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View Full Version : Who's Going to Join Me in the Caribben w/ Rain Bird?


JimLewis
09-06-2011, 06:18 PM
Just wondering if any of you are going to the RB Select Contractor Business Conference / Caribbean Cruise this coming January? We just signed up today. Should be awesome! Another awesome trip from RB!

http://www.rainbird.com/rewards/anchorsaway/


They always treat us like gold on these trips. So if you're able to make it, I encourage you to go. Here are some photos from the last one we went on (Jan 2010). We had a blast. And being able to compare notes with other very successful irrigation contractors from around different parts of the country is always one of the best parts of these conferences.

.

Mike Leary
09-06-2011, 06:38 PM
Sorry to miss you two, Jim. Those cheapskates at RB refused to pay for the mo/ho to come to Miami. All the best, and send us pics so we can only drool. :)

DanaMac
09-06-2011, 06:57 PM
What time you picking me up?

JimLewis
09-06-2011, 07:12 PM
We may be flying over CO. I don't know. Maybe I could arrange for you to jump on board via the Fulton Skyhook Maneuver (as in Batman Begins).

hoskm01
09-06-2011, 07:29 PM
Cruise to the Caribbean- I wish.

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-06-2011, 08:56 PM
RB has a select contractor program?
Posted via Mobile Device

Mike Leary
09-06-2011, 09:37 PM
RB has a select contractor program

You won't fit in, Peter. They make you put a "RB Select Contractor" sticker on your trailer. I've seen a number of those Wells Cargo trailers with the faded ad sitting in the weeds after the "Select" guy went tits. Jim and his buddies seem to do well with that stuff, I never did, 'cause I used so many different manufacturers. Plus, I could never afford to gain forty pounds; that's what you gain on those "cruises".

JimLewis
09-06-2011, 09:48 PM
You won't fit in, Peter. They make you put a "RB Select Contractor" sticker on your trailer. I've seen a number of those Wells Cargo trailers with the faded ad sitting in the weeds after the "Select" guy went tits. Jim and his buddies seem to to well with that stuff, I never did, 'cause I used so many different manufacturers.

That's not true at all. You don't have to use their logo anywhere, ever, if you don't want to. I do use their main RAIN BIRD logo on most of my trucks and trailers. But nobody from RB ever asked me to do that. In fact, I had to ask them to make sure it was okay to do that. And I paid for all of them on my own. My truck lettering guy does those for me, not RB. There are three reasons I like their logo on my truck. 1) I am proud to be an installer of RB products. 2) RB has killer name recognition. Hands down, the most respected name in the industry to homeowners. I want to be associated with that. It lends credibility to us. 3) People who have RB systems (which is like 75% of homeowners in this area) see that logo and assume (correctly) that we are specialists in RB systems. So they call us first after seeing that logo on our trucks. But the notion that to be in the Select Contractor Program you have to use their logos is 100% B.S. So is the notion that you have to use only RB products to be in their Select program.

And by the way, I've seen just as many old washed-out landscape trucks and trailers with the Toro logo on the side as I've seen Rain Bird. Doesn't mean Toro is all that bad. Especially as of late, they got some pretty nice products out on the market. It just means that a lot of irrigators have gone out of business over the years. No surprise there.

I don't know why you gotta be hating on the RB Select Program when you really don't know much about it..... :hammerhead: IMO, it's the best rewards program out there. I've never been treated so well or had such excellent customer support from any other company in all the years I've been doing business. IMO, their program is better than anything else out there. They've routinely proven that to me and that's another reason I'm proud to display their name on our trucks and website.

hoskm01
09-06-2011, 10:53 PM
Mitch takes good care of you. I wish I'd done that kind of volume.

Mike Leary
09-06-2011, 11:02 PM
Mitch is a hell of a nice guy, Jim seems to have a 1812 stuck up his butt.

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-06-2011, 11:08 PM
Jim has the same enthusiasm level for RB that i do for RM remotes. Gotta like that.
Posted via Mobile Device

txirrigation
09-06-2011, 11:13 PM
That's not true at all. You don't have to use their logo anywhere, ever, if you don't want to. I do use their main RAIN BIRD logo on most of my trucks and trailers. But nobody from RB ever asked me to do that. In fact, I had to ask them to make sure it was okay to do that. And I paid for all of them on my own. My truck lettering guy does those for me, not RB. There are three reasons I like their logo on my truck. 1) I am proud to be an installer of RB products. 2) RB has killer name recognition. Hands down, the most respected name in the industry to homeowners. I want to be associated with that. It lends credibility to us. 3) People who have RB systems (which is like 75% of homeowners in this area) see that logo and assume (correctly) that we are specialists in RB systems. So they call us first after seeing that logo on our trucks. But the notion that to be in the Select Contractor Program you have to use their logos is 100% B.S. So is the notion that you have to use only RB products to be in their Select program.

And by the way, I've seen just as many old washed-out landscape trucks and trailers with the Toro logo on the side as I've seen Rain Bird. Doesn't mean Toro is all that bad. Especially as of late, they got some pretty nice products out on the market. It just means that a lot of irrigators have gone out of business over the years. No surprise there.

I don't know why you gotta be hating on the RB Select Program when you really don't know much about it..... :hammerhead: IMO, it's the best rewards program out there. I've never been treated so well or had such excellent customer support from any other company in all the years I've been doing business. IMO, their program is better than anything else out there. They've routinely proven that to me and that's another reason I'm proud to display their name on our trucks and website.

Expert with Rainbird products? Maybe you can educate me on how installing Rainbird is any different than any other brand. Rainbird has it's place, but isn't always the best option. The "ESP" controller is much harder for home owners to program than Hunter Pro-C. The risers are much harder to adjust than a Hunter Pro-Spray. Most of the time you end up turning the spray body on the threads before the riser will adjust.

Don't get me wrong I like Rainbird on large resi installs, as the controller has a few more programming options. It just rubs me wrong when people exclusively use one product because that is all they are comfortable with (thats what it really comes down to).

Expert Rainbird installer---... gag me. You hit a sore spot with me because there is a "used car salesman" type in my area that shoves Rainbird down peoples throat. I am a "Select Contractor" also, but you wont see me labeling my company with anything other my my company name.

And the "Smart Controller" sucks unless you program controllers for a living, and tell the home owner not to touch anything.

