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View Full Version : Irrigation Tech. Landed Big One


JimLewis
06-06-2008, 04:28 AM
I have a FT irrigation tech. who just goes around fixing irrigation system problems for people in our area. Pretty lucrative part of our company, actually. $110 for the first hour, $70 each additional hour plus we are able to sell all the materials at over 100% markup.

His typical day is go to one house, do a 2 hour repair job. Waste an hour driving to another house do a 1 hour repair job, waste a half hour driving; do a 4 hour repair job. Stuff like that. It's good money, but once in a while we get a big one where he can stay at the same house all day or even several days......and that's what happened today.

One of the customers we have been doing some work for referred us to his boss. Now from the looks of our customer's house, I would have thought HE was the boss. Nice place. And the landscape is incredible. Probably spent $100,000 on the landscape when it was first installed.

So this customer refers us to his boss. And his boss is apparently QUITE wealthy. Not sure we've ever worked for someone this wealthy before. This guy owns what can only be described as a "complex". Gated, coded entry, drive down a long long driveway, through ANOTHER gated, coded entry. Codes to get into the garage, onto each area of the property, codes to get into the box where the irrigation controls, lighting controls, and all the other controls are. Many many acres.

The guy's irrigation system has 2 ESP-LX Controllers and one more 8-Station ESP controller to manage all the 70-80 zones he has. It just goes on and on.

Turns out the guy already loves our work, based on the recommendation of our existing client. And he loved the work my tech. did today. Now he wants nobody but us doing all his irrigation work from now on.

The "property help" and contractors are only allowed on the complex on Thursdays. Otherwise, he does not like to be disturbed on other days. Gates close at 4 p.m. and we all must be gone by 8 p.m. One day a week, only.

So now he wants my tech. there all day every Thursday indefinitely. My tech. says there is just endless work that needs to be done there. Heads that need to be moved out from under plants, heads that need replaced, valve work, new heads needed to be installed, wiring problems, on and on and on.....

Apparently his FT gardener or landscape service isn't adept at irrigation or something.

Anyway, it's kind of nice when you reel in an whale once in a while. :)

Wet_Boots
06-06-2008, 06:31 AM
Yeeee-Hawww!! :drinkup:

AI Inc
06-06-2008, 06:31 AM
Nice score

No Rush
06-06-2008, 07:07 AM
Way to go! :cool2:

DanaMac
06-06-2008, 09:01 AM
That's incredible. Good for you. Way to make the rest of us feel like crap :laugh:

Wet_Boots
06-06-2008, 09:23 AM
Thank you Mister Sunshine.

Kiril
06-06-2008, 09:49 AM
Boooo, where is my cash cow. :cry:

FIMCO-MEISTER
06-06-2008, 09:51 AM
Drives home my point on service calls. Far more profitable to stay on one job all day then waste time, gas, risk accidents, wear and tear on vehicle, etc. That one job alone may pay the tech for the week and the rest is Jim's company's bottom line.payup

WalkGood
06-06-2008, 09:56 AM
I guess the tech works every Thursday even if there is a twister!

Mike Leary
06-06-2008, 11:25 AM
Cha ching! I always tried to have as much wiggle room possible in my operation just
in case a "plum" came calling; sounds like you got one..time to go Calsense or
Rain Master.

Az Gardener
06-06-2008, 11:43 AM
Now thats my kind of customer! No really that is the kind of homes I do but you would have never got the call if it was our house :laugh:

Thats how I got started I did a horticultural consult for a lady who just had spent 400-K on their L/S and lots of death was occuring. I went around and explained why she was having all her problems and she said I want you here. Last month her maint bill was a shade over 9-K :waving:No place like AZ...

Congrats, if you dont have a maint division let me know I will come up and help you get it rolling.

JimLewis
06-06-2008, 01:19 PM
That's incredible. Good for you. Way to make the rest of us feel like crap :laugh:

LOL. Sorry man. If you feel like crap, it's probably because you feel guilty selling that Hunter crap to your customer the other day when you knew in your gut Rain Bird would last a lot longer. :laugh:

Just trying to share my excitement. Every dog has his day, right? :weightlifter:

Mike Leary
06-06-2008, 01:33 PM
Just trying to share my excitement. Every dog has his day, right? :weightlifter:

If you want to change out the clocks, I know a guy that lives up the road:
has Airstream, will travel for big bucks. (hint, hint) :)

BrandonV
06-06-2008, 05:46 PM
I'm w/ mike, and one expensive clock is better than 3 cheapos any day.

Mike Leary
06-06-2008, 05:48 PM
I'm w/ mike, and one expensive clock is better than 3 cheapos any day.

That is crazy a estate that size would have cracker box clocks. :dizzy:

DanaMac
06-06-2008, 06:09 PM
LOL. Sorry man. If you feel like crap, it's probably because you feel guilty selling that Hunter crap to your customer the other day when you knew in your gut Rain Bird would last a lot longer. :laugh:


Jim - I'm just messin' with ya. Great score. I'd find a way to fit that in our schedule too.

