Sept 27, 2016
Chris O’Donohue, president, The Great Canadian Landscaping Company, realized his fate was sealed at a very young age. “I’ve been around plants all my life,” said Chris. “I grew up in the garden centre business with my father and I realized my passion was horticulture and I wanted to pursue that career.” Chris took that first step and pursued a degree in Business Administration from Capilano University and also attained a Certified Landscape Horticulturist certificate from ITABC.
“The next natural step for me was to get into landscaping,” said Chris. He founded The Great Canadian Landscaping Company 16 years ago with a pickup truck, some landscaping tools and 15 weekly lawn maintenance customers. He now operates a thriving year-round landscaping business on the north shore with over 55 employees servicing 350 plus clients throughout the North Shore, Vancouver and Burnaby.
Chris’ aspiration is to become one of the leading landscaping companies in the lower mainland. He is well on his way to achieving his goal with a portfolio that includes creating some beautiful outdoor spaces by incorporating multiple landscaping features including Outdoor Living Rooms and Kitchens, gardens, lighting, irrigation, fences, decks & gazebos, retaining walls, paving stone and natural stone patios. “What I love about landscaping is the creative side of the business,” says Chris. “Being able to create new things every day, a new yard, a place for kids to play, a new place for someone to entertain or just to relax at the end of a long day is a great feeling.”
Having a successful landscaping business means having the right tools for the job and knowing your equipment is performing well when you need to get the job done. This is something Chris understands well and why he chose Cat when he was looking to lease a new piece of equipment. “What set Finning apart from the competition was the all-in maintenance package and one monthly payment. It makes it easier running a business day-in, day-out, if we know that the reliability and service is always going to be there for us if something happens to the equipment.”
“It makes it easier running a business day-in, day-out, if we know that the reliability and service is always going to be there for us if something happens to the equipment.”
Another important decision factor were his operators - the people who would be running the equipment every day. “When it came to looking at Cat we were approached by the local Finning sales person and he asked us to demo the equipment,” said Chris. “The guys really liked the equipment and how it operated so it made it really easy for us to go down that road.” Safety also played a key role in the decision. “One of the things our employees really like with the Cat equipment is the backup camera. Being able to see what they are doing when they are reversing is pretty important when it comes to our safety on site,” said Chris. The comfortable, climate-controlled cab was another important feature for Chris’ crew. “At the end of the day they are not feeling tired. They want to go home feeling great and be ready for the next day.”
Chris has been a Finning customer for just over a year and already has two new pieces of Cat equipment, in his fleet. “In a year we have purchased two new mini excavators, a 301.7 and a 305.5.” said Chris. The Cat mini excavators have made transforming the landscape a little easier for The Great Canadian Landscaping Company. “When we chose this equipment, we chose to go with the Finning Cat preventative maintenance and warranty package. It allows us to operate with peace of mind knowing that if anything happens on site a service technician will come out and repair the equipment and do any warranty work. They also keep in touch with us to make sure the oil, lube and filters are up to date and done on time.”