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View Full Version : Dirty company!!!!WOW


lawnmogul
07-13-2008, 03:00 PM
It is amazing to see how dirty alot of companies keep their trucks ,trailer equipment.What ever happen to personal pride.

JB1
07-13-2008, 03:54 PM
It is amazing to see how dirty alot of companies keep their trucks ,trailer equipment.What ever happen to personal pride.

I read on here water was bad for mowers, I guess thats part of the reason.

lawnmogul
07-13-2008, 07:19 PM
wash and then dry with a blower.Wipe down housing and cover it.It is your lively hood after all.

bohiaa
07-13-2008, 07:39 PM
I hear ya....

I have picked up some of my best accounts simply because other LCO pulled up, opened there doors and soda cans fall out....

they dont take pride in thereself there is NO way they will take any to others

lawnmogul
07-13-2008, 09:27 PM
Bohiaa you are so right.I knew you would reply because i know you run a very nice business Thank you.

lawnwizards
07-13-2008, 09:50 PM
i pull up in a dirty old 95 ranger and gatorade bottles fall out all the time. along with my jack links teriyaki jerky rappers. customers dont give a crap because i do one helluva a job on their lawn. so go ahead and polish your 08 f350 superduty crewcab and spit shine your mowers every evening. waste all the time on something that customers could care less about. while youre doing that, i'll be enjoying time with my family.

lawnmogul
07-13-2008, 09:55 PM
And you are proud of this?

lawnwizards
07-13-2008, 09:59 PM
And you are proud of this?

damn proud of the job i do. my blades are always sharp and my lawns look as good or better than anyone who has to wash his mower every day. its not the mowers or the trucks or any of the equipment that the customer cares about, its the finished product. you can have the most shiny equipment but if your lawn looks like crap, do you think the customer will say "atleast his stuff looks good".

M & MD Lawn
07-13-2008, 10:06 PM
I always keep the truck clean, the mowers I wash every now and then, usually after I cut in the rain (mud), the trailer never gets washed tho. i make sure my truck is shinin inside and out

Toy2
07-13-2008, 10:06 PM
Wasn't the movie "Deliverance" filmed in Kentucky?

You got your answer!! :clapping:

jrush
07-13-2008, 10:09 PM
Thats funny, my trucks are always dirty because they are always worked, as are my mowers and other equipment. I spend more time in my truck and on my equipment than I'm at home, I keep my blades sharp, oil changed, fittings greased and my tires inflated. If I want to wash my truck and equipment I have to schedule it in, on my time, unpaid, yes it gets washed, but believe me, its a work truck not a show piece. And yes, I love my truck, dirty or clean, bad mph or not, I luv my trucks and equipment.

lawnwizards
07-13-2008, 10:14 PM
Wasn't the movie "Deliverance" filmed in Kentucky?

You got your answer!! :clapping:

i believe it was based in arkansas, alot closer to texas than kentucky.

lawnmogul
07-13-2008, 10:15 PM
That is ok!But what i was reffering to is being proud someones things are dirty and messy.That in my book is not ok.So having clean equipment not shining as lawnwizard is hung up on and doing a great job for your customers is not possible i guess?

lawnwizards
07-13-2008, 10:16 PM
i understand what you are saying. there is dirty, then there is "dirty".

lawnmogul
07-13-2008, 10:20 PM
it takes me 10 minutes to wash the truck and 30 minutes to wash equipment and trailer and blow it off per week.

lawnmogul
07-13-2008, 10:22 PM
All just personal preference!!!

DaveinSWFL
07-13-2008, 10:23 PM
I think personal appearance is important (self & equipment). But I also think there is a market where it is not important. Most of my customers live in upper class neighborhoods, they have disposable income. In other areas of my town I see the old rusty, dirty trucks & beat up mowers. These folks tend to service the working class, with typically tighter budgets. Most could give a crap, what you drove or what your equipment looks like. Bottom line, its all about price for them.

Green' Go
07-13-2008, 10:27 PM
This topic is pointless.:confused:
Who wins this debate?

MowHouston
07-13-2008, 10:37 PM
I hear ya....

I have picked up some of my best accounts simply because other LCO pulled up, opened there doors and soda cans fall out....

they dont take pride in thereself there is NO way they will take any to others

Those weren't soda bottles, they were gatorade bottles. And I told you to stop following me around! :laugh:

KS_Grasscutter
07-13-2008, 10:46 PM
Around here the big time guys are the ones with old, beat up, dirty trucks. The ones with newer trucks are either solo guys or wanna-be's, for the most part.

