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DixieFerris
03-25-2007, 08:00 AM
Just lost two hotels I was really hoping to take over this season. I really thought we had a good bid going into them, but unfortunately we lost the bid to the company who did them last year. Here's the breakdown, both hotels were identical.

Mowing: 1.00 hr for 3 man crew at each location
Flowers: 30 flats of flowers (1500 annuals) and 50 mums with pumpkins at each locations
Mulch: 25 yards of mulch at each location
Spring C/Up: 2 hrs for 3 man crew at each place
Fall C/Up: 2 hrs for 3 man crew at each place
Bed Maintenance: Shrub trimming (3 hrs x 2 times, plus weeding beds all season)


Mowing: $3,125 per hotel, $6,250 both
Flowers: $2,000 per hotel, $4,000 both
Mulch: $1,750 per hotel, $3,500 both
Spring C/Up: $300 per hotel, $600 both
Fall C/Up: $300 per hotel, $600 both
Bed Main: $1,200 per hotel, $2,400 both

Total: $8,675 per hotel, $17,350 both

Winning bid: $6,000 per hotel, $12,000 for both
winning company: lots of 'suspect' labor, coudn't tell you if they are illegal or not, and beat equipment

Hey, you can't win them all, but wow did this one open my eyes! When I lost, I flat out ask the manager how much the winning bid was and was told all these numbers, and then he asked me if we could get any lower. I said I don't think so, because my family would be pretty mad if I went and worked all summer and didn't make any money.

AintNoFun
03-25-2007, 12:28 PM
heres something a lot of people dont understand beat equipment and beat trucks makes MORE money than brand new equip/trucks!


Winning bid: $6,000 per hotel, $12,000 for both
winning company: lots of 'suspect' labor, coudn't tell you if they are illegal or not, and beat equipment

marckxman
03-25-2007, 12:51 PM
heres something a lot of people dont understand beat equipment and beat trucks makes MORE money than brand new equip/trucks!
That include down time?

ed2hess
03-25-2007, 01:45 PM
Sometimes bids are not apples to apples. For example, in our area flowers and mulch are not included in the bid. You simply state what you would charge per flat or per bag to install. And these cleanups are usually not necessary if you service the property weekly. One other thing is weedng beds is generally not much since you can spray or put down pre-m.

Duekster
03-25-2007, 01:51 PM
Sometimes bids are not apples to apples. For example, in our area flowers and mulch are not included in the bid. You simply state what you would charge per flat or per bag to install. And these cleanups are usually not necessary if you service the property weekly. One other thing is weedng beds is generally not much since you can spray or put down pre-m.


I think he broke out the mowing as if it were seasonal.

I Think I do like you, I basically look at what it will take to mow then multiple that times 52. I state a 47 mowings per year. That gives my guys a week off between Christmas and New years and 4 days to do other things on the site. If there is a lot of shrubs to be trimmed than I do account for that. I build a little OT into my labor rate and work my guys 4 days a week. About once per month they have to make an extra visit but it is covered.

Then I toss a little extra in for the cost of materials like chemicals.

DixieFerris
03-25-2007, 03:51 PM
Guess what Jersey? Beat trucks and mowers make more money for a very limited window. Then they break or do half-a$$ed jobs, and down time kills you. A Very bad business route to follow if you are in it for the long haul. I don't have a truck older than a 2003 (3 Chevys) and no mower older than a 2002 (2 old walk behinds, no zero turns out of our 4 currently older than 2004).

Duekster
03-25-2007, 04:20 PM
:drinkup: Guess what Jersey? Beat trucks and mowers make more money for a very limited window. Then they break or do half-a$$ed jobs, and down time kills you. A Very bad business route to follow if you are in it for the long haul. I don't have a truck older than a 2003 (3 Chevys) and no mower older than a 2002 (2 old walk behinds, no zero turns out of our 4 currently older than 2004).

Old stuff is for spares and back ups.

