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PlantscapeSolutions
06-18-2011, 08:00 PM
Mulch for Monday. This is 300 bags on six pallets in my trailer. Here's a close up of the mulch.

93Chevy
06-18-2011, 08:12 PM
That looks like really good quality bagged mulch, however I'd hate to have to deal with all those bags.

deerewashed
06-18-2011, 08:12 PM
Why????? I see perfectly good bulk behind you!!!

grassman88
06-18-2011, 08:38 PM
Why????? I see perfectly good bulk behind you!!!

i was thinking the same thing! no way would i use bagged mulch bagged mulch here is for homeonwers,it seems in the southern states landscapers swear by it. u will hardly ever see a landscaper use bagged mulch up here

PlantscapeSolutions
06-18-2011, 08:41 PM
Why????? I see perfectly good bulk behind you!!!

It's a lot easier to move packaged product in a high density landscape. I hate shoveling mulch. one bag of mulch is the perfect amount for one worker to carry into a flower bed and spread. I just starting using this mulch company here in Austin, Texas. My cost is $1.80 per bag and I sell it for $3.94 on average.

Here in Texas you don't see that many professional companies using bulk in existing landscapes. Usually it's the guys with less education driving the piece of crap truck and trailer who buy bulk. You save a little on bulk but the labor expenses are higher and it's harder on your workers backs.

PlantscapeSolutions
06-18-2011, 08:50 PM
i was thinking the same thing! no way would i use bagged mulch bagged mulch here is for homeonwers,it seems in the southern states landscapers swear by it. u will hardly ever see a landscaper use bagged mulch up here

I'm from Maine originally and I can tell you landscaping down here is a much larger industry. Here the mulch places are making mulch year round. The volume is insane and as a result the prices are probably a lot better. Small places only sell bulk because they can't afford $100K for bagging equipment.

When they say the Rust Belt states are dying and the Sunbelt States are thriving I believe it. Austin is a popular destination for people to move to. We still have thousands of homes a year being built here.

93Chevy
06-18-2011, 08:53 PM
If you're carrying 50 pound bags of mulch, how is that easy on your workers?

knox gsl
06-18-2011, 09:40 PM
If you're carrying 50 pound bags of mulch, how is that easy on your workers?

They aren't that heavy, closer to 30lbs. and you put 6 of them in a wheelbarrow and roll them around. Its much cleaner and more effecient than bulk. That being said I use bulk mulch as the bag stuff here is very expensive. If I could get it for $1.80 a bag I would change over to bagged.

gibbonsballer10
06-18-2011, 09:49 PM
bagged mulch is way easier, just go back to the truck with the weelbarrow and throw a couple bags in instead of taking 5 minutes to load it in and out every time, will never buy anything but bagged mulch

ochosdaddy
06-18-2011, 09:57 PM
There are benefits for both bagged and bulk mulch. We did a 60CY mulch top-dressing job at a commercial site the other week. Had it drop shipped on site. From there we used a skid steer and a 20SF cart pulled behind a small ZTR to get the mulch were we needed it. Between 3 guys, the job was done in 14 hours, a little prep work was involved. I don't think bagged mulch would have worked as well.

However, I prefer bagged mulch because it is easier to move and cleaner to deal with too. A CF of mulch generally weighs 15lbs, so weight isn't an issue. One guy can easily carry two bags, a wheel barrow can carry much much more. Drop bags where you need em, rip the top open, and spread. I personally feel for smaller jobs, bagged mulch is much quicker to apply.

PlantscapeSolutions
06-18-2011, 10:50 PM
I don't have a bunch of girls working for me. We use a dolly with over sized tires and wheel barrows from a place in PA that makes two wheeled commercial units. Moving the mulch is just as easy. Once we get to the beds we start dumping the mulch. It's not like I'm asking my guys to run the Boston Marathon with a bag of mulch. The carry distance is very short. Carrying a 35-50 pound bag of mulch in one trip is much more efficient then going back and forth with a shovel a bunch of times to carry the same amount of mulch.

I did 40 yards of bulk primary grind mulch a few weeks back for a native area. My crew and I will gladly take packaged mulch over bulk any day. Bags present less of a job site mess and allow you to easily meter how fast you are dumping the mulch. You can take a bag behind a hedge and into high density planting areas very easily.

mowerbrad
06-19-2011, 01:05 AM
I would love to be able to do mulch jobs with bagged mulch. Around here a decent bag of mulch is going for about $4.00 from any local garden shop or big name retailer. If I could find a supplier around here that sold bags for the same (or similar) price that you get them for, I would never go back to bulk.

I did an 20 yard mulch job toward the end of May and it was an absolute nightmare with the bulk mulch, it wasn't so bad in the larger open landscape beds but when I was spreading the mulch around the house with all the flowers, bushes, etc., it was a pain in the butt scooping it out of the wheelbarrow with a shovel or taking handfuls and walking it into the landscape beds.

PlantscapeSolutions
06-19-2011, 01:36 AM
Every job is different but here's a similar volume job we did with bagged material. The bag count was 3510 (54 pallets!). This was an existing landscape so we didn't want to make 1000 trips over the yard. We used a T190 tracked skid steer. This allowed us to move 4.8 yards (65 bag pallet) of mulch over the yard in one pass. With bulk there's no way you can move even close to that volume of mulch in one pass.

This was the equivalent of 260 yards of mulch. If this had been bulk mulch instead of making 54 trips across different parts of the yard it would have been 260 trips with a one yard bucket. Making 480% more trips across the yard would have have torn up the yard and used a lot more Diesel. Plus I would have needed the rental T190 for two days instead of just one.

Three guys did 3510 bags in four days. That about 36.5 bags per man hours. The beds were pretty open which allowed us to move a lot of mulch quickly. That about 1460 lbs. of mulch per man hour or 2.7 yards depending on what measurement of progress you prefer.

PlantscapeSolutions
06-19-2011, 02:37 AM
Here are some pics of some Pindo's I picked up for cheap. The 30G were $70 and the 45G were only $145. You can eat the fruit that the palms make. I already sold three of the 30G's for $250.

grassman88
06-19-2011, 02:18 PM
i have used bag mulch befor and think its a PITA then when your done you have to deal with all the plastic going to the landfill. i think if i used bagged mulch i would be laughed at here. then again 1.80 is a damn good price how many bags make a yard?

PlantscapeSolutions
06-22-2011, 01:33 PM
i have used bag mulch befor and think its a PITA then when your done you have to deal with all the plastic going to the landfill. i think if i used bagged mulch i would be laughed at here. then again 1.80 is a damn good price how many bags make a yard?

13.5 bags or $24.30

PlantscapeSolutions
06-22-2011, 01:56 PM
Here's a picture of the second trailer I ever owned. We put over 100,000 miles on this thing. We only used it for mowers and nothing heavy but we still wore out five axles and broke leaf springs twice. I sold it for $880 a few weeks back.

The trailer in in an accident where it was rear ended and it ripped the Ranch Hand bumper off the back of the truck. The trailer needed a new ramp and a little angle iron work that only cost $260. The ramp still worked but it was bent.

Another time a driver fell asleep and did a 180 pulling the trailer doing about 55 mph. The truck went off the road and into a ditch going backyards with the trailer taking the lead. It bent the trailer wheels and ruined the axle but that was it. The trailer was back on the road the next day. The truck tagged a tree just behind the headlights and did about $6k in damage.

The Formen had on his seatbelt but none of the four crew members did. We were extremely lucky the truck didn't roll and have dead bodies all around it. I've been an a-hole about wearing seat belts ever since. You don't get that lucky twice.

grassman88
06-23-2011, 12:25 PM
yea if i could get it at that price i would switch to bagged lol

lawnlandscape
06-27-2011, 07:09 PM
Good God! I do mulching jobs every week that take 20+ Yards of mulch! How many bags = a yard of mulch anyway?

That would probably be a thousand of those bags (or more!)

PlantscapeSolutions
06-27-2011, 07:46 PM
Good God! I do mulching jobs every week that take 20+ Yards of mulch! How many bags = a yard of mulch anyway?

That would probably be a thousand of those bags (or more!)

Your only off by 730 bags! 20 X 27=540 divided by 2 cu ft per bag=270 bags. We used just shy of 300 bags today at two houses. I started the day towing 21,000 pounds.

1000 bags of mulch would be 74 yards.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-07-2011, 08:41 PM
The Texas drought has made landscape jobs harder to come by. The before pic was from June when we had a little rain and the after pic is from about two weeks ago. The summer and once a week watering restrictions starting on 9/6 have taken a toll on lawns.

The pool project was really elongated so I really couldn't get a decent set of pics. This was the second best job of the year and the only pool project of the year. We are going to be up shick creek big time if we stay dry through next year.

This was our hottest and driest year since records have been kept in mid 1800's. Our rain total is about 9" for the year and we've been over 100 F 90 times. We seem to be turning into Phoenix AZ. We got as hot as 112 F this summer. Tree's are dying by the millions and we're not going to have much left if next summer is a repeat of the one we just had. The last rainfall we had that you could actually measure was back in late June.

