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I used to work in the corporate world but was getting tired of the long hours. When my first daughter was born, I started looking for an avenue to be my own boss so I could control my own time, my own destiny. I left my job, went to the bookstore, and picked up a book about landscaping. Now, 20 years later, I have a fleet of trucks and 40 employees.
I rely on Mobil Delvac because the environment on the Gulf Coast can eat up your equipment. About 60 inches of annual rainfall. Humidity. Sand. My equipment needs to be able to tolerate salt, sand, and water. Constant hurricanes and tropical storms. And I can only maintain my fleet with consistent maintenance and good engine oil.
You have to be ready for everything in Gulf Shores. We have pretty wild weather and there’s so much that can go wrong in a matter of days that prevention is vital. I tell my customers: “Hey, we’ve had a hot dry summer, be ready for bugs and mole crickets.” Or if we come into a long, wet rainy period, I tell them, “Look, you’re going to start having weeds everywhere.” I know they’re coming and I’m going to start treating them before it happens.
My first wake up call was in 1997 with Hurricane Danny. I was new—my company was just me. I didn’t have the capability to remove sand like I do now so it was like trying to move a mountain with a wheelbarrow. I knew I needed to elevate my game so I bought my first tractor and became a full-service landscaping company that worked on installation, irrigation repairs and sand removal. Back in ’97 I thought I knew everything, but I realized how much more work there was to do.