For the fifth year in a row, Independent We Stand hosts the Independent Small Business of the Year Award – “The Indie Awards.” The Indie Awards aims to recognize locally-owned businesses and all they do for their communities and their customers. This year, the winner of the Indie Awards will receive a prize package valued at $10,000.

Any locally-owned and operated business in the U.S. can enter or be entered into the contest. Anyone is eligible to nominate a business including business owners themselves.

Howard Brothers actually won the first Indie Award back in 2011 and are happy to support Independent We Stand. Check out their site and get involved in #buylocal.


For September, 2015, there are three True Value Bargains of the Month. I tried to figure out a creative way to present these in a manner that would tie them together, but I think someone at True Value Corporate is on to my game and decided to pick three really obscure items that REALLY have nothing to do with each other.

Fertilizer, Freshener, and Ladder. See I even tried to figure out a synonym for ladder that started with an F. I guess someone decided that we could make these the “-er” items.

Let’s look at them:

Continue Reading…

Doug Howard Rough Cut Demo with Ventrac Compact Tractor

We recently had a customer who was interested in some further training and information on how to best use the Ventrac in a rough cut environment. This gave Doug Howard the opportunity that he was looking for to do some clean up on a property around the corner from our Duluth, Georgia store.

Doug spent a few hours clearing an area under a power line. Some of the debris was 4-7 foot tall and had everything from weeds, to grass, to small trees, to (as you’ll see in the video…) silt fence, linoleum flooring, drain pipe…

This was Doug in his element!

Check out the video for some great tips/tricks from Doug on how to best attack a project like this.

As you see, it would take multiple people, multiple days doing this by had with trimmers and bush cutters. The Ventrac tackled it with ease in a few hours. Doug was able to expertly work his way through the lot using all his senses to search for problem areas and danger spots.

For more info on the Ventrac, visit one of our stores or fill out the form below so that we can get our Ventrac Salesman to contact you.


I am interested in the Ventrac Compact Tractors and am interested in more information and possibly a demo.
Doug Howard Rough Cut Demo with Ventrac Compact Tractor

Doug Howard Rough Cut Demo with Ventrac Compact Tractor

Whoa! I was fooled again by the corporate overseers at True Value. I thought we had 1 group of three Bargains of the Month for September… but it seems that I was wrong. There are THREE other items. These also have nothing to do with the other. AND THEY DON’T END IN ‘ER!

In defense, these are supposed to be on sale during labor day weekend and after… but we’re pulling them out now. You have all month to get these items at the sale prices.

Let’s see them.

Continue Reading…

Exmark Offers

Exmark Offers

As we head towards Fall, we got some great news from Exmark.

Purchases of new equipment from Exmark have potential instant rebates. Check them out:

$500 Instant Rebate

  • Pioneer E-Series
  • Pioneer S-Series
  • Lazer Z E-Series
  • Laster Z S-Series

$300 Instant Rebate

  • Quest

$1000 Instant Rebate

  • Navigator

Warranty Restart

But here’s a part of the deal that might be even better than the instant rebates. We realize that as we go into fall, you’ll begin to use your mowers less and less until you store it for next spring… well, if you need one now, you can get it and restart the warranty clock on April 1, 2016. This is for all mowers (Quest, Pioneer, and Lazer Z Models)


I saw this article on 11Alive about a plant in Michigan called the Giant Hogweed.

The sap on its leaves, roots, flower heads, seeds and stem hairs can cause blistering and scars if they touch bare skin. And if it gets in your eyes, it can cause permanent blindness. Adding to the horror factor: If you came into contact with the plant, you might not know it because it can take up to 48 hours for the reaction to occur.


The plant doesn’t appear to be native to the United States. It comes from Asia and doesn’t appear to be wide spread. It was introduced here in the 1900s for gardens, but The State of Michigan adopted a search-and-destroy policy toward the plant in 1998 to help keep it from spreading.

I have to pay attention to poison ivy and poison oak when I’m out in our yard working, but I can’t imagine this. They say it is more miserable than poison ivy.

Giant Hogweed Plant

When giant hogweed sap contacts human skin and is exposed to sunlight, it can cause serious blistering and inflammation. The effect of brushing up against the plant can be scarring. The sap in a person’s eye can cause blindness. (Photos: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

I don’t guess we have to worry too much about this plant here in Atlanta and North Georgia, but it should make us pause and think about the fact that when we’re working outdoors, not all plants are equal!



