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mdb landscaping
10-26-2001, 08:52 PM
i was planning on getting a leaf loader next year, but i ran across one in the classifieds. its a salsco 16hp with the briggs vanguard. he wants $1595 for it, but i can prolly chew him down $200 more. its only been used for 5 weekends last year. i thought this was a good deal. what do you think? he had a rough year. hes trying to unload a ghel skid steer w/51 hrs and a dump truck:D

lawrence stone
10-26-2001, 10:22 PM
You might not want this advice but your getting it anyway.

Go on traderonline and buy a Toro 52" walkbehind with a twin kohler.

Now you have a machine the will mulch leaves and something that you can use from March thru November.

I bought one of the picture in your neck of the woods a couple of years ago for $700 with a sit down toro sulky.

LoneStarLawn
10-26-2001, 10:28 PM
To authenticate a picture one must be in the picture. How else are we to know if you did that or not. LOL

KirbysLawn
10-26-2001, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by LoneStarLawn
To authenticate a picture one must be in the picture. How else are we to know if you did that or not. LOL

LMAO.....I think I heard that before....somewhere.....:confused:

LAWNGODFATHER
10-27-2001, 12:28 AM
If it's in good shape take it!

Never heard of the brand though.

LGF:blob1:

casey
10-27-2001, 01:05 AM
Originally posted by lawrence stone
You might not want this advice but your getting it anyway.
Go on traderonline and buy a Toro 52" walkbehind with a twin kohler.


I have a 16hp Billy Goat & numerous BP & push blowers that hasn't been used once this year due to mulching. Spend it on a overpowered WB.

mdb landscaping
10-27-2001, 02:38 PM
stone, are you braindead on mulching leaves? I have never seen anybody in my town mulching leaves. it is not possible to mulch them. everybody has leaf loaders up here.

thelawnguy
10-27-2001, 02:44 PM
If you like, I can stop by one of your accounts on Tuesday and show you how its done.

Contact me.

jannan
10-27-2001, 03:05 PM
For what it's worth.I tried for 3 months to badger my brother(partner) into buying a truck loader (he wouldn't give in).Finally I put doubles on our Exmarks & am happy to say that he saved us a couple grand. I'm sure our leaves aren't as heavy as they are in CT. but we do have alot of trees here. The doubles seem to do better if there is a lot of leaves down (instead of just a lite coating) Just the opposite of what I expected. You might give it a try before spending the extra money on another piece of equipment to maintain & store.

lawrence stone
10-27-2001, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by mdb landscaping
stone, are you braindead on mulching leaves? I have never seen anybody in my town mulching leaves. it is not possible to mulch them. everybody has leaf loaders up here.

Who are you calling braindead you snot nose little punk?

And in the future if you want my consideration you should address me as MR. Stone.

hustlers
10-27-2001, 11:47 PM
mulching is the best way to go through Fall
Just bag the last time of the year.

Why not? its free fertilizer and compost

cos
10-28-2001, 01:28 AM
I am confused. I thought you didn't do residentials, Stone? I see more and more pics of res. Are you starting to cater to a different market now?

Chuck Sinclair
10-28-2001, 08:44 PM
Stone,

I think you need to go over that yard a few more times it looks kinda bad in the picture.
I would never leave a customers yard looking like that.

mdb landscaping
10-28-2001, 08:45 PM
uh oh. youre in trouble now sinclac. you didnt call him "Mr. Stone".

lawrence stone
10-28-2001, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by cos
I am confused. I thought you didn't do residentials, Stone? I see more and more pics of res. Are you starting to cater to a different market now?

I have always had some residential work but I have not advertised for any new work residential in a few years.

But that might change next season. If I can't find enough sports field work to fill my dance card I am going to aggressively market my services to the small 2-4k sq. ft residential market.

The reason is that today I traded a LCO from western PA a spare 44" WB that was collecting dust in storage for a nearly new 32" Toro WB.

Now that I can mow 32" while standing vs. 21" and walking I have a whole new perspective on the small residential market.

Do you remember the lawnboy who have the $19.95 month AOL like mowing program?

Well I am going to offer a $99/month (9months=$900 yearly) complete lawn care package for 2-4K homesites. This includes a spring AND fall power rake and aeration, fertilization (4 apps of 5-10-31 at half rate), mowing, and fall leaf grinding.

