PolyJohn’s Portable Toilets Buying Guide: Helpful Insight for When You’re Looking for Portable Toilets for Sale

In the portable sanitation industry, your business depends on making good choices. It’s a competitive marketplace, and there are numerous varieties of portable toilets for sale from a handful of proven manufacturers. Simply put, the process of choosing a portable restroom supplier can be overwhelming. If you are looking to buy portable toilet units, accessories and supplies, it’s important to do your homework and make sure you are an informed buyer.

If you are looking to buy portable toilet units, accessories and supplies, it’s important to do your homework and make sure you are an informed buyer.


PolyJohn’s Portable Toilets Buying Guide is a great place to start. We are always looking for ways to improve and innovate, so we regularly compare and review our products and service to others in the industry. We compile information, perform numerous engineering tests, analyze data and listen to you, the “voice of the customer.”

How does our Buying Guide help when you’re searching for portable toilets for sale? Our goal is to give you the information that will help you make the best decisions. This particular guide is a condensed version of our much larger Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy Your Portable Sanitation Equipment, which will be available soon. What you’re reading right now is an overview that is approximately a quarter of the size of the big guide. We encourage you to keep reading this guide as part of your initial research and then download and read the complete, more in-depth Buyer’s Guide (once it goes live) when you are ready to get serious about buying portable toilets.

We’ve identified 10 benefits to look for when comparing portable toilets for sale, and they are the focus of this guide.

We back our products and service 100%, and we hope you choose PolyJohn. However, it’s your choice, and we want you to choose with confidence. We want the portable sanitation industry to thrive, which is why we provide those working in or thinking about entering the industry with information that will help them make informed decisions.


1. Manufacturing

The basic foundation of the quality of a product is how it is manufactured. Portable bathrooms for sale made by different suppliers can be similar, but they may have been made in different ways. The differences can be significant.

Manufacturing portable sanitation products requires skilled, experienced craftsmen using a complex series of processes and advanced technology. The most important of these processes are:

  • Sheet Extrusion
  • Thermoforming
  • Rotational Molding
  • Injection Molding
  • Metal Fabrication
  • CNC Machining
  • Blow Molding
  • Vacuum Forming

Manufacturing at PolyJohn takes place in our 100,000-square-foot main manufacturing facility in Whiting, Indiana, as well as in our facility in Canada.

Here’s our process:

  1. Polyethylene resin pellets are delivered to the plastic forming machinery. We mix in proprietary, best-in-the-business color, ultra-violet (UV) protection and other additives. Careful consideration is given to our polymers. Pigmented colors are scrutinized for heat and light stability. The UV additives provide UV radiation resistance for long-lasting life.

  2. Our sheet extrusion department takes the raw material feedstocks to create the longest-lasting, most color-stable, precise-gauge plastic sheet. We can perfectly control color consistency, width and strength.

  3. In the thermoforming department, sides, roofs, fronts and doors are made from the sheets. The panels are drilled and cut in an automated fixture table designed and built by PolyJohn engineers. With this equipment, we have mastered the science of creating consistent results. Excess material is recycled. Door panels have steel door pillars inserted for added structural integrity.

  4. The rotational molding (roto-molding) department makes evenly uniform, stress-free plastic bases, tanks, sinks, holding tanks, PolyLift bodies and other large, hollow parts.

  5. Smaller parts are manufactured through injection molding and CNC machining with five-axis capability. The five-axis capability, in addition to creating production parts, allows us to make models and prototypes for future product development.

  6. All finished parts are brought together into the unit assembly department. Units are assembled, cleaned and inspected, ready to be shipped. Our units are also shipped to and assembled in one of our many warehouses. Many of the tools, molds and fixture tables are designed, built and maintained by PolyJohn

  7. Finally, the shipping department is where orders are staged, checked and shipped.

PolyJohn engineers, each with decades of experience in the industry, are responsible for continuous improvement in the plant, the product line and new product development. All PolyJohn products and parts are manufactured in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations.


