Long haul

Long haul

In-house mechanics can help extend the life of vehicles.

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March 1, 2019

To extend the life of vehicles and make quick repairs, Morton’s Landscape Development Company employs two full-time and one part-time mechanic to maintain its fleet. The company has always tried to fix vehicles on its own as much as possible, but for the last 10 years, it has had two full-time mechanics.
 
“Because we’ve got our own mechanics, if we need something fixed right now we can get that fixed right now,” says Barry Morton Jr., vice president at Morton’s. “Instead of taking it to a dealership where it will sit for a week, if something breaks, they can look at it in the shop and it’s fixed usually in 12 to 24 hours.”
 
This can be essential for some of the company’s semis, which travel long distances. The company’s fleet includes two semi-trucks. While there aren’t many landscaping companies that require semis, Morton’s uses semis for ts mulch division, which has been growing. “They get loaded with 70 yards of mulch, and the driver/operator, plus one helper, will install mulch with it,” says Matt Drda, partner and manager of Morton’s mulch blowing division.
 
Morton’s added the mulch division in 1996 after the company first purchased a mulch blowing unit. The company experienced a few setbacks during the Great Recession in 2008, but it’s been on the rise since 2010. “We had our biggest growth spurt then, which hasn’t stopped,” Drda says.
 
The company’s mulch division keeps Morton’s busy in spring and summer, and it has expanded business across northeast Ohio and even into Cincinnati. However, with vehicles going such long distances, having in-house mechanics is helpful, as well as for winter work. “It’s crucial to keep our fleet up and running,” Morton says. While there is cost to hiring a few full-time mechanics and having a shop, Morton says it’s worth it to relieve fleet headaches and save money in the long run on repairs.