Schonberg with the motorized log cart he designed Photo courtesy Kay Schonberg
Eudora News and Information ~ www.eudorareporter.com
Philip Schonberg is best known in this area for his tree trimming business (Schonberg’s Tree Service) that he has run with a couple of his sons and a handful of employees for many years. But Schonberg is more than just a tree trimmer; he’s an inventor of sorts.
He insists he’s not really an inventor, but more of an “adapter.” He figures out how to make things better by building, rebuilding, and rethinking something to make it more useful. Take the motor-driven log cart that he designed. Because there is not a lot of equipment on the market that you can use in the trimming business that is suitable for small or well-manicured yards, Schonberg came up with the cart that is marketed under the name “little helper cart.” Don’t let that name fool you because it is a big help to those in the tree business, and surely saves a lot of wear and tear on muscles.
At only 240 pounds itself, the cart can carry a load of up to 800 pounds. (Try moving that much weight in a wheelbarrow!) It’s self-propelled, can move a heavy load uphill and doesn’t tear up the turf in a yard. Even a small person can operate it. Schonberg allowed me to drive one around his equipment yard after the interview, and the cart practically drove itself. I had to hang on to keep up with it. Granted, it didn’t have 800 pounds in it, but Philip had stacked several big logs in it for me.
Because his tree business can only be done eight or nine months out of the year, he takes advantage of the winter months to build the carts. So far he’s sold about 90 carts, and he gets rave reviews from those who have bought them. A training and safety supervisor in Kansas City called the little helper cart “a life saver.”
“Tree trimming is still a lot of work,” admitted Schonberg, “but the cart helps. It is so much easier than using a wheelbarrow or a dolly.”
Schonberg comes from a family of inventors. His dad, grandfather and uncles came up with all kinds of inventions.
“My Uncle Harry built a tractor out of old car and truck parts,” Schonberg said with a laugh. “Being poor is fertile ground for inventors. There are probably some people who sit around trying to invent things, but most inventions are made by hard-working people just trying to figure out how to make things better.”
Not everything Schonberg creates is for business. He built The Flying Banana, a trailer he pulls behind his tractor that looks unmistakably like a huge banana, for the pleasure of his grandchildren. It has plenty of seating for his numerous grandchildren with a little gate that closes so that a child can’t fall out. Adults enjoy the excursions in The Flying Banana as much as the kids.
Schonberg also has a huge organic garden that produces much of the food his family enjoys all year. Even the swing on the porch was handmade by Philip, and it’s much more comfortable than one from a factory. It practically invites you to slow down and sit a spell to enjoy the serenity of his country property.
Phil and his wife Kay live a few miles south of Eudora in a home they built themselves. They have four grown children and a banana trailer load of grandchildren. Schonberg can be reached at 785-865-6789.