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View Full Version : What do you drive??????


Bobcat s250 NY
02-09-2006, 12:17 PM
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You may have read this in the Hardscape forum, but if not......
Hey guy since i started in this business i was never sure what to drive when i go on my estimates. What do you guys drive? I dont have a pick up truck that i see many guys driving around. I only have my dump, flatbed, and box truck. I have thought to drive my personal car, but didnt know if it would seem un professional. Any thoughts????

Wet_Boots
02-09-2006, 01:20 PM
I stopped thinking about vehicle choices when I saw a company-painted Ford Festiva at one job site. (extremely large construction company)

The Cowboy
02-09-2006, 01:35 PM
If your dump truck is like a 1 ton style, that would be just fine. The only problem I see with a bigger truck on estimate runs is mileage and maybe a maneuverability issue. I use a pickup or dump truck, cause I don't even have a car. If I had one I wouldn't mind using it. Saves gas.

POPO4995
02-09-2006, 01:47 PM
I drive my F-250 for everything. Just make sure it's clean!:waving:

Flatbed
02-09-2006, 05:09 PM
I drive a Ford Ranger to most of my meetings. I think it is important to drive a vechicle with your company name, and make sure it is clean outside and inside.

Dirty Water
02-09-2006, 07:41 PM
Our fleet consists of a F-250, a Chevy 3500 box van, and a Chevy 2500.

I drive the 3/4 ton chevy.

bicmudpuppy
02-09-2006, 08:10 PM
I drive a hard bargain and my wife crazy.

As far as transportation go, your personal presentation is much more important than your mode of transportation. That being said, I tend to steal the wife's Van (family vehicle) for estimates instead of my beat up old truck, but if my beat up old truck bothers them, then they really aren't my kind of customer anyway. The guys out there who think they have to drive a 800 to 1000 dollar payment so they can look good are great for buisness. There equipment is the best to be had on auction day when the tally books are finally read.

PurpHaze
02-09-2006, 10:24 PM
I drive this... but then again the only estimates I drive to are for our district. :)

Lawnworks
02-09-2006, 10:41 PM
I drive a hard bargain and my wife crazy.

As far as transportation go, your personal presentation is much more important than your mode of transportation. That being said, I tend to steal the wife's Van (family vehicle) for estimates instead of my beat up old truck, but if my beat up old truck bothers them, then they really aren't my kind of customer anyway. The guys out there who think they have to drive a 800 to 1000 dollar payment so they can look good are great for buisness. There equipment is the best to be had on auction day when the tally books are finally read.

lol... I have been thinking the same thing lately. Expecially guys that work out of there 50k cowboy cadillacs. I can't figure it out... is status that important?

advanced irrigation
02-10-2006, 10:59 AM
i just use this, eventually i would like a service body but trying to take it one step at a time

Flatbed
02-14-2006, 11:04 AM
I drive a hard bargain and my wife crazy.

As far as transportation go, your personal presentation is much more important than your mode of transportation. That being said, I tend to steal the wife's Van (family vehicle) for estimates instead of my beat up old truck, but if my beat up old truck bothers them, then they really aren't my kind of customer anyway. The guys out there who think they have to drive a 800 to 1000 dollar payment so they can look good are great for buisness. There equipment is the best to be had on auction day when the tally books are finally read.

If you can't afford a nice dependable vechicle, you need to raise your prices. Looks aren't everything, but around here it shows the good contractors from the bad. I can't afford not to have a dependable vechicle. The first time the transmission goes out of your old truck, not only are you out $1400( two months of truck payments) , but figure your down time. Your tax man will probaly tell you same thing for write offs.

bicmudpuppy
02-14-2006, 02:34 PM
If you can't afford a nice dependable vechicle, you need to raise your prices. Looks aren't everything, but around here it shows the good contractors from the bad. I can't afford not to have a dependable vechicle. The first time the transmission goes out of your old truck, not only are you out $1400( two months of truck payments) , but figure your down time. Your tax man will probaly tell you same thing for write offs.
My poor beat up old truck has yet to let me down or leave me walking. Does it look show room fresh? no. Does it look like it survived more than one landscape war? yes. But, I don't have 3 of those truck payments your talking about invested in my truck.

