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View Full Version : SUV's/cars, unprofessional?


cessnasovereign
05-07-2006, 03:49 AM
No offense to anyone who uses on in their business but to me, it looks like someone just trying to make a little money on the side (which is fine).. I drive a GMC Sonoma pickup and I don't know what I'd do without a bed to throw stuff it whether it be tools or mulch.. But today I saw a Ford Crown Vic towing a lawn care trailer. :hammerhead: :dizzy: :laugh:
The trailer was homemade looking too. But I asked someone this.. If you were getting quotes and someone pulled up in a junky old pickup, someone in a nice pickup, someone in an SUV and someone in a car, all pulling trailers, and they all were equally nice and the same price, same equipment, who would you hire?

1MajorTom
05-07-2006, 09:11 AM
Some people are hiring for price, if the guy in the car is cheaper than the others, then that is who some people are going to hire. $$$'s speak sometimes.

hillibilly
05-07-2006, 09:15 AM
I have wondered if my 1988 Silverado (that looks brand new because previous owner re-painted it almost a year ago and put new "everything in it") looks unproffesional for it be a mid sized truck. But when I put my trailer on it it sure looks purtty lol .

RandyG67
05-07-2006, 09:23 AM
To me a Crown Vic is like a dang F350! I drive a Ford Contour SVT and a Miata. My hobby is weekend autocrossing and both cars are fun to drive in that respect.

About a month ago I was quietly minding my own business during a day off when my 12 y/o pops in, telling me his Boy Scout troop has an opportunity to attend a whitewater canoe trip in Summer of '07 at a cost of $1000-$1200 per child. He wants to earn the money himself and thinks mowing lawns is the ticket but needs some help doing it. What am I going to say? Sure I'll help him! So we print up some flyers, buy a good trimmer, blower, and a decent 2nd mower and we're in business.

Pulling up for estimates in one of the aforementioned vehicles towing my Harbour Freight tire/tool trailer (for my weekend-warrior driving events) measuring 40"x48" loaded with lawn equipment does make for a conversation piece, but it hasn't cost us any business. Of course, Mrs. Smith realizes she's helping a young Boy Scout earn his keep for a trip and, in the end, she's getting a quality job.

Also, keep in mind that our clientele is mostly middle class, spec-home, 60'x120' St. Augustine sod yards. If I owned a larger, more manicured home with more exotic type grass I'm prolly giving my business to the crew with the nice rig that sounds like they know more than just cut, whack, blow and leave....someone who presents themselves as more of a "green-thumb" type of professional.

topsites
05-07-2006, 10:59 AM
I'm in my 5th year and there are days I do odd jobs in my car, the kind of stuff only requires some small hand tools and the like, thou no trailer... I just load stuff up in the trunk (and yes the trunk has to shut), sometimes a thing or two in the backseat and off I go to hit up 5 or 10 yards where all this itty-bitty stuff has been planned, knock it all out in no time and much better fuel.

Far as full operations running around in small vehicles with homemade trailers, I secretly wish them the best of luck.

How it looks is not my concern, professionalism is an attitude looks can only complement. What I mean is, looks help but looks don't make the Lco a pro or not, the Lco himself does that, it is within them, inside, maybe in the heart or the head that I dunno but somewhere thereabouts.

cessnasovereign
05-07-2006, 11:15 AM
To me a Crown Vic is like a dang F350! I drive a Ford Contour SVT and a Miata. My hobby is weekend autocrossing and both cars are fun to drive in that respect.

About a month ago I was quietly minding my own business during a day off when my 12 y/o pops in, telling me his Boy Scout troop has an opportunity to attend a whitewater canoe trip in Summer of '07 at a cost of $1000-$1200 per child. He wants to earn the money himself and thinks mowing lawns is the ticket but needs some help doing it. What am I going to say? Sure I'll help him! So we print up some flyers, buy a good trimmer, blower, and a decent 2nd mower and we're in business.

Pulling up for estimates in one of the aforementioned vehicles towing my Harbour Freight tire/tool trailer (for my weekend-warrior driving events) measuring 40"x48" loaded with lawn equipment does make for a conversation piece, but it hasn't cost us any business. Of course, Mrs. Smith realizes she's helping a young Boy Scout earn his keep for a trip and, in the end, she's getting a quality job.

Also, keep in mind that our clientele is mostly middle class, spec-home, 60'x120' St. Augustine sod yards. If I owned a larger, more manicured home with more exotic type grass I'm prolly giving my business to the crew with the nice rig that sounds like they know more than just cut, whack, blow and leave....someone who presents themselves as more of a "green-thumb" type of professional.


Well I can understand that, being it's your kid but I think maybe people would look a little different if it was you acting like a professional business.

To me, it just doesn't look right when someone is driving around in a Ford Explorer towing a lawn trailer.

LandscapeMasterpieceGA
05-07-2006, 11:36 AM
I tow a 5x10 behind a Bucik Rendezvous. I cant afford to buy a dedicated truck yet, and the Rendezvous has been great. Sure, I would like a bed to throw stuff in, but instead, I have a "cargo area" that I place things in. The suv has a nice luxury look to it, and I think it neither helps or hinders my business. I don't think a truck would help my image any at all, but it would make things easier for me.

Bustus
05-07-2006, 11:51 AM
I think the type of vehicle is only really a factor depending on the type of work being performed, and the theme of your business. I run a student based operation and try to keep costs as low as possible. My 91 F150 isn't the shiniest truck out there, but it can haull when I need it too. The customers understand this and don't really care what I drive. If I were aiming at million dollar homes where money means little, I'm sure it would be better to charge more and have all new equipment where the clients feel really superior.

Freddy_Kruger
05-07-2006, 12:33 PM
I got a nice truck but when I see some operators with much nicer trucks I'm a little envious and when I see this one in particular that pulls a huge enclosed trailer with massive decals (I have to unload my truck everday :() I just make that MY goal to have one day. It's really an impressive setup.

But when I see guys with a crappy looking car, no decals, pulling a trailer I'm thinking they are entrepenuers just starting out with a little less than I have.

I've known much more professional looking companies that do Much much worse jobs and over priced at that.

Nice vehicles and decals gives me more confidence in a company outright but you never know about their work until they've worked for you.

What I really cant stand is the side-job jack off all trades, trying to make a buck but doing horrible work. I was just talking with this guy, he's really nice guy and really doesn't have a clue. He had just finished a job across the street where was just starting a job. He used a lawn mower with one of those spring devices on the blade to dethatch, the lawn looked all yellow and if he cut it right down to the roots almost and the bags were half way up the driveway. Not at the end of the driveway or all the way at the top around the corner of the garage which we also do but half way up a long driveway. lol. Poor was all proud of his work I ened up giving him a roll of garbage bags.

JJLandscapes
05-07-2006, 12:44 PM
my 100+ customers dont care that my 97 gmc jimmy is the work truck towing a 7x12 enclosed trailer we are in our third year and no ones ever said a thing

someone i know in my same town uses an old generation suburban and does over 200 houses and been in biz for 8 years i think

landscapers in real trucks probably always laughing but i laugh because i put more money in my pocket then they do

topsites
05-07-2006, 12:49 PM
my 100+ customers dont care that my 97 gmc jimmy is the work truck towing a 7x12 enclosed trailer we are in our third year and no ones ever said a thing

someone i know in my same town uses an old generation suburban and does over 200 houses and been in biz for 8 years i think

landscapers in real trucks probably always laughing but i laugh because i put more money in my pocket then they do

Not disagreeing, my truck is 20 years old, let them guys with their '02 models laugh all they want, they have to laugh way I see it... I'd laugh too figuring the only other option is to cry when it comes to making that monthly payment and the higher insurance rates I don't have.

