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DanaMac
06-05-2008, 01:29 PM
Since some of you have wondered why we get frustrated and behind in our schedule, here is one reason. Call came in from existing customer about 10 days ago for a broken sprinkler head due to the dog. Said it was shooting up in the air. I go there today to replace it, turn on the controller (Orbit) and nothing turns on. Try another zone, nothing. Go to the PVB, water is not turned on. Tell the wife this, she lets me in to turn water on. Get outside, split in copper and ball valve. Go down stairs, turn off. Back up, make repairs. Whew... out of breath.

Back down, turn on. Back up, check it out. Fine at PVB. irritrol solenoid frozen and popped out. Replace, get working. Three rotors are actually broken. Not one, but three. Replace, turn on, adjust. Crap - now I lost my Irritool. Walk around twice, no deal. Tell customer all is done, will send invoice because now I am an hour behind.

So much for replacing one head, dontcha think.

DanaMac
06-05-2008, 01:32 PM
Oh and it's raining heavily on the south east part of town that we rarely work. One tech has one appointment down there, and he can't make repairs due to soldering, and rain is heavy. So now when can I get him back down there? We probably won't be in that area for 2-3 WEEKS.

Aaaaahhhhhh!!!!!!!! At least now I'm ahead and it's raining. Came home for lunch and phone calls for a bit. Back out in a few........

Lawn-Sharks
06-05-2008, 04:40 PM
I really dont see a lot irrigation work down in my neck of the woods but i do get a call evey once in a while and it always seems to be more then what the home owner thinks like you said, Example that last call i got the lady calls and says my sprinklers arn't working in the front yard." I think i have a leak" she says... ok i go out and start by turning on the timer, well when i open the box the timer dial falls to my feet...hmmm ok! i put it back no luck it aint staying so i replace it with a new updated timer ok back to the original problem turn everything on and none of the zones are coming on but i can see the pumps working so...i look and see a ball valve between the pump and the manifold and i give it a twist and no luck it aint moving so i go ask the home owner when was the last time she closed that valve, she replies ummm about a year ago..hmmm ok maybe the pump is losing its prime?? so i say screw it and go with my gut feeling and grabbed the sawzall and cut the pipe before the valve "Woo Hoo water every where" I cut and replaced the ball valve with a new pvc (old valve was rusted shut, and you closed it a year ago my butt i seen your syatem working 2weeks ago) and went throu the zones and no leaks were found. I handed the home owner the bill got paid and left , but all in all i was screwed for the rest of the mowing day. had to make up for the lost time on my day off. So i have to say i feel your pain!

jimmyburg
06-05-2008, 05:11 PM
but it was worth it at the end when you get a nice fat check

Lawn-Sharks
06-05-2008, 05:47 PM
True! True!

Mike Leary
06-05-2008, 06:07 PM
Since some of you have wondered why we get frustrated and behind in our schedule turn on the (Orbit) Whew... out of breath I am an hour behind.

Rip the clock out, put a sack over your head to avoid hyperventilation.

Tom Tom
06-05-2008, 07:38 PM
Rip the clock out, put a sack over your head to avoid hyperventilation.


yup, agreed..........although

I had a customer awhile back with an Orbit controller w/Orbit remote. The guy came outside with it. I was amazed that it actually worked!

Waterit
06-05-2008, 07:49 PM
yup, agreed..........although

I had a customer awhile back with an Orbit controller w/Orbit remote. The guy came outside with it. I was amazed that it actually worked!

Even a blind monkey finds a banana once in a while:laugh:

Tom Tom
06-05-2008, 08:11 PM
Since some of you have wondered why we get frustrated and behind in our schedule, here is one reason. Call came in from existing customer about 10 days ago for a broken sprinkler head due to the dog. Said it was shooting up in the air. I go there today to replace it, turn on the controller (Orbit) and nothing turns on. Try another zone, nothing. Go to the PVB, water is not turned on. Tell the wife this, she lets me in to turn water on. Get outside, split in copper and ball valve. Go down stairs, turn off. Back up, make repairs. Whew... out of breath.

Back down, turn on. Back up, check it out. Fine at PVB. irritrol solenoid frozen and popped out. Replace, get working. Three rotors are actually broken. Not one, but three. Replace, turn on, adjust. Crap - now I lost my Irritool. Walk around twice, no deal. Tell customer all is done, will send invoice because now I am an hour behind.

So much for replacing one head, dontcha think.


That never happens to me, NOT!

Dana and I talk about this sh$t all the time, ok some of the time, well maybe once in awhile.

Many simple turn-ons evolve into 2 or 3+ hour jobs.

DanaMac
06-05-2008, 08:17 PM
Many simple turn-ons evolve into 2 or 3+ hour jobs.

