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View Full Version : How Many Blowouts


JB926
10-24-2006, 07:22 PM
How many blowouts does everyone do per year? Also how many is everyone doing per day? We are at 600 per year and about 20 on a good day. 25 if the route is tight as hell.

gsxr1100
10-24-2006, 07:32 PM
I would say you are right on. It depends if you have people right in a row (house to house) or 10 miles apart?

Flow Control
10-24-2006, 08:24 PM
I would say good est too. Today I left @7:15am did 18 in 5 counties and was home by 4:30pm. Not bad?

kozmo
10-25-2006, 06:00 AM
My guys do 15-17 a day put at about 60-70 per day 4 men and well run 5 crews on sat.

Green Sweep
10-25-2006, 06:07 AM
I would say good est too. Today I left @7:15am did 18 in 5 counties and was home by 4:30pm. Not bad?

Wow, I'd kill to do that in 1 county on my best day. Usually 10 - 13 per guy per day. Scheduling is the hardest part.

DanaMac
10-25-2006, 08:33 AM
We should do about 600-625 residentials for the year. I also just picked up 5 commercial properties. I'm doing 12-20 a day. I did 23 one day last week.

I've realized some things that makes my tech slower than me. My tech is only getting about 10-15 a day. He has a smaller/older 100 CFM compressor, and he tends to take more time on each zone than I do. :) He also only gets about 2-4 at a time from me, then has to call me. A lot of the ones I do myself, I can go to without even looking in the map which saves time as well.

The majority of our systems here have no hook up port other than the testc0ck. So on mine I can do 2-3 zones at a time, and he can do 1-2 zones. If I can hook up to a larger opening, I can easily do 6-8 zones at a time.

Today is going to be another long one with a possible blizzard coming in the morning. I've gotta try and get a few for tomorrow in because I think tomorrow is going to be cancelled.

SprinklerGuy
10-25-2006, 09:06 AM
I hope to do 150-200 this year as well as 20-25 whole house winterizations...

Last year I did 83 I think.....if I double every year I will reach my goal of 400 great customers...which is where I want to be.

I did 19 one day last week....my problem is also that on the bigger systems my 85 doesn't want to work as hard as the 185 I used last year....

But I love the lil guy....

kozmo
10-25-2006, 11:37 AM
I hope to do 150-200 this year as well as 20-25 whole house winterizations...

Last year I did 83 I think.....if I double every year I will reach my goal of 400 great customers...which is where I want to be.

I did 19 one day last week....my problem is also that on the bigger systems my 85 doesn't want to work as hard as the 185 I used last year....

But I love the lil guy....

Oh how i long to be the little guy putting cash Right in the pocket.sounds like your a good service company if you are doubling every year with out much effort.

Midlo Snow Maker
10-26-2006, 09:28 PM
around 1,000 when we start running 4 crews should knock out 60 75 per day
blowing 3 zones at a time really speeds thing up

bobw
10-27-2006, 12:17 AM
I did 200 over a 12 day period, all solo. I have a great advantage in that I pretty much know all my customers houses (and have notes on connection and VB locations), so I can blow and go. We get to use hose bibbs and 185CFM compressors... 5-6 zones at a time.

The only thing that slows us down is new customers. Have to wander their yard a bit to find everything.

PurpHaze
10-27-2006, 08:17 AM
I have a great advantage in that I pretty much know all my customers houses (and have notes on connection and VB locations), so I can blow and go.

A tremendous advantage. Way to go. :clapping:

mojob
10-27-2006, 09:57 AM
What are you guys charging to get so many? I saw some flyers with ridiculously low prices. One guy will do up to 14 zones for $40. That's my minimum. I charge $66 for 14 zones and people were glad to pay it. If it weren't for the guys that come out of the woodwork I could probably get twice that. I saw a couple of guys in an old beat up pickup from Wyoming working a large subdivision. I'd be willing to bet with no insurance or license. Next year my ads will have some kind of wording to the effect: "Make sure the guy you're trusting with your expensive investment is licensed and insured and you'll know where to find him tomorrow." One company was hanging flyers offering blowouts and duct cleaning. An expert in both areas I'm sure. And I'd guess about 99% of the installs I see only have the testcocks to blow through. Why? Is it too much to ask to sweat in a 1/2 or 3/4" tee at the time of install. Cheese and rice! Alright I feel better now. I just wish these lowballers would value their service enough to start charging what the job is worth. A plumber would charge at least $200 for the same amount of work. Your thoughts?

