Follow these Expert Tips to Create and Maintain an Organized Landscape Trailer
Buyers Products interviewed landscaping pros to get their secrets to setting up a trailer that stays organized, job after job. Get organized, stay organized, and increase profitability with these tips from Landscape experts.
When we talked with the experts, Buyers Products interviewed top-notch landscapers to create this standout organizational checklist. One common theme prevailed: Time is money. From finding tools easily to securing them with confidence, an organized trailer means that you and your crew can can do your job, pack up, and get on to the next job…find the tools you need and replace them when the job’s done – with no wasted time.
- Do the Inventory Deep Dive.
Empty your trailer. Make a list of what you have. Then, make a list of what you need to get your job(s) done. Our experts recommend you start with just one trailer of in your fleet. Then, model the others off of the new and improved one. You’ll end up with a uniform, cohesive group. Keeping trailers standard by division also helps if a crewmember has to switch from one type of work to another. Everyone knows their way around each trailer.
- Have a Plan for Damaged or Broken Tools.
When you’re emptying your trailer, it’s likely that you’ll find that a few tools that are damaged or broken. Replace or repair them, but do NOT plan on returning them to your truck until they are safe and usable.
Now that you’ve made a list of what you have, think about how your crew uses your tools. Walk through a typical job and think about your order-of-operations. Which tools need to be accessible first, second or third? Which ones are used less frequently?
- Set Up the System.
Once you’ve prioritized, now you can decide what goes where. This will minimize time spent loading and unloading your equipment. Racking and storage can really assist here. Trimmer line spool brackets, hand tool racks, gas can racks, and water cooler racks offer distinct, easy-to-find locations for each type of equipment.
Create big, easy-to-read labels so everyone knows exactly where tools and equipment belong. Some landscapers we spoke to have declared the floor a “No Load Zone.” No tool is ever on the floor. Ever.
- Secure and Lock.
Keep items secure and organized and avoid damage during transport by loading and locking each piece correctly. Securing tools and supplies with trimmer racks, blower racks, or multi-racks can help improve the longevity of your tools.
- Refine Your System.
Taking stuff out is easy. Doing your job is satisfying. Returning tools and equipment to their appropriate places at the end of a job? That’s the challenge. It’s important that you’ve created clear, distinct spots for each item you use throughout the job. If the order you created in step #4 isn’t working, revise it. Instruct your crew to remove any item in need of repair until it’s ready for action.
- Add Accountability.
Designate someone to be responsible for keeping each individual trailer organized. If a tidy trailer becomes a measurable part of an employee’s job performance, it will be an everyday occurrence.
Rob Morel from Morel Landscaping has put a system in place to make accountability a priority. Each of his foremen assigns daily clean-up duty to a crewmember. The crewmember is expected to fill out any necessary paperwork for restocking or repairing items, and then the trailer is signed-off on. There are consequences to the crewmember, including a small fine, if the trailer does not align with company standards. Rob said that after they established this rule, “Messy trailers have not been an issue anymore. We have clean, organized trailers, every time.”
- Bottom Line: It’s Your Name on the Truck.
You want to leave a good, lasting impression with your clients, each and every time. A landscape trailer is a portable office, and no client wants to see disorder. As Shawn Spencer from Shawn Spencer’s Lawn Care shared, “Being organized makes you more efficient and can maximize productivity. Providing a professional appearance and quality work is key to a business’ success.” Your work and your truck impact your reputation, so get organized, stay organized, and do great work.
Have a before and after picture to share of your trailer? We’d love to see it. Tag @BuyersProducts on Instagram. Show us your best (and your worst!).