2. Durability

How important is durability when you buy portable toilet units? When looking to buy portable toilets, “you get what you pay for” is a caution. At PolyJohn, it’s a promise. You’ll experience PolyJohn toughness in many ways of daily use. Durability is in the details! The corners are easy to handle and strong for repeated strapping for transport. The door doesn’t sag and stays centered in the frame. It closes firmly. (Doors are a good indicator of durability. They will let you know if they are wearing down by creaking!) Panel thickness and color are uniform. Hinges don’t warp, and the door spring tension is consistent. Rivets don’t snap under normal use. Parts feel substantial, not flimsy.

If you’ve ever worked with a unit that isn’t built to last, you’ll truly appreciate the steady performance of PolyJohn. You’ll appreciate not constantly ordering parts and making repairs on the fly. You’ll appreciate customer compliments instead of customer complaints.

As part of our research, we regularly perform durability tests on our products and those of our competition. We have found that competitors’ products perform well on average. They have their pros and cons. But overall, PolyJohn outperforms the rest.

You may spend more initially for a PolyJohn portable, but it pays off in the long run because our track record shows that our products are built for a marathon, not a sprint. The cost of units is one of your largest expenses. So, when your PolyJohn unit is a steady performer year after year, and you don’t have to replace it, you’ll see how your initial investment becomes one of your smartest purchasing decisions.


3. Better Parts, High-Quality Parts

Every day, every PolyJohn unit proves its superior quality in hundreds of ways – in the parts we use. The integrity of our products is dependent on the reliability of their parts. From the smallest toilet seat hardware 

The PolyJohn assembly team ensures every portable bathroom for sale is durable and will last for the largest side panels, PolyJohn parts are the best. We certify the quality by manufacturing most of our own parts or purchasing parts only when they meet our high standards.

A good example is our use of aluminum door jambs. Once the standard of the industry for their toughness, aluminum jambs practically disappeared as other manufacturers turned to plastic jambs that were easier and cheaper to manufacture. Plastic jambs are effective (we use them in certain circumstances), but for door frames that stay strong and true above the rest, we go “old-school” with metal jambs.

Screens also separate PolyJohn from the crowd because they are separate parts. Other manufacturers create panels with integral screens using a router, resulting in various degrees of quality due to burring. At PolyJohn, we have always felt it was worth manufacturing screens as a separate component to allow for customization as well as easy repair or replacement.

Much of the credit goes to our assembly department. Every member of the assembly team is long on experience and dedicated to their craft. They ensure every portable bathroom for sale from PolyJohn is durable and will last for years.


4. Designed with Your Business in Mind

PolyJohn and other manufacturers design and engineer portable toilets for sale with two users in mind – the public, and you, the portable restroom operator (PRO). For the public, restrooms are designed to be sanitary, comfortable and easy to use. For the PRO, units are designed to be as easy as possible to clean, maintain and transport.

All standard, popular models of portable restrooms accomplish these two goals. The differences are found in the design features. PolyJohn’s resourceful engineering makes all the details count. Our unique combination of design features appeal to both user and operator without compromising either.Portable toilets for sale are designed and engineered with two users in mind – the public, and you, the portable restroom operator (PRO).

PolyJohn design benefits greatly from “Voice of the Customer” input. That means you. We maintain close contact with the PROs who use our products, and we have drawn on their experiences over the years to fine-tune our models. Our company is staffed with many former PROs with years of ownership experience. To view video overviews of our products, click here.

You can see and feel the design quality every day in the sturdiness, ergonomic handling, reliability, visual aesthetics, easy cleaning and the list of satisfied customers that grows with every season.

Portable sanitation products are long-term investments, so don’t short-change the amount of time you put into making the right choices. When planning a product purchase, research the websites of the manufacturers and talk to their sales representatives. You should also reach out to other operators in and around your service area.


