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View Full Version : Growing a company with 1 truck to 50 trucks


smarino21
10-16-2008, 06:38 PM
Has anyone seen a company grow from 1 to 50 trucks in say 5 yeaars? I wanna go big time and was wondering what any thoughts where on it.

P.Services
10-16-2008, 06:39 PM
what part of michigan are you in?

topsites
10-16-2008, 06:41 PM
I would do it one truck at a time because long before you get to 50 you have to get to 2 LOL
3 would come after that, but I say once you have 1 route going nicely you can start working on 2, one day at a time.

smarino21
10-16-2008, 06:45 PM
Im in the Macomb . Oakland area . I currently have 4 trucks and i have been full time for 3 years. I love it and want more. What would be the best way , partner with someone for finance reasons and maybe one for experience. What?

P.Services
10-16-2008, 06:50 PM
you may have four trucks but do you have four trucks running full time loaded down with work to the point you need a 5th or a 6th? if you have four trucks running full time i cant see you making anyless then 8k a week so i dont think finacing would be a problem if your making that kind of $$$. if you need a partner for experience maybe you should stay small for a little longer and get it your self?? just ideas. what is your biz name on the trucks? are you just looking for maintenance or do you do it all?

LushGreenLawn
10-16-2008, 07:20 PM
Im in the Macomb . Oakland area . I currently have 4 trucks and i have been full time for 3 years. I love it and want more. What would be the best way , partner with someone for finance reasons and maybe one for experience. What?

Do I have to be the first one to call BS on this? If this was the case, you would not be on lawnsite asking how to grow your business.

BTW Power wheels don't count!

smarino21
10-16-2008, 07:37 PM
no i had an offer to me and i am not sure . yes all trucks r running 60 plus hours a week but thanks you guys for your help

billslawn89
10-16-2008, 07:40 PM
you will go crazy! but i always say, in this type of business, you either have to stay small, solo, or go big to make any good money! there is no medium in this industry.

P.Services
10-16-2008, 07:47 PM
a offer to buy a 50 truck crew?

Green Finger
10-16-2008, 07:57 PM
don't go for the 50 truck number just to cater to your ego. You want to build your business and shoot for a dollar amount.

It appears you are looking for a short cut.:confused:

You want to be at half million then million and so on. Because ,you can have your 50 trucks and be bankrupted.

While someone with three trucks pulling in a million with great profit margins.

The one with the biggest muscles don't always win the fight.:nono:

meets1
10-16-2008, 08:22 PM
I have 6 trucks running. Even I find that hard at times. Going to or wanting 50 is..well...crazyness!

To me it is about the money. Shoot for 200K, then 500K then a 1 million. Heck I would rather have 50 mowers running and by a bigger trailer!

Superior L & L
10-16-2008, 09:10 PM
Cash flow is KING. Do you understand how much it would cost you to run a company of that size.
Even if you had a guy that could help to carry the truck/mower cost. Do you have any idea on the amount of operating cash you would need every month until your A/R catches up.

10 times bigger = 10 times more BS, 10 times more no pay customers and no show workers

Runner
10-16-2008, 09:49 PM
Yep...same business, - just alot more 0's at the end. Bigger is DEFinitely always the most profitable. you reach a ceiling, then it goes down after that. Eventually, it than plateaus...making a little bit on each truck's work. Note: That is each truck's WORK...not each truck.

milsaps118
10-16-2008, 10:02 PM
The one with the biggest muscles don't always win the fight.:nono:

True, so true. But....... He who dies with the most toys WINS!

GO BIG or GO BROKE!

TNT LawnCare Inc.
10-16-2008, 10:13 PM
a offer to buy a 50 truck crew?


I hope you get the Yard too ,to store all these trucks and equipmet :laugh:

mowranger
10-16-2008, 10:18 PM
Has anyone seen a company grow from 1 to 50 trucks in say 5 yeaars? I wanna go big time and was wondering what any thoughts where on it.

