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View Full Version : What do YOU do to save money and reduce expenses?


fiveoboy01
02-24-2010, 01:08 PM
Just like the thread title says. Procut's thread got me to thinking, money management is very important, and controlling expenses should be a top priority for operations of any size large or small.

I want to hear what you do to save money, even if it's a dollar a day, or even the most miniscule thing... Anything that saves you gas, maybe lessens the amount of material you use for a given project, extends the lifespan of your equipment or makes the maintenance interval longer, saves on office supplies, etc etc ad nauseam.

What are your best practices for scrounging every penny?

snowman55
02-24-2010, 01:38 PM
many times i see guys stepping over a buck to pick up a penny. not to say you shouldn't watch expenses but often guys waste hours to save a buck. the only thing that is finite in your life is time so put a $ value on that and determin if you are actually saving money which you can make more of or just wasting time which you can't get more of

gtmorgan89
02-24-2010, 01:48 PM
"Time is money" You can look at that statement many different ways.

-I try not to buy drinks and snack from gas stations.

Scagmower48
02-24-2010, 01:59 PM
Its amazing how the little stuff can add up over time. Some stuff that I plan on doing or already do are:

Buy grease in bulk. You can save like 1.50 a tube.

Buy oil when its on sale. I buy mine at Walmart. I only buy Castrol when its on sale for $11-12. I usually like $14.

Don't buy manufacturers oil filters. Buy a fram or a purolator. (I do buy Kubota Oil Filters for the Kubota though) I order all of my parts from Pennsylvannia. Saves alot of money.

Shop around for insurance once every couple years or so. The difference could be alot.

Do as many repairs as you can yourself

Maintain everything to a T to get the most live out of it

Buy everything where possible in bulk

Something I plan on doing is getting a business credit card with 1 to 2% CASH BACK. It can add up after a while.

If you don't need it don't buy it.

Some of these are common sense and every knows but they could serve as a reminder.

Scagmower48
02-24-2010, 02:01 PM
Also another thing, know your tax laws. Write off as much as possible. One stupid mistake can cost you thousands.

Landscraper1
02-24-2010, 02:01 PM
In the service industry the most expensive item is LABOR. Decrease the amount of time you need to complete your work is for myself the most important factor in becoming profitable.
One way to do this is to train your men to follow certain procedures, for every job they do. Do this in a way that each man knows exactly what to do, once they reach a job site, without being told. That way you have no time wasted.
Second, is to have the right equipment for the job and when it comes to buying a piece of equipment, don't invest in the cheapest thing out there. Notice I said invest , not buy. Any purchase should be looked at as an investment. Make sure you will get a good return on that investment. (That truck with the aluminum wheels, 6 CD Radio, and power everything, will not make you more money than a base model.)
In my area, my company's rate are higher than many around here but, we can do the job faster then many. That keeps us reasonably priced and profitable at the same time.:cool2:

ProcsLC
02-24-2010, 02:11 PM
To continue with the common sense rule of saving cash, here are a few of mine...

Buying office supplies online saves a great amount of cash, simple to do but requires planning ahead and knowing what to buy... We use like 4 or 5 different online retailers to buy in bulk or just get stuff cheaper...

Buying filters for my equipment, (oil, air, fuel etc) is done thru AutoZone, I order a case of each (they come in packs of 12, 6, or 3) and do that at the start of every season, saves big bucks!

We cut back on eating out and making coffee in the morning, I purchased two pots and make them both fresh for when my guys arrive, allows for less down time and is way cheaper then buying coffee every morning, 2 pots at Walmart = $40 bucks.

Also looked into advertising... Its extremely expensive and we've been exploring numerous routes for this. We are at the same point as procut and not trying to expand before we have enough banked away, so in previous years we have always just accepted what the advertising costs were, now we shop around and ask for better rates, its been working well.

We started with the concept of not going into debt for this business, everything including equipment, advertising, etc comes from the profits of the business now and will remain that way. I think truck and equipment loans are the real killer of this business and the more you pay in cash the better off your business is going to be. The only things we "charge" are fuel for the season, at the end of the year we get a great cash back incentive from our credit card service.

Hope this helps, best of luck with controlling and cutting costs. We all need to tighten the belt a little until the economy turns back full swing.

JB1
02-24-2010, 02:12 PM
got rid of insurance, saved a bundle.

grassman177
02-24-2010, 02:30 PM
word of note to scagmower48 and anyone else, you can only get kubota filters thru kubota as far as we have been able to find there are no aftermarket filters to fit.

SchnabelLawnCare
02-24-2010, 02:32 PM
got rid of insurance, saved a bundle.

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

Equipguy
02-24-2010, 02:52 PM
Got rid of comp and collision on my trucks that were paid for, saved about $300 per year on each.

WHIPPLE5.7
02-24-2010, 03:05 PM
I clean used items for a fraction of new, build much of my own stuff, maintain my own stuff, run a solo op to avoid work comp, run tires to the steel belts before replacing, etc.

Landscraper1
02-24-2010, 03:30 PM
Get Illegals to work for you. Low wages, no insurance, and no complaints.:laugh::laugh::laugh:

360ci
02-24-2010, 05:01 PM
Change any joint accounts with your spouse back to your personal use only! I save five figures every year!

topsites
02-24-2010, 05:06 PM
Shop around for insurance once every couple years or so. The difference could be alot.

Do it no more often than every 3 years.

Got rid of comp and collision on my trucks that were paid for, saved about $300 per year on each.

Buy them used to begin with and pay for it in full.

360ci
02-24-2010, 05:57 PM
I've had the same insurance carrier for the near part of 15 years. I've shopped around, but no one comes close. I can't beat $260 a month for home (rented out), apartment, three vehicles and a trailer. Best one yet that gave me a quote just last fall wanted almost double that for the same coverage, even with multi-vehicle discounts and such.

IdahoGrass
02-24-2010, 06:08 PM
Even better than employing illegals, just buy a couple of them and keep 'em in the basement. I am getting a business credit card that pays back 3% on gas and 1% on everything else, that will put a little money back in my pocket for sure. I also try to make myself a lunch every day.

yardguy28
02-24-2010, 06:11 PM
don't spend money unless you NEED to......

fiveoboy01
02-24-2010, 06:47 PM
Some good ideas, some of them I hadn't thought of, I hope we can get a few more....

clydebusa
02-24-2010, 06:53 PM
Got rid of the Kubota, saved a bundle!:cool2:

360ci
02-24-2010, 08:56 PM
Even better than employing illegals, just buy a couple of them and keep 'em in the basement. I am getting a business credit card that pays back 3% on gas and 1% on everything else, that will put a little money back in my pocket for sure. I also try to make myself a lunch every day.