KrayzKajun
10-07-2011, 09:14 PM
I hope things work out better for yall. Definitly been a stressful year for everybody.
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PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 12:48 AM
I thought I would post pics of some of our past jobs. This was a small job but it produced results both home owners on both sides really liked.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 12:58 AM
This is a second home for one of my CA customers.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 01:01 AM
This is my CA customers brothers house on the same street. It is also a second home.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 01:04 AM
This job was done quite a while back. It was a simple job but it looks way better then the crap the builder had put in. Once the plants matured it looked really full.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 01:09 AM
I got this job from advertising in a Keller Williams Realty magazine. The house had a driveway from hell. We rented a concrete hauling buggy and a Dingo for loading the soil so we could get it up the driveway and into the backyard.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 01:14 AM
I loved this job. We built a block wall and stuccoed it, and added a cap to conceal some pool equipment. We built a seating wall, added to the patio, built a retaining wall all the way around the pool, stone borders, cool plants, and great lighting. I really miss the days when work came faster then we could keep up. I used to have a waiting list ten deep of people wanting us to do their landscaping.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 01:18 AM
This was a simple job near the Dell Diamond a ways further out then we usually go but hey work is work. I still enjoyed doing it.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 01:20 AM
This job looked much better a few months later once the plants shot up.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 01:25 AM
This job is from a long while ago. I probably was a one man show when I did this job.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 01:27 AM
This house had no irrigation. We don't do many jobs where they are willing to spend thousands on the landscaping but nothing on irrigation.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 01:41 AM
This was my first big job and it was just a few miles from my house & shop. This customer spent $65K and then another $25K over the next few years. Now the drought has beaten the crap out of the yard. The economy pretty much sapped the customers cash flow.

The lawn was about 25K square feet. We had about 600 feet of mortared stone borders, 1200 feet of loose borders, lots of plants and lighting. I'd much rather do smaller jobs.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 01:43 AM
I like doing jobs like this. Done in a day, make a few grand and everyone is happy.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 01:51 AM
I did this little job for a neighbor down the street who's home was for sale. The house was for sale with no offers for six weeks. The back had some work done as well. The house sold not long after we did the work.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 01:58 AM
We used rolls of Zoysia on this job. Rolls beat squares hands down. This was a nice job with lots of big tree's, plants, lights, and borders. This job was about $65K. A flood washed out the area along the street twice after we finished the job.

The customer sold the house about two years later. He makes about $400 an hour so I guess it wasn't that big of a deal to write off $50K.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 02:00 AM
Even little jobs cam make a decent impact. The driveway had killed a large Live Oak that had been the the center of the driveway.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 02:02 AM
I think I did this job by myself years ago as well.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 02:04 AM
This was a modest make over but it made a decent impact.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 02:15 AM
I got to do this customers front yard and the work around the new pool in the back as well.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 02:21 AM
I love doing pool projects. We did lighting here as well.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 02:28 AM
This tree was 22 feet tall. This was the first big tree I ever planted. Standing up the tree on the truck was the hardest part. The customer killed the tree and we got to plant a second tree as well. Lucky us.

There was a lot of jackhammer work involved. This may have ended up being a $6K install.

StihlMechanic
10-08-2011, 02:33 AM
Are your dates correct on the pictures? Very top notch work.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 02:35 AM
This customer called me about a few dead junipers under a Crepe Myrtle. Usually, I wouldn't even go look at a job this small but I was going to be in the area looking at a $10K job anyway.

My $10K job didn't pan out but my dead junipers swelled into a front yard & backyard project that was $7500. I picked them up for maintenance and they just dropped another $2500 for another little project.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 02:42 AM
This job was just a few grand and we had to lay sod which I'm not fond of doing.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 02:45 AM
This may have been a $2500 project. Picked up the maint. biz as well.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 02:48 AM
This customer used to live in more of a working class neighborhood where I did my first landscape job ever.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 02:55 AM
This was a nice small one day project

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 02:59 AM
Are your dates correct on the pictures? Very top notch work.

My older camera I used to have had no internal ability to keep the date when the batteries died. Some of the dates are not correct.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 03:01 AM
This project had lighting as well. Pools are fun to landscape.

yardmanlee
10-08-2011, 06:53 AM
nice work!

muddywater
10-08-2011, 01:42 PM
Ever thought about doing pool installation?

That 65k job sounded profitable... how did it get up that high?

PlantscapeSolutions
10-08-2011, 02:28 PM
Ever thought about doing pool installation?

That 65k job sounded profitable... how did it get up that high?

The property was pretty good sized front and back. There was $10K in landscape lighting alone. It took a month and I probably made $18-20K. Things add up quickly.

muddywater
10-08-2011, 04:04 PM
The property was pretty good sized front and back. There was $10K in landscape lighting alone. It took a month and I probably made $18-20K. Things add up quickly.

How many pallets of sod? 70? How many lights? Sounds like a very nice lighting job. Any pics of lighting after dark? Do you do irrigation as well?

KrayzKajun
10-08-2011, 06:04 PM
Hey Plantscape, What size lift and tires are on yur dually? How high would I have to go to run 35s on factory rims?
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dieseltech
10-08-2011, 08:39 PM
Leveled i would say kk... Maybe a tad more to keep from rubbing but not much.
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PlantscapeSolutions
10-09-2011, 01:32 AM
We used big rolls of sod. I had a company called Bare Spot Solutions install about 23K square feet at both bid projects. I had four transformers for lighting and several thousand feet of wire at the house with the close up shot. Later two more transformers were added. There were path lights, tree lights, and architectural lights.

The light count wasn't real high but we covered a large area. There may have been 30 lights. I purchased a tripod for taking night shots but I've been a slacker and haven't used it much. I let one of my friends do the irrigation work. The profit margin on irrigation is too thin for me to want to deal with it. For one year I had a licensed irrigator work for me and I pulled the plug on it.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-09-2011, 01:47 AM
Hey Plantscape, What size lift and tires are on yur dually? How high would I have to go to run 35s on factory rims?
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My tires are actually a tad shorter then stock but wider. I have Bridgestone Dueler Revo's. I think they are 265 70R 17's. They are .3 inches shorter then stock but noticeably wider. My wheels are offset by about 2" so I have great clearance between the tires. I have a leveling kit on the front end. The Dodges sit high all the way around so 35's should be a cake walk. Usually places like Discount tire can give you feedback as well.

Now that you have a Dodge you need to join the Cummins Forum. It a great way to BS with other Cummins owners. A subscription to Diesel Power is a must for any truck guy who's ride lacks those pesky spark plugs. You'll find multiple Ford guys in the mag that yanked their 6.0's or 6.4's and dropped in a Cummins 5.9.

Discount Tire will match Tirerack.com prices as well. I got Discount Tire to match a deal from Firestone and I saved $300 on my set of six tires. Fourwheelonline.com had the best wheel prices.

KrayzKajun
10-09-2011, 11:02 AM
I'm on CumminsForum. My s/n is Krayzkajun on there also. I have a buddy with. 295/70/17 Superswamper M16s on F350 w/ a 2" spacer in rear. I love the way it looks , but want a lil more height
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PlantscapeSolutions
10-09-2011, 04:01 PM
I'm on CumminsForum. My s/n is Krayzkajun on there also. I have a buddy with. 295/70/17 Superswamper M16s on F350 w/ a 2" spacer in rear. I love the way it looks , but want a lil more height
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Here is a few shots of my truck with the wider but .3" shorter tires I have. If you go taller you need to realize you watering down your overall gear ratio, your mileage is going to go down, your brakes are going to have to work harder, more strain on trans, speedo will be off (can adj. with programmer), and bigger tires do not tow heavy loads as well. If you go from 3.73's to 3.93's or 4.11's to correct for bigger tires your looking at about $1900.

You want to make sure you put E rated tires on your rig. The think I hate about bigger tires is they do not balance well and the ride sucks. I had 275R16 75's BFG AT's on my 02' at one point and it drove me crazy. The balancing machines can't balance bigger tires with TA type treads on them. I used ceramic beads in the tires like some big rigs use to improve the ride but it still was less then stellar.

My truck has the leveling kit in front and PacBrake air bags in the back. The airbags with just 10 lbs. of air probably lift the truck 2".

FoghornLeghorn
10-09-2011, 04:24 PM
I got to do this customers front yard and the work around the new pool in the back as well.

Man, your work looks top notch. Keep it up.

nightshutter
10-09-2011, 05:23 PM
That is one Bad A$$ truck and trailer

PlantscapeSolutions
10-10-2011, 11:59 PM
This was a nice 10K job I did for my of my CA second home customers. He has a $230,000 Ferrari in the garage. Later we did the front yard as well.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-11-2011, 12:03 AM
I beat out Native Land Design to get this job years ago. They are a much bigger company.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-11-2011, 12:09 AM
This was back in May 2001. I took a weeks vacation from my AutoCad draftsmen job to do this design & install. Came back from vacation and told them it's been nice but I quit. The whole backyard was a $10K job.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-11-2011, 12:16 AM
This job was done for a past maintenance customer who's service I had discontinued. They live out in the country just a little too far and it just wasn't worth it.

They bought a new house, installed a pool, and gave me a call out of the blue to come give them a bid. We did the pool & lighting and it was a nice job.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-11-2011, 12:24 AM
There isn't much I won't do. A tree this size would be outside the realm of what most little guys would want to deal with. I like a challenge.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-11-2011, 12:38 AM
Here are some stonework pictures. My mason really likes to do the saw cut patterned look instead of the plain random pattern. The saw cut pattern gives you the look of expensive tile & stone all in one.

KrayzKajun
10-11-2011, 07:56 AM
Great work!
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PlantscapeSolutions
01-03-2012, 11:07 AM
I was going to redo this gate frame since it was poorly built but both companies that were going to do the work have required too much baby sitting. With our water restrictions still in place for this summer it's not a good time to spend money if you don't have too. This gate has held up for two years but I did not trust the longevity at all.

I wanted to buy some adjustable wheels to try to give the gate some support and take a lot of the load off the frame. I thought if I could get some support wheels the gate may last many more years. I could not find any heavy duty height adjustable wheels for gates at all so I modified a set of boat jacks.

A little drilling and grinding was required but they did the trick just fine. A few turns of the jacks and all the sag is gone. A lot of stress has been taken off the POS frame and hopefully it will last many more years.

