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milo
02-06-2006, 07:45 PM
36 INCH WALK BEHIND, FULL SIZE TRUCK, TRIMMER, BOLWER. THATS IT..
ANY OTHER WAY THESE DAYS YOU CANT MAKE MONEY IN THIS BUSINESS:nono:

OnMyOwn
02-06-2006, 07:50 PM
I am definitly a fan of smaller is better. However, I hae not gotten that extreme. Good Luck!

DeereHauler
02-06-2006, 07:55 PM
a 36" wb would sure take a while on some of my 3 or 4 acre properties.

meets1
02-06-2006, 07:56 PM
36 - depends what your mowing?? 5000 sq ft or 5 acres.

lawnrangeralaska
02-06-2006, 08:04 PM
36 INCH WALK BEHIND, FULL SIZE TRUCK, TRIMMER, BOLWER. THATS IT..
ANY OTHER WAY THESE DAYS YOU CANT MAKE MONEY IN THIS BUSINESS:nono:

If you know how to run a business, larger can mean better. Look at Donald Trump!

DeereHauler
02-06-2006, 08:06 PM
If you know how to run a business, larger can mean better. Look at Donald Trump!


good point, i bet the donald would have a kick ass lawn care company with his money.....haha

cantoo
02-06-2006, 08:20 PM
Milo, what equipment do you run?

milo
02-06-2006, 08:25 PM
well trust me in time you will see when you really start looking at what you really make and the cost to operate. 36 inch, truck, blower trimmer. soon i will be going back to this system and making some money and not putting it all back into equipment, repairs, storage fees. bigger in this game is just more cost when you really look at the numbers oh and your time to.

milo
02-06-2006, 08:27 PM
Milo, what equipment do you run?
now i have 3 ztr and a stander and 2 wb, 21 inch mower, 2 trimmers and 3 blowers. i take out 2ztr and 21 inch mower and 2 blowers and 2 trimmers every day.

cantoo
02-06-2006, 08:43 PM
I have 10 riding lawn mowers from Steiners to bobcats to a Walker. My wife runs the equipment and I service it. We make money cutting grass but we make just as much money selling equipment and other stuff and the sellling is far easier than the cutting. Almost everything we own is for sale for the right price (not the Walker) if someone comes along and wants it we take the money and it is gone. I then take that money and buy more stuff. This is the same as any business you have to work it to make money. It's not going to fall on your lap. People always ask me why I have so many mowers, why don't I just buy one brand new one and use it. Different lawns require different equipment but the big reason is I can make good money selling the "back up" equipment. We usually have about 20 to 25 ads in the local tri ad with items for sale. Around here I'm not sure you could make a legal living just cutting grass we're just a little too rural and most people cut their own grass and the rest don't want to pay much. Our clients are Doctors, real estate agents, and other people who have no time to cut their own.

milo
02-06-2006, 11:31 PM
cantoo,,,
i do that to. i run adds and pick up used tractors and some i fix or i sell for scrap metal. and yes you can make great money selling stuff. in fact thats the work i am going to try to do and cut like 20 lawns a week instead or 60 to 70.. and another thing. yes everything i have has a price tag, besides the wife, dogs and family.. the right price can buy anything i own.

CLARK LAWN
02-06-2006, 11:51 PM
now i have 3 ztr and a stander and 2 wb, 21 inch mower, 2 trimmers and 3 blowers. i take out 2ztr and 21 inch mower and 2 blowers and 2 trimmers every day.
how many employees do you have you said you do 60-70 yards you have enough equipment to be running 2 or 3 crews no wonder it cost you so much

mybabyciv
02-07-2006, 12:12 AM
YES, A 36" will help with volume. A 36" + 61" will yield higher profits without going "full-scale". I make all of my money on larger properties.

Eurosport
02-07-2006, 01:26 AM
good point, i bet the donald would have a kick ass lawn care company with his money.....haha

What many people fail to realize is Donald Trump plays with other peoples money. He is really not worth what he likes to boast about. He is very asset rich but carries high debt with that as well.

alwaysgreener
02-07-2006, 07:43 AM
What many people fail to realize is Donald Trump plays with other peoples money. He is really not worth what he likes to boast about. He is very asset rich but carries high debt with that as well.


