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bmwsmity
03-16-2009, 02:02 PM
So last year I did my first irrigation job (I'm mainly a lighting guy), and this year I'm focusing much more on irrigation due to the economy...

The spreadsheet I use spec'd the job out at around 67 hours, but it took me over 90 hours, mostly due to inexperience and doing things the long way (not using things such as Blazing saddles, using regular wire nuts, among other things).

How about a thread on how to save labor time & costs using various techniques and products?

Waterit
03-16-2009, 02:04 PM
We use experience.

Mike Leary
03-16-2009, 02:09 PM
Once you can walk the site with the client and come up with a zone count and
a price on the spot, you are ready for prime time.

WalkGood
03-16-2009, 02:12 PM
Once you can walk the site with the client and come up with a zone count and
a price on the spot, you are ready for prime time.


You just listen w/o looking at the flow rate of water coming out of a hose spigot to know the GPM available, huh? :rolleyes:

Wet_Boots
03-16-2009, 02:16 PM
Tell us how to save time on lighting work first. Fair is fair.

TRILAWNCARE
03-16-2009, 02:22 PM
So last year I did my first irrigation job (I'm mainly a lighting guy), and this year I'm focusing much more on irrigation due to the economy...

The spreadsheet I use spec'd the job out at around 67 hours, but it took me over 90 hours, mostly due to inexperience and doing things the long way (not using things such as Blazing saddles, using regular wire nuts, among other things).

How about a thread on how to save labor time & costs using various techniques and products?

Got any pictures of that irrigation install??? We all love pictures.

On question. If you are a lighting guy. You must know that corrosion is wires worst enemy, especially outdoors. Why would you use regular wire nuts???? Do you wire your lights this way also. Or perhaps this is to assure regular service calls when the connections fail.

Kiril
03-16-2009, 03:09 PM
Once you can walk the site with the client and come up with a zone count and
a price on the spot, you are ready for prime time.

Take whatever you come up with in your head and double it. :laugh:

bmwsmity
03-16-2009, 05:58 PM
Got any pictures of that irrigation install??? We all love pictures.

On question. If you are a lighting guy. You must know that corrosion is wires worst enemy, especially outdoors. Why would you use regular wire nuts???? Do you wire your lights this way also. Or perhaps this is to assure regular service calls when the connections fail.

I need to clarify...I used King Connector silicone filled nuts....instead of Blazing wire connectors, which are faster and less cumbersome.

I would NEVER use a non silicone filled connector of any sort ;)

bmwsmity
03-16-2009, 06:00 PM
We use experience.

Insightful, thanks for the info. :hammerhead:

Granted, I'm new to the irrigation side of this forum...so some poking fun is in order I suppose, but I also started this thread so everyone reading can benefit, not just me. :drinkup:

DanaMac
03-16-2009, 06:03 PM
..so some poking fun is in order I suppose,

More of that goes on than you'd realize here in Irrigation Heaven. Don't take it personal.

FIMCO-MEISTER
03-16-2009, 06:42 PM
Tell us where you think you went wrong or got bogged down...

Did you rent the trencher?
How many trips to the supply house did you make?
Were you fittings all in one bag or sorted out in bins?
Do you have bins?
Did you YAK while working?
Did you have an IPod on?
Did you stand over a ditch for more than a minute wondering what next?
Were your tools scattered all over the yard?
How many times an hour did you go back and forth to your vehicle?
How much time per hour did you YAK on the phone?

Waterit
03-16-2009, 08:17 PM
Insightful, thanks for the info. :hammerhead:

Granted, I'm new to the irrigation side of this forum...so some poking fun is in order I suppose, but I also started this thread so everyone reading can benefit, not just me. :drinkup:

What you're asking is for us to share (for free) in moments what it took us years to earn.

So yeah, I'm gonna poke you a little. Think of it as your dues.

ARGOS
03-16-2009, 08:39 PM
What you're asking is for us to share (for free) in moments what it took us years to earn.

So yeah, I'm gonna poke you a little. Think of it as your dues.

And you are?

