machine owner spotlight
Greg Ladner started a lawn care business 20 years ago and was later able to purchase a car wash in his hometown. When Greg was approached with the opportunity to lease the land of his car wash to someone who wanted to place an ice vending machine, he took the chance. Now, he’s moved from leasing his land to owning the machine himself and even upgraded to the IM2500.
“My name is Greg Ladner. I’m here in Taylor, Texas with my Kooler Ice vending machine that’s located at my car wash. Before I started with Kooler Ice, I had a lawn care company and the car wash. I’ve had a lawn care company about 20 years and the car wash about 10. I knew there was a guy in Taylor who wanted to tart an ice vending machine business. Then he started it, he put his unit here. It was the IM1000 and it was here a few years and then I ended up buying it from him and it got where it wasn’t keeping up and that’s when I started with, I bought the 2500.
My lawn care company is called Tallgrass Guy. We have about 200 yards here in town, mostly commercial I guess these days. I have two crews that run and they do most of the work so that I’m here at the car wash and it gives me time to check on my ice machine a little bit here and there. It pretty much runs itself. It takes care of itself. The reason I got into the ice business is there’s actually one, a different brand down the street and I noticed he was always busy and I figured this was a good location to have one. So I found somebody in Taylor who wanted to own one, an ice vending machine and he actually paid me rent for about three years to have it sitting here. And then he was retired and started doing other things and traveling and so I bought this machine from him and that’s when I upgraded to the 2500.
When he had the 1000 here it wasn’t going. So he had it set up to sell 16 pound bags, so can only do like 25 a day or so. Then I bought the 2500 and selling over 100 bags a day and it’s even doing maybe up to 150 on some busy days now. And if I ever have any trouble with Kooler Ice, I usually call Cleveland and he can help me right away with customer service. He’s great. And if there’s a problem with an issue with the machine working, they can usually walk me through it and they can look on it what they are on their end and figure out what’s wrong here and they can help me fix it here. So it’s been real nice working with the guys up there.
I actually have a Facebook page for the ice machine and when I first got the machine I was putting it on Facebook so much, I actually had a guy from Georgia called me and ask me about the machine because when he Googled Kooler Ice I popped up. And so I put it on Facebook, I hand out token notes, I hand those around town, I give them to the lube next door, so when people get an oil change, they get a free bag of ice. So I’ve done things like that and it’s really seemed to help.
As far as getting into the business, I would make sure we would find out… Find the company has good customer service like Kooler has. Then the location, you’d want a busy location and it has IceTalk. So wherever I’m at around, I can check the machine. If there’s a problem with it, I know right away, I can send somebody a free bag of ice if they had an issue. I think a car wash is a great area idea because a lot of people here wash their boats and going hunting and they stop through and get ice.
I think another benefit of having an ice machine at the car wash is instead of the water going down the drain, I’ve collected the water in the bottom of the machine, I pump it back into my car wash and I use that as the rinse water and carwash water for my car wash and I’ve saved about a thousand bucks a month on my water bill by doing that.
I’m glad I got into the ice business. I’m glad I got into it with Kooler Ice. They’ve always been very helpful with any problems I have. If you’re looking into it, I would give Kooler Ice a call as soon as possible and see about setting up your machine ASAP.”
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