Well we all will be waiting for the Eurosport show.. your fired..:p

Flex-Deck
02-07-2006, 08:05 AM
36 INCH WALK BEHIND, FULL SIZE TRUCK, TRIMMER, BOLWER. THATS IT..
ANY OTHER WAY THESE DAYS YOU CANT MAKE MONEY IN THIS BUSINESS:nono:

You may have a bit of trouble finishing 3 commercials in a week that go 20 acres, 22 acres, and 38 acres. Plus another 15 acres of accounts.

SWD
02-07-2006, 08:50 AM
36 INCH WALK BEHIND, FULL SIZE TRUCK, TRIMMER, BOLWER. THATS IT..
ANY OTHER WAY THESE DAYS YOU CANT MAKE MONEY IN THIS BUSINESS:nono:

Gee and to think of all the money I haven't made with eleven different mowers, of two types, servicing over 65 acres a week. Perhaps I should dump my $400K gross, six figure net for what - time spent busting my knuckles and wasting time attempting to repair a pos machine for nickle and dimes?

Coumbe
02-07-2006, 09:01 AM
I Am Going To Smaller(non Rider) Mowers This Year. I Service A Lot Of Yards Some Large Some Small. Looking At The True Numbers I Made A Higher Profit Per Yard Using My 32" Wb. The Convenient Store Make More $ Per Six Pack Sold Than Wal Mart Does, But At This Point I Would Still Try To Make Half As Much Per Yard With 3 Times The Yards On The Roster.

jondcoleman
02-07-2006, 11:34 AM
well trust me in time you will see when you really start looking at what you really make and the cost to operate. 36 inch, truck, blower trimmer. soon i will be going back to this system and making some money and not putting it all back into equipment, repairs, storage fees. bigger in this game is just more cost when you really look at the numbers oh and your time to.

Could you qoute any of those numbers you mention or is that just a rough guess? I run two man crews and each crew has a 52" Wright Sentar and a 36" Scag with trimmer and blower and we fly. All mid size residential. Thanks.

jtkplc
02-07-2006, 11:58 AM
Could you qoute any of those numbers you mention or is that just a rough guess? I run two man crews and each crew has a 52" Wright Sentar and a 36" Scag with trimmer and blower and we fly. All mid size residential. Thanks.

I would like to see those numbers also. Show us the numbers with and without the 36" mower and show us why you can't be profitable.

I feel that there are too many variables in running a business to say that a 36" mower and a truck is the only way to make money in this business.

meets1
02-07-2006, 12:46 PM
I would agree. I would like to see the numbers broken down. After reading these posts and checking my numbers again and again, I am missing something.

ProStreetCamaro
02-07-2006, 01:05 PM
Guys I think in this business its either you go small by yourself or maybe 1 other guy or you go huge with multiple crews and large contracts. The guys in the middle seem to be the ones that have to much overhead and not enough income generated.


We have 1 48" Lazer hp, 1 Gravely 34Z, 1 36" scag WB, 2 echo trimmers, 2 echo blowers, 1 echo hedge trimmer, 2 stick edgers. We are a 2 man crew. My father and I do 70 residentals a week on an average of about $30 per yard. all of our equpiment is paid for except for the gravely 34Z and we have no overhead what so ever. No storage rental or anything like that.

the ace
02-07-2006, 01:11 PM
36 INCH WALK BEHIND, FULL SIZE TRUCK, TRIMMER, BOLWER. THATS IT..
ANY OTHER WAY THESE DAYS YOU CANT MAKE MONEY IN THIS BUSINESS:nono:


That all depends on what you consider "make money". To some a net of 20.00 per hour is damn good money, to others it's squat. I'm only trying to make a modest income, and that's fine with me. 40-50 hours per week 52 weeks a year, the rest of my time belongs to my family. By the way, I only use a 21 inch commercial toro and I make a decent living.

kc2006
02-07-2006, 01:33 PM
how many employees do you have you said you do 60-70 yards you have enough equipment to be running 2 or 3 crews no wonder it cost you so much


Bingo. milo, you have all this equipment sitting around going to waste, unless you have multiple crews. Do you?

Theres a guy around here that cracks me up. He works a full time job, and then has a business on the side. He has 3 trucks, 2 trailers. He carries 4 trimmers with him, 3 ztr's, 2 21" mowers, 2 blowers, thats all on his trailer for the day! HE'S SOLO!!! I mean I understand the concept of having back up...but 3 trucks? 3 ztr's? 4 trimmers??? I would venture to say that this guys business is turning into a hobby to pay for his equipment.

