As originally posted in Modern Work Truck Solutions
Are you looking to get into the LANDSCAPING business? Have you recently started your business and gearing up for growth? Or are you a seasoned landscaper, ready to expand even more or simply looking for additional ways to keep an efficient business? No matter where you lie on the spectrum, Marty Nelson of Monroe Truck Equipment is here to help answer all your questions.
MWS: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KEEP A WELL-ORGANIZED LANDSCAPING VEHICLE?
NELSON: A well-organized landscape vehicle is critical for jobsite preparedness and to make sure you have the right tools for the project and for any unforeseen needs. Tools need to be easily found and easily stored. Space should be maximized to accommodate equipment from riding mowers, leaf blowers, and trimmers to rakes and shovels.
A well-organized vehicle is especially important if the landscaper offers diverse services. A properly set-up truck will allow the landscaper to bring everything to the jobsite at once and concentrate on work that creates revenue, rather than spending time searching for or sorting tools. A truck with the right storage solutions will ensure a landscaper has everything they need on the job and they can avoid going back to the shop for additional tools or equipment.
Efficiency is the name of the game with landscape services in order to manage time and properly store equipment to avoid damage in transport.
MWS: WHAT ARE TRENDS YOU’RE SEEING IN THE LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY?
NELSON: Currently, we are seeing a trend toward value-added body options, which provide landscapers with a broader selection of options to meet their needs. Many are also choosing truck bodies that reduce weight to “right size” the chassis. This allows them to operate smaller, less expensive chassis or to increase payload to allow for more equipment or material to be hauled in the truck and on a trailer.
In colder climates these trucks also serve a dual purpose as a landscape truck in the warmer months and then turn into snow removal trucks in the winter. Having a truck that is versatile enough to function year round can mean added income generation and profit for their business. Customizing the landscape body to your specific business can benefit your business in many ways; it keeps your truck operating and your equipment protected.
MWS: HOW IMPORTANT IS SAFETY WHEN IT COMES TO TRANSPORTING LANDSCAPING EQUIPMENT, AND HOW CAN A CERTAIN BODY/PRODUCT MAKE EMPLOYEES AND EQUIPMENT SAFER?
NELSON: With any commercial truck user, safety is always a factor in fleet management. Many landscaping businesses have fleets of trucks that head to jobsites loaded with landscaping materials, equipment, tools, and a crew of workers—sometimes while pulling a loaded trailer.
Selecting the right truck and body combination is a key factor in safely operating these trucks. Overloading the truck or an improper hitch setup can be costly for a business in liability if they cause an accident, lost equipment, or injury to workers or others.
Every aspect of a landscape truck needs to be taken into consideration to have it safely operate on the road. Some of the options we often recommend are ladders and grab handles that allow for safe entry and exit from the body and tarp kits to keep material from blowing out, causing a potential accident or damaging another car on the road.
MWS: HOW CAN YOU DETERMINE THE BEST TRUCK FOR THE JOB? THE BEST BODY FOR THE JOB?
NELSON: Functions including tool storage, types of materials to be hauled, body hoisting, trailer capacities, equipment needs, and safety aspects all are part of putting a great truck together. Each of these factors need to be considered individually in order to determine the right gross vehicle weight class truck and body needs before we can determine which body will fit on the truck.
The truth is each company has different business goals, strengths, and services that require slightly different features to build a perfect truck. When buying a landscape truck, I recommend partnering with a truck upfitter, like Monroe Truck Equipment, to discuss the several options that need to be considered. Your representative should have the knowledge and expertise to sort out your needs and guide you toward the best options for your business.
Marty Nelson is the account manager of the fleet and commercial division at Monroe Truck Equipment. For over 24 years, Marty has helped automotive dealerships, distributors, fleet managers, and end users invest in the truck body and commercial equipment parts that will help reach their business goals and find great success in day-to-day operations.