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View Full Version : Relationships with LCOs in your area?


Remsen1
05-12-2005, 03:34 PM
On a scale of 1-10 what is the value to having interaction with LCOs in your area? I'm thinking that it would be pretty high, but I want to know what you think. For those of you who have large successful operations, that may not benefit greatly from this anymore, answer from a perspective of when you were still trying to grow your business.

I didn't know who I was talking to right away, but after we talked for a while I found out that I was talking to one of the largest most respected landscapers in my area, one whose work I have admired for quite some time. It turns out that his company owns one of the landscape supply retailers in my area, and I was asking him questions about plants and shrubs. He asked me about my operation and, he seemed really supportive and answered all of my questions and even gave me some take home materials. I gave him one of my cards and he said that we would be in touch, I'll make sure that we are.

kc2006
05-12-2005, 04:00 PM
Around here the big dawgs want nothing to do with anyone else and there so many fly by night operations that no one wants to associate with because they're lowballers. The middle of the road guys are all nice though, the ones that are still working in the field with their crew or crews. Its like anywhere else, the middle class if you want to call it that sticks together well, we back eachother up.

nelbuts
05-12-2005, 06:31 PM
I would say about an 8.

I have been around long enough that most know me and either like me or can't stand me. But isn't that the way it is in life? Funny thing when I give estimates I never ask who does the property. I ask what are they doing that you do not like. If I agree with homeowner then I will play it up big time. If LCO is correct then I will defend them even though I do not know who they are.

It works out pretty good but I will say I am not treated the same way.

DennisF
05-12-2005, 06:39 PM
Where I'm at, most of the solo LCO's will share info, but the big companies despise us small operators.

That's OK with me since the big LCO's can't compete with most of the solo LCO's anyway, so I don't need to share info with them.

But it would benefit all of us if there were more legal operators that would work together and not try to cut each others throat.

It's the illegal operators that hurt this business...at least here in Florida.

packerbacker
05-12-2005, 07:32 PM
I worked for a guy for almost 6 years before going into business for myself. We still keep in touch on a regular basis (2-3 times a week). We send each other business when we can and he has always pointed me in the right direction when I need help. He's a larger company servicing over 500 residential and commerical accounts.

I always wave to other LCOs and for the most part I get a wave back.

I think its very important to keep a good rapport with other LCOs. Of course we are in competition with each other but there is no reason why we cant be nice to each other.

Ive told other LCOs in my area you have seen where I live to come by any time they see me out and have a beer with me after work.

Turf Technologies
05-12-2005, 07:35 PM
Allways enjoy talking to others in the buss. Ill even give a few a helping hand from time to time.

tx_angler
05-12-2005, 08:15 PM
I make it a point to wave at everyone I see in a truck (hey, it's a Texas thang). Most of the competition either ignores me with a scowl on their face or I get a "one finger salute".

Last season, one of the larger operation's crew had a flat tire on a NPR box truck and I helped them get going again but the language barrier caused us to not communicate very well but I know the crew leader was impressed because I plugged the tire and aired it up without taking the tire off the truck. I carry a tire plugging kit, floor jack and air compressor in my trailer. They all wave when they see me, now!

Woody82986
05-12-2005, 08:45 PM
I would say about 25% of all the LCO's in my town are friendly, 25% can't speak a word of english, and the other 50% are complete a-holes. It seems that the 50% that are a-holes are all the new guys. I wave at everyone the first couple times I see them but if they see me and don't wave back I ingore them from then on and don't bother with them.

Todd's lawncare
05-12-2005, 09:55 PM
I think it would be the other little guys that don't get along not the big ones. I mean i get all my stuff from the biggest one around and we bullshit all the time . But theres this one solo older guy just gives me a funny look when i see him which is alot he lives two blocks away but other then him I'm cool with them all !!!!

Frosty_03
05-12-2005, 10:14 PM
I think you should share ideas and exchange numbers, you never know when the big guys will throw something at you. I have had some big LCO ask if I would do some jobs for them that they would not make money on because of there overhead and I gladly do the job and get more referances from the bigger LCO in my area. I am in good standing with them and sometimes when they are behind they call for help and I am always there to help. I always wave at everybody cause you never know when you might need some help or advise. There is a lot of work and sometime I get behind and the bigger LCO's lend a hand. This is just my thought on the subject, so I would rate my relationship with other LCO's a High 10!!!!!!! :cool2: We are in this together!! :cool2:

Jason Rose
05-12-2005, 10:50 PM
7 or 8... I try to be friends with everyone on the same level or above me standards wise. Sad to say, but I know I started small too, but I really get ticked when I see a pick-up with a couple of 21's in the back anymore. I always wave at the guys that wave back. I know the guys that won't, for whatever reason they don't like me, I don't like them back.