5. Warranty on the Portable Bathroom for Sale

How important is the warranty when shopping for a portable bathroom for sale? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that you compare warranty coverage just as you compare the style, price and other characteristics of products. (Note, however, that when trying to make comparisons of portable toilets for sale, some manufacturers don’t provide warranty information on their websites.) PolyJohn warrants the major plastic parts of our portable restrooms (plastic front, wall panels, roof and tank) against any breakage or other problems that prevent it from functioning with usual practices and in their intended manner. Our warranty covers any damages in material or workmanship for a total period of 3 years (36 months). The value of our warranty is in its three-year timeframe and in its 100% coverage for the full term.

When comparing warranties as suggested by the FTC, watch for warranties that offer pro-rated coverage. The PolyJohn warranty is not pro-rated.

For example, with a pro-rated 10-year (120-month) warranty, every month, the value of the replacement may drop by 1/120. So, in 30 months, or less than 3 years (30/120), the warranty covers only 75%. The units’ warranted parts have already lost 25% of their value.

A pro-rated warranty might also be expressed in years, but the decline in value is similar. For the first year or two of the warranty, it may cover 100%. But by the third year, the economic value may drop by as much as a third, and within five years, as much as 90%.

The PolyJohn warranty is 100% from day one and stays 100% for the full 3 years, making it the strongest warranty in the industry.


6. Know the Company You Buy Portable Toilet Units From

At PolyJohn, our team knows the operators we work with.

We’ve seen how proud operators are when their children work with them, learning the business from the ground up, taking on more responsibility as they mature. We’ve seen the next generation taking over from the founder, expanding the business and reaching new heights of success.

We know exactly how you feel and how ownership drives you to run your business because we’ve lived the experience. PolyJohn is a family-owned and operated business. It was co-founded by Ed Cooper in 1984. Today, Ed’s sons are in charge. Mike Cooper is the CEO and President, and Ken Cooper is the Vice President. Mike’s sons Gus (Sales Representative) and Sam (Quality Control Engineer) represent the third generation.

PolyJohn is your choice when you’re looking to buy portable toilet units, accessories and supplies because we’re not owned by an investment management firm whose first responsibility is to make the most money for its investors. Our first responsibility is to our customers. We succeed by helping you succeed.


7. Service After the Sale

When choosing the portable sanitation products you buy, the quality of the service after the sale is just as important a consideration as the quality of the products themselves.

Among portable sanitation manufacturers, PolyJohn has the best after-sales service in the industry.

Integrated service

When you buy a portable toilet from PolyJohn, you get our entire team of portable sanitation experts to support you with all the resources we have to offer. We consider every interaction and communication with the customer as an opportunity to deliver service.

Our service is comprehensive and integrated. We’ve got you covered from every angle.

Here are some of the most significant aspects of PolyJohn after-sales service:

  • In our inventory department, we have literally thousands of ways to serve our customers, because we stock thousands of parts. This huge inventory of replacement parts includes "heritage parts" for older or discontinued products.

  • We have strategically located Service Centers for quick and economical delivery or pick-up of products. If you need to pick-up equipment after hours or on a weekend, we will be there when you need us!

  • When you need advice, answers or in-depth help, you can always rely on one of our area managers. They are seasoned and experienced professionals with hands-on industry experience to help you navigate just about any situation that you might face in your service business.

  • PolyJohn doesn’t use automated phone systems – you will talk to a real person. Not only are our customer service reps real, they are really experienced. A PolyJohn team member is always available to help with technical questions – and they stick with it until the problem is resolved.


8. Industry Expertise

When your business is on the line, there’s nothing better than relying on a trustworthy colleague who knows portable sanitation inside and out – someone who talks the language, is familiar with the details and knows how to use their knowledge to make your business better. That’s how we define an “expert.”

PolyJohn people are portable sanitation experts. We take great pride in their capabilities.

