Utility vehicles have become increasingly popular in in-house grounds departments at institutional and commercial facilities. While the vehicles might look like glorified golf carts to some, they offer great versatility to grounds departments.
Workers use them to transport equipment, supplies and people. They enable departments to perform a range of tasks, reduce manual labor, and increase efficiency. Departments use utility vehicles in part because they reduce the amount of time and effort that crews spend carrying around tools and equipment. The operator allows the machine to do the heavy lifting, and supervisors don’t have to worry about the equipment being too heavy to carry, thus reducing the chances of mistakes and injuries due to operator fatigue.
01/24/17— Common Offseason Staffing Challenges
The offseason is typically defined as the period between your first and last typical frost dates. Soil temperatures dictate what plants need, not the dates on a calendar. This makes it that much more important to offer alternative services that aren’t reliant on the temperature of the soil. There are several challenges that the offseason presents to companies in the landscaping industry; the biggest of which is that while grounds care maintenance providers typically earn their lowest revenue during this time, they don’t want to lay off their employees. So, the challenge becomes how do you pay your overhead expenses while your revenue is down, while keeping your employees gainfully employed. While this can be challenging, it is possible, and many of our franchisees have been doing this successfully for years. The answer is two-fold: careful planning, and offering alternative services if your region allows for it.
U.S. Lawns Franchisees Chris Seaborne & Tim Harrell, along with U.S. Lawns President Ken Hutcheson were inducted into the U.S. Lawns Hall of Fame. Chris and Tim started their Frederick, MD franchise in March 1999 when both were about 20 years old. They wanted to own their own business. With a truck, mower, weedeater and a chain saw to start with, they had a vision. They attended a U.S. Lawns Annual Conference, liked what they saw, signed a franchise agreement, and they hit the ground running from day one.
U.S. Lawns President Ken Hutcheson joined U.S. Lawns in 1995 and helped grow the company from a regional 18-franchise network to an industry leader with over 250 commercial landscape management franchises nationwide.
Hall of Fame members are individuals who exemplify the mission and vision of U.S. Lawns. This is the company’s most prestigious award.
12/08/16— U.S. Lawns Celebrates 30th Anniversary
U.S. Lawns is getting ready to wrap up their 30th year in business. Having started with one franchise location, the company has since expanded to include over 250 locations in 42 states.
“While our company has certainly grown over the past 30 years, our commitment to our clients and our franchisees has never wavered,” said Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns. “I am proud of the service we deliver, the team we have built, and the milestones we have hit. I am excited about our company’s future and honored to work alongside such fine people.”
“Over the years, Brandon has demonstrated his expertise in strategic planning, franchise development, and promoting our brand,” said Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns. “Brandon helped lead us through our rebranding process and has always taken the initiative to develop new programs. He excels at forging new partnerships, looking for new ways to improve our franchisees’ lives, and marketing our company to our various audiences. I’d like to congratulate Brandon on this promotion and thank him for his years of service to our company.”
President Ken Hutcheson, was selected to speak at the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Emerging Franchisor Conference. The conference will take place November 16 to 18 in New Orleans, LA. His discussion is called Building a Rockstar Team – the Untold Secrets. In his talk, Hutcheson will share valuable advice including tips on how to build a strong team while balancing short and long term profitability.
U.S. Lawns President Ken Hutcheson is a leader in the commercial landscape industry, and as such, was featured on LawnSite’s live ‘Ask the Expert’ session, titled “Make Money All Winter.”
If your irrigation system has a leak, it’s likely related to either valves, pipes, or joints. Valves can leak, or “weep”, if there is a failure with the solenoid. Solenoids can fail due to age, if there is too much heat, or if they are compromised by debris. Damaged pipes or joints, on the other hand, are usually a result of invasive tree roots, freezing and thawing, a shovel or mower, or simply from wear and tear over time. There are a few visible warning signs of a leaky pipe or broken joint, including flooded turf or areas that are much greener than other areas. Sometimes, however, the leak is so far underground that the only way to detect the problem is to start digging. This can be disruptive to your guests’ stay, be expensive to fix, and cause a mess while the problem is being addressed.
Read U.S. Lawns President Ken Hutcheson’s article, “How to Overcome Common Irrigation Challenges” in Hotel Executive. View full article
Read U.S. Lawns President Ken Hutcheson’s article, “How to Create a Comfortable Landscape Environment for Guests” in Hotel Executive. View full article
04/27/16— Creating Brand Ambassadors From Within
All successful companies know that rebranding involves more than creating a new logo, messaging, or an ad campaign. It requires a compelling story that can be understood by all. But while most companies focus their time and money on marketing and public relations initiatives, they often forget about another factor that can help them accomplish their goals — their employees.
Creating brand ambassadors from within your company will not only boost employee morale and get them excited about a re-brand, but it also works to engage clients and inform potential clients about the company’s new direction. In order to grow employee brand ambassadors, companies must take the necessary steps to prepare their employees, empower them, and plan future initiatives to keep the momentum going.
Read the article Creating Brand Ambassadors From Within by Brandon Moxam, U.S. Lawns Director of Brand Development, published for: Young Upstarts (Voice of a New Generation). View full article.