DanaMac
10-27-2006, 10:02 AM
One company was hanging flyers offering blowouts and duct cleaning. An expert in both areas I'm sure.

I see these also in Co. Springs. I think it is Mile Hi Services. What a joke. But at least they are the low ballers. Ad says $45. I've seen as low as $33 here.

Hank Reardon
10-27-2006, 10:07 AM
I agree; do it right or not at all. However, there are people who will not care if the service provider they hire is licensed/insured. As far as bottom-feeders go, I don't recognize them as competition. There are always GOOD clients who will pay for the peace of mind that comes with hiring a reputable company.

mojob
10-27-2006, 10:25 AM
I see these also in Co. Springs. I think it is Mile Hi Services. What a joke. But at least they are the low ballers. Ad says $45. I've seen as low as $33 here.
I didn't want to out them, but yeah, you hit the nail on the head. It might have been aeration and duct cleaning, but what's the difference? You didn't happen to visit their website did you? They devoted a section to defend themselves about negative pubicity they have received in the past. Go figure. For a good laugh go to milehiservices.com I think it was.

DanaMac
10-27-2006, 11:04 AM
I didn't want to out them, but yeah, you hit the nail on the head. It might have been aeration and duct cleaning, but what's the difference? You didn't happen to visit their website did you? They devoted a section to defend themselves about negative pubicity they have received in the past. Go figure. For a good laugh go to milehiservices.com I think it was.

I'm not "outing" them. I'm giving them free publicity!! :laugh: :laugh:

kozmo
10-27-2006, 05:15 PM
What are you guys charging to get so many? I saw some flyers with ridiculously low prices. One guy will do up to 14 zones for $40. That's my minimum. I charge $66 for 14 zones and people were glad to pay it. If it weren't for the guys that come out of the woodwork I could probably get twice that. I saw a couple of guys in an old beat up pickup from Wyoming working a large subdivision. I'd be willing to bet with no insurance or license. Next year my ads will have some kind of wording to the effect: "Make sure the guy you're trusting with your expensive investment is licensed and insured and you'll know where to find him tomorrow." One company was hanging flyers offering blowouts and duct cleaning. An expert in both areas I'm sure. And I'd guess about 99% of the installs I see only have the testcocks to blow through. Why? Is it too much to ask to sweat in a 1/2 or 3/4" tee at the time of install. Cheese and rice! Alright I feel better now. I just wish these lowballers would value their service enough to start charging what the job is worth. A plumber would charge at least $200 for the same amount of work. Your thoughts?



We charge min. of 60 dollars up to 4 zones and up. package starts 119 that includes start up . but not repairs.

justgeorge
10-27-2006, 06:46 PM
What are you guys charging to get so many? I saw some flyers with ridiculously low prices. One guy will do up to 14 zones for $40. That's my minimum. I charge $66 for 14 zones and people were glad to pay it.
I charge $60 for up to 6 zones, $5/zone after that. In my own neighborhood I do $50 up to 7 zones, no drive time. 14 zones gets me $100.

SprinklerGuy
10-27-2006, 10:11 PM
I do all of them for $60..I don't even bother counting zones.....occasionally I'll cut someone a break if it is 1 or 2 zones..down to $50......

DanaMac
10-28-2006, 09:25 AM
Same here, $60 is standard unless it is a HUGE system with maybe 15+ zones. It doesn't take much more time to blow out 6 zones than it does 10. The driving, hooking up to the BF, and dealing with the customer are what take the longest.

My standard fee is $60 for people calling and asking. We have been giving discounts to a lot of existing customers. Especially older customers (unless they're filthy rich), and military. The ones that let us start up and shut down every year get a discount as it makes our job easier in the spring. The people that are occasional callers, have repeated freeze damage, complain about this-and-that, try to save a buck or two - they all get charged full price. But even when we give a discount we show it as $60 full price and then show them they are getting a discount.

Midlo Snow Maker
10-28-2006, 06:11 PM
man $60, most companies here are $65-$90 for wint. we charge $75

cush
10-28-2006, 10:09 PM
I am at 420 as of today solo. I hope to go another 2-3 weeks then hang it up. I am taking tomorrow off for a little r&r.Then hit it hard on monday.

DanaMac
10-29-2006, 08:09 AM
man $60, most companies here are $65-$90 for wint. we charge $75
Good for you guys. But it would be a tough sell here for the majority of home. Co. Springs has turned into massive tract home town. Many of our neighborhoods have the home on 1/8 acre lots, with 1-6 zone systems. With these, if the water is already shut off, I can show up, blow the system out and be gone in 10-15 minutes max. $60 each is good money for those. Now the 8-15 station ones may take an extra 10 minutes, but I still think that's good money. You probably have a lot higher average wage in VA being so close to Wash. DC and the coast. Things here along the front range in CO are still cheaper to live and we have lower gross income. If I was doing 1-2 acre lots, yeah I'd probably change my pricing. And some of the larger systems I do charge more.

