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View Full Version : What are you ATL guys doing about the drought?


tjsquickcuts
06-19-2006, 09:59 PM
Just curious to know what you guys are doing with your weekly scheduled accounts that don't have irrigation systems. With no real deal rainfall since March, I have some lawns that are not growing at all, and starting to look really bad, to the point where I have had to skip almost 10% of my accounts because of fear of having ruts all over the lawn. With no rain in sight, I am scared I will have to cut back on a lot of customers, and just try and pick up New ones to replace those until we start getting more rain....but the downside is, when we do get into our rainy pattern, I dont think I will be able to maintain all my accounts because the cup is already overflowing. Luckily, I have had more landscape work then I can handle, booked solid at the time.....but just wanted to know what your ATLiens are doing......I have even started stop by some of the homes in between stops to turn the water on......and I dont forget about the water bans.....:cry: .........might be a slow finish after a blazing start.....

yardmanlee
06-20-2006, 07:38 AM
hoping texas will send us some rain !!!! or from anywhere as long as it rains
we need it pretty bad too !!!!

topsites
06-20-2006, 08:03 AM
sigh... I keep trying to tell you guys the weekly cut thing don't work year-round but ok look:

I save my money when times are good so then I get through the drought no problem. Ok no it is not without problem and I don't like it either but there's not much you can do...

For those who have a hard time keeping money in the bank, the best I can recommend is if you have to spend money, buy supplies that don't deteriorate in time (example: blades, oil, zerks, pins and clips and grommets (those that always break) and tools and stuff...) and keep those supplies someplace so that when things run dry, you can operate for months without nothing but fuel.

As for me, most of my lawns are on 14 days and here soon it will be July so that means most lawns go on 2-3 week schedules, some once / month.

topsites
06-20-2006, 08:10 AM
There is a benefit to hard times, thou it is hard to see at first, hard times make your business lean and mean which is a way to say this is a good time to figure out how to reduce your OR cost, learn to run on less money / supplies and learn how to make your company (and yourself) survive on less. This comes in extremely handy later when things improve, you keep running it lean and you really rake it in but don't spend it omg you can put so much money away once you got it down (which is why it don't bother me but so much) :rolleyes:

So, always save your money.

Also if you have a lot of money in the bank what you do is wait for stuff to go on sale (by on sale I mean at least 30% off retail, 50% is even better and sometimes you can find 70% off and stuff) so then when stuff goes on sale (whatever, motor oil / antifreeze it could be whatever) then you buy a whole lot at the same time, buy as much as you can with the following rules in mind:
- How long will this last / keep? If stuff only keeps for 6-12 months then obviously you don't want to buy 2 year's worth but also even if it does not expire you don't want to buy more than you'll ever use lol, but don't be afraid to buy 5-10 or even 20 year's worth of something if it doesn't spoil / rot.
- The deeper the discount, the more you buy. I wouldn't get too excited over no 20-30% off thing, but certainly half price is nice and if it's like 60-70% off then I buy as much as I can. This is how I got into 100-some quarts of synthetic blend motor oil (5w-30 and 10w-30 mostly) all at about a price of 1.99 a quart (retail is around $3+ each quart) so I stocked up! On that note, Big Lots sells a lot of synthetic blend for 1.99 a quart and less. Yeah it cost me a couple of hundred dollars so I did it over time but also now I got motor oil until the cows come home, and every time something needs an oil change, my money in the bank grows because I am not spending it one, two I don't got to run to the store and then it doesn't cost $3+ for another.
- Watch store limits, some things you can only get so much of heh...

DAVEY PROS
06-20-2006, 08:24 AM
For those who have a hard time keeping money in the bank, the best I can recommend is if you have to spend money, buy supplies that don't deteriorate in time (example: blades, oil, zerks, pins and clips and grommets (those that always break) and tools and stuff...) and keep those supplies someplace so that when things run dry, you can operate for months without nothing but fuel.



I agree with topsites. That is a very good method and will save you money when you are trying to keep everything you have b/c there is no more weekly work.

As for the rain - hopefully this hurrican season will send us some water. Even our number one account has almost dead, withering grass in his front. BUT he knows its not our fault. I think if you are willing to explain to your customers and tell them the things only you can do then they will understand.