Credit cards are only beneficial if you pay them off each month and don't carry a balance, or else the 'reward' essentially knocks the interest from 20% down to the 19% range.

I have 'points' cards for fuel at various stations that help. Labour costs for me are six times as much as my fuel costs and I'm only a part time operator. I spend more in personal fuel costs each week during the season than I do with my business all month. Small engined and fuel efficient machines help a LOT.

Kickin Your Grass
02-24-2010, 09:23 PM
I built a small bathroom in my enclosed trailer out of 2x4's and plywood and put one of those portable camping toilets in it. Saves a lot of time not having to stop and go.

I have a microwave in the trailer and a power inverter in my truck. It saves a lot of time and money from not eating out.

This year I have been really shopping around before I make any purchases. For examle: The company that usually does all my truck lettering and trailer signs wanted $490+tax to letter my enclosed trailer. I descided to go down the street to there competitor and was quoted $285+tax for the same exact thing. I saved $205 just shopping around.

yardguy28
02-24-2010, 09:30 PM
i fail to see how using a bathroom in a trailer saves money. time i can see but not money.

as for the microwave so you don't eat out. i don't think thats necessary. it's call brown bag it with cold meat or pb&j.

about then only time i will not stop at a bathroom is in an emergency situation and then it's the empty gatorade bottle. otherwise there are plenty of places to stop inbetween jobs that have public restrooms and by the end of the day it doesn't save that much if i wouldn't have stopped.

360ci
02-24-2010, 09:32 PM
I built a small bathroom in my enclosed trailer out of 2x4's and plywood and put one of those portable camping toilets in it. Saves a lot of time not having to stop and go.

I have a microwave in the trailer and a power inverter in my truck. It saves a lot of time and money from not eating out.

This year I have been really shopping around before I make any purchases. For examle: The company that usually does all my truck lettering and trailer signs wanted $490+tax to letter my enclosed trailer. I descided to go down the street to there competitor and was quoted $285+tax for the same exact thing. I saved $205 just shopping around.

I couldn't have said it better. Even if someone refers someone to me to do a job or otherwise, if I have to spend MY money on it, I'll shop around. That much is a given. If this said person does find out that I got the work done elsewhere, and criticize me for it, that's fine. I'll take the words and keep the few hundred bucks I saved! As much as I believe in you get what you pay for, in some cases, it PAYS to shop around. A lot of good people are out there and can do work on par with a professional, but at a fraction of the cost and similar quality.

I have to admit, I never did think of adding a bathroom in a cargo trailer! That is one fantastic idea!

Scagmower48
02-24-2010, 09:33 PM
Got rid of the Kubota, saved a bundle!:cool2:

I shopped around and the kubota was the best price AND I got the most value.

DoetschOutdoor
02-24-2010, 09:56 PM
My enclosed trailer has a bathroom as well. Its an old tennis ball can. Now if I can just keep the gas station trips down to a minimum for food and soda, I will be good.

Kickin Your Grass
02-25-2010, 06:30 AM
i fail to see how using a bathroom in a trailer saves money. time i can see but not money.

as for the microwave so you don't eat out. i don't think thats necessary. it's call brown bag it with cold meat or pb&j.

about then only time i will not stop at a bathroom is in an emergency situation and then it's the empty gatorade bottle. otherwise there are plenty of places to stop inbetween jobs that have public restrooms and by the end of the day it doesn't save that much if i wouldn't have stopped.


I look at time as money. If I was to break of route to go use a restroom I could loose up to 30 minutes of working time. Multiply that by how much you make per hour for a week. It ads up. It works for me but might not work for others.

I don't know about you but cold meat sandwiches or pb&j gets old real quick. Eating out is great but IMO very wasteful. I would rather eat my wifes home cooked dinner for lunch or any other thing you can microwave. It works for me and I save lots of money doing it.

Schuley
02-25-2010, 08:28 AM
Buy the right equipment.....
If you pull up to a jobsite and have to unload all your stuff from the trailer so you can unload or reload your mower on it, then you wasting time, I see it alot with guys. They buy a cheap trailer to save money, and its worthless in the long run. Like others said, time is money, the more you get done in a day the more money you make. Have nice machines, maintain them, nothing worse than fixing a broke down machine on the job.... I spend money on things that are going to help get the job done, and i'm more willing to spend money on something if it means I can eliminate labor of mine or the labor of a helper. Then you can actually see an hourly savings by having it.

Landscraper1
02-25-2010, 09:33 AM
Like I mentioned earlier, you want to save money, cut down on labor. That bathroom idea was the most original on this thread yet. Saves time which in turn saves money.
Breakdowns on the job are very costly as well. If a piece of equipment is down at the job. You can have your men around it for 30 mins before they realize that they're not mechanics. And then they are screwed the rest of the day without it. Very, very costly.
I buy 20 ft trailers. Have all the equipment the men need on it plus, an extra trimmer, blower, and large mower. If they have a breakdown, they have backup. At the end of the day, they drop off the broken machine and pick up another backup for the next day.

yardguy28
02-25-2010, 06:19 PM
I look at time as money. If I was to break of route to go use a restroom I could loose up to 30 minutes of working time. Multiply that by how much you make per hour for a week. It ads up. It works for me but might not work for others.

I don't know about you but cold meat sandwiches or pb&j gets old real quick. Eating out is great but IMO very wasteful. I would rather eat my wifes home cooked dinner for lunch or any other thing you can microwave. It works for me and I save lots of money doing it.

it takes you half an hour to take a piss :dizzy:

i guess you better stick with using a toilet in your trailer. i can make a stop at a gas station and from the time i park the truck until the time i pull out is only 5 min., if that sometimes. i don't loose no half an hour. it's not like i stop 5 times a day. at the most i might stop once before lunch and maybe once after lunch. depending on whether i stop to eat my lunch or eat while i'm driving i will stop during lunch.

