Napa Valley Hauling is a local debris hauling company committed to providing excellent service at an affordable rate
We serve Napa, Sonoma, Solano & MARIN
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An Interview with Chris Babcock
Let's hop in the truck with Chris Babcock, Founder of Napa Valley Hauling, and learn about his hauling and junk removal services in Northern California.
Interviewer: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today Chris. For our audience, you’re the owner of Napa Valley Hauling right? A local debris hauling and junk removal company in the North Bay.
Chris: Yes, that’s correct. I am the owner. We started out hauling in Napa and now we serve customers in all of the North Bay including Sonoma, Solano and Marin Counties.
Interviewer: So why did you decide to start a local hauling business?
Chris: Well, it’s interesting you say that because actually I’ve been in the hospitality business all my life. I saw that there was a need for this type of service and I felt like I could elevate the service with my experience in hospitality. I felt I could provide great service at an affordable rate to our local area. And we do.
Interviewer: Had you ever hired somebody to haul something for you before you started your own debris removal business?
Chris: Actually no. I had never hired a junk removal service before. We used to do a lot of our own hauling. If we had any kind of clean-up projects we just put things in the back of a pickup truck and took it to the dump and unloaded it by hand. But I did do a lot of research before starting our own hauling business. I would call a bunch of the local junk removal services near me and ask them about their pricing. However I found their pricing very inconsistent and honestly got very few callbacks. From that experience I felt I could easily do a better job.
Interviewer: In your years of running your business what are a few things that you’ve learned in terms of serving your customers that has helped you to be able to serve them better?
Chris: The biggest thing that comes to mind is that, even though we offer the service of debris removal, junk removal, or whatever you might call it, what we really are is a stress reliever because we show up at various different job sites where people are often frantic. They’ve been calling around different local hauling services and are worried about getting it done and well, we operate our business pretty well, we are responsive, we get back to them as soon as possible and complete the job efficiently and do a good job in a timely manner. And once everything is hauled away you can just see the expression on their face, like you know we’ve unloaded a lot of stress by just providing our service well. For me that’s what’s gratifying.
Interviewer: So one of the things you learned from working with your hauling clients is to be aware of how your service eases stress and how that is valuable to people. By being aware of that, it helps you be sure to meet that need when you see it. Not just do the task but ease the stress.
Chris: Right, and it’s not something I understood when I first started my hauling business. I was like “Oh cool, I’m a garbage guy” or “I’m just going to pick up debris” but then I quickly learned how our service affected people in different ways. For example, a professional that owns a real estate business where they rent out an office space and the tenant stops paying their bill and gets kicked out and the realtor is left with a mess to clean up. We’re able to go in and make it look almost new so they can rent it out again. That’s a big deal. And that’s satisfying.
Or an elderly person who has no idea how to get a fridge or a couch out of the house. They don’t know who to call and they don’t have any family members who live in the area to help them. We’re the kind of people they can call and ask for help and we come in and help. That’s what makes me happy.
Interviewer: So people don’t have to have a whole bunch of junk in order to hire you and benefit from your junk removal services?
Chris: No, that’s a misconception, especially because people see our trucks on the road and we have big trucks. But we use large trucks to keep the prices affordable. Larger trucks means we can take in more volume per trip which allows us to provide a cheaper hauling service.
You can have as little as a single item for us to haul away. We’re happy to take it away for $65.00. Or a small pickup truck load would be our minimum volume which would be $95.00. From there we charge by volume all the way up to filling up one of our large trucks for $695 which is equivalent to 8 pickup truck loads, which is a lot, especially considering we break stuff down. So we handle all types of projects. We have clients with lots of land and we haul away multiple full loads. They’re tired of looking at it, so we haul it away.
Interviewer: What’s an example of one of the largest clients that you guys have handled and how many truck loads did that take?
Chris: One time we went to a big open field with 2 large barns, and we tore down the barns and we hauled away 12 truck loads for them. So we took everything away including the rickety old barns, we took them down, we loaded them up and hauled it all away and they were left with a nice open field where they could rebuild.
Interviewer: You took the barns down?
Chris: Yes. For this job we did. We’re not a demolition company, but we can do some light demolition work. For example, someone has a shed and they don’t have the capacity or the tools to take it apart, we’re happy to help in that way when we can. In this case they had a large barn, so we actually rented a tractor and took them down and loaded them with a tractor. When people have those types of needs, they can just call us and ask what we can do for them and we help in whatever way we can.
Interviewer: Before our official interview started, you shared with me some reasons that people like your service, they reflected back to you that they appreciate your services. I remember one of them was your pricing which was more straightforward than others, also that you had more affordable pricing. Could you share a little bit about that and what some of the other people shared with you?
Chris: Sure. I set up a system where our pricing is up front and fair. We estimate jobs over the phone and we take a simple approach to what we do. People seem to like that because it’s more black and white pricing where they can understand how our business model works.
We’re also responsive. When someone calls me, sometimes I can’t always answer the phone or we’re out on the road or on a truck. But if they leave me a message, I’ll call them right back and they appreciate that. Sometimes they’ve called other local hauling services who didn’t show up or they didn’t call them back. So we’ve had some very nice comments from people saying that they like our more affordable pricing and our standard way of pricing and that we show up on time and that if we are behind we let them know. We have an open communication. We build relationships and people like working with us.
Interviewer: And you said you can offer cheaper junk removal prices because you have larger trucks?
Chris: Yes, people have shared with me that they’ve talked to other people, maybe friends or neighbors, who said our price is very affordable and fair compared to some of the other hauling companies. And some people have stated on their reviews that we are definitely an affordable company. And I think we provide a great service at a fair price. I do think we have a little bit of an edge on the market, because we have larger vehicles, we’re able to take more debris per load which conserves on fuel. We can handle more jobs without having to make so many runs to the transfer station and instead of taking more money, we pass the value back to our customers. So that gives us an edge in pricing.
Interviewer: One last question. You mentioned earlier about reviews, that people have reflected back to you that one of the reasons they chose to work with your hauling service is because you have so many positive reviews online. Is that true, that you have many positive reviews? And where are those?
Chris: We have I believe 13 reviews on Yelp, that are all 5 star ratings and positive. And these are people that have really enjoyed our service. They’re happy with the quality of work and happy with my team. We have a good system and we have a great team. Our team acts in a professional manner and they follow the way of our system and how we run the company. So I give them credit too. We have great friends and staff and it reflects. People appreciate that and you can see that, you can see that in the Yelp reviews how courteous we are, how the pricing is right and professional. You can also find some many positive reviews on Google as well.
Interviewer: Chris thank you so much for taking the time to interview with me, is there anything else you want to say or is that pretty much it?
Chris: I think I’ve said it all and I appreciate you taking the time with me to learn more about what we do and to share our business with others. If you know anyone in Napa, Sonoma, Solano or Marin who needs some debris hauled away, please invite them to give us a try.
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