View Full Version : Half expecting a plane to crash into my house next

Kelly's Landscaping
05-07-2005, 12:20 AM
I have not been on here much lately itís been seven days a week 12 hours plus a day for a few months. But I am having the worse start to a season I could ever think of I am stunned how much can go wrong. Estimates started much later due to weather but ballpark I have around 160 accounts atm I am not sure who they all are yet. Ill do a drive bye give the price to my mother and fine out a few days later she made the sale on the phone.

Any ways I just got to vent I had no march it snowed up to the end I did not get to start till April 9th, which is very late. So I had only 18 days of work in April hence I still have 20 clean ups to go. I am booked for at least the next 3 months. My trucks all got worked on this spring I had the two rams repainted and did a color change on the 99. My gmc 3500 had some serious issues last fall that we waited till march to look into since we take the winter off and I did not want to spend the money then. The diesel injectors were shot and I ended up with the rebuild time going for most of April with out here which was very hard since thatís my only dump truck and she not only had a leaf box on her but also my 20 hp vac. So I slugged it out most of the month with just one truck not easy I have taken back two ex employees that seem to have figured out they like the job and have been quite good to me these last few weeks.

That said all my new hires have been failures and I do need a 3rd man. So this week was our first real cut week and this is how itís gone. Last Friday I blew the rear end of my 98 ram so that was out to Thursday. On Tuesday I had to work to midnight to convert our box truck to a cutting truck new hitch and wiring I can not even see the trailer in the mirrors the thing is so wide its like driving blind. Wednesday seemed to be going well I am driving this beast and I get a call from my other crew they got one of my backpacks stolen. Now I didnít yell just went back to work that was a 12.5 hour cutting day Thursday Phil had to have off as well as Friday is wife is about to give birth and he had to be there with her. So Lou had to cut all day by himself we busted our butts and today despite only being our third cutting day it looked like we might finish our list and some of these guys are a foot or more tall. So I am out there banging out 1-2 acre lawns all morning with Ben I need to get 28 done Lou was on his own again I get to number 13 and the right hydro pump on my 60=inch lazer blows. Its like some one is trying to screw with me. So I call in my solo second crew and merge I push my lazer on the trailer add in bagging system and the things like 1500 pounds. Then I got to cut to 8 tonight the last 2 and half hours in the rain. I have 2 new mowers but both of them are not ready to pick up yet I am told track vac will not ship out the system with out a weight kit trouble is they ran out. So here it is a week and no new 52-inch lazer Z. If I had that I would not be in that much trouble but with out a back up for my 60 ouch is all I can say. I do love my 44-inch lazer but compared to the big boy itís a toy. She is great on Lou's side of the list but my side the lawns are 10 times the size of his. So here it is mothers day weekend I have around 21 lawns out of 160 on account that have not been cut not for lack of trying. And it is suppose to rain all day tomorrow doesn't matter I will be going cutting anyways Don't want but its a holiday weekend and if I am to go down I will go down swinging. I may fail to cut them all but I will not have it said I did not do everything I could to see that did not happen.

Oh yea I got some bi*ch new customer I met yesterday lawn was a foot and half tall and she thinks I was going to cut her bi weekly. I did not sign her up my partner did and at the time the lawn was dormant well not any more. Well she was in my face as soon as I got there and in her foreign gibberish I heard her say the price first time I heard what it was to which I responded before I even cut the lawn I am changing that lady I am not doing this that cheap. Things like a poster for chem. lawn well she calls up today all pissed and tells my mother I am calling my lawyer I am going to sue you LOL yea right. My contract has a term #8 [There is no obligation for either party to continue with this contract if unsatisfied. Either party may terminate this agreement by serving an oral or written notice.] When asked to read that on her contract this dimwit refused there is a reason I do no play games and require so many cuts or so many days notice and this lady is it when I want to fire someone I want to do it right then on the spot. Which was the highlight of my day hearing my mother fired her first PITA.

Envy Lawn Service
05-07-2005, 12:35 AM
Sorry to hear someone is having similar luck to mine....
I must say your ordeal is on a larger scale though...

05-07-2005, 12:44 AM
Kelly, don't worry about going down swinging. Screw it, it's raining, sounds like you need a break. Take a day for yourself, your customers will still be there on Monday.

05-07-2005, 07:27 AM
Hell Matthew, that sounds like one of my better weeks...LOL

05-07-2005, 07:39 AM
Ya, the problems are never ending in a lawn care biz. Just so many things that can go wrong--weather, customers, equipment etc etc. You are always putting out little fires until the big one comes along

05-07-2005, 07:46 AM
Welcome to my world Matt !

05-07-2005, 07:50 AM
Geewhiz...... it's like looking in the mirror. It is ruff but sometimes this happens. Last year was like that for me.

