Colby Martin – Hometown Hauling 802

Contact Details

Interview Details

Date: Thursday January 18th 2024
Location: South Burlington
Length: 22:46
Episode Number: 44
Show Notes Link:
Short Link:


Becca Hammond 00:00:01 What’s new? 8 0 2. I’m Becca Hammond and you’re listening to Vermont Talks. Vermont talks may include graphic or explicit content. Listener discretion is advised. Perfect. Welcome. Colby Martin, owner of Hometown Hauling 8 0 2 Junk Removal and movers. Welcome, Colby, onto the show.
Colby Martin 00:00:23 Thank You.
Becca Hammond 00:00:24 So tell me a little bit about your business. I think you said that it started during the pandemic.
Colby Martin 00:00:29 Yes. Yep. Starting during the pandemic. Um, so, you know, um, a lot of people are out of work. Um, myself included, I, uh, before that I had a DJ business and I was also doing like construction during the day. So, um, the job sites were set shut down and anywhere to DJ was shut down as well. And, um, so I was enjoying family time and being home and had, uh, two young children. And, um, so my wife and I and them, we were just hanging out and there was like, you know, unemployment benefits, you know, that were kind of like helping folks get by. And, um, so, you know, it was a great time to relax, but, um, those benefits were like starting to run out. Yeah. And so I was getting in touch with the people that I was working for and, um, I wasn’t getting much response back from them, so I was like, you know, getting a little nervous. And even though like that kind of normal work, like service work was starting the, um, the other work that I was doing as a dj, uh, was not coming back like snapping back, you know?
Becca Hammond 00:01:47 No, yeah, no, that took several years.
Colby Martin 00:01:49 Right. So that was kind of like my, my real bread and butter in like the business that I was focused on. So I, um, you know, my, I kind of just started thinking about other things. Um, I had a friend, um, out in Maine where I used to live, uh, through some of my, uh, adolescent years. Um, he had a hauling company that they were just helping folks get their stuff to the dump, and he had been doing it for like 15 years, you know, so I was like, you know, it was just always kind of on my mind. And I remember the exact day when I said, okay, God, I’m gonna try this out and I’m not gonna try too hard to make it like all my own thing. Like super crazy. And like, I had this thing where I said I wasn’t gonna buy T-shirts and like go all out , you know, I was just gonna like do honest work and see what happened.
Colby Martin 00:02:42 Yep. And that’s really how it started. Uh, I just kind of like put out an ad to my friends and family, like from my personal Facebook page and a couple people hit me back and, and then I found somewhere else to put like the word out. Um, then a couple people hit me back there. I was like, you know, this is is very interesting. ’cause every time I tell a large group of people, a couple people come back and say, Hey. So I was like, that was very interesting. And, um, I just, uh, was trying to find ways to get it in front of as many people as I could.
Becca Hammond 00:03:12 Yeah, that makes total sense. Yeah. And what kind of, you know, who’s calling you? Is it people who are moving? Is it people who just have like, you know, a giant basement full of stuff that they don’t know what to do with? Right.
Colby Martin 00:03:24 Yeah. All of the above. Um, you know, uh, at one point in this business I thought, boy, we must have taken away all the junk that there is. And, you know, everyone just must have a clean household and totally nothing to get rid of. Um, and you know, obviously I was wrong about that because the phone kept ringing. Um, you know, it’s people that are getting ready to move and, and don’t want to take a bunch of crap with ’em that they’ve been saving, or maybe they don’t have any use for everybody’s grown out of, or, or it’s people that are, maybe they’re in a, a, uh, situation, like an emergency situation with like flooding or weather or, um, things of that nature where they need guys to come in and, and haul stuff out of the way so that, you know, they can get into the work that they need to do, um, on that type of scene.
Colby Martin 00:04:07 Um, you know, we also help people with their moving, you know, we realized after the junk removal business started, you know, people were asking, Hey, can we, uh, uh, get you to bring our stuff just down the road instead of to the dump? And, you know, so that’s how that kind of started and, you know, bought the equipment to go along with it. So, you know, a a big part of it is moving, you know, real estate agents, um, you know, the people who are involved with the move themselves as well as like other national companies, companies like truck rental companies, um, that are looking for, uh, that have customers that need helpers. So it all kind of like, really there’s a, there’s a, a wide spectrum within just that, uh, that little segment of like, people who are moving. And we both know that like Vermont has kind of been a kind of a hotspot for people, um, to come out here.
