News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Hauling grass and taking names

Local Sisters’ business T&M?Hauling started quite by accident when co-owner Thys (rhymes with peace) Kuitert was attending a residents meeting in Tollgate early this year. He clearly heard the need for pine needle removal services for both homes and common areas. Having recently relocated to Sisters from the valley, Thys wasn’t looking to start a new business, but his history as general manager for Junk King started the wheels turning.

For those who are unfamiliar, apparently junk is big business. Thys had a crew of seven big trucks doing nothing but hauling people’s junk. In the valley, this was mostly disgusting things that Goodwill and Habitat wouldn’t touch — as well as big things like old cars, trailers, appliances and hazmat.

Thys thought that after moving junk, pine needles would be a snap. And maybe there was opportunity in Central Oregon for junk removal as well. But Thys didn’t know anything about Central Oregon…

Enter McKibben Womack, who knows everything about Central Oregon. McKibben is a Sisters local, who has served on the Sisters City Council and budget committee, coached youth sports, and led youth church activities for years.

Thys and McKibben knew each other from coaching youth sports and began to brainstorm. After confirming that pine needles are, in fact, Sisters’ largest cash crop, and confirming no competition in the junk hauling business, the two went after it. Armed with a huge trailer, word-of-mouth marketing, and a huge supply of motivation — and community response has been overwhelming.

“Our first job was a rental house where the tenant turned out to be a bit of a hoarder. Junk piled inside and out”, said Womack. “The landlord didn’t know where to turn to get rid of all the trash he left behind.” Womack continued with the understatement of the week “The neighbors were appreciative as well.”

Spring in Sisters brings pine needles, and for T&M, this seems to be the busy season. Having previously owned a landscaping business, Womack knows needles. He told The Nugget that the average lot around Sisters will drop five to 10 pickup truck loads of needles per year. So even if people can sweep them, it’s frequently more cost effective to have T&M just come pick them up after figuring in time, gas, and dump fees.

So whether it’s junk, yard debris, construction debris, household chemicals, paint, rental cleanup, storage spaces or any other hauling challenge, T&M is worth a look to support local business. Or in their own words, “You Call — We Haul.”

For more information, see T&M?Hauling classified ad in The Nugget and call 541-598-4345.


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