As for the high-dollar guys that don't do the greatest job, here's what I don't get: I advertise to make sure I have demand high enough where I can quote the prices I want, period. Yes, that means I get paid a LOT for the basic moves and more if it involves extra and almost nobody comes around complaining because it just doesn't work as I turn around and leave. But what I don't get is, if you're earning top dollar for basic work, why are you driving the latest outfit? Why not do like me and drive the old stuff on TOP of getting paid good, way I see it some guys haven't a clue as to what THAT does to your profit.

So let them drive their '05's and charge top dollar, me I drive the '86 and charge just as much and laugh harder than they do except when I'm laughing, they can't see me anymore.

No doubt appearance helps, no argument there. But it doesn't make or break you, an entire complement of brand-new everything still doesn't make anybody a pro, but it helps, some. Meanwhile, you can drive old stuff AND charge a lot of money and you end up making out double, thou I will admit you have to be old like me so as to keep a straight face while you're doing it.

JJLandscapes
05-07-2006, 01:28 PM
Not disagreeing, my truck is 20 years old, let them guys with their '02 models laugh all they want, they have to laugh way I see it... I'd laugh too figuring the only other option is to cry when it comes to making that monthly payment and the higher insurance rates I don't have.

As for the high-dollar guys that don't do the greatest job, here's what I don't get: I advertise to make sure I have demand high enough where I can quote the prices I want, period. Yes, that means I get paid a LOT for the basic moves and more if it involves extra and almost nobody comes around complaining because it just doesn't work as I turn around and leave. But what I don't get is, if you're earning top dollar for basic work, why are you driving the latest outfit? Why not do like me and drive the old stuff on TOP of getting paid good, way I see it some guys haven't a clue as to what THAT does to your profit.

So let them drive their '05's and charge top dollar, me I drive the '86 and charge just as much and laugh harder than they do except when I'm laughing, they can't see me anymore.

No doubt appearance helps, no argument there. But it doesn't make or break you, an entire complement of brand-new everything still doesn't make anybody a pro, but it helps, some. Meanwhile, you can drive old stuff AND charge a lot of money and you end up making out double, thou I will admit you have to be old like me so as to keep a straight face while you're doing it.


lol exactly we are looking for a new truck but nothing over 5k at all.. all it has to do is be able to carry leaves and grass and all houses are in 10 mile radius. it simply isnt worth it to buy a new 2006 ford unless you are doing 20k installs every week and can justify those costs which everyone knows 90% of the people with the fancy trucks probably can do the same job with an old pile of ****.

Anyone else love seeing 50 grand trucks on maintenance routes where they still bag up all the clippings to leave at the curb and dont have a blade in the back bed

Don32
05-07-2006, 08:46 PM
No offense to anyone who uses on in their business but to me, it looks like someone just trying to make a little money on the side (which is fine).. I drive a GMC Sonoma pickup and I don't know what I'd do without a bed to throw stuff it whether it be tools or mulch.. But today I saw a Ford Crown Vic towing a lawn care trailer. :hammerhead: :dizzy: :laugh:
The trailer was homemade looking too. But I asked someone this.. If you were getting quotes and someone pulled up in a junky old pickup, someone in a nice pickup, someone in an SUV and someone in a car, all pulling trailers, and they all were equally nice and the same price, same equipment, who would you hire?

Are you saying it doesn't look professional if I don't drive a pickup? Kidding right? I'm pushing a mower not towing a boat or a fully enclosed trailer. Professionalism is how you represent yourself not what you drive. If I drove a Mercedes SUV, would that be OK?

mike lane lawn care
05-07-2006, 08:48 PM
i use a jeep grand cherokee. it is a 2001, with a straight six, tons of power, and a 7,000 pound tow hitch. i don't see this a being unprofessional, i have a larger trailer that i use to throw stuff in.

Jpocket
05-07-2006, 09:17 PM
I feel that anything under a half ton pick up is unprofessional, if it is used as the main vehical, however one must do what they gotta do so to speak.

JJLandscapes
05-07-2006, 09:22 PM
everyone should take a test who uses the new expensive trucks


next year when you start switch to a SUV or an old 90's pickup and see if one customer leaves you.. unless you are doing multi million dollar mansions or gated communities no one will care what car is being used as long as the grass looks good
and u will probably not lose one customer if u drove a pile of **** as long as its reliable and doesnt cause you to miss any appointments

rickt
05-07-2006, 09:52 PM
Its only unprofessional if you tow with a car, cars were not made for towning landscaping trailers.

I should add most people talk about owners using SUV's pulling lawn trailers, here in my city most of the "crews" such as highway, etc use 2005 Heavy Duty Suburbans to pull the trailers around, at times you see up to 10 crew guys in the surburbans. There not bad looking either, there all white and just have the city logo on the door.

Those who guy buy those 2005+ Heavy Duty trucks just waste money IMO.

Like i have said in the past the customer doesnt care about what you drive or your equipment, they want to see a job well done, just because you may drive a 2006 Chevy Truck doesnt mean they wont pick a guy in a 1979 El Camino with a mower in the back.

rickt
05-07-2006, 09:55 PM
No offense to anyone who uses on in their business but to me, it looks like someone just trying to make a little money on the side (which is fine).

Not everyone has the money like some of you do on here to buy a $30,000 truck, etc. I know a guy who does lawns full time and drives a 1991 Chevy Astro Van, he makes about $800/week on his own FULL TIME.

So your saying people are not a real "business" because they dont have a fancy diesel truck to pull there trailers around ?

Adam3669
05-07-2006, 10:10 PM
I drive a 1997 Ford Windstar.

stumpjumper
05-07-2006, 10:25 PM
i've been around people in the building trades all my life and i've never heard image discussed as much as it is here. if your work stands out and your dependable, your a pro. people won't give a hoot what you drive.

Roger
05-07-2006, 10:26 PM
The terms "professional" and "unprofessional" have been widely used in this thread. However, nobody has yet to define these terms.

This is one of many, many threads that speak about professionalism, but nobody ever defines the term.

Freddy_Kruger
05-07-2006, 11:17 PM
The terms "professional" and "unprofessional" have been widely used in this thread. However, nobody has yet to define these terms.

This is one of many, many threads that speak about professionalism, but nobody ever defines the term.
Well I would say as far as "LOOK" goes - professional means clean vehicle with little or no rust, Decals for sure, stationary; invoices, brocheres business cards etc., maybe uniforms.

For "performance" I would say professional means high quality work. You don't take on jobs you don't have the equipment or ability to handle. You show up on time and are able to create and mantain a schedule (I found this very challenging this spring with power raking, I even lost customers because I just couldn't get to them. I don't ignore such things though, I will adapt to be able to handle situations like that better.)

I would also say that look and quality work are just as important for GROWING your business.

cessnasovereign
05-07-2006, 11:41 PM
If you don't believe that image makes a difference, you're crazy. I know very well that some guy with a mower in the trunk of his 1980 Crown Vic could do a better job t han a guy with a brand new truck and trailer. BUT, who would look more professional?



So your saying people are not a real "business" because they dont have a fancy diesel truck to pull there trailers around ?
I never said anything like that, all I said was, to me when I see someone towing a landscape trailer with an SUV, whether it be old, new or a Benz, it just looks like someone trying to earn a buck on the weekends, which to some may seem like they might not be around in a month or two, maybe they needs to pay some bills, then who will cut their grass?

