Continuing a legacy of personal service at J&M Pump
‘If you’re out of water, we will be there for you.’
By Lauren Glendenning
Brought to you by J&M Pump
When Rick Holub sold his business, J&M Pump, to Robert Cockerham last fall, the men had plans to meet with clients to help Cockerham continue and build upon Holub’s very personal, face-to-face customer service.
Holub was a man about his community, and he ran his business that way, too, Cockerham said. Holub passed away suddenly at the end of January, leaving behind a legacy as a beloved community and business man. Now, Cockerham is focused on carrying the torch on the business side of things as he embarks on meeting with J&M Pump clients without Holub’s help to make the introductions.
“Rick was at every single job he ever did,” Cockerham said. “He began introducing us to J&M clients, but this was cut short due to his passing. Since we were chosen to purchase his business, we will work hard to continue with his legacy.”
Building and maintaining wells and water systems are critical services along Colorado’s Western Slope. When the water runs dry or something breaks, people need to know who they can call upon to show up and get the job done.
“We welcome emergency calls,” Cockerham said. “We have office personnel and we answer our calls.”
Cockerham owns Valley Pump Co., based out of Delta. For more than 30 years, Valley Pump Co. has serviced the areas in and around Delta and Montrose counties, as well as surrounding counties. He said the business models for the two pump companies he now owns are almost identical, including the markets served. Both regions include a wide-ranging customer base, from farmers and ranchers to commercial customers to high-end residential clients in Telluride and Aspen. Providing critical service that both regions can count on is Cockerham’s continued customer service priority.
Cockerham said his staff is educated annually beyond what the state of Colorado requires to maintain licensing.
“We’re required to get 8 hours of additional training per year, but we get about 30 to 40 hours each year,” he said.
Cockerham is keeping the J&M Pump name for his business in this valley, so you’ll still see his crews driving those trucks to job sites. He said the trucks will also be equipped with a lot of parts because he likes his crews to show up at jobs with everything they need.
“I have almost every pump available on every truck,” he said. “We haul a lot of parts with us because you have to be efficient.”
Don’t let the water run dry
Cockerham estimates that about 90 percent of the urgent calls that come in to pump companies are because people are out of water. While sometimes there are uncontrollable situations, he said his crews can get clients their water back while they’re there responding.
“When we get there, generally we’ve got the right pump on our trucks,” he said. ““If you’re out of water, we will be there for you — out-of-water calls go to the top of our list.” The best way to prevent these situations is to have annual checks done on all water systems to make sure everything is working properly. He said there’s nothing more disappointing for people than to show up at their vacation home for the holidays, with family and friends in tow, and run into a water supply issue.
This can be especially disruptive for homeowners, however, because water wells typically are not located in easy-to-access locations.
With the right annual maintenance, J&M Pump can increase the odds that customers aren’t interrupted by water issues. Crews can identify what needs to be done to the water system before the snow flies, saving the customer more money.
“It takes longer in the winter to do a job that would take half the time in the summer,” he said. “For residential maintenance, once a year is probably adequate.”