Toy2
07-13-2008, 10:48 PM
Around here all the "beaners" drive ratty a$$ trucks and trailers, the big LCO's have an image, so you always see these guys on commercial properties.

The others are cutting each others throat just to mow residental!!

I wonder if the "wife beater" shirts are coming back for the LCO industry!!

You are what you drive, and what you wear!!!

SNAPPER MAN
07-13-2008, 10:56 PM
Toy2. I completely dissagree. Most of the hispanics not "beaners" in my area run very nice outfits. Most have nice 3/4 ton trucks with better mowers than I have and they do very quality work. I run only hispanic labor and our work is top notch because these guys pay attention to detail. The only guys running ratty setups here are usually white trash and salvadorians. I rarely see hispanics wearing wife beaters when mowing. Only blacks and white guys do that. Hispanics always cover up as much as they can because its smart. Please dont make stupid comments like that. I know a good guy. Jose and he runs one of the best companies in my area. He runs at least 5 crews and they all are hispanics and they have nice trucks that are ALWAYS clean, I dont know how he does it. I guess I take offense to that comment because I am a so called "beaner". Viva La Raza!!!!

Toy2
07-13-2008, 11:02 PM
Are they all legal?

Doubt it!!

I said here where I am they have ratty trucks and trailers, yeah they might have a brand new Scag, but I know exactly where they live.....dumptown Waco.

I know the legal ones do good work, but how do you know the difference?

old oak lawn
07-13-2008, 11:22 PM
clean truck and trailer on Sunday and by Saturday when i open the door cans fall out. so i just throw then in the back seat.[crew cab]

Brianslawn
07-13-2008, 11:25 PM
Around here all the "beaners" drive ratty a$$ trucks and trailers, the big LCO's have an image, so you always see these guys on commercial properties.

The others are cutting each others throat just to mow residental!!

I wonder if the "wife beater" shirts are coming back for the LCO industry!!

You are what you drive, and what you wear!!!


around here the beaners drive uhauls. the white boys are in the ratty trucks (saw an old ambulance van one was using other day). and its beer cans falling out of them not pop cans. theyre just cutting for beer cash after all anyways. talk about cutting throats... its res and commercial here. mostly commercial though. as low as $15 acre ive heard. most the guys cutting at a biz dont even got paint on their trucks let alone a name. most of then cut their own throats even :laugh:

laxative
07-13-2008, 11:28 PM
I just show up drunk and park in the yard. Sometimes I have to stop the mower to throw up.

Seriously though, I'd never hire anybody to do anything on my property if they had redneck stickers, stupid big tires, lift kit, etc. Dirt is fine by me. Means they're working.

billslawn89
07-13-2008, 11:34 PM
I just show up drunk and park in the yard. Sometimes I have to stop the mower to throw up.

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

topsites
07-13-2008, 11:47 PM
I haven't washed my truck since the day I bought it, it was dirty then and it's dirty now, the grime has marked the entire truck after that twenty or thirty thousand mile drive, even has deep scratches, rust and some dents to complete the picture.

Why?
Because ain't nothing here all shiny looking like it ain't never seen an honest day's work.

Dirt is fine by me. Means they're working.

That's right.

lawnmogul
07-13-2008, 11:57 PM
Personal pride is all i meant

dura to the max
07-13-2008, 11:58 PM
my stuff is pretty dirty, but there is an extent. image is important, but for crying out loud we stirring up dust like crazy at times and we're working. there is an extent, i want to look as professional as possible when i service an account or meet w/ a potential customer. but they know that we are doing manual labor and the work trucks arent expected to shine like a wal mart ceo. washing the work truck means a quicky w/ the pressure washer and maybe some soap, hosing out the interior, and the same on the mowers (i do blow them off on periodicaly). we work in the elements and mud and grime, people understand this. so yes, i do think there is an extent, but quality is what matters. i dont have the redneck stickers, its a plain old 1997 gmc 3500 4 door w/t, the only mod is the exhaust (from when it was my personal truck) and tinted windows to beat the heat.

topsites
07-14-2008, 12:05 AM
Personal pride is all i meant

You see this is the problem I see with the sickness in America, is that somehow pride and success means you have a beautiful lawn and a beautiful house and a beautiful wife and a great job and two children who go to school and of course your cars have to be spotless.

Yes sir, now don't tell certain folks that.

But that's what it boils down to in corporate USA and / or also if you're keeping up with the Joneses, then the media is partly responsible so it is possible this could happen to you solely if you watch lots of TV or listen to lots of Radio :p

And there might be more to it, other ways too, I also know it goes further than that...
For instance happiness means going to a bar and drinking alcohol, oh yes, I seen that ad the other night... Sure enough, a night club advertising: Good food, good drinks, and good times (except those drinks on the media screen sure looked like beer and granted MAYBE it was ginger ale but it sure wasn't Coca Cola and why they came from a tap LOL).