NELawnCare
03-25-2007, 04:52 PM
Beat trucks and beat equipment usually mean piss-poor work results. I understand that is may not always be the case, but more times than not it is the case.

cantoo
03-25-2007, 04:58 PM
We run mostly older equipment and we never have lost out on money from not being able to mow. Run old and you better have back up or know how to fix it and have the parts you need. We have 7 mowers that we can use, my wife is usually the only one mowing. The only one I don't have back up for is the Walker GHS and even though it's a 99 it has never hung us. Truck is a 93, cube van is a 91 but we put less than 10,000 kms a year on them so no big deal. They both have close to 400,000 kms on them. Course they don't look beat though. If either one quits another one is at the next auction waiting for my bid. 5 minutes after you leave the property no one knows what you cut it with. If it's crappy it don't matter if you used new or old you will lost the job soon enough.
If I was cutting all day long everyday then I might be able to consider brand new equipment but I really doubt it because I am just too cheap. I can build or fix most things myself.

AintNoFun
03-25-2007, 06:08 PM
i have downtime with brand new equipment, you dont? you must have magic equipment then i guess?


That include down time?




Guess what Jersey? Beat trucks and mowers make more money for a very limited window. Then they break or do half-a$$ed jobs, and down time kills you. A Very bad business route to follow if you are in it for the long haul. I don't have a truck older than a 2003 (3 Chevys) and no mower older than a 2002 (2 old walk behinds, no zero turns out of our 4 currently older than 2004).



guess what bodunk upstate NY, who asked about how many and what kind of trucks you had? your one of those guys that likes to show off.. well i have this and that. 2 of these, 3 of these.. get real.. how does beat equipment do a half assed job. last i checked as long as the blades spun and cut the grass it made money

ed2hess
03-25-2007, 06:17 PM
Beat trucks and beat equipment usually mean piss-poor work results. I understand that is may not always be the case, but more times than not it is the case.

That isn't true at all.....beat up trucks and equipment means they are actually being used 8 hours a day 5+ days a week and around 48 weeks a year. It also means they got somebody in the crew-like me- that can actually repair the stuff and keep it going. When you don't buy new equipment all the time you can actually accumulate backup for everything, including trucks and trailers.

LwnmwrMan22
03-25-2007, 07:56 PM
That isn't true at all.....beat up trucks and equipment means they are actually being used 8 hours a day 5+ days a week and around 48 weeks a year. It also means they got somebody in the crew-like me- that can actually repair the stuff and keep it going. When you don't buy new equipment all the time you can actually accumulate backup for everything, including trucks and trailers.

I know I'm nit-picking here.... but here goes.

Many guys here know I'm a solo op.

Here's what I've got.

(2) 2006 Dodge 2500 CTD Quad cabs 4x4, both pushing 2005 Boss V's.

I've got an '04 Kubota ZD28 / 60, soon to be an '07 Kubota ZD331 / 72.

Also, to back that up I've got an '06 Kubota ZD28 / 60.

To back that up, I've got an '06 Ferris DD 17 hp / 48" wb.

That's just the truck and mower list.

It's taken me years to be in the position to have the equipment, and tax benefits from it.

Yes, I COULD be pocketing about 60-ish% of the second truck, BUT they're both set up identical, so no one knows which truck I have.

I work 80-100 hours / week from around April 20th until the end of June. When the lawns dry out and I'm done with the first and second round of fertilizer and chemical applications, I can drop down to around 60ish hours / week until the fall, when cleanups and firewood deliveries start in. Then around the end of October, it's sit around all winter and wait for the snow to fall.

Anyways, IMO, downtime would kill me. If I were paying to fix stuff often, I could not afford the second new truck. In my business plan, I've built in this equipment list just as an insurance payment would be built in.

Everything runs under warranty, so there's never any big surprise fix. Even after all this, my tax guy shows me a profit of somewhere around $40-50 / year.

