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Chris J
08-30-2007, 07:05 PM
I need help! I'm now getting this in-rush of calls from past estimates that want the jobs installed. The only complaint (not really a complaint) is that they are really small jobs! I received 6 calls today from people that I had done estimates for in the past 1 1/2 weeks with the go ahead to install their jobs (2k - 3500).
Don't get me wrong, I like these jobs in the summer because we don't have to kill ourselves all day to get them done. However, I promised all of these people that I could have their jobs done within 10 days. If this pattern continues, I'm going to have to install an enormous amount of jobs this month. I guess we will just have to do 2 or three of them per day until we get through the rush! I told you it would be like this.
Any of you guys want to come to Florida for some cross training? When this is over, I may ask you to let me come to your town to do the same thing. I'm always up for learning some new tricks.

NightScenes
08-30-2007, 07:48 PM
There ya go Chris!! You knew the slowdown wasn't going to last. I've started slowing down a little here but I've started signing holiday lighting contracts so I know we have plenty to do.

eskerlite
08-30-2007, 07:54 PM
Cut hay while the sun shines!

Chris J
08-30-2007, 08:24 PM
Hey Sean! Good to hear from you again! How's things going up North?

klkanders
08-30-2007, 08:59 PM
Geez Chris..complain when its slow...complain when you get work......I am packing my bags right now and checkin on a direct flight with Allegiant Air....you wont even have to put me up as my brother lives there on the river.
I could stand seeing my new niece again! :)

Chris J
08-30-2007, 09:06 PM
Geez Chris..complain when its slow...complain when you get work......I am packing my bags right now and checkin on a direct flight with Allegiant Air....you wont even have to put me up as my brother lives there on the river.
I could stand seeing my new niece again! :)

You know, it's the same ol' roller coaster every year. I'm always just a little paranoid (maybe an OCD) Come on down man! It would be great to meet you. Where does your brother live? Call me when you get here and I'll take you guys out for dinner and a comedy show!

JackTorsed
08-30-2007, 10:57 PM
I need help! I'm now getting this in-rush of calls from past estimates that want the jobs installed. The only complaint (not really a complaint) is that they are really small jobs! I received 6 calls today from people that I had done estimates for in the past 1 1/2 weeks with the go ahead to install their jobs (2k - 3500).
Don't get me wrong, I like these jobs in the summer because we don't have to kill ourselves all day to get them done. However, I promised all of these people that I could have their jobs done within 10 days. If this pattern continues, I'm going to have to install an enormous amount of jobs this month. I guess we will just have to do 2 or three of them per day until we get through the rush! I told you it would be like this.
Any of you guys want to come to Florida for some cross training? When this is over, I may ask you to let me come to your town to do the same thing. I'm always up for learning some new tricks.

with How many guys/fixtures/transformers can you do in a days work generally speaking?

Pro-Scapes
08-30-2007, 11:48 PM
well if you cant install 6 jobs that small in 10 days you shouldnt of told them that. I know I can do a small job in a day solo. 6 Jobs in 10 days is possible. Stop yakkin on here and get er done!

Chris J
08-30-2007, 11:55 PM
well if you cant install 6 jobs that small in 10 days you shouldnt of told them that. I know I can do a small job in a day solo. 6 Jobs in 10 days is possible. Stop yakkin on here and get er done!

No Billy,
I didn't say I had to do 6 jobs in 10 days. I said I got 6 jobs TODAY! I have a few on the schedule already, and that's not to say that I might not get another 6 calls tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day and the next day, etc........

David Gretzmier
08-31-2007, 12:30 AM
yeah, I get it chris. the first job or two you get, it's like yeah ! then two more- uh, great ...and then two more, oh, crap, how can I get this done?

work it man- these folks want you and just do the best you can. make sure you have all your inventory in place. great job on getting all the work !

Chris J
08-31-2007, 12:43 AM
yeah, I get it chris. the first job or two you get, it's like yeah ! then two more- uh, great ...and then two more, oh, crap, how can I get this done?

work it man- these folks want you and just do the best you can. make sure you have all your inventory in place. great job on getting all the work !