I did the little pad for the drop rods last year and that little sucker has 480 lbs of concrete in it. I hope I never have to demo that pad because it's also full of rebar.

KrayzKajun
01-03-2012, 11:16 AM
Bout time you update. Lol. Gate looks good.
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LawnMan19
01-03-2012, 11:20 AM
I just noticed your Install work and WOW! it looks great.:clapping:

Paragon Ridge
01-03-2012, 03:06 PM
Did you have to cover the cost of replacing that large tree or did the client pay you again to come back?

PlantscapeSolutions
01-03-2012, 03:38 PM
Did you have to cover the cost of replacing that large tree or did the client pay you again to come back?

At first I was not going to warranty the tree because the customer did not follow my watering instruction. But on this transaction there were a considerable amount of greenbacks involved that were a little hush hush if you know what I mean.

I ate the cost of the tree but the customer later had us to a few more grand in work, we still do the maintenance, and he even got us the job of doing some sporadic maintenance on four baseball fields.

I normally plant tree's this size about 4-6" higher for better drainage and if I had done this the fist time I may had gotten away with the customer over watering. You never want to plant flush because the porous soil used by the grower has a lot of air space that can easily be displaced by water. The surrounding native soil has very, very, little air space and drains slowly. Because of this you can have standing water around your tree that drains away very slowly and causes a water pocket effect.

ed2hess
01-03-2012, 06:22 PM
I was going to redo this gate frame since it was poorly built but both companies that were going to do the work have required too much baby sitting. With our water restrictions still in place for this summer it's not a good time to spend money if you don't have too. This gate has held up for two years but I did not trust the longevity at all.

I wanted to buy some adjustable wheels to try to give the gate some support and take a lot of the load off the frame. I thought if I could get some support wheels the gate may last many more years. I could not find any heavy duty height adjustable wheels for gates at all so I modified a set of boat jacks.

A little drilling and grinding was required but they did the trick just fine. A few turns of the jacks and all the sag is gone. A lot of stress has been taken off the POS frame and hopefully it will last many more years.

I did the little pad for the drop rods last year and that little sucker has 480 lbs of concrete in it. I hope I never have to demo that pad because it's also full of rebar.
You have some good work and this gate is of a lot of interest to us. We got the same situation and our friendly fence company wanted $500 and that was discounted. Would you mind putting more pictures up of the gate? I didn't understan how the concrete slab comes into play on the gate?

PlantscapeSolutions
01-03-2012, 09:30 PM
You have some good work and this gate is of a lot of interest to us. We got the same situation and our friendly fence company wanted $500 and that was discounted. Would you mind putting more pictures up of the gate? I didn't understan how the concrete slab comes into play on the gate?

The little slab has galvanized pipe nipples in it that my two drop rods slide down into to secure the two 10' gate doors firmly. When the guy built the gate it was poorly secured and would blow back and forth a little in the middle. Only one side of the gate originally had a drop rod and the other half of the gate was only held shut by the type of hardware you would find on a small walk through gate.

I went to Academy and purchased two of the 800 lb boat trailer tongue jacks for $35 each. I did not use any of the hardware that would allow the jack to swivel up like they would on a trailer. There was a slight raised nipple in the center of the mounting plate I had to grind down so it would mount up flush.

The square mounting plate you see attached to the jack is how the it came. I didn't do any fabrication work to the jack at all. I removed the U-bolts that were attached to the jack and used the vacant holes for the top mounting holes you see on the square plate. I drilled two more holes at the bottom of the plate for a second set of mounting bolts.

Every application is going to be different but I only had to use one 2x6x8 cut into sections to create a solid mounting location on my gate. I can snap a few more shots if you would like. My gate isn't going to win any beauty contests but it should last a whole lot longer.

If you have a gate that gets used a lot I would recommend getting the heavier duty jacks because they are more rigid and have even better tires.

FoghornLeghorn
01-03-2012, 09:50 PM
Nice engineering on that gate, David. Occasionally I can think outside the box like that, but not as much as I'd like
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PlantscapeSolutions
01-03-2012, 10:59 PM
Here is a sample of an AutoCAD drawing I used to win a pool job this past summer. I do all my designs with AutoCAD and it tends to make a lot of other companies designs look like it was done by a third grader. I won the job on knowledge not from being the cheapest bid. If I had to win all my bids from being the cheapest bid like commercial work I think I'd look for another line of work.

Hopefully this drought will end soon and people will once again start investing in landscaping. I miss those years like 05', 06, 07, and even 08' when I had a waiting list with ten projects. Those were the days.

The house on this design is on page 3.

idealscape
01-04-2012, 09:31 AM
Well, I was going to discuss the mulch, but after posting realized that this thread is 6 months old and is now on another topic. haha...still getting use to this lawnsite stuff. oh well.

PlantscapeSolutions
01-05-2012, 12:35 AM
I'll have picture tomorrow of my top dresser. For the Austin guys it's at Travis Tractor. I saw it today but didn't have time to get my trailer to pick it up.

weeze
01-05-2012, 01:30 AM
i saw in some of the pics where they had metal chain link fence posts with wooden fences. i saw some like that in kajun's thread too. do you guys live near the coast or something? or is there a reason for that? every fence i've seen if it's wooden they use wooden posts and if it's metal chain link they use metal posts. just curious.

PlantscapeSolutions
01-05-2012, 08:24 AM
Steel posts are an upgraded way to build a fence. The steel posts will last forever usually. Replacing old wooden posts and and extracting concrete is a real pain in the azz when it comes time to replace a fence.

Most people are too cheap to pay for steel posts and they don't understand how much better they are. Builders are so cheap they often will use landscape timbers for fence posts because they cost about half as much. But they are highly prone to twisting and bowing.

KrayzKajun
01-05-2012, 08:43 AM
How's this fairly warm winter treating you? I'm pretty close to working out a deal on that dual tandem dump I told you about. Almost time for postcards to go out.
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PlantscapeSolutions
01-05-2012, 09:21 AM
How's this fairly warm winter treating you? I'm pretty close to working out a deal on that dual tandem dump I told you about. Almost time for postcards to go out.
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It's going to be about 70 F here today. I need to make a dump run with my 20' dump trailer today. I'm working on my postcards and hope to have them out soon.

KrayzKajun
01-05-2012, 09:41 AM
It's going to be about 70 F here today. I need to make a dump run with my 20' dump trailer today. I'm working on my postcards and hope to have them out soon.

Yea its already 60deg here. Supposed to be 70deg by noon. I'm out cutting grass today. Have about 15 to cut today. Waiting on my order or retaining wall blocks to come in, so I can finish the Landscape install I've been working on. Pavestone had a lil delay so they gave a nice discount being I ordered 10 pallets between blocks & caps.
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weeze
01-05-2012, 12:58 PM
Steel posts are an upgraded way to build a fence. The steel posts will last forever usually. Replacing old wooden posts and and extracting concrete is a real pain in the azz when it comes time to replace a fence.

Most people are too cheap to pay for steel posts and they don't understand how much better they are. Builders are so cheap they often will use landscape timbers for fence posts because they cost about half as much. But they are highly prone to twisting and bowing.

yeah i'm sure the steel posts would last much longer. i've only helped put up one fence in my life and we used wooden posts. we just dug the hole and put some gravel in the bottom and around the sides of the post in the hole and then packed it in with dirt. we didnt' use cement. personally i never have liked fences of any kind. i guess they are required if you have a pool in the backyard. alot of people around here use leeland cyprus trees to act as a privacy border instead of using a fence. i'm just not a fan of fences because the wooden ones rot eventually and the steel ones rust. vinyl fencing is the way to go i guess but it's really expensive. :laugh:

PlantscapeSolutions
01-05-2012, 03:23 PM
Here is my new Ecolawn top dresser next to my PJ dump beast. You don't see a lot of 20' dump trailers.

muddywater
01-05-2012, 08:41 PM
Isnt it early for postcards?
Posted via Mobile Device

KrayzKajun
01-05-2012, 08:47 PM
Isnt it early for postcards?
Posted via Mobile Device

Not for us at the bottom of map area.

LawnMan19
01-05-2012, 09:01 PM
That dump trailer is a beast, I take it you guys do a lot of top dressing ?

muddywater
01-05-2012, 10:51 PM
Not for us at the bottom of map area.

I am at the bottom too, and here advetising in jan is like lighting money on fire. I would be interested in hearing how it works for you
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KrayzKajun
01-05-2012, 10:59 PM
David, any sneak peek off the new postcard design?

PlantscapeSolutions
01-05-2012, 11:45 PM
That dump trailer is a beast, I take it you guys do a lot of top dressing ?

The trailer makes a great dumpster for yard waste as well. There is about 24 yards of waste material in the trailer right now. I'm just getting started in top dressing but I already need to buy 150 yards.

LawnMan19
01-06-2012, 12:03 AM
Yeah, I'd say your already going to be doing a lot of it.

PlantscapeSolutions
01-06-2012, 12:20 AM
The text on the picture is going to say "Are You at a Crossroads With Your Lawn Service?" and then there will be more info on the back.

The landscape market is dead here because of watering restrictions. Because of this I'm pushing maintenance now. I'm pushing the fact that my small company offers a knowledgeable level of service at a personable level. Our customers have names not account numbers.

I'll have the same free lawn service after the first month of weekly service deal I had on my last card.

Once I get my proof all taken care of I'll post it.

KrayzKajun
01-06-2012, 09:02 AM
I like that approach. you gave me an idea to do somthing a little different for mine to get peoples attention.

idealscape
01-06-2012, 09:10 AM
Hey man, just a suggestion...

The guy in the pic, (you?) isn't wearing any PPE. No glasses, no ear protection and cloth shoes.