Wet_Boots
09-06-2011, 11:18 PM
say, would it be off-topic to note that the title of the thread has a spelling error? :p

Mike Leary
09-06-2011, 11:21 PM
Expert with Rainbird products? Maybe you can educate me on how installing Rainbird is any different than any other brand. And the "Smart Controller" sucks unless you program controllers for a living, and tell the home owner not to touch anything.

:clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:

hoskm01
09-06-2011, 11:26 PM
say, would it be off-topic to note that the title of the thread has a spelling error? :p
It's the celebratory, lube me up for a cruise mai Tai talking. You ever ben to the Carriben?

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-06-2011, 11:40 PM
Mitch is alright i guess. He didn't follow through for me on getting my name listed on the rb site as a supplier of mc cables so ill give him a h8 as a rep.
Posted via Mobile Device

Wet_Boots
09-06-2011, 11:58 PM
It's the celebratory, lube me up for a cruise mai Tai talking. You ever ben to the Carriben?I remember spending a few weeks, without any outside assistance, on trying to recreate a mai tai - almost nailed it

Tom Tom
09-07-2011, 12:47 AM
The "ESP" controller is much harder for home owners to program than Hunter Pro-C.

I see the opposite

DanaMac
09-07-2011, 01:40 AM
I see the opposite

Ditto. I find, and my customers find, that the ESPs are easier.

Kiril
09-07-2011, 02:53 AM
And the "Smart Controller" sucks unless you program controllers for a living, and tell the home owner not to touch anything.

Yea ..... like it is so difficult to actually learn your job instead of blindly stumbling through it. :dizzy:

Ditto. I find, and my customers find, that the ESPs are easier.

Probably because like most HO's and irrigators, they don't have a clue how to properly water a landscape, so they just water the shiit out of it and all is good. :rolleyes:

AI Inc
09-07-2011, 07:26 AM
Already going to the Bahamas in dec.

Sprinkus
09-07-2011, 09:43 AM
Next time I buy an 1804 I'll remember where part of that money really goes.

DanaMac
09-07-2011, 09:49 AM
Next time I buy an 1804 I'll remember where part of that money really goes.

I'm kind of in the same boat, and it's not just Rainbird, or other companies in our industry. My workers comp insurance company was under fire for sending high execs to Hawaii for all kins of fun and lots of money. All these trips that people get sent to, come out of my pocket and your pocket. Just means that maybe the company doesn't need to charge as much.

At the same time, some of my customers may say "why is my sprinkler guy living so much better than I am, I think he's charging too much".

koster_irrigation
09-07-2011, 10:21 AM
Originally Posted by txirrigation
The "ESP" controller is much harder for home owners to program than Hunter Pro-C.

I see the opposite


I agree as well, The ESP Is Easier for homeowners to understand. Call backs are almost non existant with the esp.

The ProC screen is almost unreadable for people with bad eyes and homeowners have trouble with how to manual start. HO's also ALWAYS get confused with the older ProC's that have the up and down buttons for the season adjust. 90% of teh controllers i see have settings at or near 200%

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
09-07-2011, 11:44 AM
Next time I buy an 1804 I'll remember where part of that money really goes.

What do you care about what Rain Bird does with their money? If you buy their product for a price that you feel is fair and you're happy with the quality and performance then it doesn't really matter!!

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
09-07-2011, 11:46 AM
And the "Smart Controller" sucks unless you program controllers for a living, and tell the home owner not to touch anything.

You know that once you program the thing you can save the settings so that you can instantly recall them should the homeowner mess with the thing. The controller really isn't that difficult to program either! Perhaps you should read the manual??

Mike Leary
09-07-2011, 11:49 AM
You know that once you program the thing you can save the settings so that you can instantly recall them should the homeowner mess with the thing.

That's pretty cool idea, Russ was telling me the W*M SL has the same feature.:clapping:

JimLewis
09-07-2011, 11:55 AM
Next time I buy an 1804 I'll remember where part of that money really goes.

Well, next time you buy a RB 1804 you should also remember that they've lowered prices on that item and every other item across the board anywhere from 15-30% since the recession hit. RB has done more to help contractors cope with the recession than any other irrigation supplier.

As for the money going to rewards programs, I think companies that have these would tell you that the increased revenues they get from people who buy more of their product because of the rewards programs is really what funds these trips.

Wet_Boots
09-07-2011, 12:14 PM
Nothing wrong with rewards programs. They can and will get completely ignored by people who select product based on performance and durability.

JimLewis
09-07-2011, 12:58 PM
Right. There are plenty of us who could care less about performance and durability. We just care about the rewards. Nevermind the fact that we're installing dozens of these systems each year with a 5-year warranty attached. It doesn't matter at all if the product fails or doesn't perform well. We will just handle the all the constant call-backs over and over again - as long as I'm getting the rewards. Right? That's you're thinking? :rolleyes:

The truth is I have been using RB products long before I was getting rewarded to do so. That's one of the reasons I love rewards programs so much. I get rewarded for doing stuff I was already doing. It's like my US Airways miles card. I was already buying stuff every day anyway. Now I earn miles and a few free flights a year for buying stuff I was already buying with my card.

As for performance and reliability, I'm happy with what we use. We've installed hundreds of systems over the past few years and rarely have call-backs. I can't even remember the last time a RB spray head, valve, or controller failed that we installed. And I can safely say we install more systems each year than most people on this board. 98% of the call-backs we do receive is just human error. Either the installer put the wrong nozzle on or should have used a larger nozzle or didn't open the nozzle up quite far enough or the programming needs to be adjusted slightly on the controller. But in terms of the product failing or not performing - very rare. But I'm sure whatever you're using has like a 0% fail rate, right? :rolleyes:

Mike Leary
09-07-2011, 01:43 PM
Nothing wrong with rewards programs. They can and will get completely ignored by people who select product based on performance and durability.

Staying on topic (very important), I used to keep the crew in shirts and jackets with the RB program, but I was only a hack/piker, still am. :walking:

AI Inc
09-07-2011, 01:58 PM
Nothing wrong with it , but I would prefer it was replaced with cheaper wholesale pricing. Not to be confused with cheaper retail pricing, that does me no favors.

Mike Leary
09-07-2011, 02:01 PM
I imagine Jimbo does real good, in that he prolly buys RB by the trainload.

AI Inc
09-07-2011, 02:02 PM
He did say RB is strong in his area. And lets face it , who wants to be the odd man out.

Mike Leary
09-07-2011, 02:08 PM
And lets face it , who wants to be the odd man out.

