About Handy-Can

Origin Story

Handy Can’s story started when they recognized the need for compliance trailers in the agriculture industry. Then, what started as a need to accommodate their agricultural customers blossomed into a multi faceted service company that puts service above anything else. From single unit portable restrooms for parties and such to elite multi-unit air conditioned hospitality trailers for all types of occasions and corporate events, Handy Can is equipped to make it happen fast and easy for you.

Handy Can owners, Steve Michalec and Alan Garbrecht know that portable toilets aren’t glamorous, but their both dead serious about the quality of service they provide to the agricultural community in Hillsborough County, Plant City, Dover, Ruskin, Wimauma and neighboring Polk County and the surrounding Central Florida area. “This business is essential to the local farmers and one minor violation can be the difference in a grower having a good season or a bad one, says Michalec. “We take extreme pride in making farmers compliant and making it one less thing they have to worry about.”

Michalec and Garbrecht purchased the business and Handy Can has grown by over 300% the last three years. Handy Can is expecting similar growth this season. Having a great relationship with the local farming community, made things easier.

Currently Handy Can has 1,000 portable restroom units in the field and is looking to expand. While expansion is a priority, the development and service of existing units is one of the most important aspects of their business.

“It starts and ends with service, period,” says Garbrecht. “The reason we have been able to grow in a recession is because we genuinely care about our customers. In business in general, but especially this business, relationships and how we treat our customers is what determines our success or failure.”

A technological addition that Handy Can has recently into place is a GPSscanningtracking system. Handy Can’s drivers deliver the recorddataportable restroom units, then after placing and setting up, the driver scans a barcode that is placed on each porta-potty unit.

This gives the company and the farmer specific details of the porta-john unit and makes for much easier paperwork follow-up when preparing for an audit.

Trace McQuaig from Astin Farms loves the new technology. “The fact is they are innovators in this business and it seems the service gets better every year.” McQuaig said. “We saw them in a field next to us one day and we weren’t happy with the company we had been using. So, I gave them a call and have been with them ever since. They’ve been a big help to us and lot of other folks I know.”

Another feature helping to set their business apart from the competition is catch trays under Handy Can’s porta-john units. “That idea actually came from talking to some inspectors and farmers,” Michalec said. “In discussing ways and ideas to improve our business, a question was brought up about what to do in the event of a leak or failure. We thought about it and came up with the idea of welding a catch pan under each compliance trailerto prevent any farm contamination in the event of a problem. A lot of ideas and practices we use come from come directly from our customers.”

State regulations for food safety on farms have come a long way over the last 20 years. What once was an afterthought is now one of the top priorities in agriculture. One slip in the sanitation end can not only cost the farmer thousands of dollars in fines but also lose tens of thousands in sales from buyers who want to see safety audits before making deals to buy produce.

Michalec and Garbrecht both credit their employees with much of their success. “The bottom line is that we are only as good as our employees who are out in the field servicing the customer on a daily basis,” Garbrecht said. “There’s not a lot of glamour in this line of work and it can get mundane at times. Our dedicated staff shows up day after day and gives 110 percent. We are blessed to have the crew we have.”

While growth is important to the owners of Handy Can, the quality of service will always be their top priority. “Something we decided a long time ago, and have stuck to is personal service,” Michalec says. “A customer is never going to call and get put on hold by some automated answering service. I want everyone to speak to a real person and know how important their business is to Handy Can.