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What a Friggin Day

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  • picframer
    started a topic What a Friggin Day

    What a Friggin Day

    So my day starts today at 4:30, have equipment to move.

    We are 95% finished a 27,000 dollar job, all we have left is spread 12 yards of mulch, this client has been amazing, the perfect client, we put a massive drainage system in along his driveway and made his driveway 3 feet wider, we put a new driveway in crowned and rolled man "did" it look nice. Did major excavation work, we had a crew there for almost three weeks.

    I am at the site to drop off a tractor to make spreading faster, I always buy from the same place, new driver. As I always do I make them get out of the truck and do a walk, the homewoner, my son and a worker walked as I explained stay away from this side and when you are beside the house dump, do not go back further as the septic field is there.

    What's he do???? Jumps in the truck and starts backing up the driveway this is a freightliner truck, he starts getting close to the drain so we all yell and wave out hands, what's he do??? Floors it and spins out 250 feet on drain in no time, does he stop at the top by the house to dump,,,,nope he keeps going and buries the axles of the truck in a twenty thousand dollar septic field, I thought I was going to have a heart attack, I could not even speak, the home owner made me get in his car and rushed me to an emergency clinic, severe Anxiety attack, gave me something under the tongue which calmed me down, let me go an hour later, this has never happened in my life.

    The home owner was calm, cool and collected, I was wild and I never get that upset.

    I called the owner of the company as I have his private cell, we are a pretty big client, he is two hours away for the long weekend (Thaksgiving) I explain what happened and that he muct come and come now, he finally agrees. I leave the truck in the septic field, I didn't have an excavator there any longer anyhow, owner arrives, long story short the driver had never driven the truck before, didn't work for them, was the office managers brother and was filling in as they were short staffed.

    Call my lawyer and he is there within 15 min as he lives on the ocean not far from this site, it is written by the owner of the product his company will cover all repair costs, will probably run 30 grand or more.

    I am beside myself this evening as we are booked solid 7 days a week into November and now booking April of next year but I can't leave the site until it's fixed, it will take us a good week and the driveway is a bloddy mess, it looked so nice and the client said people stopped and asked who did it......

    Anyhow this has to be the most stressful day in my total career.....think I will take the dog for a walk and maybe start a camp fire in the back yard over a cold one.;

    This customer Dave has to be one of a kind, he wasn't upset at all at any time, even my staff were shocked.
    Last edited by picframer; 10-09-2009, 07:08 PM.

  • Steve
    replied
    I received payment from the company that did the damage today in the mail along with a nice letter and 32 yards of Organic Top Soil in 2010 at no charge, I thought this was very nice.
    That was very nice. You can tell they really value your business! I am glad this is coming to a final resolution.

    Leave a comment:


  • picframer
    replied
    Sounds good, happy to hear your ok.
    I received payment from the company that did the damage today in the mail along with a nice letter and 32 yards of Organic Top Soil in 2010 at no charge, I thought this was very nice.

    As soon as I am told I can post images I will, I just don't want to screw anything up on my end and my lawyer said to hang tight last time we talked until payment was received.

    Leave a comment:


  • picframer
    replied
    Do you feel like you have learned business lessons from the way they run their dealership? Have there been ways they have interacted and dealt with you that you learned from and have taken those experiences and lessons and applied them to the way you interact with your customers?
    I don't think so as it's how I built the last company, started with 8 employees and ended with 451 7 years later when I stepped down, it's all about the team and treating customers like we want to be treated. This lawn care business was to be me, my son and maybe a helper, at one point we had close to 20 staff this summer and here we are mid October, cold with snow flurries and still at least two calls a day for landscaping/excavation services, all pretty much word of mouth or people that have seen our work.

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve
    replied
    My blood runs green only because of the dealer, the staff, the support and the feeling like I am family, once I am in bed with a product or manufacturer, a sales guy's chances of switching me are near zip, like the old saying goes better the devil you know than the one you don't, even when I have an issue with something which is rare, it's a none issue after a quick telephone call and it has happened a few times this year.
    Do you feel like you have learned business lessons from the way they run their dealership? Have there been ways they have interacted and dealt with you that you learned from and have taken those experiences and lessons and applied them to the way you interact with your customers?

    Leave a comment:


  • justin_time
    replied
    As soon as I have payment and my lawyer tells me we are clear, I will post them, I have the damage, repair and finished product pictures as does the client.
    Sounds good, happy to hear your ok.

    Leave a comment:


  • picframer
    replied
    Still waiting for those accident pics. I can't picture it into my head
    As soon as I have payment and my lawyer tells me we are clear, I will post them, I have the damage, repair and finished product pictures as does the client.

    Leave a comment:


  • justin_time
    replied
    Still waiting for those accident pics. I can't picture it into my head

    Leave a comment:


  • picframer
    replied
    You should take some pictures of the demo. I'd love to see what goes on there at them.

    Also, you could offer to make some videos for them on how to operate the different machinery. They could be put into dvd format and attached to the machinery. Or they could be made available for viewing on their website.