I do, my Mom finally told me I'd been dropped on my head as a baby.;)

Wet_Boots
09-07-2011, 02:11 PM
It's all marketing. Rewards programs can bring in those installers who do not have any installing experience or great brand loyalty. Me, personally, I just want good reliable product, and I don't care what the brand name is. There is not a rewards program ever devised by the mind of man that would have moved me to stop installing Richdel valves and Imperial Valet controllers.

AI Inc
09-07-2011, 02:13 PM
Same goes for August specials at supply houses. Bottom line is Im going to buy what I know I will sell and not much more.

JimLewis
09-07-2011, 02:29 PM
It's all marketing. Rewards programs can bring in those installers who do not have any installing experience or great brand loyalty. Me, personally, I just want good reliable product, and I don't care what the brand name is. There is not a rewards program ever devised by the mind of man that would have moved me to stop installing Richdel valves and Imperial Valet controllers.

Ok. So let's say you were still buying a lot of those Richdel valves all the time. And they came to you and said, "Hey, Boots. We noticed you buy quite a bit of our product. We'd like to show you a little appreciation for buying so much of our product over the past few years. Would you join us on an all-expense paid fishing trip up up on the Salmon river for 3 days?"

You'd say no? "No can do. Thanks anyway. I'm just interested in buying your valves. Nothing else." :confused:

AI Inc
09-07-2011, 02:32 PM
In the rolling yrs my supplier used to do trips , some of the money came from RB and Hunter.
Been to
Aruba
St Kitts
Turks and cacaos
and St Lucia on their dime.

JimLewis
09-07-2011, 02:33 PM
It's all marketing.

I disagree. I think maybe it's 50% marketing and 50% appreciation.

It's like what I do with my customers. A month or two ago we finished this really nice big outdoor patio, seat walls, lighting, planting, and irrigation job for a customer. It was like a $28K job. Nice job for us. When we were finished, I went to Crate & Barrel and spent $200 on a bunch of nice stuff for their new patio. Some stuff for the table, some stuff for the BBQ, etc. It wasn't so much for marketing - I'd already won their business. It was out of appreciation for having spent so much with our company.

But at the same time, a nice gesture of appreciation can go a long way. They would probably use us again in the future anyway. Because we did a great job and their back yard looks amazing now. But the show of appreciation is just an added touch that most contractors never would have done. And that builds even more good will and loyalty. It's just smart business. I think companies who just do only what they contracted for and nothing more and just collect a check and move on are the ones missing the boat. It's the whole package. You gotta be doing great work to begin with. But it's the little things like this that put the icing on the cake and make people remember you.

AI Inc
09-07-2011, 02:33 PM
They would also do trips to vegas with a ditch witch raffle at a dinner atop the stratosphere

Wet_Boots
09-07-2011, 02:34 PM
Ahhh, those late summer specials on Nelson sprinkler stuff. What great systems they must have produced.

Ok. So let's say you were still buying a lot of those Richdel valves all the time. And they came to you and said, "Hey, Boots. We noticed you buy quite a bit of our product. We'd like to show you a little appreciation for buying so much of our product over the past few years. Would you join us on an all-expense paid fishing trip up up on the Salmon river for 3 days?"

You'd say no? "No can do. Thanks anyway. I'm just interested in buying your valves. Nothing else." :confused:But a rewards program always reaches for more. Richdel would want me buying heads and controllers, too. Imperial would want the same. It's only in more recent years that single companies have done an adequate job of presenting a full product lineup.

AI Inc
09-07-2011, 02:36 PM
Ahhh, those late summer specials on Nelson sprinkler stuff. What great systems they must have produced.

You older gentleman may know, did they ever produce anything worth buying? Always hated their heads , clocks and valves. Any clock that will not run electricly without good batteries was a POS in my eyes.

JimLewis
09-07-2011, 02:50 PM
But a rewards program always reaches for more. Richdel would want me buying heads and controllers, too.

Sure. And that's why I say the rewards programs are 50% marketing and 50% appreciation.

The programs are designed so that the higher level of commitment you are willing to make, the more rewards you will get. But you can still get to any of the trips or rewards RB or Hunter or any of the other manufacturers offer just by selling one of their product, if you sell enough of it. You'd just get there faster if you sold more of their products. RB had a cruise they did 2 years ago that you could qualify just by selling enough rotors. Nothing else.

But I'm the same way with my customers. I will reward the customers who spend $20-$30K on a full back yard a whole lot more than someone who just wants a $1K addition to their sprinkler system and then hires my competitor to install their $10K paver patio. It only makes sense to reward those who spend more with your company.

Wet_Boots
09-07-2011, 03:14 PM
You older gentleman may know, did they ever produce anything worth buying? Always hated their heads , clocks and valves. Any clock that will not run electricly without good batteries was a POS in my eyes.Nelson was another company that did not transition successfully from the world of brass. Most of their plastic heads were 'me-too' knockoffs. In their earliest days into plastics, they were smart enough to resell Richdel valves manufactured in Nelson's dark green color.

One Nelson controller that has shown a pretty good lifespan, is their little pushbutton jobbie with the dropdown cover. I think it was first made to run from button batteries, and may have not had a power supply circuit, but they fixed that deficiency, and I see a lot of them yet.

http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/893/kgrhqmokjse4h9hkbboseww.jpg

txirrigation
09-07-2011, 03:26 PM
You know that once you program the thing you can save the settings so that you can instantly recall them should the homeowner mess with the thing. The controller really isn't that difficult to program either! Perhaps you should read the manual??

I have read the manual. After 1,000-1,500 installs I have learned that a customer will open the controll box look at it for 10sec, and if they cannot figure it out they will call my number. The recent regs changes in TX state that I MUST post a sticker with my contact info on the controll box, so it is easier for them to call me than to read the manual (which is in a packet with the CAD layout of the system directly above the controller).

Just because I dont have thousands of posts doesnt mean I don't install hundreds of systems a year.

Mike Leary
09-07-2011, 03:38 PM
Just because I dont have thousands of posts doesnt mean I don't install hundreds of systems a year.

I never saw any correlation, quite honestly. Your word has always been taken for face value, which means to this piker, that you're no slacker. :)

txirrigation
09-07-2011, 03:41 PM
I never saw any correlation, quite honestly. Your word has always been taken for face value, which means to this piker, that you're no slacker. :)

I just get tired of the "internet experts" that from reading some posts you can tell the real world experience isnt on par with their talk.

Mike Leary
09-07-2011, 03:54 PM
"You can play all the notes and know all the words, but never quite learn how the song is sung."

