View Full Version : Sold out
08-13-2002, 09:14 PM
I have referred to this several times, figured that I had better post up and tell every body.
I had the oportunity to sell my lawn biz to a friend. I started it in July of 1996 and sold in July of 2002. I worked with him for a couple of weeks to show him how I was doing things, and for him to meet the customers. I have started hauling cars for different dealers around here, and that has been going good so far.
He got all the equipment, and customer base. The monthly agreement customers are still in my name for the rest of the season, he just works for me on those, and I pay him. So until the end of the season I won't be officially OUT of lawn care.
Here is a list of the reasons why I sold.
I had to have year around income, (house payment)
year three of the worst drought on record, expected to become year four next season would leave little income when there is no grass to mow
It was with very mixed feelings that I let it all go. When you do some thing for 6 years you have got to have your heart in it. I did for a while, when he showed up with the $$ I lost heart really fast. I am sure that when next spring rolls around I will miss it for a little. That was the time of year I always liked best. Fall was always nice because it meant a break, but also no income for about 5 months.
Car hauling is going pretty good so far. Insurance is way high. $7300 a year.
I suppose that this means I need to change my account name, and not post on the Commercial lawn care part of LS. Tell me what you think guys, if you don't want an EX LCO posting I won't do it.
I hope in time that I can make my personal lawn the best on the block. That will be the only lawn care I plan on doing. That means I will have to post on HOMEOWNER forum. UG!!!!!!!
Have fun and be safe guys, and gals. Wear your ear and eye protection. :D
08-13-2002, 09:17 PM
I wish someone would buy me out!
08-13-2002, 09:24 PM
I just wanted you to know how much I appreciated the advice you gave me on getting a Walker. I for one am going to miss reading your post here. I wish you the best of luck in your new business. You never can tell what doors will open when you try or met something new. I'd still like to learn from your business smarts. Thanks for the help in the past. Keep in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org
08-13-2002, 09:28 PM
:cry: I need a tissue.. that last post got to me. j/k
I see no reason why you or anyone else who has been in the industry cannot continue to post here just because they threw in the towel?
...hmmmm, Brickman.....Brickman??? Oh yeah, now I remember him...he was a LCO at one time, wasn't he???...posted to this forum, didn't he??? Yeah! Good 'ol Brickman! ;)
Good luck with that car hauling business, Brickman! I hope you'll still hang out here. Heck, you might even decide to pick up a new lawn or two! A "former-LCO" forum...now that's an idea...think of the swell horror stories that could be posted there!! :D
Wow 5 mos with no income! I dont blame you for getting out I couldnt survive that either. Best of luck to you.
08-13-2002, 09:52 PM
Move to Florida ,My business pulls in excess of well.....6digits a year,and we have it very easy, not too hard of draughts but alot of rain in the summer =$$$$$$$$$$ .Plus in the winter we cut every other week ,with no snow blowing in between .One week on ,One week off.Nothing but Landscaping in between.
08-13-2002, 09:52 PM
Thanks guys for all the ego boosts.
Dukester glad to hear you like your Walker. I guess I will be staying and adding my .01 cents worth. And irritating the Chev and Dodge guys a little longer. LOL I will be glad to anwser any questions you might have. I don't think I am all that business savy. I pretty much just bumbled my way thru and tried to not screw the same thing up twice.
SLS I probably won't be doing any other lawn work than my yard, I promised my friend to not start up another lawn biz for several years. Many of my customers were friends and would come back to me if I did. I would feel pretty chicken **** to do that to him. And you are right about the horror stories. We could probably start a few here. That would be a good idea for a post. One reason I wouldn't really want to be on a former LCO site is you would have guys like Stone on there. No thanks.
Thanks for the invite to FL. But no thanks. I can't handle the heat, or the high population. WY has about 500K, so that makes your ratio of idiots to sane people a little more bearable. lol I would rather put up with the wind here than the high pop, and EXTREMELY HIGH humidity. I lived back east for 21 years. 7 out here, I think I will stay for the time being.
Also WY is a great state to hunt in.
"One reason I wouldn't really want to be on a former LCO site is you would have guys like Stone on there. No thanks."
:laugh: LMAO!!! :laugh: That's priceless!
Oh yeah, didn't Stone move down to Florida??? Wyoming sounds better all the time, eh? :laugh:
08-13-2002, 10:05 PM
I'm with you Brickman. I've been in for 10 years and am BURNT OUT too! Along with all of the other daily headaches of the biz. I might work part time in the lawn care biz next year, just haven't made my mind up on it yet. I have some elderly customers that really want me to continue taking care of their lawns.
08-13-2002, 11:22 PM
when can you come to cleveland and help me get some customer's? :D J/k Anyway, It was a great experience having you on LS and all the suggestions I'm sure you made to me and the others has really helped so thanks for doin us a favor. Good luck with the Car Hauling and the Yard. I'll prbably see you on a Scott's brochure some day for the best looking lawn. alright thanks again, and i'm sure everyone would still wan you to stay on the c0ommercail forum. Peace
08-14-2002, 08:34 AM
I have always enjoyed your posts. I am back in this industry part time, having worked my way through college for an lco years ago. You have a wealth of experience to share and I, for one, would miss your input should you not continue posting on this forum.