Kickin Your Grass
02-25-2010, 07:09 PM
it takes you half an hour to take a piss :dizzy:

i guess you better stick with using a toilet in your trailer. i can make a stop at a gas station and from the time i park the truck until the time i pull out is only 5 min., if that sometimes. i don't loose no half an hour. it's not like i stop 5 times a day. at the most i might stop once before lunch and maybe once after lunch. depending on whether i stop to eat my lunch or eat while i'm driving i will stop during lunch.


lol....... You have to drive to the place your going to piss at and then drive back to the area your servicing. You must have a store on every corner in the areas you service!

grassman177
02-25-2010, 07:20 PM
we find nice trees to hide behind so we dont have to go anywhere, but sometimes when the number two comes a knockin, you dont have the woods to run too and you have to leave the job, although it is rare.

Landscraper1
02-25-2010, 07:33 PM
Drive to the gas station with a crew of 3 or 4 men. Then drive back. How much time(money) was just wasted. I know some of you are one man operations so, these type of scenarios don't really matter to you, now anyway. But, when your paying other men by the hour every minute counts.
If I charge $45 an hour. If a crew of 4 men, waste as little as 15 mins a day. That's $45 a day gone. That's at least $225 a week gone. That's over $7000 a year gone. Now don't let me get into multiple crews.:dizzy:

rain man
02-25-2010, 08:18 PM
We are saving money and reducing expenses this year by not being everything to everyone. We are now requiring a minimum number of cuts per month. We only target the types of jobs we are strong at in every area (including profit).

yardguy28
02-25-2010, 08:31 PM
lol....... You have to drive to the place your going to piss at and then drive back to the area your servicing. You must have a store on every corner in the areas you service!

i don't leave the property i'm servicing to go take a leak. i wait until i drive by a gas station. i know how to hold my bladder pretty well. there are gas stations and fast food joints along every main road in the city. so in traveling from job A to job B you will pass somewhere to stop and take a leak unless you have multipul properties on in the same neighborhood where you don't hit a main road for 3 or 4 jobs.

yardguy28
02-25-2010, 08:34 PM
we find nice trees to hide behind so we dont have to go anywhere, but sometimes when the number two comes a knockin, you dont have the woods to run too and you have to leave the job, although it is rare.

there is rule in my business that you don't use the clients property as a toilet for number 1 or number 2.

granted right now i'm solo but if i ever hire anyone, the first time i catch you leaking at a clients property or even a neighboring property your FIRED.

you need to take a leak that bad use the empty gatorade bottle in the trailer or you hold it till we come to a gas station or fast food joint.

Darryl G
02-25-2010, 08:39 PM
i fail to see how using a bathroom in a trailer saves money. time i can see but not money.

as for the microwave so you don't eat out. i don't think thats necessary. it's call brown bag it with cold meat or pb&j.

about then only time i will not stop at a bathroom is in an emergency situation and then it's the empty gatorade bottle. otherwise there are plenty of places to stop inbetween jobs that have public restrooms and by the end of the day it doesn't save that much if i wouldn't have stopped.

I can go all day without passing a public bathroom and even a lot of busnesses don't allow you to use their bathroom (no city sewers and don't want to overload their septic tank). To have to run out to a bathroom you might be looking at a 20 minute round trip....ppl live in different areas you know. Especially if you've got crews, by the time you go somewhere and round everybody back up and head back out to the job..same with lunch.

yardguy28
02-25-2010, 08:45 PM
I can go all day without passing a public bathroom and even a lot of busnesses don't allow you to use their bathroom (no city sewers and don't want to overload their septic tank). To have to run out to a bathroom you might be looking at a 20 minute round trip....ppl live in different areas you know. Especially if you've got crews, by the time you go somewhere and round everybody back up and head back out to the job..same with lunch.

most citys in most states have gas stations and fast food joints all over the main arteries, not to mention places like walmart, meyers, lowes, home depot, etc.

there is no heading back out to the job. my stops are planned inbetween jobs when i would be driving by a place to stop no matter what. i don't make special trips. if i'm passing a gas station and need to piss i stop if not i'll be waiting until i come across the next place to stop.

Darryl G
02-25-2010, 09:37 PM
Yah, key word being city.

Our high end subdivisions here are up in the woods in the 2 acre zoning area and you might be out there all day. Even the business district is pretty devoid of places to go. We do have a Walgreen's now but people are sorry they let it in...too large scale for the rest of the businesses in town..ruins the charm they say. And we got a Dunkin Donuts (people sued to try to keep that out) and a Subway but parking at both of them sucks for a truck/trailer setup. My point is I'm not gonna drive 10 or 15 minutes one way to go downtown to use the bathroom.

My point is that people give advice and make comments as if we all live in similar areas and can't understand why someone would do things a certain way. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for another.

I carry an old half gallon apple juice bottle in my truck (wide mouth of course, lol) in case I can't P discretely somewhere else.

grassman177
02-26-2010, 12:45 AM
there is rule in my business that you don't use the clients property as a toilet for number 1 or number 2.

granted right now i'm solo but if i ever hire anyone, the first time i catch you leaking at a clients property or even a neighboring property your FIRED.

you need to take a leak that bad use the empty gatorade bottle in the trailer or you hold it till we come to a gas station or fast food joint.

i dont disagree with you , but i am talking where there is plenty of cover and woods, not even really the customers property half the time. not just anywhere . sometimes you just have to go, we are in a area with out leaving for an entire day sometimes except for lunch, so then where do you suggest we go?? i dont use enclosed trailers and doing it into a bottle in the truck with traffic is kinda risky!

yardguy28
02-26-2010, 10:33 AM
i dont disagree with you , but i am talking where there is plenty of cover and woods, not even really the customers property half the time. not just anywhere . sometimes you just have to go, we are in a area with out leaving for an entire day sometimes except for lunch, so then where do you suggest we go?? i dont use enclosed trailers and doing it into a bottle in the truck with traffic is kinda risky!

don't really have a suggestion for ya. plenty of cover or not, clients property or not if your gonna work for me your either going to use the bottle in the truck or trailer or hold it until we can stop somewhere.

are men or a bunch of baby's. people need to learn how to hold there bladders. half the time i don't piss all day. with all the physical work i'm doing i sweat out all my piss. and i drink probably between 1 and 2 gallons of water a day.