Lawnworks
02-14-2006, 06:20 PM
If you can't afford a nice dependable vechicle, you need to raise your prices. Looks aren't everything, but around here it shows the good contractors from the bad. I can't afford not to have a dependable vechicle. The first time the transmission goes out of your old truck, not only are you out $1400( two months of truck payments) , but figure your down time. Your tax man will probaly tell you same thing for write offs.

I think there is a difference b/t a reliable truck and someone working out of a 2005 lariat supercrew 250. My trucks were all around 10-15k and do the same job if not better than all of the cowboy cadillacs. Even the newer trucks have problems! One day no matter what you drive... you will have some kind of failure... 50k or 15k.

Wet_Boots
02-14-2006, 06:52 PM
I sometimes arrive in my motor home, just to make an extra-good impression.

bicmudpuppy
02-14-2006, 08:04 PM
I sometimes arrive in my motor home, just to make an extra-good impression.
Wow Boots! I'm impressed, Jed Clampet ain't got a thing on you! Could ya drive it all the way to Beverly HIlls?. Take the scenic route and stop by and see Hayes on the way?

PurpHaze
02-14-2006, 09:59 PM
I sometimes arrive in my motor home, just to make an extra-good impression.

Oh my gosh... lookin' goooooooooooodd!!! sporty

Wow Boots! I'm impressed, Jed Clampet ain't got a thing on you! Could ya drive it all the way to Beverly HIlls?. Take the scenic route and stop by and see Hayes on the way?

He's more than welcome. We have a LOT of DBOs out here. :laugh:

telcomac
02-15-2006, 05:53 PM
GMC Suburban-200,000 and still going strong!

J&R Landscaping
02-15-2006, 08:25 PM
I drive my f150 to my estimates, and to do my work! I don't go and give out estimates on million dollar jobs so I don't need a million dollar truck! My truck might be a few years old but it gets the job done for me! My customers aren't having me come over so they can just see what vehicle I arrive in! I might not have a brand New diesel truck (though I would want 1) but that doesn't penalize my work at all! My work is and will always be 1000% no matter what I drive! JMO

Hank Reardon
02-18-2006, 07:53 PM
lol... I have been thinking the same thing lately. Expecially guys that work out of there 50k cowboy cadillacs. I can't figure it out... is status that important?

That depends who's your target market. Pulling into a tract-house subdivision with an oil-leaking bomb is fine. Arriving to meet prospective clients on an estate is another level entirely.

FWIW, I drive a cowboy Cadillac (1-ton extra cab dually) but I bought it used for much less than $50k. You can look professional without breaking the bank.

Just like uniforms, it's all about acting and looking professional. Confidence and image sell.

Lawnworks
02-18-2006, 10:28 PM
It doesn't matter if you pull in w/ a cowboy cadilliac or a clean 15k truck. Either one will land the job.

If you make so much money that it is just a minor expense... I guess it is different. But studies have shown a majority of millionares drive F150s, so your point is mute IMO.

Hank Reardon
02-19-2006, 01:30 AM
It doesn't matter if you pull in w/ a cowboy cadilliac or a clean 15k truck. Either one will land the job.

If you make so much money that it is just a minor expense... I guess it is different. But studies have shown a majority of millionares drive F150s, so your point is mute IMO.

Your brand is a important expense. I agree that arriving in a clean $15k truck is perfectly fine. Even a $5k one-color-lettered-clean vehicle will separate you from the bottom feeders. Hey, I never said my cowboy Cadillac was new. It is just well maintained and clean.

I don't know where you're getting your studies but none of my clients have F150's; must be a regional thing. Nothing "moot" about it.

Flatbed knows...
If you can't afford a nice dependable vechicle, you need to raise your prices. Looks aren't everything, but around here it shows the good contractors from the bad. I can't afford not to have a dependable vechicle.

Lawnworks
02-19-2006, 09:39 AM
Your brand is a important expense. I agree that arriving in a clean $15k truck is perfectly fine. Even a $5k one-color-lettered-clean vehicle will separate you from the bottom feeders. Hey, I never said my cowboy Cadillac was new. It is just well maintained and clean.