So now you got some folks believing this BS, or something along these lines.

Then everyone else I suspect first they just don't give a crap,
that or they flat out refuse to believe that there BS, then I further
suspect that sickness causes them various levels of frustration and amusement.

lawnmogul
07-14-2008, 12:06 AM
Thank you dura that is what i am looking for. Even a quicky job will make it look better than just looking like trash and such.

lawnmogul
07-14-2008, 12:12 AM
40 minutes a week to keep my stuff clean.I just schedule it part of running my company.

lawnmogul
07-14-2008, 12:16 AM
I just relized something this post has a bunch of views and it is only about dirty equipment when i see posts about getting more business and they have alot less views hmmmm.

dura to the max
07-14-2008, 12:17 AM
thank you. would i take it to prom, no. am i embarrassed to meet w/ a client, not at all. its WORK truck. and thats what it does. yes drink bottles get thrown in the floorboards and bed but get cleaned out daily and im not marking my territory w/ empty orange powerade bottles. but i do look professional. my goal for the looks of my company is to look good, and my clients neighbor not run out to take the kids inside when i come, and to look approachable to any potential client that wants an estimate. i dont want a lady to be afraid to approach me or scared to walk out and give me a check or ask me or my guys for something. this goes for personal appearance and vehicles. we wear clothes that fit, uniform t's and look decent for guys working in 100+ degree heat, thats my goal and it applies to me and my guys as well as the trucks.

dura to the max
07-14-2008, 12:19 AM
I just relized something this post has a bunch of views and it is only about dirty equipment when i see posts about getting more business and they have alot less views hmmmm.

yeah, but from the title i thought it was about another LCO screwing the starter of the thread, not equipment.

txgrassguy
07-14-2008, 07:49 AM
My trucks, trailers and equipment are inspected each morning during load out and each afternoon during storage. All debris is removed and properly thrown away, equipment returned to their proper place in the maintenance building and everything refueled for the next day. Filthy trucks are washed down and dried by the driver at least once per week.
Why? Because there are numerous management studies plus my own observations that tie -in cleanliness with attention to detail = better work.
Plus, on the times I do spin a wrench on my fleet I do not want to cut through a bunch of built up debris/soil to effect the repair.
Crew uniforms are inspected daily for cleanliness and serviceability as well. And yes I have sent crew members home without pay for the day when appearing in soiled/damaged uniforms. Goes back too the attention to detail attitude I demand from my employees.
For those of you whom believe I am to harsh, I don't give a crap. It's my business and I'll run it the way I want.
I have noticed that what I have enacted above has essentially eliminated hiring and retention problems amongst my current employee base. Deadbeats know I won't tolerate their behavior and my existent six employees are very happy as they know what is expected of them, are capably trained, and are compensated well.

AI Inc
07-14-2008, 08:01 AM
Wasn't the movie "Deliverance" filmed in Kentucky?

You got your answer!! :clapping:

Actualy that was supposed to be Georgis, not sure where it was filmed but the story was Georgia.

KrayzKajun
07-14-2008, 08:12 AM
My trucks, trailers and equipment are inspected each morning during load out and each afternoon during storage. All debris is removed and properly thrown away, equipment returned to their proper place in the maintenance building and everything refueled for the next day. Filthy trucks are washed down and dried by the driver at least once per week.
Why? Because there are numerous management studies plus my own observations that tie -in cleanliness with attention to detail = better work.
Plus, on the times I do spin a wrench on my fleet I do not want to cut through a bunch of built up debris/soil to effect the repair.
Crew uniforms are inspected daily for cleanliness and serviceability as well. And yes I have sent crew members home without pay for the day when appearing in soiled/damaged uniforms. Goes back too the attention to detail attitude I demand from my employees.
For those of you whom believe I am to harsh, I don't give a crap. It's my business and I'll run it the way I want.
I have noticed that what I have enacted above has essentially eliminated hiring and retention problems amongst my current employee base. Deadbeats know I won't tolerate their behavior and my existent six employees are very happy as they know what is expected of them, are capably trained, and are compensated well.



Now thts how i want to run my company one day! :clapping::clapping: and im not being sarcastic!

cgaengineer
07-14-2008, 08:29 AM
i believe it was based in arkansas, alot closer to texas than kentucky.

Part of it was filmed on the Taccoa river in GA.

skennedy04
07-14-2008, 08:52 AM
I think that having clean equipment is very importaint for the image of your company,and the life span of your machinery,lets face it this stuff is not cheep!!!