I see a new mower payment as around $300 for a 28hp / 60" diesel zero turn, around $250 for a gas for 3 years. I understand the philosophy that each month you don't have to pay that payment, that's just money into your own pocket, at least 60% of it is, since you'll have to pay taxes on about 40% of that.

It's when every 3 months, trucks especially, when you're putting $1000 into them, or each month you're putting $100-200 into your mower for different parts, which adds up quickly, if you count the money you COULD be making if you weren't repairing that it doesn't make sense.

If you are running at $60 / hour. Then 2 hours of fixing something, along with $80 in parts, and you're at your $200 for that month's payment. Like I said, it doesn't take long.




Now... back to the original post, since this thread has been somewhat hijacked, Dixie - how did you come up with your mowing figures?? What is the charge / man hour??

I was running different numbers, and it'd be pretty easy to shave off the money.

I know your mulch price ($70 / yard) is over 3 times of what I even pay. Yes, I do realize that different areas you may or may not get a better deal. Do you go to a nursery?? Or do you get a load hauled to your place?? Also, do you have it delivered?? Or do you haul it yourself if you get it at a nursery??

Same thing with the flats. I'm sure you've shopped around for the best price, but do you do it every year?? Or have you been going to the same place year after year??

I'm not harassing you, just making sure you're keeping yourself "competitive".

Duekster
03-25-2007, 07:59 PM
I know I'm nit-picking here.... but here goes.

Many guys here know I'm a solo op.

Here's what I've got.

(2) 2006 Dodge 2500 CTD Quad cabs 4x4, both pushing 2005 Boss V's.

I've got an '04 Kubota ZD28 / 60, soon to be an '07 Kubota ZD331 / 72.

Also, to back that up I've got an '06 Kubota ZD28 / 60.

To back that up, I've got an '06 Ferris DD 17 hp / 48" wb.

That's just the truck and mower list.

It's taken me years to be in the position to have the equipment, and tax benefits from it.

Yes, I COULD be pocketing about 60-ish% of the second truck, BUT they're both set up identical, so no one knows which truck I have.

I work 80-100 hours / week from around April 20th until the end of June. When the lawns dry out and I'm done with the first and second round of fertilizer and chemical applications, I can drop down to around 60ish hours / week until the fall, when cleanups and firewood deliveries start in. Then around the end of October, it's sit around all winter and wait for the snow to fall.

Anyways, IMO, downtime would kill me. If I were paying to fix stuff often, I could not afford the second new truck. In my business plan, I've built in this equipment list just as an insurance payment would be built in.

Everything runs under warranty, so there's never any big surprise fix. Even after all this, my tax guy shows me a profit of somewhere around $40-50 / year.

I see a new mower payment as around $300 for a 28hp / 60" diesel zero turn, around $250 for a gas for 3 years. I understand the philosophy that each month you don't have to pay that payment, that's just money into your own pocket, at least 60% of it is, since you'll have to pay taxes on about 40% of that.

It's when every 3 months, trucks especially, when you're putting $1000 into them, or each month you're putting $100-200 into your mower for different parts, which adds up quickly, if you count the money you COULD be making if you weren't repairing that it doesn't make sense.

If you are running at $60 / hour. Then 2 hours of fixing something, along with $80 in parts, and you're at your $200 for that month's payment. Like I said, it doesn't take long.




Now... back to the original post, since this thread has been somewhat hijacked, Dixie - how did you come up with your mowing figures?? What is the charge / man hour??

I was running different numbers, and it'd be pretty easy to shave off the money.

I know your mulch price ($70 / yard) is over 3 times of what I even pay. Yes, I do realize that different areas you may or may not get a better deal. Do you go to a nursery?? Or do you get a load hauled to your place?? Also, do you have it delivered?? Or do you haul it yourself if you get it at a nursery??

Same thing with the flats. I'm sure you've shopped around for the best price, but do you do it every year?? Or have you been going to the same place year after year??

I'm not harassing you, just making sure you're keeping yourself "competitive".

Hire a guy.

