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pflasch
09-15-2009, 12:32 PM
Just curious as to anyone over the age of 60 doing lawncare.

I drove past a very nice setup (new truck, new 16' Wells Cargo trailer with great lettering and graphics on it, and new ZTR mowers)

2 guys were doing a fantastic job on a 3/4 acre upper end home. Very good attention to detail, and everything (including the way that they were dressed) looked professional.
They looked like they were in no hurry to rush off to the next account, and were doing things very meticulously.

Anyway, I had to stop to talk to them.
They were about as nice as could be, and told me that they had been friends for a long time, executives of a major company, and one day decided to leave the rat race they called corporate life! They both love the outdoors, and not being "chained to a desk" was worth it.
They purchased everything from money they had, and didn't incur any debt! (I'm jealous as hell!)
They want to build the business slowly... and give people a fair value for their money.
They are both in their early 60's, and having the time of their lives!!

Anyone else here, maybe retired from a previous job, doing lawncare?

Just curious...

The Captain
09-15-2009, 01:20 PM
I'll turn 66 next week and work solo most of the time. Handle 28-33 weekly accounts depending on the season.

I was "down-sized" after 19 years by a manager? ;) who couldn't manage a good BM.

Much the same story as the guys above, except I've been around awhile. I had to buy my equipment like most of the folks on here, over time and making payments as I went. My retirement and 401k went in the tank like a lot of otherfolks did. Everything is paid off now and I'm really enjoying everyday. Man. I wish I'd have known about this kind of life sooner. Thumbs Up

Jim

pflasch
09-15-2009, 04:31 PM
Captain,

Thanks for chiming in!

Speaking of "downsizing"... i just about busted a gut the other day when I saw a brand new Lexus SUV pulling an open trailer with a wb on it... sign reading "I cut grass"
I can imagine his story... some exec with a hugh salary gets the axe, and now can't find any work in his chosen profession, and is now looking at how to put food on the table!!

Hamatsa
09-15-2009, 06:27 PM
My story is similar to the two guys you chatted with except I'm not quite 60 yet. I, like them, was lucky enough to have the capital to invest in the business w/o incurring debt. My goal was to get paid to get exercise.....on a P/T basis. The business has expanded dramatically and lawns are only about 30% of the income. The majority of the work is the dirty, nasty, and painful stuff (read:Removal of brush and Blackberries). I personally worked 6 days last week and we're gearing up for Fall cleanup already. I have 6 P/T employees. Its been fun growing the business but I find myself back in "boss" mode again after having done it for 30 years in my previous career.

My GF thinks I'm a fruitcake for working so hard but it is cheaper then joining a gym.

pflasch
09-15-2009, 06:35 PM
Hamatsa... great story!!

Thank you for sharing!

mowerdude777
09-15-2009, 06:44 PM
I am not over 60( not even over 15 yet:laugh::laugh: ) but I know these 3 guys that all live in my neighborhoodand they have a pretty big company and they are all in there mid 60s to 70s they have mostly scag wbs, as well as 2 scag tts and a few wright sentars, They use to do fret but stopped and just threw out some of there equipment( that's where I got my lesco spreader) they do the parks in my neighborhood ( have been doing them since 1986) They have 2 years left on there contract and I would be willing to bet they will stop after this. I most likely will get the parks then( the neighborhood already had me do the landscaping in medians and at the parks)

tacoma200
09-15-2009, 06:50 PM
Well I'm only 46 but from what I'm seeing of the young help I get they will never make it to 30. They can't push a mower without giving out, my trimmers were too heavy for some of them (even the stihl 55), can't bend over to pick up trash so I bought a pair of tongs or whatever you call them. Heck I end up doing a lot just to keep from watching them suffer. I think I'm one of the last people that still can bend down and pick up something (I think this is a lost art form, don't know who ties their shoes?).

