PDA

View Full Version : Illegal operators


Lynden-Jeff
06-15-2007, 10:12 PM
Hey,

Is there anything we can actually do about illegal operators? As much as it doesn't bother me my partner is very preoccupied with this and today after seeing 5 vans within 10 minutes all pulling either 1 push mower or a lawn tractor it made me think. I have noticed it this year more so then any previous.

Thanks
Jeff

Diversified Maintenance
06-15-2007, 10:15 PM
I think it varies from state to state. Here in Alabama you do not need to carry a license if you cut lawns. You DO if you do any type of landscaping...even laying sod. just not on the lawn cutting.

prizeprop
06-16-2007, 08:39 PM
How do you know there illegal operations?

MJS
06-16-2007, 08:52 PM
How do you know there illegal operations?

Agreed. I know people who mow with only a push or a rider, have a crummy looking vehicle, etc. and they are liscenced and legal.

JJG84
06-16-2007, 10:51 PM
i cant stand people who worry and cry about someone else on their "turf" with lawn cutting equipment.

that was you at one time.

Lynden-Jeff
06-16-2007, 10:57 PM
i cant stand people who worry and cry about someone else on their "turf" with lawn cutting equipment.

that was you at one time.

Like I said it wasnt a big deal to me, customers learn their lesson eventually. And for your information that was never me, I started properly not out of a home depot.

Cheers
Jeff

JJG84
06-16-2007, 11:12 PM
usually people with SHlT equipment dont last long because the work is just too hard with SHlT equipment.

if they can graduate from SHlT equipment, then I would begin to worry.

Until then, I wouldnt waste much time crying.

fiveoboy01
06-16-2007, 11:24 PM
i cant stand people who worry and cry about someone else on their "turf" with lawn cutting equipment.

that was you at one time.

It wasn't everyone, and it wasn't me.

Why worry, because those of us who follow the law dish out a lot more $ to do so, and don't like having our prices undercut and potential work taken from us by someone who isn't playing by the rules.

Now as far as mowers in trunks, etc, I do agree that you can't really just assume someone is operating non-legit or that they're illegal by the equipment they're using.

Ravenwood Landscaping
06-17-2007, 02:09 PM
You know I see this type of thing in just about every other post. "That guy's illegal", "he doesn't have insurance", "he had the mower in his trunk". So what??

If you're better than him, you're work will show it. If a customer left you for another guy who cuts their yard for half the price, then they we're probably going to leave you at some point even for something as little as $10. I don't pay attention to a single other person with a mower because I know that I do great work and my customers are happy. Those people are then referring me to others who will pay for my work. I haven't used one advertisement yet and I'm booked solid for the next two weeks. If you do good work, the guy next to you that doesn't do good work doesn't stand a chance.

mojob
06-17-2007, 02:57 PM
You know I see this type of thing in just about every other post. "That guy's illegal", "he doesn't have insurance", "he had the mower in his trunk". So what??

If you're better than him, you're work will show it. If a customer left you for another guy who cuts their yard for half the price, then they we're probably going to leave you at some point even for something as little as $10. I don't pay attention to a single other person with a mower because I know that I do great work and my customers are happy. Those people are then referring me to others who will pay for my work. I haven't used one advertisement yet and I'm booked solid for the next two weeks. If you do good work, the guy next to you that doesn't do good work doesn't stand a chance.
I've got to disagree with you. When it comes to weekly maintenance, some crappy Home Depot equipment will do just as good a job as high-end professional equipment. It won't last as long, but in the mean time, the weekend warrior is out working, making money and charging less than us full time professionals. Why? Because they can. They have other jobs that pay the bills, provide health insurance, etc. My point is this, the majority of our market doesn't really care who cuts their lawn as long as it looks pretty good and they show up when they're supposed to. The more weekend warriors you have in your market, the lower your rates will have to be to be competitive. Granted, you may be higher up on the food chain, but the average rate is effected by the number of weekend warriors. I don't care where you live, I would think, at minimum, a business license would be required. To get that, you have to register a business name with the state. At this point, you're on the IRS radar screen. That's why these guys don't want to be legit and that's not fair for the rest of us and until your market is saturated with weekend warriors, you probably won't "get it".