Duck Dodger
02-07-2006, 02:13 PM
Maybe you should try something else or better hiring practices. For us if we have a mower thats not running that means that man picked up a blower. Maybe you can use a 36 in your area but i think bigger is better. If you are cutting 60 inches per pass instead of 26 it means you are making money faster = more money made in a day. I have a few areas that take a pushmower but anything else 48 is the smallest I would think of using. You have to look at your whole opperation to figure what size you need to be to make money.

JimLewis
02-07-2006, 02:24 PM
36 INCH WALK BEHIND, FULL SIZE TRUCK, TRIMMER, BOLWER. THATS IT..
ANY OTHER WAY THESE DAYS YOU CANT MAKE MONEY IN THIS BUSINESS:nono:

Well, here's another example of what's true in one part of the country doesn't apply at all to other parts of the country.

We do just fine in maintenance, thank you very much. And in 10 years, we've never used anything larger than a 21". A 36" would be way too big and heavy for the wet small lawns we are mowing every day.

Oh well. This is an entertaining thread to say the least. Anyone else want to start a thread with some generic statement that doesn't apply to half of the people reading it? Maybe we can start up a whole slew of threads where the author just quotes some random "fact" that really isn't accurate.

LawnBoy89
02-07-2006, 02:40 PM
I'm still 16 so I don't have much experience with running a business but as I talk to alot of the LCO's around here I think I am starting to learn that if you keep it small and organized that is how you make money. Having a helper can definetly make you more money if you set it up right. I'm good friends with an older (than me) guy that usta be big but he downsized because he said when he looked at his number it was costing him way to much to operate and he really wasn't making it back. I think if you stay small and do it right that is the way to make money...also I hear the less mowing you do the more money you make.

premierlawncare
02-07-2006, 04:42 PM
I think that "justmowit" uses small toro walkbehind mowers. And I think he makes money. payup

I think the money is made by being efficient and charging accordingly to be efficient. (if that makes sense)

fga
02-07-2006, 04:52 PM
i like to keep things as simple as possible, truck wise, over head wise also. my 1500 series pick up and 6x12 trailer seems to be pretty good set up for me. very low cost. the trailer is $20 a year to register! and the routes are tight, so gas mileage isn't that bad at all. but i maintain urban areas, where you can really get bulk accounts with virtually very little driving. park the truck, cut 10.... next block, 3 or 4. 2 here... 7 on this block. etc.

i totally understand the quality differences in machines, but its a hard pill to swallow sometimes when you have to shell out $4500 for a mower to cut $15 lawns. and then you add employee damage! luckily i only need 1 wb and i bought a used one for a few hundred bucks. rest of my mowers are 21's.

meets1
02-07-2006, 05:24 PM
I can see it comes down to demographics of your area. In my area, alot of lawns are 5000 sq ft and up to 1 acre. There are a few clients that INSIST we use 21 on there lawns. I put 3-4 21' on there lawn and it takes us alot of time to do it. Only reason I do it is b/c I give them a 5 step app for fert/spray, we do there snow removal and any landscape maint. that needs to be done. If I was to use a Z - more productive, more profit / yard, 20 minutes in and out.

Comes down to equipment as well. New, used, repairing etc. Same with trucks, trailers, and other "toys".

jtkplc
02-07-2006, 06:16 PM
Bingo. milo, you have all this equipment sitting around going to waste, unless you have multiple crews. Do you?

Theres a guy around here that cracks me up. He works a full time job, and then has a business on the side. He has 3 trucks, 2 trailers. He carries 4 trimmers with him, 3 ztr's, 2 21" mowers, 2 blowers, thats all on his trailer for the day! HE'S SOLO!!! I mean I understand the concept of having back up...but 3 trucks? 3 ztr's? 4 trimmers??? I would venture to say that this guys business is turning into a hobby to pay for his equipment.

There is a guy, probably around 20, that has 2 60" ZTR's. I just can't figure it out. Why do you need more than one of the same kind of mower if you're solo....seems like a waste of money to me...

ozd12005
02-07-2006, 06:39 PM
[QUOTE=JimLewis]Well, here's another example of what's true in one part of the country doesn't apply at all to other parts of the country.