My suggestions:

1) PUT ON PPE.

2) PUT ON BOOTS

3) No contractor would dress their employees this way. Get a uniform on the guy in the picture and use the professional angle.

I like the strategy of the marketing campaign, the picture is neat, but it doesn't say much for your company on a professional level.

PlantscapeSolutions
01-06-2012, 09:59 AM
Hey man, just a suggestion...

The guy in the pic, (you?) isn't wearing any PPE. No glasses, no ear protection and cloth shoes.

My suggestions:

1) PUT ON PPE.

2) PUT ON BOOTS

3) No contractor would dress their employees this way. Get a uniform on the guy in the picture and use the professional angle.

I like the strategy of the marketing campaign, the picture is neat, but it doesn't say much for your company on a professional level.

The implication is supposed to be that I'm generalizing the potential clients lawn service in the picture. The total implication which will be broadened on the back side of the card is that the current company may be falling short of what the customers true needs are. If there was a professional looking person in the photo it would lessen the crossroads implication I'm trying to imply.

idealscape
01-06-2012, 10:02 AM
The implication is supposed to be that I'm generalizing the potential clients lawn service in the picture. The total implication which will be broadened on the back side of the card is that the current company may be falling short of what the customers true needs are. If there was a professional looking person in the photo it would lessen the crossroads implication I'm trying to imply.

I completely understand that...It makes sense. I would just never have my companies name on something with a picture like that. To each his own.

PlantscapeSolutions
01-06-2012, 10:07 AM
I like that approach. you gave me an idea to do somthing a little different for mine to get peoples attention.

I was just browsing through thousands of potential pictures when I found this one. The picture and the way to market it just jumped out at me. With all the direct mail potential customers get on a regular basis you had better try to come up with something that differs from the norm. If your mail doesn't make the customer stop and think about it for a split second that it's headed straight for the trash can.

KrayzKajun
01-06-2012, 10:19 AM
David, i got what you were trying to do , right off the back. im about to put one up in my thread i made this morning. definitly off the wall and could definitly get peoples attention.

FoghornLeghorn
01-11-2012, 10:22 PM
David, question. When you trim ornamental grasses in the winter, do you cut them flush about 3 inches above the ground/mulch, or do you just trim the sides to narrow the grass down but leave a stand of grass remaining and wait for it to start growing in the spring?

PlantscapeSolutions
01-11-2012, 11:17 PM
David, question. When you trim ornamental grasses in the winter, do you cut them flush about 3 inches above the ground/mulch, or do you just trim the sides to narrow the grass down but leave a stand of grass remaining and wait for it to start growing in the spring?

Some Grass's like Maiden grass form a thick base and we just round the grass down to a level that doesn't kill the hedge trimmer. On a big clump we may only trim down to 6-10". But we cut the plant flush with nothing standing.

There are several Muhly Grass's like Big Muhly and Gulf Muhly also. The Gulf Muhly is still mostly green because of our mild winter and we have not cut them back. The Big Muhlys are less green and we have cut most of them back.

The Purple Fountain Grass is the one you need to just trim back about 1/3rd until we get passed the last of the cold weather. The Fountain grass is tender and needs the protection of the surrounding grass to help keep the center of the plant insulated and alive. The last two winters have been cold and killed most Purple Fountain Grass's.

The pesky little Mexican Feather Grass's can be cutback when they turn brown. I hate these short lived plants because they produce a lot of seed.

This is not a grass but we cut back Bicolor and Butterfly Iris's in February even if they look almost perfect. Even a tiny amount of brown tips will worsen as the season progresses and the Iris's will often look like hell by summer.

The grass's we don't mess with are Pampas and Dwarf Pampas. As the old growth gets pushed to the outside of the plants it may need a perimeter trim.

There a whole lot of other grass's but I'm sticking to the ones you see the most.

PlantscapeSolutions
01-13-2012, 09:19 AM
I pushed my luck a little today and paid the price. Against my better judgement I dumped the load of leaves and light weight material without removing the cross bar on the back of my dump trailer. The bar was stout and no issue with the pressure but the tiny spot welds on the pins that hold the bar did.

The tube the pin slides into to secure the cross bar broke the spot weld and the bar broke free on one side. It pried the bar around as the load slid out and bent the mounting spot on the opposite side of the trailer. Can you say dumb azz :hammerhead:?

I know a guy who does metal fences and structural steel work so my trailer is at his shop right now and will be fixed this morning. Lesson learned. Even if you have a load of feathers take your cross bar off!

LawnMan19
01-13-2012, 09:31 AM
I think those tub grinders look awesome.:cool2:

MMADDUX
01-13-2012, 09:43 AM
Nice truck and dump. Diesel is defiantly the way to go.

PlantscapeSolutions
01-13-2012, 10:36 AM
Nice truck and dump. Diesel is defiantly the way to go.

Many of those gas guys just don't get it. Let them try to pull a 9000 lb (empty) dump trailer up a 10% grade and lets see what happens. Then lets actually put a load in that dump trailer and see what happens. Good chance something is going to blow or break.

I will never own another truck with spark plugs. Just the exhaust brake alone on new trucks should make guys want to buy one. I can go down huge hills with a load and not even have to touch the brake.

I should probably change my signature to Diesel Freak, No Plugs, Oil Burner, Turbo Boost, 8 Lugs & No Plugs, or something else that reflects what a nut I am.

MMADDUX
01-13-2012, 01:26 PM
Many of those gas guys just don't get it. Let them try to pull a 9000 lb (empty) dump trailer up a 10% grade and lets see what happens. Then lets actually put a load in that dump trailer and see what happens. Good chance something is going to blow or break.

I will never own another truck with spark plugs. Just the exhaust brake alone on new trucks should make guys want to buy one. I can go down huge hills with a load and not even have to touch the brake.

I should probably change my signature to Diesel Freak, No Plugs, Oil Burner, Turbo Boost, 8 Lugs & No Plugs, or something else that reflects what a nut I am.

Thats exactly why I don't ever plan on owning a gasser either. It never ceases to amaze me what people pull with their gas truck (but they really aren't a truck unless they are diesel).
The white cummins in my avi picture there is 14, 5x5 rolls on a 20ft gooseneck (I could have put one more on the neck but that would have over loaded the trailer to much.)
I see you are on the Cummins Forum. Are you on Diesel Bombers?

PlantscapeSolutions
01-13-2012, 04:02 PM
Thats exactly why I don't ever plan on owning a gasser either. It never ceases to amaze me what people pull with their gas truck (but they really aren't a truck unless they are diesel).
The white cummins in my avi picture there is 14, 5x5 rolls on a 20ft gooseneck (I could have put one more on the neck but that would have over loaded the trailer to much.)
I see you are on the Cummins Forum. Are you on Diesel Bombers?

I started on TDR and then became more interested in Cummins Forum. I looked at the Bombers forum once but that's about it. If you have a Cummins it's nice to BS with other owners. I peeked at the Ford forum the other day and those guys can't stand it when people talk about problematic issues unless your a life long blue oval guy. I guess the 6.0 & 6.4 have made them overly sensitive.

KrayzKajun
01-14-2012, 11:34 AM
Dang tht sux about the crossbar. Question for ya, how do you go about advertising for tree work? Same concepts as landscaping etc..?
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PlantscapeSolutions
01-14-2012, 03:07 PM
Dang tht sux about the crossbar. Question for ya, how do you go about advertising for tree work? Same concepts as landscaping etc..?
Posted via Mobile Device

Even though I have all sorts of tree climbing gear I don't push the service and have never advertised it. If I were to advertise the service it would need to be a dedicated post card that doesn't mention mowing or other services. People like to know their tree guys is an expert in his field and is not spending most of his time doing other stuff.

TheBetterDoorhanger
01-15-2012, 01:09 PM
I think a dedicated postcard is definitely the way to go. I have to let you know about our innovative postcards. We offer something far more exciting than the standard postcard. Have you heard of our Band-It or Stick-It products? We can include those on our postcards for a really reasonable rate & they will really make you stand out from the competition. Band-It allows you to hang your postcard on knobs just like a door hanger & Stick-It allows the customer to stick the card to their fridge so that your company name is always in their sight.

Take a look at our video & all of our great options, or call us at 866-778-4254.

(By the way, your mulch looks awesome!)

http://www.adeasprinting.com/?q=post-cards

-Robin :)

PlantscapeSolutions
01-16-2012, 05:39 PM
You asked for a few more gates pics Ed so here they are.

KrayzKajun
01-16-2012, 05:44 PM
David, I'm close to making a deal on tht texas bragg 18' dual tandem dump. Had a guy offer me $2500 for my dump. May take him up on it and offer $4k for the dual tandem. They are asking $5k.
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PlantscapeSolutions
01-16-2012, 05:46 PM
Here's my trailer with my pin sockets on the crossbar welded back stronger then before. I replaced the pins with these T-pins from Travis Tractor that have larger handles which makes removing the pins easier on the hands.

That's a 10 yard pile of compost in my trailer. It's not quite right for the Ecolawn top dresser so tomorrow I headed back to Organics By Gosh's yard to blend in some sand that should fix the problem.

PlantscapeSolutions
01-16-2012, 05:52 PM
For any of you guys always looking for something better this is the best wheelbarrow you can buy. These are Brentwood Industries wheelbarrows with solid tires and zerk fittings on the wheels. The parent company of Brentwood makes Terex and other brands of heavy equipment. If you buy two or more you can buy them directly from the manufacturer. They cost about $200 with shipping.

stuntmanlogan
01-16-2012, 07:22 PM
Everything looks great. Do you have any shop and yard pics?

