911! Call the fire department now!!!By Frank Gandora
Imagine this: It’s a beautiful fall evening and you are relaxing around the house, preparing some big juicy Tomahawk steaks, sipping a Weller Special Reserve Old Fashioned, and smoking a Macanudo Vintage Cabinet 1988 No. 1 while waiting for good friends to stop by to enjoy the evening.
Next thing you know, a cigar ash has dropped on a pile of leaves and suddenly your trellis and patio furniture are on fire, rapidly making its way to your home. Call the fire department!
Several hours go by before the fire department shows up. They can’t park next to your house because you never moved that old rusted ‘69 Ford Bronco that you were planning to restore so they park a couple blocks down the street.
The Chief jumps out of the truck and fails to ask where exactly the fire is. His crew didn’t look or act like firefighters. They were wearing tennis shoes, ratty old T-shirts, and no PPE, while they cussed and just walked around with their hands in their pockets.
The Chief claims he got lost because he didn’t write the address down when they left. So he drove around the neighborhood looking for smoke. He assures you that his team is very experienced and professional, and he tells you that they can put out the fire faster and better than any other fire department around.
The chief then climbs to the back of the fire truck rummaging through a tangled mess of hoses. “Hey John!” he yells to his captain, “Where is that hose nozzle?” “I think we left it at the last fire we went to,” says the captain. He says he was in a hurry to get off work that day and planned to stop by and get another one when he returned to work a few days later, but he forgot.
Just then the captain yells out from the side of the truck, “I need a shovel. I need an Axe. Quick, where are they?” “The axe was dull, so I took it home to sharpen it after I used it to cut down my trees of course,” said another firefighter who was sipping on a coffee and eating a sandwich.
The Lieutenant, who was scrolling through his phone said, “Look behind the seat, I keep an extra axe hidden there but I really don’t want anyone using it because it’s never been used and I like to keep it shiny and sharp.” The Chief then yells, “Everyone, load up in the truck, we all need to go back to the Firehouse because I need to grab a nozzle, hurry we got a fire to fight!”
You know this story would never happen because people’s lives and property are at stake. Just like a good fire department, we need to keep our trucks and equipment and ourselves in top notch shape.
Our clients hire us because we convince them that we are the best. Yet, many of us don’t have the right tools and equipment nor are we organized enough to build a quality hardscape project properly and efficiently.
Every trailer and every truck should be organized the same with the same tools all working properly all the time. Make a checklist and a drawing where everything goes and review it before you start every job. I get it, the trucks and trailers will get dusty and dirty, but they can still be free of trash and debris.
For tips on hardscape tools and organization visit my friends at Pave Tool Innovators and check out their YouTube video, Hardscape Organization. Make 2024 the most profitable and productive year you’ve ever had. Happy New Year!
Frank Gandora CCPI, CS, PICPS is President of Creative Hardscape Company in Lakewood, CO. Frank is also a certified hardscape trainer and a regular seminar presenter at Hardscape North America.