Colby Martin 00:04:56 Yeah. Um, since the, the pandemic where people aren’t freed up to work from home and are now picking, you know, where they wanna live in the country. And, you know, we live in such a, a beautiful area that, um, you know, a lot of people are coming here and, you know, some of the good old boys are like, you know, keep ’em outta here. And, you know, we’re like, we’re happy to help if you wanna come hang out with us. You know, we wanna, we wanna help you unload and set up and, uh, and take care of you.
Becca Hammond 00:05:20 Very cool. Yeah. Is there anything that you don’t do? Is there something where you’re like, oh, no, I, I don’t think I want to do
Colby Martin 00:05:27 That? Boy, . Well, we’ve done a lot of stuff and, um, you know, when we first started out we’re, you know, we’re carrying pianos around and doing and which is dangerous. And, um, you know, stuff that’s like, man, uh, just really cumbersome. Like, I remember moving a lot of these, um, chain link fences this one night we were out till, oh man, like 10 o’clock at night trying, just trying to move these fences that were all like interlocked together. It was like, yeah, it was just like a, a, a total nightmare, like, disaster from the beginning. But because it was like a new, a new business and we’re like, just want to help and this is what we had, you know, it’s kind of like what, you know, God brings you to God will get you through . So we kind of just kept that faith and, uh, uh, we just kept making it, you know, to the next thing these days, you know, we, we stay away from like, pianos that gotta go up and down flights of stairs. Yeah. You know, because that’s like a pretty big liability And, um, I never really wanna do it, so I don’t want to say, Hey guys, I don’t wanna like offer my, the guys that work for me Right. To do something that I wouldn’t do. Yep. Uh, or that I haven’t done. Um, and even though we’ve done the pianos on the stairs, man it is, it’s been some Yeah.
Becca Hammond 00:06:42 Close calls.
Colby Martin 00:06:42 I feel like
Becca Hammond 00:06:42 That’s something you need to be almost trained.
Colby Martin 00:06:45 Yeah. There’s professional, there are professional, uh, piano moving companies. Um, they’re not gonna move their, uh, piano for a couple hundred bucks, but, uh, so it comes with a price tag. But, um, you know, uh, it, there’s a big difference also between moving someone’s, uh, piano and also removing it. So, mm-hmm. , if there are some stairs involved and people want it taken outta their home, then we’ve been pretty, gotten pretty good at like, demoing, you know, taking them apart and carrying them out in pieces so that we don’t have to like, get too risky, uh, with that really heavy, um, cast iron piece that’s in ’em. So, yes. Yeah. So the pianos is kind of one thing that we say no to, uh, hazardous materials. We can’t haul those ’cause uh, we do have a Vermont State hauling license and, um, hazardous material is not covered on that. So, you know, that’s one of the bigger things, the most common thing is like paint. Um, but, you know, it never hurts to call and ask. And I’m always happy to take a look at whatever anybody has as far as moving labor junk, uh, trash type jobs.
Becca Hammond 00:07:49 So, do you, have you ever had the, the ridiculous scary apartment that you had to clean out or house, was that
Colby Martin 00:07:56 Like, uh, like on hoarders?
Becca Hammond 00:07:57 Yes. Yes. Where there’s just so much stuff that it’s overwhelming. Yeah. Is that, that’s your go-to Well, that’s something I know a lot of people. There’s Yeah.
Colby Martin 00:08:05 We’ve, we’ve,
Becca Hammond 00:08:06 You don’t clean it because it scares you .
Colby Martin 00:08:08 Yep, yep. We’ve been in those situations. You know, we work with a lot of great organizations in the area, um, you know, property management, uh, companies as well. And, uh, so we’re in a lot of different like, apartment complexes and, um, other facilities like that as well. And there’s, you know, there’s always a couple, uh, tenants, you know, that, you know, they just want to collect a lot of stuff and hey, all the power to ’em. I love collecting stuff too, you know. Um, but when it comes time to, you know, to move on, there’s sometimes a lot of stuff left behind and we have to figure out what to do with it. So that’s where we come in. Um, you know, we do, we separate everything, you know, based on its material, get it to the correct facilities. Um, so that way it’s like being disposed of or recycled properly.
