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 The number of employees fluctuates between 70 to120 depending on the time of year and the jobs that they have. This includes about seven office staff and three to four mechanics. Middle As part of their integrated pest management services, Ultimate offers organic programs as well as more traditional ones. The company holds licenses in the states of New York and Connecticut to do so. 30 LC DBM for residential homes. Their own 33,000 square foot nursery allows them to rent out palm trees and citrus trees and then store them in the fall. Customers hire them to decorate with seasonal color and holiday lighting. Installation and maintenance of orchards, vineyards, vegetable gardens, and pumpkin patches are part of Ulti - mate's offerings. The company even has an apiary division that installs and main - tains beehives, extracts the honey, jars it and private labels it for customers, who can also get their maple trees tapped for syrup. "We really do anything the client needs," Chiarella admits. "My work staff is a strong group of people that can do almost anything." Tools of the Trade The first machine that Chiarella bought was a used edger for $250, for which the seller agreed to be paid in installments. His initial truck was purchased after landing his first big commercial ac - count. The compa- ny now has around 60 vehicles. A typical prop - erty maintenance truck is outfitted with a zero-turn and walk-behind mowers, trimmers and blowers. Ultimate Service's bigger machines include backhoes, skid steers, bucket trucks, chippers and bigger trucks that you need a CDL license to drive. They do rent machines such larger backhoes and cranes as needed. Gasoline and diesel supplied by aboveground tanks that get filled weekly, are the main sources of fuel though Chiarella's fleet does include propane- powered skid steers. "We are going into electric," he ad - mits. "Some of the places we do business with don't want noise. We are seeing more of that." In the past, the company used to depend on Locke gang mowers, which were designed with a reel in front and one on each side. "We were one of the first, and proba - bly longest-lasting users of the mowers," recalls Chiarella. When he first started acquiring them in the 1980s, they cost about $1,600. Left Ultimate Services also has its own 33,000 square feet nursery. Besides growing plants to install on customers' properties, the com- pany also rents out palm trees and citrus trees and then stores them in the offseason.

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