We do just fine in maintenance, thank you very much. And in 10 years, we've never used anything larger than a 21". A 36" would be way too big and heavy for the wet small lawns we are mowing every day.

I agree 100% 32" or 36" units are way to big and heavy for the small lawns I service, I started off small and will continue to run as a 21" lco.

Flex-Deck
02-07-2006, 08:12 PM
I think that "justmowit" uses small toro walkbehind mowers. And I think he makes money. payup

I think the money is made by being efficient and charging accordingly to be efficient. (if that makes sense)


Of course I understand it. - It makes all the sense in the world.

YardPro
02-07-2006, 09:02 PM
why would you need a full sized truck for that little equipment???
sounds counterproductive to me..

LwnmwrMan22
02-07-2006, 09:23 PM
There is a guy, probably around 20, that has 2 60" ZTR's. I just can't figure it out. Why do you need more than one of the same kind of mower if you're solo....seems like a waste of money to me...

I run solo.

I've got 2 trucks, 2 trailers, 2 60" ZTR's, 2 WAMs, 3 trimmers, 2 4-wheelers, it's called insurance against downtime.

I mow about 80 hours / week, sometimes pushing 100 in the spring where there's yards that need to be double cut.

If you're down for repairs, you're done.

My shop will give me a mower in case mine breaks, but having 2 with me, that means I can keep mowing, and drop the broken one off, and pick up a different one after hours.

If you've only got one mower, and no means of a backup, and your mower goes in the shop, for more time than 1 - 1.5 days, you're done, especially working solo.

Personally, I'd rather put my money into equipment, and get money back when I sell that equipment, than give it to someone that's just going to break my equipment anyways, with nothing but more bills, and no return down the road.

DeereHauler
02-07-2006, 09:47 PM
There is a guy, probably around 20, that has 2 60" ZTR's. I just can't figure it out. Why do you need more than one of the same kind of mower if you're solo....seems like a waste of money to me...

this reminds me of an old guy here in town. hes gotta be retired, has a nice full size truck, nice 16' landscape trailer. 3 racks on the front for hand tools and gas cans, a small ztr with bagger, at least 4 push mowers, and 6 ....yes, 6 weedwackers. there are wacker racks on each side, all have the curved shaft trimmers. every single time i have EVER seen him, he was at Dunkin' Donuts. and no, there isn't any grass there. and the funny part is his name, 'Leisure Time Lawn care'. hmmm, sounds like 'when i feel like it lawn care'......

so staying with the topic, i run enough equipment to get things done, but no extra, my main helper is also my mechanic, so things don't break, and if they do, not for long. but how this other guy makes ANY money is beyond me.

fga
02-07-2006, 09:48 PM
why would you need a full sized truck for that little equipment???
sounds counterproductive to me..
you still have hand tools, blower, gas cans, etc.

i had to use a smaller pick up temporarily one year, and it was very tight fitting 2 lawnboys and supporting cast.
a full size truck, with wood siding can be very lucrative. i did that for years growing every year.
i now havea trailer because i hated unploading and loading every morning, evening, and ofcourse at every house.

lawnman_scott
02-08-2006, 12:41 AM
i totally understand the quality differences in machines, but its a hard pill to swallow sometimes when you have to shell out $4500 for a mower to cut $15 lawns. and then you add employee damage! luckily i only need 1 wb and i bought a used one for a few hundred bucks. rest of my mowers are 21's.But if that mower will help you cut 4 more lawns a day than you could without it (which most can) then it pays for itself in one season. Keeping it small and simple is great if it works, but it doesnt work for everyone everywhere.

fga
02-08-2006, 12:56 AM
But if that mower will help you cut 4 more lawns a day than you could without it (which most can) then it pays for itself in one season. Keeping it small and simple is great if it works, but it doesnt work for everyone everywhere.
i just give Javier a "Red Bull" and the 21 will out mow anything:) .

ofocurse, like its been stated, the areas being cut factor in greatly.

however, i would wager an additional 21" and an additional laborer for the day against a bigger machine. instead of 4 more lawns... maybe 10. all in the set up of the route, though.

