Lennox Prendergast (left) checking out the equipment with his dad, Dylan Prendergast. D.M. Prendergast & Son are happy to accept the jobs that are too small for some of the larger companies in the area. For them, it’s a perfect fit.  Courtesy Photo

There are as many reasons for starting your own business as there are people starting them. One common thread, however, is the desire to have more control over your life, particularly when that life revolves around family and young children. South Stormont native Dylan Prendergast is a perfect example of what happens when a desire for a better work-life balance meets up with an opportunity.

“It was during the layoffs,” said Prendergast, “I was always in trucking, and it was always a slow time in the winter. My father has a smaller tractor and there was always a few people and a few times that I’d have to run back and get his for small, simple things to do around my own yard.  A couple of people stopped me asking if it was mine and if I could do something small for them. I ended up towing it in the town a couple times to do things for a couple of buddies.

“I was getting tired of the long hours, 12–14-hour days sitting in the truck, and it was just a nice dream that I could get out on my own and have the kind of the freedom to make my own hours.”

It was not long after the birth of his son Lennox that Prendergast made the decision to go for it and made the decision to purchase a Kubota LX 3301 tractor and go into business for himself doing landscaping, driveway maintenance and anything else he could do with his tractor and the various attachments.

“It’s not just the freedom of not being under somebody else’s thumb, that if you want a day off to go to the cottage early or whatever, you can do it. Yeah. That was kind of the main thing, more family time really.”

This year Prendergast has expanded his business, making use of the equipment he has or using it in different ways. “We’re trying to a little bit get into grass and everything,” said Prendergast. “I have a couple of mowers that I ended up buying for contract last year. So, I ‘ve got the mowers and everything like that. It’s the repeat work that’s nice. Grass is always going to grow.

“I try to fill the niche that other people aren’t really interested in,” said Prendergast. “It’s not that it’s a low priority but I just want to do the stuff that the big guys don’t want to, the jobs they don’t want to bother with because it’s only a few hours or something like that.”

There’s always enough of that type of work to go around if you’re willing to go looking for it and Prendergast is willing to do just that. Once you get the repeat customers you’re well set up.

“That’s the idea,” said Prendergast. “Because after every winter there’s the sweeping on the front yard or the stone dust or whatever the plough kicks up in the ditch or this and that. It happens every year, right? So, if you get that same repeat every year that’s obviously what you’re looking for.  And there are other things like grading gravel driveways to fill the potholes, and the same thing happens in laneways with the travel and the rain. I have the grading box that I can just drop in the laneways. It’s not a permanent fix, but it’s cheaper for me to go than to buy a load of gravel every time.”

Going forward, Prendergast says he is well equipped right now and can do 90 per cent of the work people ask for with the equipment he already has. That’s not to say he won’t look at opportunities that present themselves.

“Realistically, there’s always the dreams and the wish list. Unless there was something to come out that was going to be, if not revolutionary, then something that nobody really had, that I could do, I would for sure look at it.”

It’s easy to get in touch with Dylan Prendergast. “Facebook is probably the best way and Facebook Messenger (D.M. Prendergast & Son). You can also phone or text me at 613-577-4006 or email me at DMPrendergastson@outlook.com.

If you have yard work, landscaping or a driveway filled with potholes, then D. M. Prendergast & Son might be just the answer you’ve been looking for.

If you would like to have a light shined on your business, please contact us at: editor@etceterapublications.ca or call us at 613-448-2321.