Field Report – January 20081

Jeffrey C. Moen, owner of Jeff’s Landscaping in Reynolds, North Dakota, has won Total Landscape Care magazine’s 2007 Landscaper’s Dream Package. Moen’s crew was on hand as he accepted the key to his New Holland skid steer at New Holland Construction in Fargo, North Dakota.

“Thanks!” Moen exclaimed. “This couldn’t have come at a better time as I’m just wrapping up my second full year of business. My dad has a New Holland machine, and I can’t wait to put this one to work!”

Jeff’s Landscaping offers its customers lawn aeration, lawn overseeding, soil conditioning, yard reshaping, aerial tree trimming, hedge trimming, ornamental shrub trimming and chipper/shredding.

In addition to the skid steer, Moen won a Snapper Pro zero-turn mower, Dolmar power products, and other brand-new landscaping equipment including a Giant Vac walk-behind blower, turf and ornamental products from Quali-Pro, specialty products and a spreader from Lebanon Turf and business management software from CLIP Software.
~ Staff report

Fleet managers to implement fuel-efficient driving techniques
Fleet managers from across the country applied valuable fuel saving techniques to improve their mileage 33.6 percent to 40.5 percent during a fuel economy challenge. The three-day event, held by Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, was a combination seminar and hands-on driving experience.

Areas covered in the seminar included: vehicle-running resistance, fuel-efficient driving techniques, exhaust brake usage, minimizing idle time, route scheduling and vehicle maintenance. After driving 2008 Isuzu trucks on a special course, the managers attended a training session and then drove the same course again, utilizing the techniques to reduce their fuel usage.

“We invited some of our customers to attend this event because we knew they would learn some valuable fuel conservation techniques,” says Russell Cayse, manager, medium duty truck acquisition for Enterprise Commercial Trucks. “With today’s high fuel prices, fleets are looking for opportunities to reduce costs. Our approach will be to help our customers train and motivate their drivers to conserve fuel with proper driving techniques.”

Victoria Dahlquist, director of fleet operations for Valley Crest Landscaping, manages a fleet of 4,000 gas-powered vehicles operating in 21 states. She improved her mileage by 35 percent after the training, and says she’ll be looking to implement such techniques on a system-wide basis for her company.

Luis Ochoa, vice president of DLC Resources in Phoenix, improved his mileage by 40 percent. He plans to develop a reward program for his company, featuring raffle prizes as incentives to motivate good driving habits. The largest commercial landscaping maintenance contractor in Arizona, DLC operates 160 vehicles and has an annual fuel bill exceeding $800,000.

“We’re anticipating saving 10 percent to 20 percent at a minimum,” Ochoa says.
~ Chris Hawk

Letters to the editor
Editor’s note: The two following letters are in response to Jack Roberts’ Green Space column, “Just Like Us,” in the December 2007 issue of Total Landscape Care.

Dear Editor:

I just read “Just Like Us” in the December issue of TLC, and it put a smile on my face. I appreciate the fact that you described in a very accurate way the huge spectrum of perspectives and realities in regards to Hispanics and immigration. Being from Mexico, I very rarely find someone that is able to talk about this controversial issue and make a statement that makes sense. There are many factors and variables that come into play when discussing immigration; it is NOT an easy topic. Like you said, Hispanics like any ethnic group, have great and not so great people. I am trying to make a positive impact in my workplace and in the green industry while representing my roots honorably. Thanks for the article. Hopefully it will open some eyes.

Ivonne Miranda
St. Charles, Illinois

Dear Editor:

They are not just like us. They turn a trade into unskilled labor. I chose landscaping as a profession by going to school and majoring in horticulture. Why is it migratory farm workers and landscapers are lumped into one low-paying category by our government? COULD IT BE MONEY? My wife is an immigrant and we did it by the book. Why should an illegal get to be a citizen? COULD IT BE MONEY? Who makes out? The employer! COULD IT BE MONEY? Give me a break.

Joseph Tata
Port Richey, Florida

CLIPPINGS and Google team up has announced the launch of its new forecast snapshot tool. The tool integrates with Google Maps and provides current conditions, three-day forecasts, weather news headlines and radar or satellite images for every location on Earth. “The Forecast Snapshot for Google Maps is another great example of using an emerging platform to deliver weather information in a fun and interactive way never before available,” says Michael Sylvie,’s manager of new media business.

April is National Landscape Architecture Month
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has proclaimed April 2008 as National Landscape Architecture Month. The proclamation is timely: Landscape architecture is the fastest growing of the design professions, according to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. During the next six years, demand for the profession is projected to expand by 18 percent to 26 percent, and landscape architecture programs need to increase by an average of 6 percent a year in order to match the growth.

New DVD teaches the art of pruning trees and shrubs
The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), Echo Incorporated and Corona Clipper have teamed up to create a training manual and DVD on the art of pruning trees and shrubs. The techniques shown within the DVD will mirror skills required to receive PLANET’s nationally recognized Certified Landscape Technician designation. Available in both Spanish and English versions, the DVD focuses on shrubs and trees less than 15 feet tall, demonstrating specific pruning techniques with a primary emphasis on safety.

Doosan Infracore America establishes Doosan Global Finance
Doosan Infracore America has established Doosan Global Finance, which will serve as a single global finance provider for Doosan Infracore’s machine tool, forklift and construction equipment divisions. Doosan Global Finance will be committed to offering Doosan dealers and their customers tailored attention and unique finance programs with the same quality and level of service provided by Doosan Infracore.

GM and International reach medium-duty truck deal
General Motors Corporation and Navistar International Corporation have entered into a non-binding agreement under which Navistar would purchase the rights to GM’s medium-duty truck business.

GM sells Chevrolet and GMC medium-duty trucks under the nameplates Kodiak and TopKick as well as Isuzu T- and W-Series models (branded as Chevy or GMC trucks). The automaker made 59,000 medium-duty trucks in 2006, representing nearly 12 percent of the market. Under the agreement, International Truck and Engine Corporation, the principal operating subsidiary of Navistar, will now produce these brands and sell them through GM’s proprietary dealer network in the United States and Canada.

Daniel Usitan, chairman, president and CEO of Navistar International Corporation, says that he is proud to incorporate the GM truck brands into Navistar’s portfolio. He added that he plans to build on the success of both the GM and International product lines, including their distribution networks.

Troy Clarke, president of GM North America, says that GM will work closely with Navistar throughout the transition. He is also confident International will continue to grow the brands. “Navistar’s expertise in building International brand commercial trucks and its track record in the medium-duty segment make them an excellent choice to acquire and continue growing the business,” Clarke says.

“The dealer interface will remain the same,” says Robert Minton, GM fleet and commercial communications. “From a customer’s standpoint, they’ll still be able to go to the same GM or Chevrolet dealer to purchase trucks or parts or have trucks serviced.”

GM’s Flint, Michigan, plant will continue to produce heavy-duty pickups for now, but eventually its assets will be transferred to an International plant, says David Tarrant, International Truck and Engine. “I’m guessing we’ll make the transition before the end of 2008,” Tarrant says. “Some 2009 models could be built in Flint.”

“We’re linked with GM and will be interested and expect to work with GM partners,” Tarrant says, regarding future product development. “At the end of the day, the final decision is ours because the bottom line is ours.”

The Attachments Idea Book
Landscapers use a variety of attachments for doing everything from snow removal to jobsite cleanup, and regardless of how often they are used, every landscaper has a favorite attachment.
Attachments Idea Book Cover