Here’s a pretty neat new attachment for the Ventrac Compact Tractors:

Grounds maintenance professionals know the value of reducing or eliminating hand work and they appreciate premium results. This is what the Ventrac Ballpark Renovator brings to the table. Ventrac is the solution for efficient ball field maintenance that also elevates the image and quality of the facility.

While the Ballpark Groomer and Renovator are capable of properly taking care of all the infield needs, the advantages don’t stop there. Using the tractor’s versatility, grounds crews can hook up to other attachments and accomplish all of the other mowing, soil preparation, and cleanup needs at the facility. Ventrac is simply the best, most economical solution to maintaining a beautiful and functional ballpark.

Ballpark Groomer & Renovator Features:

  • Field Leveling
  • Consistent Surface Conditions
  • Safer Playing Conditions
  • Edge Line Cutting
  • Reduce Soil Compaction
  • Saves Time
  • Durable Craftsmanship
  • Finish Grooming
  • Reduce Field Dampness
  • Weed Management
Ventrac Ballpark Groomer and Renovator

Ventrac Ballpark Groomer and Renovator

We don’t generally get political here… but have you seen the latest campaign stunt from Rand Paul?

Rand has long talked about wanting to abolish/change the tax code in the United States. Guess someone told him he should make a video that could hopefully go viral of him visibly and physically destroying the tax code.

By the way… that tax code. Not good for Small Businesses who help built and direct this nation. We do agree that it needs to be dealt with!

But wait… was that a Makita Chainsaw?

Rand Paul Killing Tax Code with Makita Chainsaw

Rand Paul Killing Tax Code with Makita Chainsaw

Yes. Apparently it was.

While we are a huge Makita power equipment dealer and actually sell a handful of Makita gas powered tools… Come on Rand. Everyone knows if you need a chainsaw, STIHL is the way to go. More politicians should go see what STIHL is doing in Virginia Beach regarding manufacturing in the United States. They could help bring manufacturing business back to the US if they highlighted companies like STIHL.

It’s funny. CNN decided to ask some lumberjacks what they thought of Rand’s skills with the saw.

In all reality, Rand’s team probably just rented the Makita when they got the tow behind chipper too.

And we are all in agreement that it would be incredible to see Trump handle a chainsaw. That would be pay per view worthy.


It’s July and it’s hot as blazes…and it’s about to get even hotter with True Value’s July Bargains of the Month.  In addition to celebrating America’s Independence this month, you will also be celebrating in your pocket due to the money you’ll be saving with this month’s bargains. Hot off the press, these deals are on fire, so check ‘em out!

50-Ft 16/2 Orange Extension Cord50-Ft 16/2 Orange Extension Cord

Indoor, outdoor, whatever you fancy, this versatile extension cord has lighted ends to see the connection is in use (it’s also in a fashionably orange color so you won’t miss it laying in the yard or in the garage).

Used for power equipment, holiday lights (outside) around the house and more, you’re sure to have enough length to reach whatever it is your trying to use it for. You’ll be taking a cold shower after purchasing this hot deal because it’s just $9.97!

Product details:

  • Brand: Master Electric
  • 50ft
  • Color: Orange
  • Lighted Ends
  • Locking Connector & Plugs

27-inch 3-Speed Oscillating Tower Fan27-inch 3-Speed Oscillating Tower Fan

Summer heat got you hot and bothered?  This fan will cool you down, with its oscillation (for even air distribution) and a nice slim-fit that can be easily placed anywhere.  Better strike while the iron is hot because this deal will only last through the month of July, for only $19.99 (33% off!).

Product details:

  • Brand: Westpointe
  • 27”
  • 3 Speeds
  • Color: Black
  • Lighted Ends
  • Locking Connector & Plugs

6-Roll Print Paper Towels or 12-Pk Bath Tissue

6-Roll Print Paper Towels or 12-Pk Bath Tissue

It’s hotter than the devil’s behind, and speaking of behind, check out my favorite Bargain of the Month, TP.  Blowing’ up the toilet like blowing up fireworks for the 4th, we all need TP, so why not capitalize on this red hot deal, $4.99 for a 12 pack.  Oh, or you can choose a 6 pack of paper towels.

Product details:

  • Paper (that’s about it)

Buy all 3 of July’s Bargain of the Month deals and you won’t find yourself in a jam sitting on the toilet without any TP, sweating, because your fan doesn’t reach the bathroom!