This year has been full of surprises and challenges for everyone, and Graham Spray Equipment has not been an exception. We asked general manager Donny Pitts and sales manager Dave Arnett to talk about their experiences.
What was the GIE [Green Industry Equipment] Expo like this year?
DAVE: It’s still a major networking event for the industry, but there’s no denying attendance was down from last year. Like a lot of things it’s adapting to new conditions. They’re revamping and rebranding the show [as Equip Exposition] for 2022. We always enjoy a chance to talk with past and future customers.
How did the pandemic affect the way you worked last year?
DAVE: We just continued to go to work every day. Graham faced the same
challenges as other companies, but we just focused on making sure we were delivering the best for our customers.
DONNY: I think the pandemic helped us. We think that all these people being home more, spending more time looking at their yards and working and playing in their yards made them want their grass to look better. They called their spray company or hired a spray company to treat their lawn, and the spray companies needed more trucks to handle the increase in business. We’ve had a great two years.
What were some of the top sellers of the year?
DAVE: Our best-selling rigs were the compartmented tanks with aluminum beds and storage boxes on Isuzu trucks.
What were some of the specific challenges that you faced?
DAVE: I’m glad to say that Graham is growing, and as part of that process we moved our fabrication shop into a new building this past year. At first it was a challenge getting everything reorganized quickly for new production, but now we’re settled in. It’s exciting, because the new setup will allow us to produce more rigs for more customers.
DONNY: The main challenges that we have had are the same for everybody, I think: supply chain and employees. Our lead times have been a lot longer because we can’t get the parts to build the trucks and we can’t hire enough people to get them out the door any faster either.
Do you have any advice to offer the lawn care companies that are your customers for the upcoming year?
DAVE: Place your orders now for 2022! Supply chain and stock issues are still daily challenges at Graham, but we are constantly researching and looking for ways to keep delivering the best products to our customers.
DONNY: I’d say the same thing. The best advice I could give anybody in the lawn care business is, if you think that you might need to add a new truck to your fleet this year, go ahead and get it ordered. The lead times and availability of trucks and parts are not getting any better.
Thanks to Donny and Dave for their time. Check our website regularly to keep up with the latest Graham news.