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View Full Version : Bad year to be a LCO, farmer, etc


tacoma200
06-17-2007, 03:25 PM
Well there were dozens of guys that went out and bought new ZTR's here this year hoping to make some easy money. I'm glad I'm in this thing for the long haul because it's looking like the newbies and some of the regulars are panicking over the drought. I've heard several talk about selling mowers.

And the farms here in the Eastern part of the South are not going to make it without some serious rainfall. I'm guessing tobacco, cotton, corn, etc will go up after the bad freeze and then the drought. They are already feeding cattle this years hay here.

I just drove around and looked at my accounts today. Weeds are loving it but the grass is not growing but still holding on to a little green/yellow color.

DAV Mowers
06-17-2007, 04:35 PM
This is exactly why I didn't buy a new mower this year. If you remember back in the first of April I posted we were having a El Nino year and it would be a long dry summer. As soon as I found that out I made up my mind to wait until next year for a new mower or this fall when some of the people that bought the new ones might sell them.

CustomKare
06-17-2007, 07:04 PM
Long Haulers could capitalize on the drought this year. The pickup truck Craftsman mower type of LCO's may dry up just like the lawns!!!

Best of luck to the long haulers!!!!!

ThorVentures
06-17-2007, 07:11 PM
one of my helpers quit in January. I heard he was mowing around the neghborhood with his old JD rider. Talked to my dealer the other day, he financed a ZTR about a six weeks ago. Every time i drive by his house the truck & trailer are parked in the driveway, ZTR in the garage. Wonder how they repo those things?

hdhillin
06-17-2007, 07:25 PM
Good Luck to you all in the drought. Florida was looking pretty bleak before the "summer rains" started. Hopefully you will get some needed rainfall and business will pick up for the long haulers.

Sydenstricker Landscaping
06-17-2007, 09:03 PM
This is my first year in this, and I have been doing landscaping for other lco's for about 7 years now. This is by far one of the worst drought seasons I have seen, granted I am no veteran. But I am not worried, I see less and less of the lowball guys out there. So when it does decide to rain and the grass finally greens up and grows again, there will, hopefully, be more work available again. It hasnt bothered me too much yet, since 75% of my acccounts have irrigation systems in place and running. So they stay green and growing. A few of my non-irrigated ones have been put on bi-weekly for now, because weekly would be pointless and start to make them a little irritated paying to have no grass cut. Bring on the rain!!!

lawncare18
06-17-2007, 09:17 PM
One of the big farmers in my area has those huge hose rolls and he waters non stop all the time.. its getting bad here by the day.. just keep watering i guess... bye the way those hose rolls on trailer.. they toss some major water around its nuts.. anyone seen them???

richard1103
06-17-2007, 09:23 PM
if the newbees fold there will be more in line to take there place . best to hold on to some money to see your way through the dry spell every time a factory closes here you see late model trucks with 20,000 equipment . they think they are going to get rich . in a city of 8500 people there is 100 crews or more i keep work .my first year in 1987 i had lawn go 6 weeks then rain started in july i mowed grass till the end of novemer

MOturkey
06-17-2007, 09:40 PM
Sounds like last year around here. This year is just the opposite. Rainfall is way up, and all mowing is weekly, if you don't get rained out!

chuck bow
06-17-2007, 10:38 PM
So dry up here bigger LCO are laying people off right and left and its a struggle for me too as i depend on that money to pay the bills but its not happening , havent worked a full day in over 2 weeks

jpp
06-17-2007, 10:44 PM
The past few years here have been very wet. This year it is starting out to be a dry one. We could use the rain but I know alot of us could use the rain. Take what you can when you get it. Calling for a good chance on Tuesday afternoon here so we shall see what happens.

I am also glad that I held off on that new zero turn I was wanting to get. Maybe in the fall when it can be put to work doing leaf cleanups.

JP

NewWave
06-17-2007, 10:50 PM
I am glad we do installs and irrigation. Irrigation is keeping us busy. The labdscape installs keep coming. Most of our yards are irrigated but a few arent. We have put maybe 5-10% of our lawn mowing people on bi weekly until we get some rain. Definately slwoing down a bit though. We had to let a few guys go until further notice.

topsites
06-17-2007, 10:53 PM
Long Haulers could capitalize on the drought this year. The pickup truck Craftsman mower type of LCO's may dry up just like the lawns!!!

Best of luck to the long haulers!!!!!

It is my suspicion, from the calls I've been getting, that the short-term part-timers are already hurting bad...
The few new calls I get are ALL basically 1st-2nd year customers, to spare you the details.

I've already prolonged oil change intervals to 3,500 miles and may go to 4,000 soon, the machines will run until end of season... Yet one more reason to run synthetic oils, having a back stock doesn't hurt either, I am sure I still got well over 100 quarts in reserve, oil filters, too. I couldn't list here all the stuff I have back stocked, between blades and parts galore, well over 1,000 dollars, probably 2-3 maybe 4...

Welps, the last two years were good for me :)
Brags aside...