Colby Martin 00:08:55 And then, you know, we’re gonna try to donate, um, as much stuff as possible. Um, because of that we’ve, you know, linked up with a lot of different organizations, you know, like Habitat for Humanity, um, other refugee organizations in the area to supply a lot of the, um, you know, like, uh, used furniture for people that are in need of it. Um, obviously we know like the Restore and, and other donation, you know, national, um, organizations that, that we can donate to. We use them on a daily basis. Um, so, so those houses, you know, they’re, they are scary and it is daunting. And boy, I never thought that I would, uh, know how to execute something like that. ’cause it’s just like, where do you start? That’s
Becca Hammond 00:09:36 It. Where do you start? Yeah.
Colby Martin 00:09:37 That’s a huge task. And the, and the answer is, is is really anywhere is to get started. And, um, and it kind of, it kind of works. It’s once you gain the knowledge, you know, it all kind of falls into
Becca Hammond 00:09:47 Place what to do with the stuff. That’s a huge part of it too, is like, that’s the real benefit of going through you versus trying to attack something yourself that is overwhelming.
Colby Martin 00:09:57 Yeah. And usually in that type of situation, it’s not like because one day, um, someone’s just like, you know what, I’m gonna clean this place up. It’s usually because there’s something else going on where it needs to be taken care of. Yeah. And the person that is responsible for the home is dealing with, um, you know, God forbid a death in the family or, um, you know, something of that nature. That is something that’s, it’s a lot, you know, or, or, you know, some other type of transition. And so, so we understand that, um, with your hands full, you know, the last thing that you want to do is like figure out, you know, what’s donatable and you know, what we can keep or Yeah. You know, usually it’s like a, Hey, let’s have the family members go through what they can, um, what they think is something that they want to, you know, keep.
Colby Martin 00:10:47 And then, then we can figure out what to do with the rest. And, uh, you know, our most, um, we make the most money when we donate to organizations that pass this stuff along. Yep. And it’s so great because, uh, it’s like the the right thing to do. We keep things out of the landfill and, um, it’s, I always call it a win-win win, you know, because we, we get to do better. We get to help the folks that, that, that need these items removed and then, you know, there’s somebody else that may want these types of items. So it’s like truly is a win-win win. And, um, nobody really believed me that I was like so jazzed up about it until I, until I tell, I tell ’em about our win. You know, like our bottom line does better. And they’re like, oh, okay, now we get it. You know? But when I would say, Hey, it’s just the right thing to do, they’d be like, okay, yeah, sure, sure. You’ll bring it to donations. And, um, so we’re really happy to just, to be involved with the, the, the whole process of like helping folks and then, uh, in turn using, you know, uh, items that somebody no longer wants to, to make somebody else’s day. Um, so it, it really, it’s, it’s a really cool thing.
Becca Hammond 00:11:56 Yeah. It sounds super rewarding. That’s, this is really cool, igl, I’m very happy that you have, there’s perfect in it philanthropic mindset. Yeah. Along with making a really, it sounds like a successful business. You said it’s been growing really well and you got to hire people and Yeah. Uh, multiple trucks I think you mentioned. Yep.
Colby Martin 00:12:12 Yeah. I, you know, I just, uh, I can’t believe it and it’s, uh, it’s like the biggest blessing of my life, you know? Um, I started with this little truck right here on this, uh, the pamphlet. It’s like a, it’s an S 10 Chevy, which is like the smallest truck that Chevy offered in 1999 is the year .
Becca Hammond 00:12:32 So it was actually small, not small for today.
Colby Martin 00:12:35 Right, right. It was, it’s, it’s a small truck and I had a really, you know, small trailer that we’d tow behind it that belonged to my dad. And he, you know, shout out to him ’cause he helped me kind of get started. Well actually, I don’t even know if I asked him, but eventually ,
Becca Hammond 00:12:50 He still helped do was his trailer, right?
Colby Martin 00:12:51 Yeah. . Uh, but you know, today we, we’ve had, you know, we’ve, we’ve got like, you know, five or six, you know, great big trailers and you know, a big moving truck and then, you know, uh, four or five other, uh, like, you know, heavy duty pickup trucks. I’ve gotten into like diesel trucks, um, which is like, you know, I wasn’t even a truck person before this business. And it’s like, now it’s like something that I kind of like am into and enjoy. And I spent a lot of time at the, at the garage, like the, you know, the mechanics down the road and partly because I always have a vehicle there. Um, ’cause when you have that many cars on the road, uh, stuff is always happening.
