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  #11  
Old 06-08-2013, 12:31 PM
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I think we all need to realize True Green is both the BEST & WORST thing to happen to the Green Industry.

BEST because they not only started and build the Home Lawn Care Business what it is today. They also lobby the EPA heavy on our behalf against Granola Nut Tree Huggers.

WORST because they took a Great Idea with great marketing and Equipment and used untrained low paid people who don't care to do the work.

Ted is saying TG/CL is doing a good job in his area. That I believe because sharp people are smart enough to use TG/CL as a Training Ground for going into business themselves. But most of TG/CL employee are fresh off the street and pushed to produce to the point they don't care. Yes a 3 CEO doesn't surprise me. But the problem is not with upper management so much as They don't have and can't keep good employees in the trenches.

IMHO they need to raise prices which will lose customer and then untrained employees. Then concentrate on building a Trained staff that is paid enough so they stay.

BTW I am using a former TG/CL Cab Over spray truck. My biggest problems with that truck are plumbing repairs that were made with carbon steel instead of stainless steel. I believe I have found all those cheap repairs and corrected those problems.

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"TG doesn't give a rats ass about being "Responsible" as long as sales/production quotas are met. That's it in a nutshell. A recipe for disaster IMO." Ted Putnam 2/28/14

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  #12  
Old 06-08-2013, 01:30 PM
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ted putnam ted putnam is offline
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I agree with pretty much everything you posted Ric...except. Chemlawn was the one that brought the "awareness" of commmercial lawncare to the public. Trugreen just bought into it by grabbing the name 16 or 17 yrs ago. I started doing this for a Chemlawn franchise in 1990. We worked hard but they took pretty good care of us. Ecolab bought and owned it for a short while when the Duke's got out and it wasn't long until they sold to Trugreen (Servicemaster Corporation). They immediately closed down the Corporate offices and Turf Research Center in Columbus, Ohio and it was a downward spiral from there. I can remember the first meeting with them and thinking to myself "I've got to get the F out of here!"...which I did shortly after.

I still have several colleagues from those days that I see at meetings and training courses. Some have gone to work for other companies, some went into business for themselves but NONE of them work for Trugreen anymore. They were all hard working, well trained people that could not deal with Trugreen's "brand" of business.
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  #13  
Old 06-08-2013, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ted putnam View Post
I agree with pretty much everything you posted Ric...except. Chemlawn was the one that brought the "awareness" of commmercial lawncare to the public. Trugreen just bought into it by grabbing the name 16 or 17 yrs ago. I started doing this for a Chemlawn franchise in 1990. We worked hard but they took pretty good care of us. Ecolab bought and owned it for a short while when the Duke's got out and it wasn't long until they sold to Trugreen (Servicemaster Corporation). They immediately closed down the Corporate offices and Turf Research Center in Columbus, Ohio and it was a downward spiral from there. I can remember the first meeting with them and thinking to myself "I've got to get the F out of here!"...which I did shortly after.

I still have several colleagues from those days that I see at meetings and training courses. Some have gone to work for other companies, some went into business for themselves but NONE of them work for Trugreen anymore. They were all hard working, well trained people that could not deal with Trugreen's "brand" of business.
Ted

Thank you for the Correction. I got into the spray business about 2000 while going back to college for Horticulture in my late 50's. This is my second vocation. Therefore my knowledge of Chem Lawn is not good. I will agree that True Green is a better name in todays Tree hugging world. Like all technical trades you can make what you want out of it. While I would not want to work for True Green at my age, they can offer a sharp person the opportunity to learn the Business. I have watched different techs come and go from TG, some have done excellent work. Most have Not. IMHO Service Master has no respect for Lawn Care Professionals and think any fool can just spray yards. What sets you and me a part from TG hose jockeys, is our EDUCATED EYE. We see and react to problems the Hose Jockey misses.

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"TG doesn't give a rats ass about being "Responsible" as long as sales/production quotas are met. That's it in a nutshell. A recipe for disaster IMO." Ted Putnam 2/28/14