MJS
06-17-2007, 09:51 PM
Mojob,
I take issue with the statement about Home Depot selling crappy equipment; I bought two pieces of Echo power equipment at Home Depot, they both came with a commercial warranty, and they both have served me well for a good deal of time. Where do you buy your equipment?

Lynden-Jeff
06-17-2007, 09:58 PM
Mojob,
I take issue with the statement about Home Depot selling crappy equipment; I bought two pieces of Echo power equipment at Home Depot, they both came with a commercial warranty, and they both have served me well for a good deal of time. Where do you buy your equipment?

A lawn care equiptment dealer. Who is going to service your equiptment? Not home depot. I never said their equiptment was crap, I use echo, which can be purchased at home depot, however I did not buy my lawn tractor, trailer or other equiptment there. I support my local dealer because in the end they will help you out.

Cheers
Jeff

MJS
06-17-2007, 10:01 PM
A lawn care equiptment dealer. Who is going to service your equiptment? Not home depot. I never said their equiptment was crap, I use echo, which can be purchased at home depot, however I did not buy my lawn tractor, trailer or other equiptment there. I support my local dealer because in the end they will help you out.

Cheers
Jeff

I service my own equipment, and I did in fact buy my commercial 21'' at a local dealer. I do think, though, that you can't judge someone by where they buy their gear.

Lynden-Jeff
06-17-2007, 10:09 PM
I service my own equipment, and I did in fact buy my commercial 21'' at a local dealer. I do think, though, that you can't judge someone by where they buy their gear.

You buy your parts from home depot? Must be an American thing because Canadian home depots do not have parts. I would NEVER buy equipment from some where that does not sell the parts. I never said that some one who buys equipment at HD does crap work, just that its to easy for people to run a business out of their civic and undercut people who do it properly and for a living. Not the end of the world because in the end they will be gone and we will get the business, I mainly posted the topic to spur conversation.

MJS
06-17-2007, 10:15 PM
You buy your parts from home depot? Must be an American thing because Canadian home depots do not have parts. I would NEVER buy equipment from some where that does not sell the parts. I never said that some one who buys equipment at HD does crap work, just that its to easy for people to run a business out of their civic and undercut people who do it properly and for a living. Not the end of the world because in the end they will be gone and we will get the business, I mainly posted the topic to spur conversation.

Yes, American HD's do have some (limited) parts for lawn mowers etc.
My apoligies for creating a stir. (I think everyone got my drift) :usflag:

BTW I do not undercut, as this is what I do (mostly) for a living.

mojob
06-17-2007, 10:30 PM
I service my own equipment, and I did in fact buy my commercial 21'' at a local dealer. I do think, though, that you can't judge someone by where they buy their gear.
You missed my point. I don't have a problem with the equipment someone uses, just the fact that most of these people skirt the rules that the rest of us are playing by. That effects me and everyone else in this business financially and I take that personally.

MJS
06-17-2007, 10:39 PM
You missed my point. I don't have a problem with the equipment someone uses, just the fact that most of these people skirt the rules that the rest of us are playing by. That effects me and everyone else in this business financially and I take that personally.

Ditto that. :usflag:

Ravenwood Landscaping
06-17-2007, 10:53 PM
I've got to disagree with you. When it comes to weekly maintenance, some crappy Home Depot equipment will do just as good a job as high-end professional equipment. It won't last as long, but in the mean time, the weekend warrior is out working, making money and charging less than us full time professionals. Why? Because they can. They have other jobs that pay the bills, provide health insurance, etc. My point is this, the majority of our market doesn't really care who cuts their lawn as long as it looks pretty good and they show up when they're supposed to. The more weekend warriors you have in your market, the lower your rates will have to be to be competitive. Granted, you may be higher up on the food chain, but the average rate is effected by the number of weekend warriors. I don't care where you live, I would think, at minimum, a business license would be required. To get that, you have to register a business name with the state. At this point, you're on the IRS radar screen. That's why these guys don't want to be legit and that's not fair for the rest of us and until your market is saturated with weekend warriors, you probably won't "get it".