The Cowboy
02-08-2006, 01:00 AM
My 52" ZTR cuts at least double what a 36 inch does, and cost twice as much. My profit margin is lower than those with a smaller machine (about 25%), but the productivity makes up for it. I think a one or two man operation with the fastest, most inexpensive equipment is the way to go. Any more machines or employees and you start suffering the same syndrome that is afflicting farmers who have between 400 and 1000 acres; too much debt for big machinery, and not enough productivity to make a real profit. It used to be "get big or get out". Now its "get big or stay small".

Evergreenpros
02-08-2006, 02:03 AM
There really is no perfect equation to make money in business. It's not that easy as buying certain equipment and boom, you're in the money. What works for one may not work for another.

I will comment on that 21inch mower topic though. I used a 21inch for some time and I bought a 36inch hydro mower and after a week I was amazed at how fast and how easy it was to mow with that thing. I use it on the smallest of lawns, it's a back saver. That dang Honda commercial stays on the trailer unless I have absolutely no choice in using it. I can do 2x as much per day with that over the 21inch and it's FAR easier on the body. It also doesn't pack the turf as bad and it's better in the wet conditions we have in western Washington.

Tinkerer
02-08-2006, 03:20 AM
I used to be a LCO in Rochester Mn. There was way too many lawn services for the area. It was getting to the point that everyone was averaging about $17.00 per yard (1994). And I wasn't making much money. Though I was using a Wheel Horse 12hp hydro lawn tractor and Snapper 21" walk behind. Profit margin was low after storage, insurance, gas and etc. Getting ahead seemed extremely slow if not impossible. I moved away in 95 to a smaller town with more generous/less picky, less snobbish customers. This new town also had a shortage of lawnservices. And I'm still here. Woohoo!

For you guys with picky customers who will only allow a 21" mower,,,, get some paper or tin foil and put a piece under one each of the front and rear tires on the mower while it is sitting on the soft lawn you mow. Circle the imprints from the tires and figure out the square inches of all 4 wheels. Then weigh the mower as you use it. Figure pounds per square inch.
Do the same with a 36" walk behind and its pounds per square inch might be less.
With my bad knees if a potential customer wants me to walk behind a mower on their lawn, I tell them of how my knees used to feel when I got home and tell them I use a rider mower or they find someone else.

topsites
02-08-2006, 04:36 AM
36 INCH WALK BEHIND, FULL SIZE TRUCK, TRIMMER, BOLWER. THATS IT..
ANY OTHER WAY THESE DAYS YOU CANT MAKE MONEY IN THIS BUSINESS:nono:

You're kidding, right? What would I do with such a toy, my smallest is 48"... I don't do yards so small my machine can't even turn around in it.

meets1
02-08-2006, 10:33 AM
I did see a study on the ground pressure from 21 to a 44. It was actually the same! I want to say that came from a TORO rep but not sure. Also someone else mentioned - being like a farmer with 400 - 1000 acres. Get big or get out, I think lawn care in my area at least is get big or stay small - by that only use a 21 or two and very little overhead - use your garage as your shop - park your cars outside kinda of thing.

brucec32
02-08-2006, 04:10 PM
Actually I think if you do the math you'll see that the amortized cost of a mower is not what you think.

Plug in your own assumptions but here's the math.


Take an $8000 52-60" uber-mower that is very productive.

Assume you use it for 1500 hours with a residual value (sell it ) of $3,000.

$8000 - $3000 = $5000 of depreciation cost. $5000 /1500 hours = $3.33/hour

Assume you use it for 300 hours/year for 5 years. (you'll use other smaller mowers some too, but the more you use it each year the cheaper per hour it becomes)

Your interest cost at 6% would be $480, or $1.60/hour.

A wild guess on maintenance/fuel/repairs would be $4.25/hour.

Your total cost of ownership/operation is $9.18/hour.


Then go compare that to hiring at least two $10-$12/hour employees using 36" wb's that it'd take to equal it's production. You'd have the cost of running the two cheaper smaller mowers, which would be about equal to the single ZTR, PLUS the extra labor cost for the extra man.

So it SAVES MONEY to use the best equipment possible.

It also saves to have at least some EXTRA equipment around. With spares you will not lose productive time due to breakdowns, you don't anger and lose customers if you can't get to a job due to a breakdown, and you keep your stress level mangeable. And over time your reputation for better reliability will allow you to charge more. And since your machine is more productive, you can afford to pay more to get and keep better employees.

