Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

SEP 2017

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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Above This truck lot is at the com- pany's headquarters, which comprises about 40 acres in Wolcott. Branch operations are located in Branford and Greenwich. After landing his initial big commercial job, a local utility, Chiarella purchased his first truck. The company now has 60-65 dump trucks, rack body trucks and box trucks, and load all maintenance equipment in them as they learned over the years that the inconve- niences of towing and parking trailers outweighed their usefulness. Chiarella says that he started using Isuzu trucks a while ago and found that they last the longest. In-house mechanics ser- vice the vehicles but they outsource major repairs. For fueling purposes, there are large, aboveground tanks for gas and diesel. Tankers come in every week to fill them up. Above, Left Chiarella started with one walk-behind mower while in high school. The first machine he bought was an edger for $250 from the father of one of his earliest employees. Ultimate Services now has hundreds of mowers and has such a strong relationship with Hustler that they are a dealer of that brand. Also, the company used to service all the equip- ment of another brand in the area but now only services their own. September 2017 29 In the Company of Good People One of Chiarella's earliest influences was Donald Giampietro, a man he describes as a brilliant designer and builder who was way ahead of his time. His company, West - brook Nursery, created advanced irrigation systems and, uncommon, at the time, water features like waterfalls. (Donald also was the father of Matthew Giampietro, who was featured in the July issue of LC/DBM in Smart Stream Building.) Besides being a patient teacher, or as Chiarella puts it, "my mentor," the senior Giampietro would send work his way. One of the company's first employees, who became a fireman, continued to work at Ultimate services for "40-something years and he still works here as does his son." Chiarella has supervisors that have been with him over 20 years. His oldest living customer has been with him for 42 years. His first big account, at $10,000/year, was a local phone company that 40 years later is still on the client list. "Forty-six years in business nowadays is a feat in itself," Chiarella reckons. "We Service the Client Period." It's a simple motto but one that says much in a short space. Ultimate's basic ser - vices include lawn and tree care, pest man- agement and irrigation. The company also offers many specialized ones: they have fine gardeners that do specialized pruning, they install hardscape, water features, elaborate putting greens and tennis courts

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