Becca Hammond 00:13:32 Oh yeah. Know. Yeah. Even just maintenance on things like that. That’s
Colby Martin 00:13:35 A lot. And I, yeah. You know, I had no idea that that would even be something. So now it’s like the mechanic’s my best friend and I’m okay with that. And , my wife’s not ’cause I should be home. But, uh, but yeah, it’s, it’s cool to see the growth and just kind of be like, wow, you know, um, I honestly, it’s, uh, it’s a very miraculous,
Becca Hammond 00:13:55 Super cool. So yeah.
Colby Martin 00:13:57 God is good.
Becca Hammond 00:13:58 Yeah, definitely. So tell me about your service area. How far will you go? How far have you gone?
Colby Martin 00:14:03 Yeah, so, um, that’s a great question. You know, we’re a Chintan County, um, you know, kind of based company, but we also do, um, like Franklin County. So we’re out up in like St. Alban’s a lot. And, um, whatever. Um, I’m trying to think of the other, the, uh, boy, I’m trying to think of the name of the town that’s just past it, but I’m drawing a blank swan.
Becca Hammond 00:14:26 Yep.
Colby Martin 00:14:27 Um, so, you know, we’re out there quite a bit then, you know, um, on the other side of, uh, Chinen County, we’re, we’re down in, um, you know, we go down to, um, Montpelier, um, uh,
Colby Martin 00:14:40 And Barry in that area as well. And then, you know, over, you know, we’ll go out, um, to, uh, I’d say, you know, there’s like Waterbury, Duxbury, uh, Waitsfield. We go out there to, you know, the, um, and we go even further when we’re not too busy, uh, which is, uh, during the colder months of the year, uh, when we’re, you know, humming and running. It’s, it’s mainly, it’s mainly Chinen County, St. Albans and, uh, and Montpelier. Um, but you know, it’s like somebody calls in and they’re a little far away and they’re like, Hey, you know, if like, we will give you guys, we’ll pay you guys more, you know, for gas to get out here, then, you know, we work it in and fit ’em in because, um, they need service and that’s what we provide. So, you know, we don’t let the, uh, the distance, you know, stand in the way.
Becca Hammond 00:15:35 That’s great. Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s really
Colby Martin 00:15:37 Great. If it makes sense, then, then we’re, we’re, we’re there to help.
Becca Hammond 00:15:41 Very cool. So tell me, is there anything else that you wanna share about your business? It sounds like it’s a very philanthropic, I, I’m, I’m very impressed that you actually take the time to figure out what you can donate and what, and like Habitat for Humanity. That’s really, really nice. Yeah. ’cause I’m sure I, that’s it. I’ve never even really thought about that. There’s gotta be a way to donate to them, but I’ve never seen it advertised. Yeah. I don’t know. There’s no like drop off location accessible around that I know of. Mm-Hmm. , so hasn’t been very well marketed, so that’s really, really cool.
Colby Martin 00:16:14 Yeah. You know, they’re, they do have drop off locations, um, Milton and South Burlington and up in St. Albans, they also, um, you know, if you have stuff that you could give them a call and they might even come and take it from you if they think it’s really nice, cool and they wanna resell it. Um, but, you know, it’s a little, it’s like an extra step. Um, but it’s a good one if you have a lot of stuff. So I always recommend that, you know, if you have like stuff and it’s nice, maybe have give them a call. If it’s on ground level, they’ll come and they’ll take it away. Um, anything that’s not on ground level, they won’t. But, you know, we take care of that and we can get it over to them if they’re interested. So it’s, um, it’s, it’s definitely like a, um, you know, you can, a multi-step thing if you’d want to do it that way, or to cancel out the steps, make it easy, you know, you can call hometown hauling and, uh, we can just take care of everything so that you can take care of your life, you know?
Colby Martin 00:17:15 Um, so that’s, that’s what we offer. And as far as additional stuff to say, you know, um, I just want to say that we appreciate the customers that we already have. Um, you know, it’s been, you know, four years and I really can’t believe it. So we can’t thank the community enough. Um, we do a, um, we do the parade on every July 4th, um, for up in Milton. That’s where I live. Um, we also do like the trunk or Treat, um, which is like a Halloween event, um, for, um, you know, the kids in Milton as well. And looking to do like more community events. I’m also looking to connect with other business owners, um, other people in the real estate, um, world. Um, ’cause that’s like a huge part of our business too. Um, you know, cleaning out houses for closings and um, foreclosures and so and so forth. So, um, you know, it’s great meeting you. It’s great being here. And, um, thank you to everybody that’s been supporting us and, you know, check us out if, if you need some help from some hometown guys.