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
09-07-2011, 04:39 PM
I have read the manual. After 1,000-1,500 installs I have learned that a customer will open the controll box look at it for 10sec, and if they cannot figure it out they will call my number. The recent regs changes in TX state that I MUST post a sticker with my contact info on the controll box, so it is easier for them to call me than to read the manual (which is in a packet with the CAD layout of the system directly above the controller).

Just because I dont have thousands of posts doesnt mean I don't install hundreds of systems a year.

I don't doubt that you install hundreds of systems a year. But what you're really saying is that you'll gladly take a customers money to install a system but you don't want to be bothered with having to take care of their needs after the fact? Or did I miss something?

AI Inc
09-07-2011, 04:40 PM
Nelson was another company that did not transition successfully from the world of brass. Most of their plastic heads were 'me-too' knockoffs. In their earliest days into plastics, they were smart enough to resell Richdel valves manufactured in Nelson's dark green color.

One Nelson controller that has shown a pretty good lifespan, is their little pushbutton jobbie with the dropdown cover. I think it was first made to run from button batteries, and may have not had a power supply circuit, but they fixed that deficiency, and I see a lot of them yet.

http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/893/kgrhqmokjse4h9hkbboseww.jpg

dosnt that clock act dead when the baterry is the only thing dead about it?

Mike Leary
09-07-2011, 04:45 PM
I built my company on installs and continuous service, it never occurred to me to walk away from a site with the clock run times saying "10/10/10/10" ad nauseam. :hammerhead:

AI Inc
09-07-2011, 04:47 PM
I built my company on installs and continuous service, it never occurred to me to walk away from a site with the clock run times saying 10/10/10/10 ad nauseam. :hammerhead:

Always cracked me up to see the shady zone along the back of the house set for the same time as the wide open front lawn.

Wet_Boots
09-07-2011, 04:54 PM
dosnt that clock act dead when the baterry is the only thing dead about it?I think the earliest versions might have been so, but not later ones. Strictly from a design standpoint, it was elegant simplicity. Never a problem with powerline spikes, because there would have been no power supply to the circuitry in the first place. Strictly from a marketing standpoint, it was a dumb idea. To this day, I do not carry replacement button batteries.

AI Inc
09-07-2011, 04:56 PM
some had button , some took 2 AA

txirrigation
09-07-2011, 05:09 PM
I don't doubt that you install hundreds of systems a year. But what you're really saying is that you'll gladly take a customers money to install a system but you don't want to be bothered with having to take care of their needs after the fact? Or did I miss something?

You missed something. What I am referring to is when I start installing a product that requires me to go back to the jobsite 2-3 times just to change run times for a customer, that product gets the BOOT.

I installed quite a few of the RB ESP-SMT controllers, and without fail had to go back to the site to re-teach the home owner how to use it. Multiply 20-30 RB SMT controllers x 2 (avg) visits back is 40-60 FREE service calls, that cost me money and time.

I would much rather post a "Seasonal Run Time" sheet above the controller that tells the home owner how long to run each zone during which season of the year.

The look roughly like this (just in CAD form):


------------------Run Time
Zone---GPM---Wi--Sp--Su--Fa
1-------10-----5--12---15--11
etc.
(kept aligning left after I submitted so I had to space with dashes)

That way you turn a "Dumb" controller into a smart controller without the guess work. The customer can then find out water usage at different run times. I also put the recommended % incase they would rather use the seasonal adjust, but that is less accurate.

Wet_Boots
09-07-2011, 05:10 PM
Come to think of it, I had a call for one of those button-cell versions, and it was dead until the homeowner schlepped over to the pharmacy for new batteries. I don't know that I ever saw any of the AA versions similarly dead-in-the-water.

One of the features of that controller that is out of step with current practices, is that you would select between operating either program A or program B - never both simultaneously.

AI Inc
09-07-2011, 05:12 PM
One of the features of that controller that is out of step with current practices, is that you would select between operating either program A or program B - never both simultaneously.

Wasnt original RB esp the same?

Wet_Boots
09-07-2011, 05:21 PM
You got me. I got little experience with the earliest RB and Toro solid-state controllers. Haven't seen one for years (CRC or IC4)

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
09-07-2011, 05:25 PM
You missed something. What I am referring to is when I start installing a product that requires me to go back to the jobsite 2-3 times just to change run times for a customer, that product gets the BOOT.

I installed quite a few of the RB ESP-SMT controllers, and without fail had to go back to the site to re-teach the home owner how to use it. Multiply 20-30 RB SMT controllers x 2 (avg) visits back is 40-60 FREE service calls, that cost me money and time.

I would much rather post a "Seasonal Run Time" sheet above the controller that tells the home owner how long to run each zone during which season of the year.

The look roughly like this (just in CAD form):


------------------Run Time
Zone---GPM---Wi--Sp--Su--Fa
1-------10-----5--12---15--11
etc.
(kept aligning left after I submitted so I had to space with dashes)

That way you turn a "Dumb" controller into a smart controller without the guess work. The customer can then find out water usage at different run times. I also put the recommended % incase they would rather use the seasonal adjust, but that is less accurate.

I see where you are coming from. But you can't write off the controller because the H.O. is a dimwit! Seriously though try the Rain Bird STP+ or the STP. They are about the most dummyproof controller on the market.

http://www.rainbird.com/landscape/products/controllers/STPplus.htm

txirrigation
09-07-2011, 05:32 PM
I see where you are coming from. But you can't write off the controller because the H.O. is a dimwit! Seriously though try the Rain Bird STP+ or the STP. They are about the most dummyproof controller on the market.

http://www.rainbird.com/landscape/products/controllers/STPplus.htm

That doesnt look too bad. I always install the controller at my house first to get familiar with it. I will have to go and pick one up to see how I like it.

JimLewis
09-07-2011, 05:58 PM
I installed quite a few of the RB ESP-SMT controllers, and without fail had to go back to the site to re-teach the home owner how to use it. Multiply 20-30 RB SMT controllers x 2 (avg) visits back is 40-60 FREE service calls, that cost me money and time.

We've installed over 200 of the SMT units since all the way back to Oct. 2009 - 8 months before they were released on the market. And I've been to more ESP-SMT training seminars than I can count over the last 2 years. And one thing they (RB) always taught us is that this controller is NOT a set-it-and-forget-it kind of controller. You need to expect to possibly have to go back and tweak it a little. They told me from the beginning to account for the possibility of maybe 2 follow up visits every time you install one of these. And so we always do that. Every time we install one we tell the customer that we've factored in up to 2 follow up visits and if they need us to, we'll be glad to come back and to a little tweaking. I factor this into the price point that we sell these at and then if they don't call back ever (which is 75% of the time) we just make that much more money. In fact, we've lowered our price a little just because we found we weren't getting as many call-backs as expected.

