Sunday, October 23, 2016

From Green to White

 Its been a long time since I've talked about the "other" thing I do at work. If you follow this blog you know I repair chainsaws and other handheld two cycle equipment. What I don't talk about much is that when I was first hired by my current employer, it was to run the landscape crew. It's something that I had done for a very long time. Part of those landscaping duties was to do develop and manage a lawn pesticide applications and fertilization branch of the business. The owner of the business at the time didn't give me a blank check but he did give me a loose leash. I was given the type of equipment I wanted and what we couldn't buy, I was allowed to build.
 Be careful what you wish for. I had a good reputation and some connections from past employment. That combined with fair pricing, the willingness to work with the customers schedule, and good results has built a monster that consumes way too much of my time. 
 I never really had any desire to spray lawns. It came with the job and if you're gonna do a job you might as well do it well. I also can control how these chemicals are applied. I mean, people that want weed or pest control are gonna either do it themselves or hire someone. You wouldn't believe how many people figure if a little is good then more is better. When I make the application I have control over chemical types, rates and the possibility of runoff. That's how I justify it in my head anyway.
 There are two things I really like about this kind of work. One is being outside. The weather is always good because if it's crap weather then I'm not able to perform the work. The other is the equipment. I like building or working on the pumps, sprayers and spreaders. It's a gearhead thing.
 The other day I decided to shoot a short video while running one of the rigs. Nothing fancy, just a phone in one hand and steering wheel in the other. It appears to be boring work but the truth is I've been doing it so long it comes automatically. The equipment is calibrated for a certain speed so there is no rushing the job. That relaxed pace means I am rarely thinking about actually running the equipment and most of my thought process is consumed thinking about motorcycle projects, a stubborn repair waiting on my work bench, or lately a bathroom remodel. Guess what? The pay is the same no matter what I'm day dreaming about.
 I have one big job left for Monday and then all the equipment can be cleaned and put away till spring. The trucks will lose their water tanks and get salters and snow plows installed and then we just wait for mother nature to dump the white stuff. One more year in the books.


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