As a youth, Tony Raynor’s father told him to go to college and not make a career out of the Orlando landscaping and irrigation business that his dad founded in 1975.
But blessed with a green thumb and passion for the work, Tony eschewed a college education and stayed in the family landscaping business. Then, six years after his dad’s passing in 1991, Tony decided to follow in his father’s entrepreneurial footsteps by specializing in tree service, site clearing and storm recovery.
At the outset, the tree service consisted of Tony and wife, Tami, working with a Chevy van and U-Haul trailer.
“We started off very humble and small,” Raynor recalls. “I climbed the trees and Tami worked with me dragging the limbs. After doing 22 named storms and traveling around the country, we decided to put our roots down deep here in central Florida.”
As the Orlando tree service and landclearing business grew, so did the amount of wood chips and tree debris. Tony got tired of wasting natural products that could be recycled and put back into use in the environment. So Raynor Shine started its first wood recycling yard and processing its own material in 2009.
A full-service sustainable recycling company processes organic vegetative debris from landclearing, tree and landscape companies as well as yard waste from municipalities. Raynor Shine’s RSRS division hauls debris with large grapple trucks to one of nine recycling facilities in central Florida.
“With our large grapple trucks we are able to haul larger amounts of debris at one time, which leaves a smaller carbon footprint on the environment and saves money,” Tony says.
Having grown to just over 100 employees, Raynor Shine has successfully completed many large debris and hauling contracts, handling millions of cubic yards of debris. The company serves the I-4 corridor from Daytona Beach to Tampa. Some of the company’s larger clients include Swan, Dolphin and Marriott Resorts. It also contracts with municipalities to handle huge volumes of yard waste.
“We’re also geared up for hurricanes being situated here in central Florida,” Tony says. “When hurricanes hit we’re ready to get right out there and help support any municipality that needs to get back on their feet.”
The clever company name tends to draw favorable comments from customers. Plus, it neatly encapsulates Raynor Shine’s mission in two words.
“Our goal is to shine for our customers, so that was the theme behind the name that my father and grandfather came up with,” Tony says. “Plus, when it rains we talk about that, too. We tend to get the job done either way.”
Raynor Shine provides clients with the most practical and environmentally friendly methods of recycling. Everything is recycled, reduced, and re-used. The company manufactures premium colored mulch products and soil amendments.
Raynor Shine has four divisions, including a grapple division that collects trees, limbs and organic material, a transport division for hauling, a processing division that grinds the organic material into mulch, and a blowing division that delivers and spreads mulch at residential and commercial sites. The company has nine processing yards throughout central Florida, with Apopka just outside Orlando as the largest facility.
“We take that same material that we collect or that’s dumped at our facility and we reprocess it into a reusable product,” Tony says. “We make high quality mulches for our blower trucks. We’ll deliver it in bulk, or we’ll go out there with our truck and our whole fleet of express blowers that are able to blow up to 1000 feet away from the truck.”
Cat® equipment is at the heart of Raynor Shine’s operation. Every grinder has a Cat powered engine, as do many of the blower trucks. At its main yard in Ocoee, the company utilizes a Cat 950M Wheel Loader, and a 324E Cat Hydraulic Excavator. Altogether, Raynor Shine has nine pieces of Cat equipment, along with three CT660 on-highway trucks—two of which are configured in tractor form and pull-100 yard mulch trailers.
“My operators enjoy running the Cat equipment,” Tony says. “The 950M Wheel Loader with its cab guarding package is a mean looking machine. And when you’re feeding material to a grinder with a loader, the support that you have to give a 1200 horsepower grinder, you better be mean and lean, and the Cat wheel loader definitely is a powerful machine.”
The latest configuration of the Cat 950M has wider, lower profile tires along with auto diff lock—two new features that Raynor Shine’s operators appreciate for greater stability and traction.
One of the biggest challenges in Raynor Shine’s business is physical damage to the equipment, says operations manager Edward Lee.
“We’re dealing with logs and brush, and it has a tendency to stab and jab all over the machine, resulting in broken windshields, torn off fenders, cut hydraulic lines, and bent belly pans,” Lee says. “So, the robustness of the machine and the guarding package are big things for us.”
All of the 950M Wheel Loaders have variable pitch fans and front window guards. The most recent wheel loader purchased by Raynor Shine is outfitted with heavy-duty steps borrowed from the waste-handling package for the 950M.
Raynor Shine depends on its Cat equipment to be up and running at all times, and enjoys uptime in the mid-90s.
“Cat machines are reliable, robust equipment that we love working with, and the uptime has exceeded our expectations,” Tony says. “The attachments that we use with them enhance their capabilities. And we like the fuel efficiency of the Tier 4 machines.”
Raynor selected Cat equipment because it’s a strong brand that enjoys a worldwide reputation for quality and reliability.
“We love that we have total support from our Cat dealer, Ring Power,” Tony says. “They have such a large team of technicians in the field, and when we need a part they’re quick to deliver it. The majority of the time they have it on the shelf, and if they don’t they have it the next day. Their support team is phenomenal.”
Adds Lee: “Cat machines are premium products, and the service is extraordinary. Ring Power has a lot of depth to be able to respond to equipment issues in the field. Basically, it’s about maximizing uptime, and what Ring Power brings to the table is the size, depth, and capacity to respond in timely fashion to maintain and repair equipment.”
Tony appreciates the ease of acquiring equipment through Cat Financial.
“Caterpillar has been a strong vendor to us in every respect, and they stand behind us, financially,” he says. “They’ve been a great partner to us in that regard.”
Raynor also appreciates the dedicated sales support he has received over the years from his Ring Power representative, Scott Starkweather.
“Even before our company grew, he was showing me every different thing that was available to help us grow our company,” Tony says. “Even when we were a small company and had only a few pieces of equipment, he still took the time to bring ideas to me and keep me informed about new equipment that was coming on the market.”
Raynor Shine has a preventive maintenance agreement with Ring Power, which provides regular maintenance on all of the company’s Cat equipment.
“To not have to handle or deal with maintaining equipment at our various locations has definitely given us time to just keep focusing on what we do best,” Tony says. “Having that partnership with a solid dealer like Ring has made a big difference and helped us with our growth.
“For any company, at the end of the day you’re only as strong as the support that you have,” Tony adds. “They get us what we need when we need it—they keep us rolling. And if it wasn’t for that relationship, I don’t think we’d be as successful as we are today. So we strongly recommend Cat equipment for anybody.”