The Great American Tracker

When Josh Hyde looks to the future, he's facing west.

STORY BY NICK TAYLOR | IMAGES BY PHILLIP HARDER

There is an age-old axiom that truly great hunters are born, not raised.  Perhaps it’s based on evolution.  Perhaps it’s something deeper.  If you arrive at a public game preserve on opening day and ask the individuals assembled what it is that sets the truly great hunters apart, they’ll quickly raise the issue of instinct.

“Instincts aren’t taught,” Josh Hyde recently told me.  “They are woven into your DNA - becoming part of you even before your heart and lungs are formed.”

Josh HydeOf course the most experienced hunters always quickly point out that the somewhat less glamorous bedfellow of instinct is patience, and Josh was no different.

“However, patience is what you need to turn a ten-point buck into a 12 or 14 point,” Josh continued.  “Patience is what gets rewarded with records.”

“Okay, maybe patience and luck,” he said with a laugh.

Josh is a hunter in the most noble sense of the word and it’s a title that he wears with the comfort of a broken-in jacket, worn a bit in the elbows but more than adequate for a few more seasons.  He’s been in the field for a long time, but he’s not the type to brag about the past because he’s so busy looking toward the future.  And when you learn a little more about the future he’s planning, it’s no wonder that it has his attention.

Last fall, Josh was given the opportunity to open a new office for Perficut Site Management.  For the past few years the company has been experiencing unprecedented growth.  After spending the better part of two decades focused on expanding services in central Iowa while building a foundation with companies like Principal Financial, John Deere, Tones and Toro, the company’s owners decided to expand to the east.  The new branch in Cedar Rapids was so successful that the team quickly began looking for other expansion opportunities.

Then in January, Josh was handed a company flag and told to drive west and plant it in Omaha.

With a single client in hand, he purchased a century-old farmhouse on six and a half acres and set up an office in the garage - a place he refers to in his usual quick-witted style as the “Garage Mahol.”  From this vantage point on the prairie, he picked up the phone and got to work.

“If you’re going to be successful in the field, the first thing you have to do is find the right land.”  Josh said, in a way that made me uncertain whether we were talking about deer or commercial clients.

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“To find the right land, you have to get to know the landscape.  You have to gain an understanding of the wildlife.  How it uses the land.  How it travels and moves.  You have to understand what it wants.  Where it’s going to eat.  Where it’s going to drink.  Where it’s going to start it’s family.”  Josh continued, confounding the issue further.

“Omaha is a new market.  The city isn’t yet blanketed with our blue trucks.  As a result, the big commercial clients really don’t know us yet, and the first step is obviously to build trust.”  He added, making the subject somewhat more clear.

“Unfortunately, we operate in an industry that is usually represented by service providers who miss deadlines, provide poor service and break promises.”  He said.  “So we have to come in and rebuild that trust in the community.  We have to demonstrate how we’ve elevated the professionalism of our industry while gaining an understanding of what commercial clients need.”

Understanding the needs of his clients is an area that Josh is particularly passionate about.  It’s a lesson he learned at an early age from his dad, who sold implements to rural farmers in Albert City, Iowa (population 700).

“For the last century, farming in Iowa has been up and down.” Josh said.  “Dad taught me that your focus should always be on big solutions rather than big sales.  He understood that the welfare of a family was often determined by the recommendations that he made and he was always driven to find the best solution for the farmers he worked with.”

“The same thing is true with our commercial clients.” Josh said.  “We’re very solutions-oriented.”

“Many of our clients operate critical sites, such as hospitals and clinics, shipping and manufacturing centers, or high-traffic retail or corporate locations.  For these clients, site management can have a huge impact on the bottom line, particularly during winter months where slip-and-fall injuries are common.”

“Perficut is the only company in Iowa and Nebraska with a snow and ice management program that is accredited under the international quality standard, SN9001.  We have the best client communication system in the industry and carefully document every service in real time as it’s performed. Through this system, we can provide real value to our clients.”

“When it comes to summer services, many of our largest commercial clients don’t know what they need.  We can evaluate their current program and make recommendations that save money and reduce the environmental impact.”

“Of course none of this can happen if you don’t know the landscape,” he concludes as he looks out the window of the Garage Mahol.

Outside spring is coming.  It’s going to be a big year for Josh Hyde.  New market.  New Job.  New house.  And then in June, a new baby.

It’s going to be a good year for patience and instinct.

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Connect with Josh via: LinkedIn, Email or the good old fashioned telephone at 402-807-6283.

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