Darryl G
02-26-2010, 10:48 AM
half the time i don't piss all day.

Well I'm honored to be the first to congratulate you on that, but it likely mean's you're not taking in enough fluids.

Why does everything on this site turn into a pissing contest?!?!

grassman177
02-26-2010, 11:07 AM
well, to make it personal, i have prostate problems very likely caused by "holding" it for so long all those years. i cant do so anymore and the doctor said it is the worst thing you could do to hold it

Turfcutters Plus
02-26-2010, 11:29 AM
i give estimates on a moped . it's fun too.:usflag:

yardguy28
02-26-2010, 03:11 PM
Well I'm honored to be the first to congratulate you on that, but it likely mean's you're not taking in enough fluids.

Why does everything on this site turn into a pissing contest?!?!

that may be but when i fill up a 5 gallon cooler full of water every single day and come home with it only half or quarter of the way full i'm not sure how anyone could say i'm not drinking enough fluids.

Darryl G
02-26-2010, 03:28 PM
that may be but when i fill up a 5 gallon cooler full of water every single day and come home with it only half or quarter of the way full i'm not sure how anyone could say i'm not drinking enough fluids.

Well I just did :p

Landscraper1
02-26-2010, 03:45 PM
Just like the thread title says. Procut's thread got me to thinking, money management is very important, and controlling expenses should be a top priority for operations of any size large or small.

I want to hear what you do to save money, even if it's a dollar a day, or even the most miniscule thing... Anything that saves you gas, maybe lessens the amount of material you use for a given project, extends the lifespan of your equipment or makes the maintenance interval longer, saves on office supplies, etc etc ad nauseam.

What are your best practices for scrounging every penny?

Hey guys, this is the original question. Can we give this rest about where and when we take a leak. It's taking up half this thread:confused:

greengiant9963
02-26-2010, 03:49 PM
i give estimates on a moped . it's fun too.:usflag:

Wow. That is a idea I overlooked.

Merkava_4
02-26-2010, 04:08 PM
After reading every post in this thread, I can see how the LCO
trailer builders could stand to make a lot of money if they were
to somehow figure out a way to incorporate rest rooms into their product. :D

grassman177
02-26-2010, 04:12 PM
ways to save money. yess, back to the topic. hey merkava4, my girlfriend lives in clovis, says she gets here lawn done by a mexican for aobut 20 bucks, is that you!? joking, but the mexican is real. haha. is there amillion lcos there??


oh, the topic, um

def pre string a bunch of timmer spools so when u run out it is fast and painless

oOTurfmanoO
02-27-2010, 05:07 PM
Always bring a lunch, no exceptions along with a drink.

Cut back cell phone minutes, got rid of data plan for emails and no more texting. Save a bunch each month right there.

Ask for discounts--> trust me, it works!

Plan

Plan

Plan

yardguy28
02-27-2010, 05:15 PM
Always bring a lunch, no exceptions along with a drink.

Cut back cell phone minutes, got rid of data plan for emails and no more texting. Save a bunch each month right there.

Ask for discounts--> trust me, it works!

Plan

Plan

Plan

not sure why you'd wanna cut back on some technology items that help run a business so much smoother just to say some nickels and dimes.

i can see reducing your cell phone to one with less min. IF you don't use all the min. your current plan has. dropping the data plan is a little crazy for me because thats how i communicate with some of my clients on a regular basis. and i know with verizon texting is a FREE thing with your service so i would save money by dropping that.

i personally couldn't drop or cut back on the techy stuff because it's what helps me run my business paperless which saves time and money.

clydebusa
02-27-2010, 06:15 PM
i give estimates on a moped . it's fun too.:usflag:

Same here but it is a hayabusa, this cuts down on driving time running 150:laugh:

clydebusa
02-27-2010, 06:17 PM
lol....... You have to drive to the place your going to piss at and then drive back to the area your servicing. You must have a store on every corner in the areas you service!

We do they are called QT or quick trip in tulsa, ok and most of this area.
:cool2:

a_mow_zing
02-27-2010, 08:16 PM
I just wear adult diapers, saves even more time by not having to go to a trailer to urinate or crap. Just let it go whenever sitting on the mower. :cool2:

Are we really talking and having a debate about this?

Darryl G
02-28-2010, 02:45 AM
oh goodie, we're back to potty talk :)

David Grass
02-28-2010, 07:10 PM
I was in a class in business many years ago, and this just stuck. IF you bought a mower for 8 grand, then found that a much better "fit" for your biz was 10 grand, would you use the 8 grand mower to make your money back or scrap it (in this theoretical example you have little resale value, we are trying to think theory here), and immediatelyl buy the 10 grand, putting yourself in at 18 grand when you could have been in at only 10. You will be able to make 900 more a month with the better "fit". The answer is ...........scrap it, go with the money maker. A lot of people feel they need to get their money out of what they have. YOU SAVE MONEY BY MAKING MORE PER HOUR!!!!!!!!!!!

yardguy28
02-28-2010, 08:02 PM
I was in a class in business many years ago, and this just stuck. IF you bought a mower for 8 grand, then found that a much better "fit" for your biz was 10 grand, would you use the 8 grand mower to make your money back or scrap it (in this theoretical example you have little resale value, we are trying to think theory here), and immediatelyl buy the 10 grand, putting yourself in at 18 grand when you could have been in at only 10. You will be able to make 900 more a month with the better "fit". The answer is ...........scrap it, go with the money maker. A lot of people feel they need to get their money out of what they have. YOU SAVE MONEY BY MAKING MORE PER HOUR!!!!!!!!!!!

maybe i can't think theory or i missed something in the theory.

i'd work with the 8 grand mower until i could out right afford the 10 grand mower and then trade in or sell the 8 grand mower and get the 10 grand mower.

hornett22
02-28-2010, 09:30 PM
I buy my cigarettes in New Hampshire and I take my motorcycle because it get 40 MPG.

I think I'm going to start registering all my vehicles in Maine or Tennessee.

Actually,I just drive Toyota Trucks.
saves me a fortune.

rm25x
02-28-2010, 09:42 PM
maybe i can't think theory or i missed something in the theory.

i'd work with the 8 grand mower until i could out right afford the 10 grand mower and then trade in or sell the 8 grand mower and get the 10 grand mower.

