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tjlco
05-12-2010, 12:56 PM
I met another lco today, he's got a large operation I'd guess, few different trucks...anyway, he was dropping off blades (62 of them) to be sharpened. I asked him why not get the magna matic and save all that money (4 bucks a blade). He said "If I'm sharpening blades I'm not making money" I said, yes but your about to lose 248 bucks.. he said I'm to busy to worry about blade sharpening...Made me wonder full of poop, or he must really be busy or just hate sharpening blades...anyone else to busy????

JB1
05-12-2010, 01:05 PM
i have never thought of having a shop sharpen my blades or would I.

RDA
05-12-2010, 01:27 PM
I met another lco today, he's got a large operation I'd guess, few different trucks...anyway, he was dropping off blades (62 of them) to be sharpened. I asked him why not get the magna matic and save all that money (4 bucks a blade). He said "If I'm sharpening blades I'm not making money" I said, yes but your about to lose 248 bucks.. he said I'm to busy to worry about blade sharpening...Made me wonder full of poop, or he must really be busy or just hate sharpening blades...anyone else to busy????

It really isn't rocket science. If it would require him to spend 4 hours to sharpen them (ignore equipment costs to sharpen for this simple explanation), and he can net more than $248 to his bottom line during that same 4 hours doing his normal gig, then he is better off spending his time working his normal gig than sharpening blades.

Regards,

Rich

Runner
05-12-2010, 01:49 PM
There are too many times he could be paying one of his 9 dollar an hour guys to be doing this, too. There are rainy days and days that are BOUND to be short enough to get these done. They don't all have to get done at the same time, either. It only takes about a minute a blade - if even that. The guy just sounds to me like he is just closed minded and ignorant to some things that could be helping his bottom line. Let's do some quick math. If he saves $230 per sharpening, he would only have to sharpen each blade 3 or 4 times to pay for it...everything else after that is saved in gas and his time running blades back and forth. He REALLY needs to look at a bigger picture.

MDLawn
05-12-2010, 02:13 PM
I met another lco today, he's got a large operation I'd guess, few different trucks...anyway, he was dropping off blades (62 of them) to be sharpened. I asked him why not get the magna matic and save all that money (4 bucks a blade). He said "If I'm sharpening blades I'm not making money" I said, yes but your about to lose 248 bucks.. he said I'm to busy to worry about blade sharpening...Made me wonder full of poop, or he must really be busy or just hate sharpening blades...anyone else to busy????


First, I am not for or against someone sharpening their own blades or sending them somewhere. I think it all depends on how big a business is. If someone has many employees and lots of business (lawn/landscape/whatever/etc...) maybe it is worth it to them to have someone else do it than taking someone off the job to do these tasks. I understand the rainy day thing but you can't count on that to always happen. If someone is solo then everything depends on them to keep things running. Blade sharpening, oil changes, belts, estimates, billing, whatever, etc... Thats why many very large businesses have accountants, secretaries, mechanics, etc... They outsource these jobs because they can no longer perform these tasks because of being split too many ways. I dont think it is possible to be an owner, crew leader, mechanic, accountant, laborer of a big company without you wanting to throw in the towel. But this also may be the extreme end of larger businesses. I guess some people may want to close up on a Friday or Saturday to enjoy time away from work and have someone else do the blade sharpening or other business needs. I am small enough that this is not a problem and don't mind doing it. It just depends on what someone needs for their business to run successfully. And maybe $250+ is a drop in the bucket for a larger business. Just my thoughts

tjlco
05-12-2010, 03:27 PM
I suppose after reading some of the replies...it would be nice at the end of the day, friday or whatever day, to park the rig and go in the pool, not do any accounting, mechanic work, or blade sharpening, or phonecalls for that matter...but then again thats why I beacme an LCO in the first place, to make more money, and do the above things that go with it. If someday I am a large enough operation that I can outsource some of those things, then good for me...I think....

gene gls
05-12-2010, 10:15 PM
I know a few guys that take thier blades to the dealer to sharpen. They hate the job and it is a tax writeoff. Same with having the dealer service your equipment, its a tax writeoff. The worst part is, most dealers do a crap job at sharpening blades.

Scagmower48
05-12-2010, 11:03 PM
Just because its a tax right off does not mean its free. Blades are easy to sharpen and can be done at anytime. Do a set everyday after work or before work, or on a rainy day. They will be done in no time, and if you keep up on them then you won't have so many to do. Also if you do them yourself, you won't need so many sets, since you can sharpen them and you won't have to wait for the dealer to sharpen them. Most likely the guy who this thread is about is some arogant guy who has bills up to his head.

