Chris “Babe” Predella is 28 years old. His company, Babe’s Lawn Care, in Brimfield, Massachusetts, employs 11 people, fields five crews, and offers fullservice landscape management to 200 customers. He does snow removal, and prior to the first snowfall delivers 300 full cords of firewood to customers. To make life even more interesting, this year he purchased a 15-acre plot of land with an office and garage.
My writing has purposefully been reserved for topics besides promoting the Walker Mower. With this column I will digress a little bit and look at the opportunity to compare the differences in zero-turn riding mowers. There are some real differences, and it would be beneficial for buyers to make the comparisons and understand the differences before purchasing. Since the beginning, the Walker, with its deck mounted out front (front-mount deck), has stood apart from a market flooded with the mid-mount style mowers, and offers many unique advantages. A well-versed dealer’s salesperson can point out the differences in the showroom and during a demonstration.
When Simon Padgett moved to Marco Island, Florida, from England to start Multiskill Lawn and Garden Services, he had a few surprises in store. Back home, landscapes are not bombarded by hurricane salt spray, and spiral white flies couldn’t infest palm trees that don’t grow there. He didn’t expect to see so much competition in the marketplace. And doing business here? Well, in his words, “You have an incredible bureaucracy that creates all sorts of obstacles.”
Maintaining a cemetery can be one of the toughest applications for any mower. It not only has to maneuver in between and around headstones, but cemetery grounds are notoriously bumpy as graves deteriorate over time. When the cemetery is located in Montana where winters can be difficult, having mowers that can do double-duty snow removal is important as well.
One way to grow is to offer a standard service to all customers, one that saves both time and money. This strategy, however, holds little appeal to Brad Paton, owner of Shades of Summer Landscaping in Hamilton, ON, Canada. In business for only five years, his approach is to adapt service offerings to properties.
As a Walker Mower user and reader of Walker Talk magazine, you’ve lived the story and read about others who’ve done the same. Chances are you started out mowing lawns very early in life. Your first customers were your neighbors. Obtaining a driver’s license allowed you to branch out of the neighborhood while in high school, and later, after graduation, you may have immediately hung your own shingle.