PlantscapeSolutions
01-16-2012, 08:42 PM
You asked for some shop pics so here they are. The pics are buried on another thread some place. I'll have to find a picture with all my stuff in the building. I still need to bring in about 100 yards of crushed limestone. Until the lake and aquifer full up I won't be spending extra money on gravel.

PlantscapeSolutions
01-16-2012, 08:48 PM
Oh, and the part of the building people may find interesting is I paid for it with two credit cards USAA merged into one. The interest rate is fixed at 6% until the balance is paid off. Bank of America could do nothing at all to help me but USAA got creative and made it happen. If I had gotten a tradition loan the interest rate would have been double because it would have been done as an unsecured loan.

stuntmanlogan
01-16-2012, 08:50 PM
That's a nice shop! What are the dimensions?

PlantscapeSolutions
01-17-2012, 12:35 AM
That's a nice shop! What are the dimensions?

It's a 30x45 with 12 eve height. The door is a 20'. Even though I live in the country a little bit there are no windows for security reasons. I think we used about 54 yards of concrete and at least $1500 worth of rebar.

PlantscapeSolutions
01-20-2012, 11:27 PM
I played my my camera today and used the movie clip feature to post some info to a Youtube account I created. You can see my new Ecollawn and a yard I worked at if you go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joDufIDynes

muddywater
01-21-2012, 03:12 PM
Do you load the topdresser by hand?

roeslandscaping
01-21-2012, 04:51 PM
wow everything is bigger in texas!:usflag: nice work. im in classes for autoCAD. its tough to get used to

roeslandscaping
01-21-2012, 04:52 PM
Do you load the topdresser by hand?

i would imagine he uses a sh1t shovel to load lol

PlantscapeSolutions
01-21-2012, 05:32 PM
Do you load the topdresser by hand?

I was going to use my friends Dingo but it's faster to just keep two wheel barrows in the trailer. I have one guy load the wheel barrows while I run the top dresser. I pull up and he dumps two loads in my Ecolawn and off I go. It takes about 30 seconds to load up which is even better then using a Dingo.

muddywater
01-21-2012, 05:39 PM
When are going to get a mini skid? You know it will change your life!

PlantscapeSolutions
01-21-2012, 06:16 PM
When are going to get a mini skid? You know it will change your life!

If Lake Travis fills up again (60% empty) which provides water to almost a million people and the landscaping market revives there may be a mini skid in my future. I already stuck my neck out this year and spent about $13,000 on my 20' PJ dump and just under $6K on my Ecolawn.

Groomer
01-21-2012, 06:25 PM
Quick question:
Is that street in your mulch pic considered your "market niche"?

PlantscapeSolutions
01-21-2012, 06:45 PM
Quick question:
Is that street in your mulch pic considered your "market niche"?

The house we're at is about a $900,000 house with a cliff behind it that has views for miles. This part of town has older homes that are very expensive. Just down the street in front of my truck there are multimillion dollar homes.

ed2hess
01-21-2012, 07:30 PM
I played my my camera today and used the movie clip feature to post some info to a Youtube account I created. You can see my new Ecollawn and a yard I worked at if you go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joDufIDynes

That is a nice machine and makes that job pretty fast. We did a few last year by hand. That price on the spreader is just like those sprayers toooo darn high. What I don't understand is why the rental places don't rent those two devices. I tried to get JDeere to get a unit and rent but just don't see any money in it they say. And go figure they loan out the valve finders? Funny how the guys up north thought you need a loading tractor for that machine:dizzy:

FoghornLeghorn
01-21-2012, 07:35 PM
David, that truck and trailer setup are sick! I wish I had a dump trailer to round out the trailer fleet.

PlantscapeSolutions
01-21-2012, 10:09 PM
That is a nice machine and makes that job pretty fast. We did a few last year by hand. That price on the spreader is just like those sprayers toooo darn high. What I don't understand is why the rental places don't rent those two devices. I tried to get JDeere to get a unit and rent but just don't see any money in it they say. And go figure they loan out the valve finders? Funny how the guys up north thought you need a loading tractor for that machine:dizzy:

I've done a few thousand square feet by hand a few times and it was a lot of work and too little money. It was hard give the customer a price they could swallow doing it by hand. Buying this machine was a little bit of a stretch and I would not have done it if I didn't have close to $20,000 of work lined up before I purchased it.

I think you really have to have a 16' or 20' dump trailer to do this work efficiently. If your trailer is too small your going to waste too much time driving to get material. So far I've had 12-14 yards in my trailer and it will keep you busy all day. My only challenge has been some material had too high of a moisture content and bloated the loads weight by a few thousand pounds.

For me I'm glad it's hard to rent one of these machines. I don't have very many competitors in Austin. I know Emerald Lawn has a machine but I think that's about it. I think Emerald may have the 100 SP top dresser.

ed2hess
01-22-2012, 06:05 PM
I've done a few thousand square feet by hand a few times and it was a lot of work and too little money. It was hard give the customer a price they could swallow doing it by hand. Buying this machine was a little bit of a stretch and I would not have done it if I didn't have close to $20,000 of work lined up before I purchased it.

I think you really have to have a 16' or 20' dump trailer to do this work efficiently. If your trailer is too small your going to waste too much time driving to get material. So far I've had 12-14 yards in my trailer and it will keep you busy all day. My only challenge has been some material had too high of a moisture content and bloated the loads weight by a few thousand pounds.

For me I'm glad it's hard to rent one of these machines. I don't have very many competitors in Austin. I know Emerald Lawn has a machine but I think that's about it. I think Emerald may have the 100 SP top dresser.

Down here in the flat lands there isn't much opportunity for extra stuff. Most of the extra stuff is taking out dead stuff and replanting so HOA is happy. I am really really happy that there are HOAs in Texas. I don't think we had more than 10% buy fertilize once a year.

PlantscapeSolutions
01-22-2012, 11:10 PM
Down here in the flat lands there isn't much opportunity for extra stuff. Most of the extra stuff is taking out dead stuff and replanting so HOA is happy. I am really really happy that there are HOAs in Texas. I don't think we had more than 10% buy fertilize once a year.

I didn't miss any hardly applications. I did my March fert/pre, May fert/Allectus, July Fert (Houactinite because of heat)/Talstar/Dylox, and Sept fert/pre. I also did Top Choice for the fire ants.

If we stay warm I'm going to do my March 1st application two weeks early. Landscaping was way down last year so I was very grateful for the $30,000 worth of highly profitable applications I did. I can't wait for the first spring application to get here. Especially since I already have most of the product I will need in stock so I won't have to spend a grand on fert.

PlantscapeSolutions
02-13-2012, 11:19 AM
Here's my neighbor getting his 6.0 work powered truck towed because it won't start again. It does have a lot of highway miles on it pulling mostly pulling loads in the 8K and less range. I think he has about 240K on it but it has had been towed several times for various issues.

Like many 6.0's the controller for the glow plugs doesn't work and it has not been replaced because from what I've heard it is at least a $800 fix. I have another friends who's 6.0 has the same glow plug controller issue. When you start the truck it idles violently and has to sit for 5-10 minutes before you can even drive it.

When International designed this engine and did quality the control testing they must have thought R&D stood for Rarely Driven.

MMADDUX
02-13-2012, 12:16 PM
What else has to be towed but a Ford.
Posted via Mobile Device

Penscape Landscaping
02-13-2012, 03:37 PM
my 6.0 is starting to have the same issues!

PlantscapeSolutions
02-13-2012, 08:55 PM
my 6.0 is starting to have the same issues!

Because the retail value of the 6.0 is so bad I would recommend getting the after market mods from places like Bullet Proof Diesel and correct the EGR, oil cooler, head gasket/head studs, injector oil/engine oil separator and so on issues and just keep it. I think for about $3000 you can make the engine pretty reliable.

417lawncare
02-14-2012, 12:48 AM
Nice thread, nice work! I was wondering how much was that shop? Im thinking of buying 2 acres on the outskirt of town. I want to build a shop like that with a two story "town house" on one end. I was thinking maybe a 30 by 50 sho and the living area would be 30 by 20, leaving a 30 by 30 garage. Im a small operation right now.

PlantscapeSolutions
02-14-2012, 06:39 PM
Nice thread, nice work! I was wondering how much was that shop? Im thinking of buying 2 acres on the outskirt of town. I want to build a shop like that with a two story "town house" on one end. I was thinking maybe a 30 by 50 sho and the living area would be 30 by 20, leaving a 30 by 30 garage. Im a small operation right now.

The shop is a 30x45 with insulated walls, ceilings, and doors. The building was about $22K and I had about $6K in concrete and rebar. We used a slightly higher grade of concrete, lots of beams, and a whole lot of rebar. I think I had at least $1600 in grade 60 rebar. There were 54 yards of concrete used.

KrayzKajun
02-14-2012, 10:20 PM
Any of this rain we getting, get to y'all first? David, have you ever ran an ASV RC30? I was offered a trade for my wheeled skid, 05' RC30 with grapple & dirt bucket. Still debating if it would benefit me more to get a bigger T190 sized machine. Pretty much have my dump trailer sold, so gunman see if I can work a deal onthe dual tandem dump I was looking at. What you think?

PlantscapeSolutions
02-14-2012, 11:29 PM
Any of this rain we getting, get to y'all first? David, have you ever ran an ASV RC30? I was offered a trade for my wheeled skid, 05' RC30 with grapple & dirt bucket. Still debating if it would benefit me more to get a bigger T190 sized machine. Pretty much have my dump trailer sold, so gunman see if I can work a deal onthe dual tandem dump I was looking at. What you think?

Where I'm at we've probably gotten 8-10" in the last month. But to the west where it feeds into the lake that supplies water to Austin the rainfall has been much less and the lake level hasn't changed much.