AintNoFun
03-25-2007, 08:20 PM
Yes, I COULD be pocketing about 60-ish% of the second truck, BUT they're both set up identical, so no one knows which truck I have.
.


how many trucks can you drive at the same time... your talking about beat up stuff not being reliable. well if all your brand new stuff is so reliable why do you have so much backup stuff including a back up truck?

LTS Lawncare
03-25-2007, 08:44 PM
Seems to me if you have af airly good idea of your cost to run you can decide on an acceptable per hour rate you can run at and still be profitable. I try not to respond to the threads too often because I am a small time fellow with a short sided view. We operate at about 125-150 hr. on all jobs, mowing, mulch, landscape, lighting the whole thing. Yes I leave some money on the table with some jobs but overall a 25-30% net profit is better than the stock market and we consistantly meet that. All the business expenses and personel are figured in .
I think too many folks look at this business as a get rich quick and get out or as a filll in until unitil something better comes along. For the long haul there is a good living to be made in this business and a fair profit. Yes we loose bids to the Hoolio and co. but they will not be able to provide the long term quality and service. If you truy want to bulid a business do so as a businessmen and realize that quality, fair price and good customer service will provide you with customers that will continue to request your work year after year.
Sorry to preach but I get so tired of these flash in the pans who think that they can get rich in a year and bail out.
The LCO reputation is a constant problem that we have to over come in our area. Hope not so in your business area.
QUALITY. SERVICE AND FAIR PRICING WILL WIN LONG TERM EVERY TIME

LwnmwrMan22
03-25-2007, 09:39 PM
Seems to me if you have af airly good idea of your cost to run you can decide on an acceptable per hour rate you can run at and still be profitable. I try not to respond to the threads too often because I am a small time fellow with a short sided view. We operate at about 125-150 hr. on all jobs, mowing, mulch, landscape, lighting the whole thing. Yes I leave some money on the table with some jobs but overall a 25-30% net profit is better than the stock market and we consistantly meet that. All the business expenses and personel are figured in .
I think too many folks look at this business as a get rich quick and get out or as a filll in until unitil something better comes along. For the long haul there is a good living to be made in this business and a fair profit. Yes we loose bids to the Hoolio and co. but they will not be able to provide the long term quality and service. If you truy want to bulid a business do so as a businessmen and realize that quality, fair price and good customer service will provide you with customers that will continue to request your work year after year.
Sorry to preach but I get so tired of these flash in the pans who think that they can get rich in a year and bail out.
The LCO reputation is a constant problem that we have to over come in our area. Hope not so in your business area.
QUALITY. SERVICE AND FAIR PRICING WILL WIN LONG TERM EVERY TIME


That line right there is what's kept me in business for what will be my 19th year.

Duekster -

I used to have 8 guys working for me. It was a complete headache. This was almost 10 years ago now when I was paying $10-15 / hour. I absolutely hated my business, hated waking up each morning, hated going to bed at night. I know I should hire a guy, or 3, but I just cannot stand employees.

As far as how many trucks can I drive at one time?? 1, obviously. When it snows, and something breaks (truck #2 had a bad fan clutch at 2k miles, dumped all the antifreeze New Year's night with 9" of snow on the ground) I limp it home, grab the other truck, get back to plowing.

I guarantee all my services by a specific time. Everything is on a contract rate per month, for the year. I know my exact budget for the entire year, my customers know their exact budget for the entire year. I know within 1 day when I'm going to get which check from which customer, unless their accounts payable person goes on vacation, then it's a week late, but still before the end of the month.

I bill all my services for that month at the beginning of the month, and it's due before the 20th of the month.

I've got buddies that run old stuff. Heck, I used to run old stuff. All they do is complain about something else being broken and plugging $500 into a machine that's worth $1000. I don't see how you can enjoy doing this job in that situation. I work a 40 hour / week job, I just work the whole year's worth in 6 months.

meets1
03-25-2007, 09:41 PM
In defense of Lawnwnrman22 - he is an operation that most would dream of runnen.

