Since starting the business in 2006 alongside his brother Andy, Doug McDuff, president and co-owner of Landscape America, has seen the Wrentham, Massachusetts-based company rapidly grow. Much of that has been due to hard work by both brothers. During the busy season, McDuff says it’s not unusual for him to spend as much as eight to 10 hours of his day in his truck. That’s one reason why he keeps it so pristine. McDuff says he can’t function in a messy environment. He gets around town, meeting with clients and stopping at jobsites in his 2016 F-150, which McDuff says, “gets good gas mileage, has enough power to tow a small trailer and can fit his whole family in for a weekend trip.” Turf recently caught up with McDuff to find out more about what he keeps in his truck and how it helps him run a successful business.
Having a mobile office is important to me. My cellphone and iPad help me do just that. I use my iPad to do estimates in the field when possible, using LMN software. I also use it to keep notes on all my customers — and have been doing so since 2010. That allows me to reference an appointment I had with a customer seven years ago and still know on the spot what we discussed.
I always keep our hardcover portfolio in my truck. We made the portfolio through Apple and it’s basically a compilation of high-quality photos of our jobsites so that clients can get an idea of the work we do while also getting some design ideas. It has helped me sell millions of dollars in work over the past seven years, and we are in the process of completing version two of it. This time I’m making soft-covered copies to leave with clients.
Each of our foremen has a company-issued iPad. They use it to access our operating software program, which clocks their time and tracks their routes. They also use the iPad for GPS in order to find the best routes to jobs and vendors.
We have a Peterbilt 10-wheel Hooklift truck, which serves as our in-house delivery service. The truck can pick up a skid-steer in the body and move an excavator on our 20-ton tag trailer so that both machines can be delivered to a site in just one trip.
We are all about efficiency. We leave dumpsters for crews to load up excavation and debris and also use them to haul in bulk material. We have a dedicated driver to service our crews. The idea is to keep our foreman and crews on-site, generating income, and we recover the cost of this truck and the driver in our overhead.
Keeping my truck neat is important to me. Being neat and clean helps me to stay organized and sets precedence for others in the company to take care of their vehicles. I take pride in my truck and the fact that it will look new even after five years.
My ZIPLEVEL — For taking grade shots to making sure our steps, wall heights, etc., are accurate.
Unilock catalogs — They’re our preferred manufacturer because of the support they’ve given us as contractors. We consider Unilock a partner and a support system.
My iPad — I would be lost without it.
Armor All wipes — If I get to an appointment early, I’ll spend five minutes cleaning the dash and detailing the truck.
Snacks — I like to keep gum, lots of water and Cliff Bars on hand.