When you are looking for portable bathrooms for sale and reach out to PolyJohn, you have total access to our greatest resource – our knowledge and experience. PolyJohn expertise covers all aspects of portable sanitation, from maintenance and repair to troubleshooting, from business operations to customer relations. With every PolyJohn product, you get the best answers, advice and assistance in the industry.

Experts throughout the company

When you work with members of our team, whether they are customer service, regional sales, corporate or manufacturing, you’ll notice some common characteristics.

  • Many have been with PolyJohn for years

  • Many have had extensive experience in the industry before coming to PolyJohn

  • All are dedicated to PolyJohn and the portable sanitation industry

You can’t beat our years and years of experience

The success of any company depends on its people. PolyJohn people are our foundation and strength because they aren’t here to just collect a paycheck. The history of PolyJohn has shown that as our company has grown, our people have advanced professionally, and our customers have prospered.


9. The Company That Cares

Because we are one of the largest suppliers of portable sanitation equipment, it might be easy to think that we are a big, impersonal company or that we give more attention to big customers looking for portable toilets for sale than the little guys. Not true!

In fact, our staff isn’t that large, but more importantly, from the President on down, we know each other. We know each other’s families. We’re a close-knit group. We invest in that commitment to relationships with our customers as well.

Being blue-collar is a point of pride with PolyJohn. We put on our work gloves and do the same blue-collar jobs you do. Our jobs involve manufacturing, shipping, customer service and sales. We drive a truck or forklift, assemble parts and answer phones. We sometimes miss lunch, stay late or work weekends because that’s what it takes. We do for you exactly what you do for your customers.

We hear Mike Cooper say, “When our customers are successful, we’re successful” so often that it’s become our unofficial motto. We enjoy celebrating our customers’ successes as much as our own success as the industry’s manufacturing leader in portable sanitation products.

Some companies call all of this taking care of the “little things” or the “details.” We just call it taking care of our customers.


10. The Business Relationship

It all comes down to this – we’re there when you need us. When you buy portable toilets from PolyJohn, we put those words into action.

When Hurricane Harvey struck in August 2017, it became one of the costliest natural disasters ever, especially in Texas. It also caused a fuel shortage panic there in which people were buying gas cans and filling them and their vehicles almost every day. For one customer, Central Region Manager Elton Tamplin found a few cans of diesel and went on a 360-mile, 7-hour round trip with his wife on a late Saturday evening. Encountering many gas stations that had no fuel, they arrived at the customer’s site with the diesel he needed to run his routes. The grateful customer baked a pan of brownies that they snacked on coming back home.

In Portland, Oregon, Northwest Area Manager Terry Lievens received a call from a customer at 8:00 p.m. There was a forest fire, and the crew needed five more sinks at the site by 8:00 a.m. the next morning. There wasn’t enough time for the customer to send a truck. Terry drove 240 miles to make sure the customer received the sinks in time.

The relationship is part of the job.  It’s the all-important, one-to-one part, the personal commitment part, the “make-or-break” part. It’s a familiar pattern – we begin as salespersons, then become mentors and eventually friends. Our long-time customers tell us they stay with PolyJohn because they like the people they work with, and they know that we genuinely like them. It shows in our attitudes and our efforts. Sure, we’ll go the extra mile for a friend. Or even the extra 200 or 300 miles.

Shop for Portable Toilets for Sale Confidently

Today’s portable sanitation manufacturing industry is impressive. There is a wealth of well-made products, and the service is responsive. After reading this guide, we hope you agree that PolyJohn comes out on top. We’re proud to set the standard of quality in the industry.

We don’t claim to always have the lowest prices. But we do have the highest standards. Our goal is to deliver the highest return on your investment. We always have the highest regard for you as customers, colleagues and friends.

Hopefully, we’ve succeeded in educating you about buying portable toilets, or at the very least put you on the right path so you can continue to gather the important information you need.

Remember, you can learn even more by downloading Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy Your Portable Sanitation Equipment. It will be available soon — be on the lookout!

Good luck!