In regards to equipment - nothing of mine is older that 4-5 yrs old. Now I do have employee's etc which is a little different that solo but old vs new - new everytime.

Downtime, cost, depreication, value, things worken, runnen, image, etc all plays into the game. Not everyone can afford the newest, lastest, most $ piece of equipment but we are seriously looking at a new skid cuz I know mine is costing us time and money with some jobs that i can't perform.

In regards to Lawnman22 to hire a guy - I have 5 and still run 80 - 100 hours a week. Now I am not all lawn care - I also stripe parking lots, ext painting, and small construction jobs such as shingling, decks, fences, and concrete. I roll all summer. Rain is awesome for the lawn care/landscaping end but yet one rain day is one to many for me. I have been going now for 2 weeks cuz of nice weather and I don;t see much letten up till mid November.

My wife is understanding - no holidays off all summer unless there on a Sunday. It is what you choose, why, and how to make the decision.

To the question at hand - to ask or not - H_ll yes I would ask. Gotta know where your at and what can be done differently if anything next time. Gotta keep knocken on doors!

Duekster
03-25-2007, 09:42 PM
That line right there is what's kept me in business for what will be my 19th year.

Duekster -

I used to have 8 guys working for me. It was a complete headache. This was almost 10 years ago now when I was paying $10-15 / hour. I absolutely hated my business, hated waking up each morning, hated going to bed at night. I know I should hire a guy, or 3, but I just cannot stand employees.

As far as how many trucks can I drive at one time?? 1, obviously. When it snows, and something breaks (truck #2 had a bad fan clutch at 2k miles, dumped all the antifreeze New Year's night with 9" of snow on the ground) I limp it home, grab the other truck, get back to plowing.

I guarantee all my services by a specific time. Everything is on a contract rate per month, for the year. I know my exact budget for the entire year, my customers know their exact budget for the entire year. I know within 1 day when I'm going to get which check from which customer, unless their accounts payable person goes on vacation, then it's a week late, but still before the end of the month.

I bill all my services for that month at the beginning of the month, and it's due before the 20th of the month.

I've got buddies that run old stuff. Heck, I used to run old stuff. All they do is complain about something else being broken and plugging $500 into a machine that's worth $1000. I don't see how you can enjoy doing this job in that situation. I work a 40 hour / week job, I just work the whole year's worth in 6 months.

There is something to be said for being independent. I can see how running multiple crews can be hard. But working 100 hours per week is nuts. If you had a guy or two with you then you could manage them because they are with you.

LwnmwrMan22
03-25-2007, 09:56 PM
There is something to be said for being independent. I can see how running multiple crews can be hard. But working 100 hours per week is nuts. If you had a guy or two with you then you could manage them because they are with you.

Here's my situation right now.

My brother in law HATES his job.

I do enough work, with everything set up on contract, I'm guaranteed money every month, especially with the customers that I've had now for as little as 2 years, to still having the first customer I ever signed up.

I run 30 accounts, full service. In fact, as soon as I can find someone with mulch this week, I'll be going, although we can still have snow until the end of April, even though it was 75 here today.

Usually we don't REALLY get going until about April 20th.

Anyways, he wants to work for / with me. He's helped me remodel a couple of houses in the winter (side projects when it's not snowing) and we get along good, we both want to work and get the project at hand done.

I'm trying to figure out how to get him on salary. $40k / year. Right now he makes $35 / year, but full benefits at his factory job, which, as I mentioned, he HATES. His wife also has the opportunity to take on the health insurance from her job at roughly the same cost, so that's pretty much a wash.

However, I do not have a 401k set up to put money into for him, hence the extra $5k / year, he can do with it as he likes.

After the new work comp I'll have to pay, plus the extra expenses of running another piece of equipment, plus payroll taxes and his wages, it'll be right around $1000 / week, if not $1250-1300.

I look at that, and say to myself, that's a decent amount of money that while I'm still only 34, I can put that money into my own pocket, my own retirement, my own equipment. Stuff that'll be there every day, stuff that isn't going to call in sick.