You can lead a Donkey to water but you can't make the Jackass Drink

"As Americans you have the right to be stupid." John Kerry

"Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne.
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  #14  
Old 06-08-2013, 08:45 PM
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I have never seen so many independents in the Tampa area as I have now. This is great. They will not do any lawn for 19.99 which is TG's legacy price. The improvement in quality shows as well. I just hope it doesn't turn dog eat dog like the mowing scene. But even that has shown a dramatic improvement this year. These are really nice rigs too. Cabover bodies, multiple reels, backpacks and tilt hitches hauling permagreens and the like. Professional wraps and graphics. I could only imagine the company some of the sharpies on here could build up if given proper backing and allowed to design their own training and programs. It would be the nail in the coffin for TG. I've had a few "I told you so conversations" this year already.
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  #15  
Old 06-08-2013, 11:25 PM
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DA Quality Lawn & YS DA Quality Lawn & YS is offline
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It has been monsoon rainy around here this spring. Rained nearly every day in May. I could not spray anything for weeks. But, TG was out working. I am like "that is just not ethical"
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  #16  
Old 06-09-2013, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by DA Quality Lawn & YS View Post
It has been monsoon rainy around here this spring. Rained nearly every day in May. I could not spray anything for weeks. But, TG was out working. I am like "that is just not ethical"
It is Amazing the difference in the morals of the independents and the Big Box people. Friday had no rain, but the ground was so saturated I would not spray. I lost a whole week of Production because of Tropical Storm Andrea. I bet the Big boys didn't lose two days. They can't financially afford too. They operate on Big Volume, lower Margin because of a large over head. I charge more and have almost no over head to speak of. Of course I don't do their volume either.

Unfortunate the Big Box people are slowly but surely buying out the small guy. Not necessarily TG/CL but Truly Nolen and Massey here in Florida. Truly Nolen at least tries to educate their techs and doesn't do bad work. However the bottom line rules and they do cheap on Fert as the price raises. Massey Just Bough out a 4,000 account low ball operation near me. They raised Prices on out of contract accounts. I know because of the Tire Kicker call I have gotten. They have not operated in my area long enough for me to form a accurate opinion, But I have heard things I don't like about them.

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"TG doesn't give a rats ass about being "Responsible" as long as sales/production quotas are met. That's it in a nutshell. A recipe for disaster IMO." Ted Putnam 2/28/14

You can lead a Donkey to water but you can't make the Jackass Drink

"As Americans you have the right to be stupid." John Kerry

"Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne.
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  #17  
Old 06-09-2013, 04:06 PM
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Efficiency Efficiency is offline
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The ONLY point to business is earning a return for the share holders. Once that is realized, every subsequent decision is simply made by asking, does this make me or my shareholders more or the most money.
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  #18  
Old 06-09-2013, 05:12 PM
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The ONLY point to business is earning a return for the share holders. Once that is realized, every subsequent decision is simply made by asking, does this make me or my shareholders more or the most money.
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Yes but TG is making short term decisions instead of looking at the long run. They market heavy then lose as many customers as they gain because their work sucks. They are a great marketing company, too bad they can't keep customers. Maybe if they paid their Techs they could get and keep good people.

I know of a TG branch some where in Florida where I could buy chemical out the back door cheap. Once again employee loyalty should be number one so they don't steal.

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"TG doesn't give a rats ass about being "Responsible" as long as sales/production quotas are met. That's it in a nutshell. A recipe for disaster IMO." Ted Putnam 2/28/14

You can lead a Donkey to water but you can't make the Jackass Drink

"As Americans you have the right to be stupid." John Kerry

"Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne.
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  #19  
Old 06-09-2013, 06:11 PM
happyuser happyuser is offline
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I worked for them and our branch was number one in the country with best retention. Most of the techs worked there 20+ years. Problem is they hire kids that simply don't care and are not old school hard workers. As im sure a lot of you know its hard to find good help and with a company that has 250 branches that's a lot of employees. They just picked up all Brickman accounts and prices have gone up and they invested in better products such as slow release fert, dismiss ect. I defend them because the branch I worked for provided quality service. Rather than me bashing them because I no longer there I have a working relationship and it has worked out well.
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  #20  
Old 06-09-2013, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by happyuser View Post
I worked for them and our branch was number one in the country with best retention. Most of the techs worked there 20+ years. Problem is they hire kids that simply don't care and are not old school hard workers. As im sure a lot of you know its hard to find good help and with a company that has 250 branches that's a lot of employees. They just picked up all Brickman accounts and prices have gone up and they invested in better products such as slow release fert, dismiss ect. I defend them because the branch I worked for provided quality service. Rather than me bashing them because I no longer there I have a working relationship and it has worked out well.
This is good to hear. Florida is such a difficult state to get your CPO license in and rightfully so. The opportunity for an ambitious young worker is limited especially if the hort degree route isn't available to them. I have a couple of young guys I would love to see get in on the ground level and learn their way to a license and eventually their own gig. No time in my life for that route anymore so I will be dependant on hiring quality, trained individuals and paying them for their knowledge. Currently I sub it all out to another private firm, but would eventually like to keep it in house.
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