Don32
05-08-2006, 12:19 AM
Cuttin' the grass and rakin' the cash since 2006!

You are commented on other people's professionalism by what they drive when you have been "cuttin' since '06"? Hmm...

cessnasovereign
05-08-2006, 12:24 AM
Cuttin' the grass and rakin' the cash since 2006!

You are commented on other people's professionalism by what they drive when you have been "cuttin' since '06"? Hmm...


I've been here since 2006. I've been cutting grass since I was 12, and since I'm not 13, I think it was before 2006. Learn your facts.

cessnasovereign
05-08-2006, 12:26 AM
Oh and a little odd you'd comment on how long someone has been in business when, remember, someone with a 30K truck can do a worse job then someone with a $300 truck. And same for someone in business for 10 years or someone in business for 1 year.

Don32
05-08-2006, 12:31 AM
I've been here since 2006. I've been cutting grass since I was 12, and since I'm not 13, I think it was before 2006. [U]Learn your facts.[/U

Don't speak on others professionalism soley on what they drive when you know nothing else about them.

Soupy
05-08-2006, 01:07 AM
I think it looks down right silly when a car is hauling a lawn care trailer. I have seen Jeep Cherokee's pulling lawn care trailers and that looks odd to me but it's better then a car. A truck or even a work van looks way better and I think looks does matter unless the customer is shopping price, or on a referral.

cooltype
05-08-2006, 01:16 AM
Vehicle doesnt mean near as much as attitude...show confidence and authority and talk like you know what you are doing, back it up with your quality of work and thats what they will be talking about, unless you pull in all backfiring and blowing out smoke from some $300 redneck POS and ask for some jumper cables when you leave, oh yeah and do you have a grinder i forgot to sharpen my blades and toss me that 5/16 socket haha!!

The Kiwi Lawn Ranger
05-08-2006, 03:49 AM
I have been running my business now for 8 years and have only ever used my 1996 Jeep Cherokee it is kept in good (make that excellent) condition. I is sign written and my trailer is painted the same colour. I have never been turned down as far as I know for a job because of the vehicle i drive .
The Lawn Ranger
Taupo New Zealand.

Tim Wright
05-08-2006, 10:31 AM
There may be an ounce of truth to the thought, but if a person who is starting out with nothing, has to run his SUV for a year or two, while building business, then that is what he/she shoud do.

Otherwise, unless he/she is gaining 20 new customers a day and keeping them, there is no way that a few months of mowing out of the year is going to sustain new truck, trailer, mower, etc payments on a 12 month basis for 5-7 years.

In other words, use the tools that the jobs and pocket book dictate.

Tim

cessnasovereign
05-08-2006, 10:36 AM
Don't speak on others professionalism soley on what they drive when you know nothing else about them.

A bit of hypocrisy, huh?

cessnasovereign
05-08-2006, 10:38 AM
$300 redneck POS and ask for some jumper cables when you leave, oh yeah and do you have a grinder i forgot to sharpen my blades and toss me that 5/16 socket haha!!


:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

cessnasovereign
05-08-2006, 10:43 AM
There may be an ounce of truth to the thought, but if a person who is starting out with nothing, has to run his SUV for a year or two, while building business, then that is what he/she shoud do.



No doubt. See, I had a '99 Camaro SS, someone hit me head on and it was obviously totaled. So I was looking at other Camaro's when I got the idea to go into business for myself.. I've always like Ford Explorers so I thought about buying one of those and use it to pull my trailer and equipment.. then
I started thinking about image and that maybe it would make me look like I was just trying to earn a few extra bucks instead of running a full time business. So I went with a pickup truck instead. And the reason why I posted this here is because I was simply curious as to other peoples opinion, because since I've really been looking I've seen tons of SUV's pulling lawn equipment and it does seem that I see more on the weekends which would probably be people with full time jobs, making a little extra on the weekend. Not that anything is wrong with that!
But if I worked for a funeral home until I started my business and several old people there just weren't interested in services unless you were a huge company, because IMO they don't want to mess around with people who might not show up next week. We hear about those guys everyday here on LS.
And I'd think if I was an older person who didn't want to worry about getting my grass cut, I'd call a big company who has been in the business for a while so I'd know they aren't going anywhere.

29 Palms Property Management
05-08-2006, 10:44 AM
So what some people are saying is that my Dodge Durango and enclosed trailer looks unprofessional??? What a bunch of horse crap. I've been told on numerous occasions that my setup looks to be one of the most professional looking around town. The Durango is only the business vehicle, not personal as well. I chose to have an SUV over a pickup. That's what I wanted. I tell you what, I bet it looks alot better then a 26 year old redneck pickup all beat up and barely holding together. But wait a minute, it's a pickup, it must be better then the newer Durango!?!?!? Sometimes people come up with the most ridiculous ideas!

Freddy_Kruger
05-08-2006, 01:01 PM
I would think that an SUV and trailer would be a good setup. I'm still missing my Minni van for window cleaning, now I have to clean out the back of my truck every night and load it up again for power raking every mourning. I would love a self enclosed trailer in fact, its one of my goals.

Freddy_Kruger
05-08-2006, 01:14 PM
If you don't believe that image makes a difference, you're crazy. I know very well that some guy with a mower in the trunk of his 1980 Crown Vic could do a better job t han a guy with a brand new truck and trailer. BUT, who would look more professional?
Yeah thats the whole point. It's a good Idea for everyone in business to look the part both the GOOD guys and the BAD guys unfortunetly. But still first impressions count in all businesses.

There is this scammer around these parts in the renovation field, lots of advertising everything looks so professional except his work. He over charges and then subs out all the work to jack of all trades types. I was hired to clean his windows and when he seen I had ladders he tried to hire ME as a subcontractor for painting, lol. I said NO.

BUT its still a good idea to look the part and its FEELS good to look professional and if you get off on doing a GREAT job your business will certainly grow.

Don32
05-08-2006, 02:50 PM
A bit of hypocrisy, huh?

my point is you are attempting to measure professionalism soley on the type of vehicle used. Your right, by me mentioning your own quote doen't give me all the information about you, it was to prove a point that you cannot use one thing to measure professionalism.

milsaps118
05-08-2006, 03:39 PM
I see Joe Blows around here all the time pulling lawn care equipment with cars and SUV's, I just laugh but at the same time it pisses me off that for 1- Probably no commercial insurance. 2- Low ballers taking work away from the legit guys. 3- Have no clue as to what they are doing.(obviously when they have 2 murry push mowers, cheap whipper, and a hand held rechargeable electric leaf blower). But I look at it this way as well, that they are only going to last a season cuz they blow up their tranny or can't compete with the REAL company's. I think it's guys like that, that give real LCO's a bad name and for the industry. Bad news travels fast,and to leave a sour taste in our potential customers is felt from all of us. Not to mention that when Joe Blow goes out of business and you get the call from the home owner/property manager(who ever is in charge)say,"Well Joe Blow only charged us $30.00 for mowing, trimming, blowing, and lawn treatments." For a 20K property!! No legit company would touch it for that price, but Joe Blow would do it all summer long. What a joke.

milsaps118
05-08-2006, 03:54 PM
my point is you are attempting to measure professionalism soley on the type of vehicle used. Your right, by me mentioning your own quote doen't give me all the information about you, it was to prove a point that you cannot use one thing to measure professionalism.But still we are suppose to be PROFESSIONALS in this industry. Their is nothing professional about pulling up to a job site in a car pulling a trailer in this line of work. What would you think if you hired someone to come out and tear out your driveway and he pulls up in his Saturn pulling a trailer with a wheel barrow, electric jack hammer, and some shoveles and picks???? HuMMMM....not to professional to me.