Probably won't "get it"? A little unfair eh? I understand what you're saying and I agree with you. I think some operators in our industry get a little jaded with what they are actually doing though. Cutting grass is not something that people should be charging upwards of $60-$70/hr for. It's not a specialized business where years of training is required like a lawyer or accountant. That's why the kid down the street isn't offering to do your taxes. He's (or She's) offering to cut your yard. Like you said, the HD stuff does just as good of a job as commercial. It's also the reason there isn't lawn mowing certifications. I like mowing as much as the next LCO but I understand where it's price capacity is.

Landscaping, however is different. For the most part you need to know what you're doing (most of the time) and the average joe doesn't know how to do that. I'd say most homeowners know the difference and are willing to get Timmy to mow when that's all they need. Bad landscaping could really screw up the value of a home and potentially hurt someone. Bad grass cutting leaves a brown spot in the yard for 17 days.

I guess my point was that a lot of people worry too much about what the other guy has, what he charges, or what his jobs look like and they lose sight of their own business. I've seen a lot of careless customer management by other LCO's that I've learned from. I'd be willing to bet that some of them are saying the customer was cheap or I'm not legit, when all along they didn't manage their customer the right way. I by the way started my business this year with a Durango, a converted boat trailer, and some rough equipment but in fact I'm probably more licensed than most companies in my area. I very rarely hear people on here say they lost a customer because they didn't do it something right, instead it's always the other guy. There's 900 posts on the other guy not being legit, probably 5 on "I screwed up". So in essence, I completely agree with where you're coming from, I'd just like to stop hearing about "the other guy" so much.

daysel
06-19-2007, 11:53 PM
Probably won't "get it"? A little unfair eh? I understand what you're saying and I agree with you. I think some operators in our industry get a little jaded with what they are actually doing though. Cutting grass is not something that people should be charging upwards of $60-$70/hr for. It's not a specialized business where years of training is required like a lawyer or accountant. That's why the kid down the street isn't offering to do your taxes. He's (or She's) offering to cut your yard. Like you said, the HD stuff does just as good of a job as commercial. It's also the reason there isn't lawn mowing certifications. I like mowing as much as the next LCO but I understand where it's price capacity is.

Landscaping, however is different. For the most part you need to know what you're doing (most of the time) and the average joe doesn't know how to do that. I'd say most homeowners know the difference and are willing to get Timmy to mow when that's all they need. Bad landscaping could really screw up the value of a home and potentially hurt someone. Bad grass cutting leaves a brown spot in the yard for 17 days.

I guess my point was that a lot of people worry too much about what the other guy has, what he charges, or what his jobs look like and they lose sight of their own business. I've seen a lot of careless customer management by other LCO's that I've learned from. I'd be willing to bet that some of them are saying the customer was cheap or I'm not legit, when all along they didn't manage their customer the right way. I by the way started my business this year with a Durango, a converted boat trailer, and some rough equipment but in fact I'm probably more licensed than most companies in my area. I very rarely hear people on here say they lost a customer because they didn't do it something right, instead it's always the other guy. There's 900 posts on the other guy not being legit, probably 5 on "I screwed up". So in essence, I completely agree with where you're coming from, I'd just like to stop hearing about "the other guy" so much.

Agree!
BTW- HD stuff does suck pretty bad and is not even comparable to my commercial equipment.
That's why it cost so much more.
I can't believe what im hearing.

batdaddy044
06-29-2007, 06:39 PM
I have better things to do than worry about the wanna-be competitors
being legitimate businesses. I can point out to a potential clients that
my business is licensed and insured , with pride. This often works as a great screening mechanism. A potential client ,who wants professional results , is more likely to spend more money for a professional operation,versus the
cheapskate , who is only looking for the cheapest deal possible-let the
illegal lowballers have 'em, 'cos I don't want them. I sleep well at night, knowing that if an accident happens,I'm insured;if the I.R.S. audits me,
I have all my ducks in a row.Paying the money(for licensing and insurance) to be a legitimate buisiness is worth it for the peace of mind,AND , these expenses Are tax deductable!

americanlawn
06-29-2007, 08:37 PM
I respect anybody out there who sweats just like me, just so they satisfy their customer's needs and do a nice job. Unmarked vehicles are illegal in my state if they apply pesticides. I try to repect all -- also wave at competitors, cuz they're out there doing hard work like us. Many competitors are good friends ,and they usually wave back. In the long run, it pays to "just get along". Life's short. Burning bridges is never good. Peace to all, american.