I wish you the best of luck in your new endeavor and, without being presumptuous, would like to offer a suggestion. In addition to hauling the cars, you may want to also consider hauling RV's to dealers, customers, etc.
08-14-2002, 10:30 AM
I will be keeping my ears open about RV hauling, but I have done some checking on that and the pay is pretty cut throat. Kinda like lawn care in some areas. The first time you are not loaded both ways you will go in the poor house that is how bad it is. If I remember right the pay was $0.70 a mile loaded. I have been doing better than that car hauling round trip and most of the time I have only been loaded one way. Most of the time if I can haul 3 cars at a time I will break even, (most runs are less than 150 miles, some 50 to 60 miles) if I can get 4 cars that is where the gravey money comes in.
But I will be keeping my ears open for RVs as well as hauling small tractors. It seems there is a growing market for that, the compact 30 and 40 HP ones are getting popular.
08-14-2002, 11:22 AM
Well the more who post here , the better.
Of course after a few months , and maybe a bigger "wedge trailer", and more weight behind that truck......
You'll probalble want to change your signature to something like...
"Dodges with Cummins Rule"
"Cummins Rule, Powerstrokes Drool"
Hello Hummin Cummins, Good Bye PowerJoke"
..You get the picture..:D
Good luck, if its not many people doing it , it could be decent money in hauling those cars.
Cut 2 Please
08-14-2002, 01:31 PM
I use to haul cars up until 2 years ago. I drove a Peterbuilt with a Boystun headrack and trailer. I can give you all kinds of advice if you need it. You will soon find that car hauling is pretty cut throat also. It will not be long before you will be wanting to move up to a larger rig so that you can haul more than 3 at a time. I have had several friends that have had 3 car trailers and the dealers they hauled for would end up buying 4 or 5 cars at the auction. That always through a wrench in there program. I guess the best lesson I learned over time was to always collect a check from the dealer before you take the last car off the trailer. You have leverage that way. Many dealer will try and ride your money. Also to a walk around inspection before you take the car out of the auction gate. Write any damage on the drive out slip. That way if the dealer tries to say you scratched the car it is on record at the auction. I could go on and on. Just email me if you have any questions and good luck.
08-14-2002, 01:36 PM
I know this is LAWNSITE not TOWSITE, but:
Why WRITE any damage down before leaving the auction, when digital cameras are cheap.
My camera even has timestamp encrypted authentication to prove WHEN the photo was taken.
Cut 2 Please
08-14-2002, 01:41 PM
Most auctions do not allow cameras inside auction property. Manhiem which is the largest auction chain is very strict about that. Also if it is on the gate pass then it is possible to hold the auction responsible for the damage.
08-14-2002, 02:33 PM
brickman - sorry to hear your getting out of the biz. good to see that your doing something that your happy about though. no sence in staying in something that your heart isnt into. am i reading these posts correctly? your driving a semi truck now?? that sounds like fun. getting paid to travle. 3 years in the military made me appreciate the cost of traveling. when you can find a job where your getting paid to do it well, your all set than. take care, and good luck with your new profession. hope to see you on here in the future.
08-14-2002, 02:41 PM
Alta I doubt I will change my sig line to read what you mentioned. I was thinking some thing alone the lines of
"Brickman Enterprises, where we haul your Dodges and Chevys with a Ford Power Stroke" :D I would love to have a 12 valve Cummins in my FORD, but never the 24 valve. In case nobody noticed, Paul loves a Ford versus Dodge and Chev argument. :) :)
How funny, Manheim ownes several of the auctions that I am hauling out of in Denver CO. I'm not hauling much in the way of nice stuff, most of it is stuff I would never own, so an extra scratch probably wouldn't show up, but that is really good advice. So far the dealers are paying prompt, I am not about to give them 30 days like lawn care. Max is 2 loads or 5 days. If they don't pay then no more hauling.
As for getting 4 or 5 cars and bying a bigger rig, the next thing you know they are back to buying 3, and then you are stuck. With Cheyenne being a small town most of the guys have been easy to work with so far and understand the full load concept. This venture might be like lawn care, after a few years I might get tired of it, and move on to some thing else. So far I am one of very few guys in the area hauling so that helps me quite a bit, competion is way less than lawn care. Mostly because of the huge insurance.
Dr grass right now I am hauling with pick up and trailer, hauling 3 or 4 vehicles depending on the weight. I have a CDL so hauling with a semi wouldn't be a problem. I would just have to get one.
08-14-2002, 09:16 PM
I feel almost burned out, but I feel that way every August.
I have someone interested in buying me out and honestly, I'd sell if I had something else to do....that paid this much. His offer is good, but I'd have to have more to start a new business.
.....so lets all just hold on till fall. (Get a few more annual contracts, we'll make plenty during the off season!)
08-15-2002, 08:07 AM
Of course if Ford starts putting Cummins in their trucks, I might be changing mine.