I think it would be safe to say, Yes! Just Mowing is TX is probably there!

brucec32
10-17-2008, 11:56 AM
Planning rapid growth in an already depressed local market right into the teeth of the worst potential recession since the great depression, with a credit crisis for good measure. Let me know how that works out for you.

brucec32
10-17-2008, 11:58 AM
Do I have to be the first one to call BS on this? If this was the case, you would not be on lawnsite asking how to grow your business.

BTW Power wheels don't count!

I noticed it too but it gets old pointing them out all the time. There are so many these days.

Green Finger
10-17-2008, 01:17 PM
[QUOTE=milsaps118;2559008]True, so true. But....... He who dies with the most toys WINS!

Most toys equal debt. Debt doesn't go away when you die it just passes on to your love ones who are living.

They are left with the bill.:canadaflag:

Green Finger
10-17-2008, 01:19 PM
True, so true. But....... He who dies with the most toys WINS!

Most toys equal debt. Debt doesn't go away when you die it just passes on to your love ones who are living.

They are left with the bill.:canadaflag:

lawnman_scott
10-17-2008, 02:22 PM
Im in the Macomb . Oakland area . I currently have 4 trucks and i have been full time for 3 years. I love it and want more. What would be the best way , partner with someone for finance reasons and maybe one for experience. What?
In june of 07 you had two trucks, so it took a year to double. So do what you are doing and in 1 year you will have 8, 2 years 16, 3 years 32, 4 years 64. Simple as that.

poolboy
10-17-2008, 02:42 PM
True, so true. But....... He who dies with the most toys WINS!

Most toys equal debt. Debt doesn't go away when you die it just passes on to your love ones who are living.

They are left with the bill.:canadaflag:

Debt doesn't pass along to the next family member, unless that person entered into the contract as well. The toys may get repossessed though.

NC Greenscaper
10-17-2008, 02:45 PM
I find this question puzzling. What person doing that much work would have a goal to have 50 trucks. Trucks are just a tool used to perform work, which in turn generates revenue. What kind of question is, "How to add 50 trucks". Might as well ask, "How do I increase my expenses 10 times over?" I don't get it.

LushGreenLawn
10-18-2008, 12:31 PM
In june of 07 you had two trucks, so it took a year to double. So do what you are doing and in 1 year you will have 8, 2 years 16, 3 years 32, 4 years 64. Simple as that.

Thats a little off. That would mean that he adds 2 trucks every year.

This is just my opinion, but anyone who can add two trucks a year is charging way under market value. This is way over the norm. He will eventually find that he's really not making much, and will go out of business when his AR catches up to him.

IN2MOWN
10-18-2008, 12:39 PM
I find this question puzzling. What person doing that much work would have a goal to have 50 trucks. Trucks are just a tool used to perform work, which in turn generates revenue. What kind of question is, "How to add 50 trucks". Might as well ask, "How do I increase my expenses 10 times over?" I don't get it.




I agree. If you want to add 50 trucks then go take a loan out and buy 50 trucks.

What you need to be thinking is how to add income to your business.

merrimacmill
10-18-2008, 01:04 PM
50 trucks in 5 years? Geez, and I was setting my goal at 50 lawns next season! And that seems like it will be tough to do with the bad economy, and all the comp. around here.

David Gretzmier
10-19-2008, 12:15 AM
If any of you read Turf or Pro magazine, there are companies that seem to grow crazy fast to 5 million in sales in 5 years. Since most maintenance trucks can generate 100k in sales per year, then 50 trucks in 5 years may not be out of the question. the problem is cash flow and how do you buy trucks and equipment as you grow very quickly. partnerships ae possible, but having been in and then out of one, I don't reccomend it.

