interior
  • Anti-slip floor surface
  • Sanitary seat deck and floor design
  • Translucent roof for better lighting
  • Occupancy signal latch
  • Two-roll toilet paper dispenser with lock

These features are all incredibly important, so if a porta potty you’re considering doesn’t include them all, you probably better consider other options. Once you have a few options in mind that include all the essentials, it’s time to look for some “bonuses” that will set one unit apart from the rest. These bonuses can include:

  • Extra interior space
  • Design that makes cleaning easier
  • Model options that include recirculating flush and fresh water flush
  • Door-mounted mirror and handle
  • Aluminum door jamb for added toughness
  • Non-splash urinal
  • Separate screens that can be replaced without replacing the entire side panel
  • Numerous color options

To learn about PolyJohn’s PJN3 standard portable restroom, click here.

What to Think About: Luxury Portable Restrooms for Sale

What needs to be considered about luxury portable restrooms for sale? The luxury portable restroom is the industry’s premier model that comes with extra bells and whistles.

 

What needs to be considered about luxury portable restrooms for sale? The luxury portable restroom is the industry’s premier model that comes with extra bells and whistles. It is designed with high-end users in mind, featuring features and amenities that are a step up from standard portable toilets. At outdoor weddings, festivals, fairs and parties, you don’t want to let your customer’s attendees down. Make sure the luxury portable restrooms for sale you’re considering include:

  • Maximum ventilation
  • Spacious design
  • Anti-slip floor surface
  • Sanitary seat deck and floor design
  • Translucent roof for better lighting
  • Occupancy signal latch
  • Two-roll toilet paper dispenser with lock
  • Corner tank
  • Non-splash urinal

 

The bonuses to look for in luxury portable restrooms for sale include:

  • Extra interior space
  • Design that allows for efficient use of interior space and additional amenities
  • Design that makes cleaning easier
  • Model options that include recirculating flush, fresh water flush and mains connection
  • Numerous color options

To learn about PolyJohn’s Fleet luxury portable restroom, click here.

What to Think About: Handicap Portable Restrooms for Sale

What needs to be considered about handicap portable restrooms for sale? Handicap portable restrooms is a growing segment in the PRO market. They not only provide facilities for individuals confined to wheelchairs but also serve as a “family restroom.” Certain patrons prefer handicap accessible porta potties simply because they are larger and provide extra room. The extra space also comes in handy in the winter when people are wearing bulky clothing. When looking for handicap portable restrooms for sale, keep an eye out for these features:

  • Lightweight construction
  • Barrier-free door sill with extra-wide door that fits all wheelchairs
  • Self-closing door
  • Spacious interior for wheelchair maneuverability
  • Handrail supports for assisted mobility
  • Privacy latch
  • Occupancy indicator
  • Roll-in, ground-level floor access

Bonuses to seek in handicap portable restrooms include:

  • Additional interior floor space
  • Large threshold that provides a clean, finished interior look
  • Handles on the base for easier maneuvering
  • Consistent look with other models in the fleet
  • Lighter weight than competitors
  • Ability to be moved by a single person, despite its larger size

To learn about PolyJohn’s Comfort XL handicap portable restroom, click here.

Keep Expectations High for the Parts & Warranty

Obviously, you want to buy portable restroom units that are durable and that you can rely on for years to come. However, units take a beating. It’s something you have to accept about the portable sanitation industry. With this in mind, it’s important that your portable restroom supplier has replacement parts available and backs up their products with a strong warranty. It’s more cost-effective for you as a buyer to be able to repair damaged units as opposed to having to dig deeper into your wallet to purchase replacement units.

When it comes to parts, it is a big plus if the portable toilet supplier manufactures them in-house. That’s the best way to guarantee high quality. If an outside parts supplier is necessary, make sure it’s a proven vendor and that the portable toilet supplier has vetted them carefully and keeps tabs on the quality of their work. The most common parts that you will need to replace that you will want to ensure are easily available to you are:

  • Nuts, bolts and screws
  • Plugs and caps
  • Plumbing parts
  • Pumps
  • Rivets and washers
  • Component parts
  • Decals and plates
  • Discontinued and previous model parts
  • Electrical parts
  • Exterior components
  • Filters
  • Skids and bases
  • Small parts bags
  • Tanks

A quality portable toilet supplier will stand firmly behind their products. They do this in the form of a strong warranty. As a shopper, you need to seek manufacturers who don’t just slap any warranty on their portable toilets but a warranty that brings value to the purchase. This is so important that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that you compare warranty coverage just as you compare the style, price and other characteristics of products. Be aware that not all suppliers put their warranties front and center. If this is the case, make sure you ask for the details.

You should be wary of any warranties that are pro-rated. When a warranty is pro-rated, it means it will decrease in coverage over time. For example, with a pro-rated 10-year (120-month) warranty, every month the value of the replacement may drop by 1/120. So, in 30 months, or less than 3 years (30/120), the warranty covers only 75%. The units’ warrantied parts have already lost 25% of their value.

A pro-rated warranty might also be expressed in years, but the decline in value is similar. For the first year or two of the warranty, it may cover 100%. But by the third year, the economic value may drop by as much as a third, and within five years, as much as 90%.

The PolyJohn warranty is 100% from day one and stays 100% for three full years. To read the full warranty, click here.