I'd love to have a T190 but I don't have enough of a need to justify buying one. The ASV's are one of the first tracked mini skid steers but I've never used one. The Home Depots here rent the RC30.

PlantscapeSolutions
02-15-2012, 06:36 PM
I have this in another thread but might as well put it here as well. My mail just hit people a day or two ago. I have four appointments set for this week. Phone just rang make that five appointments. All of the homes are valued at about $1,000,000 or more.

Even though the card I made was more maintenance oriented several people are asking about landscaping and one has a pool project that has trashed the whole yard. I think I hit the nail on the head with my new card design and logic.

Clonts Landscaping
02-15-2012, 06:50 PM
I have this in another thread but might as well put it here as well. My mail just hit people a day or two ago. I have four appointments set for this week. Phone just rang make that five appointments. All of the homes are valued at about $1,000,000 or more.

Even though the card I made was more maintenance oriented several people are asking about landscaping and one has a pool project that has trashed the whole yard. I think I hit the nail on the head with my new card design and logic.

That's a nice looking card. I'm glad to hear they have been a sucess so far. I have 10k door hangers going out starting Monday. I hope my luck will be as good as yours.

Clonts Landscaping
02-15-2012, 06:51 PM
I have this in another thread but might as well put it here as well. My mail just hit people a day or two ago. I have four appointments set for this week. Phone just rang make that five appointments. All of the homes are valued at about $1,000,000 or more.

Even though the card I made was more maintenance oriented several people are asking about landscaping and one has a pool project that has trashed the whole yard. I think I hit the nail on the head with my new card design and logic.

Where did you find that pic?

PlantscapeSolutions
02-15-2012, 07:09 PM
Where did you find that pic?

thinkstockphotos.com they have so many pictures it's confusing. I think I paid about $100 for three pictures.

Clonts Landscaping
02-15-2012, 07:59 PM
thinkstockphotos.com they have so many pictures it's confusing. I think I paid about $100 for three pictures.

Wow that's pretty steep for 3 photos.

Clonts Landscaping
02-15-2012, 08:02 PM
That's the same site Adeas uses for there pics. They let you use the site for free.

PlantscapeSolutions
02-15-2012, 09:07 PM
That's the same site Adeas uses for there pics. They let you use the site for free.

Trust me your paying one way or the other. I had checked out Adeas and they also had referred me to thinkstock but nothing was free. I also had Adeas quote me to compare the price to my castusmailings.com price and they were higher by about ten cents per card. It was going to be about $500 more for my order.

KrayzKajun
02-15-2012, 09:23 PM
nice return so far david! have my 1st batch going out neext wed. didnt want them going out till after Mardi Gras.

Clonts Landscaping
02-15-2012, 09:34 PM
Trust me your paying one way or the other. I had checked out Adeas and they also had referred me to thinkstock but nothing was free. I also had Adeas quote me to compare the price to my castusmailings.com price and they were higher by about ten cents per card. It was going to be about $500 more for my order.

Next time I place a order I will give them a call. Thanks for the advice.

PlantscapeSolutions
02-15-2012, 10:01 PM
I love Google street view, Bing, Google Earth, Trulia and Zillow. Now you can look up a customers home value, see it from above, and in many cases see the Google Street View as well. Sometimes Bing will have a better angle then Google. A nice little old lady who called me has a 1.7 million tax value spread.

PlantscapeSolutions
02-15-2012, 11:40 PM
Here is my next truck mod for my 09' Ram 3500. I'm putting EGR gas slotted rotors on the front and back, EGR carbon/Kevlar pads, blue printed calipers, and adding Motul brake fluid. I won't have the calipers until next week.

I'm also going to send EGR some OEM brake shoes for my dually dump trailer so they can make me two sets of carbon/Kevlar units using my cores. I've been hauling 12 yards at a time in my trailer and the brakes fade when your hauling over 20K.

EGR makes the best pads and shoes money can buy. When the carbon/Kevlar heats up it does not fade and actually become more grippy. I used EGR on my last 02' Ram 2500.

KrayzKajun
02-15-2012, 11:48 PM
David, I made a deal today on that 05' Bigtex 25du. Made an offer at $4k and the seller accepted. gunna make the sale next week after Mardi Gras.

PlantscapeSolutions
02-16-2012, 12:38 AM
David, I made a deal today on that 05' Bigtex 25du. Made an offer at $4k and the seller accepted. gunna make the sale next week after Mardi Gras.

If it's in decent shape that a good price. When I bought my trailer the best used price I saw was a 01' 25DU in Houston and it was around $6K.

KrayzKajun
02-16-2012, 12:51 AM
i put a pic of it i took a few weeks ago when i first saw it forsale, in my thread.

PlantscapeSolutions
03-10-2012, 12:03 PM
It looks like my Rock Star wheels will be going into storage this spring. The heavy loads I tow from time to time are just too much for regular E rated 17" mounted tires. A tire that lasts most guys 50K is often worn out in 20K on my truck.

The six tires on my truck cost $1500 last year and they will need to be replaced by June I think. I'm going to go with F or G rated tires mounted on 19.5 Weld Racing D50 wheels. The wheels just came out and are $700 each.

The best place for wheels is 4wheelonline.com and they don't have them available yet. I'm hoping when they start selling the wheels they will be at least $100 less per wheel.

Weld wheels are forged not cast so they are far superior to other wheels on the market. I actually had an Eagle Allow wheel on my last 3/4 ton truck shatter while I was driving it from being stressed too much. Since wheels are worth dying for I think forged wheels are money well spent. You may bend a forged wheel in an accident but it will never shatter with no advanced notice like a cast wheel can. With the exception of Weld, Alcoa, Rickson, and American Force almost every other company makes cast wheels.

LawnMan19
03-10-2012, 12:48 PM
Those are some sweet new wheels you'll be putting on.:cool2:

PlantscapeSolutions
03-10-2012, 01:01 PM
Those are some sweet new wheels you'll be putting on.:cool2:

I just wish they had center caps that hid the lug nuts. These are some Eagle Alloys 16X8's that someone is supposed to be buying from me (only $200!) that fit an 02' Ram 2500. I used to have a pair of Weld Welds that looked exactly the same and those center caps keep you from having to clean around all the lug nuts and make the wheels look cleaner and less busy.

KrayzKajun
03-10-2012, 01:47 PM
Damn them 19.5s are fine!
Posted via Mobile Device

KPZ Enterprises
03-10-2012, 03:25 PM
love it...ram trucks n big ass trailers, subscribing for future pics!

LawnMan19
03-10-2012, 03:36 PM
I just wish they had center caps that hid the lug nuts. These are some Eagle Alloys 16X8's that someone is supposed to be buying from me (only $200!) that fit an 02' Ram 2500. I used to have a pair of Weld Welds that looked exactly the same and those center caps keep you from having to clean around all the lug nuts and make the wheels look cleaner and less busy.

Yeah, they do look cleaner, and like they would help keep the lugs clean, but I still love the new ones.

KrayzKajun
03-10-2012, 03:44 PM
Yur gunna make me go get new rims now David. I wanna mill down a set of 22.5s to 22s.
Posted via Mobile Device

PlantscapeSolutions
03-10-2012, 04:58 PM
Yeah, they do look cleaner, and like they would help keep the lugs clean, but I still love the new ones.

Pardon my one misspelling. There are other websites that use the same software as lawnsite like TDR that allow you to go back and edit at any time.

muddywater
03-11-2012, 01:48 PM
So your going to spend $4k on a set of rims? Plus another $1200 on tires?

noahb195
03-11-2012, 06:42 PM
Man, the inside of your enclosed trailer is sweet! Your truck is gonna look awesome with those new rims on it.

Great thread

Jelinek61
03-11-2012, 06:50 PM
Those are some sweet looking wheels.

LawnMan19
03-11-2012, 07:28 PM
Those are some sweet looking wheels.

x2 on that.

LawnMan19
03-11-2012, 07:31 PM
Pardon my one misspelling. There are other websites that use the same software as lawnsite like TDR that allow you to go back and edit at any time.

I don't think you misspelled anything.:drinkup:

Clonts Landscaping
03-11-2012, 07:39 PM
So your going to spend $4k on a set of rims? Plus another $1200 on tires?

I bought a box truck for the same money your gonna spend on a set of wheels. They are sweet but damn that's a lot of cash.

PlantscapeSolutions
03-11-2012, 08:34 PM
So your going to spend $4k on a set of rims? Plus another $1200 on tires?

I'm hoping it will be more like $2500 or less on the wheels. The 19.5 tires are going to save me a bunch of money in the long run. Wearing out a set of $1500 17's in 20,000 miles is even more expensive.

PlantscapeSolutions
03-12-2012, 11:24 PM
Does anyone else use and recycle the Husky bags? They are expensive but we use the same bags as many as five time. You can throw them around and they never burst open like cheap bags. We charge by the bag for waste disposal so it also gives us an easy way to do our billing.

We put two slip knots in each bags that allows us to quickly empty bags into our 20' dump trailer. Usually, we stock pile a bunch of filled bags and then dump them in the trailer when it's time to make a dump run. We can dump at least 200-250 bags in our trailer. Our slip knots allow us to empty about 120 bags per man hour. We get about $800 - $975 in disposal fee's for each trailer load.

We make dump runs only every 4-8 weeks. None of this weekly or god forbid daily dump run stuff where your wasting a lot of time and fuel to get rid of a only a truckload of stuff. I think waste disposal is an area a lot of guys have a lot of inefficiency. I also pay zero dollars to dispose of my material which is great.

PlantscapeSolutions
03-12-2012, 11:39 PM
Last year I claimed my new truck for personal use to avoid paying several hundred dollars in business taxes. Plus the reality is my truck is 90% personal use and 10% business use.