Magna-Matic
05-12-2010, 11:32 PM
Just to add a thought.

The lawn mower blade is the most directly related piece of equipment to your final product, a beautiful lawn for your customer. If the blade is not maintained the grass is torn by the mower, and yellowing occurs.

A lawn mower blade should be sharpened between 8-12 mowing hours, by this time the TIP of the blade has become rounded, and now it is tearing the grass rather than cutting. The TIP of the mower blade is the primary cutting tooth, if it is not pointed it is not cutting. (for more info on blade geometry see http://www.magna-matic.com/page/blade-education

If a quality cut is desired, the service of the lawn mower blade, (balancing and sharpening at a consistent angle) should be controlled "in-house" to ensure quality.

Thank you,

Often if a lawn care pro is outsourcing his sharpening, it probably isn't being done as often as it should, the reason for this is the high cost of outsourcing it. It is the frequency of service required in a commercial use setting that makes it expensive to outsource something so critical to the quality of a lawn care professional's end product.

topsites
05-13-2010, 12:11 AM
I met another lco today, he's got a large operation I'd guess, few different trucks...anyway, he was dropping off blades (62 of them) to be sharpened. I asked him why not get the magna matic and save all that money (4 bucks a blade). He said "If I'm sharpening blades I'm not making money" I said, yes but your about to lose 248 bucks.. he said I'm to busy to worry about blade sharpening...Made me wonder full of poop, or he must really be busy or just hate sharpening blades...anyone else to busy????

You see now how it's ALL the same money? :laugh:

I keep telling folks, doesn't matter, beyond a certain point it's ALL the same,
now this guy's working all those extra hours BUT the money goes to
sharpening blades.

Which it adds out, figure the time we spend sharpening blades, it's all the same probably,
cut a lawn or sharpen the blades, which one you want to do?

But after it's all said and done, same dang money LOL

unkownfl
05-13-2010, 12:16 AM
If hes bringing in that many blades are you sure hes spending 4 bucks a blade. I have the shop sharpen mine and its not 4 bucks a blade I'll say that much.

lifetree
05-13-2010, 12:18 AM
... The worst part is, most dealers do a crap job at sharpening blades.

Here's to ya ... :cool2: :cool2: :cool2:

STIHL GUY
05-13-2010, 12:46 AM
around here its over $6 a blade. that would get expensive quick

Sammy
05-13-2010, 09:28 AM
If he is that big, he should have a in house maintenance dept. that sharpens, grease, check air filters, check tire pressure and belts every evening so they are ready to rock the next day.

Frue
05-13-2010, 09:39 AM
There are too many times he could be paying one of his 9 dollar an hour guys to be doing this, too. There are rainy days and days that are BOUND to be short enough to get these done. They don't all have to get done at the same time, either. It only takes about a minute a blade - if even that. The guy just sounds to me like he is just closed minded and ignorant to some things that could be helping his bottom line. Let's do some quick math. If he saves $230 per sharpening, he would only have to sharpen each blade 3 or 4 times to pay for it...everything else after that is saved in gas and his time running blades back and forth. He REALLY needs to look at a bigger picture.

I think it is you that does not see the bigger picture! Its stuff like this that irritates me. You are probabbly a great guy but lets look at the bigger picture. He is probabbly working 60 hours a week just in his business not taking into account all the office work. I farm out as much as possible blades, repairs, whatever I can. Its better to just come in take a fresh pair off the shelf and install. Your way come home after working 11 hours sharpen a pair, then install them! Unless you are cutting 11 hours a day 6 days a week you will never understand that kind of business. Just please remember there are those companys that cut a grand a day not just 300.

This is not an attack on you either its just I can see what that guy goes thru. I can drop them off on that side of town when I am working over there. Run in pick them up get a bill mail a check. Much much easier. Try getting a employee to stay after work to sharpen blades. Rain days are get all your phone calls returned and your running done. Just my thoughts tho. by the way nothing wrong with just cutting 300 a day at the same time nothing wrong with a grand a day either just 2 different monsters!

Frue
05-13-2010, 09:42 AM
If he is that big, he should have a in house maintenance dept. that sharpens, grease, check air filters, check tire pressure and belts every evening so they are ready to rock the next day.

now thats a idea! The problem is the machines are so much now 10,000 so how do you have all the equipment plus pay a on staff mechanic?