I want to think that maybe someday, if I'm hurt and can't work for an extended period of time that maybe I could call on a couple of these guys and have them take over my lawns for me (for the profits of course) untill I can get back on my feet. Hopefully, because we are all friends, I wouldn't have to worry about having my accounts stolen from me either...

You almost have to get along with your peers, there's so many people out mowing that if you don't you could easily be ambushed by them and be put out of business!

PROCUTSLAWNCARE
05-12-2005, 11:15 PM
About 4-5 of us LCO meet 2-3 a week for breakfast. One LCO is more than likely the biggest in the area if not the county. He puts on his pants the same way we all do. We get along really well. We go to each others shops and hang out and in the winter we meet for breakfast 5 days a week on a normal week. All of us LCO's ( 95%) plow snow so when it snows we all meet after the snow is plowed.

For the most part we all get along and know not to "lowball" each other or try and take work from one another. If a customer asks a different LCO for a price and one of us is mowing it, we all go to the LCO and talk it over first before stepping on each others toes...

mtdman
05-13-2005, 12:18 AM
Most of the lcos around here are assholes. And most of the assholes are just the lackeys that work for the company. Some of the mid level guys are nice. I have my friends in the business, but mostly all the locals suck and I gave up being nice to them a while ago.

Kelly's Landscaping
05-13-2005, 12:38 AM
My former boss and I get along great now not then we talk daily as for other LCOs I feel the Oscar Delahoya approach works best. When he would meet in the ring he always looked up and never at the other guy when asked why he said because he did not want to feel sorry for his opponent when he should be winning the fight. If I am your friend I am not going to take your account but if I do not know you then there is no problem with that for me so I prefer not to be that close with the local guys.

olderthandirt
05-13-2005, 01:13 AM
My former boss and I get along great now not then we talk daily as for other LCOs I feel the Oscar Delahoya approach works best. When he would meet in the ring he always looked up and never at the other guy when asked why he said because he did not want to feel sorry for his opponent when he should be winning the fight. If I am your friend I am not going to take your account but if I do not know you then there is no problem with that for me so I prefer not to be that close with the local guys.
AH-HA the big guys worried about hurting feelings :D Never had that problem myself, I'll look you in the eye as I'm stealing your account :p

Itsgottobegreen
05-13-2005, 01:53 AM
I got a few midsize (owner still works in the field) guys I great friends with. Chat with them all the time. We bail each other out all the time. Few smaller owner operator guys I wave too. There are no big (5 trucks or more)lawn care companies out here.

Then a whole bunch of the, I bought me a ZTR, so I know everything about being a landscaper or other wise know as a scrub, that get the one finger wave.

Eho
05-13-2005, 02:19 AM
I d say I got a pretty good relationship...kinda wave to all the ones I see and even talk to a few and share information with them. Plenty of lawns to go around
EHO

SWD
05-13-2005, 07:59 AM
Relationship?-mostly pretty good, with one exception.
I run a medium sized operation, two trucks, a bunch of commercial accounts and getting more.
The other LCO's are smaller, lower overhead, with shorter rigs.
They take the small jobs I don't want and I get the larger scale accounts they can't handle.
I also sub some for a very large, 7 truck outfit, and this relationship is turning out to be very nice for both of us.
I try to help out one guy that has a shrinking business due to his health problems.
However, there is a complete dipwad that has a residential ztr, extremely unprofessional appearing in all aspects of his business and conduct, the arch typical scrub - who is bad mouthing me behind my back. The funny thing is I have steered work his way before, have tried helping him with some equipment maintenance issues, but no more.

grass_cuttin_fool
05-13-2005, 08:23 AM
Well Im a solo operator and I have 2 friends that are in the same boat I am in. If I get sick or something major happens I can call on them and they can help me out with my accounts till I get back on my feet. And I would be there and do the same for them, all they have to do is make the call. Now there is 1 company in town, he is a big time operator and he has an attitude, funny thing is that attitude is causing his customers to look else where for service.And lastly I do wave at most other LCO's, If I saw one broke down on the road I would stop and offer to help, its a lonely feeling sitting there and thousands of dollars of equipment that you dont want to leave.