I tell you, that montly Z payment sure eats the budget, so does the price of fuel, but I did learn some lessons early on. My first year we didn't have a drop of rain for SIX months, no joke, the whole county was on severe water restrictions, you couldn't even wash the car, much less water the lawn.

One thing I learned, and this is so hard to do, is to SAVE money during the good times, also buy back supplies when you find stuff on sale, I buy a LOT of stuff when it's 30-50% off, sometimes 70% or better (but that is rare).

Double bonus: One, I double my money when it comes time to use those supplies.
Two, I can run fuel only for a long time, I do have to buy a few parts here and there, but I also have most of the stuff that breaks down seasonally in stock. Obviously, DIY when it comes to repairs, no doubt.
Three (I lied), I still got money in the bank, deep pockets help.

So not to dote on anyone, but for those of you who got it good right now, learn from those of us who don't, put it away, save it! And if you can't save it because it burns a hole in your pocket, spend it on parts!

The other thing is, hard times are the best times to cut costs, get with it or lose out.
Because invariably, during the good times money is wasted, at least some always slips through the cracks, no doubt because it hardly matters... But it is that thing, when times turn tough it is that chance we get to look at all of our expenses, and start nailing those loss leaders, so then it will be that much better when things turn good again. :)

gene gls
06-17-2007, 11:13 PM
I'll be glad when it starts to dry up. I'm running a week behind with the mowing and it hurts. Everything needs to be double cut. For me, money is better when things are dry.

dcondon
06-17-2007, 11:43 PM
We will be skipping many lawns this week because they are totally brown.Thats ok because we have plenty of other projects to get done.

robbo521
06-18-2007, 01:05 AM
well here the 5000 acres of corn are gone and if the 12,000 acres of cotton dont get rain in 10 days or so it will be gone.wheat crop was cut below half due to no rain.i have one yard i am cutting because it is in a low spot.my other 8 yards are gone.they said its not been this dry in 54 or 56 years.i have new stuff but i put back to pay for it so if it is not running it will still get paid for.some people cant do that.all these pickers and stuff dont make money sitting there.

puppypaws
06-18-2007, 01:37 AM
well here the 5000 acres of corn are gone and if the 12,000 acres of cotton dont get rain in 10 days or so it will be gone.wheat crop was cut below half due to no rain.i have one yard i am cutting because it is in a low spot.my other 8 yards are gone.they said its not been this dry in 54 or 56 years.i have new stuff but i put back to pay for it so if it is not running it will still get paid for.some people cant do that.all these pickers and stuff dont make money sitting there.

No insurance on the corn and cotton? There is over $3,000,000.00 in input cost on that much acreage of corn and cotton.

Think about trying to sleep at night owing 3 million and not knowing if any of the money will come back if you have no insurance on the crops.

Some people think Las Vegas can get your money, so can farming.

robbo521
06-18-2007, 01:58 AM
yep thank the good Lord for the insurance.wouldbe a ton better for the rain but thats part of it.farming can be very good when it all comes together but when it dont rain it makes for long days and long weeks.

eshreve1234
06-18-2007, 10:05 AM
Whats the line?

"Want to make a fortune in farming, start with a bigger fortune"

puppypaws
06-18-2007, 10:23 AM
yep thank the good Lord for the insurance.wouldbe a ton better for the rain but thats part of it.farming can be very good when it all comes together but when it dont rain it makes for long days and long weeks.

Believe me I know all about it because I have been farming over 40 yrs. I figured maybe you were able to irrigate in your area.

I have been 100% no-till for this being the 20th year and have kept production records to prove my yields which is very high for this area. With the level of insurance I carry if my corn does not make one grain I will collect $376.00 an acre. but the premiums aren't cheap either.

TNT LawnCare Inc.
06-18-2007, 10:26 AM
Were suppose to get some rain tonight into the morning i hope,if not we will be switching over to bi-weekly. So lawns are browning and weve been cutting high to keep things green. I figure in 2-3 more weeks things will be as dry as the mid-west and south LCO'S.

webfoot
06-18-2007, 06:18 PM
I mow in Lincoln and Boyle countys and it pitiful dry here to.It is giving me time to fish though.Do you do in fishing on cumberland?I haven't been there all year because I don't know what ramps are open.

tacoma200
06-18-2007, 08:37 PM
I mow in Lincoln and Boyle countys and it pitiful dry here to.It is giving me time to fish though.Do you do in fishing on cumberland?I haven't been there all year because I don't know what ramps are open.

The fishing was really good this Spring and lots of ramps have been extended. The river from the dam to Burkesville has some hot trout fishing right now. They are expecting a big fish kill south of Burkesville to the TN line so they are letting you keep a lot more trout in that area. Great time to be on the river but Lake Cumberland will be tough during the day. I don't fish much anymore because I started mowing in March. I sure have time now during this drought.

Lawnut101
06-19-2007, 02:00 AM
I'm gonna be working tomorrow, becuase It's raining in WI tonight! Just what we've all been waiting for. Hope it rains soon for all you guys!