I started in turf maintenance in the 80's with my own lawn care service. During that period I began to appreciate well built equipment. Not that I hadn't before, but not in this industry. Over the years I've tried quite a bit of what's out there and now that I've been in the golf industry 2 decades I've settled on certain choices. One of those is our small tools.
We started using Stihl chainsaws in the early 90's and had other manufactures products for line trimmers, edgers, and hedge trimmers. Over the years we've experimented with other makes items. Little by little we've phased out what we had and replaced them with Stihl. Most of this was determined by the quality of the product and that they worked well. When they first came out with stick edgers, we bought one, but stayed with what we were using for a few more years. Same with the line trimmers, tried one and then waited.
I didn't actually wait for them to come out with a new model, just used what I thought was best and finally they had the one we used.. It's really more of a survival of the fittest. One of the good things about this was we could usually get our parts and most times we could have them shipped UPS. To me, that's a key. It costs quite a bit for me to drive 45 minutes to their shop, get what we need, then return. Quite a bit more than the UPS charge.
One of the really good things about it was I signed up for a training seminar at their Orlando facility. That was great. I've included some pics of their facility as it is the best one I've been to.
Here's one of the reason's I think they're doing so well. (besides making great equipment) after the class the Manager came in, introduced himself and asked if there was anything else they could do for us.. I asked about being able to get the parts books, which is one item you usually have to do a little work to get. A few months later I found I was on a mailing list for the Stihl CD. I receive one about every 6 months with updated info. What it does for me is allow me to get the parts I need without having to describe them over the phone or drive in. It speeds it up and saves money. That's a hard combination to beat.
Visit themilitantmechanic.com the great blog by Eric to get your fix of the militant mechanic.