As proud as Stegall is of his sharp Super Lawn Truck, he's just as proud of his Honda Odyssey mini-van that has logged more than 225,000 miles. In fact, he says it puts the female customer at ease when he pulls up in it.
The Odyssey also helps put Stegall's overhead burden at ease. It is paid for, and gets much better gas mileage than the typical work truck many contractors like to tool around in. It's also productive. Stegall uses it not only for personal transport, but to haul plants for small install jobs, not to mention a push spreader and/or backpack sprayer.
"One reason my company is in the best condition of its existence is because we went into the recession with very little debt," Stegall says. His Super Lawn Truck and first commercial vehicle, a Ford Dump truck, are paid for. His equipment will be at year's end. Next year Stegall thinks he might have to replace a mower and a stick edger.
Stegall is quite OK with that. As pointed out earlier, he realizes that you have to "pay to play" in the maintenance business. He just doesn't like to finance more than one truck and one higher-dollar riding mower at a given time.
"I want to maintain that good credit rating for when and if I might need it," Stegall points out. "Sometimes doing too much at one time can hurt. There is a big difference between want and need. I try to focus on the need."