Chris "Greenville"
07-04-2007, 07:35 AM
New guy here, I just read through this post and have to say that the Lowes equipment that I bought is perfect for the beginner with little money to start with. I know that the frame and deck aren't as sturdy as the larger commercial mowers but I have the same motor. Given that I will be mowing residential lawns the most, I can't see how my equipment is inadaquate. I have less money tied into the equipment, I have a license and am insured. I have studied enough to know that less money out of pocket, controled expenses, and cheaper prices lead to more work and income. Just saying in the nicest way possible, "there's enough grass out there for all of us, let's just get along, professional and new guy." Chris

daysel
07-04-2007, 10:14 AM
I have used Home depot stuff many times before.
If you like buying new stuff every year, then its great. Yes, fine for a beginner.
Go look at an outdoor equipment store. There is a reason they're twice the price.
Once you use one, you see where the money went.
Look what's on peoples trailers. That should speek for itself.
No comparison.

daysel
07-04-2007, 10:17 AM
I respect anybody out there who sweats just like me, just so they satisfy their customer's needs and do a nice job. Unmarked vehicles are illegal in my state if they apply pesticides. I try to repect all -- also wave at competitors, cuz they're out there doing hard work like us. Many competitors are good friends ,and they usually wave back. In the long run, it pays to "just get along". Life's short. Burning bridges is never good. Peace to all, american.

Exactly what I do.

LGWoods
07-04-2007, 07:32 PM
Hi All~

I have just started my business. (one week in the running! :clapping: ) I spent a little money and bought good equipment. I'm licensed and insured. I'm not out to low-ball anyone but i do get more work for doing things only 5 or 10 dollars less. I'm trying to build a regular customer base for steady work. I think that once I get to that point, I'll be able to raise my price a little and be more competitive. And since I don't have the experience of some of you veteran's, I also do this until l to gain my experience.

The ironic thing is I got the idea from my neighbor. he goes to college and doesn't want to get a steady job because of his study's. So he went to Sears and bought his equipment and has been busy since. (what really convinced me was the wad of money he pulled from his pocket!!) But he's not licensed or insured. Yet so busy that he has to turn away jobs.:hammerhead:

Licensing and insurance is not all that expensive I think it should be required. After all your putting someone’s property at risk of being hit by a rock (one came out and broke the light on my trailer just yesterday).

Brianslawn
07-04-2007, 07:50 PM
Hey,

Is there anything we can actually do about illegal operators? As much as it doesn't bother me my partner is very preoccupied with this and today after seeing 5 vans within 10 minutes all pulling either 1 push mower or a lawn tractor it made me think. I have noticed it this year more so then any previous.

Thanks
Jeff

maybe after they paid all of the taxes, insurance and lic fees... thats all they can afford. maybe if they charged as much as others they could have nicer stuff. then again its prolly someone who got this hair brain scheme in his head on how they can make a $million a year cutting grass, but idea aint working so theyre just cutting for beer cash.

LushGreenLawn
07-04-2007, 09:24 PM
Hi All~

I have just started my business. (one week in the running! :clapping: ) I spent a little money and bought good equipment. I'm licensed and insured. I'm not out to low-ball anyone but i do get more work for doing things only 5 or 10 dollars less. I'm trying to build a regular customer base for steady work. I think that once I get to that point, I'll be able to raise my price a little and be more competitive. And since I don't have the experience of some of you veteran's, I also do this until l to gain my experience.

The ironic thing is I got the idea from my neighbor. he goes to college and doesn't want to get a steady job because of his study's. So he went to Sears and bought his equipment and has been busy since. (what really convinced me was the wad of money he pulled from his pocket!!) But he's not licensed or insured. Yet so busy that he has to turn away jobs.:hammerhead:

Licensing and insurance is not all that expensive I think it should be required. After all your putting someone’s property at risk of being hit by a rock (one came out and broke the light on my trailer just yesterday).