So I think right off the bat you're expectations for this controller were all wrong. Maybe nobody every told you that this wasn't that kind of controller and to expect follow ups. That's unfortunate. But it is a good controller. You just need to have reasonable expectations.

I installed quite a few of the RB ESP-SMT controllers, and without fail had to go back to the site to re-teach the home owner how to use it.

Without fail??? See, I take issue with that a little too. I know I'm in OR and you're in TX. But we've installed over 200 of these guys and I would say we have to go back MAYBE 20-25% of the time. The majority of the time, I've never had to go back. Now, I'm in a climate where we don't depend on irrigation quite as much as you do down in TX. But still.... you got called back every single time? I just have to say that hasn't been my experience.

I would much rather post a "Seasonal Run Time" sheet above the controller that tells the home owner how long to run each zone during which season of the year.....That way you turn a "Dumb" controller into a smart controller without the guess work. The customer can then find out water usage at different run times. I also put the recommended % incase they would rather use the seasonal adjust, but that is less accurate.

Yah, see, that may work in TX where the weather from day to day is like
HOT-HOT-HOT-MILDLY HOT-HOT-HOT-MILDLY HOT-HOT

But that would never work here in OR and many other parts of the country. The weather here can vary a LOT from one day to the next. In May, for instance, it could be rainy and 55 degrees one day and sunny and 75 degrees the very next day. And it goes up and down like that even within the same day a lot of times. Totally unpredictable weather. I could never just tell people to set their clocks to a certain run time or certain percentage each season. Weather varies WAY too much for that.

The SMT is more work, for sure. But we've been really successful with it. I just don't let my customers mess with anything other than the "Fine Tune Watering" area of the controller. If there's anything more that needs to be done, I'd rather come back and tweak it myself. I did one yesterday. Took just 5 minutes and I was already in the area. No big deal.

Mike Leary
09-07-2011, 07:03 PM
But that would never work here in OR and many other parts of the country. The weather here can vary a LOT from one day to the next. In May, for instance, it could be rainy and 55 degrees one day and sunny and 75 degrees the very next day. And it goes up and down like that even within the same day a lot of times. Totally unpredictable weather. I could never just tell people to set their clocks to a certain run time or certain percentage each season. Weather varies WAY too much for that..

:::Sigh:::, I wonder how I made it for thirty years with a couple of Lincoln moisture probes and a historical sheet for each client. The weather in the PNW is variable, but predictable. Only a couple of times have I ever had to modify the clocks or (gawwd forbid), put them in programmable rain-shut-down. The amount of rainfall in the PNW during the season is not worth even thinking of the expense of a "smart" clock, unless one wants a Caribbean vacation and a shiny red truck.

JimLewis
09-07-2011, 07:39 PM
:::Sigh:::, I wonder how I made it for thirty years with a couple of Lincoln moisture probes and a historical sheet for each client. The weather in the PNW is variable, but predictable. Only a couple of times have I ever had to modify the clocks or (gawwd forbid), put them in programmable rain-shut-down. The amount of rainfall in the PNW during the season is not worth even thinking of the expense of a "smart" clock, unless one wants a Caribbean vacation and a shiny red truck.

:::Sigh::: Mike still stuck in rewind believing how they used to do it in the 60s and 70s is just as good.... You remind me of my Dad.... Which isn't a bad thing. Just sort of stuck on the oldies....

Let me 'splain how it really works these days (Cuz I know you been outta the game a few years and the heat up in that tin missle you drive around in is getting a little hot, I can tell....:laugh:)

I'll illustrate with my house - because this is a very typical example of how people would water around here until the SMT controllers came out. I used to have my controller set up to program each zone every day for a certain amount of time. Obviously, sun and lawn zones longer and shadier or plant zones a little less. But I always wanted my lawn and plants to look perfect. I live in an upscale neighboorhood plus everyone around here knows me as the landscaper so I gotta keep things always looking great. Can't take any risks. So watering daily was the norm. And it's like that for most of my resi. clients in upscale neighborhoods. They're rather overwater and water too frequently than risk anything not looking perfect.

I had a rain sensor attached. But it was just a simple rain shut-off device. Didn't really measure rainfall at all. Just turned off the system when it got damp enough outside. And it would stay off for a day or two. Then it would come back on and allow the system to run. Didn't really matter that it was only 58 degrees and cloudy that day/week. It was just programmed to run every day unless the rain sensor interrupted it. So even though you really wouldn't need to water on a 58 degree day in May, it would do it anyway. It would do that every single day, whether my landscape needed irrigation or not. My water bill would be a go up a good $60 a month in the spring / summer, due to irrigation.

Fast forward to the year when I installed the SMT. Now I still turn on my system around the 1st of May. But it doesn't turn on at all for like 18 days. Instead of watering almost every day, now I'm just watering only when the soil has FINALLY gotten dry. My controller watered only 2x this May! That's it! It used to water much more than that. And in June, it only turned on a few times as well. Even in July it only came on a handfull of times. Again, I would have had it on almost every day in previous years for all of those months.

Water bill is down now to an avg. increase of only $25-$35 in the spring/summer months.

To me, it's worth spending a few hundred $$ to save $25-$35 a month in wasted water. It's a no-brainer. Pays for itself in the first two years. I was vastly overwatering. And I find most of my resi. clients are as well. Nobody messes with their controller. Nobody changes anything. Despite my best efforts to train clients how to use the "Seasonal Adjust", nobody every remembered to do that. They just turn it on in the spring and turn it off. And the notion that they would pay me to come over and adjust it 2-3 times a year is rediculous. I charge $70 an hour! You kidding me?? A one-time investment saves them from wasting a significant amount of water and equates to some good savings.

I know.... you'll say it's all newfangled electronic doo-dads, hogwash and plastic banana stuff. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. My Dad was still wearing Hush Puppies till the day he died. Still swore they were the best shoes out there and everything else was a waste of money. I know.... Go ahead and tell me how they don't work and it's all pie in the sky...... I'm ready..... :rolleyes:

Mike Leary
09-07-2011, 08:18 PM
:::Sigh::: My Dad was still wearing Hush Puppies till the day he died. Still swore they were the best shoes out there and everything else was a waste of money.