milsaps118
05-08-2006, 03:57 PM
I see Joe Blows around here all the time pulling lawn care equipment with cars and SUV's, I just laugh but at the same time it pisses me off that for 1- Probably no commercial insurance. 2- Low ballers taking work away from the legit guys. 3- Have no clue as to what they are doing.(obviously when they have 2 murry push mowers, cheap whipper, and a hand held rechargeable electric leaf blower). But I look at it this way as well, that they are only going to last a season cuz they blow up their tranny or can't compete with the REAL company's. I think it's guys like that, that give real LCO's a bad name and for the industry. Bad news travels fast,and to leave a sour taste in our potential customers is felt from all of us. Not to mention that when Joe Blow goes out of business and you get the call from the home owner/property manager(who ever is in charge)say,"Well Joe Blow only charged us $30.00 for mowing, trimming, blowing, and lawn treatments." For a 20K property!! No legit company would touch it for that price, but Joe Blow would do it all summer long. What a joke.

PMLAWN
05-08-2006, 04:11 PM
The only people that care about what you drive is you! Most customers never see what you drive. Same as the color of your mower. Homeowner could care less. Just cut the lawn and be invisible. Don't drop oil in front of the house and your good.
Thank Lawnsite for being a place to brag about your stuff as everyday homeowner could give two beans.
Your truck is blocking the street and being a nuisance for 15 min. a week. Your work stands for itself all week. What do you think matters most.

29 Palms Property Management
05-08-2006, 05:28 PM
I see Joe Blows around here all the time pulling lawn care equipment with cars and SUV's, I just laugh but at the same time it pisses me off that for 1- Probably no commercial insurance. 2- Low ballers taking work away from the legit guys. 3- Have no clue as to what they are doing.(obviously when they have 2 murry push mowers, cheap whipper, and a hand held rechargeable electric leaf blower). But I look at it this way as well, that they are only going to last a season cuz they blow up their tranny or can't compete with the REAL company's. I think it's guys like that, that give real LCO's a bad name and for the industry. Bad news travels fast,and to leave a sour taste in our potential customers is felt from all of us. Not to mention that when Joe Blow goes out of business and you get the call from the home owner/property manager(who ever is in charge)say,"Well Joe Blow only charged us $30.00 for mowing, trimming, blowing, and lawn treatments." For a 20K property!! No legit company would touch it for that price, but Joe Blow would do it all summer long. What a joke.

Hey milsaps118, How does me pulling my enclosed trailer with my Durango rate me as someone that has no insurance, make me a lowballer and having no clue?
I have commercial insurance on my vehicle and it is used for business only. I have it decaled with the company logo and phone numbers as does the trailer. I do not lowball. If you search for previous posts by me, I do damn good around here compared to others on here from Florida. I know what I'm worth and I know my overhead. Quality work is my business card (yes I have business cards as well). I get 70% of my accounts from word of mouth referrals. I do quality work, people call. So to comment on your 3rd point, I know what I'm doing. I've been in this business for 8 years, 3 of which I've run my own business.
What I'm saying is, because my company vehicles are SUV's doesn't make me any less professional then you, with your pickup truck. Me being professional has to do with the quality of work, the appearance of the finished product, and how I treat and respect customers.

HOOLIE
05-08-2006, 08:09 PM
This debate is just silly...like the "should I have a dedicated business line or use my cellphone" debate.

Geez, I see some of the worst, nastiest most beat-up rusted out looking cars in the wealthiest neighborhoods, all contractors in old Datsuns working on the homes of the rich. Doesn't seem to effect anyone's ability to gain business.

mike lane lawn care
05-08-2006, 08:31 PM
I see Joe Blows around here all the time pulling lawn care equipment with cars and SUV's, I just laugh but at the same time it pisses me off that for 1- Probably no commercial insurance. 2- Low ballers taking work away from the legit guys. 3- Have no clue as to what they are doing.(obviously when they have 2 murry push mowers, cheap whipper, and a hand held rechargeable electric leaf blower). But I look at it this way as well, that they are only going to last a season cuz they blow up their tranny or can't compete with the REAL company's. I think it's guys like that, that give real LCO's a bad name and for the industry. Bad news travels fast,and to leave a sour taste in our potential customers is felt from all of us. Not to mention that when Joe Blow goes out of business and you get the call from the home owner/property manager(who ever is in charge)say,"Well Joe Blow only charged us $30.00 for mowing, trimming, blowing, and lawn treatments." For a 20K property!! No legit company would touch it for that price, but Joe Blow would do it all summer long. What a joke.

okay, here we go.
i use a good looking jeep grand cherokee with the V8. i pull a 5x10 trailer that holds my simplicity broadmoor, my two echo trimmers, my echo backpack blower, and a lawnboy 21". this is a very nice setup and have been told so, many times. the SUV is great if i decide to hire a few friends for the big jobs(there isn't a lot of parking room on the sides of roads here). it has a 7,000 pound tow rating and the heavy duty trans cooler and beefyier suspension, this was made for towing. and if you look into it, SUV's are more often than not, classified as small to medium sized trucks.

i have also just applied for my licensing and i DO NOT lowball

Adam3669
05-08-2006, 08:33 PM
your PF says 5X8...

Lumberjack
05-08-2006, 08:40 PM
Perhaps the issue here is one of pride and not professionalism?

mike lane lawn care
05-08-2006, 08:45 PM
your PF says 5X8...

just about everything has been upgraded, and i haven't updated the listing.

stumpjumper
05-08-2006, 09:15 PM
anybody notice that the younger you are the more you worry about what your driving. wish i had my 69 superbee back, i could pull a trailor a 140 mph with that sucker,thats with a carload of chics too.

mike lane lawn care
05-08-2006, 09:23 PM
anybody notice that the younger you are the more you worry about what your driving. wish i had my 69 superbee back, i could pull a trailor a 140 mph with that sucker,thats with a carload of chics too.

being young myself, i do see it. i don't really care what i use for lawn care, as long as it has the power to pull. but i love the jeep SUV's, they have so much better off road and winter weather preformance than any other SUV in it's class. i have used the Hyundai santa Fe 4WD (actualy it's AWD, but marketed as 4WD), and have gotten it stuck on a flat gravel driveway driveway, and had to pull it out with the Jeep.

it's more of a statement to drive a heavy SUV, but i wouldn't mind a toyota prius, if it was practical for lawn care.

murray83
05-08-2006, 09:24 PM
i have to laugh at both sides...the "pro" with his f-350 and massive trailer and brand new equipment and mow lawns only ;) then yer "low baller" with his or hers beat up station wagon and home depot equipment trying to make a buck.

so which one of the 2 is the moron?

in a way the guys with the big truck only get it for looks and its a write off anyway so why not? i just don't understand cuz it costs more to run :confused: its like your trying to 1 up everyone around you.

and for that old crap car who pulls up to the house and u go "ugh wtf is that?" when i ever get the chance to run my own buisness image is everything to me,clean truck and equipment even if its a beat up old ranger keep it clean and respectable that truck reflects you and you company and shows pride in your work.some don't care about that and hey thats ok but it should when its in front of you house.

all in all its about the job you do on the lawn not what you drive,my opinion,i give all the guys here who run quarter tons and smaller suv's the thumbs up,they're smarter buisness men say you with the huge 1 ton or even a 3/4 ton charge $40...joe blow charges $38 but runs a dakota he pays less gas and puts more cash in his wallet.

