Better foremen, flooding and green roofs

The third day of the show featured educational sessions on the technology behind green roofs, as well as how to be a better foreman.

November 2, 2010
Lawn & Landscape Staff
GIE+EXPO Show Coverage

The third day of the GIE+EXPO brought attendees more educational opportunities and time on the show floor to check out supplier offerings.

Phil Harwood, a consultant at Pro Motion Consulting, talked to attendees about how to be a better foreman. Harwood said a great foreman is a leader, trainer, controller and a marketer, adding that a good overall leader has to have a positive attitude. A leader can show a positive attitude by the way he responds in tough situations. When your crew is tired and a job isn’t done yet, something as simple as bringing them something to drink and staying positive will help everyone get through the day, he said.

In addition, foremen have to expect crews to make mistakes, and also have to know the job’s budget. They then can communicate that to the crew so everyone is on the same page.

Finally, a great foreman – who’s at job sites and meeting with customers – can be a very effective marketer for your company. He can sell other services, and also have an inside track on what the competition is doing.

Hollis Malone, manager of horticulture at The Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn. was at the Grasshopper booth talking about how he handled a flood at the resort. In early May of this year, the resort was hit with 15 inches of rain over a two-day span, which flooded the indoor gardens, as well as the outdoor landscapes. Malone said the first thing he did when assessing the situation was getting the equipment out from under water and trying to save what he could. The resort is scheduled to be reopened in early November.

At PLANET’s Breakfast for Champions lawn care programs discussion, contractors from Denver to Charleston, S.C., talked about the ideas they have for company expansion, getting customers to understand which services they can benefit from and how to deal with different weeds and grass.

Starting or expanding an organic program was the first idea mentioned. Those with experience in the organic realm advised that it’s important to prepare clients for the extra money they’ll need to spend because of the simple fact that the products cost more. Those with organic programs in place also have found most customers asking for an organic program don’t often fully understand what they’re asking for, or what these programs entail.

When it comes to educating customers on services, some recommended leaving literature and marketing material when they’re at the client’s site. Another said they knock on doors and talk to the customer if they’re home to build a relationship and ask if there are any questions.

George Irwin, chairman and CEO of Green Living Technologies, spoke at a PLANET education session about the technology behind green roofs and green walls and how to properly install the growing idea. Green roofs reduce heat transfer, can reduce cooling loads on businesses by 50 to 90 percent, reduce storm water runoff, clean the air and filter pollutants and act as sound installation and agriculture space, he said.

The Hatton-Brown Publishers Dealer’s Choice Awards for the products at the show were won by:
•    Stens Dinosaw chain sharpener in the accessory attachment category
•    Ideal Computers 7.1 software in the business services category
•    Stihl 36-volt Lithium-Ion Hedge Trimmer in the handheld category
•    John Deere’s XUV 825i Gator utility vehicle in the power sports/recreation
•    Briggs & Stratton Vanguard engine series in the wheeled category

Product updates from the second day of the show include:

•    Dodge promoted its new chassis cab and engines for heavy duty trucks. The engines include updates to meet EPA Tier 4 requirements, and the chassis feature crew cabs with all-new interiors, higher gross-vehicle weights and higher front-end weight capacities.
•    B3C Fuel Solutions launched a diesel additive, Diesel Mechanic in a Bottle. The liquid product is a stabilizer that removes water from fuel and protects against the negative effects of biodiesel. The company also released its new Tank Snake Water Extractor for diesel and gasoline. The pellet-like product is a mixture of bio-engineered polymers and has anti-coarsen elements. Tank Snake Water Extractor is placed at the bottom of the tank and absorbs free and bound water from all types of fuel.