DanaMac
10-29-2006, 08:22 AM
Due to the early blizzard and early freezes, the phone has slowed down. A lot. We will probably end up with just under 600 again unless I feel like making a lot of calls and really working to get more blow outs. Which I don't. I think we'll just take what comes in on it's own and work at my house doing a few projects - small deck, mulch job, etc. I just don't think we'll get the ongoing list of stragglers that forgot - as this storm probably reminded them about taking care of it. As I said we'll probably do about the same # as last year, but be done 2 weeks earlier.

PurpHaze
10-29-2006, 08:52 AM
I think we'll just take what comes in on it's own and work at my house doing a few projects - small deck, mulch job, etc.

Do you mulch over the snow??? :laugh:

DanaMac
10-29-2006, 09:18 AM
Funny thing about snow, is that it does melt. Very warm yesterday, today, and Monday. Snow doesn't stick around all winter here like it does in the Northeast and places like Michigan or Minnesota.

Critical Care
10-30-2006, 12:51 AM
Alright guys, do you blow out a zone until most of the water has disappeared, most of the water vapor has disappeared, or until you see nothing at all coming out of the heads?

Lets just say Iím a bit curious, since itís hard for me to fathom being thorough and yet at the same time being able to knock off twenty or thirty some jobs per day.

Flow Control
10-30-2006, 06:05 AM
Alright guys, do you blow out a zone until most of the water has disappeared, most of the water vapor has disappeared, or until you see nothing at all coming out of the heads?

Lets just say Iím a bit curious, since itís hard for me to fathom being thorough and yet at the same time being able to knock off twenty or thirty some jobs per day.


I don't move on to the next zone until I see vapor coming out of the last head on the line and it will usually spit out water a few times and once I see solid vapor for 5 seconds it is on to the next one.

bobw
10-30-2006, 08:17 AM
Alright guys, do you blow out a zone until most of the water has disappeared, most of the water vapor has disappeared, or until you see nothing at all coming out of the heads?

Lets just say Iím a bit curious, since itís hard for me to fathom being thorough and yet at the same time being able to knock off twenty or thirty some jobs per day.

With a 185CFM compressor, I can usually blow 4-5 zones at a time. Around here we have 1/2" and 3/4" connection points. I don't know how people are managing 20 a day if they are connecting through testcocks... I would think that that would be a lot slower

BSME
10-30-2006, 10:40 AM
I'm usually happy if I do 15 a day... and I think my scheduling sucks... next year i'll be better.

I think my best week this year was 98. We are starting to slow down so I'll be able to look at how many we did soon.

and I don't do too many by the valves since a lot of our systems are older

Critical Care
10-30-2006, 11:50 AM
I don't move on to the next zone until I see vapor coming out of the last head on the line and it will usually spit out water a few times and once I see solid vapor for 5 seconds it is on to the next one.

I must be playing on the side of being overly cautious since I tend to wait until I only see a puff of vapor every now and then from the last head, and I know that this waiting around cuts into the daily rate.

And bobw, I agree with you, however it seems as if sometimes blowing out 4 or 5 zones at once may actually slow the process down… but I’m sure that totally depends upon each particular system. Even in a ten hour day, blowing out 20 a day through a ľ” testcock would mean doing one every 30 minutes. Figure in drive time, time to connect up, and the other factors, then you’ve got a lot less time actually blowing out systems. Thus the question about how long people are actually blowing out zones.

BSME, your figures are close to mine. For me, it’s the unknown stumbling blocks such as finding addresses, locating valve boxes under mulch or leaves, and other things that hurt my rate.

Flow Control
10-30-2006, 05:44 PM
I must be playing on the side of being overly cautious since I tend to wait until I only see a puff of vapor every now and then from the last head, and I know that this waiting around cuts into the daily rate.
.

My understanding is when air is running through the lines at a high rate for a few minutes without water in the lines the air will tend to heat with the friction of the pipes and if you leave a zone run for an extended period of time trying to be extra cautious you could have an lasting effect on the integrity of the system nozzles and so forth. Not positive but I don't believe pe and pvc are rated for constant use with air. And since you don't need 100% of the water purged in a pipe to prevent freeze damage I am happy with what I figure to be around 95% purged. Wet Boots tell me if I am wrong.

