Grasshopper QuikConverter™ Implement System helps fuel productivity and growth

Mar 13, 2009

Scott Brewer, a maintenance manager for Rotolo Consultants, Inc. (RCI) headquartered in Slidell, La., had a contract to clear debris from a curb along a 26-mile stretch of highway in Louisiana. Using four employees, each equipped with a backpack blower unit, the task regularly took several days to complete. Seeing that productivity was lost on wasted manpower, Brewer switched to a Grasshopper grounds maintenance system equipped with a turbine blower, an implement designed specifically for the job. He discovered one employee could complete the same job in one-fourth of the time; his decision reduced the contract's labor and time costs 16-fold, leaving a significantly larger portion of the contract revenue on the bottom line. By making the switch, Brewer also created other avenues for increased profitability. In addition to the turbine blower, Brewer has invested in other implements for his Grasshoppers: front-mounted aerator, sprayer and rotary broom implements as well as an edger, which Brewer says he uses mainly on his mid-mounted mowers.

Brewer's Grasshopper fleet consists of three Model 725G2 FrontMount™ mowers and 16 MidMount™ mowers - a mixture of Models 225, 227, 322D and 325. Four of the MidMounts are equipped with 4X Rear Discharge™ decks, an innovation from Grasshopper that discharges clippings and debris to the rear - not to the side like most decks. "The rear discharge decks are perfect for our government and municipal contracts, especially for roadways," says Brewer. "They keep the clippings off the road for a better final appearance, and they are less hazardous to motorists since the debris isn't shooting out onto the roads." Brewer says the decks are capable of mowing through 18-inch-tall grass without a big mess, something most side discharge decks wouldn't be able to handle.

In addition to RCI's government contracts, which constitute roughly a third of the company's business, they also provide full-service maintenance to a mixture of gaming facilities, large "lifestyle malls," high-end apartment complexes, theme parks and other commercial sites in several southern states and along the Gulf Coast including Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas. They also tend sports complexes in Indiana. RCI's diverse client base demands flexibility from the company's equipment, which is why Brewer chooses Grasshopper. "The performance of the machines is great, especially the rear discharge decks," he says. "All the machines cut well, are easy to maneuver and manage, and are comfortable. Our workers love them, and when our guys in the field are happy, that increases productivity." Being happy with the machinery helps increase productivity, and the Grasshopper implements RCI uses help improve the company's bottom line, especially since RCI provides a range of services from landscaping installation and maintenance to spraying and chemical applications.

"We pride ourselves that we are a one-stop shop for all of our clients," Brewer says. "We can do everything for them, even the extremely complex and high-specialty jobs, and our Grasshoppers are instrumental in doing so."

"The AERA-vator™ we use for overseeding and turf-renovation is two- to three-times more efficient than walk-behind aerators," he says. "The rotary broom helps us keep busy in the winter clearing sidewalks when we do get snow and ice. We're able to get more work done in less time with our range of implements." The Edge-EZE™ edger has been particularly beneficial to the government side of the business. "We attach the edgers to the rear discharge decks and use them on roadways and medians, where the final cut and appearance is extremely important," says Brewer. "We have both right- and left-side models, so we can edge from either side of the roadway and still be able to face on-coming traffic to increase visibility and safety." Another positive feature of the edger is that the deck can be engaged with the edger attached, increasing Brewer's productivity by allowing his crews to cut grass and edge at the same time.

With the switch from a manual system of labor to a system that utilizes the productivity-enhancing performance of Grasshopper implements, Brewer has significantly increased RCI's ability to turn a profit, and for him, that makes all the difference in the world. "Grasshopper has contributed to our growth in the past several years," he says, "and as our equipment of choice, we will continue to use Grasshopper as we add jobs in our established localities and as we look to expand to new areas in the region."

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Grasshopper QuikConverter Implement System helps fuel productivity and growth
Grasshopper QuikConverter Implement System helps fuel productivity and growth
Grasshopper QuikConverter Implement System helps fuel productivity and growth

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