Ask Travis Hohman anything about turf maintenance.
Good luck trying to stump him. He’s a freshly Certified Landscape Technician in turf maintenance.
It wasn’t easy.
But now he’s a pro.
What Is The CLT?
The Landscape Industry Certified Technician designation demonstrates a high standard of excellence for the profession.
Pass this rigorous written and hands-on test, and you obviously know your stuff.
Certification is available in a variety of categories, from hardscape installation to ornamental maintenance.
As an account manager at Level Green Landscaping, Hohman wanted to boost his expertise in turf maintenance, a vital part of the wide array of services Level Green provides.
“Having this certification proves you’re proficient in your field,” he says. “When I talk to clients and explain things to them, I want it to be clear that I know what I’m talking about.”
Hohman studied for the certification test for months, poring over notes, memorizing facts, even making study flashcards for himself.
“I wanted to really drill the information into my brain,” he says.
The first part of the two-part test, the written exam, covered complicated pesticide and herbicide application, irrigation, turf principles and calculations.
There was a lot to learn.
Getting His Hands Dirty
The second portion of the certification test is hands-on, actually performing turf-related tasks in front of judges at stations set up at the testing site.
As Hohman prepared for this portion, his Level Green colleagues were a valuable help, showing him everything from how to change mower blades to how to fix irrigation lines.
Operation managers Juan Olivar and Hector Diaz took Hohman under their wing, spending hours after work in the shop teaching him tasks.
They did this for months.
“They also took me out to job sites and showed me on site how to fix broken irrigation lines and adjust sprinkler heads,” Hohman says. “I had to really be committed to the process.”
“I’m used to studying for written exams, from college,” Hohman says.
But the hands-on exam was another level of stress.
There were 12 stations, each with written instructions on what he had to accomplish with a 10-minute time limit.
Operate an aerator. Do a lateral irrigation line repair. Operate an irrigation system control box. Use a backpack power blower. Run a tricky intermediate walk-behind mower.
“Safety was a huge issue,” Hohman says. “If you didn’t have your safety goggles on or your ear plugs in, you were immediately disqualified.
“It was very nerve wracking,” he says. “There’s someone watching every move you make.”
He passed every portion.
Why It Matters
Hohman’s knowledge of turf maintenance has been tested and proven now. There’s no question he knows what he’s doing.
“It definitely gives me a boost of confidence,” he says.
It’s a big plus for his clients.
“It helps me really know the benefits of the things we’re doing for customers,” Hohman says, “so I can explain things like why we do four turf applications a year.”
Employers love it, too, he says. Level Green paid his testing fee.
“It sets you apart from your competition,” he says.
“Having a CLT shows you put the time and effort in to perfect your craft. It’s a lot of work.”
He’s not done yet. Next up, Hohman says: the ornamental certification, which tests knowledge of plant identification, tree planting and staking, pruning and more.
Cue the flash cards.
Want a Certified Expert? Choose Level Green
Hohman is just one of the many Level Green team members who have gone the extra mile to earn valuable landscaping certifications.
When our landscaping pros become even more expert in their field, that benefits our customers.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers. Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Contact us at 202-544-0968. You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.
We’d love to hear from you.