Rollins Landscape Co. extends SLT efficiency, savings and professionalism to their entire fleet
Between August 2011 and March 2012, Rollin Giesbrecht went from zero Super Lawn Trucks to 5 Super Lawn Trucks. He changed over his entire fleet from trucks and trailers.
Now, in 2013, Rollin has adopted the use of the Super Contractor Truck system into his company. This unique truck body design allows for a streamlined approach to landscape enhancements, seasonal color installation and topdressing lawns.
For each of his 4 maintenance crews Rollin chose SLT ECO Series 18′ boxes (enclosed van bodies) built on an Isuzu NPR Eco-Max chassis. For his install crew, Super Lawn Trucks modified a slightly larger (14,500 GVW) Isuzu NPR into an SLT dump truck (also known as the Super Landscape Truck).
Rollin says, “I did some research on Isuzu’s NPR Eco-Max and it looked like we could save some money on fuel costs and repairs by going with that truck.”
Even with financing 5 new trucks, he calculated his costs would have been about even with his truck/trailer expenses. ” I figured in the increased efficiency, fuel economy and greater visibility you get with Super Lawn Trucks. If we can even do 1 more job a day we’re way farther ahead. It just made sense to take the plunge.”
He bought his first Super Lawn Truck to see if it was everything he thought it would be, and wasn’t disappointed. He says, “I had everything penciled out. Once I tried it, I thought, ‘If that’s the smart thing to do, I might as well start saving on all the crews rather than just one.”
Trailers Built Cheaper & Cheaper
Rising maintenance costs for the enclosed trailers Rollin used were a significant factor in his decision to switch to Super Lawn Trucks. “When the economy went down, it seemed all the enclosed trailer manufacturers made them cheaper and cheaper.”
“It got to the point where it didn’t take anything to have a bent axle or broken spring. We tried buying heavy duty models, but we still always seemed to have a trailer breaking down.”
With his new trucks, Rollin hasn’t found maintenance to be an issue at all. “They work exceptionally well. It’s been very nice.”
Efficient Employees are Happy Employees
Rollin says no breakdowns is just one of the factors that has noticeably improved employee morale. “They enjoy driving that truck. It makes it easier for them to do their job, so I think that makes them feel better about the work environment.
“It wasn’t uncommon for us to not quite have everything we needed in the trailer because we didn’t have enough space for it. Now they have a power inverter where they can plug in a hand-held grinder if they need to sharpen a lawn mower blade. The guys have a microwave oven mounted in the SLT truck that they plug in there, too.
“What I like best is our improved efficiency. Now instead of having gas cans setting on the floor, we just pull the machine up to the truck and fill it up. We’re not spilling fuel or having gas cans run over.
“Now we can keep plenty of irrigation supplies with us. Before we had 1 little irrigation kit that might have 2 turf rotors, a pop-up spray head and some tips. Now we’re doing more service in fewer trips because the crew can take care of things like a busted pipe while they’re already on the property rather than us sending another crew in there later to take care of it.”
In addition to irrigation supplies, his trucks typically haul a 60″ Exmark, a 42″ Walker, a trim mower, 2 string trimmers, 1 edger, 2 backpack blowers, 2 handheld blowers, 3 backpack sprayers and hand tools.
Modifications to Trucks
On the last 2 maintenance trucks Rollin added under-body tool boxes and high volume fuel pumps to his list of options. “We got the tool boxes so that when they pick someone up the guys can throw water jugs and lunch pails in there and hop in without having to open up the ramp. We also got the faster pumps to reduce back blower fill-ups from 30 seconds down to 10 seconds.”
Rollin says they added a few of their own ideas for shelving/cabinets and so they installed those things themselves. “We bought a 50′ hose reel that flows right into our truck-mounted air compressor. It’s retractable so we pull it out and use it. Then it winds back up.” (SLT customized options are available for most models.)
The SLT Dump Truck
With Rollin’s new SLT maintenance trucks being built for efficiency, it made sense to do the same for his landscape installation truck. Super Lawn Trucks worked with him to configure a truck to suit his crew’s needs.
Rollin’s installation SLT has a separate storage compartment behind the cab and a dump bed behind the storage area. Below the storage area are Super Lawn Trucks fuel pumps that keep the crew on the job, not visiting the gas station.
The storage area is roughly 24″ deep and slightly taller than the cab. They use it to store hand tools so they don’t have to load them up every morning. The 12′ dump bed has 24″ sides and equipment ramps stowed underneath. The dump is used primarily for jobsite cleanup while a different dump truck hauls materials.
The SLT dump truck usually pulls a trailer carrying construction equipment. But for small jobs, they ditch the trailer, pull out the ramps and drive their Dingo mini-skid steer right in the dump. Rollin says, “It works great.”
What Image Do You Want to Project?
On all Rollin’s trucks he went the extra mile and ordered Super Lawn Trucks Chrome wheel simulators at $595 per truck. He says it really has to do with the kind of image you want to project.
“Service-wise, we’re not doing a lot different than a lot of other companies. It doesn’t take that much to do a decent job of mowing, trimming and edging everything. But when our guys get out of that nice truck and they’re in neat uniforms and no one’s smoking… it sets us apart. We’ve had several managers for commercial jobs tell us they appreciate our professionalism.
“I ran into a guy I knew from a few years ago. He said, ‘When I saw that truck, I thought: That’s definitely not someone who’s going to be around one year and gone the next. It’s someone making a profession of it.’ There is definitely value in the appearance of these trucks.”
Take Rollin’s Advice
Don’t wait for years to invest in a productivity enhancing Super Lawn Truck system. Start saving money and turning heads while your enclosed body serves as your warehouse on wheels. Your landscape company will kick start growth and ramp up profitability with the Super Lawn Truck system. You can get started by requesting a quote by clicking here.
Or just give Super Lawn Technologies a call at 866-923-0027.