By the way whomever said a year or two ago to step down on all the 12" sprays.. Thanks for the helpful advise.

SprinklerGuy
10-30-2006, 06:11 PM
Dana said that.....and I agreed.....and so did many others.

Works doesnt' it?

BSME
10-30-2006, 06:32 PM
Dana said that.....and I agreed.....and so did many others.

Works doesnt' it?


ah bull... I challenge someone to find where Dana said it first

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=121866&highlight=forget+step+heads

Wet_Boots
10-30-2006, 07:21 PM
I think the air heat would be from certain compressors, like the V-block engines that are configured so that the cylinders on one side compress the air, while the other side burns the fuel. I expect these may run hotter than rotary compressors. High air flow friction would probably create some heat of its own, but not as much as the compressing does. My own truck-mount runs a single-stage reciprocating pump at a fairly low pressure, and heat never becomes an issue.

If you always used the bottom inlets on high-pops, you wouldn't need to step on anything.

BSME
10-30-2006, 07:27 PM
I know on my IR 185 the first 50' of hose gets warm... it's cool by the end of the 150' I got on the reel

you wont know if the heads are bottom mounted until you step on them unless you installed the system.... how well do those king drains work on those 12'' heads that are side mounted?

SprinklerGuy
10-30-2006, 09:04 PM
Sorry geeeze....maybe it was when he said it to me the other day....golly....don't get your panties in a bunch....

the king drains probably work just as well as they do when they are installed at the end of a line....really well at wasting water......and when they stop working, you will never know it right?

Flow Control
10-31-2006, 06:41 AM
king drains probably work just as well as they do when they are installed at the end of a line....really well at wasting water......and when they stop working, you will never know it right?

My exact thoughts, when I bid I come across other companies that install the king drains and they tell the owner that they will never need to be winterized. And I just tell them what you said, They waste water and when they stop working (because someday they will stop working) then you would have wished you winterized to save your pvb or rp

DanaMac
10-31-2006, 07:47 AM
Dana said that.....and I agreed.....and so did many others

ah bull... I challenge someone to find where Dana said it first

Now you've gone and done it. You got me in the middle of your little slap fight.

I don't prefer the autodrains, but I always put them on 12" heads. I've replaced way too many of the 12" heads that were frozen and cracked. Even if we traditionally blow that system out, I still put them on.

SprinklerGuy
10-31-2006, 07:58 AM
Slap fight?
LOL

I'm starting to sound like a DanaFollower...where's the KoolAid...

Truth is, it is nice to have someone you trust in the same business in the same town to share these tips with....so if I sound like I've had a bit too many DanaKoolAids it is because he has helped me with many things I never would have understood as fast because of the climate and regional changes here in Colorado.

DanaMac
10-31-2006, 08:03 AM
Let's start the DanaMac Fan Club. $100 membership fee, only $75 renewal each year. Good investment. I'll even get little stickers for you guys to put in the truck window or on the bumper. For the free publicity, Tony gets a free membership. I really see this picking up, so hurry!!

BSME
10-31-2006, 08:06 AM
do we get a discount on a danamac wardrobe line of sandals and shorts?

DanaMac
10-31-2006, 08:09 AM
do we get a discount on a danamac wardrobe line of sandals and shorts?
Of course!! And you'll even get a Red Sox cap of my choise, as that is my standard ball cap. I have probably 40-50 different ones floating around the house, garage, and both trucks.

PurpHaze
10-31-2006, 08:20 AM
Nothing worse than an online biatch-slap fight. :laugh:

BSME
10-31-2006, 10:33 AM
Of course!! And you'll even get a Red Sox cap of my choise, as that is my standard ball cap. I have probably 40-50 different ones floating around the house, garage, and both trucks.


that's it.... I'm going as DanaMac for Halloween

DanaMac
11-07-2006, 05:29 PM
We are now past last years numbers, and keep getting about 1-4 stragglers a day. I could probably do even more if I picked up the phone and made calls. But I don't like to do that. If they want it done, and like our company, they will call us. I don't want to put someone in the position of saying they had someone else take care of it for whatever reason - don't like us, too expensive, I'm a jackass, or whatever. There are a couple old ladies I will call though.

I had also lost about 50 from two different rental property companies. But I'm glad to be rid of those. Rentals are irritating - aren't they Tony!! Now we have a list of repairs to do - PVBs, RPs, bonnets and poppets when we didn't have them, split copper and PVC.