ALC-GregH
07-14-2008, 11:48 AM
My trucks, trailers and equipment are inspected each morning during load out and each afternoon during storage. All debris is removed and properly thrown away, equipment returned to their proper place in the maintenance building and everything refueled for the next day. Filthy trucks are washed down and dried by the driver at least once per week.
Why? Because there are numerous management studies plus my own observations that tie -in cleanliness with attention to detail = better work.
Plus, on the times I do spin a wrench on my fleet I do not want to cut through a bunch of built up debris/soil to effect the repair.
Crew uniforms are inspected daily for cleanliness and serviceability as well. And yes I have sent crew members home without pay for the day when appearing in soiled/damaged uniforms. Goes back too the attention to detail attitude I demand from my employees.
For those of you whom believe I am to harsh, I don't give a crap. It's my business and I'll run it the way I want.
I have noticed that what I have enacted above has essentially eliminated hiring and retention problems amongst my current employee base. Deadbeats know I won't tolerate their behavior and my existent six employees are very happy as they know what is expected of them, are capably trained, and are compensated well.
Sounds like you have it going on. I can see being strict on things as long as your pay is based on the work and appearance your employee's give you, I see no reason to change anything. Keep up the good work.

lawnmogul
07-14-2008, 11:51 AM
Thank You Txgrassguy for your response

MarcSmith
07-14-2008, 01:25 PM
i believe it was based in arkansas, alot closer to texas than kentucky.
actually parts of it were filmed on the Chattooga river in GA, it was based on a novel centered in Back country GA...

and if you ever wanted to get into mean whitewater....the chattooga is where its at..

FWIW

I can't figure it out with my guys. I ask them time and time again. once per week clean out the golf carts, hose em down, get the grime off of em... Its not like I'm asking them to wash it on their own time, but they just don't do it...

Its so frustrating. I like clean equipment. not spotless mind you. I realize thats it gonna get dirty, but crap falling out of the cab, the inside cluttered up....YUK.....

I agree that you can have a dirty truck, and dirty equipment and still do great work, but it takes less than 5 minutes each day to toss out the gatorade bottles, blow off the equipment, blow out the trailer. While one person is sharpening blades the other can be hosing off the mower.

IMO its attention to detail. If you aren't going to show me that you respect yourself and your tools, why would I expect you to show any more respect and care to my house (my biggest investment).

MJS
07-14-2008, 01:43 PM
. . .IMO its attention to detail. If you aren't going to show me that you respect yourself and your tools, why would I expect you to show any more respect and care to my house (my biggest investment).

And there you have it, folks.
A clean truck and clean equipment goes along with a professional image. If your favorite restaurant was always dirty, the employees sloppy, and the kitchen filthy, but the food tasted great, would you still go there? Probably not.

So I am going outside to wash off the truck and trailer right now. lol:laugh: :cool2:

ALC-GregH
07-14-2008, 02:25 PM
And there you have it, folks.
A clean truck and clean equipment goes along with a professional image. If your favorite restaurant was always dirty, the employees sloppy, and the kitchen filthy, but the food tasted great, would you still go there? Probably not.

Actually, some of those joints are the best you'll ever eat at. LOL
Ever been to a carnival? UMMMM a crab cake sandwich, yum...me..... a funnel cake. :drinkup: LOL Next time you have a pit beef sandwich from the carnival, have a closer look around.

I washed my truck yesterday and washed the mower AND trailer on Saturday after I was finished mowing. :D

MarcSmith
07-14-2008, 02:54 PM
I've eaten at my share of greasy spoons, thats for sure, and Ive eaten at em more than once....I'm over 200# and if I'm hungry enough and its not nailed down, chances are I've tried to eat it...:) From doing pest control work, I don't even want to look in professional kitchens anymore. Guaranteed you can go into any pro kitchen and find some health violation...

My point was more of an "image" Even greasy spoons and place like Mcdonalds, the folks are wearing uniforms, clean cut. and at least the policy is the place is supposed to be clean.

I'd bet that we spend at least 2 hours out of every day in side our office moving it from one point to the next. While yes is frustrating and hard to keep it looking shiny and new, It doesn't take that much effort to keep it clean.

DLAWNS
07-14-2008, 03:28 PM
As many others have said, I also think that it is very important for a company's image. I've always been right on top of keeping everything really clean, but its been killing me this season. I've been too busy to maintain everything the way I would like. It's still neat, just not the way I want it.