Now some of the peanut gallery might say "MR." stone how can you make any $$ at that rate. Well the key is children that I only visit the job 20 times per year. I don't need to mow on a weekly basis. I mow every 10 days in spring and fall and every 14+ days in mid summer.

So if you take $900 and divide by 20 visits you get a per visit gross of $45. So I can do 4 lawns per hour solo=$180 per hour gross all within a 5 mile radius of my home.

Now grasshopper take the pebble from my hand.

casey
10-28-2001, 10:31 PM
Mr. Stone,
Glad you've finally realized there is big $$$ to be made in the small residential market. Your Toro 32 however is a poor choice for maximum production. When you decide to ditch the less profitable sports fields work for this more lucrative venture I would suggest investing in some quality machinery.

bubble boy
10-28-2001, 10:57 PM
he may realize the $ potential, but good luck to him selling cuts every ten days-the customer sees right through such tricks.

and for those that dont catch on, he will be double cutting all that long grass . esp. with that 32"single blade, and there goes his hourly rate.

lawrence stone
10-28-2001, 11:10 PM
Originally posted by bubble boy
he may realize the $ potential, but good luck to him selling cuts every ten days-the customer sees right through such tricks.

and for those that dont catch on, he will be double cutting all that long grass . esp. with that 32"single blade, and there goes his hourly rate.

It's quite obvious that you canuck lawnboys just don't understand how a professional does business.

The mowing intervals are stated very clearly in my contract. The customer pays up front every month or no service.

If you had any clue you would have picked up on the type and amount of fertilizer applied and would realize that with such little N the top growth will be minimal.

But since you guys can't pass a pesticide test and your world is controlled by the urea tanker of the "weed man".

I hope this helps.

bubble boy
10-28-2001, 11:21 PM
i realize those that hire you will know they are getting 10 day service. but how big is the 10 day service market? i just find this hard to sell, people are creatures of habit and where i am weekly service is the norm. plus scheduling for 10 days is a pain for this canuck lawnboy.

and i dont need a liscence or much of a clue to know that people will water their lawns. some every day. put down as little nitrogen as you want.

cantoo
10-28-2001, 11:26 PM
casey, wanna sell the Bilygoat? I'm just west of you and might be interested. I think I have a use for it. I'm going to be away for a few days but e-mail me if you want.
cantoo@hotmail.com

lawrence stone
10-28-2001, 11:31 PM
The customer who will take the $99 month deal is going to be a frugal customer, therefore they are NOT going to pay a big bill to PA American Water Co.

There are over 50,000 of these small housing units in a 5 mile radius of my home. If I had 60 of them (2 days work) that would be a gross of $54K yearly. Plus they will be given 9 SASE envelopes for remittance so I will not have to mail invoices.

In my business world it's my way or the highway.

casey
10-28-2001, 11:33 PM
The cutting intervals in your climate with the proper fertilizer applications may work but your overall plan for generating large revenue from this market is flawed. However, since you are doing this as a part time venture, due to your failing sports fieds contracts, you may find a good source of supporting income with minimal labour.

Cantoo, I still may use the BG occasionally.
First year mulching. Not sure it's going to work after the big drop.

lawrence stone
10-28-2001, 11:53 PM
It might not be a part time venture. If I bought just a 1/4 page ad in the March/April 2002 coupon clipper I could pick up over 200 new accounts.

The demographics of my area is much like FLA with a big cheap azz senior population. They just love those coupons.

It could be possible to build up enough density where I can have one laborer mow the other trim and edge and I will drive the truck as they go from house to house and to insure quality control.

Plus many will want landscape maint. work such as mulching, fertilizing and applying pre-M to landscape beds plus tree spraying. That's where I nail them big time.

The key to making the inital contact is this phase:

"Complete quality lawncare starting at $99 per month".

What I have to do is have my phone forward to a live answering service for the spring months so I don't lose any contacts to an answering machine hang up.

casey
10-28-2001, 11:55 PM
You have just described my business.

bubble boy
10-29-2001, 12:07 AM
200 would be tough to pic up in my area in one spring, but you know where you are.

i don't find there are many hang ups. with call display i know all the calls that come in, and most leave messages. it's the way it works these days, phone tag.

are you saying you will be with the crew, or in a second truck? i find the mere possibility that i may drop by the boys houses keeps quality control at decent levels. not great but good enough.

casey
10-29-2001, 12:18 AM
Originally posted by lawrence stone


It could be possible to build up enough density where I can have one laborer mow the other trim and edge

The key to making the inital contact is this phase:

"Complete quality lawncare starting at $99 per month".