I'm ready to be done working for the year. Time to tune up the snowboard!!

SprinklerGuy
11-07-2006, 06:39 PM
I have 8 more to do tomorrow.....and then I will be gone elk hunting...and any that straggle in after that I will do b4 thanksgiving....I am above last year thanks to those pita rentals....btw, I didn't give him much of a break on the price....

cush
11-17-2006, 07:08 AM
pretty much stalled out at 780

jerryrwm
11-17-2006, 08:07 AM
Finished up at 436. About 120 of those were commercial sites. Several big mall and shopping center jobs. Have one mall that has two BO connections in the service tunnel. Need a 16' ladder to get to the connections! They put this thing together in phases and there are 6 controllers and 5 BO connections. They were done this way before I got here. We are definately going to put some QCVs in next spring!

Winterized right at 30 water features and fountains. Pull the pumps, drain the ponds, store the pumps. Have a couple that need a small boat to get to the Oase fountains.

Now we are putting the plows on the trucks, getting the salters cleaned and operational, and making sure the walk-behind blowers will start, stacking up the hand powered snow plows, and staking all the parking lots and fire plugs. This will be my first full winter here so it will be interesting to see how the plowing goes. (Putting an ol' boy that spent the last 37 yrs in Texas behind the wheel of a snow plow ought to be exciting!)

bicmudpuppy
11-18-2006, 09:36 AM
Now we are putting the plows on the trucks, getting the salters cleaned and operational, and making sure the walk-behind blowers will start, stacking up the hand powered snow plows, and staking all the parking lots and fire plugs. This will be my first full winter here so it will be interesting to see how the plowing goes. (Putting an ol' boy that spent the last 37 yrs in Texas behind the wheel of a snow plow ought to be exciting!)

If you were any closer, I would be scared..................
I had the wonderful treat of seeing one of those.....THINGS.........attached to the truck I get this winter. UGH. I vote for 60-70's all winter and we'll just keep selling new systems......(yeah, but I can dream). We missed 1400 shut-downs at close yesterday by less than 15. Looks like I'll still be blowing well into December. We were running 5 compressors for a little over two weeks and will be down to 3 on Monday. After Wensday, we back off to the two we own and only yours truly is being scheduled. I can't believe we are still doing a fair amount of repair work. Bryan is ready for his lay off slip and waiting week for unemployment! Oh well, we won't work Christmas to New Year no matter what, so there is the waiting week. If the landscape lighting calls and helping the install crew keeps up, I may have to alternate weeks of being layed off versus working. I wonder how the unemployment people will take that ?

Critical Care
11-18-2006, 11:57 AM
I was just contemplating Jerry’s post - the mall with multiple blowout points – and I was wondering how most of you charge for situations like this?

Every now and then I run into a place that has more than one location for blowing out a system, or systems. I really never know how what to charge in these situations, though realize that these people probably are getting a good deal since they’re only being charged for extra zones, instead of extra jobs.

BSME
11-18-2006, 01:07 PM
I do $15 for an extra hook up. Seems fair so far.

a regular residential with one pvb out front and one out back takes about an extra ten minutes I figure for moving the hose and draining both.

jerryrwm
11-18-2006, 01:55 PM
When assessing a commercial site, we calculate how long it it will take based on the number of zones and controllers and hook ups and go from there. That particular mall has right at 100 valves. We calculated that it would take approx 6-8 hrs so we charged $750.00. Actually took 6.5 hrs.

Found out yesterday we have one more BO on the north end of our route. Finally got home and returned the calls, And we have one on the south end. About 45 miles apart. But we are going to get them done on our time schedule. We have a couple service calls in those areas so will get to them as we can.

SprinklerGuy
11-18-2006, 10:41 PM
Jerry
I would like to know how you managed to do that many blowouts your very first year in business in WI?


Did you buy someone out or find the magic marketing pill??

Dirty Water
11-18-2006, 10:50 PM
I believe he is working for a well established company.

jerryrwm
11-19-2006, 01:28 AM
Jon's right... I am the irrigation manager for one of the larger landscape and maintenance companies in the midwest. Company has been around for nearly 50 yrs. so they had most of these customers when I got here. Have spent this season trying to streamline this division and make them more efficient and profitable. We did get the total time for blow-outs down this year. Actually started a week later than they have in the past and finished before Thanksgiving. Cut out about two weeks of compressor rentals.

SprinklerGuy
11-19-2006, 01:11 PM
So tell us Jerry...what is that like going back to work for "The Man"?

I'm sure you will help that company grow and succeed like they never have before.