The guy working for me this year has been great though. He wants more work than I can find for him. He likes to push mow, and grabs the heaviest trimmer (Sthil 250) before I can get to it.

TreeClimber57
09-15-2009, 07:13 PM
Similar story for me. Although not quite 60.. but coming fast.

I have younger guys working for me as well though. (we do tree work as well, and while I do some climbing, most is done by the 20 year olds).

But I do get on the Z's and have a blast every now and again.

SEMI-RETIRED
09-15-2009, 07:23 PM
I'm 68, jan is 64, we do mostly commercial, very little residential, we
specialize in sub-division right of ways, vac lots, brush-hog work, we
have about 10 residential and 30 other, don't go after residential
because the weed-eating kills my back LOL..

We have all we can handle right now, not looking for any additional
business but will take it if it fits our niche..

Retired 5 years ago and started business for something to do, not
very good at sitting around, i just wish i had thought of this about
40 years ago, i would probably be a millionaire or at least better
off than i am, not complaining though..

Bob..

MOturkey
09-15-2009, 07:51 PM
Fifty-eight years old. Started the mowing business to supplement our income and pay off our house, which I did, with the intention of retiring last year. Still haven't had the nerve to take that "leap of faith" with the issues of health insurance and inflation uppermost in my mind, but I do enjoy the business. Well, most days at least. :)

jahbp
09-15-2009, 07:57 PM
I am 47 I pray my bones can hold up for 13 more years.

david shumaker
09-15-2009, 08:19 PM
I'm 62. Everything but my mower is paid for. Have about 10 payments left on the Toro I bought a couple years ago. Some days it's hard to get started, but is OK after I finish the first yard. I did some aerations today and had to take a nap when I got home. I try not to rush so I don't tire out, but I always catch my self working too fast for my age. I've seen guys in their 70's doing lawn work....you just have to pace yourself.

r.eckley
09-15-2009, 08:53 PM
I am past 70 & work every day. Do all large commercial props. took early retirement 15 yrs ago started small got big enough to have help downsized enough to be solo again. Sure keeps a guy in pretty good shape. I see guys retire & set on their a"" and get old pretty fast. Honest work never hurt anyone. I wonder who will do the physical labor in the generations to come?

John deer Z
09-15-2009, 09:16 PM
Captain,

Thanks for chiming in!

Speaking of "downsizing"... i just about busted a gut the other day when I saw a brand new Lexus SUV pulling an open trailer with a wb on it... sign reading "I cut grass"
I can imagine his story... some exec with a hugh salary gets the axe, and now can't find any work in his chosen profession, and is now looking at how to put food on the table!!

Their is one of those same set ups hear in Knoxville! Any way I have a friend that has been cutting yards for several years he is in his early 70's!! I saw him last week and he still using a walk behind scag but he has a new tiger cat on the trailer to!

John deer Z
09-15-2009, 09:18 PM
I am 47 I pray my bones can hold up for 13 more years.

ME TOO!! I am 47 hoping the same thing.

razor1
09-15-2009, 09:31 PM
I am past 70 & work every day. Do all large commercial props. took early retirement 15 yrs ago started small got big enough to have help downsized enough to be solo again. Sure keeps a guy in pretty good shape. I see guys retire & set on their a"" and get old pretty fast. Honest work never hurt anyone. I wonder who will do the physical labor in the generations to come?

I've already seen a few "Mexican" owned and operated crews. The owners are usually bilingual and they hire spanish speaking workers.

Nosmo
09-16-2009, 05:32 AM
I retired from my day job in September 2003. Still do my own yard work which is 1-1/4 acres. Do all my own mechanical work on my mowers, chainsaws and pickup.

Just got finished winterizing my pickup myself. Which included new air filter, new oil filter and oil, changed grease in rear end and transmission and flushed the cooling system.

This ain't bad for a guy 68 crawling around and underneath vehicles.

Some guys half my age won't do doo diddly squat.

Nosmo