View Full Version : Load truck issues
06-20-2007, 11:20 AM
I'm relitively new to the business. I scored a contract with a country club early this fall in which I have to spread about 100 scoops of mulch throughout the community. The mulch goes to 30 "islands" located in each cal-de-sac scattered all over the place. All I have is two f-150 pickups. I have a property to dump my mulch on but the area is too big for a tractor-trailer to fit in. For me to get mulch from the nearest mulch supplier myself to get it would be uneconomical. So I just get it delivered 25 at a time and load it up on my trucks manually with 10 cu. ft. wheelbarrows and wood ramps straight off the pile and then I can bring it to the properties that need it. The whole process takes about 20 minutes load 2.5 to 3 scoops on my truck. I don't have the money for a loader. Is there any better way to do this work.
HELP ME PLEASE!!!
TMG Lawn and Landscape
Albery's Lawn & Tractor
06-20-2007, 10:23 PM
Your too new to try and handle a job like this. Always have your ducks in a row before placing a COMMERCIAL BID, especially a country club, rich people go there and you could get work from there, however if you screw up, your guaranteed to go belly up.
06-21-2007, 08:32 PM
I know I'm small now however this job is a launching pad for me right now.
I bust my a** day in and day out 60 to 65 hours per week but I have low overhead because my lack of equipment and guys. On the other hand, I still charge like the big businesses do.. I'm no low baller.
The people there are pretty happy and I know I'm getting this job next year. One, because I am small and I can give my clients the attention and quality a big company is incapable of giving. Two, I'm doing a good job. The past landscapers did a horrific job before me so I have an easy act to follow. Three, I have major connections to the homeowner's association. In fact, I'm on deck for two more contracts of equivalent size within the community. I've been approached by several head chairmen already asking me if I want this or that contract next year. I'll quadruple in size next year.
I'm fresh out of highschool with virtually no credit to my name. I don't have to go into debt with ton's of loans just to start my business like most of my competitors. All I can say is so far so good don't tell me I'm to small.
Oh yeah, and can anyone give me any tips on loading and/or unloading my truck.
06-21-2007, 08:42 PM
It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and you're a hard worker. You're wise to get into a high-end neighborhood and do quality work, therefore getting more work. Stress your attention to detail and the type of customers you want WILL notice.
BUT- as you're finding out, you MUST become better equiped, especially if you're taking on jobs like this. Finance a trailer, borrow some cash, something. A little debt isn't bad. Don't be scared of it, you'll pay it off quicker than you think.
Have you considered making a deal or talking to the golf course superintendent about helping you out in any way?? As far as the mulch goes? They might have an area you can dump loads in from your supplier and you might be able to use a loader. Dunno.
06-21-2007, 08:56 PM
Maybe you could rent a bobcat for a while and shorten your work time that way. On the closer islands, drive the load directly there in the bobcat and bypass the truck.
06-21-2007, 09:00 PM
the problem with the golf course superintendent is that he was the last guy to sign the contract i took on this year. He did a bad job.. in fact he didn't do a bad job, he just didn't do it really at all. Anyway he lost that contract, I got it, and he pretty much dislikes me. He's the only bad connection I have in the country club. Good idea though.
With regards to the equipment thing, I know I should spend some more on tools and things of that nature but at the same I found a way to get through the hardest part of the year without them. I think I'm just going to gut it out for the rest of the year and expand when I know my income can match it soon there after. I didn't sign any papers yet for next years contract. Who knows, maybe some crappy even smaller business could low ball me and get my job some how. I was told by an ex landscaper once that I have to walk before I can run. He's right too, if I expand too much then I have to keep up the same volume with my business just to pay the overhead and gain a margin.
Albery's Lawn & Tractor
06-21-2007, 10:03 PM
Buy equipment that will allow you to do the job efficiently. The object is to work smart not hard. Your talking about doing 100 yards (or 75 depending on if 1 scoop equals a yard or 3/4 of a yard) with a wheel barrow, it will take you forever and it doesn't look professional, but that's just my opinion. The smart thing would be to RENT what ever you need either a bobcat or a dingo. I am curious as to why this job isn't part of the superintendent's duties.
06-21-2007, 11:38 PM
the best idea yet is to sub out the mulch portion.
Get someone to come in and blow the mulch, they will be done in a day, maybe two, and most likely you will still make the same amount of money with a TON less work.
Use some of your contacts to find a quality mulch blowing company. If there isn't one any where near you maybe you can rent a blower truck for a couple days. IT IS WORTH IT.
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