Thanks David,
It's nice to know someone understands! I was beginning to think I lived on mars or something.

Have a great Holiday Weekend!

Pro-Scapes
08-31-2007, 08:50 AM
No Billy,
I didn't say I had to do 6 jobs in 10 days. I said I got 6 jobs TODAY! I have a few on the schedule already, and that's not to say that I might not get another 6 calls tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day and the next day, etc........

I WISH I was that busy... I got 3 Key jobs waiting to be installed that the houses are not done yet. One house is 2 years overdue for completion! This will be my picasso!

JoeyD
08-31-2007, 10:07 AM
You will knock them out Chris! Just be up front and let them know how slammed you got int he last few days.

NiteTymeIlluminations
08-31-2007, 10:16 AM
Chris,

Call me. I may be able to help out.

sprinkler guy
09-03-2007, 01:47 AM
Chris,

I know exactly how you feel. This holiday weekend is the first Saturday I haven't worked in 6 weeks. I'm booked out until mid October at this point, and last week my reminder mailer for Holiday lighting went out. The real topper for me came last Thursday. I got a call from a general contractor in Bel-aire who wants me to come and renovate an 11 transformer system ASAP. The house went on the market a couple of months ago and isn't getting much movement. I think the 39 million dollar price tag might have something to do with it, but he says no. He stressed that the real estate agent is in a rush to have the system checked out and updated. I might be going to 7 days a week for a little while.

With that said, I much prefer this to the alternative. I billed out a grand total of $620 in the month of April, so I'm definitely not complaining.

Mrsamman
09-03-2007, 12:46 PM
If they didn't give you the go ahead when you told them it would be 10 days, you tell them it will be 2 weeks when they give you the contract, then if you get further behind it will be three weeks, I'd rather use a contractor that has work backed up than one that get get there the same day. That says that somebody else likes their work also.
Scott

Chris J
09-06-2007, 06:57 AM
with How many guys/fixtures/transformers can you do in a days work generally speaking?

Because of the heat, I really don't like to do more than one installation per day no matter how big it is. We will normally do an install and finish the day doing some service work around the area. When push comes to shove, however, I can usually get two small jobs done in one day (up to about 15-20 fixtures each), or one medium sized job of 35-40 fixtures. This is with one full time installer and a laborer. Of course, in either of these scenarios the jobs would have to be pretty straight forward with nothing complex about them.

Eden Lights
09-07-2007, 07:29 PM
Because of the heat, I really don't like to do more than one installation per day no matter how big it is. We will normally do an install and finish the day doing some service work around the area. When push comes to shove, however, I can usually get two small jobs done in one day (up to about 15-20 fixtures each), or one medium sized job of 35-40 fixtures. This is with one full time installer and a laborer. Of course, in either of these scenarios the jobs would have to be pretty straight forward with nothing complex about them.

I have always been inspired by many of the fast installation times posted on this and other forums. Do these install times include 120V circuit installation, aiming, editing, cleanup, mulching if needed, and final client walk through? While I have finished with the physcial install in one day 4-20 fixtures, then the details always take at least another half a day it seems. Please tell me more about how this is accomplished, from a work flow standpoint.

Thanks

NightLightingFX
09-07-2007, 09:36 PM
Eden Lights,
That is a good question. I am still farely new to the industry so I figured I m not as effiecient as the more experienced. However, in the back of my mind I have had the exact same questions that you are possing.
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

David Gretzmier
09-07-2007, 10:26 PM
fixture count always makes me giddy, cause there has been days I've been shocked how fast some jobs go. I know I have set two trans, all wiring, 24 fixtures assembled, aimed, bulbed and all wire buried in one day by myself. very simple uplight and path job.

I seem to do most jobs the same-

I put fixtures still in the box where I want them on ground. I put trans still in box where they will be set. I spool out my wire runs from trans to fixtures. go under walks if neccesary. set all trans, then assemble/wire/set each light. bag up all trash. wire to trans, check voltages at each fixture hot, when load and voltage is where I want, seal splices and bury wire. check lights that night. collect check.