1MajorTom
07-14-2008, 05:48 PM
i think it really depends upon the way your business is set up. if you are a solo operator and have 20 accounts, by all means, clean your truck, i'm sure you have plenty of time. if you have a crew of six, and you need to fill in some hours so the guys don't have to go home early, by all means have them spit shine the truck.
however, a solo operator carrying a load of near 100 accounts, aint gonna have time, nor the desire to wash the truck. mowers are made for making money, not show pieces, and in 10 years of business, never had a customer complain that the mower wasn't shining. mowers decks are blowed off to remove the dried grass, trucks are free from debris from the bed and on the floors. trucks washed at the beginning of the season. that's good enough for us.

Green Finger
07-14-2008, 06:00 PM
i think it really depends upon the way your business is set up. if you are a solo operator and have 20 accounts, by all means, clean your truck, i'm sure you have plenty of time. if you have a crew of six, and you need to fill in some hours so the guys don't have to go home early, by all means have them spit shine the truck.
however, a solo operator carrying a load of near 100 accounts, aint gonna have time, nor the desire to wash the truck. mowers are made for making money, not show pieces, and in 10 years of business, never had a customer complain that the mower wasn't shining. mowers decks are blowed off to remove the dried grass, trucks are free from debris from the bed and on the floors. trucks washed at the beginning of the season. that's good enough for us.

I second that. Tis better to be PAID and dirty than clean and in debt with no money.

Once I get off the only thing that is getting cleaned is ME!!!!!!:clapping:

dura to the max
07-14-2008, 06:04 PM
true, but a good quicky w/ the pressure washer aint gonna take any solo guy over 15 minutes.

Toy2
07-14-2008, 06:47 PM
txgrassguy is what every LCO should do, I don't care how old your stuff is.... clean it.

If you wear grass stained torn jeans and drive a rag with ants living inside of it because of trash....don't freak when people at stores or the gas station look down on you!!!

If you call a plumber and he shows up at your house, your wife is home alone, guys get out looking like they just got released from the pen, trash falling out as they exit the ratty vehicle.......should she open the door???

I was raised to take care of my stuff...."take care of your horse, and it will take care of you".

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING FOLKS!!

1MajorTom
07-14-2008, 07:26 PM
true, but a good quicky w/ the pressure washer aint gonna take any solo guy over 15 minutes.
when you work 12 hours a day, 15 minutes is a lot. besides this was another discussion about pressure washing mowers recently. we do NOT pressure wash. water and mowers aint supposed to mix if at all possible.

Carolina Cuts
07-14-2008, 10:11 PM
if your lawn looks like crap, do you think the customer will say "atleast his stuff looks good".:laugh::laugh:

from the first page of this thread.... but gave me a good chuckle.... thanks.

txgrassguy
07-14-2008, 10:50 PM
Marc, how I handled dirty equipment while running the courses I did was this:
I numbered all of the pieces and first started recording each morning next to their name what number they were assigned to complete their task. That way when I inspected the equipment at the end of the day I knew with-in an employee or two who was responsible for not maintaining it properly.
The wash rack would get filthy too and I first started assigning an employee to clean the rack and do a walk through of the maintenance building and fuel depot at the end of each day.
Then once everyone was up to speed I slightly altered the rack clean up to the last one on the rack had to clean it. I stopped the "race" to the shop each day by monitoring what their tasks were during the day and more than once stopped a vehicle on it's way out and instructed the employee to return to work and finish their end of day task properly. Yes they were on the clock while straightening up but the remaining employees understood very quickly I wouldn't tolerate their poor performance.
After about two months everyone settled down and the employees themselves developed a rotating schedule for the rack clean up each day. Got to the point that the employees watched out for each other and the new hires which made my job much easier.
And yes, on the days I felt like I wanted to mow, if I was the last in I cleaned the rack myself.
I did assign one utility vehicle only to myself, no one else could run it (for among other reasons I changed the governor and that AMT 600 would hit 35mph if you had the guts to hang on). I kept the utility vehicle clean, refueled it myself and pretty much showed the employees if I would/could do it they had damned well better do it themselves.

greendoctor
07-15-2008, 04:25 AM
Knowing what I know now. I will not work for a company that does not care about their machines or their vehicles. The same company I described in the thread about lunch hour and drive time also did not take care of trucks or machines. Do any of you see a pattern here? By extension, they do not take care of their employees. They are like the dirty, damaged trucks and machines to be run into the ground and sold to the highest bidder when no longer able to carry on. I remember lots of prospective employees applying for a job and turning tail after seeing the vehicles and machines. More hypocricy, the company owner rode around in an always clean leased luxury SUV. He took good care of himself and no one else.

juspayme
07-15-2008, 05:28 AM
looking dirty, means you look cheap.

