Johnstown, Pennsylvania-based GapVax Inc. opened the doors to its 250,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility to its customers, distributors and partners Sept. 26 for its annual open house.

More than 125 people attended the event, which also served as a 30th anniversary celebration for the company that manufactures sewer cleaning and vacuum excavation equipment for municipalities, utilities and contractors worldwide. Founded in 1989, by Rose and Gary Poborsky, the company now employs 120 and is growing.

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Though GapVax is only 30-years-old, Gary and Rose have been involved in the industrial vacuuming industry since the late 1970s when they began GAP Pollution & Environmental Control, which they still own and operate today.

The transition to manufacturing began by modifying their own trucks when suggestions for improvements were ignored by the manufacturers. This soon morphed into the creation of GapVax where trucks were initially built at the GAP P.E.C. facility before moving to leased space from the Bethlehem Steel Co. Eventually, GapVax would purchase the Bethlehem Steel facility on Central Avenue. Today, GapVax is making upgrades to the buildings to meet the company’s growing manufacturing needs.

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In addition to plant tours, the open house included a catered lunch, technical presentations from PA One Call and Mtech, a demo of the GJET jetter truck and Sewer Pro Shop’s Bluestar nozzles and a demo of the GapVax HV-56 hydroexcavator and Bald Eagle Pellet Co. The latter provides wood pellets for the absorption and solidification of materials in the hydroexcavator’s spoils tank.

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Vendor partners with displays at the event included Sewer Pro Shop and Bald Eagle Pellet Co., as well as Hunter Truck, Custom Hoists Inc., Giant, Hibon, Colours Inc., General Pump, Hannay Reels, Legacy Truck Centers Inc. Sourcewell, RitterTech-PA, Vanair, All Covered: IT Services from Konica Minolta, Tri County Motor Sales, Whelen, People’s United Equipment Finance Corp., Hydra-Flex and Ringler Motors.

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In addition to tours, technical sessions and networking, the open house included two live demos. Above, GapVax employees demo the GapVax HV-56 wet/dry vacuum truck along with Bald Eagle Pellets. Below, Sewer Pro Shop demonstrates a variety of nozzles using a GapVax GJet truck.

GapVax Jetter Truck

GapVax 2019 Open House

GapVax owners Rose and Gary Poborsky thank the visitors for attending the company’s third annual open house before announcing the winners of the raffle prizes.

GapVax Dealer Map

GapVax 30 Years Cake