:laugh::laugh: I'm wearing prolly my twentieth pair of Red Wing "Romeos"; I'll go down the same as your Dad, bless him for sticking to his scruples, I'd say he taught you a thing or too. :clapping:

txirrigation
09-07-2011, 08:56 PM
I think the RB SMT might be good for your area, but around here ANY weakness gets exposed quickly.

This year has been the worst (obviously) in a long time. It is not uncommon to have 2-3 weeks above 100. We got a "cold front" that took us down to 94. Even in good rain years the rain shut off works because we may get rain once every 1 1/2-2 weeks.

I could see if you lived in a climate where things changed often that it would be useful. Here it is either HOT or Cold, with about 2 weeks of transition in between. For most people that means the controller is either OFF or ON.

Wet_Boots
09-07-2011, 09:15 PM
A better question would be just how much of an advantage is gained over a controller that can adjust watering times according to the month.

Mike Leary
09-07-2011, 09:23 PM
A better question would be just how much of an advantage is gained over a controller that can adjust watering times according to the month.

OR, (call me old school) a tech to show up and check the operation (including nozzles) every month or so. Only Central system will know when a nozzle is plugged. On the ground techs still get it for me.

Wet_Boots
09-07-2011, 09:26 PM
I don't install crap that has to be checked up on. The set-global-percentage-by-month feature seems to be a good advance, that on its own might justify the cost of a controller.

Mike Leary
09-07-2011, 09:31 PM
I don't install crap that has to be checked up on. The set-global-percentage-by-month feature seems to be a good advance, that on its own might justify the cost of a controller.

Umm, what controller do you use that gives a warning to your I-whatever phone whenever a nozzle plugs?

Wet_Boots
09-07-2011, 09:42 PM
Umm, what controller do you use that gives a warning to your I-whatever phone whenever a nozzle plugs?Our city water doesn't plug nozzles - my pumped water gets strained.

Mike Leary
09-07-2011, 10:42 PM
The more I think about a cruise with fellow contractors, I'd have to find out who the crew was.

Sprinkus
09-07-2011, 10:43 PM
Definition of Appreciation (redirected to Gratitude (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gratitude)) from Wikipedia:
Gratitude is an emotion that occurs after people receive help, depending on how they interpret the situation. Specifically, gratitude is experienced if people perceive the help they receive as (a) valuable to them, (b) costly to their benefactor, and (c) given by the benefactor with benevolent intentions (rather than ulterior motives).

Sometimes people, like manufacturers, reps, distributors, etc., act a certain way towards you for their own gain. That doesn't mean that they respect you or even like you.
And yes, I asked them.

JimLewis
09-07-2011, 11:41 PM
Sometimes people, like manufacturers, reps, distributors, etc., act a certain way towards you for their own gain. That doesn't mean that they respect you or even like you.
And yes, I asked them.

If you think I got to where I am because I am naive and can't tell the difference between a salesman blowing smoke up my A$$ and one who has a genuine interest in developing a business relationship that will benefit me and him, then you're the naive one.

I'm still close with the guy who got me involved with the RB Rewards program and into the Select Contractor program. And he's not even with RB anymore. Left the company over 2 years ago. He had been there over 20 years. I'm kind of thinking if he was just blowing smoke all these years he wouldn't still be getting together and hanging out with me. He's a great guy and I've enjoyed the relationship. And I can tell the difference between things that are done for their gain and things that are legitimately good business opportunities for me.

I'll tell you one thing. This nice long trip with free drinks in the middle of the Caribbean is going to be pretty beneficial for ME!

.

http://www.lutjen.net/wp-content/gallery/isla-mujeres-406/Pina%20colada%20+%20cigar.jpg

.

http://www.gwtravelandcruise.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/RoyalCaribbeanJewel5.jpg

Wet_Boots
09-07-2011, 11:50 PM
izzat a Cuban cigar? :p

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-08-2011, 01:02 AM
I just drove through eastern WA and OR. That is borderline desert at least this year it looks that way. Pretty rugged beautiful country. Lots of pivots. Saw a massive tree farm on I90? Green something. Those trees are planted so close together i don't know how they dig them up. Right now im set up at one of the cleanest state campsites I've ever seen. 20 miles n of klmath. OR either has high taxes or some serious revenue because their roads are pristine condition.
Posted via Mobile Device

AI Inc
09-08-2011, 08:12 AM
I just drove through eastern WA and OR. That is borderline desert at least this year it looks that way. Pretty rugged beautiful country. Lots of pivots. Saw a massive tree farm on I90? Green something. Those trees are planted so close together i don't know how they dig them up. Right now im set up at one of the cleanest state campsites I've ever seen. 20 miles n of klmath. OR either has high taxes or some serious revenue because their roads are pristine condition.
Posted via Mobile Device

What kind of tree farm? If its softwood they are planted close together to keep branches from growing , hereby reducing knots.

hoskm01
09-08-2011, 09:13 AM
Who's ready for a drink?

txirrigation
09-09-2011, 12:35 AM
If you think I got to where I am because I am naive and can't tell the difference between a salesman blowing smoke up my A$$ and one who has a genuine interest in developing a business relationship that will benefit me and him, then you're the naive one.

I'm still close with the guy who got me involved with the RB Rewards program and into the Select Contractor program. And he's not even with RB anymore. Left the company over 2 years ago. He had been there over 20 years. I'm kind of thinking if he was just blowing smoke all these years he wouldn't still be getting together and hanging out with me. He's a great guy and I've enjoyed the relationship. And I can tell the difference between things that are done for their gain and things that are legitimately good business opportunities for me.

I'll tell you one thing. This nice long trip with free drinks in the middle of the Caribbean is going to be pretty beneficial for ME!

.

http://www.lutjen.net/wp-content/gallery/isla-mujeres-406/Pina%20colada%20+%20cigar.jpg

.

http://www.gwtravelandcruise.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/RoyalCaribbeanJewel5.jpg

I see where you are coming from. I install RB products about 50% of the time, and they always work well. In fact I install Rainbird alves on every system because they are easy to service, and work great.

I just can't see how exclusively using one brand could be beneficial for anyone but the brand. I take a look at the yard and make a suggestion based on the strengths and weaknesses of the products.

How do you like the new HE spray nozzel?

JimLewis
09-09-2011, 04:34 AM
How do you like the new HE spray nozzel?