Frue
05-13-2010, 09:50 AM
You see now how it's ALL the same money? :laugh:

I keep telling folks, doesn't matter, beyond a certain point it's ALL the same,
now this guy's working all those extra hours BUT the money goes to
sharpening blades.

Which it adds out, figure the time we spend sharpening blades, it's all the same probably,
cut a lawn or sharpen the blades, which one you want to do?

But after it's all said and done, same dang money LOL

again spoken as a small single opp business. alright 4 hours to sharpen all those blades! 120 an hour 480! the same 4 hours sharpening blades 248 in savings ooo but now we have to some how find the 4 hours we lost to go do the 480.

Topsite I enjoy your post but again 6 days of mowing YOU DONT HAVE 4 HOURS! Again its a whole other animal! You cannot look at your business model and put it into his business model. Please remember lawnsite there are guys that are that BIG. Think about cutting 5000 a week, you have payrole, bills, billing, complaints (the more customers more complaints) and all the other stuff that goes with life wife kids, etc...... Please remember that when you are posting.

Magna-Matic
05-14-2010, 06:32 PM
Hello All,

Just some extra info to consider in the discussion. Please keep in mind when looking at the ROI info we supplied the variables of labor rate, or cost blade sharpened from a dealer, which can vary greatly across the nation.

Sharpening shops/Dealers can range from $3 to $15 per blade, most sit around $6 on average. Additionally labor rates can be all over the place as well depending on who is doing the sharpening.

http://www.magna-matic.com/page/blade-service-costs-roi

Often the problem with maintaining equipment, lawn mower blades for example, is that it is not efficient without productive tools designed for the task.

Thank you,

clydebusa
05-14-2010, 07:33 PM
At sometime when the company is a certain size, choices must be made. A few times a year, I stop @ a oil change place and have the oil changed in my truck and eat across the street. Yes it cost more money but I just don't feel like doing it.
On the blade part, I know of some dealers that will charge you buy the hour on big jobs like sharpening 200 blades. If the dealer is good at sharpening that many blades it might only cost him 120 bucks.

Frue
05-14-2010, 08:38 PM
At sometime when the company is a certain size, choices must be made. A few times a year, I stop @ a oil change place and have the oil changed in my truck and eat across the street. Yes it cost more money but I just don't feel like doing it.
On the blade part, I know of some dealers that will charge you buy the hour on big jobs like sharpening 200 blades. If the dealer is good at sharpening that many blades it might only cost him 120 bucks.

great point!

SouthSide Cutter
05-14-2010, 09:27 PM
Everybody makes good points. But mine is it has to be passed on I dont care how big he is. Then you wonder how someone can cut a yard cheaper.

topsites
05-14-2010, 09:46 PM
Your way come home after working 11 hours sharpen a pair, then install them! Unless you are cutting 11 hours a day 6 days a week you will never understand that kind of business. Just please remember there are those companys that cut a grand a day not just 300.


Bzzzt wrong, some of us solo $200 a day operators have like 40 or 50 blades in
stock and I ALSO grab a sharp set off the shelf and put the dull ones on another,
now once the pile of dulls gets so big I sit down and sharpen the whole bunch.

Which is where it gets interesting...

It takes me roughly 30 minutes to sharpen up 30, figure 3 dollars a pop that's $90 x 2 = $180 an hour
money I don't HAVE to bust my tail for at no $40 an hour that I had to fight tooth and nail with some customer over,
to TRY and make up for it.
No sir, and I may not see an actual check but it's my money good as can be.

See y'all ain't the only smart cookies around now lol

Frue
05-14-2010, 10:15 PM
Bzzzt wrong, some of us solo $200 a day operators have like 40 or 50 blades in
stock and I ALSO grab a sharp set off the shelf and put the dull ones on another,
now once the pile of dulls gets so big I sit down and sharpen the whole bunch.

Which is where it gets interesting...

It takes me roughly 30 minutes to sharpen up 30, figure 3 dollars a pop that's $90 x 2 = $180 an hour
money I don't HAVE to bust my tail for at no $40 an hour that I had to fight tooth and nail with some customer over,
to TRY and make up for it.
No sir, and I may not see an actual check but it's my money good as can be.

