8. What was your funniest business experience?
When we bought our first truck, we got a magnetic sign that would help us look more professional. Unfortunately, we were driving around with the word “maintenance” spelled wrong for several months before someone finally pointed it out!
9. What’s your favorite piece of equipment/landscaper tool?
I’m usually never without my pruners as I like hand-pruning. When I’m in the field or visit jobsites, I always try to remember my pruners. It helps me lead by example, because they are part of our uniform, and occasionally I’m able to give our team pointers on how to prune better.
But I also enjoy doing work on our farm. Whenever possible, on weekends and when I’m not in the office, I spend time at our tree-growing nursery using the skid steer, loader, tractor with a bushhog, and a chainsaw. These are the tools and equipment that I’m familiar with and can safely operate.
10. What is your advice to others? What do you wish you had known?
Work hard is the first thing I always think of. People often laugh when I say, “We’re not just looking for the A and B students at Ruppert—we’re looking for the C students who have a strong work ethic and enjoy working hard.” That example comes to mind because I was the C student in many cases. I excelled in some areas, but not in others. I didn’t always apply myself if it was not my favorite subject or one that I didn’t have a particular interest in. But I always enjoyed working hard— and what I lacked in knowledge, I tried to make up for in effort. (P.S. We still have plenty of room for the A and B students here at Ruppert!)
In a Q&A session, Ruppert Landscape’s Director of Safety & Risk discusses morning huddles, mentors, a 24/7 injury hotline, and more. Read more…
Be responsible with your money. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from my father-in-law who said, “Keep your wants simple.” That always stuck with me and was a good reminder to be content with what you have.
Also, I’m from a big family, so I learned early on how important it was to watch the pennies, live within your means, and pay as you go to avoid debt.
Stay humble. Over the years, I’ve been lucky to have been around some very successful people from many different industries. The people that I admired the most all had a sense of humility. They tended to be the ones who were down to earth and didn’t feel the need to emphasize their own accomplishments. Instead, they let their actions speak for their ideals.
11. What is your plan for the future of your business?
I’m very excited about the future of our company. We are entering a new phase in our evolution with our recent strategic partnership with capital investment firm, Knox Lane. This partnership will enable us to continue to grow at a faster pace than we have historically, which will in turn provide even more opportunities for people.
I’m excited that our team will have a greater ability to try new positions, learn new things, move to new locations, take on more responsibility, move up, and earn more—all of which will help them achieve their personal and professional goals. In my mind, our future is bright.
For more on Craig Ruppert, see the Ruppert Landscape website.