looking clean, makes you look expensive,

my image is always clean.

i wanna look expensive,

the cheap peopke can go get the guy with the dirty truck.

rich people dont want bunk trucks in front of their house. their neighbors are like, look at the bums at the windsors house. rwar.

but keep your dirty truck, makes the clean ones look better.

its like the 300 lb chick next to the 118 lb hot chick.

i should write a book

MarcSmith
07-15-2008, 06:29 AM
when you work 12 hours a day, 15 minutes is a lot. besides this was another discussion about pressure washing mowers recently. we do NOT pressure wash. water and mowers ain't supposed to mix if at all possible. Yes but if you are working 12 hours a day 5 days a week, then over time is killing you and you are getting into the realm of needing an extra employee, at least part time, to help with the extra 20 hours.

water and mowers are fine, the key is to hit em with a grease gun after you wash em, and not shoot water directly at the carb, fuel tank fill ect...The weekly blade sharpening are a great time to do a "hose down"

I look at the cleaning the equipment as a "pm" of sorts. its much easier to spot leaks, loose bolts, ect when the machines are clean and such.

IN your 12 hour days, you never forget to bill someone for the work, you never forget to fill your truck up with fuel, you never forget to change the oil or sharpen the blades. you make time for all these tasks, if you can't spare 5 minutes a day(or about 30 minutes each week) then you are running on the edge, you have no margin for error, no margin for break downs, rain, bad weather, ect....That kind of tightness in the schedule would just stress me out to no end.


TX thats good schedule. and when I get out into the field, I always clean up after myself, to show the guys that I walk the walk as well. But it seems to fall on deaf ears.

Carolina Cuts
07-15-2008, 08:45 AM
its like the 300 lb chick next to the 118 lb hot chick.

how you gonna compare women to lawn services????? :hammerhead::hammerhead:

yea..... the 300 pounder is usually sweeter, nicer, more morals, doens't cheat, and will cook for you...

the 118 pounder hottie is high maintenance, KNOWS she's not, expects dinner, flirts, has issues, backed with drama, most likely is insecure like most attractive woman.... and throws up after she eats that expensive dinner you paid for.:dizzy::dizzy:

I'd go for the 130 lb girl... little bit of meat on her body, lil' rough around the edges, but is still 'quality' and can be molded.:laugh:

1MajorTom
07-15-2008, 01:40 PM
Yes but if you are working 12 hours a day 5 days a week, then over time is killing you and you are getting into the realm of needing an extra employee, at least part time, to help with the extra 20 hours.

water and mowers are fine, the key is to hit em with a grease gun after you wash em, and not shoot water directly at the carb, fuel tank fill ect...The weekly blade sharpening are a great time to do a "hose down"

I look at the cleaning the equipment as a "pm" of sorts. its much easier to spot leaks, loose bolts, ect when the machines are clean and such.

IN your 12 hour days, you never forget to bill someone for the work, you never forget to fill your truck up with fuel, you never forget to change the oil or sharpen the blades. you make time for all these tasks, if you can't spare 5 minutes a day(or about 30 minutes each week) then you are running on the edge, you have no margin for error, no margin for break downs, rain, bad weather, ect....That kind of tightness in the schedule would just stress me out to no end.


TX thats good schedule. and when I get out into the field, I always clean up after myself, to show the guys that I walk the walk as well. But it seems to fall on deaf ears.


This is why we rarely post on here, because clearly we don't relate to many here. There are many groups on Lawnsite. Either it's teenagers or early 20 somethings living at home with parents,........... guys that have a full time job looking to make a few extra bucks on the side,............ guys that have a wife that works full time, who carries all the benefits, so they only want 30 customers,........... older guys who are retired from their real job and don't want to sit at home idle,............. guys that are no longer in business but still enjoy the green industry,............. or guys that run full crews with 6 to 10 employees. NONE of those groups apply to us, and because of this, most of the advice given clearly isn't for us.

Now if 5 guys that are solo who carry an extreme load of accounts, steps forward and tells us that keeping the mower shined every few days increases your business, then we might listen.

HOWEVER, being in business 10 years, and NEVER working in the winter, doing snow, firewood, part time jobs, pizza delivery, hauling junk out of attics, etc, etc, etc... we do none of that, and I can tell you we are doing just fine without the spit shined mower.
We lose customers frequently due to the fact that most of them are 70+ in age, and they either move to a senior citizen home, or pass on... BUT we constantly get calls for more business. WHY? because a clean mower that is going to get dirty in an hour of use doensn't matter... DEPENDABILITY does, and that's why year in and year out, we keep on trucking.