Basically, what he is trying to say, is your actually hurting yourself more financially by not using the right tool for the job. His example is showing a $900/month profit using the $10k mower over the $8k mower. So even at $18k (scrapping the $8k mower, not reselling) your payments would be less then the $900/month profit allowing you to make more money even though you have a higher start up cost.... if I am reading it correctly. Makes sense. You have to look at things long term, not just what is it costing you right now.

a_mow_zing
02-28-2010, 10:02 PM
Basically, what he is trying to say, is your actually hurting yourself more financially by not using the right tool for the job. His example is showing a $900/month profit using the $10k mower over the $8k mower. So even at $18k (scrapping the $8k mower, not reselling) your payments would be less then the $900/month profit allowing you to make more money even though you have a higher start up cost.... if I am reading it correctly. Makes sense. You have to look at things long term, not just what is it costing you right now.

Still, doesnt make sense to me. You have already invested 8k in equipment that can do the job, maybe not the best but it does the job. A couple questions, why doesnt it have any resell value? Does the 8k mower make money? How much more money will the 10k money make you? Until these questions are answered are the said solution is just that "theory"

Darryl G
02-28-2010, 10:08 PM
The answer is do your homework and buy the right equipment to start with :p

clydebusa
03-01-2010, 04:59 AM
What to consider on saving money and it is so simple is to keep the air pressure up on all tires. This saves a bunch on fuel and the tires will last longer. I have a check list and the guys check pressure every Monday.

DoetschOutdoor
03-01-2010, 09:36 AM
Still, doesnt make sense to me. You have already invested 8k in equipment that can do the job, maybe not the best but it does the job. A couple questions, why doesnt it have any resell value? Does the 8k mower make money? How much more money will the 10k money make you? Until these questions are answered are the said solution is just that "theory"

It doesnt make sense to me either...an $8k mower that YOU JUST BOUGHT LIKE HE SAID, will still have very high resale value. No need in throwing the word "theoretically" or anything like that. And even with 1000+ hours, ztrs go on here and elsewhere all dam day long for $3k . AND, if you go out and rush into an $8 mower, then hafta run out and buy a $10k mower, YOUR A ******.

johnnybravo8802
03-01-2010, 12:17 PM
I clean used items for a fraction of new, build much of my own stuff, maintain my own stuff, run a solo op to avoid work comp, run tires to the steel belts before replacing, etc.
You still have to have work comp., even if you work solo, at least in the commercial realm.

Darryl G
03-01-2010, 12:31 PM
You can't even get workman's comp if you work solo. How can a commercial account require you to have something you can't get? Usually they will accept proof that you're not required to have it or they will accept a "hold harmless" clause in the contract.

johnnybravo8802
03-01-2010, 02:17 PM
You can't even get workman's comp if you work solo. How can a commercial account require you to have something you can't get? Usually they will accept proof that you're not required to have it or they will accept a "hold harmless" clause in the contract.
I do 99% commercial and have liability and worker's comp. so I think I may have done this once or twice.:rolleyes:It may be different in other states, but in Ga. you cannot..........bid on large commercial properties w/o worker's comp, even if you're working solo. It protects the customer from being sued-I do this everyday full time so I'm not mistaken here.

Darryl G
03-01-2010, 02:54 PM
I can't even get workman's comp insurance becasue I'm an owner/operator, I tried. It's not an option. I'm not an employee...my business has zero employees. Workman's comp is for employees. I can and have still bid on commercial accounts because I am not by law required to have workman's comp insurance.

johnnybravo8802
03-01-2010, 04:01 PM
I can't even get workman's comp insurance becasue I'm an owner/operator, I tried. It's not an option. I'm not an employee...my business has zero employees. Workman's comp is for employees. I can and have still bid on commercial accounts because I am not by law required to have workman's comp insurance.
Worker's comp doesn't cover you, it only covers your employees. You can't get it for yourself-your personal insurance will cover you if something happens to you. Most of the commercial accounts I have are now being required to have proof of worker's comp-daycare, Wal-Mart DC, churches, etc. I'm not sure why you haven't run into that yet. I'm insurance poor-the worker's comp is what really costs out the arse. They also audit you each year to make sure you haven't gone over the $10,000 in payroll-I have to change providers this year because I plan to have a lot more payroll. Basically, I'm a solo guy who hires on an as need basis but I'm about to make the break from being solo. However, they did require worker's comp when I didn't use anyone else-I questioned it.

Darryl G
03-01-2010, 04:06 PM
Exactly. I can't get workmans comp so there's not way I can provide someone with proof of it. I can't sue myself anyway. If I could I'd be rich!!!!

johnnybravo8802
03-01-2010, 04:36 PM
Exactly. I can't get workmans comp so there's not way I can provide someone with proof of it. I can't sue myself anyway. If I could I'd be rich!!!!
If I could sue myself, I still would not have any money!!!!:laugh::laugh::laugh:

yardguy28
03-01-2010, 08:16 PM
i haven't run into commercial accounts requiring workman's comp either.

maybe things are diff. in GA but i've bid and been hired by commercial accounts with no workers comp insurance. infact if what others are saying about solo operators not being able to get workers comp (which makes sense to me) i wouldn't be able to have it myself becasue i'm solo.

johnnybravo8802
03-01-2010, 08:58 PM
i haven't run into commercial accounts requiring workman's comp either.

maybe things are diff. in GA but i've bid and been hired by commercial accounts with no workers comp insurance. infact if what others are saying about solo operators not being able to get workers comp (which makes sense to me) i wouldn't be able to have it myself becasue i'm solo.
The fact is, being solo doesn't really make a difference-I can't explain it.:confused:It's just policy for a lot of places to require it for a contractor they hire. Things have really changed and have become more and more costly. Ten years ago, places around here didn't even require liability much less worker's comp. However, they aren't willing to pay you more money for your service!!!:hammerhead::hammerhead:You should try working for Wal-Mart DC-I can't even set foot on the property w/o signing in and getting a name tag-You can't even use the restroom w/o a name tag!!!:cry::cry:Each employee has to have a tag and pass a safety test before they can work on the property. It's a lot of red tape-the good thing is, they pay quickly.:)

yardguy28
03-01-2010, 09:17 PM
while i can't speak from experience i find it hard to believe a company would go to those great links with the lawn contractor they hire.

they have no reason to require workers comp. it's not there fault if one of your workers gets hurt using your equipment. all they should be concerned with is paying you for the work they hired you for.

hell i've done commercial work without a contract before. worked out an agreement like i do with my residentials. just a word of mouth agreement.