Wet_Boots
03-16-2009, 08:47 PM
Dave's not here, man.

unit28
03-16-2009, 09:11 PM
what I did was drive around and look at all the wanna be irritators...

first get a really neat trenching shovel, a sledge hammer, a tree root cutter, a 10 gallon water jug, oooh, and and...and lots of assorted wires, and maybe some kinda pipe. Just drive around with your tailgate down too, and all that stuff bouncing around the bed.....so ya look like one of 'em.

Mike Leary
03-16-2009, 09:21 PM
Dave's not here, man.

Who the hell is Dave? :dizzy:

ARGOS
03-16-2009, 09:26 PM
No, I'M Dave.

Waterit
03-16-2009, 10:46 PM
And you are?

Tired of giving away knowledge.

DanaMac
03-16-2009, 10:47 PM
Tired of giving away knowledge.

I like it!!! :clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:

bmwsmity
03-16-2009, 11:54 PM
Tired of giving away knowledge

er, isn't that kinda the point of a message board?? :confused:

anyways...

FIMCO, thanks for the thoughts...I think that all the things you mentioned went on in abundance on my first job...sans the phone talking (i hate cell phones while working).

I think most of the time issues I had were due to lack of organization as well as making numerous trips for supplies. Now that I have an inventory of excess supplies, this should be cut down immensely.

Oh, and yes, I rented the pipe puller...

Stuttering Stan
03-17-2009, 12:02 AM
Nice website. You might want to stick to lighting. You're better at lighting than you are at irrigation.

DanaMac
03-17-2009, 12:04 AM
Tired of giving away knowledge

er, isn't that kinda the point of a message board?? :confused:

But most of us have learned from the school of hard knocks. Getting dirty and learning along the way. Not getting all the knowledge from people just to become their competition. Just sayin'.

bmwsmity
03-17-2009, 12:14 AM
Tired of giving away knowledge



But most of us have learned from the school of hard knocks. Getting dirty and learning along the way. Not getting all the knowledge from people just to become their competition. Just sayin'.

Point taken...thanks guys.

DanaMac
03-17-2009, 01:33 AM
Point taken...thanks guys.

Sorry, I'm not trying to be a d***. just letting you know how most of us feel about giving free info to someone getting into the biz. Now get 10, 20, 30 years in, and we'll discuss any irrigation problems, cooking recipes, wine and beer choices, and where to ski in the Rockies :laugh:

Same with the homeowners coming here. Lawnsite is more for the professionals talking irrigation. Not homeowners wanting to save a buck on a badly installed system from the get go.

Sorry to be so cranky. But it's the truth.

Waterit
03-17-2009, 02:13 AM
But most of us have learned from the school of hard knocks. Getting dirty and learning along the way. Not getting all the knowledge from people just to become their competition. Just sayin'.

Sorry, I'm not trying to be a d***. just letting you know how most of us feel about giving free info to someone getting into the biz. Now get 10, 20, 30 years in, and we'll discuss any irrigation problems, cooking recipes, wine and beer choices, and where to ski in the Rockies :laugh:

Same with the homeowners coming here. Lawnsite is more for the professionals talking irrigation. Not homeowners wanting to save a buck on a badly installed system from the get go.

Sorry to be so cranky. But it's the truth.
:clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:

FIMCO-MEISTER
03-17-2009, 07:59 AM
[QUOTEwaterit]Tired of giving away knowledge

er, isn't that kinda the point of a message board?? :confused:

anyways...

FIMCO, thanks for the thoughts...I think that all the things you mentioned went on in abundance on my first job...sans the phone talking (i hate cell phones while working).

I think most of the time issues I had were due to lack of organization as well as making numerous trips for supplies. Now that I have an inventory of excess supplies, this should be cut down immensely.

Oh, and yes, I rented the pipe puller...

In construction type work thinking ahead and making little time saving decisions go a long way. For example I go ballistic if anybody steps on loose trenched soil. Backfilling loose soil is faster and easier than soil packed into the turf by stupid behemoths. Keeping workers separated is key to me as well. Also there is never ever a reason for somebody to be walking around with empty hands. Moving tools to be more strategically placed, picking up trash, rocks, etc etc. It's all the little things, planning and foresight that become the biggest time savers.