Now about your examples. I, not Matt, handle all the billing, computer work and phone calls, and at the end of the month, I go over each invoice with a fine tooth comb. Billing out near 100 customers takes time, especially when other jobs are added in, such as bed work, hedge trimming, etc.
Maintenance is CRUCIAL in a small business. Crucial, and I can confidently say, Matt can tear down any machine, and fix it. Oil changes, blade sharpenings, are a MUST. Same with filling up with fuel. It's a MUST, otherwise the mower won't run. All of this is included in the 12 hour day, it's not 12 hours of straight cutting. I didn't mean to imply that. However, it's not 5 days a week, it's 7 right now. Because in this business, it's feast or famine, and this year, it's been a feast. We have not skipped a cut all season. However, it is getting easier to cut, no double cutting etc, so because of this, a hedge trimming job a day is able to be fit in. Everything that is important gets done, but we don't deem washing a mower important. It's there to make money, and until someone that is in our shoes (meaning someone who is solo and actually has a lot of accounts) tells us that a dirty mower void of dry grass on it, is hurting our business, we're not going to believe it.

I believe someone mentioned uniforms pertaining to image in this thread. Matt wears clean khaki shorts, steel toes boots, and company t-shirt everyday, and leaves the house looking good. However, 4 hours later, he is sweating, hands dirty and grass stained, and grass stuck to his socks. You think he should come home, shower, and put clean clothes on? Afterall cleaniness is a MUST in this business. I think i might run out now and buy him a package of wet wipes, so after every job he can clean his hands and under his fingernails too. I bet he is losing jobs because he goes to the door for an estimate and his hand are dirty.
What about the mower that was washed at 8am, and is now dirty at 10am? Should Matt come home and re-wash it again? Afterall, anyone seeing him AFTER 10am, must think he is a filthy pig and not worthy of hiring, because the mower is dirty again.

This is a working mans business where equipment, trucks and people are going to get dirty within minutes of use, so pretty boys need not apply. And we'll stick to that opinion.

Liendeni
07-15-2008, 02:19 PM
This is why we rarely post on here, because clearly we don't relate to many here. There are many groups on Lawnsite. Either it's teenagers or early 20 somethings living at home with parents,........... guys that have a full time job looking to make a few extra bucks on the side,............ guys that have a wife that works full time, who carries all the benefits, so they only want 30 customers,........... older guys who are retired from their real job and don't want to sit at home idle,............. guys that are no longer in business but still enjoy the green industry,............. or guys that run full crews with 6 to 10 employees. NONE of those groups apply to us, and because of this, most of the advice given clearly isn't for us.

Now if 5 guys that are solo who carry an extreme load of accounts, steps forward and tells us that keeping the mower shined every few days increases your business, then we might listen.

HOWEVER, being in business 10 years, and NEVER working in the winter, doing snow, firewood, part time jobs, pizza delivery, hauling junk out of attics, etc, etc, etc... we do none of that, and I can tell you we are doing just fine without the spit shined mower.
We lose customers frequently due to the fact that most of them are 70+ in age, and they either move to a senior citizen home, or pass on... BUT we constantly get calls for more business. WHY? because a clean mower that is going to get dirty in an hour of use doensn't matter... DEPENDABILITY does, and that's why year in and year out, we keep on trucking.

Now about your examples. I, not Matt, handle all the billing, computer work and phone calls, and at the end of the month, I go over each invoice with a fine tooth comb. Billing out near 100 customers takes time, especially when other jobs are added in, such as bed work, hedge trimming, etc.
Maintenance is CRUCIAL in a small business. Crucial, and I can confidently say, Matt can tear down any machine, and fix it. Oil changes, blade sharpenings, are a MUST. Same with filling up with fuel. It's a MUST, otherwise the mower won't run. All of this is included in the 12 hour day, it's not 12 hours of straight cutting. I didn't mean to imply that. However, it's not 5 days a week, it's 7 right now. Because in this business, it's feast or famine, and this year, it's been a feast. We have not skipped a cut all season. However, it is getting easier to cut, no double cutting etc, so because of this, a hedge trimming job a day is able to be fit in. Everything that is important gets done, but we don't deem washing a mower important. It's there to make money, and until someone that is in our shoes (meaning someone who is solo and actually has a lot of accounts) tells us that a dirty mower void of dry grass on it, is hurting our business, we're not going to believe it.