Hunter? I don't install much Hunter. Usually RB.

JimLewis
06-06-2008, 07:05 PM
Jim - I'm just messin' with ya. Great score. I'd find a way to fit that in our schedule too.

Hunter? I don't install much Hunter. Usually RB.

I know you were. And I was just throwing the Hunter comment out there more as a jab at Hunter users in general, not you specifically. I was just messin' with you back.

JimLewis
06-06-2008, 07:07 PM
I'm w/ mike, and one expensive clock is better than 3 cheapos any day.

Yah. I hadn't thought of that. All we ever work with is the smaller controllers. 95% of the time, we're working with ESPMi (13 Sta) controllers. 5% of the time we have to use or work with a ESP-LX (38 Sta?) controller. The other bigger ones I have absolutely ZERO experience with. We just never run into properties that huge. What would you use and how much do they cost?

Keep in mind I prefer RB.

Mike Leary
06-06-2008, 07:22 PM
The other bigger ones I have absolutely ZERO experience with. We just never run into properties that huge.

Might think about bringing in someone with mega site experience.:rolleyes:

Waterit
06-06-2008, 07:26 PM
Good for you!

Dana, maybe you ought to rethink hosting The Visitation, now that Jim is gonna be rich!

DanaMac
06-06-2008, 07:27 PM
Good for you!

Dana, maybe you ought to rethink hosting The Visitation, now that Jim is gonna be rich!

Maybe Jim can just fund it. We can be his little charity case :laugh: Gotta do a little community work.

Waterit
06-06-2008, 08:00 PM
Maybe Jim can just fund it. We can be his little charity case :laugh: Gotta do a little community work.

How about it, Jim? Plane tickets for all? Motivate well enough, you might even get something besides lip service out of this bunch:laugh:

Mike Leary
06-06-2008, 08:07 PM
How about it, Jim? Plane tickets for all? Motivate well enough, you might even get something besides lip service out of this bunch:laugh:

The mind boggles having this crew on the same site.:dizzy: Megas don't make any more money than 6 zoners, by the way.

Waterit
06-06-2008, 09:25 PM
The mind boggles having this crew on the same site.:dizzy: Megas don't make any more money than 6 zoners, by the way.

Maybe by percentage they don't, but in terms of gross, they certainly do. You can do more with one big pot of money than several small ones.

BrandonV
06-06-2008, 10:19 PM
i'm thinking a 2 wire conversion, especially if you're going to be modifying it indefinitely... add a zone, delete a zone, and of course controll it all at once from 1 hunter remote.

Mike Leary
06-07-2008, 12:05 AM
[QUOTE=Waterit;236066 You can do more with one big pot of money than several small ones.[/QUOTE]

Nope....in your dreams..." big pot "means evenings, mornings. Huge
responsibility, being able to mobilize at a moment's notice.
"Big Pot" is not for the faint of heart.

Mike Leary
06-07-2008, 12:11 AM
i1 hunter remote.

:hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead:

Waterit
06-07-2008, 01:30 AM
"Big Pot" is not for the faint of heart.

Trying to make a living in irrigation isn't for the faint of heart, either.:)

EagleLandscape
06-07-2008, 12:35 PM
Jim, I know you like to stick with RainBird because of the rewards they give you, but if you seriously care about providing an excellent product to this guy I would install a Weathermatic SL4800 with onsite weather monitor. This controller is also 2-wire capable, and WM has the best, and the least expensive 2-wire system out there.

If this guy really has that many zones, install an ET controller and tell him you will split the savings on his water bill.

londonrain
06-07-2008, 01:44 PM
Nothing like big properties with mega zones on monthly contracts....

Mike Leary
06-07-2008, 01:47 PM
Nothing like big properties with mega zones on monthly contracts....

Yup, with a RM remote, permanent receivers & a golf cart.

EagleLandscape
06-07-2008, 02:10 PM
There is a company here called Precision Landscape and I see them all the time with their golf carts in two. they are the only good maintenance company here in town, besides me.

Mike Leary
06-07-2008, 02:20 PM
I'd think in Texas, golf carts would have air conditioning, a fridge & GPS.

Waterit
06-07-2008, 03:04 PM
I'd think in Texas, golf carts would have air conditioning, a fridge & GPS.

Sirius radio, CD/DVD player, flat screen...

Mike Leary
06-07-2008, 03:07 PM
Sirius radio, CD/DVD player, flat screen...

Case of 6" pit boxes.

EagleLandscape
06-07-2008, 06:05 PM
We are irrigators, not Dieon Sanders

JimLewis
06-07-2008, 06:14 PM
Jim, I know you like to stick with RainBird because of the rewards they give you, but if you seriously care about providing an excellent product to this guy I would install a Weathermatic SL4800 with onsite weather monitor. This controller is also 2-wire capable, and WM has the best, and the least expensive 2-wire system out there.