Having a license is required, and it is required that your friend pay taxes on that wad of cash in his pocket. He can undercut you and everybody else because he chooses to break the law and evade taxes, that is why he is so busy.

Brianslawn
07-05-2007, 07:38 PM
Hi All~

I have just started my business. (one week in the running! :clapping: ) I spent a little money and bought good equipment. I'm licensed and insured. I'm not out to low-ball anyone but i do get more work for doing things only 5 or 10 dollars less. I'm trying to build a regular customer base for steady work. I think that once I get to that point, I'll be able to raise my price a little and be more competitive. And since I don't have the experience of some of you veteran's, I also do this until l to gain my experience.

The ironic thing is I got the idea from my neighbor. he goes to college and doesn't want to get a steady job because of his study's. So he went to Sears and bought his equipment and has been busy since. (what really convinced me was the wad of money he pulled from his pocket!!) But he's not licensed or insured. Yet so busy that he has to turn away jobs.:hammerhead:

Licensing and insurance is not all that expensive I think it should be required. After all your putting someone’s property at risk of being hit by a rock (one came out and broke the light on my trailer just yesterday).




be thankful it was a light and not a little kids head it broke. ask your buddy if that wad of cash in his pocket is enough to replace a light or window..... or someones kid.

aracad
07-05-2007, 08:51 PM
OK enough is enough! LOL!!
I am new to the biz and I am not licensed or insured YET!!! I have not yet cut a single lawn, but I have been busy trying to establish some accounts by passing out flyers, running newspaper ads and hanging signs all over town. In fact I will begin cutting our first account tomorrow... I will be making a trip to get insurance and licensing ASAP! As far as worring about uninsured/unlicensed Americans cutting grass in your neighborhood, get over it! It's the GOD DA%$ Mexicans that are killing the business here in Southern Ohio. I am not even as upset about the idiot businesses hiring clusters of illegal uninsured MEXICAN DRIVERS risking the lives of AMERICANS every day!

I am mad at my FELLOW LCO's hiring teams of MEXICANS taking AMERICAN jobs and destroyng every labor based job in this Country. BULLSHI*& Mexicans are taking jobs that Americans won't do! Mexicans are taking over the Home Building/Remodeling industry, the Tree service industry and even our beloved Lawn Service industry! If you are an LCO hiring illegals to do your work SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!
These jobs paid Americans $10.00-$30.00 per hour. Now MEXICANS are doing them for next to nothing!

Now really who is the real threat to your business?

If your hiring illegal aliens then I say it is YOU!

aracad
07-05-2007, 09:01 PM
Oh, as to Home Depot equip. debate. I took the advice I read on Lawnsite and bought a commercial Weedeater and blower from my local dealer, but went to Lowes and bought a Husqvarna stick edger.We have a used Scagg 48" mower loaned to us from another local LCO to get us started. Thanks for all the great advice!!!!!!

daveintoledo
07-10-2007, 03:25 PM
New guy here, I just read through this post and have to say that the Lowes equipment that I bought is perfect for the beginner with little money to start with. I know that the frame and deck aren't as sturdy as the larger commercial mowers but I have the same motor. Given that I will be mowing residential lawns the most, I can't see how my equipment is inadaquate. I have less money tied into the equipment, I have a license and am insured. I have studied enough to know that less money out of pocket, controled expenses, and cheaper prices lead to more work and income. Just saying in the nicest way possible, "there's enough grass out there for all of us, let's just get along, professional and new guy." Chris

EVERY statment in this paragraph is incorrect....
homeoners mower, gets used one hour per week for 30 weeks, that is a years use, it is made to get 2 to 3 years out of it at that rate of usage.... how long will it last mowing 30 hours per week............ about 3 months.... you will learn later, if you make it through the year....

daveintoledo
07-10-2007, 03:31 PM
i take pictures of them mowing, and of there illegally licenced vehicles....

i am not really going to do anything with the pictures... but i had a couple of guys begging me not to turn them in......they never came back.....:drinkup:

