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humble1
01-30-2008, 08:34 PM
I just wanted to start a thread to see what your job was before getting into the "chem biz" for instance rayhollio (sp?) has said he was a motorolla sales guy. Rodney farming corn, etc, me I have been in the landscaping trade on my own for 20 years, i also am on a firedept as an EMT.

LawnTamer
01-30-2008, 08:50 PM
I've never had a "real" career. I've had lots of job, but I started doing this while I was in high school, I was a licensed applicator before I was old enough to vote.

PHS
01-30-2008, 09:00 PM
No previous life for me. Started doing landscape maintenance in high school with my best friend. At the same time I got a DUI when I was 17 and for my community service work I started maintaining the baseball field at my high school because all we had was the janitor who mowed it once a week. I found out I enjoyed it so when I got accepted to the local university I went into horticulture. After several different avenues I'm back solo again and love it more than ever.

On the side I work in the fly fishing industry consulting on fly rod design.

Whitey4
01-30-2008, 09:05 PM
Airborne radar tech in the USAF led to working for DOD contractors, eventually becoming a National Sales mgr for a 15 Mill division. When peace broke out (when Russia collapsed) all these smaller companies got taken over by the big boys, like Lockheed and Northrup until there were few jobs to be had. Then... I started a small construction biz, then drove NYC subway trains. Now, I do this! But apps are only a portion of my new biz, I'm an LCO that uses IPM and apps. Been an interesting ride, that's for sure.

This was sort of what I really wanted to do since I was a kid. My sequence in high school was ornamental horticulture. I've been winning some ribbons at the county fair for produce and flowers for a few years... so this is my hobby as well. Yeah, I'm an old fart.

ted putnam
01-31-2008, 12:36 AM
Istarted with Chemlawn in 1990 after graduating college. Got disgusted with the owner (I could see I was going nowhere). Took tests for a couple FD's. I got on one as a Paid Firefighter/EMT. Took all the classes. Haz Mat Tech, Heavy Rescue Tech, Confined Space, and the list goes on. The only thing I didn't do was kiss the right a$$. After 9 years and 2 Lieutenants tests of being in the top 3 and not promoting. I weighed the good, the bad and the ugly and went with this. I Love it!. I love being with my family. I miss the guys and the work of the FD. I still see some of the guys. I don't miss the schedule or the politics.I wouldn't change a thing.

T-Cart
01-31-2008, 12:53 AM
Hey guys,I am a new guy here.I started crop dusting in 1978,Retired from that after the 2004 season.Been in lawn care since then.Branching out into the spraying end this year.People ask me all the time how this compares to the other job and I tell them that it is a lot alike,Go down to the other end and turn around and come back,Keep doing this till you get to the other side.Little lower and a lot slower.:)T-Cart

Whitey4
01-31-2008, 01:04 AM
Hey guys,I am a new guy here.I started crop dusting in 1978,Retired from that after the 2004 season.Been in lawn care since then.Branching out into the spraying end this year.People ask me all the time how this compares to the other job and I tell them that it is a lot alike,Go down to the other end and turn around and come back,Keep doing this till you get to the other side.Little lower and a lot slower.:)T-Cart


:laugh: hey, there have been some questions here lately about ULV spraying... you gotta know something about that! I'm a newbie myself, but welcome in any case! (I'm also likely about as fossilized as you are!)

FdLLawnMan
01-31-2008, 01:08 AM
After working 34.5 years as an engineering technician with the larges Marine Manufacturer in the world I was getting really sick of the politics. I was paid very well and had for the most part an interesting job. What got me was evdery day I was out doing applications I was for the most part happy. When I was at work I couldn't wait to get back outside. I started this as a part time job 4 years ago. My customer base grew from 4 to 32 to 64 to 104. I knew it was time to get out when I was out of vacation in June. The company was looking for volunteers to take early retirement and I jumped at it. I am in the midst of sending out my renewals and marketing for the coming season. I couldn't be happier.

Hissing Cobra
01-31-2008, 02:09 AM
From 1985 - 2001, I was a house painter who had the luxury of working on brand new 200K-600K houses. Old houses are NOT fun to paint! I worked for my uncle and worked my way up to foreman. I left when I realized I'd gone as far as I was going to go. I began my family and needed health insurance and a 401K.

In early 2001, I went to work for the Lawn Company of Cape Cod and jumped into the lawn fertilization business. I learned this trade from one of the most respected agronomists in the state of Mass and many 10-20 year veterans. We had in-house classes every winter and were always encouraged to "do the right thing." I serviced a route of 450+ customers for two years and then jumped into the tree/shrub department. I enjoyed that a lot and picked up a lot of knowledge. This lasted for two more years and then I jumped into management.