05-07-2005, 08:15 AM
I feel alot better. It's not just me!! Matt

05-07-2005, 08:48 AM
Yep sounds like a typical Spring for a small operation

05-07-2005, 09:32 AM
There's this scene in the movie "The World According to Garp" in which Garp and his wife are looking at a house to buy. Then this small plane comes sputtering along and crashes into the house. Garp says "I'll take it, it's pre-disastered"

BTW...I just sold my GMC truck for exactly the same reason. I replaced it with an International, thinking it couldn't be worse. Wrong. Rusty wiring. Been in the shop more than on the road. Makes you wax nostalgic for last October when everything was running like a Swiss watch.

Green Pastures
05-07-2005, 09:41 AM
Deep breath.......

It'll get better, just breathe.

05-07-2005, 09:58 AM
Sorry to hear all the bad news. Sounds like its your time in the barrel! :angry:

Anyway, don't worry things will get better----look on the bright side--- 2 weeks from now you will have your equipment problems fixed and you will still have all those customers and will be doing great. Keep your chin up.

This week, had to get the pontoon boat tuned up. Had the guy pick it up, made arrangements to meet him at the dock to put it in the water. Go to get the key, nobody knows where it is....drive another ten miles and finally find it.
I get 90% of the way there and see that there is a big streak in the road. I pull over, walk over to the 80 year old man shakin his head, reach down and pick up my smashed gas can. Seems it wasn't tied down on the end of the boat. No sooner do I drive away and the dep is pullin up. Long story short, the boats in the water and it runs great.

I get to work Friday and my best guy quits.

But... in two weeks I will have another guy and the sun will be up... don't worry!

Kelly's Landscaping
05-08-2005, 12:26 AM
Thanks guys I spent most of the day at my dealers he was swamped so I waited till he closed at 12 before I finally got to even chat with him. Clown in front of me used 1 hour of Dave's time for 22 dollars worth of little parts on a 21 inch 10 year old snapper. I am standing here with a 10,000 dollar mower that needs to be worked on ASAP and with a 15,000 dollar mower order I need like yesterday and this guy has his computer print out with prices and part numbers but said he could not pay shipping hence he was there to use up Dave time and mine. I was fighting the urge to reach over and strangle him. So we looked at my mower the pump is gone he has 50 plus other mowers there to be worked on heís 4-6 weeks backed up. So it will probably be Thursday before I can have my mower back pays to be close with the owner of the dealership. What was nice is he going to rush to get my 2 new mowers assembled for Tuesday. Poor guy will be working this Sunday so I will make due till then. I can't wait I will be picking up a 36" exmark turf tracer hp
and a 52" exmark lazer Z with a 27 hp kohler and a 6 hp kohler track vac on it.

Any luck I will not lose any customers over this week then you add in the rain every one said was coming didn't today I finally snapped at 5:30 this evening and went out cutting kicking myself for not going out 3 hours earlier. Well tomorrow I am doing 3 small commercial clean ups and Lou gets to go after a few problem lawns on our fert list so a half day finally. Not sure what I will do with all that free time probably estimates hehehe ahh well.

05-08-2005, 12:54 AM
Had 1 problem after another last year also,,,but on a smaller scale than you. Very frustrating to say the least. All the equipment we need is just a timebomb..... the more you have, the more there is to tear up.
Try 2 remember ...could be worse (could be the guy with a handful of accounts who cannot get enough work to even think about buying new equipment).

Better luck the rest of the season :)

Kelly's Landscaping
05-10-2005, 01:02 AM
Keeps getting better the bridge I have to cross to get to 20 of my accounts just broke in the up position so now that means I95 is the only way to get across for me. That ought to add some time to my cut list and the last time the bridge had this happen it was stuck open for 2 years.

05-10-2005, 11:41 AM
Just give it your best and things are bound to turn around! Best of luck to you,


05-10-2005, 01:12 PM
Hey, if it makes you feel better, I did hear your commercial on WICC radio. Sounds great. Hang in there, have a :drinkup: , in fact I'll buy you one, the season will only get better.

Kelly's Landscaping
05-11-2005, 01:37 AM
Kind of hoped I was done with this thread but no LOL it keeps going. My employee Phil today was not thinking and while using a set of our stihl hand pruners nearly cut the tip off a finger. He asked for a band-aid I go what did you do if it was a branch or something I would not even be concerned but he said stihls and knew it was bad so I took him to the hospital. 7 stitches 4 inside 3 out side that had to hurt. Well just got my 2 new mowers so tomorrow has to get better.

ProCare Lawn Service
05-11-2005, 01:51 AM
What really sucks is when your primary mower tears up, then u get out your backup and it breaks down on a lawn that has to be done that day b/c the man is having a party the next. So, end up weed eating the lawn in the dark with a headlamp and the lights from the truck. Oh, one more thing. It just has to rain.

05-11-2005, 02:06 PM
Had 1 problem after another last year also,,,but on a smaller scale than you. Very frustrating to say the least. All the equipment we need is just a timebomb..... the more you have, the more there is to tear up.
Try 2 remember ...could be worse (could be the guy with a handful of accounts who cannot get enough work to even think about buying new equipment).

Better luck the rest of the season :)

Yes, this is me. I am struggling to find accounts.

Kelly-I am in Connecticut as well, if you run into a jam, pm me and i'll help you out.