Charles
06-20-2006, 09:17 AM
Article in the news yesterday saying the drought may linger a long time. Rainfall is way down for the year. The drought began last september. We would get a little bit of rain to float along this spring and then its just gotten longer and longer between rains. Then when you do get rain its just enough to make it turn green a little. This has been happening off and on here since I have been in the grass biz and you never get use to it. The last drought lasted 3 or 4 years:cry:

bushhogman
06-20-2006, 12:09 PM
Right now I am looking pretty good because most of accounts are on irrgation. But, I read in the paper today that the odd even day thing might be coming an end and a total outdoor band might start up very soon. Seems the army corps of engineers allowed lake lainer to drain out an excessive amount of water due to a bad water gauge. The lake is actually 2 feet lower than they thought which means they released 420 million gallons of water that should have stayed in atlanta. By august, lainer is going to a mud hole if we dont see any rain. Maybe I can afford a place up there when the lake is gone!!

bushhogman

Mower For Less
06-21-2006, 12:47 AM
I let them choose. They can either:

1. Water their lawn like they should so their grass will be healthy so I can cut it every week

or

2. Pay me to cut their dead and/or dormant grass every week

They either come to a decision on 1 or 2, or find a new service. I'm not skipping cuts becuase you dont care enough about you grass to water it. I have yet to have 1 lawn that has been watered not need cutting every week.

Kevin

hmartin
06-21-2006, 01:38 AM
I have some lawns that are not growing at all, and starting to look really bad, to the point where I have had to skip almost 10% of my accounts because of fear of having ruts all over the lawn.

How does a rock hard dry lawn get ruts?

Charles
06-21-2006, 07:27 AM
96 degrees here yesterday and the lawns are looking fried to a crisp. The only thing that will save us is some tropical action. Not wishing for a deadly Hurricane but.......they do serve a purpose of being drought busters. Without them we would just dry up and blow away most of the time.

Brendan Smith
06-21-2006, 09:31 AM
96 degrees here yesterday and the lawns are looking fried to a crisp. The only thing that will save us is some tropical action. Not wishing for a deadly Hurricane but.......they do serve a purpose of being drought busters. Without them we would just dry up and blow away most of the time.
charles, you must be in upstate as we reveived 5+" last week:clapping: :clapping: :clapping: no problems here for another few weeks. thank god.

Charles
06-21-2006, 10:09 AM
charles, you must be in upstate as we reveived 5+" last week:clapping: :clapping: :clapping: no problems here for another few weeks. thank god.

Yes, I am. We got a little rain from one band coming off the storm and that was it. 95+ temps quickly wiped that benny out.

Envy Lawn Service
06-21-2006, 11:56 AM
I just came back from ATL... (that is as far down as I went relocation prospecting)

Anyways, you guys down there are not in all that bad a shape.
Not near as bad as it is up in my area of NC, plus much of the good stuff is irrigated.

To be honest about it, the biggest issue I saw for the most part was the turf management was not well organized at a LOT of locations. Poor cutting procedures or cutting procedures that did not have a matching care package for the turf.

I mean you just cannot cut a lawn like it was a patch of golf course without doing the intensive care along with it... I don't care if that's what the customer expects or if it's bermuda or whatever. Just ain't gonna work.

I also saw a LOT of decapitated crowns too.
You guys know what I mean... looks scalped although it's not.

Anyways, I hope none of you fellows are guilty of this type of care.
Million dollar homes should have matching million dollar lawns.

lawnboy dan
06-21-2006, 04:53 PM
drought seems to be over here at last!

tjsquickcuts
06-21-2006, 05:22 PM
WOW WEE WOW......It hit 100 degrees today in my neck of the woods. I hear what everybody is saying, but with temps this high, and no real rain since March, even some of my irrigation accounts are starting to show signs of lack of rain.....and no matter what you guys say, having someone put a above ground water sprinkler on the lawn doesnt do much but wet the grass unless they water all day, and most people start to think about the water bill when you tell them thats what they need to do. On top of everything else, total water bans are hitting us hard.....even though a few of my accounts are still watering ( Midnight to 5 am is what I tell them) so that we can keep the lawns healthy......if we dont get any rain, it might be a short season. For those who cut dead and dry lawns, you are only writing your on termination later, because eventually they will notice the grass, and BLAME the poor lawn and landscape guys even though they havent watered the lawn at all. But what ever works best for you guys, but for me, if the lawn is in poor shape, I will not cut it and I leave them a note on why we skipped, and when we plan to come back out. My customers love this type of customer service because it shows we care about their lawn, and not just in it for the weekly checks......(well at least thats what I want them to think).....and it promotes customer loyality. Plus I have more landscape work then I know what to do with, and this gives me more time to do what I like doing most so I dont mind for now, just as long as it doesnt last all season......

No Lawncares
06-21-2006, 05:28 PM
It was bad here in Michigan too, until today now we are getting tons of rain and tornados. I was starting to worry but no I'm smiling.

Envy Lawn Service
06-21-2006, 11:50 PM
tj,

I think I might have saw you out and about when I was down there. I saw exactly ONE Scag mower the whole time I was down there and it was a walkbehind. Your equipment discription 'fits' what I saw, but I don't recall the truck color. But I'm pretty sure the Scag was a belt drive...

Anyways, I remember it because it was the only Scag I saw and one of the very few truck/trailer type rigs. (most were NPR-type setups)

Tim Wright
06-22-2006, 08:39 AM
Diversify

Tim