Billy McKinnon, owner and founder of McKinnon Inc., came up in the landscaping business back in 1989. His business originally started out in landscape, irrigation installation and maintenance. Work was at a premium and McKinnon Inc. was in high demand. That is until the U.S. economy tanked in 2007. Instead of panicking, McKinnon looked at other scopes of work his business could do and took a proactive approach, instead of a reactionary one.
With the economy struggling, the company from Helena, Ga. took matters into their own hands, finding new ways to support their business. What they found were opportunities aplenty without the need to update their fleet – which made the divisions immediately profitable.
While a bit somber, McKinnon Inc. added a subdivision in the form of a burial vault business, which required digging graves and setting vaults for funeral homes. That part of the business has since grown over the years with more funeral home customers. Other new opportunities included tree work, power line maintenance, and utility line maintenance for power co-ops. With 20 employees, McKinnon has the flexibility to move workers around to different jobs.
To get the job done, McKinnon uses Takeuchi machines. His fleet includes the Takeuchi TL140 and TL250 track loaders and a TB138FR (full rotation) excavator. He bought his equipment from his salesman Jimi Martin at Perimeter Takeuchi, located in Buford, Ga. He found his dealer to be a good one, always helping out in his time of need. They both come with accolades after Martin was named Takeuchi’s 2013 “Salesman of the Year” and Perimeter Takeuchi was “Dealer of the Year”.
“I have a great relationship with Perimeter Takeuchi, but they are a long distance from me and if I went to pick up my machines in Buford I would lose an entire day – it’s a big hurdle for us being in a real rural area in South Georgia to get our equipment,” said McKinnon. “Jimi Martin is a great guy, a real go-getter and answers my calls whenever I need something. He will meet me halfway between my shop and where they are located. They are very accommodating to my business in anyway they can be.”
The relationship with Perimeter Takeuchi began in 2004 when McKinnon bought his first machine from them, the TL140. With due diligence, he spent countless hours of research on the products before ultimately deciding to go with Takeuchi. He continues to use the TL140 to this day.
“I love the way Takeuchi machines are built and I get a lot of use out of the TL140, which I still utilize,” said McKinnon. “The power and torque is unbelievable in these machines. We get so much use out of our Takeuchi fleet. They really are just good, reliable machines.”
The two track loaders have come in handy for McKinnon who utilizes them for just about everything from mowing to grapples, private tree care removal, and mulching. The TB138FR keeps his burial vault business going strong.
While it is hard to say that anything good came from the decline in the U.S. economy, McKinnon pushed through the muck and not only continued to succeed, but he grew and adapted his business. He even sold his original landscape and irrigation business earlier this year. There’s no doubt McKinnon Inc. is stronger than ever with Takeuchi machines at their service.