Archive for the ‘on the road’ Category
The L&L team spent yesterday participating in PLANET’s Day of Service to install plantings and mulch in front of the Valor Home, a residence for homeless veterans in Akron. (We left the retaining wall work to the real professionals.)
The credit for the project goes to Sandy Munley at OLA and James Arch from Vizmeg for coordinating the project and herding us like cats all day. And much thanks goes to the professional expertise of crews from Edenscape, J.A.G. Maintenance and Landscaping, Graf Growers and Impact Landscaping & Irrigation, who made sure we didn’t hurt ourselves or anyone else.
Additional labor and materials came from: Project Evergreen, Empaco, Davis Tree Farm & Nursery, Lake County Nursery, Gilson Gardens, Herman Losely & Son, Wiloway Nurseries, Kurtz Bros., Sagamore Soils, Unilock Ohio, Perrin Asphalt & Concrete, Davey Tree and Davey Nursery.
If your company did something for Day of Service, please send your photos, videos or stories to Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can include you in our coverage.
And make sure you download our app if you don’t have it yet – it’ll be chock full of photos of projects from across the country.
Over the weekend, my colleagues from Greenhouse Management and Garden Center magazines left our modest offices here on the near west side of the city for San Francisco and points south. They’re out west covering the California Spring Trials, an annual preview of the latest and greatest varieties that we’ll see on the market next spring.
For sun-starved Clevelanders, it’s a jolt of much needed sunshine and bright colors. To get your own fix, and get a jump on what’s coming down the pike, check out the team’s video coverage here and read their first eport from the road here.
One of the best things about working at L&L is our crack design team. They win lots of awards and make the stories we write come alive on the page (and in our app).
Landscapers don’t often hire graphic designers, but they need them more than you might think. Great logos, truck decals and business cards and the like help build a brand and make you stand out in the minds of prospective customers.
So how do you get great design without hiring a whole designer?
I was talking with Jim McCutcheon the other day, and he recommended Design Outpost. It’s a sort of crowdsourced design site that lets you submit your idea or request for a logo, say, and have it picked up by freelance designers from around the world.
It’s how Jim got a logo for his KnowWater program (above) in just a few days for a couple hundred bucks.
It’s definitely worth looking at if you need something designed fast and cheap, and don’t have the time or resources to keep a design team on retainer.
I’m on the road in Nashville this week attending Marty’s annual GROW! conference. Look for more coverage here and our other platforms shortly.
In the meantime, follow along on Twitter at #GROW2013.
I’m down in muggy Ft. Myers Florida this week attending the annual board meeting of Project Evergreen. The group is a non-profit dedicated to promoting the value of green spaces to consumers. They’re led by my good friend and former colleague here at L&L Cindy Code.
This year marks the group’s 10th anniversary, and in the last decade, it’s done a lot of cool projects and charitable work to improve blighted areas and raise the profile of the industry. But the main reason you should know PE is for its Green Care for Troops and Snow Care for Troops programs.
In a nutshell, PE works as a hub that connects families of deployed military with local landscapers, lawn care operators and (in the north) snow removal contractors to help maintain their properties while their loved one is serving away from home.
These two programs are really PE’s crown jewel, and I’d encourage you to sign up today. A small contribution of your time and talent for these miltary families is a any easy way to have a big impact.
Earlier this year, we sent Carolyn LaWell, one of our contributing editors, up to Detroit for a few days to get the latest on new technology and options available for work trucks in the landscaping industry. She filed this report for our November edition, and sent along a separate note about how contractors can best work with upfitters to get the most bang for their truck budget.
To completely understand the time and costs involved, consult with an upfitter before buying a cab chassis. The upfitter probably won’t spec the chassis or recommend what manufacturer to buy from, but they can offer advice.
“Since our sales staff works with many customers that have bought different brands of trucks, they may have an idea of what’s working better for some companies than others and what kind of features they have,” says Aaron Breitkreutz, a design drafter for Truck Bodies Equipment International (TBEI), the parent company for brands Crysteel, Ox Bodies, Rugby, DuraClass and J-Craft.
It’s important to go in with an idea of what the truck will be used for and what upgrades are necessary. It’s also important to keep an open mind and ask questions. “The upfitter may have a lot of different options that a normal customer doesn’t know about, but that would work great for them,” he says. “Ask a lot of questions.”
Another consideration is how much time the body might take to design, if necessary, and install. Breitkreutz says it could take at least four weeks for a custom design build and install job. “If they order their equipment from us around the same time they order their truck, it’s probably at our place for a week, a week and a half at the most,” he says.
No matter what, companies looking to purchase cabs with chassis will more than likely need to work with an upfitter.
“Almost all the time, a customer is going to buy a truck and have someone up-fit it for them,” Breitkreutz says. Dealers don’t want to purchase bodies and limit the number of customers that may be interested in the option sitting on the lot. “That’s just the way the economy is now. You don’t see stock trucks just going to a dealership already with a body on it.”
If you’re not in Louisville now for the GIC and GIE+EXPO (which start today), you can follow along with us throughout the week.
We’ll be sending out e-newsletter round-ups to readers starting tomorrow. They’ll have the latest product introductions, news from the show and the editors’ commentary. Watch your inbox for those.
Are you making the road trip to Louisville and putting together an awesome playlist (or mix tape/CD for those less-advanced technology-wise). Well I heard this song this weekend, and forgot how awesome it is. Too bad the band only put out two albums, one of those after Roy Orbison died. So enjoy and add this to your Louisville mix.