If your prices are low you will easily build up the volume in a densly populated area to make your plan extremely profitable.

thelawnguy
10-29-2001, 08:56 AM
My plate is full with a market similar to what Stone proposes to corner. BTW his area is very similar to mine demographics-wise; lots of older retired homeowners left behind when the factories moved out, living off a 1200/month pension and not willing nor able to water or tend their postage-stamp lawns.

Fertilize with low N fert with 3% iron oxide and the grass remains short but deep green.

I love to watch guys chase their tails dumping 3x the recommended N on acre lawns then fill their trucks with the clippings every 4 days "just because".

An answering service is a must since the majority of these prospects still use a rotary dial phone and dont have a clue as to what "wait for the beep" means.

SprinklerGuy
10-29-2001, 12:16 PM
Hey Casey,
This is almost exactly what you and I spoke about before! In AZ I do not think though that we can get away with mowing every 10 days. That would be great though. This was a great thread, Stone. It is nice when no one gets too pissy and the info does not get too diluted. Thanks guys.

scottb
10-29-2001, 03:22 PM
I have often thought that Stones idea excuse me Mr. Stones idea would work in my area. We have many many small lawns postage stamp size and smaller that would not take 20 minutes to mow with a 21" push mower much less a wb. The people all work and hour away and on weekends the kids have soccer,baseball,football etc. Than you have the elderly and they all only care that there lawn has been cut and that it is green.
Good luck Mr. Stone.

SprinklerGuy
10-29-2001, 04:09 PM
SCott, Sounds like my neck of the woods. Will you be trying it? I may be as well. Unlike Mr. STone, I do not need a huge amount of profit from it as my irrigation company provides pretty well, however, I can make another 3 or 4 thousand a month, that 's also not bad. I don't think however that I can mow every 10 days. Wish I could!!!

casey
10-29-2001, 07:55 PM
Originally posted by lawrence stone

Well I am going to offer a $99/month (9months=$900 yearly) complete lawn care package for 2-4K homesites. This includes a spring AND fall power rake and aeration, fertilization (4 apps of 5-10-31 at half rate), mowing, and fall leaf grinding.


I would suggest you offer 3 packages. The first a mow&blow at (guessing)$60 per month. A middle package at $90 & the full service package you describe above at $120 (adjust figures accordingly). This way you have three bids on each job, dramatically increasing your chances of landing a large volume of contracts. Also this way your advertisment can read "Complete lawn service starting at $60 per month". The phone will ring off the hook. Mow&blows can be as profitable as your full service if you have the volume & proper equipment for efficient mowing.

thelawnguy
10-29-2001, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by thelawnguy
If you like, I can stop by one of your accounts on Tuesday and show you how its done.

Contact me.

Well since you have not yet taken me up on my offer I will have to retract it since I need to have something to do tomorrow.

But, hey, at least you are staying consistent mdb. ;) (read my signature)

mdb landscaping
10-29-2001, 09:27 PM
sorry i didnt get back to you lawnguy. i got ticked off how the whole thread changed hands when "Mr. Stone" started talking about doubles. i stopped checking it, cause nobody answered my question.

thelawnguy
10-29-2001, 10:05 PM
I saw the Salsco at the Big E last year...my first impression was that a) new, it was expensive, b)appeared to be marketed toward the first-time LCO buyer who is used to homeowner, i.e., crapsman type stuff, c) makes the Giant Vac (which I always considered dinosaur engineering anyways) appear state-of-the-art.

Take a ride some day and compare units by Trac Vac, Giant Vac, and Billy Goat as well, (there's a green one I dont know the brand sorry) better yet talk with guys who use the stuff, this is the time of year to do it. Don't worry about the machine going anywhere, the leaf season is fast ending and Im sure the unit will still be available in a couple weeks.

mdb landscaping
10-30-2001, 06:52 PM
thanks bill. i am considering giant vac and billy goat heavily. i may just have to wait till next year. i waited too long.

Chipper Man
11-01-2001, 09:24 PM
:blob3:
That is an excellent deal. Buy it if you can.

Henry
11-01-2001, 10:04 PM
Check with Lesco, I think Salsco makes thier leaf vac. I bought mine new in 97 for around $2100. Works great.