Now I have a new gooseneck dump trailer and a gooseneck triple axle trailer at my place that is obviously being pulled by my dually and not my 2500 which has no hitch in the bed. I'd hate to have the tax man show up and give me some grief so I claimed my truck for business use this year. I figured if I'm going to pay at least $200 in taxes on my truck I might as well throw my business logo on it.

In case anyone is wondering what the sticker is on the front door it is a required posting that shows where the fire extinguisher is located. If you have a commercial registration it is a requirement.

LawnMan19
03-13-2012, 12:57 AM
I like your lettering a lot.

PlantscapeSolutions
03-13-2012, 01:17 AM
I like your lettering a lot.

Thanks, the flower is from a Texas Mountain Laurel was part of my old logo. The rest of what you see was created for a direct mail flyer a few years back and I like it so much I used it as my new logo. Out with the old and in with the new.

KrayzKajun
03-13-2012, 08:20 AM
Truck looks good. I really like the new wheels, saw a truck like mine with 22.5s on it yesterday. Boy was I drooling.
Posted via Mobile Device

PlantscapeSolutions
03-13-2012, 09:50 AM
Truck looks good. I really like the new wheels, saw a truck like mine with 22.5s on it yesterday. Boy was I drooling.
Posted via Mobile Device

The challenge with 22.5's (or 22's) is that they greatly affect your gear ratio. Most of the Ram 3500's came with 3.73's which are not low enough gears to support 22.5's for towing heavy. Some 3500's came with 4.10's and might be able to handle 22.5's but I think 4.44's may be required.

The OEM tires are 31.8 tall and when you step up to 22.5's your going to have 37" tires. That dilutes your gear ratio by 16.5% which means just to get back the lost leverage you would need gears to be dropped down to at least the 4.35 range (4.44 is closest gear). A gear change usually runs around $2000. All this doesn't even factor in the lost braking force causes by larger wheels.

The American Force wheels look cool for sure. I've seen tall skinny singles on a 2500 which looked a little odd and the big rig style on a dually as well. I saw a truck parked in font of a random house one day and I was bold enough to go knock on the door and talk to the guy about his wheels. His complaint was the ride quality lost when you go to very rigid tires.

muddywater
03-13-2012, 06:13 PM
You can't burn your trash? I just burn when it is raining and no one can even tell. At the end of the year I hire a dump truck in to haul off the ashes/dirt/sod to a private landfill(no fees just trucking costs).

PlantscapeSolutions
03-13-2012, 10:48 PM
You can't burn your trash? I just burn when it is raining and no one can even tell. At the end of the year I hire a dump truck in to haul off the ashes/dirt/sod to a private landfill(no fees just trucking costs).

I live in a neighborhood of .75 acre home sites outside city limits. It's illegal to bring back material to compost or burn at your house. I tried a composting experiment years back but the county health department nixed my experiment. With my dump trailer it's easy to haul off 24 yards of material at one time.

noahb195
03-13-2012, 10:54 PM
Can you post more pictures of your shop and equipment?

PlantscapeSolutions
03-13-2012, 11:57 PM
Can you post more pictures of your shop and equipment?

If you start at page one and work your way back there are pictures of my shop under construction, truck, trailer, and other pictures.

ed2hess
03-14-2012, 09:10 PM
Last year I claimed my new truck for personal use to avoid paying several hundred dollars in business taxes. Plus the reality is my truck is 90% personal use and 10% business use.

Now I have a new gooseneck dump trailer and a gooseneck triple axle trailer at my place that is obviously being pulled by my dually and not my 2500 which has no hitch in the bed. I'd hate to have the tax man show up and give me some grief so I claimed my truck for business use this year. I figured if I'm going to pay at least $200 in taxes on my truck I might as well throw my business logo on it.

In case anyone is wondering what the sticker is on the front door it is a required posting that shows where the fire extinguisher is located. If you have a commercial registration it is a requirement.

I like that sign it is simple and neat. We have been in this business for 35 years and just can't decide on a logo and signage. Yours have good color combination.

PlantscapeSolutions
03-14-2012, 10:25 PM
I like that sign it is simple and neat. We have been in this business for 35 years and just can't decide on a logo and signage. Yours have good color combination.

Thanks, this truck is my daily driver so I wanted to keep it simple. I have the same logo several times larger on the front of my enclosed trailer. The trailer has a wrap on it that's like a billboard on wheels.

PlantscapeSolutions
03-17-2012, 08:52 PM
I figured I'd move my direct mail thread over here. Another batch of 5000 will be hitting the Austin area this week. I picked up three customers with my first batch and have some leads I'm working for landscape work right now. My cost will only be 28 cents per piece for this second batch with my one time $100 discount from Cactus.

All the customers I picked up for maintenance had your average mow type company that sucked on the bed upkeep. The crossroads message has hit home nicely. The picture and main message will not change since name recognition is vitally important with direct mail. I will only change the caption on the bottom of the card to push the correct item I want at various times of the year.

The more you mail the better the results your supposed to get because people consciously, or subconsciously recognize your card the more they see it. This is my second batch going out so Iíll be interested to see how things go. The cards are all going to mostly 700K to one million plus homes. Last year my mailing campaign was delayed by the company I used going out of business and my mail hit too late to be effective. Overall, Iím seeing the most traffic from my website, mail, and servicemagicpro that I have seen in many years.

With servicemagicpro one out of three leads is worth looking at but the cost is low enough to justify it so far. Yesterday I got one of those not worth it leads. The lady wanted a few plants for under her Crepe Myrtle. I Google Earthed and Google Street Viewed her home to see what it looked like just in case there might be an upsell but there wasnít. Just an older person who doesnít realize no companies can do tiny good will jobs where there will be no profit. I was nice and told her to try to catch one of those yard guys that are always running around her area.

There is a definite surge in pent up demand be unleashed right now. After having a drought two out of the three past years and economic issues a bunch of people are jumping off the fence. How long this surge will last is unknown. If we can get the lake up I think this surge could last for months but if we have a repeat of last summer things could go cold by late April if we start seeing temps close to 100.

KPZ Enterprises
03-17-2012, 09:00 PM
nice to hear u picked up more customers from ur flyers u put out....iv never had good luck with mailing things out, almost all my bus. comes from recomendations.

PlantscapeSolutions
03-17-2012, 09:31 PM
nice to hear u picked up more customers from ur flyers u put out....iv never had good luck with mailing things out, almost all my bus. comes from recomendations.

When CA folks were moving to Texas in droves to buy first or second vacation type homes I didn't advertise at all. Now CA folks and others are downsizing in droves or selling that second million dollar home they don't have tons of extra cash to pay for any more.

I had to get off my azz and start advertising to get the more customers lined up. The other problem when you get client list ages too much is you've done all the landscaping and other good money making projects. Some churn in your client list is a good thing.

Years ago when I did advertise it was the phone book and some door hangers. The phone book is a waste now and everyone has been door hanger'd to death. A website, Facebook page, direct mail, and just a tad of online placement money for key words on your website seems to work.

I think all the Google placement stuff is crap. There are so many people fighting for top spots that you have to spend a fortune to be at the top of any list. Google is way over hyped for top placement ads.

StihlMechanic
03-18-2012, 02:48 AM
Do you waste time with the early season weed lawns or pass? I cant decide if the 15 minute conversation with a customer that will no longer need me by June is even worth it to me anymore.

StihlMechanic
03-18-2012, 02:52 AM
Does anyone else use and recycle the Husky bags? They are expensive but we use the same bags as many as five time. You can throw them around and they never burst open like cheap bags. We charge by the bag for waste disposal so it also gives us an easy way to do our billing.

We put two slip knots in each bags that allows us to quickly empty bags into our 20' dump trailer. Usually, we stock pile a bunch of filled bags and then dump them in the trailer when it's time to make a dump run. We can dump at least 200-250 bags in our trailer. Our slip knots allow us to empty about 120 bags per man hour. We get about $800 - $975 in disposal fee's for each trailer load.

We make dump runs only every 4-8 weeks. None of this weekly or god forbid daily dump run stuff where your wasting a lot of time and fuel to get rid of a only a truckload of stuff. I think waste disposal is an area a lot of guys have a lot of inefficiency. I also pay zero dollars to dispose of my material which is great.

Awesome insight, I have pondered the time savings of bagged debris. Thank you.

PlantscapeSolutions
03-18-2012, 03:20 AM
Do you waste time with the early season weed lawns or pass? I cant decide if the 15 minute conversation with a customer that will no longer need me by June is even worth it to me anymore.

I try to feel people out and make sure their a good fit. No one time cleanups or anything like that. If I suspect someone has deep seeded issues with being cheap I just call it quits so I don't have to worry about dealing with future issues and hassles.

93Chevy
03-18-2012, 09:14 AM
Plantscape, you have a nice signature, but take the apostrophe out of employees...it'll look even better :)

PlantscapeSolutions
03-18-2012, 10:37 AM
Plantscape, you have a nice signature, but take the apostrophe out of employees...it'll look even better :)


Ahhh yes. Actually there was another issue lurking in my sig I fixed as well. Employees is one of those words that just doesn't look right with that "yees" on the end. I'd almost rather put "My Employee's- 3" then "Employees-3". Policing grammar on this forum could be a full time job:laugh:.

KrayzKajun
03-18-2012, 10:41 AM
Hmmmmm. Are you sure you weren't an English teacher before?
Posted via Mobile Device

PlantscapeSolutions
03-28-2012, 11:51 PM
For anyone pondering buying a 16' or 20' tandem dually dump trailer spending the money on disc brakes is the way to go. I'm going to do a $3000 disc brake conversion to replace the electric brakes. Magnets are no match for a loaded trailer that weighs 20-25K. I'll get some pics after Magnum Trailers does the conversion.

