Monday, April 30, 2018

Could this be why it is so hard to get anywhere when you are younger?

I was talking with a friend this evening when the topic turned to some of the challenges we’ve had to work through to get where we’re at. 

Being female in the male dominated world of construction, she mentioned the laughs, recommendations to get out, and outright ridicule she faced early on. After hearing her talk, I asked if she ever thought about the connections she would make along the way. 

She’s well networked with some pretty influential people these days. 

I talked about some of the challenges I faced early on as well as recently and how I’d grown to appreciate them. 

Even like them.

Looking back, those same challenges are what now keep us from facing more competition. “If it were easy everyone would be doing it”. 

Youth comes with lots of energy obviously, so these challenges are what separates the youthful dreamers from the experienced and successful. 

We face many of these challenges alongside others, growing our network along the way. Others still are watching from the sidelines re-living their own challenges as they see you work your way through. You may not see it, but you’re building a bond and trust with some of them and don’t even know it. 

It is as it is meant to be.

Next time you’re faced with a challenge, keep that in mind, it might help make it a little less stressful.

One of the things I have enjoyed most is watching those who take on new challenges, renting equipment to do a job they don’t have a lot of experience with or the equipment to do it. The real wins are when they do well at it, stick with it, and grow that business.

We may eventually lose the customer for that piece of equipment as they grow enough to justify owning what they have been renting, but that’s ok too. Another person is just starting off on the same journey.

Have a tool or equipment need coming up? We’d appreciate your business

Roseburg 541-492-7368

Myrtle Creek 541-863-4385

Did someone just tell you to pound sand?

This is another of those life lessons I should have recognized sooner. 

We were up in Washington for the Northwest Rental Conference when the lightbulb finally went off. In a class about compaction, the question was being discussed which type of equipment for which job?

For years I’d heard the jumping jack called a trench compactor, the vibra plate referred to as a “nervous turtle” and other useless terms. When the light went off I recognized I had to unlearn everything I thought I knew about compaction. 

How well does pounding sand really work? It doesn’t, you can pound it all day and it won’t compact correctly. 

How do you know which tool for which job? If it crumbles or falls apart in your hands, use vibration. If it sticks together and doesn’t crumble, pound it. Not what I had been led to believe, but when the company that builds the stuff is telling you this kind of thing you should probably listen. 

Compaction is another area we’ve really built up our inventory. Drum attachment for the Bobcat ride in skid steer, double drum roller, reversible and standard plates, and of course jumping jacks are all available now. 

And we won’t tell you to pound sand!

Have a tool or equipment need coming up? We’d appreciate your business

Roseburg 541-492-7368

Myrtle Creek 541-863-4385

Friday, April 13, 2018

The step beyond networking where real value comes from.

Networking is worthless, its like studying all year but never taking action. I don’t care what you do, until value is created through action, nothing is gained. 

Why then are there all of these networking events, training, etc.?

Somewhere along the way I developed a reputation for being a good “networker”, well connected, blah, blah. It isn’t the networking, it is the partnerships that come out of it that hold value. You can network until your blue in the face, but if you aren’t willing to put in the work to partner with others, helping them succeed, your wasting time. 

One example of a great partnership we have going is with the best local agriculture and tractor equipment dealer in town Umpqua Valley Tractor, and this weekend they are having a “field day” you should look into if your able. 

When we need a part or service advice, these guys provide stellar service. That helps us keep our customers happy. In return, we buy most of our tractors, excavators and skid-steers from them. 

Wondering if a certain tractor would work in your application? You can prove it by renting one first instead of investing in the purchase of something that may not work out. Job too big for one excavator, but can’t justify owning two? If you run Kubota equipment, you can put your employee’s into an excavator they are already familiar with. 

It shouldn’t be too hard to read between the lines here… If you want to move beyond networking, this is how. 

Want to know more about that event this weekend? Hope on over to this Facebook page >

Have a tool or equipment need coming up? We’d appreciate your business

Roseburg 541-492-7368

Myrtle Creek 541-863-4385

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Tall grass leaving you short tempered?

Not long ago we talked about our walk behind tall grass brush cutters. What if you didn’t have to walk at all?

Do you ever run a weedeater on slopes that take all day to knock down and leaves your hands tingling for the next few hours?

How about a walk behind or even riding mower that plugs up in the grass chute every 2 minute’s or burns the belts off of the deck?