Stuff that when it's raining, I don't have to call at 6 am to wake up, just to say, go back to sleep, we're not working.

I know, I can hire a part timer, which I've got an uncle that's a pastor at a small church that'll help me out when I'm in a bind, or my own dad's retired, and he'll do the same, if we get 2-3 days of rain.

I guess maybe I'm greedy too????

Even when I had the guys working for me, it always seemed like I'd still be mowing, and they'd be standing by the truck watching me??? It just drove me nuts. I understood for the first 3 weeks through a schedule. After that, if you don't already know what needed to be done on a property, then you're not going to work out. Worst part is, then you've got to do the hire again, and wait through another 3 weeks, then..... well.... most have been there done that.

Maybe I've been away from employees long enough, maybe matured a little more and a little more relaxed about things. Maybe I should give it a try again. However, like I just got done typing another novel here, if I DO do it, I'm going to hire someone that in 2 years can be a crew leader for me. If it works out, I've already got the equipment, for the most part, and can expand fairly quickly.

Although, then I have to advertise again, run bids again, go through crap customers again, all the headaches that I have ABSOLUTE none of anymore. Just drop off my 30 bids to all of my customers, who I don't even have sign the service agreement anymore, just deal on a handshake we've been working together for so long, and know that another year the money will be there.

Next year, I'm going to build it into the service agreements that for a week in August, that I shut down, park everything. My boys are 5 and 2 right now, and they're getting old enough that we can start taking family vacations and the such. I don't think anyone will have a problem, after all, the last vacation I took was in 1999, for 2 weeks to Alaska for my honeymoon. I still had employees then, so no one missed me, as far as I know........

Duekster
03-25-2007, 10:02 PM
Here's my situation right now.

My brother in law HATES his job.

I do enough work, with everything set up on contract, I'm guaranteed money every month, especially with the customers that I've had now for as little as 2 years, to still having the first customer I ever signed up.

I run 30 accounts, full service. In fact, as soon as I can find someone with mulch this week, I'll be going, although we can still have snow until the end of April, even though it was 75 here today.

Usually we don't REALLY get going until about April 20th.

Anyways, he wants to work for / with me. He's helped me remodel a couple of houses in the winter (side projects when it's not snowing) and we get along good, we both want to work and get the project at hand done.

I'm trying to figure out how to get him on salary. $40k / year. Right now he makes $35 / year, but full benefits at his factory job, which, as I mentioned, he HATES. His wife also has the opportunity to take on the health insurance from her job at roughly the same cost, so that's pretty much a wash.

However, I do not have a 401k set up to put money into for him, hence the extra $5k / year, he can do with it as he likes.

After the new work comp I'll have to pay, plus the extra expenses of running another piece of equipment, plus payroll taxes and his wages, it'll be right around $1000 / week, if not $1250-1300.

I look at that, and say to myself, that's a decent amount of money that while I'm still only 34, I can put that money into my own pocket, my own retirement, my own equipment. Stuff that'll be there every day, stuff that isn't going to call in sick.

Stuff that when it's raining, I don't have to call at 6 am to wake up, just to say, go back to sleep, we're not working.

I know, I can hire a part timer, which I've got an uncle that's a pastor at a small church that'll help me out when I'm in a bind, or my own dad's retired, and he'll do the same, if we get 2-3 days of rain.

I guess maybe I'm greedy too????


Taking on a Brother in Law at 40K per year is not really what I had in mind. I am thinking a guy that can run a mower while you trim. Paying him about 20K. Sorry I said anything. *trucewhiteflag*

Having said that, however, if he has any ability maybe he can help you grow and manage those 8 to 12 people later on in the game.

LwnmwrMan22
03-25-2007, 10:33 PM
Taking on a Brother in Law at 40K per year is not really what I had in mind. I am thinking a guy that can run a mower while you trim. Paying him about 20K. Sorry I said anything. *trucewhiteflag*

Having said that, however, if he has any ability maybe he can help you grow and manage those 8 to 12 people later on in the game.

