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View Full Version : Fert and Squirt Start Up Costs


DA Quality Lawn & YS
12-22-2008, 03:36 PM
Fert and squirters,

Been asking many questions on here about getting started (small) in fert and squirt. I am planning to add this, small scale, to my offerings for 2009. Need to start planning for it now.

What start up costs are involved with getting into fert/squirt? I am aware of licensing/book fees, GL coverage costs, equipment costs, chemical/fert costs, etc. More specifically, are there start up costs that a beginner like myself might miss budgeting that can really impact the bottom line? My point is, I don't want to forget any major costs and have something hit me upside the head down the line like "ooops, I didn't think of that!"

For reference, I plan to start out with a backpack sprayer/spreader/hand held blower outfit, treating resi's that on average are 1/4 acre or less turf.
Any expenses you might think of that I, as a greenhorn, wouldn't necessarily think of? Thanks!

azjojo99
12-22-2008, 08:44 PM
Marketing money, post cards, door hangers, flyers?

Buy some weed/turf books so you can identify the weeds.

Figure on spending a few hundred dollars picking up speciality chems for sedges, crab grass, grubs, etc. Extra pump can to spray these.

Gloves, googles, tip and pours, scale...

Bank a few hundred to fix a lawn when you kill it.....

tlg
12-23-2008, 10:34 AM
Do yourself a favor. Invest in a sprayer. I don't know how anybody can do a good job with a backpack sprayer. It would be fine for spot treatments but what are you going to do when you have to blanket spray a 1/4 acre lawn that's full of weeds. A backpack sprayer is NOT the way to go. You are limiting your ability to be successful by not having the right equipment. You need to think like you have 100's of accounts not just a hand full. Work smarter not harder.

ICT Bill
12-23-2008, 11:18 AM
Do yourself a favor. Invest in a sprayer. I don't know how anybody can do a good job with a backpack sprayer. It would be fine for spot treatments but what are you going to do when you have to blanket spray a 1/4 acre lawn that's full of weeds. A backpack sprayer is NOT the way to go. You are limiting your ability to be successful by not having the right equipment. You need to think like you have 100's of accounts not just a hand full. Work smarter not harder.

Listen to TLG, it is painfully slow to apply with a back pack sprayer, small 70 gallon or 100 gallon tanks fit easily into the back of a truck. It may cost a little more up front but you will save hours and hours of time on site

use the backpack sprayer for spot treating or weed control along fence lines

turf hokie
12-23-2008, 11:23 AM
Look on ebay or even locally for a used 50 gallon sprayer, we have picked up a couple for 300-500 bucks. Well worth the investment vs time saved and quality of control when comparing to a backpack.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
12-23-2008, 12:17 PM
I seem to be getting a mixed bag of comments (not just on this thread, but others too). Some say that you cannot to squirts without a skid. Others say it is entirely possible to use a backpack on small lots, and do it themselves.

Good question to ask...why is a skid outfit produce a more quality outcome than a backpack? It seems to me, on small 1/4 acre lots (not big ones), and as long as a guy is thorough, there should be no difference in quality. Obviously, a skid would be more efficient, I realize that - a lot of time saved vs the back and forth/wand waving of the backpack. But right now, I am more concerned with quality than efficiency/time-savings. If the point comes where I need to get more efficient, then I can upgrade my equipment.

So, please sell me on the quality aspect.....

LushGreenLawn
12-23-2008, 01:28 PM
You can get a backpack sprayer that has a lawn gun on it, but you will refill it every 4000 sq. ft.

In our business, time is money. You will spend way too much time re-filling that thing.

THC
12-23-2008, 02:21 PM
Lawn signs.

KACYDS
12-23-2008, 02:23 PM
I understand if you don't want to purchase a skid this year, but if you are going to backpack each lawn, I would at least get a plastic 55 gallon drum, filled with water, and with a valve and short piece of hose to fill up your bp. That way you have the water you need at every stop. In my opinion its now kosher to use the customers hose to fill your bp sprayer. That's my opinion.

Hopefully this helps............:usflag:

Pilgrims' Pride
12-24-2008, 09:30 AM
Do yourself a favor. Invest in a sprayer. I don't know how anybody can do a good job with a backpack sprayer. It would be fine for spot treatments but what are you going to do when you have to blanket spray a 1/4 acre lawn that's full of weeds. A backpack sprayer is NOT the way to go. You are limiting your ability to be successful by not having the right equipment. You need to think like you have 100's of accounts not just a hand full. Work smarter not harder.

I gotta second that!

Hogjaw
12-26-2008, 09:44 AM
Then, spray all of your lawns with the backpack.

Spray until you see whether or not you are efficient.

Then, it's your decision.

mngrassguy
12-26-2008, 09:24 PM
Printing cost me a bundle every year. Invoices, truck envelopes, window envelopes, letterhead, pre-pay offers, renewal letters, 3 part carbonless contracts, posting signs, ect. Most of this you may already have for mowing.

mngrassguy
12-26-2008, 09:29 PM
Get a couple pairs of good waterproof boots. I have my own washing machine so I don't wash my work clothes in the same washer as my family.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-27-2008, 04:08 PM
You could try something like this: http://www.rittenhouse.ca/asp/product.asp?PG=2280

But it would be more beneficial to have a mixing tank, even if only 50 gallon, to mix your product and then be able re-fuel your sprayer.