I believe someone mentioned uniforms pertaining to image in this thread. Matt wears clean khaki shorts, steel toes boots, and company t-shirt everyday, and leaves the house looking good. However, 4 hours later, he is sweating, hands dirty and grass stained, and grass stuck to his socks. You think he should come home, shower, and put clean clothes on? Afterall cleaniness is a MUST in this business. I think i might run out now and buy him a package of wet wipes, so after every job he can clean his hands and under his fingernails too. I bet he is losing jobs because he goes to the door for an estimate and his hand are dirty.
What about the mower that was washed at 8am, and is now dirty at 10am? Should Matt come home and re-wash it again? Afterall, anyone seeing him AFTER 10am, must think he is a filthy pig and not worthy of hiring, because the mower is dirty again.

This is a working mans business where equipment, trucks and people are going to get dirty within minutes of use, so pretty boys need not apply. And we'll stick to that opinion.

The lawn care industry is what it is. There is a huge variety of people in this field for a variety of different reasons. When anybody withe a truck and mower can start...you are going to get this.

Some guys are going to spit shine their equipment every day and believe this makes a huge difference. Others will never clean their gear and think it doesn't matter. And the truth is...to those who do it...it does matter....and to those who do not....well...it doesn't matter.

I personally clean my stuff but that is because I am super anal. I also wear a uniform and colored shirt. Does it really matter?

Sometimes I think it doesn't.

I do it because it matters to me and that is the bottom line.

There is a guy in an old....maybe 1975 pickup truck...total POS...that mows across from me sometimes. I look at him and laugh...and chances are....he looks at my nice clean equipment and uniform and laughs at me.

In a sense....we might just be both right.

Do what YOU feel is right for YOUR business...bottom line.

MarcSmith
07-15-2008, 02:35 PM
if things don't apply to you any more, then just step away....but thats not the answer.

I am no longer in the business of working for a bunch of clients. now I work for one. I was in the same situation were I was cutting 15-20 lawns a day, and I got tired of doing, hence I hired crews and I expanded. I don't think a hose down or a pressure wash constitutes a spit shine. I wore the exact same uniform. I will say that I never once did a scheduled estimate in person were I looked like crap. If I had an appointment, I at least went home and slapped on some fresh clothes and deodorant, or hopped in the pool got out. I felt image was important, maybe it the military school, or my upbringing. I did not want to be like the hundred of other guys out there cutting lawns. FWIW every company I have ever worked for, a clean truck, clean equipment and clean uniform was SOP. and again clean does not mean wash/waxed, but hosed off, grass cleaned garbage picked up, ect.

As they say opinions are like as sholes every one has one....:) do what works for you....

MAD87
07-15-2008, 04:11 PM
Do what YOU feel is right for YOUR business...bottom line.


Amen!!:usflag:

ALC-GregH
07-15-2008, 07:44 PM
I like my equipment to look good and try to keep it that way. I don't have many accounts. However, if I had 20 more accounts, I can easily see the cleanliness side suffering. I only mow 2 days a week and I'm "trying" to fill the other days with mulch jobs and other clean up work so as of now, I have the time and use it to keep my junk clean. :D

Toy2
07-15-2008, 08:46 PM
If you are struggling to maintain an image, then something is wrong with your operation!!!

You can dress the part and not have a clue as to what you are doing and get away with it, dress down and see what happens.

I don't think you need your mowers and trucks detailed, just a bath every week. IMO

ed2hess
07-16-2008, 09:28 PM
If you are struggling to maintain an image, then something is wrong with your operation!!!

You can dress the part and not have a clue as to what you are doing and get away with it, dress down and see what happens.

I don't think you need your mowers and trucks detailed, just a bath every week. IMO

Yeah after over 30 years in the business the washing of the trucks and trailers and mowers don't seem very important to ME any more. I did a lot of those things in the first 10 years...but figured out it wasn't that important. Image comes from doing quality work, being dependable, and treating the customer in a way that that makes them feel that they are important and you appreciate their business.

dura to the max
07-16-2008, 10:39 PM
Yeah after over 30 years in the business the washing of the trucks and trailers and mowers don't seem very important to ME any more. I did a lot of those things in the first 10 years...but figured out it wasn't that important. Image comes from doing quality work, being dependable, and treating the customer in a way that that makes them feel that they are important and you appreciate their business.

this is true, but showing up in a ragged truck w/ a rattling muffler and garbage falling out is too far. (thats what the thread was started about). yes the truck works, and no its not a showpiece, but it should look decent and presentable should it not? same w/ personal appearance, yes you're going to get dirty, and if you're like me flat out nasty, but there is a difference between a ragged pair of cuttoff shorts w/ holes and a decent looking pair of shorts and a company t. appearance is overated, but an nice image is a better 1st impression. you only have one chance to make a first impression, and i try to make a good one. my trucks and mower are not shiny, but they dont look like i played in a mud hole all weekend either, and they are maintained to prevent any issues.