It also helps to get to the jobsite by 7am.

bmwsmity
03-17-2009, 09:24 AM
Fimco, thanks for the advice...things are definitely going to be done differently this year...

And DanaMac, I kinda expected your type of reply, since your avatar is Oscar the Grouch! LOL! :drinkup: It's definitely a different crowd here compared to the lighting forum, which is expected considering there is much more competition in irrigation and hence more hesitation to help new people out.

So some other things I'm going to do include:

-Use manifolds for valves
-Use two people and walkie-talkies when checking zones (until I can get a nice remote system)
-Keep excess inventory to reduce trips to the supply house
-Schedule jobs so I can pipe pull multiple in one day when renting a pipe puller
-Consider having the pipe puller delivered/picked up


One thing that has already saved an enormous amount of time:

Using Pro Contractor Studio to do my designs...I just download the property sketch from the county auditor's site and insert into the drawing...does all my flow calcs and everything. Sure as hell beats doing a scale draft by hand!

DanaMac
03-17-2009, 09:39 AM
And DanaMac, I kinda expected your type of reply, since your avatar is Oscar the Grouch! LOL! :drinkup: It's definitely a different crowd here compared to the lighting forum, which is expected considering there is much more competition in irrigation and hence more hesitation to help new people out.


Don't get me wrong, we (including myself) do help each other out. But not always with a straight forward answer.

Here are a few though

Pull or trench
Then dig EVERYTHING
Fit EVERYTHING
Then bury EVERYTHING
I say this because I have seen guys dig a hole, do the fitting and sprinkler head, and bury and clean up. Then move on the the next one. Time wasting.

Yes, have an excess inventory so you're not wasting an hour for a $1.00 part
Start early, work late to eliminate driving times
As Fimco said, do not have guys close by chit chatting
Make sure you are doing the technical work while the underlings do the digging

unit28
03-17-2009, 09:56 AM
In construction type work thinking ahead and making little time saving decisions go a long way. For example I go ballistic if anybody steps on loose trenched soil. Backfilling loose soil is faster and easier than soil packed into the turf by stupid behemoths. Keeping workers separated is key to me as well. Also there is never ever a reason for somebody to be walking around with empty hands. Moving tools to be more strategically placed, picking up trash, rocks, etc etc. It's all the little things, planning and foresight that become the biggest time savers.

It also helps to get to the jobsite by 7am.

I have a backfill machine for sale.....Not!

I used to live in Ft Worth {Jerry Lewis was my teacher} but I'm in MN now.
To many bad memories of trying to keep the goofballs from packing down the fill.....so I haul that thing where ever I go. It'll move that hardpack, backfilling is no problemo.

Tom Tom
03-17-2009, 10:43 AM
Pull or trench
Then dig EVERYTHING
Fit EVERYTHING
Then bury EVERYTHING


That works well. I'll usually do a zone at a time that way(after I trench everything)

Gives me a chance to catch my breath, drink a beer, oops h2o, fit up the next zone, catch up on calls........

bmwsmity
03-17-2009, 11:11 AM
Good idea...if I recall I was a culprit of the "install head, bury, move on" way of doing things.

My first job as a real tough one to start...so far what I have sold for this year will be much less complicated. The first one had an A/C condensation collection tank to add in, it had more flower beds than turf - all full of plants that could not be damaged, and I had let my brother pipe-pull....he pulled most of the pipe at about 12-15" deep! :hammerhead:

I cant wait till April to implement all that I've learned over the winter

Wet_Boots
03-17-2009, 11:28 AM
......Sorry to be so cranky. But it's the truth.Actually, we aren't sorry to be cranky :realmad:

bmwsmity
03-17-2009, 12:21 PM
Actually, we aren't sorry to be cranky :realmad:

no wonder you have so many posts...

AI Inc
03-17-2009, 12:23 PM
Dont mind him, he is incarcirated.His only entertainment is posting here , and dropping the soap.

bmwsmity
03-18-2009, 11:23 AM
Dont mind him, he is incarcirated.His only entertainment is posting here , and dropping the soap.

lmao!

nah, a little pokin fun keeps things interesting...