My tech Tom had a "mainline problem" yesterday. Turned into a 10 zone manifold rebuild due to tree roots. 6.5 hours later.............

Tom Tom
06-05-2008, 08:23 PM
My tech Tom had a "mainline problem" yesterday. Turned into a 10 zone manifold rebuild due to tree roots. 6.5 hours later.............


Sorta like this, but worse?

irritation
06-05-2008, 08:29 PM
Sorta like this, but worse?

I repair crap like that a lot on poly systems I service, but even older PVC systems never seem to have that problem.

Wet_Boots
06-05-2008, 08:33 PM
Someone has a good tree-roots-choke PVC picture. That is, besides Purp, who must have dozens.

Without A Drought
06-05-2008, 10:03 PM
Can you guys not reschedule stuff? I tell the customer that i have an hour for them. most of the time it's enough to turn on, make some repairs, re-test, and bill. if i need to stretch to an hour and a half, i can usually do that. more than that, I'll do the repairs that will get as much of the system running as possible and schedule the rest for another day.

as it stands now, i have about a months worth of extra work for 2 trucks, a few bigger jobs for install, and a couple hundred left to turn on (the heat is just starting to break here, so turn on season's been extended a few weeks).

don't get me wrong, there's always monkey wrenches, but I'll do my best not to let them ruin the rest of the day.

pg

DanaMac
06-05-2008, 10:12 PM
Can you guys not reschedule stuff?

How? I'm already scheduling people 2 weeks out. I call everybody and push things around. I spend enough time on the friggin' phone as it is.

nylan8888
06-05-2008, 10:19 PM
Can you guys not reschedule stuff? I tell the customer that i have an hour for them. most of the time it's enough to turn on, make some repairs, re-test, and bill. if i need to stretch to an hour and a half, i can usually do that. more than that, I'll do the repairs that will get as much of the system running as possible and schedule the rest for another day.

as it stands now, i have about a months worth of extra work for 2 trucks, a few bigger jobs for install, and a couple hundred left to turn on (the heat is just starting to break here, so turn on season's been extended a few weeks).

don't get me wrong, there's always monkey wrenches, but I'll do my best not to let them ruin the rest of the day.

pg

Another trip means more gas and more unpaid winshield time. Starts to add up in a hurry.

Waterit
06-05-2008, 10:29 PM
Can you guys not reschedule stuff?

How? I'm already scheduling people 2 weeks out. I call everybody and push things around. I spend enough time on the friggin' phone as it is.

Another trip means more gas and more unpaid winshield time. Starts to add up in a hurry.

I try to do what Fimco does - underschedule, that way I have enough time to deal with an extra call or one that runs long. And it still blows up in my face often enough to make me want to drain a bottle of Herradura:dizzy:

Without A Drought
06-05-2008, 10:33 PM
I guess you need a secretary. or more time between calls. or properly explain to your customers what you're able to do in the time allowed for the appointment.

don't get me wrong, things are hectic here. but more because of the secretary adding on stuff in an effort to please our core customer base. it's still a 14 hour day, but that's 12-14 calls.

this year i'm doing things a little different. i and the techs are going through stuff with a sharper eye, generating the sh!t lists and going back when turn ons are done. Relative to the other thread, i think this is where the money will come from in the next year or 2. installs are down almost 25 percent. we're telling the guys that they need to generate the work for july and august, otherwise we'll all be in the yard washing the trucks everyday.


i don't know, maybe my customers are just more understanding.

Mike Leary
06-05-2008, 11:09 PM
If you can get the clients to ask, "what year", you've hit the big time.

Lawnworks
06-06-2008, 02:25 AM
I had a call the other day on one of the systems I installed. I warranty them for 3 years and this one was only about a year old. The valve box was full of water. Of course, I had to check on this job after a long day of installing and get there at 7:30p. I dig up the valve box... and there is nothing no water seaping any where. I finally go under the house to see where the main comes in... and of course set-off the alarm. Sherrif come out to see us digging up the whole yard... fun. Turn of the irrigation at the backflow... water meter keeps spinning. Try to call customer to let them know it is not irrigation... of course no answer. Finally we just start digging. Dug around about 8' trying to trace the leak in clay... finally just stick my hand down in the clay to try to find the leak. I finally found it... 3' deep and of course it is the main line. Dig a monsterous whole in the dark at 9pm... find a coupling that evidently wasn't glued properly. I go ahead and fix the leak. Customer finally calls me back after I have finished the job and I am on the way home at 9:30p. I tell her it is going to cost her $150... she goes bazerk... and her I am thinking I am doing her a giant favor... I tell her a plumbing company is going to cost her $100 before they even touch a shovel. I tell her if she was not a lawn maintenance customer... it would have cost her $250... she is still not happy. Next day she calls me to tell there is a mound where we dug the hole... still complaining. Her painter said that was not the way to leave a plumbing repair. Apparently according to him leaving a 2-3" is not acceptable according to the painter code on plumbing repairs. I tell her ok... I will come and remove some dirt and she can have a sink hole in a month... finally convince her it was done correctly... I would like to have that painters phone number to let him have a piece of my mind. I tell you... try to do someone a favor and 5 times out of 10... it just bites you in the rear!