mike lane lawn care
05-08-2006, 09:26 PM
i have to laugh at both sides...the "pro" with his f-350 and massive trailer and brand new equipment and mow lawns only ;) then yer "low baller" with his or hers beat up station wagon and home depot equipment trying to make a buck.

so which one of the 2 is the moron?

in a way the guys with the big truck only get it for looks and its a write off anyway so why not? i just don't understand cuz it costs more to run :confused: its like your trying to 1 up everyone around you.

and for that old crap car who pulls up to the house and u go "ugh wtf is that?" when i ever get the chance to run my own buisness image is everything to me,clean truck and equipment even if its a beat up old ranger keep it clean and respectable that truck reflects you and you company and shows pride in your work.some don't care about that and hey thats ok but it should when its in front of you house.

all in all its about the job you do on the lawn not what you drive,my opinion,i give all the guys here who run quarter tons and smaller suv's the thumbs up,they're smarter buisness men say you with the huge 1 ton or even a 3/4 ton charge $40...joe blow charges $38 but runs a dakota he pays less gas and puts more cash in his wallet.


AMEN brother

milsaps118
05-08-2006, 11:16 PM
Hey milsaps118, How does me pulling my enclosed trailer with my Durango rate me as someone that has no insurance, make me a lowballer and having no clue?
I have commercial insurance on my vehicle and it is used for business only. I have it decaled with the company logo and phone numbers as does the trailer. I do not lowball. If you search for previous posts by me, I do damn good around here compared to others on here from Florida. I know what I'm worth and I know my overhead. Quality work is my business card (yes I have business cards as well). I get 70% of my accounts from word of mouth referrals. I do quality work, people call. So to comment on your 3rd point, I know what I'm doing. I've been in this business for 8 years, 3 of which I've run my own business.
What I'm saying is, because my company vehicles are SUV's doesn't make me any less professional then you, with your pickup truck. Me being professional has to do with the quality of work, the appearance of the finished product, and how I treat and respect customers.

Kudos to you 29PPM, your SUV might be the way to go being you live in sunny FL where it stays like that 12mo a year, but from where I'm from (MN) we deal with doing spring/fall clean ups which require us to pick up a lot of debris from trees, shrubs, plants, grass, etc. Now tell me how the heck you gonna stuff 300 bushels worth of lawn debris from doing clean ups in your SUV? Or are you going to bag every thing and leave it for the customer to take out on trash day? What I'm saying is that here in the upper Midwest its not practical to be operating in a SUV and unprofessional to operate out of a car any where. Professional in my opinion is the quality of work you do, how you conduct business, and image. Cars in this line of work is not professional and is a bad image. Those of you that run SUV's I still question. If you live in a state where an SUV is practical and you don't need the Box space or payload capacity then rock on, do your thing. But here in MN SUV's are not the way to go and I think it is unprofessional to run on here.

PS.. from the guys that I have seen here claiming to be legit LCO's aren't even registered with the Sec. of State as a DBA. All you have to do is call and find out, so that makes me wonder...HUMMM??? Good chance he can't even afford Commercial Insurance.

mike lane lawn care
05-08-2006, 11:35 PM
Now tell me how the heck you gonna stuff 300 bushels worth of lawn debris from doing clean ups in your SUV?

the way i do it is just load up on the trailer, tarp it down and go, but most of the people here except for a few, have woods and say to just send it all into the woods.

29 Palms Property Management
05-09-2006, 12:10 AM
Originally Posted by milsaps118
Now tell me how the heck you gonna stuff 300 bushels worth of lawn debris from doing clean ups in your SUV? Or are you going to bag every thing and leave it for the customer to take out on trash day?

That's something we don't have to deal with here. I see your point. Our spring clean-ups might consist of 5 bags worth of leaves/debris. Not much of that going on here. I had one big job that was tucked back on the woods where I did end up with 47 bags of leaves when said and done, but I just transported them to the landfill with the open utility trailer that I have sitting around.
What is practical and what is not, is up to the individual. I don't have a huge need for a pickup, I chose the SUV. I have my laptop set up with a compact printer for onsite estimates, invoicing and mapquest if need be. Plus I still have plenty of room for crew members that I may have on the same project to ride along. This is what works best for me.
As far as the vehicles go, I don't pay too much attention to what everyone around here is driving. I focus on getting to the next site safely and getting the work done to the best of my ability. I want to make money and satisfy my customers while being as efficient as possible. That's it. If Beufort wants to drive by with a 21" POS mower sticking out of his '81 Bonneville, so be it. He's not my concern. He's not making my income for me. I am. I'm worried about me.

JJLandscapes
05-09-2006, 12:20 AM
Kudos to you 29PPM, your SUV might be the way to go being you live in sunny FL where it stays like that 12mo a year, but from where I'm from (MN) we deal with doing spring/fall clean ups which require us to pick up a lot of debris from trees, shrubs, plants, grass, etc. Now tell me how the heck you gonna stuff 300 bushels worth of lawn debris from doing clean ups in your SUV? Or are you going to bag every thing and leave it for the customer to take out on trash day? What I'm saying is that here in the upper Midwest its not practical to be operating in a SUV and unprofessional to operate out of a car any where. Professional in my opinion is the quality of work you do, how you conduct business, and image. Cars in this line of work is not professional and is a bad image. Those of you that run SUV's I still question. If you live in a state where an SUV is practical and you don't need the Box space or payload capacity then rock on, do your thing. But here in MN SUV's are not the way to go and I think it is unprofessional to run on here.

PS.. from the guys that I have seen here claiming to be legit LCO's aren't even registered with the Sec. of State as a DBA. All you have to do is call and find out, so that makes me wonder...HUMMM??? Good chance he can't even afford Commercial Insurance.


use an suv in NY same conditions and yes we bag everything up for cleanups and leave them at the curb sometimes 50-60 bags... customers dont care.. im licensed and insured up to 1 mill.

and yea 110 customers seem to come back year after year even with my "unprofessional" SUV and bagging because i make the lawns look good and nothing else matters

milsaps118
05-09-2006, 12:27 AM
If Beufort wants to drive by with a 21" POS mower sticking out of his '81 Bonneville, so be it. He's not my concern. He's not making my income for me. I am. I'm worried about me.[/QUOTE]

29PPM You should be concerned about it. Buefort's the one lowballin' you and others bringing down the pricing in your area taking $$$ away from you. Your right he's not making your income, he's taking it from you, more than likely at a lower than standard rate to boot.

Freddy_Kruger
05-09-2006, 12:55 AM
I don't believe that for a moment (even if it is true), I believe there is lots of work for everybody and percentage of the market is ALWAYS switching around and thats how a new company gets customers. Companies are always coming AND going, if it looks like a crisis to someone it is Literally a state of mind.

milsaps118
05-09-2006, 01:03 AM
use an suv in NY same conditions and yes we bag everything up for cleanups and leave them at the curb sometimes 50-60 bags... customers dont care.. im licensed and insured up to 1 mill.

and yea 110 customers seem to come back year after year even with my "unprofessional" SUV and bagging because i make the lawns look good and nothing else matters

50-60 bags...110 customers...100% satisfied????? Yeah OK.
If I pulled up to my house and couldn't't get up the drive way cuz I had 60 bags of grass lined up in front of me I be pissed. If you hired a remodeling contractor to come do work on your house and he left all his sh*T he tore down at the end of your driveway,along your curb line,at the end of your yard by the street, etc. would that be professional let alone would you be100% fine with that???? NO. He would of been responsible/professional and called for a dumpster to hall away all your crap. The same goes for lawn care, if you bag, take it. Don't leave 2,5,10,60 bags of grass for your customer to look at until trash day. I think some of you would agree with me.

