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(Photo: Grunder Landscaping Co.)

Marty Grunder says Grunder Landscaping Co.’s best advertising is the operation’s fleet of vehicles. (Photo: Grunder Landscaping Co.)

It’s hard to believe that it’s mid-August already. I hope you made time to relax and recharge this summer. If I had three wishes for everyone reading this blog this week, it would be that you were able to spend time with your loved ones this summer, that your companies are on track to hit all your goals and that you’re thinking ahead already to what next year can look like.

With supply chain issues still abundant, landscape professionals are planning even farther ahead on their equipment purchases to make sure we have what we need to do the business we’re able to sell. I know my own team is having a hard time finding new vehicles for our sales team, and we’re waiting much longer for deliveries of work trucks.

If you’ve been following me for some time, you know that my philosophy is that trucks are tools for our success. Which vehicles we operate, why we choose them and how we organize them all impact our companies’ productivity.

What we use at Grunder Landscaping Co.

Trucks are some of our most effective advertising, and at GLC all of our trucks are our signature Grunder-green with clean, white lettering on them.

One of our go-to setups for design/build work is a Kenworth cab-chassis truck, painted in our signature Grunder green with clear branding. Custom-designed toolboxes and side boxes for additional storage are an important part of our design. There is a place for everything so our team can stay neat and keep track of their tools. In case multiple crews are on the same job site, we color code our tools according to the truck they go on to make it easy to track what goes back with which crew. Team leaders are accountable for the equipment on their trucks, and while things break, we expect them to keep track of what we equip them with.

All in all, we want our team leaders to focus on getting out to the job site and getting to work as quickly as possible. We don’t want them worried about grabbing a shovel or a gas can — that’s all already on the truck. The goal is to drive down the indirect time we’re not getting paid for as much as possible and improve each crew’s efficiency.

Safety is also core to who we are as a company, and you’ll see some safety features in every truck we put on the road. Our trucks have built-in roll-out tarps attached to the top of the cabs to cover and secure debris, liftgates to reduce injuries from loading and unloading materials, and pintle hitches to securely attach a trailer.

Our truck designs aren’t something we came up with overnight, and in the early years, we had to do things like buying used trucks to be able to make it work financially. If you want to make changes to your fleet, start making improvements on the next truck you buy. It’s taken us nearly 40 years to get to this point, and we’re still always tweaking and refining the equipment to make sure what we’re using is the best option for the work we’re doing. Feel free to take any of these ideas from us and put them to work for you. I know I’ve taken ideas from many of my peers and friends in the industry over the years.

What changes can you make to your vehicles to set up your team for success?

For more information about purchasing trucks, join me at an upcoming virtual training session: “Trucking to Success: Trucks and Equipment Purchasing for Landscaping Companies,” on Sept. 29, 2022. Learn more at growgroupinc.com/trucking-to-success.

Marty Grunder

About the Author:

Marty Grunder is president and CEO of Grunder Landscaping Co. and The Grow Group, based in Dayton, Ohio.

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