If I have a helper they assemble lights, set the trans, go under walks, pick up trash and bury wire. I always seem to set/wire lights, wire trans/check load voltage, and bulb.

NightLightingFX
09-08-2007, 09:34 PM
That is where I am a lot slower. I never seal my connections until I have been out at night to confirm that is where I want my fixture. I guess I am still not experienced enough because a lot of times when I am playing around at night new inspirations come up or just different perspectives, shadowing and etc. For me I can honestly say that I rarely follow my initial design to a "T". I would say 85% of my designs follow what I have on paper.
~Ned
www.nightlightinfx.com

Grass Happens
09-08-2007, 11:09 PM
Dumb question. Do you use 120v or low-volt systems? I did some low volt installs this summer for my internship. I'm just curious as to some alternate income streams. Nobody around me does it, or if they do, they don't do much of it.
Thanks
Josh

NightScenes
09-08-2007, 11:12 PM
This forum is for low voltage primarily. There is a little line voltage descussion but it is very rare.

Grass Happens
09-08-2007, 11:18 PM
Oh ok, thanks for the info. Thats what I though, but wasn't sure.

Chris J
09-09-2007, 08:46 AM
I have always been inspired by many of the fast installation times posted on this and other forums. Do these install times include 120V circuit installation, aiming, editing, cleanup, mulching if needed, and final client walk through? While I have finished with the physcial install in one day 4-20 fixtures, then the details always take at least another half a day it seems. Please tell me more about how this is accomplished, from a work flow standpoint.

Thanks

I apologize for my initial post on this as it was a bit vague. My installation process really begins at the signing of the contract. When I meet with my client to lay out the design and sell the job, I will get all of my measurements for home runs and document (on paper) where all fixture locations will be including lamp type. Long before we return to this job site, the fixtures will be pre-assembled and lubricated with lamps in place. I will have also already figured out all of my wire runs including voltage taps (of course I will double check my calculations after hooking up). My electrician will have been called in already if any circuits have been needed.
Upon arriving at the job site our steps are as follows:
1. I begin setting fixtures while helper A mounts transformers, and helper B begins creating bore pits for drive ways or sidewalks.
2. We will jet the drive/side walk, then helper A will assist me in laying out the wire while helper B color codes the runs behind us.
3. The three of us will then make all of the connections. I will then wire up the transformer and check for correct voltage while helper A&B start to bury the wire runs (leaving the connection areas exposed).
4. I'll make any adjustments to the voltage taps, then finalize the trans mounting and set up the timing system.
5. Once I am finished with this, I'll help bury the rest of the wire.
6. All of the equipment will be returned to it's proper place, and we will clean up the work site. However, very little clean up is necessary because we built all of these fixtures back at the shop.
7. I will adjust/aim all of the fixtures and make a walk-through looking for anything missed.
8. I will return that evening to make final aiming adjustments and pick up a check................

This is the typical routine of the average small to medium sized job.

pete scalia
09-09-2007, 02:23 PM
this is a great bit of information. I'm gonna print it out paste it to the interior door of the trailer and make sure my guys follow it to a T. You just put thousands of dollars into my pocket. I can now afford that big screen TV for the sunday games- Thank you sir!!!!!!!

Chris J
09-09-2007, 09:09 PM
this is a great bit of information. I'm gonna print it out paste it to the interior door of the trailer and make sure my guys follow it to a T. You just put thousands of dollars into my pocket. I can now afford that big screen TV for the sunday games- Thank you sir!!!!!!!

I'm glad I could help Pete, but it really isn't anything special. I simply try to do as much of the work in advance as I can, and then try not to waste any time at all while on the site. I have found that if you watch your crew walk back and forth to the truck, and add up the time wasted doing this, you would be astonished. I try to teach my guys to take something back to the truck if they are going that way, but I want them to bring what they are going to need to begin with. I try to make sure everyone is doing something productive at every moment, and that no one is ever standing around watching or waiting for someone else to finish. This seems to work for me, but I'm nobody. I'm sure I could learn several more things from all of you guys to help me even more.

sprinkler guy
09-10-2007, 03:20 AM
Chris,

I'm curious what products you are using when you say pre-assemble. I use a lot of Fx Luminaire, with some Vista and Cast sprinkled in. Most of my stuff is ready to go out of the box. I'm pounding in the stake then screwing the fixture on for most ground mounted stuff, but that is about the extent of any assembly. Also, what are you lubricating? The only lubricant I have on my truck is for pulling wires and some WD40 for the odd junction box or metal conduit that needs help getting loosened.