Well, I haven't had a LOT of opportunity to use it on a large scale yet. I started testing them for RB a little over a year ago. I have had them in my back yard since that time and at one other property. Seemed to work good even then, but they've made some improvements since then. Unfortunately, I was only given 20 to product test. And when they came out this spring I was chomping at the bit to get them but then they came out only in the Southern United States. They weren't available here up North until just last week. I ended up getting my hands on them anyway. Ewing has the exclusive on them for now. So I convinced the local Ewing to get one of the Southern Ewing stores to transfer some up here. And I finally got my first 200 of them about 2 months ago.

The problem from that point was I still had a good $1000 of U-Series nozzles in stock, in the back of my pickup. And I didn't want to just throw those away. So we've been installing those on every irrigation install, slow draining down my stock of them. We just did two more installs this week so now I'm getting fairly low.

I had one job where it just didn't make sense to use fixed arc nozzles. So we went with the new HE nozzles on that one. They seem to have worked fine. I went back several weeks later and all the new plants and trees were still alive, despite the heat we've been having. So seems to be working.

They're a little more difficult to adjust than the regular vans. But then again I haven't really used regular vans in years. Always going for the more efficient options. So U-Series have been my nozzle of choice for a long time. I felt these new HE were a little more difficult to adjust. And they definitely LOOK different. That is, the spray pattern is unlike anything I've ever seen before. But the U.D. is great. They are much more efficient. And they seem to be pretty reliable. Even the test ones I have in my back yard still seem to be working fine after a year.

So I've been pretty impressed with them. Can't wait to start using them more.

DanaMac
09-09-2011, 05:30 AM
About 3 weeks ago, I went to lunch with the local RB rep and the store manager from our local Ewing. Our Ewing guy knew that I had seen a lot of RB failure in the last year or two, so he wanted me to talk with the RB guy about these issues. I finally followed up with him yesterday by email about it.
Jim - I know you do a lot with RB, and honestly, I do prefer the RB products. BUT - I see more failure with RB overall than anything else. Maybe RB should send me to the cruise for all the pain in the azz issues I've had to fix. I have to fix what everyone else installs, but they either will not fix it, or the company is no longer in business.
Here were my issues:
ESPm - MV err message - received replacement strips from Ewing
DV-100 occasionally not opening or closing, primarily not closing - received new valves from Ewing - apparently caused by filter/screen in diaphragm
DV-100 - leaking at the o-rings causing call backs - informed that o-rings are now taken care of, still doesn't take care of the issues of the valves we already bought
5004 - high rate of failure either out of the box or within 1-2 years (I mentioned to you one lady that had 12 not turning this spring, but 3 eventually started rotating)
DV-100 - shuts down very fast or abrupt, and with high pressure situations it has broken manifolds

A few other notes:
I'm not a fan of the current VAN nozzles, as they clog very easily giving a distorted water pattern - I do know there are new HE nozzles but not available here yet
Fixed nozzles from 10' on down have such a small opening inside that just one grain of sand can clog them. We see a higher rate of clogging on the smaller radius nozzles as opposed to the 12' and 15'.
One of my techs really likes the new remote for the ESP. I just hope it is long term reliable as opposed to the early models of RB remotes.
I'd love to see a monthly % option on the standard ESPm.

JimLewis
09-09-2011, 01:39 PM
Well, you raise a lot of issues. I'm not sure I have time to respond to all that. But here are some of my thoughts.

First off, you should have a good relationship with your RB Rep. If you don't know who your local RB Rep. is, then you should find out and make a point to get together with him/her more frequently. I know some areas of the country have really fantastic reps (like Oregon and Washington) but I also know that certain parts of the country are lacking in the quality of their rep. OR the rep. is stretched too thin and covering such a large area that contractors never see them. That's very unfortunate and I know it's something RB is working on because we discussed it at corporate at a private meeting I was at earlier this year with a handful of contractors from all over the country. My rep. is great and if I come to him with a problem with an item, he makes it up to me, no questions asked. You should be getting service like that and then the rep. should be handling warranty issues like this and taking care of reporting the problems to corporate.

As for the ESP-M, yes they did have a batch a few years ago that had bad backplanes. We've had to replace a number of those too. But it's a quick easy fix and RB has been great about providing free backplanes. I've got half a dozen in my truck and my tech. has a dozen or so. We still get calls for that once in a while. Given the number we've installed, it's a pretty low percentage. But it was an issue and RB fixed it and offered the replacement part for free. I don't know what else could be done. Seems like they've done what they can to take care of that problem.

As for the valve issues, there's more there then I have time to respond to. We use the DVF-100 on our installs but those are pretty much the same as the DV-100s you're referring to. I don't see many issues or call-backs with those. Seems to be one of the more reliable valves we've ever used. But I do know we had a spell where we had a few right out of the box that were failing to open/close like that. I was getting ticked because they were brand new. So I called my rep. and it turns out our installers were inserting the glue too far into the valve when they were gluing them to the pipe. The glue was jamming stuff up. So we removed those valves and were careful not to glue so far into them and that fixed the problem. If you asked me before I called my rep. I would have sworn we got a bad batch of valves. But turns out it was installer error. All sorts of things could happen to valves during installation that could cause them malfunction. And if you are doing service, like you said, on other company's crappy installs, it makes me wonder if at least some of the issues you are seeing are related to the installers messing things up. Because we haven't seen that many problems. That's why I've always used the RB valves even since way before I was part of any rewards or select contractor program. I've always had more success with those in the installation and service side of things than we do with other valves.

Another thought is maybe RB is installed a lot more than the other brands where you are so you just see a disproportionate number of them fail because so many more of them are installed.

As for the rotors, we haven't had a problem with any not working out of the box ever. I couldn't say for sure if we've had to go back and replace some. Part of that is because we very rarely install rotors around here. All spray heads. Mostly all smaller yards with lots of curves, etc. Maybe 1 in 20 will we install rotors. And when we do, I always use the 5004 Plus PRS. I think the pressure-regulation helps keep them working properly, probably. I know they did upgrade the 5004s recently because we got a batch to test out a little over a year ago. And I'm pretty sure those have already been released now. So the ones on the market now are improved from the ones they sold a few years back. Could be they fixed whatever problem you were seeing with those. I've seen Hunter rotors fail within the first few years too. So I don't know that RB has the exclusive on that. I think all companies face quality issues. Just as the Hunter spray heads had horrible leaky wiper seals years ago. But they fixed them. So it happens. Seems like RB was having enough problems with the rotors that they had to come out with an "upgraded" version. And that's what they are selling now. So I would guess those problems have been addressed.

