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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Right Other special services that Ultimate offers are installation and maintenance of orchards, vineyards, vegetable gardens and pump- kin patches. And they are an official dealer of artificial turf supplier Southwest Greens. September 2017 31 "I bought six of them every year to beef up our inventory," he says. The last one cost $5,400. They provided the best cut a lawn can get." The Fruits of Labor The company's present location in Wolcott, Connecticut, comprises about 65,000 square feet that includes the nursery. There are also branch offices in Branford and Greenwich. Depending on the year and the jobs on the books, the employee role has ranged from 70 to 120. The present staff numbers about 100. Besides seven office staff and four mechanics, the rest are field workers. Chiarella does use the H2B program, hiring between 25 to 75 from year to year. He thinks it is a very good program though for a couple of years, found it difficult to participate. "We're trying to work through those issues," he says. "Being in business so long, I know there are challenges every time I turn around but I just chalk it up to business and we just deal with every challenge and stay focused." To further increase his knowledge base, Chiarella has taken horticultural classes at University of Connecticut. One former professor was a turf specialist who had a connection with Wimbledon and got Chiarella consulting work there where he got to see what kind of seed they used and how the soil gets prepared for what is claimed to be the finest turf in the world. A Look Backward "It's just interest- ing to watch the progression of the company," Chi - arella muses. "I love what we do. It's a customer-based business and when I say never save for tomorrow what we have to do today, I truly live by it." Chiarella admits that it is a little bit - tersweet when he considers the time gone by. But he seems full of gratitude and gratification about his extensive, productive career. "I wouldn't trade it for anything. It still gives me great pleasure so I think it was a good move for me many years ago." LC DBM Above, Right Bigger machines in the company's inventory include excavators, skid steers, bucket trucks, wood chippers and bigger trucks that require CDL licenses to drive. Chiarella says he buys whatever brand the staff seems to like best. When needed, the company does rent larger equipment such as when installing rooftop gardens where trees and shrubs have to be brought in by a crane.

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