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View Full Version : Trimming..... Separates the men from the boys.


scott in the soo
08-25-2005, 07:12 PM
The first thing i teach a new employee is how to trim properly. nothing bothers me more than to see a beutifully cut lawn with no or poor trimming. do you all agree that trimming can make or break an aspiring lawn care company???

olderthandirt
08-25-2005, 07:52 PM
NO, I think not knowing your cost is the biggest reason for failure. Trimming is just a function of the job that can be easily taught

Varsity L&G
08-25-2005, 08:07 PM
Nothing like some good trim work! :rolleyes:

I think I am faster with the trimmer then I am with the mower. I spent many months with other LCO's doing nothing but trimming. Got to were when I was allowed on the mower I just wanted to keep on trimming. I learned were a mower could and could not get on a lawn and wacked accordingly.

Richard Martin
08-25-2005, 08:43 PM
I thought this thread was going to be about tough trimming. I see people post here who talk about going 15, 20 and 25 lawns on one tank of fuel. I can burn a tank on one residential.

Shane7258
08-25-2005, 08:55 PM
I agree a good mow without a good trim leaves a bad mark but like someone says on the sight as long as you got an good edge who cares about the crummy job you did just joking but using a whole tank of gas on one prop unless it is huge your wasting time and time is money not loosing sight just keeping pace

Richard Martin
08-25-2005, 09:27 PM
but using a whole tank of gas on one prop unless it is huge your wasting time and time is money not loosing sight just keeping pace

Big property. $175 a cut.

Varsity L&G
08-25-2005, 09:31 PM
Wacker Gas does seem to last forever. Well untill you are as far away from the gas can as possible.

shepoutside
08-25-2005, 09:33 PM
The first thing i teach a new employee is how to trim properly. nothing bothers me more than to see a beutifully cut lawn with no or poor trimming. do you all agree that trimming can make or break an aspiring lawn care company???

You trim in the North? Just Kidding :waving: and yes I agree, trimming and edging make the difference IMHO ......... Why I just mow now, lol

olderthandirt
08-25-2005, 10:43 PM
The first thing i teach a new employee is how to trim properly. nothing bothers me more than to see a beutifully cut lawn with no or poor trimming. do you all agree that trimming can make or break an aspiring lawn care company???

So I guess by all the above post that to be successful company you only need a good trimmer :dizzy: Note to self: Hire some more monkeys next wk.

gogetter
08-25-2005, 11:10 PM
Trimming is just a function of the job that can be easily taught

You'd think so, wouldn't ya Mac?? LOL!

But your right, trimming is certainly not what is going to make or break a business. A poor trimmer will cause you to waste money and cause you frustration, but a whole lot more to a businesses success or failure then trimming.

indy2tall
08-25-2005, 11:42 PM
I consider myself a rookie even though this is my second year in business part time. Before I get any scab comments I am fully insured, properly licensed, and turn in every penny I earn check or cash. My comment is that I really value posts by guys like Olderthandirt, Rodfather and others who have a lot of experience. Turning any job into a successful business is difficult and tips I have picked up from their posts have helped me numerous times. I am old enough to realize that the best lesson is one you didn't have to learn the HARD way. Thanks again guys.

S man
08-26-2005, 12:01 AM
Trimming is very important and is noticed by customers if not done or done right.

HighGrass
08-26-2005, 01:09 AM
I will say this, I have alot of accounts tell me that they REALLY like the way I trim. Most used other lawn services and have the same complaint, that most LCO's trim to close or over trim. I've seen alot of evidence in my area. If proper trimming is easily taught, well that may be true, but I would say most don't put what they've been taught into practice.

My aim is to trim so that the areas trimmed are usually the same height as the surrounding grass.

dishboy
08-26-2005, 01:22 AM
So I guess by all the above post that to be successful company you only need a good trimmer :dizzy: Note to self: Hire some more monkeys next wk.

Good luck with that since only about one in twenty five experienced operaters are actually what I consider proficient on a trimmer. But you do commercial so I guess a monkey is adequate.

olderthandirt
08-26-2005, 01:44 AM
Good luck with that since only about one in twenty five experienced operaters are actually what I consider proficient on a trimmer. But you do commercial so I guess a monkey is adequate.

So you agree with the statement below
do you all agree that trimming can make or break an aspiring lawn care company???

On my list of things that can make or break an aspiring co. that would be way way way down on the list. cash flow, capital expenditures, time studies, advertising and a hundred other things would have more priority

PLM-1
08-26-2005, 02:00 AM
Wacker Gas does seem to last forever. Well untill you are as far away from the gas can as possible.