Green Feet Lawn
03-01-2010, 09:26 PM
In NY state all trailer registrations expire on Dec 31. They send out renewals. I do not pay the renewal until April. The DMV then prorates the registration. This allows me to not pay registration fees while the trailers are parked for the winter.

Landscraper1
03-01-2010, 10:21 PM
Exactly. I can't get workmans comp so there's not way I can provide someone with proof of it. I can't sue myself anyway. If I could I'd be rich!!!!

Yes, you can. If you, as an owner, are covered under worker's comp, you can put in a claim, just like everyone else.

johnnybravo8802
03-01-2010, 10:50 PM
while i can't speak from experience i find it hard to believe a company would go to those great links with the lawn contractor they hire.

they have no reason to require workers comp. it's not there fault if one of your workers gets hurt using your equipment. all they should be concerned with is paying you for the work they hired you for.

hell i've done commercial work without a contract before. worked out an agreement like i do with my residentials. just a word of mouth agreement.
I think it's stupid too but that's what they required to bid on the job-I had no choice. I also had to have commercial insurance on my truck. They also will not allow me to drive my truck around the back of the building because of liability with the 18 wheelers-We do a lot of walking!!!:cry::cry:

rain man
03-02-2010, 10:17 PM
Not sure if it was mentioned yet. When gas prices fluctuate a lot we keep a check on the stock market news online. If prices look like they will go up the next day we buy gas before we go home. If they look like they will go down we hold out until the next day. Also we only buy gas at the places with the best prices.

yardguy28
03-03-2010, 08:54 AM
Not sure if it was mentioned yet. When gas prices fluctuate a lot we keep a check on the stock market news online. If prices look like they will go up the next day we buy gas before we go home. If they look like they will go down we hold out until the next day. Also we only buy gas at the places with the best prices.

this is just my 2 cents so don't take it personal even though i don't understand people like you....

i buy guys when i NEED it. doesn't matter if it's gonna go up or down in a day or 2 or not. i don't chase prices either.

the way i see it, it will all even out in the end anyway. if you drive around town looking for the cheapest gas station to get gas at you've wasted all that gas looking for the cheapest so you'll put more in your tank.

lets say gas is suppose to go up in price on wed. and you have half a tank but you get gas on tues. because it's suppose to go up. thurs. comes and it's dropped to a cheaper price than it was tues. when you got it. you could have waited until thurs. because hell you had half a tank.

thats just me though. i only fill my truck up when it's a quarter of a tank and i do the same for the lawn mowers and i wait until the gas cans are empty before filling them up. doesn't matter if prices are gonna raise, lower, or stay the same.

Darryl G
03-03-2010, 09:24 AM
Yes, you can. If you, as an owner, are covered under worker's comp, you can put in a claim, just like everyone else.

Workman's comp is for and only covers employees. My business does not have any employees. No payroll. Zero. Not even me. It's set up as an LLC but for financial purposes it functions as a sole proprietorship.

Landscraper1
03-03-2010, 09:48 AM
Workman's comp is for and only covers employees. My business does not have any employees. No payroll. Zero. Not even me. It's set up as an LLC but for financial purposes it functions as a sole proprietorship.

That's your choice. My business is a S-Corp. I am covered under worker's comp. Under Ma law I have to have worker's comp. on myself. So, I can and have had a claim on myself.

2 years ago, I was trying to remove a blower fan using a 3ft crow bar. The bar slipped and hit my head. Knocked me out, lost a bit of blood, and had a mild concussion. I came out of it ok but, could of been worse. Worker's Comp took care of everything. It's not that I couldn't of taken care of the bills myself, I just felt some security that if it was alot worse, I am covered.:weightlifter:

rain man
03-03-2010, 10:45 AM
No offence taken. I am also inclined to agree with you in that while you are chasing a few cent you could have been making money.

Our particular reasoning was based on the following: Gas prices fluctuated much more than a few cents per gallon for awhile, we timed the increases and decreases correctly half of the time and broke even when we were wrong, we noticed that some of the gas stations lowered prices much quicker when the market went down while others lingered, the stations we used were on our route and we didn't have to waste time looking.

We are still building and in the past there has been no room for waste so we perhaps scrutinize a dollar savings too closely. Still, it cost us no extra time (except checking the financials on the computer) and we did save money.

BearWise Landscapers
03-03-2010, 11:10 AM
Shop around for insurance once every couple years or so. The difference could be alot.

Got rid of comp and collision on my trucks that were paid for, saved about $300 per year on each.


For these points, I would emphasize the importance of using an independent insurance agency (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/2009/independent-insurance-agents/). These agencies will have access to multiple insurance carriers and if they are doing their job, they will shop the rates for you every year. For example, we have clients with over 35 different insurance carriers and when the policies of our clients come up for renewal, we send their application to different insurance carriers to make sure they still have the best rates available for their business.

If you are looking to cut costs, then feel free to ask your agent about coverages that can be removed and the premium costs associated with those coverages. Some coverages have a great value and are not worth removing. Here is an example of two coverages on commercial auto policies (http://www.turfmagazine.com/article.php?id=4597).



I'm insurance poor-the worker's comp is what really costs out the arse. They also audit you each year to make sure you haven't gone over the $10,000 in payroll-I have to change providers this year because I plan to have a lot more payroll. Basically, I'm a solo guy who hires on an as need basis but I'm about to make the break from being solo. However, they did require worker's comp when I didn't use anyone else-I questioned it.

Johnny Bravo,

Workers' Compensation insurance can be complicated, but there are ways to save money on your policy. When you get a chance, read this article in PRO Magazine about ways landscapers can cut costs on workers compensation insurance (http://www.greenindustrypros.com/web/online/Exclusive-Content-for-Dealers-and-Landscapers/Lower-Your-Workers-Comp-Costs/49$2230).

Let me know if you have any questions about your insurance coverages or ways to cut premium costs on those policies.

BearWise Landscapers
03-03-2010, 11:42 AM
You still have to have work comp., even if you work solo, at least in the commercial realm.

You can't even get workman's comp if you work solo. How can a commercial account require you to have something you can't get? Usually they will accept proof that you're not required to have it or they will accept a "hold harmless" clause in the contract.