Welcome the Canycom ride on brush cutter.

With features more like a high end 4 wheel drive tractor, but with a very low center of gravity, you can now drive in many places you used to have to walk. Not only is it much easier, but you’ll be done and firing up the BBQ before your neighbor refills his weedeater for the 3rd time of many more. 

We know you like it when our competitors are calling up asking about it. To date no one else in the area has been willing to brunt the expense to bring in an equivalent, our second should be showing up any day. 

That being said, with two stores now and a much bigger geographical foot print we are responsible for, there will be many times when these won’t be available for walk in requests. Make a reservation. 

For a video demonstration check out this link where I demo’d it for the first time on a 20 degree sloped riverbank. I’m starting out pretty cautious, but after running it for a while and building trust in it, that thing was right at home even on that steep of a slope. 

If details like locking differential, four wheel drive, two speed transfer case are your thing, its got all of them. For everyone else, just know when the levers are in the right place this thing gets around like a goat. 

Have a tool or equipment need coming up? We’d appreciate your business

Roseburg 541-492-7368

Myrtle Creek 541-863-4385

Monday, April 9, 2018

Want a map that guides your life?

How often have you wished there was such a thing? For many the Bible works pretty well, but for quite a few even that leaves a lot of time in the day that is unfocused. 

My Dad used to say “busy little hands are happy little hands”, well I figured out later in life that his saying wasn’t necessarily true. Busy doesn’t necessarily equal happy, busy just equals busy.

Ever feel like you’re just running circles? You probably are.

What’s the big secret? 

Pareto’s Principle, or the 80/20 rule.

This one rule has simplified untold area’s in my life, and de-stressed just as many. Basically it states that every output is the result of 20% of the input. I’m sharing a link to describe this further, but here are a few area’s in my life that this really helped. 

Number one was understanding ROI, or return on investment. If you’ve ever spent time trying to perfect something, you know a lot happens in the beginning of a project, but as things get closer to perfection it becomes exceedingly more difficult to improve the end result. At some point your return on investment diminishes to the point you are now using far more resources to gain ground than at any other part of the project. You can quickly go broke trying to perfect anything. Putting out a nearly perfect project is far better than not putting out something because you went broke trying to create perfection. 

80% of your revenue probably comes from 20% of your customers, now you know who to focus your advertising on.

You may enjoy only 20% of the time you spend with certain people, stop putting time into those (family is an exception for most) and put that time into finding others you enjoy being around more. 

Time you spend after hours with your family may only be 20% productive enjoyable time. What are you doing during that 20% that you could do more of with that 80% that is currently wasted?

Figure out how to apply this principle to your time, your relationships, your money, your work, your hobbies, and all of the sudden the map starts to appear. 

My goal here isn’t to give you full understanding, but to just get you interested enough to learn more about this. Whether a Google search, books, or table talk, experiment with this. Its been pretty amazing for me, and I think it could be for you too.

How does this apply to equipment rental? Well you could dig that ditch by hand, or buy a piece of equipment you seldom use but end up having to maintain. A better choice might be to rent, complete your project, return and move on. 

Have a tool or equipment need coming up? We’d appreciate your business

Roseburg 541-492-7368

Myrtle Creek 541-863-4385

Friday, April 6, 2018

What a sod.

I guess if you’re in the industry, you’d have know about this thing, but somehow I hadn’t heard of it until about 6 years ago. 

A few calls had come in prior to going to the rental show that year, but for life of me I couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to cut their sod, wasn’t that something cows chewed on?

So it is, I’m walking down one of the isles at the show and come across a sod cutter.

Holy cow, like everything else, there are so many choices out there.

Manual drive, hydrostatic drive. 12” wide cut, 18” wide cut. Tire driven or drum driven. 

That just scratches the surface.

Fortunately I elected to go with an 18” hydrostatic drum drive. You weren’t getting stuck in the mud, the 18” width cut your time to complete the job by 33%, and you could speed up or slow down as the terrain dictated.

When we purchased South Umpqua Rentals, it came with a 12” manual, tire driven sod cutter. Now there may be an application where that is useful, but primarily, the bigger and easier to use machine is what you’ll want to operate. 

Recently I purchased another though latest greatest 18” hydrostatic drive, drum driven machine, with a new option a swiveling rear caster. You can cut sod as much as your heart desires! The goal is to have one of these at each store. 