That and trimmer line..i'm always as far away as possible from the roll of line!

jason_2005lawnman
08-28-2005, 11:24 PM
a poor weed trimming guy can and will give you a bad name; if you have a guy who scalps the ground or missed about every other tree then you will have customers on your back; ive been in the business to long and have seen a dealt with to many customers;

olderthandirt
08-29-2005, 01:59 AM
a poor weed trimming guy can and will give you a bad name; if you have a guy who scalps the ground or missed about every other tree then you will have customers on your back; ive been in the business to long and have seen a dealt with to many customers;

If you have a guy trimming weeds evey week I would suggest killing the weeds off and planting grass :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:

6'7 330
08-29-2005, 09:42 AM
So you agree with the statement below


On my list of things that can make or break an aspiring co. that would be way way way down on the list. cash flow, capital expenditures, time studies, advertising and a hundred other things would have more priority

Those types of phrases, cash flow, targeted advertising, time studies, selling one’s company etc. flow over most heads.Why; because they aren’t running a business, they run a job cutting grass.
You might as well be speaking Gaelic lol…….. Is minig a bha an fhirinn searbh ri h-innse

vfig777
08-29-2005, 10:23 AM
What is the correct way to trim. I have never been properly taught and I could use a good lesson to improve my trimming,

I also have another question. I just bought a new weed trimmer (craftsman) for $100, what kind of improvements will I see if I return that and get a Echo. I have about 15 accounts I do a week. I have always used craftsman and never had any problems. I bought this new one because my old one was stolen.
Thanks

65hoss
08-29-2005, 10:30 AM
NO, I think not knowing your cost is the biggest reason for failure. Trimming is just a function of the job that can be easily taught
From the business side I fully agree.

From the job site, I agree that trimming and edging will destroy a job.

So both are correct.

jtrice11
08-29-2005, 11:44 AM
The first thing i teach a new employee is how to trim properly. nothing bothers me more than to see a beutifully cut lawn with no or poor trimming. do you all agree that trimming can make or break an aspiring lawn care company???

I agree with you, I just had to get rid of a guy who just couldn't get the hang of a trimmer. He had logged over 35hrs on a trimmer and still didn't "get it". I hadn't had any complaints all year until him. Needless to say, he's no longer employed for me.

olderthandirt
08-29-2005, 11:51 AM
You correct Hoss, I need to clarify my answer, If you don't know your cost you have no idea what to charge for the trimming. Whether its a great trim/edge or the worst does not matter if you do not make a profit on the work. Profit is what all companies need to stay in business. Seen to many people in this business that have no idea what there "cost" are and think becouse there charging $40 and hr there getting rich when in fact there business cost are $35 an hr and there making less than min. wage.

topsites
08-29-2005, 11:56 AM
What is the correct way to trim. I have never been properly taught and I could use a good lesson to improve my trimming,

I also have another question. I just bought a new weed trimmer (craftsman) for $100, what kind of improvements will I see if I return that and get a Echo. I have about 15 accounts I do a week. I have always used craftsman and never had any problems. I bought this new one because my old one was stolen.
Thanks

Well it's real simple, Craftsman makes homeowner's equipment while only Echo or Stihl goes into Commercial grade equipment, the main difference is I have an Echo and I cut ~750 yards/year and this one's running now for 3 years thou I recently also bought a Stihl BUT -
Before I go too much further, it says in your profile you've been in business for 10 years and here you say you got 15 accounts/week ... Am I too assume you are happy with the way things are, because if so then you might as well keep doing what you're doing as it may be one of those things that works great for you. From the sound of things, it would appear you are quite content with the Craftsman tool and you may or may not notice a big improvement in this case.
Now if you are not happy, well then if you buy a 300-dollar Echo srm-260s *OR* a 300-dollar Stihl FS-85 (If you can still find one) I can assure you that you will NEVER look on a Craftsman the same way again.

Onto the other part, if you've been doing this for 10 years you can likely assume yourself self-trained, whether someone teaches you a better way of trimming would make an improvement at this point it may well be possible your way is just as good if not better.

daveintoledo
08-29-2005, 02:18 PM
id say the ship has already sunk, you should get that each year just from referalls with no advertising......i wonder about the level of exageration on some profiles......10 years and doesnt know the difference between homeowners equipment and commercial..... ;)

turfmgr
08-29-2005, 02:28 PM
The first thing i teach a new employee is how to trim properly. nothing bothers me more than to see a beutifully cut lawn with no or poor trimming. do you all agree that trimming can make or break an aspiring lawn care company???

finally someone that knows what they're doing out there. so many people are just so happy to have someone else weedeating for them that they dont care what kind of job they do. trimming sets you apart from the rest, anyone can stripe.

Dashunde
08-29-2005, 04:23 PM
Some customers like stripes and couldn't care less about trimming.
Some like crisp edging (by blade, not line)
Some are real anal about trimming and will give you hell for a scalp here and there.
And we've all had a PITA that is anal about everything...

The importance of a good trim job is only a matter of what each individual customer likes.




(BTW... I just loaded up a head with that Husqy Ti line.. I'm scalping the hell outta everything with that stuff. I dont like it at all. Went from 095 to 095 too, didnt switch size.)

drmiller100
08-30-2005, 01:45 PM
interesting views on all this. It sounds like one guy prices according to costs. That is a Poor way to price.

A better way is to price according to perceived value to the customer. If a given customer thinks he is happy paying 60 bucks to have his lawn mowed, but he wants it done NICELY, then you better be GOOD with a trimmer, and blow the driveway off.
OTOH, anohter customer might value his lawn a 30 bucks, but not care about trimming. you can make money at both if you do it right.

Myself I make more money on the 30 dollar folks, as my setup is more efficient for those. I can't make money pushing a 21 incher around, and have pretty much gotten out of that market.