Buy Portable Restroom Units From a Supplier Dedicated to Customer Service

Customer service is a benefit that sometimes gets overlooked by people looking to buy portable restroom products. They can find an intriguing portable toilet and get tunnel vision — considering only the actual product itself and not thinking about anything else. This can come back to bite them if the company they purchase from doesn’t put much effort into customer service.

Portable sanitation is not an industry where you are able to buy everything you need at once and go about your business. You will frequently need to get back into contact with your portable sanitation equipment supplier to ask questions, get parts and purchase additional units or accessories. Part of your portable restroom supplier vetting process should include finding out about their customer service. The sales reps and customer service personnel should respond quickly, be knowledgeable, address the situation to your satisfaction and build trust in your business relationship.

Here are some after-sales service qualities to look for:Customer service is a benefit that sometimes gets overlooked by people looking to buy portable restroom products. They can find an intriguing portable toilet and get tunnel vision — considering only the actual product itself and not thinking about anything else.

  • Quick and easy ordering of additional products
  • Large inventory of replacement parts available, including parts for older or discontinued products
  • Strategically located warehouses or service centers for quick and economical delivery or pick-up of products
  • Direct contact with experienced sales managers. In an ideal situation, you will be on a first-name basis
  • 24/7 online service (Help Center, FAQs, Contact Us, etc.)

Quality customer service will help you save money and thus become more profitable. How? Because you will be able to get the ideal products for your needs in a timely manner. You will reduce downtime and be able to better serve your customers. This will build your brand’s positive reputation and help you earn additional business.

PolyJohn strives to be the best in the industry when it comes to customer service. That’s why we frequently receive comments like this one:

I have been involved in the portable sanitation industry for almost twenty years. In that time, I have dealt with PolyJohn units and staff quite a bit.

The staff at PolyJohn Canada is always easy to deal with and is easy to reach by phone or e-mail. If we need anything, it is only a day away. So, keep up the great work, and see you in the future.

Alex MacLellan - Landry's Vacuum Service, Ltd.

Dutch Brook, NS

Consider Purchasing from People Like You

To expand on the relationship factor even further, there’s something to be said about portable restroom dealers who have workers who are like you. What we mean by that is people who are blue-collar, hard-working people who are passionate about the industry and have the knowledge to be able to help you out both now and into the future.

Portable sanitation isn’t a career where you just work 9-5 Monday through Friday. In the busy season, you’re probably putting in 12-hour days seven days a week at the minimum. When this is the case, wouldn’t you prefer a sales manager who will pick up the phone whenever you call as opposed to getting an automated system that instructs you to leave a message or call back during regular business hours? Would you rather have a business relationship with a group of people who have been on the road themselves making deliveries and servicing units, or with a company made up of people who are new to the industry and haven’t spent a day in your shoes?

It should be appealing to you to purchase portable restrooms for sale from a company that knows portable sanitation inside and out — from their perspective as a dealer, your perspective as a PRO and the customer’s experience as a user. In short, we encourage you to seek experts. What attributes does an expert possess? Here are some of the big ones:

  • Years of experience within their current company, and maybe even decades. They may have one area of expertise, or they may have knowledge of several departments such as raw materials, products, parts, manufacturing, ordering and shipping.
  • Extensive industry experience prior to working at their current company. They’ve either owned their own portable sanitation company or helped run one, or worked in companies like waste management, equipment rental, portable sanitation insurance or disaster relief.
  • Dedication to the company they work for and the portable sanitation industry. When someone loves their work, they will give their customers their best.

The Care Factor

As a customer, it can be rare to find a company that you would say truly cares about you. It’s possible for you to buy portable restroom units you need and receive quality customer service, but at the end of the day, you are likely still a sale… a number instead of a name. If you are fortunate enough to find a portable toilet supplier that legitimately cares about your company’s success and you as a person, you’ve probably found a business partner for life. A company can display the “care factor” in many ways. Here are a few:

  • They get to know your business well enough that they can customize the perfect solutions for you, whether you have 20 units or 2,000.
  • Sales reps don’t push portable restrooms for sale when they aren’t necessary. They avoid overselling and do everything they can to ensure you can repair a unit instead of replacing it.
  • The plant gets your shipments out on time… Every time!
  • Customer service people stay on the phone with you as long as necessary until you are satisfied with the solutions provided.

PolyJohn strives to provide the care factor to each of our customers, which is why we receive compliments like this one:

Elton Tamplin and PolyJohn have been such a blessing to us since we started our business just 11 months ago. Even before inception of our company, Elton went above and beyond to help us with pertinent information, advice and mentorship. PolyJohn aided in designing a unique color scheme for our company and keeps our parts in stock at all times for rush deliveries. We have been ordering a full load every 30-45 days and each shipment is placed and received with no lag time or hassle. Elton continues to surprise us again and again with his outstanding customer service, going above and beyond the call of duty. He has not only become our potty salesman but a true friend and wonderful mentor. Thank you, Elton and PolyJohn for everything you do for our growing business, we are so grateful to have you on our team!

Carolyn Kahle - Onsite Pro Can

Boerne, TX

Whether you’re looking specifically for luxury portable restrooms for sale or a variety so you can build up your fleet, you want to be smart about the supplier you choose. Hopefully, this article has been helpful as you do your research. Remember, you can learn even more when you download our Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy Your Portable Sanitation Equipment (coming soon). Or, feel free to contact us directly. We’ve got plenty of experts ready to help you out.