    In the past you have talked about how fantastic their support has been for their product and it has made me wonder, are other manufacturers on par with them or does John Deere simply stand out with their support?
    Very good question, it depends on where you live.

    I belong to a tractor forum which is massive, some folks have very poor experiences with Deere, I should say the Deere dealer.

    Color doesn't mean a lot to me, it's how well the product performs and the team where I bought it to back it up.

    I have operated machinery from six differnet manufacturers, they all have their strengths and weakness but when the day is done, they will all do the job.

    My blood runs green only because of the dealer, the staff, the support and the feeling like I am family, once I am in bed with a product or manufacturer, a sales guy's chances of switching me are near zip, like the old saying goes better the devil you know than the one you don't, even when I have an issue with something which is rare, it's a none issue after a quick telephone call and it has happened a few times this year.

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve
    replied
    You should take some pictures of the demo. I'd love to see what goes on there at them.

    Also, you could offer to make some videos for them on how to operate the different machinery. They could be put into dvd format and attached to the machinery. Or they could be made available for viewing on their website.

    In the past you have talked about how fantastic their support has been for their product and it has made me wonder, are other manufacturers on par with them or does John Deere simply stand out with their support?

    Leave a comment:


  • picframer
    replied
    That fascinates me they would call you to do this. It makes sense, but I would have figured the staff at John Deere would know how to use all these machines and wouldn't need to hire anyone to do such a job.

    But maybe it just comes down to, they know how to speak about the machines and you know how to use the machines in real life situations.

    This sounds like it is going to be very interesting.

    How often do they have these and have you ever been to one before? What do you think of them?
    With no disrespect to the dealer, the staff know what they have read about the machines and sell based on that, this is one reason the dealer had every staff member come out and work with me for at least a day, we know all the in's and out's, things never mentioned in the brochure and there is nothing that compares to hands on experience.

    I have tought the dealer a lot, my tractors all have custom features that I either saw somewhere, read about or used on a larger model.

    They have these demo's once in the spring which I worked at and actually sold 7 pieces of equipment on my own and one in the fall, this is the big one as snow removal gear will be there also.

    Running machines is simply in my blood, my sister was a massive potatoe farmer, around 1,200 acres, 16++ tractors and two very large barns full of gear, I loved working on the farm and starting driving tractors around the age of 12 by myself, running them day in and out, I was running a skid steer by the age of 13 in the barns moving potatoes from bins to train cars, I think the only machine I know of that I have not operated would be a boom lift, everything else I have even bull dozers as we used them on the farm to clear new land.

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve
    replied
    That fascinates me they would call you to do this. It makes sense, but I would have figured the staff at John Deere would know how to use all these machines and wouldn't need to hire anyone to do such a job.

    But maybe it just comes down to, they know how to speak about the machines and you know how to use the machines in real life situations.

    This sounds like it is going to be very interesting.

    How often do they have these and have you ever been to one before? What do you think of them?

    Leave a comment:


  • picframer
    replied
    How does this work out? Do you go to their store and drive it around for potential customers to watch? Or is there more to it?
    No, these are big machines brought into a quarry by tractor trailer, the sales guys speak, I do the demos depending on what the potential customer is interested in, it's advertised on TV and paper, probably 2,500 people will show and yes tire kickers also.

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve
    replied
    Thursday Deere hired me to demonstrate their new line of excavators, loaders, skid steers etc. that will be fun, $$$ is amazing but that is not why I am doing it, they treat me like gold so it's an honor to do this and they have told me many times they don't know of any company that can operate this size of equipment the way we do and get the results and business like we do.
    How does this work out? Do you go to their store and drive it around for potential customers to watch? Or is there more to it?

    Leave a comment:


  • picframer
    replied
    That makes sense. It must wear on you doing anything 7 days a week.
    Variety keeps me going, if I was running an excavator 7 days a week I would be a basket case, I switch my own jobs up from spraying, mowing to running machinery.

    Yesterday I ran the excavator for 9 hours, it was great, today and tomorrow I am running a loader at this pool sight, that will be fun as it's been a week or so since I did this, Thursday Deere hired me to demonstrate their new line of excavators, loaders, skid steers etc. that will be fun, $$$ is amazing but that is not why I am doing it, they treat me like gold so it's an honor to do this and they have told me many times they don't know of any company that can operate this size of equipment the way we do and get the results and business like we do.

    Friday I am trading with a mowing crew and mowing with my helper for the day to teach him how we do it, he is generally with me on bigger construction sites, Saturday I will be rebuilding a private road that is 3,000 feet long, this will be a super fun project.

    I get tired mentally keeping track of everything on the go, I stopped doing quotes a few weeks ago other than to neighbours, our response from website inquiries is we are now fully booked for the season however we do appreciate you contacting us, we would be happy to look at your project in April of 2010, Thanks Again!

    This has dropped the stress level a lot as it's one less task to balance, the company is winding down for the season now, slowly but we will get there.

    Frig it calls for snow flurries Thursday and I still have 18 projects to get to including clearing and building two out door skaing rink areas, just the excavation and tree clearing for the government, big bucks and very easy work, that will be my last two projects of the season.

    Leave a comment:

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