Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

by Classic Landscaping on March 27, 2017

“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign… blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind… do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?!”

Sounds like the words to a song, right? They are. Recorded by the Five Man Electric Band back in the day (circa 1971, or for you Gen X-ers, maybe you’ve heard it sung by Tesla), but they are so relevant for the topic of this article.

While I drive around during the day working, I can’t help but notice how motorists and contractors violate parking rules and regulations on a consistent and steady basis. Most times, I notice the same contractors parking in violation at the same locations, week a er week. Now this may seem trivial from our perspective as contractors, but be warned, this could be a fatal mistake!

As shown in the photo, parking your service vehicle in a location that best suits YOUR needs as a contractor, may not be the best location a er all. In this particular photo, you will notice the truck parked, blocking a stop sign. is occurs week a er week, as observed by this writer. “Big deal,” you say. Well, when a motorist who is unfamiliar with this particular route travels down the street and cannot see the stop sign, then continues on their path moving through the intersection and becomes involved in a collision, who is at fault? An accident investigator is going to look long and hard at that parked truck for causing this collision. If you intentionally parked your vehicle in a location, marked or unmarked, that jeopardizes the safety of others, you could be charged with a crime, one of which the end result could be jail time.

Negligence can carry jail time, just as well as intent, in terms of collisions.

Be cognizant of your actions and the actions of your staff. It may be prudent to discuss and document where and how trucks and equipment are to be staged at a job site, prior to arriving. If your equipment is too large or oversized to work at a site, plan for this in advance. is may also have to be addressed in the proposal process. Can you actually service the site you are considering, safely? Providing your driver with this information in advance may take some of the liability o the business owner and place it on the driver, should he or she fail to follow specific instructions.

Remember, the actions of your staff reflect the actions of you and your company. If ignoring rules, regulations and the law is the company culture, the consequences could be severe. Let’s elevate ourselves to the top 10 percent of the professionalism of this industry, not the bottom 10 percent.

With 30 years in the Landscape Industry as an owner/operator, and 27 years as a Police O cer for the Port Authority of NY and NJ, Pat Donovan possesses a unique skill set and experience level from complete opposite sides of the spectrum.

As a Police Officer, Pat was assigned to an Emergency Services Unit in Staten Island, NY and received a myriad of training throughout his career. Most notable, certified “Fatal Crash Investigator” from North Western University, Weigh Master State of NJ and Federally Certified Motor Carrier Inspector. On the Landscape side, his credentials include; Licensed NJ Home Improvement Contractor, ICPI Certified, NCMA Certified, Licensed NJ Pesticide Applicator, Licensed NJ Pesticide Business, Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional, HAZWOPER Certified, Class A Commercial Vehicle Operators License, member of NJLCA, SIMA and PLANET. His company, Classic Landscaping, has been featured in Hardscape Magazine, Turf Magazine, Total Landscape Magazine and Equipment Guide News Magazine.

September NJLCA Magazine
by Patrick Donovan, Classic Landscaping

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