I am a big proponent of hiring superior employees with higher skill levels at higher pay levels and putting them on superior machines. Unfortunately, the industry has taken the opposite tact in many cases. I often see fat white guys dropping off 2 or 3 Latinos with 21" push mowers to handle decent sized Bermuda lawns while he drives off to the Dairy Queen or whatever. Without fail, I finish my comparable yard accross the street on my ZTR in about the same time as they do.

What really worries me is if these guys get smart and start hiring super sharp employees who are almost as productive as me at $15/hour. They're still able to beat my cost of labor (about $32/hour net) by a wide margin. Thankfully the norm is to hire $8 hour help with corresponding productivity levels.

As for only mowing bigger residential properties. Keep in mind that anything big enough for a huge mower is big enough for a homeowner to use a lawn tractor on. I find the the sweet spot to be lawns bigger than postage stamps, which anyone can do w/o too much trouble, yet not so big that they could put a sit down cheapo mower on it. Many Americans are lazy and won't push mow much over a couple thousand ft of lawn unless they want the excercise.

LwnmwrMan22
02-08-2006, 08:00 PM
Actually I think if you do the math you'll see that the amortized cost of a mower is not what you think.

Plug in your own assumptions but here's the math.


Take an $8000 52-60" uber-mower that is very productive.

Assume you use it for 1500 hours with a residual value (sell it ) of $3,000.

$8000 - $3000 = $5000 of depreciation cost. $5000 /1500 hours = $3.33/hour

Assume you use it for 300 hours/year for 5 years. (you'll use other smaller mowers some too, but the more you use it each year the cheaper per hour it becomes)

Your interest cost at 6% would be $480, or $1.60/hour.

A wild guess on maintenance/fuel/repairs would be $4.25/hour.

Your total cost of ownership/operation is $9.18/hour.


Then go compare that to hiring at least two $10-$12/hour employees using 36" wb's that it'd take to equal it's production. You'd have the cost of running the two cheaper smaller mowers, which would be about equal to the single ZTR, PLUS the extra labor cost for the extra man.

So it SAVES MONEY to use the best equipment possible.

It also saves to have at least some EXTRA equipment around. With spares you will not lose productive time due to breakdowns, you don't anger and lose customers if you can't get to a job due to a breakdown, and you keep your stress level mangeable. And over time your reputation for better reliability will allow you to charge more. And since your machine is more productive, you can afford to pay more to get and keep better employees.

I am a big proponent of hiring superior employees with higher skill levels at higher pay levels and putting them on superior machines. Unfortunately, the industry has taken the opposite tact in many cases. I often see fat white guys dropping off 2 or 3 Latinos with 21" push mowers to handle decent sized Bermuda lawns while he drives off to the Dairy Queen or whatever. Without fail, I finish my comparable yard accross the street on my ZTR in about the same time as they do.

What really worries me is if these guys get smart and start hiring super sharp employees who are almost as productive as me at $15/hour. They're still able to beat my cost of labor (about $32/hour net) by a wide margin. Thankfully the norm is to hire $8 hour help with corresponding productivity levels.

As for only mowing bigger residential properties. Keep in mind that anything big enough for a huge mower is big enough for a homeowner to use a lawn tractor on. I find the the sweet spot to be lawns bigger than postage stamps, which anyone can do w/o too much trouble, yet not so big that they could put a sit down cheapo mower on it. Many Americans are lazy and won't push mow much over a couple thousand ft of lawn unless they want the excercise.


You can usually take that interest cost out as well, since if you have any credit at all, you should be able to find 0% interest for 2-3+ years on most equipment.

lawnprosteveo
02-09-2006, 10:13 PM
I think most smaller operations should specialize in the size properties they do. Some of the guys say they wont do a yard if they cant get their larger equipment on it. I say thats smart.
I run solo now...nearly all of my 45 properties are small residentials (about 5,000 sq ft). So a small set-up like was described in the opening thread makes sense.
I know an LCO who mows about 70 yards per week, similar in size, but he runs with 2 to 3 crew members and carries a couple of ztr's, 21's, and a walkbehind or two.
Funny thing is, I'd be willing to bet I make more take home than him with a whole lot less headaches...

Likestomow
02-10-2006, 10:36 AM
36 INCH WALK BEHIND, FULL SIZE TRUCK, TRIMMER, BOLWER. THATS IT..
ANY OTHER WAY THESE DAYS YOU CANT MAKE MONEY IN THIS BUSINESS:nono:

You seem quite sure of yourself... so is this what your equipment list is composed of?