During this time, Scotts Lawn Service bought us out and basically ran a once successful business right into the ground. ALL of the 10-20 year veterans left and the place was run by idiots at Corporate Headquarters who only cared about increased revenue and how they were going to get it. That location is still in business but the average employee has about 1 year of experience and the turnover rate is probably close to 200%. Our retention rate of close to 90% under the previous leadership is now down to about 81% under Scotts' leadership (I have one friend left who still works there and he gives me the info). Despite the fact that their employees leave at an alarming rate and their customers are now beginning to jump ship too, their revenues have held up because they keep increasing their pricing. It became so difficult to work for them, I quit and moved onto greener pastures.

I'm now an Assistant Branch Manager at a John Deere Landscapes location and I love it!

garydale
01-31-2008, 10:30 AM
Happy to say I've been in green industry my whole life.
Started at 14 years of age pulling weeds for $1.00 per hour.(Now 60 years old)
Greenhouses 4 years
Garden Center 4 years
Residential landscape 5 years
Large Commercial Maintence 8 years (Award winning)
Large Commercial Landscape 10 years (Award winning)
Certified Applicator Business 12 years
It's been good to me!

Tom Jaszewski
01-31-2008, 10:37 AM
Retired from position of Horticulture Director, The Mirage Hotel and Casino. 20 years of Las Vegas was enough! Moved to a small MN city to enjoy gardening again. Actually the snow turns out to be a great escape from the dirt for 6 months.

Ric
01-31-2008, 12:58 PM
.

Former Porn Star with the stage name of John Homes.:)

.

fertguy2008
01-31-2008, 01:44 PM
It all started when I was 11 years old riding the John Deere mower to neighbor's houses with the electric blower, two extension cords, and a gas "green machine" weedeater in the catcher bags on the back.
During college I worked for a liquid metering pump distributor. I got a DUI, needed more money and decided to work with my best friend at a landscape maintenance company (at the time it was the largest residential company in the north metro atlanta area). A year later, I started on my own, quit school, and sold the business after 7 years. Now I work for a fertilizer/chemical distributor.

Hoots
01-31-2008, 10:10 PM
Cart boy at a local golf course in high school. Mow a few yards in my spare time.
Promoted to pro shop assistant.
One summer I decided to try golf course maintenance while working the pro shop. I would work on maintenance in the morning, go home at lunch, then come back in an hour to close in the pro shop.:weightlifter: (all in the summer between high school and community college)
One year later went to a university for horticulture and landscape management with an emphasis in golf course management.
Graduate from college, (while working at a golf course) got a job as an assistant golf course superintendent.
Two years later start a lawn care business on the side. Mowing 27 properties per week after working at the golf course.
Going solo in a few more months.:clapping:
Licensed applicator for 5 years.

tremor
02-01-2008, 12:40 AM
1970's worked for a friend's carnival, pizza joint, nursing home, school
1979 shagging golf balls, selling tix, mowing home lawns, school
1981 computer repairman & back to school
1983 Orange Research - manufacturing & night school
1985 Chemlawn then a stint at an independent LCO then on my own a year
1989 Lesco- two different stores then outside sales
2006 Valley Green - outside sales - largest independent Green Industry supplier in New England & growing ;o)

Victor
02-01-2008, 12:45 AM
I never knew you worked for Chemlawn Steve.

fertguy2008
02-01-2008, 09:20 AM
1970's worked for a friend's carnival, pizza joint, nursing home, school
1979 shagging golf balls, selling tix, mowing home lawns, school
1981 computer repairman & back to school
1983 Orange Research - manufacturing & night school
1985 Chemlawn then a stint at an independent LCO then on my own a year
1989 Lesco- two different stores then outside sales
2006 Valley Green - outside sales - largest independent Green Industry supplier in New England & growing ;o)

From a current Lesco man to a former Lesco man, Things are a changin'

tremor
02-05-2008, 10:44 AM
The bodies were already stone cold before my own GI changes so there's no love lost here.
Chemlawn died shortly after the Duke's sold (even before Ecolab).
Lesco started dying with the loss of Fitz & made it's last gasp when Foley was replaced by DiMino.

These were good companies founded by fine men. However the corporate talking heads that tried to replace their vision with lesser "leadership" failed. They will argue this point till they're blue but the evidence is right here for the taking just like the sales!

Here is a curious thought to ponder. If you soundly thrash your competition to the point you can buy them & you do; why entrust control of your killing machine to their former leadership?

Small independents didn't slay these giants. They brought themselves down trying to take on more than they could chew.

scweedman
02-05-2008, 07:01 PM
Fertguy my mom lives in sugarhill ga