As the lead commercial foreman at Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscape Care in Denver, Colorado, Seth Getto says he deals with a lot of commercial properties and needs his truck to be a “clean, working machine” that helps him do his job — and do it well. His truck’s setup is one thing that allows him to do that. The front portion of the truck’s back area are two 200-gallon tanks — one with water and one with herbicide. Getto says the truck is also well organized both for safety and efficiency. We recently caught up with Getto to find out more about his vehicle and how it helps him to get the job done.
I don’t have kids yet, but I have two babies. One is my machine and one is my truck. That’s baby number one and baby number two for me.
The setup I have on my truck is perfect for what I need to do. The back half of my truck is my machine and the other side holds up to one pallet of fertilizer. I’m not a big fan of loading my truck up with more fertilizer than I need, though. I like to leave the shop with exactly what I need for the day.
Cleanliness is incredibly important in a profession like this. We take washing the vehicles seriously. When fertilizer sits on anything for too long it’s going to eat it away, so in order to safeguard your truck and your equipment it must be washed routinely. I spend quite a bit of time cleaning at the end of every work day.
We take going to the wrong property seriously, too. So, we have checks in place to prevent it from happening. One thing our techs must do is use the last name when they go up to the door. It’s not enough to say, “Hi, Mary, I’m here to do your service.” They must say “Hi, Mary Smith.” We require other verifications such as double-checking the street sign for the road name, looking at the house or apartment number and looking at the plant material being serviced. You can’t just blindly trust a GPS.
Our vehicles are all wrapped for a consistent look. We use soft lettering, soft colors and photographs such as a child playing in a lawn with a dog. The idea is to not scare people because people do get scared when it comes to the kind of work we do. There’s already too much negative information out there — and a lot of misinformation — and we’re trying to change that.
I once used my water tank to put out a fire on the side of the road. That’s probably one of the craziest things to happen to me on the job. I beat the fire chief and all of the police to the site, and when they arrived they shook my hand.
Me! The No. 1 most important thing in my truck is… me! Anyone can go out and put fertilizer down but that doesn’t mean they’re doing it right or even with a license.
Personal protection equipment. Spray gloves and eyewear are always a must.
My spill kit. The 3 Cs are so important with chemical spills — control, contain and clean up those spills!
My kosher lunch. I never eat out anywhere. I’m a big fan of a proportional, healthy lunch. I often have a kale salad and usually two proteins like a hard-boiled egg and some tuna.