Maybe you could tell us why you say this and how it's working out for you.

JS Landscaping
02-10-2006, 01:10 PM
I dont understand how one trimmer, one blower and one 36" mower will make you a higher profit margin. Ive found the more I expand the more money I make. As it is in one members signature, Efficencey=profit. Its the plain truth. Sure if you are part timer a one man show might be the way to go. But if you are full time into this as your career it seems like the bigger you are the more money you will make. If this wasnt the case then there would never be any large companys such as the Brickman Group, Valleycrest, Dave Tree Expert Co. ect.... I have found that a 3-4 man crew mowing is one of the most efficent currently for average size properties around my area. One on a mower, another one on a mower and one trimming. Who ever finishes thier area first jumps on a blower and cleans everything off. A lot of our properties are in developments where we will park the truck and mow 6+ houses in a row. Now you cant tell me that one guy with a 36" mower will bring in higher profits mowing 6 1 acre lots when we have 2 52" mowers going and 2 guys on trimmers/edgers/blowers. What would take one guy all day to do we can do it in a quater of the time, allowing us to move on to more lawns per day, increasing our gross. It all comes back to the simple equation efficency = Profit. Have a nice day :waving:


James
JS LANDSCAPING

milo
02-10-2006, 01:45 PM
hi, no after sitting down with my accountant and doing my taxes this year my numbers suck. sure the gross looks good but after parts, gas, everything else. the net of what i made this season was bad. sure it was a really dry season in PA and that had alot to do with it. but my point was that i could have gone out this year with a walk behind and just a truck and did 4 or 5 lawns a day and have done as good as i did this season.
yes you can make money in this business but there are alot of factors in it like weather and accounts you have and i wish the gas prices would be at 1.40 a gallon like they sould be and get rid of all the lowballers and new guys every year..
i dont care who you are on here, you gonna get gas, there is 2 stations one is .05 cents cheaper a gallon you are going to get gas there. same story here with lowballers and new guys driving the prices of this industry down and i am very sick of it.
hey if they tell us gas will be $5.00 a gallon we will all be buying it. there will be no standoff to lower it. well that is my point in the lawncare business we all got to up our prices and not let these people doing a $40.00 lawn for $25.00 or $30.00 keep this business low like it is.

jondcoleman
02-10-2006, 01:56 PM
I wish the gas prices would be at 1.40 a gallon like they sould be and get rid of all the lowballers and new guys every year..
i dont care who you are on here, you gonna get gas, there is 2 stations one is .05 cents cheaper a gallon you are going to get gas there. same story here with lowballers and new guys driving the prices of this industry down and i am very sick of it.
hey if they tell us gas will be $5.00 a gallon we will all be buying it. there will be no standoff to lower it. well that is my point in the lawncare business we all got to up our prices and not let these people doing a $40.00 lawn for $25.00 or $30.00 keep this business low like it is.

Don't you find it hard enough to follow all of the regulations that are already out there?--and you want more? There will always be people that are selling at a lower rate--if they are making money doing that, it seems like a smart move to me. For example, there is a gas station in my town that always sells their gas at least 10 cents cheaper than everyone else in town--The lines are always two or three cars long at all 10 pumps and I'm sure that all the other gas stations in town hate them but they are making bank! They have found a way to decrease costs and become more marketable than the others. More power to them. That is the heart of capitalism. Maybe we can learn something. Just some thoughts.

LwnmwrMan22
02-10-2006, 05:15 PM
Don't you find it hard enough to follow all of the regulations that are already out there?--and you want more? There will always be people that are selling at a lower rate--if they are making money doing that, it seems like a smart move to me. For example, there is a gas station in my town that always sells their gas at least 10 cents cheaper than everyone else in town--The lines are always two or three cars long at all 10 pumps and I'm sure that all the other gas stations in town hate them but they are making bank! They have found a way to decrease costs and become more marketable than the others. More power to them. That is the heart of capitalism. Maybe we can learn something. Just some thoughts.


This only works if you sell your customer other products, such as aeration, fertlizing, etc and make up your profit margin there.

Gas stations go cheap, to get you in the store and buy pop, coffee, candy bars, stuff with higher profit margins.

