Plano Company Helps Oil Spill Cleanup

Plano company sent five vacuum trucks and is looking to purchase more vehicles

By Kevin Cokely
|  Tuesday, May 4, 2010  |  Updated 9:41 PM CDT
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Helping the Environment One Truck at a Time

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Workers lay down an oil boom as the effort continues to try and keep the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from washing ashore.

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Helping the Environment One Truck at a Time

A North Texas company is helping clean up the oil slick in the Gulf.
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A small Plano company is helping to clean up the massive oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.

L.B. Hunt Industrial and Equipment Services' small fleet of new vacuum trucks are helping offload oil from barges off the coast of Alabama.

"They put us down by the ship channel, and all we do is, when the barges come in, they'll offload the oil," said Bob Elkin, the company's executive director. "And then you've got a line of trucks, and those trucks are going in, getting full, going dumping, getting back in line, and it's just one big circle its going constantly."

From there, the oil is taken to nearby refineries.

All five of the company's trucks and operators are on Dauphin Island, which is off the coast of Mobile, Ala.

"They've got people everywhere," Elkin said. "The island's covered with people."

L.B. Hunt is working for another company that is working for BP. Because there's so much work, L.B. Hunt is even looking to buy five more vacuum trucks to send to the Gulf.

"The enormity of the situation is just how much money and manpower this is," Elkin said. "It's unbelievable, because not just anybody showing up in a truck and go and do something. You have to have certain safety guidelines, (and) you've got to be trained."

At first, the company was told its trucks might be needed for a few days, then a few months. Now Elkin's been told to plan on up to a year.

"Down there, it seems like everybody has got the same goal, and that's: Let's get this cleaned up no matter how long it takes. Let's put all the manpower we can into it," Elkin said.

L.B. Hunt is just more than a year old and is tackling its biggest project yet.

"We've always been just a little bitty company that works really hard to try to leave the Earth a little better than we found it," Elkin said.

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