And why a sod cutter? As I understand it, getting rid of the old sod ensures a better and faster result if you’re planning to make a great yard out of something not so great. 

For more info. on this particular machine you can read about it here >

Maybe you’ll never need one of these but somebody you know will. Now you’re the resident expert!

I hope you have a great weekend, the weather is not expected t be great so enjoy the last of your rainy last weekends. The nice weather will be here soon and then its its off to work we’ll go!

Have a tool or equipment need coming up? We’d appreciate your business

Roseburg 541-492-7368

Myrtle Creek 541-863-4385

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

How to make molehills out of mountains.

Ever notice how people around you seem to be consistently good at making mountains out of molehills? 

I really enjoy doing the opposite.

Someone once asked me many years ago how I knew how to perform mechanical repairs on so many different things. My reply left them looking a little perplexed.

“These things may have different badges on them, but they all rely on the same few principles”.

• Pretty much everything is powered by either an electric motor or an internal combustion engine. Learn how those two things work.
• Those power supplies are all hooked to something that either moves up and down (or side to side), or in circles.
• The power is connected to those things by either belts, gears or a fluid connection. Apply what they teach in high school physics to those 3 things and you’ll cover most of it.

Things are getting more complex, but there really hasn’t been anything all that revolutionary. The internal combustion engine is the same as it has been since its inception. We control the fuel supply better through fuel injection, and we can adjust valve timing as well as ignition timing, but the motor is still pretty much the same. 

The belts, gears and hydraulics (fluid power) are all more efficient due to better manufacturing and machining, but even those are pretty much the same. 

What goes up and down or round and round may be machined better, balanced better, engineered stronger, but the movement is still the same. 

Complexity all seems to revolve around making things operate more efficiently. Most of that is controlled electrically, so learn the principles of electricity and have some clue about what the computer is sensing and controlling. (hint, electricity is primarily used to make heat or magnetic fields).

Ok, now you know my secret. Is there some way to look at what you do and apply the same kind of logic? By breaking things down into the basics, all of the sudden they don’t seem as intimidating. 

One might even say the mountains start to look more like molehills. 

KISS – Keep it simply silly.

Have a tool or equipment need coming up? We’d appreciate your business

Roseburg 541-492-7368

Myrtle Creek 541-863-4385

Monday, April 2, 2018

Did you see it? It blew by this weekend.

The first quarter of the year, Easter, and April fools all blew by this weekend.

You’d have thought with all that was going on that this weekend would have been a moderately busy one, but we were really hopping all day Friday and Saturday.

This reinforces what I’d mentioned in the last email, reservations are going to be important this year. 

You were renting rototiller’s, towable boom lifts, tractors, excavators and anything that would cut grass. In fact the tall grass mower even has our competitors calling to see what that awesome mower is people have been renting from us. When you’ve already got that mower out knocking down grass and someone else stops in to rent it, well they are out of luck and begin calling around to see if anyone else has one. 

Here in a couple of weeks, we’ll be receiving another one, so that will take some of the pressure off. 

The other mowers you can really knock tall grass down with are the walk behind flail mowers. Track driven and self propelled, I can tell you from experience that they will maneuver almost anywhere your able to walk. 

Mower didn’t start and its in for repairs? When your grass isn’t too tall (under 6”) we have a couple of regular mowers you can rent to keep things from getting out of hand. We don’t offer damage waiver on these because too many people either try to cut grass that is too tall, or mow area’s they don’t want to take their own mower. Its not what their for and either of the previous options will work much better for you. 

 Have some blackberry brush taking over parts of your property? A mechanic I had mentioned using our weed eater with the hedge clipper attachment on it and I was blown away by how well it worked. If you’re tired of getting shredded using hand tools, look into this. For bigger jobs, you just can’t beat the Bobcat with the brush cutter attachment. This is the tool you’d use to clear acres of brush. 

August and fire season will be on us before you know it, you know what that means. Don’t let time slip by and have to push your luck later. 

My advice? Whether buy equipment, rent or pay someone else to do it, get the grass down. It’s a whole lot easier (and safer) while it is still green.  

Have a tool or equipment need coming up? We’d appreciate your business

Roseburg 541-492-7368

Myrtle Creek 541-863-4385