LwnmwrMan22
02-10-2006, 05:18 PM
hi, no after sitting down with my accountant and doing my taxes this year my numbers suck. sure the gross looks good but after parts, gas, everything else. the net of what i made this season was bad. sure it was a really dry season in PA and that had alot to do with it. but my point was that i could have gone out this year with a walk behind and just a truck and did 4 or 5 lawns a day and have done as good as i did this season.
yes you can make money in this business but there are alot of factors in it like weather and accounts you have and i wish the gas prices would be at 1.40 a gallon like they sould be and get rid of all the lowballers and new guys every year..
i dont care who you are on here, you gonna get gas, there is 2 stations one is .05 cents cheaper a gallon you are going to get gas there. same story here with lowballers and new guys driving the prices of this industry down and i am very sick of it.
hey if they tell us gas will be $5.00 a gallon we will all be buying it. there will be no standoff to lower it. well that is my point in the lawncare business we all got to up our prices and not let these people doing a $40.00 lawn for $25.00 or $30.00 keep this business low like it is.

No, that is not the case. We have a local station that's always .05-.08 / gallon cheaper. I buy ALL of my fuel at the station that pays me to mow / plow the property, THAT'S called good business.

If you're not making any money, you need to charge enough to make money. If you can't charge any more because your market is saturated and people are mowing too cheap, then you need to find another career. It really IS that simple. No sense whining about it.

all ferris
02-10-2006, 07:23 PM
I once heard a girl say "It's not the size of your worm, it's how you wiggle it." However, sometimes you just plain need a bigger worm to get the "job" done efficiently.

milo
02-11-2006, 02:08 AM
OK TO CLEAR THE AIR HERE. MY NUMBERS WERE WAY DOWN THIS SEASON AND I AM MAD ABOUT THAT, THATS ALL. WE DID HAVE A DROUGHT HERE IN PA AND I WAS ONLY OUT CUTTING ONE DAY A WEEK FOR LIKE 2 MONTHS SO THAT IS WHAT I AM MAD AT.
YES YOU CAN MAKE MONEY IN THIS BUSINESS IF YOU GROW AS YOUR BUSINESS GROWS. THAT IS WHAT I DID BUT THIS YEAR 2005 WAS JUST A OFF SEASON.
THAT IS WHAT I WAS MAD ABOUT I AM OVER IT NOW..:realmad: :cry: :realmad: :cry: :gunsfirin

JS Landscaping
02-11-2006, 11:37 AM
Feel your pain about last years dry season. We went through the same thing. It was nice tho for a few weeks not to do the mowing route and just focus on hardscapes. Lot of pavers and walls to be done at that time, as well as the tree work we do. Hoping to get into irrigation, those guys must have made good last year with the people who want thier lawns to stay green even when we have a drought, as long as you dont have wells. For a few weeks there we were only mowing the properties that were irrigated, which accounts for one full day of mowing. Other then that it was just paver after paver, Block after block, doesnt bother me tho, I like hardscapes. Lets just hope for a better season this year :drinkup:



James
JS LANDSCAPING

milo
02-11-2006, 11:45 AM
Feel your pain about last years dry season. We went through the same thing. It was nice tho for a few weeks not to do the mowing route and just focus on hardscapes. Lot of pavers and walls to be done at that time, as well as the tree work we do. Hoping to get into irrigation, those guys must have made good last year with the people who want thier lawns to stay green even when we have a drought, as long as you dont have wells. For a few weeks there we were only mowing the properties that were irrigated, which accounts for one full day of mowing. Other then that it was just paver after paver, Block after block, doesnt bother me tho, I like hardscapes. Lets just hope for a better season this year :drinkup:



James
JS LANDSCAPING
hi james, you got that right, we need rain this season. i hope cause we did not get hit with the snow this year we get alot of rain this year.. i hope.:waving:

cantoo
02-11-2006, 06:13 PM
You need to plan for those rainy or lack of rainy days. Your customers expected to pay x $ for grass cutting every week maybe there was some other work you could have done for these customers for that money. Trim shrubs, pressure wash concrete surfaces, repair or replace patio stones, install a play center, wash the cat, remove overgrown shrubs, clean the garage or basement, move furniture, wash windows, etc. I buy and sell equipment so I always have something that I can do to make money when conditions aren't perfect. Find someway to maintain a steady paycheck from your customers. Some might even continue having you do these jobs.