I don't know where you're getting your studies but none of my clients have F150's; must be a regional thing. Nothing "moot" about it.

Flatbed knows...

It was in "How to be a a Millionaire" or something like that. There were a couple of books. I am guessing your clients are not true millionares even if they drive a 7-series and are paying $4k a month on their house. But they look like a million bucks! and they have to have a lawn service that looks like a million bucks!

Dirty Water
02-19-2006, 10:24 AM
I honestly have never seen a wealthy person drive a 150, and we have a lot out here.

Seen lots of porsches, BMW's, jags, and Lexus's.

The ones with trucks seem to go with Toyota's.

Hank Reardon
02-19-2006, 12:33 PM
It was in "How to be a a Millionaire" or something like that. There were a couple of books. I am guessing your clients are not true millionares even if they drive a 7-series and are paying $4k a month on their house. But they look like a million bucks! and they have to have a lawn service that looks like a million bucks!

Of our largest customers, their kids drive 7-series and Range Rovers and live in million dollar homes (we take care of those too). Bently's, Porsche, and AMG's seem to be popular.

And yes their lawn service looks like a million bucks! :) <cheering>

I've been very fortunate with my success. My customers were millionaires before those books came out. Myself, on the other hand, will continue to work towards that level (with the clean, older Cowboy Cadillac). Life is good.

Dirty Water
02-19-2006, 12:41 PM
I always thought that all those "How to be a Millionaire" books contained this:

Step 1: Write book about being a millionare
Step 2: Sell it to Suckers like LawnWorks.
Step 3: Profit.

Lawnworks
02-19-2006, 01:43 PM
I always thought that all those "How to be a Millionaire" books contained this:

Step 1: Write book about being a millionare
Step 2: Sell it to Suckers like LawnWorks.
Step 3: Profit.

lol... hey!!!

I have a couple customers that are millionares and drive f150s. One of them is a 1998 model. He develops subdivisions. I have heard he owns an island somewhere, but I am not sure. Another customer drives a new Dodge 2500. He owns some type of chemical company. I believe he is worth over 10 mil. Bobby Cox(not my customer) drives an old Ford Ranger to work everyday. He has got to be worth millions.

I am sure it is different everywhere... I just thought it was an interesting fact when I read the book.

Hank Reardon
02-19-2006, 05:06 PM
As far as service vehicles go, I have an 1981 F150 and an 1985 F250. Both are one color and lettered. Jim Lewis has the right idea. :drinkup:

Flatbed
02-19-2006, 09:22 PM
I don't have a Cowboy Cadiliac. My business truck that I use for some estimates is 2005 Chevrolet Crew Cab Duramax. No leather seats, no xm radio. I don't pay myself that much, so it is part of my wages. My service trucks are a 2001 ford ranger, 1996 chevrolet c3500 with a service body, 2000 ford ranger, and the truck my crew drives is a 2004 k2500 chevrolet standard cab with a duramax. I not bragging, and I not trying put another company down for what they drive, and I am not saying looks are everthing. We have several irrigation companies around here that shouldn't be in business, and the vechicles they drive reflect that, along with the quality of there work.

bicmudpuppy
02-19-2006, 10:31 PM
For a lot of guys, mode of transportation is part of self image and how confident they feel when they walk up and knock on the door. Like I said, I take the "other" vehicle, a full size van for appointments when I think a judgement might be seriously made on things like that. Personally, I think I could drive a VW bug and except for the comic relief of watching me try and get in and out of the thing, it wouldn't make a bit of difference. I don't sell what I drive. I sell what I know and how I can make a difference to the customer. The '76 20' step van I decided to scrap because of gas mileage was as well received as the F250, my poor beat up ranger, or the van. If I could get what I needed to the job site on a bicycle, my closure rate on sales wouldn't be affected. If your self image needs the vehicle, then it works for you. As far as millionaires go...........I've yet to meet one that couldn't pull copper wire from pennies. Those are the guys who cut corners, hire the guys I am ashamed to be on the same block with because of the way they work (but they are cheap), etc. Give me a nice white collar customer any day. They pass out Christmas cards when your winterizing, and offer you a cookie too.