Chris "Greenville"
07-10-2007, 11:56 PM
Dave in toledo, I respect your response and understand your point of view. I am a new business owner and am learning alot about how to start and operate from reading the postings on this site. I don't have a huge budget or want to have a large debt over my head for equipment when I don't how the market is, given I'm starting mid season. I don't have any hard feelings toward you and respect your position regarding my choice of equipment. I don't have this huge fantasy of taking over every lawn in a tri-state area. I just want to start and build as I can. Maybe one day I will be able to step up to commercial grade equipment but, for me, now is not the time. Chris

daysel
07-11-2007, 09:21 AM
i take pictures of them mowing, and of there illegally licenced vehicles....

i am not really going to do anything with the pictures... but i had a couple of guys begging me not to turn them in......they never came back.....:drinkup:

Thats a good way to get your ass kicked.
Mind your own business. There are plenty of yards.

daveintoledo
07-11-2007, 11:19 AM
Thats a good way to get your ass kicked.
Mind your own business. There are plenty of yards.

ive never been afraid of any man in my life.... im a bit of an intimidating figure........and it is my business when illegal operators are poping up left and right..... you dont have to like it, but it works......

.

daysel
07-11-2007, 08:26 PM
It's just cutting grass dude. Taking pictures is immature.
Are they taking alot your business or what?

KTO Enterprises
07-11-2007, 09:26 PM
It's just cutting grass dude. Taking pictures is immature.
Are they taking alot your business or what?

When they can cut our prices because they are illegal operations they can take a lot of work. You have no clue.

covalawn
07-11-2007, 11:09 PM
I have a problem with guys on here downing a "lowballer." This business or any business is about making money. That's it....if it $2 per yard or $50 per yard it is about what a certain persons time is worth!! Its a simple concept if you were a homeowner and were given a $20 price or a $50 price which one would you try first??? I would never be mad a a customer for choosing a lower price....we all work hard for our money and want the best deal possible. Is anyone on here trying to honestly tell me that if you were to hire lets say a plumber and one had a $60 price and one had a $55 price you would go with the higher price because "They must be more professional because they charge more!!" That is stupid.

As far as being license and insured I have never once been asked by a homeowner if I was licensed and insured!! That is why they carry Homeowners/Car Insurance is incase something happens. The insurance company will come after you if somehing happens you better believe it. And also how many companies on here have had to use you insurance???? I have thrown rocks broken car windows and just paid for them each time. I am fully licensed and insured under a Million dollar policy and have been since day one but when I asked my agency the same question they said no on has ever had a claim in this type of business. So the odds are that nothing will happen anyways.

You guys need to stop worrying about everyone else.
As far as I see it "A Foul is not a Foul unless the referee calls it" If these LCO's are willing to take the risk, and Uncle Sam never catches them then good for them. Because there is not one person on here that has claimed every single cent that they made. I would bet that everyone did atleast one cash job when they were starting out.


As far as equipment from HD or Lowe's I prefer my Husqvarna(bought from Lowe's)to my Echo/Redmax for normal everyday mowing. It's lighter and cuts just as well. I have been using it and my Husqvarna BP Blower for that last three years without the first problem....While my Redmax has to be decarboned every couple of months. Some people do not have the means to purchase expensive equipment to start if they want to push mow and someone wants to pay them, then thats great for them.

Not everyone can drive a new truck some people have to use what they already have!!

hess
07-12-2007, 12:06 AM
:) Hit the nail on the head that time!!:: I've got to disagree with you. When it comes to weekly maintenance, some crappy Home Depot equipment will do just as good a job as high-end professional equipment. It won't last as long, but in the mean time, the weekend warrior is out working, making money and charging less than us full time professionals. Why? Because they can. They have other jobs that pay the bills, provide health insurance, etc. My point is this, the majority of our market doesn't really care who cuts their lawn as long as it looks pretty good and they show up when they're supposed to. The more weekend warriors you have in your market, the lower your rates will have to be to be competitive. Granted, you may be higher up on the food chain, but the average rate is effected by the number of weekend warriors. I don't care where you live, I would think, at minimum, a business license would be required. To get that, you have to register a business name with the state. At this point, you're on the IRS radar screen. That's why these guys don't want to be legit and that's not fair for the rest of us and until your market is saturated with weekend warriors, you probably won't "get it".