I do 99% commercial and have liability and worker's comp. so I think I may have done this once or twice.:rolleyes:It may be different in other states, but in Ga. you cannot..........bid on large commercial properties w/o worker's comp, even if you're working solo. It protects the customer from being sued-I do this everyday full time so I'm not mistaken here.

I can't even get workman's comp insurance becasue I'm an owner/operator, I tried. It's not an option. I'm not an employee...my business has zero employees. Workman's comp is for employees. I can and have still bid on commercial accounts because I am not by law required to have workman's comp insurance.

Worker's comp doesn't cover you, it only covers your employees. You can't get it for yourself-your personal insurance will cover you if something happens to you. Most of the commercial accounts I have are now being required to have proof of worker's comp-daycare, Wal-Mart DC, churches, etc. I'm not sure why you haven't run into that yet. I'm insurance poor-the worker's comp is what really costs out the arse. They also audit you each year to make sure you haven't gone over the $10,000 in payroll-I have to change providers this year because I plan to have a lot more payroll. Basically, I'm a solo guy who hires on an as need basis but I'm about to make the break from being solo. However, they did require worker's comp when I didn't use anyone else-I questioned it.

Exactly. I can't get workmans comp so there's not way I can provide someone with proof of it. I can't sue myself anyway. If I could I'd be rich!!!!

i haven't run into commercial accounts requiring workman's comp either.

maybe things are diff. in GA but i've bid and been hired by commercial accounts with no workers comp insurance. infact if what others are saying about solo operators not being able to get workers comp (which makes sense to me) i wouldn't be able to have it myself becasue i'm solo.

The fact is, being solo doesn't really make a difference-I can't explain it.:confused:It's just policy for a lot of places to require it for a contractor they hire. Things have really changed and have become more and more costly. Ten years ago, places around here didn't even require liability much less worker's comp. However, they aren't willing to pay you more money for your service!!!:hammerhead::hammerhead:You should try working for Wal-Mart DC-I can't even set foot on the property w/o signing in and getting a name tag-You can't even use the restroom w/o a name tag!!!:cry::cry:Each employee has to have a tag and pass a safety test before they can work on the property. It's a lot of red tape-the good thing is, they pay quickly.:)

while i can't speak from experience i find it hard to believe a company would go to those great links with the lawn contractor they hire.

they have no reason to require workers comp. it's not there fault if one of your workers gets hurt using your equipment. all they should be concerned with is paying you for the work they hired you for.

hell i've done commercial work without a contract before. worked out an agreement like i do with my residentials. just a word of mouth agreement.

Yes, you can. If you, as an owner, are covered under worker's comp, you can put in a claim, just like everyone else.

Workman's comp is for and only covers employees. My business does not have any employees. No payroll. Zero. Not even me. It's set up as an LLC but for financial purposes it functions as a sole proprietorship.

That's your choice. My business is a S-Corp. I am covered under worker's comp. Under Ma law I have to have worker's comp. on myself. So, I can and have had a claim on myself.

2 years ago, I was trying to remove a blower fan using a 3ft crow bar. The bar slipped and hit my head. Knocked me out, lost a bit of blood, and had a mild concussion. I came out of it ok but, could of been worse. Worker's Comp took care of everything. It's not that I couldn't of taken care of the bills myself, I just felt some security that if it was alot worse, I am covered.:weightlifter:




I tried following the discussion above on workers’ compensation insurance (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/topics/workerscomp/). I thought I would chip in with a few pieces of information to consider:

1.) Workers’ compensation insurance is different in each state. It is mandated by state governments and each state has slightly different laws regarding it. You need to be familiar with the laws in your own state.

2.) Many commercial accounts will require workers’ compensation insurance for contractors they hire to do landscape maintenance and other services. This is good for them and if all of your residential, commercial, and other clients knew the importance of it, then they all would require it. When a company hires a contractor and that person or that contractor’s employees are injured working on the property, the company will be protected from a variety of lawsuits if the contractor has workers comp. If the contractor does not have workers comp, then plaintiff attorneys will typically name both the contractor and other company in the lawsuit to be reimbursed for the injury and any missed wages.

3.) In Florida, you are required to purchase workers compensation (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/2008/when-need-florida-workers-comp/) as a lawn care company when you have more than 3 employees. If you do landscape installation, you are required to purchase it when you hire even one part time employee.

4.) In Florida, an owner can purchase workers’ compensation insurance for himself. About 95% of our clients choose to be exempt from workers’ compensation insurance (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/2008/workers-comp-exemptions/) because they can exclude their own payroll from the premium base. This saves a substantial amount of money and they would use their health insurance coverage instead of workers comp if they get injured.

5.) We write insurance for a few owner/operator landscapers that are required by a jobsite to carry workers compensation insurance and do not have employees. This is a lot cheaper if you have a corporation or LLC. Sole proprietors in Florida cannot exclude themselves from workers compensation coverage. They also have to be rated on the policy with $55,700 of payroll, even if they don’t make that much.

Let me know if you have any additional questions about workers comp insurance. If any of you are located in Florida, then I would be happy to put together quotes for your business. Here are the 2010 workers comp rates in Florida (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/2009/2010-florida-workers-comp-rates/). Here is another article with a historical introduction to workers comp insurance (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/2009/history-of-workers-comp/).

yardguy28
03-03-2010, 01:26 PM
That's your choice. My business is a S-Corp. I am covered under worker's comp. Under Ma law I have to have worker's comp. on myself. So, I can and have had a claim on myself.

2 years ago, I was trying to remove a blower fan using a 3ft crow bar. The bar slipped and hit my head. Knocked me out, lost a bit of blood, and had a mild concussion. I came out of it ok but, could of been worse. Worker's Comp took care of everything. It's not that I couldn't of taken care of the bills myself, I just felt some security that if it was alot worse, I am covered.:weightlifter:

read what is highlighted in red below please. not every state is MA. every states laws are different. you can't get covered under workmans comp in every state. so to say it is his choice is incorrect.

I tried following the discussion above on workers’ compensation insurance (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/topics/workerscomp/). I thought I would chip in with a few pieces of information to consider:

1.) Workers’ compensation insurance is different in each state. It is mandated by state governments and each state has slightly different laws regarding it. You need to be familiar with the laws in your own state.