Something D
05-13-2005, 08:51 AM
I have only been doing this for two years so for the most part I don't know any other LCO personally, just know they exist. On a scale I would say an 8. Many of the previous post hit the nail on the head. You just never know whey you might need a helping hand on the side of the road or if you get laid up. I am solo so it would be nice to have that network.

MikesLC
05-13-2005, 09:15 AM
I've only met a few others around here. Many won't even wave at another lawn man. :waving:
One of the ones I've met is a member here. Goes by the name of crawdad on the forums.
I've seen Something D's signs, but never met him.
We need to have a get-together someday.
Maybe on a rainy day.
Mike

crawdad
05-13-2005, 09:48 AM
Hey Mike. I have one of your signs, I've been using it as a target for my 22. :gunsfirin Please keep putting them out in my neighborhoods, I need a few more for shooting different distances from my porch.
Thanks, Crawdad

memow
05-14-2005, 09:32 AM
Well I'm nearly brand frickin spankin new in Nashville. There are alot of LCO's of all sizes here. I try to make an effort to wave to other LCO's. Provided I'm not dehydrated, starved or :sleeping: . I have had a few wave backs. But for the most part I have had a kind of cold response. After awhile it sure can take the spirit of friendliness right out of a guy. Especially when you ARE the little guy, no threat, struggling, stressed and damn near willing to work/sub for someone else. Lets all make money. Hell make money off of me. I posted a call for help/work in the"people in your area" forum three weeks into this. Granted it was an early panic. But I introduced myself and even asked for advise. Lots of advise. 50 some-odd hits not one response. Other than myself.

Bill w/ Me Mow Professional Lawn Care Services.

Charles
05-14-2005, 09:41 AM
When you add all the "Little guys" up, it adds up to alot of guys.
That being said, I still wave at all the LCO's when I pass them

MikesLC
05-30-2005, 08:37 AM
Hey Mike. I have one of your signs, I've been using it as a target for my 22. :gunsfirin Please keep putting them out in my neighborhoods, I need a few more for shooting different distances from my porch.
Thanks, Crawdad
Your neighborhoods? Sorry, I should have known that, when I saw grass clippings in the street, and beer bottles in the ditches.
Let's meet and discuss my missing signs.
Mike

nobagger
05-30-2005, 10:12 AM
On a scale of 1-10 what is the value to having interaction with LCOs in your area? I'm thinking that it would be pretty high, but I want to know what you think. For those of you who have large successful operations, that may not benefit greatly from this anymore, answer from a perspective of when you were still trying to grow your business.

I didn't know who I was talking to right away, but after we talked for a while I found out that I was talking to one of the largest most respected landscapers in my area, one whose work I have admired for quite some time. It turns out that his company owns one of the landscape supply retailers in my area, and I was asking him questions about plants and shrubs. He asked me about my operation and, he seemed really supportive and answered all of my questions and even gave me some take home materials. I gave him one of my cards and he said that we would be in touch, I'll make sure that we are.

I happen to be friends with two brothers that own a huge landscaping/lawncare company, and pretty good freinds with two other owners of bigger llc's. I think its great, if I ever have a question I just call them. I actually get some work off of one of the companies and they let me dump my grass there and use some of their equipment at times. But some of the other companies you see driving around seem to be jerks, you wave while passing them and they just give you a nasty look.

qualitylandscaping
05-30-2005, 10:17 AM
We work all over the state so I see thousands of LCO's every week. There are a few local members that top my list..

GVLAWNCARE and AXMAN.. Both of these guys have been around longer than I have. I don't try to take work from them, and have actually never gotten a call from one of their customers because they do good work.

I know and talk to about 15 other LCO's ranging from one-man shows up to the 200 employee operations..

I always think it's good to have a relationship with other companies. If they are a smaller outfit and can't service a larger property, I get it. If I get a smaller property, I send it to them.

Always better to have friends in this business. The guys that don't wave back when we are driving, drive me nuts.. I doubt they give a living crap about what they are doing for a living.

South Florida Lawns
05-30-2005, 11:23 PM
The local Lco's all get along well and I always wave when passing one the road. Also when someone gets something new like a mower we always chat for a while and discuss what we like about this and that.