Correct, that's where I'm at right now.

I'm really not looking for the first guy you talked about. Biggest issue, is when it rains Thursday / Friday, they already had plans to go out of town for the weekend, so you're stuck working the weekend yourself anyways.

If I DO hire someone, then it's going to be someone that can be paid well, on a yearly salary so they can become an ops manager. So they can learn the ins and outs of my properties, someone that I can trust.

Again Duekster, I'm sorry I've hijacked your thread this way. I should be the one waving the flag...... :hammerhead:

Duekster
03-25-2007, 10:36 PM
Correct, that's where I'm at right now.

I'm really not looking for the first guy you talked about. Biggest issue, is when it rains Thursday / Friday, they already had plans to go out of town for the weekend, so you're stuck working the weekend yourself anyways.

If I DO hire someone, then it's going to be someone that can be paid well, on a yearly salary so they can become an ops manager. So they can learn the ins and outs of my properties, someone that I can trust.

Again Duekster, I'm sorry I've hijacked your thread this way. I should be the one waving the flag...... :hammerhead:

Not my thread.

I have a partner and it is like being married in many ways. Lots of give and take but having someone to cover you is great

LwnmwrMan22
03-25-2007, 10:43 PM
Not my thread.

I have a partner and it is like being married in many ways. Lots of give and take but having someone to cover you is great

Shoot.... I scrolled back up, you're right....

DixieFerris... sorry about your thread man...

DixieFerris
03-26-2007, 09:54 AM
No problem, the thread took a life of its own and that's ok too because you have been posting some useful information. As for Dirty Jersey, we have some backup stuff along with our newew equipment, and for your information, no I am not the type that 'shows off' the equipment. I will put my business plans and profit margin up against yours any day, that is where I will 'show off'. Good day to you sir, I'm off to pick up the Dixie Choppers for the spring!

Runner
03-26-2007, 10:50 AM
LOL! Anyway, back to the subject,...This sounds like just another classic example of you being right about on, and someone else coming in and being lucky to about break even...or make very little. It happens ALL the time.....they come and go.

BD Bone
03-26-2007, 04:55 PM
LwnMwrMan22,
I am curious, I work w/my husband as a team and noticed your "implied" faith is obvious in your signature on the bottom of your posts. Please know that we find it ultimately refreshing and reassuring to see people out there like us, believers who are wanting to pursue a dream and seek to better our lives and our family's and yet serve a "Greater Purpose". Thanks for being a source of encouragment. Please know I enjoyed reading your replies in this thread and it says to me that we can achieve something like you and that "all things work together for good".

Thanks,
BD BONE (Mrs. BD BONE)

LwnmwrMan22
03-26-2007, 07:19 PM
LwnMwrMan22,
I am curious, I work w/my husband as a team and noticed your "implied" faith is obvious in your signature on the bottom of your posts. Please know that we find it ultimately refreshing and reassuring to see people out there like us, believers who are wanting to pursue a dream and seek to better our lives and our family's and yet serve a "Greater Purpose". Thanks for being a source of encouragment. Please know I enjoyed reading your replies in this thread and it says to me that we can achieve something like you and that "all things work together for good".

Thanks,
BD BONE (Mrs. BD BONE)


Not a problem. I'd post more about it, but there's a place here, the religious part of the off-topic section, so I believe this thread isn't where to get into it.

But yes, I believe there's a reason why I have the health, family and career that I do.

LwnmwrMan22
03-26-2007, 08:36 PM
Back to taking this discussion off topic one more time, you've got to realize that I've only got a 6 month growing season where I'm at, 7 if you've got a good year.

However, I run the mowing contracts from May 1 until October 31, then the plowing contracts from November 1 until April 30.

I have to make hay while the sun shines. I've got about 180 days where I get 15 days off, then I get 180 days where I work about 15 days.

