The old axiom that everything is bigger in Texas is alive and well. The state’s population is among the fastest growing in the U.S., and well-run businesses like Triple D Uniform & Linen Service are responding to the challenge. A local staple in Houston for over 50 years, they recently expanded service to markets in central Texas and turned again to LAVATEC to help handle the new demand.
“We recently purchased a LAVATEC LX460 washer extractor to join the two smaller washers from them that we’ve had in service for 16 years,” stated Jacy Henderson, Triple D’s Vice President. “These are workhorse machines and suit our needs perfectly. The newest machine has proven to be just as solid as the other two.”
A local leader with a larger game plan
Triple D is a third generation owned company that originally began as a uniform rental organization when it was run by Wayne McCullough. The business has been operated by Doug McCullough and his wife, Cindy, since 2005. Its automated facility located on the northwest side of Houston now provides customers with state-of-the-art laundering, corporate apparel, custom embroidery and servicing technology.
Their decision to expand comes after an unprecedented population boom. According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, Texas showed a 43% increase from 2020 to 2022, making it the fourth largest growing state. The largest of the 48 contiguous states, it is now home to more than 30 million residents.
During the same period Triple D has shown steady progression. After processing 5.4 million pounds of linen in 2021, they ramped it up to 6.9 million last year and currently are averaging 150,000 pounds per week. Henderson anticipates they will deliver about 7.8 million pounds by the end of the year.
“We are now servicing clients in Austin and San Antonio. That is in large part the reason for our increase,” said Henderson, who began working at Triple D as a route relief driver in 2007 after graduating from Texas A&M University. “It was supposed to be a part time gig, but 16 years later here I am. I ran the production floor for eight years before moving into my current role.”
Henderson manages the three uniform rental service programs Triple D makes available to its customers. It includes the industrial side for healthcare and food service uniforms, restaurant services for chef wear that includes aprons, coats, pants and chef hats, and healthcare rental that covers lab coats, scrubs, isolation gowns and footwear.
He says healthcare clients account for 20% of the work – with industrial and hospitality evenly splitting the remainder – but hospitality has been the fastest growth segment since the COVID-19 pandemic first arrived in 2020.
“We currently employ about 70 people and work a four-days-a-week schedule, Monday through Thursday. Most of our accounts get serviced once a week, but some of the larger organizations require service two or three times per week,” Henderson said before explaining the need to have trusted equipment in order to avoid downtime.
A trusted partnership with resolute equipment and service
“We chose LAVATEC for their cost effectiveness and their reliability,” he said of the two older LX445 washer extractors and the new LX460. The LX445s have a 450 pound capacity compared to the larger LX460, which can accommodate up to 600 pounds. All three are employee friendly, front-loading machines.
“We are using the larger LX460 mainly to process our bar towels and mats. We loved the idea of having the larger capacity,” acknowledged Henderson. “At the same time we benefitted from the fact it didn’t take up much more floor space. I do believe the front loaders are more beneficial at reaching a higher extract speed with a full load of mats than some of the competitor models I have seen.”
When the inevitable does happen with a service interruption, Henderson knows that downtime will be limited.
“Occasionally there are the typical breakdowns, but the LAVATEC service team is very responsive. That’s reassuring because our customers know that we take care of business and deliver on our promise to provide a superior quality product,” he said. “LAVATEC is always willing to spend the time needed to troubleshoot. With help from the service and parts teams, they get our needs taken care of and keep our machines up and running.”
Photo Caption Above Right
Keeping the LAVATEC washers and other equipment performing at Triple D Uniform & Linen Service is the responsibility of, from left to right: Vice President, Jacy Henderson, Production Manager, Myriam Caceres, and Chief Engineer, David Lobos.
For more information, www.LLTusa.com.