Freddy_Kruger
05-09-2006, 01:05 AM
Yeah and if they were interested in paying extra for removal (there are costs associated) then I'm sure arrangements could be made even if they switched LCO's but since they haven't then just maybe, you don't know everything.


* if I seem defensive its because I am just starting in lawn care (power raking season to) and I'm not taking away any grass and in fact, I'm actually unable to. I cant' go to the dump after every single job. Hell I got so much equipment in my truck to keep three of us working that I can't take away any trash at all. ALso, for this year at least, I'm not inclined to.

smcunningham
05-09-2006, 01:55 AM
91 s-10 blazer pulling 6x12 or 5x8 dump trailer........no customer complaints in my 3 yrs

29 Palms Property Management
05-09-2006, 09:44 AM
Originally Posted by milsaps118
29PPM You should be concerned about it. Buefort's the one lowballin' you and others bringing down the pricing in your area taking $$$ away from you. Your right he's not making your income, he's taking it from you, more than likely at a lower than standard rate to boot.
I'll tell you why I'm not worried. Because alot of my business comes from these lowballing hacks. I get calls all the time; "Yes, I was referred to you by so and so, I've been having my lawn cut by this guy, but all he does is mow, nothing else. It's starting to look like crap because it hasn't been trimmed or edged in a month now. And he doesn't do a great job mowing it either."
I get a signed contract at the price I want it, with no negotiations, no complaints, and I have a happy customer. I worry about me, not Beufort. The work will keep coming. And Beufort and his hacks are one of the reasons why.

grassmasterdawn
05-09-2006, 11:07 AM
Well I can understand that, being it's your kid but I think maybe people would look a little different if it was you acting like a professional business.

To me, it just doesn't look right when someone is driving around in a Ford Explorer towing a lawn trailer.

Why doesn't it look professional?

I tow with a Jeep (that has signs on it). I really have no need for a pick-up, as I don't do any debris removal and my equipment all fits on my trailer. Any loose odds and ends go in the back of the Jeep so they're not bouncing all over the trailer.

Also as someone else mentioned, if I'm only doing a job that requires a few hand tools, I put them in the trunk of my Toyota Echo and slap my magnetic signs on that and boogie on over to the job. At 38 mpg, it saves me a heck of a lot of gas and if it looks unprofessional, so be it. It's extra money in my pocket and I haven't had any complaints yet.:)

mike lane lawn care
05-09-2006, 04:06 PM
would a customer really complain about what you drive?

29 Palms Property Management
05-09-2006, 04:44 PM
would a customer really complain about what you drive?
Not one that I've come across.

Brendan Smith
05-09-2006, 05:33 PM
would a customer really complain about what you drive?
dude, with the price of fuel, if i could pull my 16' trailer with a moped, i would. seriously.

4curbappeal
05-09-2006, 06:00 PM
I got a nice truck but when I see some operators with much nicer trucks I'm a little envious and when I see this one in particular that pulls a huge enclosed trailer with massive decals (I have to unload my truck everday :() I just make that MY goal to have one day. It's really an impressive setup.

But when I see guys with a crappy looking car, no decals, pulling a trailer I'm thinking they are entrepenuers just starting out with a little less than I have.

I've known much more professional looking companies that do Much much worse jobs and over priced at that.

Nice vehicles and decals gives me more confidence in a company outright but you never know about their work until they've worked for you.

What I really cant stand is the side-job jack off all trades, trying to make a buck but doing horrible work. I was just talking with this guy, he's really nice guy and really doesn't have a clue. He had just finished a job across the street where was just starting a job. He used a lawn mower with one of those spring devices on the blade to dethatch, the lawn looked all yellow and if he cut it right down to the roots almost and the bags were half way up the driveway. Not at the end of the driveway or all the way at the top around the corner of the garage which we also do but half way up a long driveway. lol. Poor was all proud of his work I ened up giving him a roll of garbage bags.
Very well put!

rickt
05-09-2006, 06:09 PM
I've always like Ford Explorers so I thought about buying one of those and use it to pull my trailer and equipment.. then
I started thinking about image and that maybe it would make me look like I was just trying to earn a few extra bucks instead of running a full time business. So I went with a pickup truck instead.

I doubt anyone is going to care if your running a full time business or not, its about the quality of work not the machines the work is done with or what the machines are moved around in.

rfed32
05-09-2006, 06:23 PM
i started out my 1st two years with an explorer, well a van first then the explorer pulling a cheap 6x10 that i still have. didnt lose one customer and when i would do mulch jobs. it would go on the trailer, it hold 2yards or i would just get it delivered...still have same trailer just an s10 and the sad thing is i wish i still had that pos explorer it was the best "SUV" in the world...so start out with what u can then work your way up...im happy where im at b.c i can still plow with the s10(which i do...yeah a 17in past feb)...

JJLandscapes
05-09-2006, 10:24 PM
i started out my 1st two years with an explorer, well a van first then the explorer pulling a cheap 6x10 that i still have. didnt lose one customer and when i would do mulch jobs. it would go on the trailer, it hold 2yards or i would just get it delivered...still have same trailer just an s10 and the sad thing is i wish i still had that pos explorer it was the best "SUV" in the world...so start out with what u can then work your way up...im happy where im at b.c i can still plow with the s10(which i do...yeah a 17in past feb)...

not possible i have the best SUV in the world lol... the thing will not die totaled 3 other cars in accidents and was able to drive home from all those accidents... my jimmy is a tank it was the first car in the world to be driven with weedwacker string ( accelarator cable broke for 4th time) had a string going from under hood to the passenger side and have my partner control the throttle while i steered


bought it when i was 17 for 6k and its on its the third year of landscaping and got every damn pennies worth out of it... once its done im gonna gold plate it and throw it on my roof as a shrine

emil35
05-09-2006, 10:28 PM
I never have lost a job due to what I drive, but I do believe that apperance has some affect on the customer psychologically at least. Say you have two guys, one with nice well kept equipment that is fairly late model (doesn't have to be new) and the other has a trailer full of this and that machines that he's basically collected over the years. If the prices between the two were the same, I'm sure that the customer would go with the more professional looking setup...or at least in my area. I have late model trucks, but I got all at great prices that you can't go wrong at. However, since they're all gas I'm in the process of selling them off and getting one diesel truck since I have college next fall. But I need the diesel to haul some my equipment, if I didn't I would go with a smaller truck...just my 2 cents.

J&R Landscaping
05-09-2006, 10:51 PM
No doubt. See, I had a '99 Camaro SS, someone hit me head on and it was obviously totaled. So I was looking at other Camaro's when I got the idea to go into business for myself.. I've always like Ford Explorers so I thought about buying one of those and use it to pull my trailer and equipment.. then
I started thinking about image and that maybe it would make me look like I was just trying to earn a few extra bucks instead of running a full time business. So I went with a pickup truck instead. And the reason why I posted this here is because I was simply curious as to other peoples opinion, because since I've really been looking I've seen tons of SUV's pulling lawn equipment and it does seem that I see more on the weekends which would probably be people with full time jobs, making a little extra on the weekend. Not that anything is wrong with that!
But if I worked for a funeral home until I started my business and several old people there just weren't interested in services unless you were a huge company, because IMO they don't want to mess around with people who might not show up next week. We hear about those guys everyday here on LS.
And I'd think if I was an older person who didn't want to worry about getting my grass cut, I'd call a big company who has been in the business for a while so I'd know they aren't going anywhere.