Sorry, Charlie. Weathermatic isn't taking me and my family of 5 to DisneyWorld for 3 days and Atlantis (Paradise Island, Bahamas) for 5 days in January - Rain Bird is. That definitely buys a little loyalty.

But come on. Let's be honest. It's not like RB stuff is crap. I am not doing anyone wrong by selling their products. They consistently make some of the most reliable and best products in our industry.

If this guy really has that many zones, install an ET controller ....

Definitely plan on doing that, for sure.

Mike Leary
06-07-2008, 07:40 PM
install an ET controller and tell him you will split the savings on his water bill.

Bull s**t, IMHO.

londonrain
06-07-2008, 08:22 PM
Bull s**t, IMHO.


My office WM SL is pumping out some serious run times for a Mon/wed/fri schedule... ;)
mon 6/2/08
zone1 CTURF 1hr13min Rotor run time
zone2 WTURF 54 Rotor run time
zone 3 CTURF 24 Spray run time
zone 4 WTURF 18 Spray run time

wed 6/4/08
zone1 CTURF 52:33 Rotor run time
zone2 WTURF 39:28 Rotor run time
zone 3 CTURF 17:28 Spray run time
zone 4 WTURF 13:07 Spray run time

friday 6/6/08
zone1 CTURF 56:38 Rotor run time
zone2 WTURF 42:28 Rotor run time
zone 3 CTURF 18:50 Spray run time
zone 4 WTURF 14:07 Spray run time



Average for the week on a M/W/F schedule
zone1 CTURF 60min Rotor run time
zone2 WTURF 45min Rotor run time
zone 3 CTURF 19:5min Spray run time
zone 4 WTURF15min Spray run time

Mike Leary
06-07-2008, 08:42 PM
Looks normal for your area & time of year. How does your moisture meter
show when spot checks are done?

londonrain
06-07-2008, 08:48 PM
Looks normal for your area & time of year. How does your moisture meter
show when spot checks are done?
Right inline...only problem is most people are accustomed with leaving the controller in the 20-30min range for rotors all year long and when the system is running a hr a zone they are worried about a high water bill...

Mike Leary
06-07-2008, 09:17 PM
Right inline...only problem is most people are accustomed with leaving the controller in the 20-30min range for rotors all year long and when the system is running a hr a zone they are worried about a high water bill...

I think all of us have had that problem of explaining to the client that we're
only laying down 1/4"=+ per hour.

EagleLandscape
06-07-2008, 10:38 PM
If its watering alot, its because its hot. If you want to underwater, then you are free to do so. ALl it is doing is replacing the amount of water that the plants lost.

Take it or leave it.

Mike Leary
06-08-2008, 12:32 AM
[QUOTE=jwingfield2k;2362395 Take it or leave it.[/QUOTE]

Tell that to the plants. :hammerhead:

FIMCO-MEISTER
06-08-2008, 06:25 AM
My office WM SL is pumping out some serious run times for a Mon/wed/fri schedule... ;)
mon 6/2/08
zone1 CTURF 1hr13min Rotor run time
zone2 WTURF 54 Rotor run time
zone 3 CTURF 24 Spray run time
zone 4 WTURF 18 Spray run time

wed 6/4/08
zone1 CTURF 52:33 Rotor run time
zone2 WTURF 39:28 Rotor run time
zone 3 CTURF 17:28 Spray run time
zone 4 WTURF 13:07 Spray run time

friday 6/6/08
zone1 CTURF 56:38 Rotor run time
zone2 WTURF 42:28 Rotor run time
zone 3 CTURF 18:50 Spray run time
zone 4 WTURF 14:07 Spray run time



Average for the week on a M/W/F schedule
zone1 CTURF 60min Rotor run time
zone2 WTURF 45min Rotor run time
zone 3 CTURF 19:5min Spray run time
zone 4 WTURF15min Spray run time

Interesting LR. Temps in mid 90s? I'm assuming clay soils. .5/rotor and 1.5/spray. How does that compare to your experience? More than you are accustomed to?

londonrain
06-08-2008, 08:44 AM
Interesting LR. Temps in mid 90s? I'm assuming clay soils. .5/rotor and 1.5/spray. How does that compare to your experience? More than you are accustomed to?The sites I manage with mega zones(120-200 zones) and bermudagrass are set at 9min on sprays and 25 min on rotors M/W/F. The turf is not stressed because of lack of water and my moister meter is reading right in line. The only problem is that the turf is going to seed about 2 days after cutting. The only thing I can figure is the extreme heat, high 90's for the last 2 weeks with zero rain plus the poor soil(clay) conditions. The turf has been fertilized on a regular plan and almost looks like a golf coarse except for going to seed.....

Fescue is set at 15min sprays and 40mins on rotors.

Most sites that have SL, I have reduced the run times 50% using the more/less feature because the turf was so soggy and the mowers are eating up the turf.

Kiril
06-08-2008, 09:42 AM
I'm curious LR, did you use the preset settings for PR, or did you figure it manually?