For 40 years, WorkSaver® magazine has told the stories of Bobcat® equipment owners and operators. Thousands of people have been featured in the magazine, describing how Bobcat machines helped them work more efficiently and provided a path for new career opportunities or business ownership. We caught up with a few Bobcat equipment owners, including the Everett Diemer, to see what’s happened since they were in the magazine.
For the Diemers of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the transfer of the family landscaping business from one generation to the next is a textbook case of seamless transition. Most customers did not even realize that founder Everett Diemer had turned the company over to his two sons, Brent and Brian, and his daughter, Ellen Mulder.
In the spring 1995 WorkSaver issue, Everett commented about the tremendous amount of time Bobcat skid-steer loaders and attachments saved his firm, especially when handling new construction and renovation projects. “I don’t know how a landscaping company could get along without this type of equipment,” he said.
His children, who took over operating the firm two years later, have the same strong belief in Bobcat compact equipment. Today, Everett’s Landscape Management, Inc. owns an S650, an S250, five S130s and dozens of genuine Bobcat attachments. All were purchased from Carleton Equipment Company, the Bobcat equipment dealer in the Grand Rapids area.
With approximately 100 employees, the company has tripled in size since 1995. There are now 10 maintenance crews, five more for pruning and yard work, 15 landscape crews and three fertilization teams. In winter, 50 machines are out performing snow and ice removal.
“Our father left an incredible foundation for us when he turned over the company,” says Ellen, whose son Jason is the newest partner. “He developed a solid reputation for doing good work at a fair price. We follow the same guidelines. As a result, we cannot keep up with the requests we have for work. You can say we have grown by necessity.”
Even though Everett’s children knew they had choices growing up, Brent, Brian and Ellen liked the landscaping business so much they were eager to join the company. The partnership has worked, says Ellen, because they have a strong family dynamic with a lot of mutual respect.
“We can have our differences, but at the end of the day we have to be facing toward the same goal,” she says. “That’s worked for us.”
And for Everett. He’s 83 and stays active taking care of his huge garden and dozens of fruit trees. He likes to repair tools for the company now owned by his children and grandson, and is not shy about giving advice and his observations about the business.
“I live next to the company and can see what goes on from my deck. I would never be able to handle what they are doing,” he says. “It’s very satisfying to see them all working together. I go over there every day and try to harass a few people. Sometimes they hear me and sometimes they don’t.”