2.) Many commercial accounts will require workers’ compensation insurance for contractors they hire to do landscape maintenance and other services. This is good for them and if all of your residential, commercial, and other clients knew the importance of it, then they all would require it. When a company hires a contractor and that person or that contractor’s employees are injured working on the property, the company will be protected from a variety of lawsuits if the contractor has workers comp. If the contractor does not have workers comp, then plaintiff attorneys will typically name both the contractor and other company in the lawsuit to be reimbursed for the injury and any missed wages.

3.) In Florida, you are required to purchase workers compensation (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/2008/when-need-florida-workers-comp/) as a lawn care company when you have more than 3 employees. If you do landscape installation, you are required to purchase it when you hire even one part time employee.

4.) In Florida, an owner can purchase workers’ compensation insurance for himself. About 95% of our clients choose to be exempt from workers’ compensation insurance (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/2008/workers-comp-exemptions/) because they can exclude their own payroll from the premium base. This saves a substantial amount of money and they would use their health insurance coverage instead of workers comp if they get injured.

5.) We write insurance for a few owner/operator landscapers that are required by a jobsite to carry workers compensation insurance and do not have employees. This is a lot cheaper if you have a corporation or LLC. Sole proprietors in Florida cannot exclude themselves from workers compensation coverage. They also have to be rated on the policy with $55,700 of payroll, even if they don’t make that much.

Let me know if you have any additional questions about workers comp insurance. If any of you are located in Florida, then I would be happy to put together quotes for your business. Here are the 2010 workers comp rates in Florida (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/2009/2010-florida-workers-comp-rates/). Here is another article with a historical introduction to workers comp insurance (http://www.BearWiseLandscapers.com/articles/2009/history-of-workers-comp/).

Marshman
03-04-2010, 02:32 AM
Packing lunch is crucial. I don't take my guys off the clock for lunchbreak so everyone packing a lunch in case we have a descent drive somewhere and eating while in the car on the go is how i try and do it. maybe a little greedy but there cool with it.

fiveoboy01
03-04-2010, 02:37 AM
Wow I didn't realize this got to 9 pages, sometimes my email notification doesn't work.

Thanks for the suggestions and discussion on this:)

topsites
03-04-2010, 03:04 AM
A perfect driving record helps a lot.

David Grass
03-04-2010, 07:49 AM
Basically, what he is trying to say, is your actually hurting yourself more financially by not using the right tool for the job. His example is showing a $900/month profit using the $10k mower over the $8k mower. So even at $18k (scrapping the $8k mower, not reselling) your payments would be less then the $900/month profit allowing you to make more money even though you have a higher start up cost.... if I am reading it correctly. Makes sense. You have to look at things long term, not just what is it costing you right now.

Exactly, every time you make a dollar more an hour, for the exact same efforts factoring in your return on your investment, you are SAVING a dollar an hour. THere is an old school kind of thinking that borrowing money is NOT a good thing, that getting exactly what you need should be put off, etc etc. That is fine if you are not in business, lol, BUT if you are a biz, you have to let yourself think biz.

Darryl G
03-04-2010, 08:52 AM
Wow I didn't realize this got to 9 pages, sometimes my email notification doesn't work.

Thanks for the suggestions and discussion on this:)

Yah well 5 pages of it is petty bickering on where to take a P.

Landscraper1
03-04-2010, 09:25 AM
read what is highlighted in red below please. not every state is MA. every states laws are different. you can't get covered under workmans comp in every state. so to say it is his choice is incorrect.

Notice, how I mentioned MA law. I didn't say federal law or state laws. I said, MA law. That's because I know that every state is different. When you tell a person he is "incorrect", there should be some proof behind your words. My business was once in RI. In RI, an owner does not have to be covered. But, it's that owners's choice. What state is he in. Are you trying to say that his state would not allow him to have worker's comp, if he wanted it.
Give us some fact's behind your comments.:confused:

yardguy28
03-04-2010, 10:39 AM
Notice, how I mentioned MA law. I didn't say federal law or state laws. I said, MA law. That's because I know that every state is different. When you tell a person he is "incorrect", there should be some proof behind your words. My business was once in RI. In RI, an owner does not have to be covered. But, it's that owners's choice. What state is he in. Are you trying to say that his state would not allow him to have worker's comp, if he wanted it.
Give us some fact's behind your comments.:confused:

the facts behind my comments are you said it was his choice NOT to have workers comp when he is a solo operator.

my comment was some states don't allow you to have workers comp when you are solo. workers comp is usually used for employee's, NOT owners.

so my point is he is a solo operator that may NOT have a choice because purhaps in his state he can not get workers comp on himself.

not all states ALLOW you to cover yourself with workers. there's no CHOICE is that.....

its a good possiblity his state wouldn't allow him to have workers comp if he wanted because he is a solo operator.

Green Feet Lawn
03-04-2010, 10:59 AM
I was talking to a guy who takes his trucks and equip to get fuel by himself at the end of the day to avoid paying guys to sit in the truck while 1 fuels the equip. I prefer to have them fuel at the end of the day when they are eager to get out rather than in the morning when they want to hang around and get coffee and chat.

KyLawnscapes
03-04-2010, 11:19 AM
As for workers comp for the owner, i believe that basically all you do is get Disability Ins. on your self. Some ins companies wont let you add yourself to the workers comp. plan so you have to get personal disability Ins on yourself which is basically the same thing.

Landscraper1
03-04-2010, 01:12 PM
the facts behind my comments are you said it was his choice NOT to have workers comp when he is a solo operator.

my comment was some states don't allow you to have workers comp when you are solo. workers comp is usually used for employee's, NOT owners.

so my point is he is a solo operator that may NOT have a choice because purhaps in his state he can not get workers comp on himself.

not all states ALLOW you to cover yourself with workers. there's no CHOICE is that.....

its a good possiblity his state wouldn't allow him to have workers comp if he wanted because he is a solo operator.

:wall Alot of talk but, no facts as usual.

Turfcutters Plus
03-04-2010, 01:26 PM
got rid of insurance, saved a bundle.

dumb move.

yardguy28
03-04-2010, 01:56 PM
:wall Alot of talk but, no facts as usual.

maybe no facts but the point was you saying he has a choice could very well be incorrect. he may not have a choice being solo.