Becca Hammond 00:18:17 Cool. Do you work with any construction companies?
Colby Martin 00:18:20 A lot of construction companies. Yeah. Um, I’m glad you said that. ’cause Roll off Dumpsters is like our newest division. Cool. Um, yeah, so I’ve been renting out a 16 yard roll off cans. I’ve got 12 yard, uh, roll off cans as well. And, uh, we’ve got some great prices. Um, so construction guys, you know, especially the ones who are kind of getting started and, you know, maybe our last on the list for the big, you know, the big corporations with the huge dumpsters to rent out that aren’t available on the weekends, uh, you know, hit me up and, um, I can get some, I can get a dumpster over to your site, um, so you can, you know, make your customers happy.
Becca Hammond 00:18:58 Yeah. Really cool. I’m trying to think, is there any other business Yeah, connection that would make sense? I, I immediately thought of like tear downs, like they’re gonna do either tear the whole building down or they’re gonna completely renovate it. That makes total sense.
Colby Martin 00:19:12 Yeah, we do, we do a lot of what that junk is there. , we do a lot of different stuff. And, um, you know, another, another piece of the puzzle is, uh, demolition. You know, if, because, uh, demolition obviously leads to like a pile of junk or like a pile of trash or, you know, something that needs to get to the dump. So, you know, we’re even happy to do that first step, which might maybe mean tearing out your drywall or ripping up your floor or carpet or doing that, you know, tearing the shed down or the barn in the backyard, or the hot tub that needs to get out of there. We’ve, we’ve cut up a lot of hot tubs and we can also carry ’em out of there in one shot. We’ve gotten pretty good at that. Um, so there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of things, you know, uh, here and there where, where I find myself, you know, and didn’t expect it. So if, if, if anybody has something new for us, uh, you know, we’re, we’re happy to hear and, um, and, and happy to help as well.
Becca Hammond 00:20:08 Yeah, sounds very handy. It’s almost like a handy company as well as being a junk removal and moving surface, because de that’s a demolishing stuff. Like even if it’s total garbage, you can’t donate it. That’s, that’s a huge task. Or tearing down the old shed. Yep. Like that’s a big pain in the neck, but that, and that’ll prevent people from doing it for years because it’s a big pain in
Colby Martin 00:20:29 The back. Right. And then your house, you got an eyesore in the yard and so yeah, it’s, it’s, um, yeah, it’s really, it’s really something cool to be a part of and um, and just being able to help like that is, is something that I’ve always wanted to do. So it, it’s nice that it’s actually something that’s, um, impacting the community now. Yeah.
Becca Hammond 00:20:49 Well that sounds like you’re the person to call if you’re not sure. Like, I’ve got this task I need to be done, and I know there’s gonna be stuff involved and I don’t know what to do. , that sounds like you’re a person to call. So your number is 8 0 2 5 5 6 1 1 7 3. And your website is Hometown Hauling eight oh Yes. Any, any other social media or anything you’d like to share?
Colby Martin 00:21:14 Yeah. Uh, social media. We’re, we’re big on Facebook. Uh, we’ve got a great following there. Uh, we’ve got, um, an awesome Instagram page as well, so you can see a lot of like before and afters and maybe some like, you know, cool hoarder stuff. And, uh, ’cause who doesn’t love the, the Hoarders TV show? Uh, it’s always so interesting to see what’s in there. So we give you a sneak peek into some of that stuff, um, on our social media. So follow us at Hometown Hauling 8 0 2.
Becca Hammond 00:21:42 Awesome. Thank you so much, Colby. Yeah. For coming on the show. And thank you all so much for listening and have a great day. Oh, actually, the show notes for this episode will be at Vermont four, and I’ll have links to everything for Kolby, all of the Hometown Hauling 8 0 2 junk removal and movers information will also be there. Have a great day everybody. Thanks for listening. Thanks so much for listening to the end of the show. Subscribe to Vermont Talks on your favorite podcasting platform. You can find me on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook all over the web. Contact if you’d like to be interviewed or if you know someone who should be. Thanks so much to Jason Baker for creating the show music. The views and opinions expressed by the guests are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Vermont talks. Any content or statements provided by our guests are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, anyone or anything. And that’s what was new in the 8 0 2. Have a great day.