AI Inc
06-06-2008, 06:51 AM
During start up season I make the call within 10 minutes of arival on if to do it then or rescedule.If its a mess , we shut the water off outside , program the clock come back at our leisure.
Otherwise its someone later in the day with a simple startup that had to leave by 3 that will suffer.

DanaMac
06-06-2008, 09:46 AM
During start up season I make the call within 10 minutes of arival on if to do it then or rescedule.If its a mess , we shut the water off outside , program the clock come back at our leisure.
Otherwise its someone later in the day with a simple startup that had to leave by 3 that will suffer.

I will do that too when it's bad enough. We make the effort to get as much working as possible, prioritize the front yard, and if there are major repairs then reschedule for down the road. but if it's one of those things that will take an extra hour or so, I'd rather do it then if possible. Less drive time and fuel, don't want to reschedule 2-3 weeks.

AI Inc
06-06-2008, 05:15 PM
Im always carrying a folder with me 1/2 full of drop by calls. Keep em handy for fill in timeor when local and ahead of scedule.

DanaMac
06-06-2008, 06:18 PM
See, now today was just the opposite, and I got two of my three Saturday jobs done. But it rarely works that way. Slowing down a little finally and scheduling some of the extras - add drip, straighten PVB, move heads, add heads, upgrade controllers, manifold rebuilds, install PRVs, etc

Mike Leary
06-06-2008, 06:31 PM
See, now today was just the opposite, and I got two of my three Saturday jobs done. But it rarely works that way. Slowing down a little finally and scheduling some of the extras - add drip, straighten PVB, move heads, add heads, upgrade controllers, manifold rebuilds, install PRVs, etc
You forgot one more project:
::::start saving wine money to entertain visiting dignitaries in the fall::::

DanaMac
06-06-2008, 06:34 PM
You forgot one more project:
::::start saving wine money to entertain visiting dignitaries in the fall::::

Hey I really don't need to save up for a couple bottles of Boone's Farm.....

DanaMac
06-06-2008, 06:50 PM
Hey I really don't need to save up for a couple bottles of Boone's Farm.....

Actually, from what all of you are saying, that might be all I can afford with my rates :rolleyes: Oh whoa is me....

Mike Leary
06-06-2008, 07:02 PM
Hey I really don't need to save up for a couple of bottles of Boone's Farm.....

What?, they don't have Mad Dog in Colorado?:hammerhead:

DanaMac
06-06-2008, 07:10 PM
What?, they don't have Mad Dog in Colorado?:hammerhead:

You want grape or red?

name the movie anyone?

hoskm01
06-07-2008, 12:01 AM
put a sack over your head to avoid hyperventilation.


Or keep it on and end the misery!:)

DanaMac
06-07-2008, 12:04 AM
Or keep it on and end the misery!:)

OK, YOU get to buy the beer when we meet up!!!

Mike Leary
06-07-2008, 12:25 AM
OK, YOU get to buy the beer when we meet up!!!

Must be nice to crack open a Coors (cough). ::re think visit to Colorado:::

Mike Leary
06-07-2008, 12:36 AM
Or keep it on and end the misery!:)

What a great line...I mean it.

hoskm01
06-07-2008, 12:48 AM
It wasnt a suggestion for you Dana, I certainly dont want that. Just a play on the words. Ill buy the first beer, no prob.

New Belgium, Odells, Breckenridge, Boulder. All great Craft and micro breweries. Coors and AB are big here as well. Its nice to have Happy Hours with "Colorado" beers on special. It includes just about everything.

DanaMac
06-07-2008, 08:46 AM
It wasnt a suggestion for you Dana, I certainly dont want that. Just a play on the words. Ill buy the first beer, no prob.

New Belgium, Odells, Breckenridge, Boulder. All great Craft and micro breweries. Coors and AB are big here as well. Its nice to have Happy Hours with "Colorado" beers on special. It includes just about everything.

I knew you was playin'. Don't sweat it.

Sorry Mikey, not a Coors guy. I need a beer with FLAVOR. We are getting two new microbreweries opening in CS soon, and another that is re-opening after getting out of it for quite awhile.