As for the VANs, I think that's a common problem. I've heard that brought up in meetings before with RB from several contractors. I've been installing only U-Series for years so I haven't had that problem. But I guess it's common. I haven't seen that same issue with the new HE Vans but haven't really had a chance to use them too much yet. So time will tell.....

I can't sit here and defend RB all day. That's for them to do. But I can just say from my experience, we've always seen really good quality, excellent service and attention from our rep., and fantastic rewards for buying what I was mostly already buying anyway. So it's been a great partnership for us. Part of the reason we probably experience a little better quality is because I'm always installing upgraded components. We never install just your standard heads, standard rotors, standard nozzles, standard valves, etc. Even when we install the RB Rotary nozzles, we always are careful to install the 1804-45-PRS which is made just for those nozzles to perform best. So maybe the upgraded components we use have a little less failure rate than the basic components do. I don't know. But even on the service side of things we have always seen less failure with RB systems than we have with the other brands. That's one reason I chose to use them when we started installing them. My service/repair tech. at the time just about told me he was going to clobber me over the head if I didn't use RB, because he had seem so many failures with the other brands out there.

Mike Leary
09-09-2011, 01:47 PM
Jim makes some good points, as usual. I think we all have to remember the VANs are a necessary evil, I don't care who makes them. One of the reasons I used (when possible) brass nozzles was the ease of cleaning. Plastic nozzles you just chuck and replace.

AI Inc
09-09-2011, 05:25 PM
Thats funny Jim . My area is the other way around . For every spray head we install 40 rotors. Only time I ever use sprayers is the curb strip or the few times a customer has 10-12 ft from side of driveway to prop line.

Mike Leary
09-09-2011, 05:28 PM
Thats funny Jim . My area is the other way around . For every spray head we install 40 rotors. Only time I ever use sprayers is the curb strip or the few times a customer has 10-12 ft from side of driveway to prop line.

So, what do you use for mass plantings?

AI Inc
09-09-2011, 05:28 PM
Drip.........
Groundcover is not that big around here. 80% are the same old boring azaila, roti, holly unless a LA designed it , and thats rare.

Mike Leary
09-09-2011, 05:29 PM
Drip.........

::::::falls over:::::

DanaMac
09-10-2011, 09:59 AM
Jim
All good points. Yes every manufacturer will have some quality issues. And yes we are a predominant Rainbird area, so we see more RB failures overall, but also as a percentage. I do see less Hunter PGP failure compared to the 5004. These have always been great in our area, except for a few bad wiper seals and the occasional not rotating head.

The DV issues were not operator error. We do glue them in, these are FxF valves. The rep told me is was an issue with the screen/filter in the diaphragm. And the o-ring issue has been ongoing and known by RB.

I prefer the U-Series nozzles myself. That is all we buy, with the occasional VAN because they are unfortunately used from other companies.

If RB, or Hunter or whoever, has to make an upgraded model to overcome the faults of their entry level model, than something is wrong with that company.

I've NEVER had a relationship with a rep. they've never sought me out, I never sought them out. Most likely because I am not a big hitter. I don't buy mass volume because I do not install. I just fix all the screw ups from the manufacturer and the installers. I switched to the PGPs for years following the TBird fiasco.

Don't get me wrong, I do prefer the RB products. Maybe it's due to what I was taught on. Kind of like someone defending Chevy because they were a Chevy fan from the start even though they have had 3 blown transmissions. Their availability and ease of use is, IMO, better than the others. Personally, I would love to be a technician for your company. All RB, upgraded components, and I can tell from knowing you here on LS that your design and install practices are going to be top notch. I have chosen this technician-for-any-system route, good or bad, and get to live with the downfalls of it. I probably get to see more failed components, designs, and install practices than most of you that do primarily installs.

JimLewis
09-10-2011, 02:13 PM
Well, you should make a point to go get to know your rep. The fact that you are not a "big hitter", as you say, just means you're not on his radar. It doesn't mean that you're not important to him/her. I think it would be good for you to start that relationship. Find out who it is. Go to lunch with them (they'll pay). Tell them what it is you do and what your problems have been and that you'd like to start a line of communication with them and have someone to go to with issues like this. Also, that you'd like to be put on their radar and invited to training sessions, etc. RB has a lot to offer in terms of regional training, nights out, product testing, etc. The more you get involved, the more power you'll have to understand and fix the issues you're seeing in the field. I don't think RB only pays attention to the big boys. My experience is they will give attention to big spenders but also with people who aren't big spenders.

Case in point; I'm on the Rain Bird Contractor Advisory Board. There are about 15 of us on the council who represent different regions of the country. RB did a good job of forming a very diverse group of people on the board. You'd think it would be a board of all big-time Select Contractors who use the rewards program and use mostly all RB in their business. That's not totally true. Many of the contractors on the board do represent HUGE irrigation companies. When I say huge, I mean like just they have 25 service repair technicians. That doesn't even include their installers. But others are from companies my size or even smaller. Some do just irrigation. Others, like me, do all phases of landscaping. Some are Select Contractors, some aren't. One guy who joined the council 2 years ago didn't even install RB products at all. He's a big Toro guy. They invited him to join the council purely because he offered a point of view that the rest of us didn't have. One that was a lot less sympathetic to RB. He was actually amazed he was invited to be part of the council but he's been a great guy to have and has made some awesome input. And he's remained for several years now.

So I don't think it's true that RB only wants to work with big companies who only buy RB stuff. I think they're interested in developing great products, how they can improve their products, and how they can make their products and service better so that we'll want to buy more. They certainly make a lot of effort toward that, from what I see. So I think it's worth giving them a chance and seeing what could come of a good relationship with a local rep. If you have a good one in your area like I do, you'd probably find it to be a rewarding experience.

Mike Leary
09-10-2011, 02:18 PM
Is Mitch still your REP, Jim?

JimLewis
09-10-2011, 03:35 PM
Yes, Mitch is awesome. He takes great care of us. The WA rep. is awesome too! I don't know if you ever met Bob Booth or not. He's up in the Snoqualmie area but covers all of WA. He was my rep. for a few years while we were looking for a new rep. to cover OR and ID. So I know Booth real well too. He's a great guy. We still stay in touch a lot.

Mike Leary
09-10-2011, 04:14 PM
I've been around REPS all my life, most are salesmen, few are caring, knowledgeable professionals. Mitch struck me as in the latter description, as did my old friend, Bill Smille at Rain Master.