For those in the landscaping business, it might be tempting to take it easy in the winter months when business is slow. But Chris Brininstool, a LawnStarter professional, says the slower winter months are the best time to plan ahead. Here, he shares his insights concerning organization, industry trends, and spring prep.
MWS: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KEEP A WELL-ORGANIZED LANDSCAPING VEHICLE OR DOES ORGANIZATION MATTER MUCH FOR SMOOTH LANDSCAPING OPERATIONS?
BRININSTOOL: Keeping a well-organized vehicle is essential when you are dealing with so many different tasks on a daily basis. So yes, it’s important. When you have so many tools you have to know which equipment to have on board for the requirements of each job on a daily basis. Keeping an organized truck also prevents loss of equipment and ensures you and your employees are prepared for the tasks at hand.
MWS: WHAT KIND OF TRUCK/VAN DO YOU USE ON A DAILY BASIS?
BRININSTOOL: I have predominantly used a 2011 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 4×4 truck for my work needs. I also use a 2011 Toyota Tacoma on occasion for some of my lighter-duty work. When using the Tundra, I pull a 16-ft Belmont utility trailer with my equipment on it.
MWS: HOW IMPORTANT IS SAFETY WHEN IT COMES TO TRANSPORTING LANDSCAPING EQUIPMENT? ARE THERE CERTAIN PRODUCTS YOU USE TO HELP KEEP EMPLOYEES AND EQUIPMENT SAFE?
BRININSTOOL: It’s very important to secure your equipment while transporting it. It prevents the equipment from becoming damaged or causing damage in the event of an accident. I use tow straps to hold down my equipment and tarps when transporting debris and/or equipment.
MWS: WHAT ARE TRENDS YOU’RE SEEING IN THE LANDSCAPING INDUSTRY? ARE CUSTOMERS ASKING FOR ANYTHING SPECIFIC THAT REQUIRES DIFFERENT TOOLS?
BRININSTOOL: Other than the usual trends, I’ve had no requests outside of what I usually offer. I’ve not had the need to purchase anything special to facilitate the jobs.
MWS: IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO START PLANNING FOR SPRING. WHAT TIPS CAN YOU SHARE TO HELP LANDSCAPERS GET AHEAD OF THE BUSY SEASON?
BRININSTOOL: Preparing for the spring starts in the winter, in my opinion. I like to have all of my equipment worked on and ready to go at the first sign of spring. I check on equipment that needs repair and make sure the repair is completed. Also I make sure all of my trailers are inspected and the tires are all good—including a spare. Water for myself and employees is also essential in the hot summer months. So I load up on cases of water in preparation for the spring and summer months.
MWS: ARE YOU SEEING ANY TRENDS IN THE INDUSTRY, AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY SIGNAL FOR THE MARKET IN THE FUTURE?
BRININSTOOL: The only trend I’ve noticed is environmentally here in Virginia. The spring seasons are starting sooner due to the warmer weather trends. I’ve also noticed more customers switching to weekly lawn service to maintain a better appearance for their lawns through the hot summer months.
MWS: ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS?
BRININSTOOL: Additionally, having a platform like LawnStarter would be helpful and critical for any professional to stay organized, on task, and give you the ability to grow your business to greater levels.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
LawnStarter professional, Chris Brininstool of Hopewell, Virginia, has been in lawn care and landscaping for 13 years. Brininstool has been with LawnStarter for the past three years. LawnStarter connects landscaping professionals with clients all across the nation. LawnStarter helps landscapers find, schedule, and take care of clients and customers. Find out more, visit www.lawnstarter.com.