Sooo... with that said, I guess I COULD try to convince people that I only work 1/2 year, but then they look at the total hours, and it's pretty much working a 35 hour week, if you divide it out monthly for the year.

ARTQOS
11-20-2007, 01:04 PM
i think u bidded to high on the mowing part. how many acres is each hotel?

jlouki01
12-16-2007, 11:43 PM
The guy who did it last year always has the upper hand. He knows exactly what it will cost to do the job again. Always try and get that information up front.

Mr. Customer if you don't mind my asking what did you spend last year on lawncare roughly ( the word roughly seems to trigger a peice of their brain that causes a spill of info.. try using the word exactly once and see what I mean :) )

Mr. Customer were you satisfied with their work? Did you guys use XYZ Lawncare? Really? I thought I seen them here a couple times. Maybe I am thinking of somewhere else..

Lots of ways to peel info out before you throw your bid in the door and see if it sticks. If you don't know what they paid, who they used, were they happy you really aren't going to accomplish much other then wasting your time.

We bid on a large contract last year not knowing exactly what they paid in the past. We knew roughly what they paid but it was roughly double:) Once we had the specs ( they were junk ) we did the best we could and produced a very high bid. The contractor prior who did a terrible job got the job because he was low bid again. He lost the contract first 2 months of the year and we ended up getting it anyways. Once we had and knew all the in's and out's we found out that we could do the work and turn a nice profit but bidding 1/3 or what we had originally done.

Lack of information can cost you big in this business. Get good at getting it or get someone who is. I find most people if asked right will share information with you openly. But you have to find a way to con it out of them in a non-suggestive way.

Pro-Turf, LLC
12-17-2007, 09:44 AM
idk if this was mentioned but with newer equipment you generally have a warrenty which will save your A$$ i have all new equipment 3 new mowers this year and 1 last year and ive had many break downs but most of which havent cost me anything but down time. Back up machines and dealer service is a beautiful thing

topsites
12-17-2007, 12:04 PM
heres something a lot of people dont understand beat equipment and beat trucks makes MORE money than brand new equip/trucks!

But to a point, I do agree that a 2007 or even a 2001 truck is overkill, more so if it shines so good you'd be afraid to scratch the paint, you have to decide but 10-12 even 15 or so years old is usually gtg, better still if it's paid for.

Then I see folks take this one too far and get into these 1968-1975 trucks that miraculously coast down hill with a back wind, too. They come in with this decrepit stuff that breaks down as often as it works, then they leave it sit there for 3 weeks while they have to hunt down parts and literally it never ends, and if they say they'll be there at whatever time don't hold your breath because the mere fact that they show up at all is a half a miracle already.

So what is it you want?
You want the guy who is convinced his poop don't stink, that don't come cheap.

This is the reason I don't compete with this stuff, my equipment is in too good a shape for one,
it is not brand new but it runs real good, so I can't make ends meet like that.

Tharrell
12-18-2007, 02:56 PM
I don't really know what everyone's idea of beatup equipment is but, looking beat and BEING beat are 2 different things.
Every SCAG I've ever seen in the field looks like it's beat, mine included. However, I'll put my 48 Scag hydro walkbehind cut up against anyones.
I do agree that truly beat equipment will let you down but, proper maint. and care with a QUALITY machine will go a loooooong way.
I can only speak for what I own, 3 Bob-Cats, 1 Scag and 1 huge Lesco, plus all the other things that consume fuel.
I bought NONE of the mowers new and they have all served me well.
I concede that some of you will disagree and that's cool.
For me as a solo, I take better care at less cost than some who may have employees who don't check the oil, grease the castors etc...
I may buy a NEW mower sometime but, it will probably be around the time I hire an employee and pigs start flying forcing me to wear a big hat! Tony
PS I guess the point is, new doesn't always equate to better.

causalitist
12-19-2007, 08:50 PM
That include down time?

YES. i pulled a trailer for years with a $600 truck, with the same amount of downtime as a 2007 truck. thats ALOT more money i made.