Your talkig about being professional:confused: ... It sounds like this idea came to you in a dream. If it wasn't for that accident, what would you be doing now. If you were proffesional and dedicated to it, you would have started from the time you got your license and you would of already had a truck or suv. It sounds like it was just a fly by night idea that has worked out..(so far):hammerhead: :dizzy:

Brianslawn
05-09-2006, 11:44 PM
everyone should take a test who uses the new expensive trucks


next year when you start switch to a SUV or an old 90's pickup and see if one customer leaves you.. unless you are doing multi million dollar mansions or gated communities no one will care what car is being used as long as the grass looks good
and u will probably not lose one customer if u drove a pile of **** as long as its reliable and doesnt cause you to miss any appointments


i lost a couple when i got my new truck. they thought my prices must be too high if a lawnboy can afford a nicer truck than them.


as for the other guy talking about doing same in an old pos as a new 06 ford.... i have put 6 pallets of sod, almost 10,000 lbs on the bed of my new ford and still pulled a loaded 20' trailer. thats right... i can haul a one ton truck on the bed if i wanted to, plus 5 guys with me in side. lets see someones old chevy do that! :weightlifter:

cessnasovereign
05-10-2006, 12:26 AM
Your talkig about being professional:confused: ... It sounds like this idea came to you in a dream. If it wasn't for that accident, what would you be doing now. If you were proffesional and dedicated to it, you would have started from the time you got your license and you would of already had a truck or suv. It sounds like it was just a fly by night idea that has worked out..(so far):hammerhead: :dizzy:


What? I do have a truck, I've had a truck, I'm not posting this for opinions on if I should buy a truck or an SUV. And, how can you judge my professionalism by how long I've been in the business or because after a wreck I decided to start a business? Talked about confused..:confused:

cessnasovereign
05-10-2006, 12:31 AM
would a customer really complain about what you drive?


I never said anyone would complain about what you drive or drop you for what you pull up in. It was just a simple question that I was curious as to others opinions on..

Soupy
05-10-2006, 01:25 AM
would a customer really complain about what you drive?

Not everyone cares, but some do. No one can accurately say they haven't gotten business because of what they drive. There is no way of knowing what a guy is sitting there thinking when he wants to contact an LCO for service.

An SUV isn't that bad, but IMHO a car with magnetic signs hauling a trailer isn't going to get calls from the type of people looking for company with a good image. Some people do care about what their neighbors think about who they hire to do work for them. Some like to brag that their LCO is more elite then your LCO type crap.

I have been a firm believer that if you buy brand new expensive trucks for lawn care your burning money. You can have a clean early 90's truck fully lettered and look very professional.

HOOLIE
05-10-2006, 01:28 AM
Some like to brag that their LCO is more elite then your LCO type crap.

My LCO can beat up your LCO...:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Soupy
05-10-2006, 01:44 AM
My LCO can beat up your LCO...:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

That was funny :laugh:

I just thought of this one family that have 4 lawns on my street. They have had these lawns for years. Anyway they drive an old beat up truck to pull the trailer full of trash cans and crapsmen push mowers. Then the wife fallows behind in a nicer truck with all the little ones with her. The old man an older son get out of older truck and push for awhile then they alternate with the wife while one always sits out and watches the little ones play in the back of the truck. They do a nice job bagging and charge $20. I can go cut 6 lawns and come back for lunch and they are still on my street.

The other day one of my neighbors says to me.. I bet you get a kick out of that group that comes along here cutting some of the lawns. I said that the only thing I think looks bad is them bringing little kids along and make a day of it like their out on a picnic. They do good work. I mentioned they don't charge enough either and he said that if they charged more they would lose the customers because the price is the only thing that keeps the neighbors happy about the appearance.

This is a prime example that neighbors will talk about the circus while their out cutting your lawn. Instead of the circus it might be "hey what do you think of that guy that comes around pulling mowers behind his Cadillac, man that sure looks silly".

SUV's don't look as funny but they do make you look like a week end warrior just because it looks likes your using your every day driver to haul a trailer with. This is fine for a boat or camper, but if your in business then you should use the appropriate equipment. You can argue that it is appropriate but one would question why you wouldn't own a truck if your serious about the business. JMO of what some might think. Some don't care as all of you have proved.

Jnamo
05-10-2006, 08:47 AM
Well said Soupy-that covers it for me, thanks.

topsites
05-10-2006, 09:10 AM
The only people that care about what you drive is you! Most customers never see what you drive. Same as the color of your mower. Homeowner could care less. Just cut the lawn and be invisible. Don't drop oil in front of the house and your good.
Thank Lawnsite for being a place to brag about your stuff as everyday homeowner could give two beans.
Your truck is blocking the street and being a nuisance for 15 min. a week. Your work stands for itself all week. What do you think matters most.

I keep trying to tell them it doesn't make a difference, what you drive does not make you a pro or not, it's all you anyhow, you either think of yourself as pro or you don't.

Oh there is one more thing to burst some of the largest bubbles: Landscaping / Lawn care is not listed by the United States Government as a 'professional' occupation, only those jobs that are considered a 'profession' would have workers that are considered 'professionals,' get it? Yeah, so in order to be a professional, you must first fill the requirement of having a job that the United States Government lists as a profession, and Landscaping / Lawn care is not on that list... I believe nurses are and so is a butler, as examples.

I can hear it now: but, but ...

cessnasovereign
05-10-2006, 10:17 AM
That was funny :laugh:

I just thought of this one family that have 4 lawns on my street. They have had these lawns for years. Anyway they drive an old beat up truck to pull the trailer full of trash cans and crapsmen push mowers. Then the wife fallows behind in a nicer truck with all the little ones with her. The old man an older son get out of older truck and push for awhile then they alternate with the wife while one always sits out and watches the little ones play in the back of the truck. They do a nice job bagging and charge $20. I can go cut 6 lawns and come back for lunch and they are still on my street.

The other day one of my neighbors says to me.. I bet you get a kick out of that group that comes along here cutting some of the lawns. I said that the only thing I think looks bad is them bringing little kids along and make a day of it like their out on a picnic. They do good work. I mentioned they don't charge enough either and he said that if they charged more they would lose the customers because the price is the only thing that keeps the neighbors happy about the appearance.

This is a prime example that neighbors will talk about the circus while their out cutting your lawn. Instead of the circus it might be "hey what do you think of that guy that comes around pulling mowers behind his Cadillac, man that sure looks silly".

SUV's don't look as funny but they do make you look like a week end warrior just because it looks likes your using your every day driver to haul a trailer with. This is fine for a boat or camper, but if your in business then you should use the appropriate equipment. You can argue that it is appropriate but one would question why you wouldn't own a truck if your serious about the business. JMO of what some might think. Some don't care as all of you have proved.

Very good post. And I fully agree it makes them look like a week-end yard warrior. And I'd think if I was a person who works alot and just doesn't want to have to worry about getting my grass cut, which is a majority of my customers, and probably most everyone else's, then I'd want a company that came out looking like they've been around and not going anywhere vs. the guy who pulls up in his family's SUV with a soccer sticker on the back.

fulano
05-28-2006, 11:52 PM
.. If you were getting quotes and someone pulled up in a junky old pickup, someone in a nice pickup, someone in an SUV and someone in a car, all pulling trailers, and they all were equally nice and the same price, same equipment, who would you hire?