Chris J
09-10-2007, 08:46 AM
Chris,

I'm curious what products you are using when you say pre-assemble. I use a lot of Fx Luminaire, with some Vista and Cast sprinkled in. Most of my stuff is ready to go out of the box. I'm pounding in the stake then screwing the fixture on for most ground mounted stuff, but that is about the extent of any assembly. Also, what are you lubricating? The only lubricant I have on my truck is for pulling wires and some WD40 for the odd junction box or metal conduit that needs help getting loosened.

I mainly use Kichler products, but also use several other brands as needed. When I say "pre-assemble", I mean I am taking everything out of the boxes and putting the correct lamp in. This save a great deal of time on site, and cuts down on clean up. Most Kichler fixtures come with lamps, but it is rarely the lamp in which I wish to specify. I also put silicone lubricant on the o-rings and gaskets, and a corrosion inhibitor on the sockets.

David Gretzmier
09-11-2007, 12:00 AM
I use vaseline on the o-rings and bulb grease on 1141/1156 type sockets. when I say assembly, it means open box, pound stake, grease, bulb, set angle if spot, screw into stake. run lead to run. splice, do not seal.

extlights
09-11-2007, 10:03 PM
All fixtures are assembled prior to arriving to the jobsite. First we look at our wiring schematics and lay out all the runs. After the wire is run, we have a couple of guys start burying the wire while another works on the transformer installation (the guys working the wire will also do any necessary sidewalk work). Usually the guy doing the transformer installation will finish before all the wire is burried. He then will dig any holes that may be needed and then put all the fixtures where they will be going.

After the wire is burried, one guy will finish the wiring at the transformer while the others hook up the fixtures. After all fixtures are hooked up, voltages will be taken and someone will be working on clean up. Once everything is to our liking, we will do the final walk though with the customer (if someone is home) and then go back in the evening and make any necessary adjustments.

Normal job (20-25 fixtures) usually takes about 4 hours. Everyone has a "routine" that they get used to and works best for them. The more projects you do the faster the install times get. We've done over 700 projects over the years and this is pretty much how we work every one.

pete scalia
09-11-2007, 10:09 PM
All fixtures are assembled prior to arriving to the jobsite. First we look at our wiring schematics and lay out all the runs. After the wire is run, we have a couple of guys start burying the wire while another works on the transformer installation (the guys working the wire will also do any necessary sidewalk work). Usually the guy doing the transformer installation will finish before all the wire is burried. He then will dig any holes that may be needed and then put all the fixtures where they will be going.

After the wire is burried, one guy will finish the wiring at the transformer while the others hook up the fixtures. After all fixtures are hooked up, voltages will be taken and someone will be working on clean up. Once everything is to our liking, we will do the final walk though with the customer (if someone is home) and then go back in the evening and make any necessary adjustments.

Normal job (20-25 fixtures) usually takes about 4 hours. Everyone has a "routine" that they get used to and works best for them. The more projects you do the faster the install times get. We've done over 700 projects over the years and this is pretty much how we work every one.

this is a great bit of information. I'm gonna print it out paste it to the interior door of the trailer and make sure my guys follow it to a T. You just put thousands of dollars into my pocket. I can now afford that big screen TV for the sunday games- Thank you sir!!!!!!!
Reply With Quote

Chris J
09-11-2007, 10:25 PM
Don't know what your are yet "peter", but I've got you on my watch list.

bmwsmity
09-12-2007, 11:04 AM
2. We will jet the drive/side walk,

When you say jet, do you mean a water jet with a pressure washer?