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by Annette Joyce
June 19, 2006

“It’s just junk,” says Thad Loftin with an impish grin. He’s talking about the stuff he hauls away for both his residential and business customers. But don’t be fooled. As the owner of Junkyard Dogs, Thad is very serious about providing his customers with the area’s most professional, efficient and affordable junk removal service.

Through Junkyard Dogs, Thad helps people get rid of the debris in their lives. “We handle just about anything,” he says. “That includes everything from removing clutter from basements and attics to tearing apart old sheds and above-ground swimming pools.”

Before opening Junkyard Dogs a few months ago, Thad was searching for a business that would utilize his experience. “I was a foreman for a construction company in Raleigh and part of my job was demolishing and moving existing structures,” he says. “I also spent four years working at UPS, loading trucks, averaging between 1,200 and 1,400 packages a night.”

While those jobs helped prepare him for the manual labor, he had little preparation for becoming a business owner. According to Thad, he put his trust in God and everything has fallen into place. “The whole world of business has opened to me in ways I never thought possible,” he says.

Suddenly he was writing a business plan, thinking about marketing ideas and looking at logos. With the help of Fisher Studios, a small local ad agency, Thad now has a striking logo that features his canine mascot Rusty. The logo and vital contact information are emblazoned on the company’s shiny black truck. This moving billboard is also equipped with a public address system that barks “junk, junk, junk, gone” when a job is complete.

Thad has been careful to create a company image that depicts the kind of quality service that he seeks to provide. At Junkyard Dogs, that service focuses on giving customers a hassle-free way to get rid of their junk. “We’re a point-and-click business,” says Thad. “You point, our heels click and your junk is downloaded to a more appropriate site.”

Thad is quick to point out that the local landfill is not what he considers an “appropriate site.” Junkyard Dogs recycles as much as possible. For example, scrap metal is taken to a local demolition company and furniture is donated to the Lutheran Family Services and the United Way.

As for that old office equipment - computers, printers, monitors and ink cartridges - Thad is finalizing plans for a division of his company to handle these products. “E-Cycling, which is the name of the new division, will concentrate on finding homes for this used equipment,” he explains. “A lot of companies have replaced outdated equipment that’s still perfectly good. Some of these same companies may be even paying for storage to house items they’re never going to use again. E-Cycling gives them a way to put these products to good use.”

Thad wants people to feel comfortable about working with Junkyard Dogs. He carefully screens his employees, and everyone is bonded and insured. So far, his business is booming and he’s already considering the addition of a second truck to ensure that he continues to provide timely service.

Having just turned 40 this year, Thad admits that, by most standards, his life has been a bit backward. Unlike most couples who retire and travel, Thad and his wife Leigh decided to do that at the beginning of their relationship. “Although we both had great jobs, we had no children and very little responsibility,” he says. “We were nomads, finding jobs as we went.”

With their roots in North Carolina - Thad is from Raleigh and Leigh is a Winston-Salem native - the couple moved to northwest Greensboro five years ago to be near their families. While Junkyard Dogs keeps Thad busy, Leigh manages the office of the Volunteer Center of Greensboro. The couple has two daughters, Georgia Maree, 3, and Juliette Taylor, 10 months. The Loftins are members of Muirs Chapel United Methodist Church.

 

   
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