Over 150 years ago, the grass became greener when the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded.
Back in 1868, Marysville, OH, just outside of Columbus, OH, resident Orlando McLean Scott saw the inherent value in the U.S. agricultural marketplace. Built upon an unyielding conviction that “farmers need and shall have clean, weed-free fields”, Scott’s company evolved into a premium seed distributor within the industry.
From humble beginnings, the business evolved to not only supplying top-rated consumer products, but offering beneficial, customer-focused services like lawn care to clientele who prefer not to undertake the task themselves.
Unlike its competition in the field, Scotts LawnService, a corporate subsidy, utilizes a single truck that offers both tree and lawn service. Residential lawn services include fertilization, crabgrass prevention, and weed/pest control, and certified technicians use the company’s own products to provide customers with a beautiful, weed-free lawn—something that makes Scotts stand out from the rest.
David Buhn, Scotts Fleet Operations Manager based in Columbus, OH, is committed to sustaining the company’s goal as the #1 lawn care company in the U.S. Maintaining and monitoring 2,500 rolling trucks on a daily basis, Buhn is accountable for ensuring the efficiency of his fleet. His days are spent conversing strategy with the 11 fleet mechanics delegated to major U.S. markets to verifying the proper maintenance for each truck. In Buhn’s world, the minor details matter.
According to Buhn, as Scotts LawnService expands beyond today’s 90 corporate owned and 90 franchised owned businesses, they are focused on maximizing the services offered. Out of the 2,500 trucks he manages, roughly 800 are Ford models. The trucks range in specialization, with some designed for lawn care, others tree and shrub care, and the remainder serve as pest control. The majority are Ford Super Duties, which include 50 F-150s, as well as 100 F-450s. The company also utilizes the new Transit Connect. As a Ford advocate, Buhn eagerly discloses that he is the proud driver of a 2014 Ford F-150 4X4.
”The combination of quality, service and technological advancements of Ford products is why we stick with Ford for our fleet”, states Buhn. “Pricing, the availability of parts due, an extensive dealer network, and consistent customer service are hugely important,” he notes.
Ford is just a part of the solution for the Scotts LawnService fleet. Reading Truck Body, a pioneering and innovative manufacturer of work truck bodies headquartered in Reading, PA, serves an integral role in providing the tools and solutions the Scotts organization needs. Reading provides the majority of Scotts truck upfitting at its Louisville, KY site, which is conveniently located across the street from a Ford plant for easy access to the Ford Ship-thru transportation network. The quality of Reading craftsmanship is extraordinarily evident, according to Buhn. “Reading takes care of everything, from spray units with 250 gallon tanks, to power inverters and onboard technology system mounts, to fire extinguishers and spill kits to full decaling for brand recognition in the field. Our technicians depend on all of this to get the job done.”
Since Reading manufacturers its own products, engineers the design and installation of ancillary equipment, and applies the finishing touches—Buhn has confidence in the brand and applauds it for going above and beyond the call of duty that fleet managers have come to expect. Troubleshooting a problem that has arisen can sometimes be a difficult situation to confront, but Buhn has discovered that this is not the case when it comes to Reading. “[They] are always there to stand by and service their products—getting a hold of someone is never a challenge,” he emphasizes.
Buhn’s relationship with Reading Truck Body isn’t new; like many of Reading’s steadfast clients, he is extraordinarily familiar with the company, its mission and its products. Over the course of 20 years, he has grown to appreciate its unique offerings. “In my opinion, the Reading solution trumps all others due to one difference typically neglected by others—the ability to be a turnkey operation.”
“When Reading is installing equipment and bodies, they know what they are doing because they built the product. You don’t always receive that warm and fuzzy feeling from other upfitters because they don’t know the products as well,” Buhn enthusiastically shares. For an operation like Scotts whose livelihood depends on its trucks to sustain organization and protect its most valuable resources while exercising cost-effective decisions regarding fuel, the combination for Ford and Reading products has made all of the difference.
In this case, the right tools, expertise and support do make the grass is greener on the other side.