The best idea is to buy good used box van type vehicles as you can, and try to stay ahead of your growth by being on the lookout for them constantly. many can be had for 3 grand, and pretty decent graphics for another 1000 or so can get you ready for your next route, or be a ready truck for your next breakdown.

landscape maintenance is the easiest growth area, as many times a wheelbarrow, trash bags, blower, 2 hedge trimmers ( one regular and one pole), pruners/loppers and misc. hand tools, gas cans and oil mix, all can be purchased new for about 1500 bucks total. put them in your 4k boxvan above, 2 guys, and for 5500 bucks, If you have the work, you just added a route. With heavy marketing and a crazy commission salesman or 2, I can see you adding 10 of these a year if you can close tons of jobs.

realistically, mowing trucks with equipment can cost you ten times that easily and I cannot see you doing 50 of those trucks in 5 years. maybe 1 per year.

meets1
10-19-2008, 12:21 AM
turf/pro mag. is good reading material but look at there markets. Look were these guys are located. Does it ever tell us what the operation is running in debt ratio to sales? Or how much is borrow money. No they just say did 1mill, then 3 million and then jumped to 10 million dollar company with x employees. I would really like to see the article in regards to debt, bankers, interest being paid etc.

smarino21
10-25-2008, 02:56 PM
you guys are great help. I understand that it isnt the most realistic number but hey anything can happen. When you say the economy and depression and this / that its all up to the person. You cant say for one minute that theres not a million properties that are mananged by companies not residential homes that all need work done. The 10 landscape maintenance trucks is a great idea. I LOVE IT! Thanks to all and to the people who say its impossible and the negative thoughts , thats fine keep thinking that way and thats the way you will end up is negative.

And no i havent had an offer to buy 50 truck crew it was a person to invest big time!

Thats all

Kelly's Landscaping
10-25-2008, 04:11 PM
What would that be 6000 plus accounts with my competition and the way people die and sell their houses I typically see 15-25% attrition each spring that would mean I would need to sign up nearly 1000 new accounts each season just to stay where I am that is insane. The only companies I ever see explode in size even close to those numbers are fertilizer companies where you need 500 accounts just to make a living but lawn cuts total different game. Buying the trucks and equipment isnít the issue getting the work to feed your company is and on top of that thatís 50 crew chiefs. I have trouble trusting a guy after 3 years training they still do dumb things hell just yesterday I had a guy iv known and worked with for over 10 years back a mower through a plastic picket fence and knock out 3 pickets and then look me in the face and say I'm not sure if I did this or it was like this. My goals are simpler then what they once were 400-500 accounts and ill stay there and work on maximizing the income from that rather then over extending myself in unending growth. I will tell you one thing income doesnít really amount to much if your constantly growing I know its part of running a business but once youíve had 90k in debt and are now debt free as I am 2 years later. Never Never Never again live with in your means best advice anyone will give you here and your far less likely to go under if we do go into a depression, if your debt free then you are if your up to your eye balls in it.

txgrassguy
10-25-2008, 04:34 PM
I have always been a advocate of expansion.
This industry operates on the same principles as other industries, specifically know your market, your operating costs and your potential to utilize what opportunities that exist.
I, for one, will not say it cannot be done but with-in a time frame of 5 years is quite an undertaking.
The poster who related plateau's and a serviceable ceiling is correct so pay attention to that as well.
Regarding investors, in a situation like this I heartily recommend the services of a knowledgeable business attorney and a separate tax preparer. Simply accepting money without a complete and thorough understanding of all of the parties diligence is a sure recipe for disaster.

ed2hess
10-25-2008, 05:42 PM
There was a big privately owned company in Austin that had a very big organization that serviced commericial properties. They sold their entire operation to Tru-Green and signed a no compete clause for some period. Well the time ran out a couple years ago and now they are back building a new organization. I would guess that they have maybe 30 trucks in two years. They started hiring their orignial staff from Tru-Green and others and bid jobs very low to build the business. They are probably on track to have 50 trucks in five years. The story line is that they got millions to but into the business.