The guy in the nice suv.

atv220chris
03-09-2008, 05:29 AM
ok their is no point to have a brand new truck even if you are one of the big guys the only time that you have to have a new truck is if you are out giving bids my dad works for kraft and there are contractors that drive old CJ's to work and have welders and stuff on trailers as long as you do a good job it dose not mater i think

RickR1818
03-10-2008, 01:16 AM
I currently use a newer model Ford Explorer. I hope to get a reasonable truck this season depending on the business but I frequently wish I had a bed for hauling, however, I love the fact that in an suv you can secure hand tools, extra parts, etc... in the back out of view.

XterraJohn
03-11-2008, 01:47 AM
I use a Nissan Xterra, but it doesn't look like I'm just pulling a landscape trailer on the weekends because I have it covered with signs and vinyl lettering...


Now, my trailer leaves a little something to be desired, but I'm working on it...

ironmantk
10-17-2011, 11:00 PM
I'm with the other long time pro's here that know what is needed to do business, isn't limited to what you drive for goodness sack! There is advantages and disadvantages to your equipment. I just was hoping to find out if anyone is having success with the small cars pulling small trailers? And most of all what kind of gas milage?! I'm thinking VW tdi; they are rated for like 3000 lbs in europe and getting around 26 mpg (hwy)!

FoghornLeghorn
10-18-2011, 01:16 AM
Cars or SUV's are fine for errands, estimates, delivering replacement parts to crews out working. But if you're pulling a work trailer with a car or SUV, you seriously undercut your ability to look like a credible operation.

I believe in using the appropriate equipment for the job.

joshman108
10-18-2011, 03:25 PM
A thought about hiring a "guy who knows what he's doing" for "nice" yards.
Most of the amazingly nice yards round here are cut by unkempt guys in 91 fords that look like theyve been through hell and back.

I wouldn't say they look like they know what they're doing, but they manage to get the big jobs.

I dont think its about what you look like.

joshman108
10-18-2011, 03:34 PM
I'm with the other long time pro's here that know what is needed to do business, isn't limited to what you drive for goodness sack! There is advantages and disadvantages to your equipment. I just was hoping to find out if anyone is having success with the small cars pulling small trailers? And most of all what kind of gas milage?! I'm thinking VW tdi; they are rated for like 3000 lbs in europe and getting around 26 mpg (hwy)!

I figure ill answer your question.
Im having pretty good success, and I have a mower hanging out of the back the trunk of my 95 nissan sentra (30 mpg)

The thing is, people are typically so impressed with my adds and with me, that they dont care. Im 18, my setup looks ghetto, but it doesnt matter a bit.

To prove this, I even convinced a lady to give me 5 bucks more for yard than the big company she had do it last year. It was 30, then 35 for me for a 1/4 acre. Not chicken scratch.

Also, I never charge under the going rate. I get paid exactly what anyone else would per yard, so Im not losing money because of my setup.

People are impressed with my adds, how I handle myself, and if I show up driving what I do, more power to me.


Of course, that was just starting out. Im buying my 01 silverado in a month. But thats the american dream. Anyone with an idea can go out and capture it. And dont let anyone tell you that you cant. Doesnt matter what you look like, where you come from, or who tells you that you cant. The world is yours. Thats america. The land of opportunity. :usflag:

Glenn Lawn Care
10-18-2011, 03:37 PM
I've seen a guy with a Waldoch conversion van with a lawn care trailer and I have seen guys with Honda civics with a 21", trimmer and a blower in the trunk of their car.... usually these guys don't last long!

calvinslawnservices
10-18-2011, 03:43 PM
I use a ford expedition for my business. The reason behind this is because I am paying for school and have to use most of the money I make for school.

He is an example of professionalism:

There are two houses that get serviced next to each other.
One is serviced by a guy and a different helper and a different day of week, who shows up in a truck towing a trailer and 2 mowers. Gets to work, Finishes up and there are clumps and the street isn't blown off.
The other is serviced by a guy who shows up with the same helper every week on the same day. But he shows up with a SUV and a trailer and 2 mowers. Gets to work and leaves the property looking spotless.

Who is the professional?

The point I make like most every one in this thread is that the kind of equipment used doesn't make you a pro or not. Its making sure the property you leave looks great every time.

PROCUT1
10-18-2011, 05:01 PM
In my experience it means very little.

I had old trucks, new trucks, and everything in between. Most were painted and lettered alike.

I found most customers could not tell me what color my trucks were after years of service let alone what make or model.

Yes. A beat up rusted out loud bomb probably wont be the best choice.

What you arrive with says little about what your capability is.

I do estimates full time for large parking lot sealcoating. It requires trucks, trailers, tankers, and the sort.

I drive either a ranger or envoy. Neither one capable of sealing a parking lot.
Nobody has ever asked me where my tanker truck was on the estimate.

fivestarlandscapes
10-18-2011, 10:50 PM
Anything under a 1/2 ton truck for a landscaping business is kind of silly unless all you want to do is just cut lawns and not bag. I have a 1/2 ton and I constantly think to myself that I need a bigger truck to handle more weight. I have to replace my front brakes once a year. Why drive an SUV when you can pick up a decent f-150 for like $1500. Where do you put weeds, shrub trimmings, and leaves? Around here many homes do not have any place for debris to be dumped.

Georgia Lawn
10-19-2011, 11:20 AM
I think that it is more important how you dress, present yourself and act toward the customer for estimates then what you drive. As far as service I think it is definitely the quality of work that you perform over the vehicle that you drive.

calvinslawnservices
10-19-2011, 01:01 PM
Anything under a 1/2 ton truck for a landscaping business is kind of silly unless all you want to do is just cut lawns and not bag. I have a 1/2 ton and I constantly think to myself that I need a bigger truck to handle more weight. I have to replace my front brakes once a year. Why drive an SUV when you can pick up a decent f-150 for like $1500. Where do you put weeds, shrub trimmings, and leaves? Around here many homes do not have any place for debris to be dumped.

I want to know where you can find a decent f-150 for 1500?

PROCUT1
10-20-2011, 09:35 AM
Me too. Ill take 10 of them
Posted via Mobile Device

32vld
10-21-2011, 11:56 AM
I have a harbor freight trailer. Painted a forrest/hunter green. Wood floor and side rails stained chestnut brown. The trailer looks nice, clean, very presentable. I have an 05 jeep wrangler unlimited pulling it, lt khaki color. No dents, no rust. Looks good.

Yes a bigger tow vehicle would have more capability as would a larger trailer. But I don't bring every thing I own to mow lawns. Having a chain saw or hedge trimmer shovels rake do not cut grass.

Cleans ups the trailer is empty to load because the equipment I need is carried in the back of the jeep.

I work solo sometimes with a retired 67 year old friend. For the volume of work that I do and size of equipment, largest is a 42" mower, there is no justification to go into debt just to look a certain way.

I do want to grow into the need for a bigger truck and trailer. But I have seen too many business' go under because they took on too much debt.


As never put the wagon in front of the horse, never put the trailer in front of the truck.

Everything in it's time and place.

moneyclass
10-21-2011, 12:30 PM
Good post.....I am new to the biz and I have a Ford Ranger and I was thinking I wasnt going to look like a real landscaper because I have a small truck......but after reading well im still gonna start my biz with my ranger and go from there. Work with what I have right...

scottslawncareav
01-31-2012, 12:06 PM
crown vic is the best derby car going

Lefet
01-31-2012, 12:10 PM
Revival at it's best!