See y'all ain't the only smart cookies around now lol

LOL topsite! See you just made my point. You have the time! 6 days a week 10 hours a day equals no time. You are solo and there is no problem at all... he is doing in a day what you run in a week! Its a whole other animal!

mowerbrad
05-14-2010, 10:17 PM
Most of the time, I'll take my blades to a local shop and have them sharpen my blades for me. Being part time, I don't put too many hours on my mower each week. I change my blades about every 10 machine hours. I can usually get 2, maybe 3 weeks out of each set. I have about 4 sets I think for my mower so they can last me from 8-12 weeks. So about every month and a half I will take the dull sets in to have them sharpened, then I'm good for another while. It's not so much that I don't have the time but I'd rather not sharpen them and spend those 15-20 minutes doing something else. I know it's lazy but I'd rather concentrate on my studies or use that time for a little relaxation while I've got it.

Frue
05-14-2010, 10:20 PM
Everybody makes good points. But mine is it has to be passed on I dont care how big he is. Then you wonder how someone can cut a yard cheaper.

Southside he does not have to worry about cutting it cheaper he has all the work he needs! You can reach a point in business where you can charge what you want because you dont need it! I think the problem here is there is to many solos and starter upers on here who cannot fathom cutting 5000 a week 20,000 a month! If you guys would listen you can do the same thing. We think our way is the best but take it from me you can think outside the box and grow a decent size business.... This is not a personal attack just a general statement.

Buy bigger then you need if you need a 1500 get a 2500 chevy, you need a 48 inch walkbehind get a 60 inch z, you need a 12 ft trailer get a 16 fter. These are the mistakes I made learn from this. I started with a ford f150 did it do it? yep but not like my 2500. I also started with a 36 walkbehind did it do it yep but my 60's are so much better!

grassrat
05-15-2010, 09:22 AM
my 2 cents... we have an in house mechanic I have twenty 25 employees, yet the first truck in(2 -48s 2-60s ) sharpens their own blades greases and washes everything truck and all, 4 guys on the little truck 6 on the big trucks its still cheaper to pay my $8-10 dollars guys than my $18/ hour guy to do that repetitive stuff. They even do the oil changes on the mowers and trucks, the mechs job is to fix the equipment that they can't, which is alot they can change the oil faster when they are sharpening the blades than he can, he might actually put the oil in but they do all the grunt work. Everyone has there own way based on the economies of scale and scope of work we can be more profitable this way in our current given situation. Now, if we get 10 more apartments tomorrow then we need to reevaluate the numbers and employees.

mdlwn1
05-15-2010, 02:27 PM
Im surprised more of you don't get this. It's really a no brainer. Down time and revenue generation. If your pulling in big numbers...you outsource services that are CHEAPER for someone else to do. In reference to the guy above who said to have the $9 per hour guy sharpen them..that would not make sense if the $9 guy could be generating revenue during that same time. It's NOT all the same money...not even remotely close. What if the revenue being brought in was cash and the lco needed more expenses to justify his house/car etc.....It's totally situation dependent, so arguing one side or the other is as valid as saying which color is better.

Frue
05-15-2010, 05:18 PM
Im surprised more of you don't get this. It's really a no brainer. Down time and revenue generation. If your pulling in big numbers...you outsource services that are CHEAPER for someone else to do. In reference to the guy above who said to have the $9 per hour guy sharpen them..that would not make sense if the $9 guy could be generating revenue during that same time. It's NOT all the same money...not even remotely close. What if the revenue being brought in was cash and the lco needed more expenses to justify his house/car etc.....It's totally situation dependent, so arguing one side or the other is as valid as saying which color is better.

very good point. I was just trying to show the guys reasoning for shipping the blades out. Example I just finished 5 10 hour days of mowing! Now we had to go unload 10 yards of mulch! Where is the time to do the blades? Sometimes I forget that i was once a solo guy with only a few days of work! Some say its better that way. Who knows I just throw mulch and mow lawns what do I know!!!!!!!! LOL!

lilweeds
05-18-2010, 11:01 AM
Don't tell him to sharpen his own offer to do his blades at a slightly better price!

billybob1675
05-21-2010, 03:33 AM
just to mention one thing. sharpening is one thing balancing is another. im not huge just in the middle and i can say i have been sending my blades to the shop. last time i sharpened them it took me forever to balance them. now i don't think balancing matters as much as a sharp edge but, i figure it makes me a good customer at the dealer and i don't have to eat metal at the end of my day or any day. its a bill but at least my blades are great, stay sharper longer and i just pick them up. if this dude has 62 blades then. 1 he just has lots of blades or 2. he has lots of mowers which are making him lots of money. he might need the deduction. after doing all the maintenance i really don't want to grind metal.