I used to have a "prior damage report sheet" made up. I had a picture of a car, a drawing looking down on it, with room to make notes. When a customer would bring in a car for repairs at the shop I worked at, I would go out go over the car and make a list of every ding, scratch, cracked glass or dent, and then I would get the customer to sign it.
I work full time at a GMC dealership Bodyshop now, and each month we buy about 10 used cars from an Auction in N.C. We constantly find places on the cars, after thay arrive. We usually use retired guys to taxie the cars. I think the going rate here for carrier service is arounf $75.00 per car for that trip (3-4 hrs) - but I'm not really sure.
08-15-2002, 08:50 AM
After some of the horror stories I have heard about the retired guys or Labor Ready guys I would never taxi a vehicle. But it works for some people. A few people here are learning that it doesn't work all that well, and that is helping to fuel my biz. Plus the insurance exposure is MUCH greater with 10 vehicles on the road versus a truck carring 3 or more.
08-15-2002, 10:29 AM
Did you ever think about snow removal to generate income during winters? Snow removal is the best part of my biz. I work an average of 10 hours per week and get more profit from snow than from lawns.
08-16-2002, 12:52 AM
Thought about it, tried, and it don't pay on this side of the big hill.
Cheyenne does not get any where near as much snow as Laramie. Last year there were about 3 or 4 snows worth moving all winter. About 3 times the amount of the year before and the year before that. A guy would never pay for equipment let alone make any money doing snow removal on this side of the mountain.
08-16-2002, 01:44 AM
have you tryed the magna flow exhaust on your PS and a K&N air filter . been doing a little surfing and think im gunna put that exhaust on my rig
08-16-2002, 07:32 AM
I put a K&N on about 90K miles ago. Truck has 107K It still has the factory exhaust straight piped. LOTS of noise. I love the way a straight PS sounds. And a 75 HP power chip. I could go a lot bigger, but until I can find time or money for gauges that is all I doing. I do not want to melt down my turbo.
By the end of this week I will have hauled over 30 cars. All just locally. Less than 125 miles one way.
08-16-2002, 01:14 PM
I will admit I've only read a few threads and I just registered today, but I laughed outloud at one of your comments and with your past experience, I believe I wouldn't mind you posting your opinions...
Just my two cents.
08-21-2002, 10:03 AM
Brickman did your company come up here to Connecticut cause I have seen Brickman Landscaping trucks and that is not that common?
08-22-2002, 08:27 AM
Brickman Group and Brickman Lawn Care are two different out fits. Brickman Group is huge and all over the US. Brickman Lawn Care was mainly a one man show that couldn't keep up in a city of 50,000.
08-22-2002, 11:10 AM
I am shocked by that brickman, because the brickman group undercut some of my friends accounts by 30%, I never would have thought they were that big. Well I guess if you can spread your costs over a larger number of accounts than you should be able to come in cheaper. Oh well, thanks for the insight.:D
08-22-2002, 11:54 AM
I'm in NJ with the same drought. Luckily I mow PT. However, I ain't going out to dinner every weekend, ain't giving my wife a penny for fun money, and have bought anything for myself for the last month, either. My lawns have dropped off almost 80%. Hey, maybe you can start up again, doing cars full time and mowing part time.
08-22-2002, 12:10 PM
google brickman group...huge:eek:
and brickman: about the ford having lots of noise-does the filter do that? if not what would, and for what minimum price? i would love to get a louder sound out of my silverado.
08-22-2002, 01:58 PM
:sleeping: somebody say Brickman left? huh? Oh well...:sleeping:
08-22-2002, 05:56 PM
Naturally, you can bid cheaper with employees making 9.50 an hour vs. a solo guy who has to make at minimum 30 hour just to make ends meet...
08-22-2002, 08:11 PM
In all seriousness it was a real pleasure headinging out your way and getting to talk shop w/ you. Thanks for hooking up that Walker. I'm trying to bolster some more lawns here and as the days pass it's doing less trailer time. Always look forward to your post. Maybe you can create you own mower transport division so suckers like me don't have to drive 2k plus miles to save a few grand :p Best of luck!
08-22-2002, 09:30 PM
Hey Dave, I was wondering when you would see my post. I enjoyed meeting you and eating supper together that night and bsing about the biz. But allergies played a big part in selling, along with the other mentioned things. I am too busy right here in Cheyenne and surrounding areas to do much hauling across country. Glad also to hear the Walker is working out good for you. I was a little worried about it because I pretty much bought it sight unseen and never ran it much at all.
http://www.brickmangroup.com/ here is their web site, check it out.
Like I said they are huge. I was hoping that they would move into cheyenne and buy me out for big $$$, but that did not happen. :cry: :D
02-04-2010, 12:33 AM
There is no way I could do this 8 hrs a day everyday.I will take my full time tech job any day.I am spoiled.$70k a year,5 wks vacation,10 paid holidays,matching 401k,12 days sick leave.I use my part-time mowing for the toys.
Puddle of Oil
02-04-2010, 01:09 AM
this thread is 8 years old!...........wonder if brickman's still around!
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