Hell on Blades
05-21-2010, 03:48 AM
I may have mentioned this earlier -- I take my blades in every other or every third time. The shop can balance, I just restore the edge.

Merkava_4
05-21-2010, 07:03 AM
What shocks me is some of the guys on this very same forum
have no mechanical ability what-so-ever; they're totally at the
mercy of their dealer. How can you be in this business and not
at least do some of your own equipment repairs?

LwnmwrMan22
05-21-2010, 07:04 AM
If hes bringing in that many blades are you sure hes spending 4 bucks a blade. I have the shop sharpen mine and its not 4 bucks a blade I'll say that much.

This was going to be my point as well.

I have a shop sharpen my chainsaw chains in the winter.

They charge me $3, everyone else is $6-9, depending on the length of chain.

LwnmwrMan22
05-21-2010, 07:08 AM
What shocks me is some of the guys on this very same forum have no mechanical ability what-so-ever; they're totally at the mercy of their dealer. How can you be in this business and not at least do SOME of your own equipment repairs?

Minor stuff like fixing a flat I'll do.

Anything much more than that, I'll just drop it off.

The dealer that I have is good, they're all schooled by Kubota.

I start looking at an issue, I'll start to tear into it, then an hour later I'm thinking I should be sleeping, spending time with my kids, working with the other equipment, yada yada yada.

It's more of a time thing for me than anything. It's 5 am here. I got home at 9:45 last night and I'm heading out with 18 hours of work today that HAS to get done. I'm not about to spend another 3 hours working on something, just to get to what part I need and the dealer is closed anyways.

MarcSmith
05-21-2010, 07:50 AM
keep in mind that 62 blades could be a weeks worth of blades.. lest assume 3 blades per machine that 20 machines or 10machines with 2 blade swaps.

I know we always swapped out blades 2x a week and while one person was mounting the new blades, the old ones were being sharpened. if you did not hit anything and take a hunk out if you are looking about 10minutes to sharpen a set. and I can tell you even the tightest running ship wastes more than ten minutes a day. Heck and my grinder was the cheapo lesco.

hackitdown
05-21-2010, 08:35 AM
I think the DIY crowd has it right on this debate.

The guy is paying at least $180 to have 60 blades sharpened. A trained $12/hr helper will do as good of a job as the $12/hr "mechanic" at the dealer. Maybe it takes the helper 3 hrs to sharpen the blades...$36 vs. $180. And no one has to drive to the dealer.

Topsites has the right idea. Stockpile loads of blades, enough to get through the busiest times, and sharpen them when things slow down. Or hire another helper if you are that busy.

LwnmwrMan22
05-21-2010, 08:55 AM
The $12 employee will actually cost closer to $30 after taxes and work comp.

If the LCO is in fact too busy, his guys could already be stretched too thin.

If the LCO is charging $60 / man hour, having the guy work would gross the same $180, theoretically causing a wash.

If he was sitting at the shop grinding blades and there was work to be done, the LCO would theoretically be seeing a loss of $90 after the payroll expenses. Plus another 2-3 customers have been served.
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MikeKle
05-21-2010, 09:22 AM
He could easily sharpen them at night when he gets home or when its raining and cant work, that is a waste of money to pay a shop to do this, even with that many blades. And you cant tell me he has absolutely NO time to do this, is he working 12 or more hours a day 7 days a week? Even if he is, he cant work when its dark.

MarcSmith
05-21-2010, 09:47 AM
Mike

keep in minda, that some people DONT want to work 12 hours a day 7 days a week. Theyw ant to spend time with their familiy, and be able to close the door and lock the shop on friday and not have to worry about stuff until monday morning..

I know when i was in Florida I kept to a 40hr work week as best I could. and Id work 10 hour days before i worked on weekends.

LwnmwrMan22
05-21-2010, 09:59 AM
Right now I'm not in bed 18 hours / day. Last night I took 3 hours to go to my son's baseball game and eat dinner with the family.

Tonight the family will meet me for dinner and I'll work until 11 after leaving around 5 this morning.

I've already worked 80 hours this week and have 4 schools to mow tomorrow.

My employee is taking a week off (funeral) so I'll start next weeks list Sat evening and work another 100 hour week next week.

I don't sharpen blades.
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