You can also do hydraulic over electric brake upgrades but the disc setup is only about $500 more and is a better setup.

PlantscapeSolutions
03-30-2012, 12:14 PM
Here's a patio I'm designing for one of my customers. Surface and French Drains will have to be installed as well to deal with surface and subsurface water issues. The patio will be Leuders. The Cedar Elm you see in the lawn is going to be a goner.

KrayzKajun
03-30-2012, 12:19 PM
Thts a great design david.
Posted via Mobile Device

Gilmore.Landscaping
03-30-2012, 09:27 PM
I am a little lost with the design. I take it the scribbles is the patio space? The picture makes it looks like there is plenty of slope so why add drains?

Anyway looked through alot of pages love all the other work

noahb195
03-30-2012, 10:01 PM
Did you put on the new wheels yet?

PlantscapeSolutions
03-30-2012, 10:37 PM
I am a little lost with the design. I take it the scribbles is the patio space? The picture makes it looks like there is plenty of slope so why add drains?

Anyway looked through alot of pages love all the other work

The patio is going to cause water flowing down hill in a big rain event to damn up and flow around the patio into the flower beds in a channelized manner that could wash out areas of the flower beds. We also don't want water coming down the steps onto the patio getting it dirty.

The soil is so rocky that the cut into the hill will likely cause a wet weather spring which is why the French Drain is needed. Just up the hill we already have an issue with water that comes to the surface during periods of wet weather and it runs across the yard causing a large area to be saturated.

Originally I wanted to be a Civil Engineer so I take my thought process to a level others rarely ponder.

PlantscapeSolutions
03-30-2012, 11:01 PM
Did you put on the new wheels yet?

My current tires still have some life left and I just dropped three grand on a disc brake conversion for my dump trailer. I just found out Dynatrac has finally come out with a free spin hub kit for my truck so there is another three grand I need to plan for. I also would liked to replace my 3.73 gears with 4.10's or even 4.56 if I go with the 19.5 wheels and tires that could be 1.5-2" taller. A gear swap out is going to be around two grand.

The wheels will happen but it will be latter then planed. Plus I'm waiting on 4wheelonline.com to start selling the wheels because I know they will have a much better price.

vtkish7
03-30-2012, 11:28 PM
Boy that sure is a beautiful Cummins! :cool2::dizzy::waving:

Gilmore.Landscaping
03-31-2012, 07:43 PM
The patio is going to cause water flowing down hill in a big rain event to damn up and flow around the patio into the flower beds in a channelized manner that could wash out areas of the flower beds. We also don't want water coming down the steps onto the patio getting it dirty.

I got it now....I was totally looking at it upside down. haha, It all makes sense now.

PlantscapeSolutions
04-06-2012, 09:09 AM
I have never seen Take All Patch on this scale. Take All Patch is fairly rare is and is not super common like Brown Patch. The yard you see was fertilized while the yards on both sides were not. Shade can complicate fungal issues but it was definitely the Nitrogen in the fertilizer that caused the Take All Patch explosion.

The roots on all the runners were totally rotted off. I put down some Anderson's Golf Products Compass Fungicide that will do the trick.

KPZ Enterprises
04-06-2012, 06:52 PM
does that person water there lawn alot? if they do there water could be really alkiline....we had this problem with somone who had a sprinkler system, and the lime the previous company was adding just added to the mess...good luck with that lawn!

PlantscapeSolutions
04-06-2012, 07:42 PM
does that person water there lawn alot? if they do there water could be really alkiline....we had this problem with somone who had a sprinkler system, and the lime the previous company was adding just added to the mess...good luck with that lawn!

Here everything is alkaline. The soil can be 8.5 PH and the water as well. The area where this house is located is very rocky and all the rock is limestone.

But if you go 50 east of here you get into neutral soil and a forest of Loblolly Pines in Bastrop. But in Bastrop the pines usually only grow well on the east side of the Colorado that divides the town.

The Grounds Crew
04-06-2012, 08:45 PM
Your a smart guy, you know that! You know that you have to spend a lot of money at first to prevent further expenses. I agree with you by having everything done right the first time. It is also smart how you are able to draw a fine line between a crappy/cheap customer and a high end customer. Keep up the good work. From this thread alone, I know you do great work. I watched those videos on YouTube and it is amazing how that large company used the lowest quality material on that lawn. You will be bigger them eventually beause everyone will see your quality of work and that alone is a winner.

PlantscapeSolutions
04-06-2012, 10:37 PM
Your a smart guy, you know that! You know that you have to spend a lot of money at first to prevent further expenses. I agree with you by having everything done right the first time. It is also smart how you are able to draw a fine line between a crappy/cheap customer and a high end customer. Keep up the good work. From this thread alone, I know you do great work. I watched those videos on YouTube and it is amazing how that large company used the lowest quality material on that lawn. You will be bigger them eventually beause everyone will see your quality of work and that alone is a winner.

Your giving me a swelled head. Ouch, make the pain stop.

PlantscapeSolutions
04-06-2012, 11:09 PM
I set a new record for myself today. I put 16 yards of top dressing in my trailer and it hauled it just fine. The picture shows what twelve yards looks like. Who needs a dump truck? Not me. I'm looking forward to getting my disc brake upgrade on my trailer but the price is now $3800.

KPZ Enterprises
04-07-2012, 06:03 PM
u cant really put a price on safty tho...in the long run that 3800 isnt really that much....plus its a write off. hahaha....what would u say u mostly do? lawn restorations, mowing,mulching.etc.??

PlantscapeSolutions
04-07-2012, 06:20 PM
u cant really put a price on safty tho...in the long run that 3800 isnt really that much....plus its a write off. hahaha....what would u say u mostly do? lawn restorations, mowing,mulching.etc.??

My crew does mowing four days a week and Monday is set aside for mulching or landscaping. In the winter I'll dabble in arborist work and push my Holiday Lighting. Late winter the push is now on for the composting with my Ecolawn. I'm a licensed applicator and do a lot of the landscape and lawn fert and other treatments.

The only thing I do not do is irrigation. I did it for one year and stopped because the profit margin was just too thin. If a service can't give you a return of at least 20% it not worth doing. Repairs is where the best money is at but you need to have a client database bid enough to make it efficient for scheduling. I use Ryan Towns with Towns Land Services for my irrigation work.

KPZ Enterprises
04-07-2012, 06:36 PM
cool..i used to sub my fert. stuff out but now i am out of college i am going to do it myself....over the past few yrs iv become a lawn fanatic and i figured i can do a much better job than anybody i sub it out to, i just took the PA applicator test last week but it takes 3 weeks to get results back, just wondering what does the class 1 nurserymen mean?

PlantscapeSolutions
04-07-2012, 07:15 PM
cool..i used to sub my fert. stuff out but now i am out of college i am going to do it myself....over the past few yrs iv become a lawn fanatic and i figured i can do a much better job than anybody i sub it out to, i just took the PA applicator test last week but it takes 3 weeks to get results back, just wondering what does the class 1 nurserymen mean?

I was given my test results the day I took the test (three tests 250 questions). To purchase and resell plants you have to have a class 1 nursery certificate here.

There is so much competition out there that it is really a must to find a way to stand out above the others. I find knowledge is one area most people can come close to matching me. If your just another grass guy here in Texas it's going to be tough to hold your own against the sea of folks from south of the border. A yard I might mow for $50 they will mow for $30 and not charge sales tax.

I have one customer who had a legit company that specializes in being cheap mowing their yard for only $25. They have 80 stepping stones that had to be edged around every week so my bid was $50. The cheap company got fired for doing low grade work and they've been happily paying twice the price to have quality work performed for the last 1 1/2 years.

ed2hess
04-07-2012, 09:31 PM
. Repairs is where the best money is at but you need to have a client database bid enough to make it efficient for scheduling.ork.

Sadly we got about $30K of small irrigation jobs that we can't handle. Both sons are irrigators but only one works full time on inspections and repairs. We just did a $400 inspection of some condos that was facing water cut off this year if they didn't get the system fixed. I think the estimate is going to reach $20K. And they had a irrigator handling the acct:dizzy:. We got two guys taking the test on next date. We are working with Wilson irrigation. Nice to work around a bigger company we have learned a lot from him already.

KPZ Enterprises
04-07-2012, 09:37 PM
I was given my test results the day I took the test (three tests 250 questions). To purchase and resell plants you have to have a class 1 nursery certificate here.

There is so much competition out there that it is really a must to find a way to stand out above the others. I find knowledge is one area most people can come close to matching me. If your just another grass guy here in Texas it's going to be tough to hold your own against the sea of folks from south of the border. A yard I might mow for $50 they will mow for $30 and not charge sales tax.

I have one customer who had a legit company that specializes in being cheap mowing their yard for only $25. They have 80 stepping stones that had to be edged around every week so my bid was $50. The cheap company got fired for doing low grade work and they've been happily paying twice the price to have quality work performed for the last 1 1/2 years.


ya in pa they make you take a core test which is 50 questions then a catagory test which is another 50 questions like lawn n turf or ornimental trees then they send it out to harrisburg to get graded then after all that u find out if u pass or fail, lots of unessary stepping stones in my opinion but what can u do....and the past 2 years iv gotton into more of the high end resd.(15+acre props) which u dnt need a lot of to have a good year finiacially.

PlantscapeSolutions
04-07-2012, 10:16 PM
Sadly we got about $30K of small irrigation jobs that we can't handle. Both sons are irrigators but only one works full time on inspections and repairs. We just did a $400 inspection of some condos that was facing water cut off this year if they didn't get the system fixed. I think the estimate is going to reach $20K. And they had a irrigator handling the acct:dizzy:. We got two guys taking the test on next date. We are working with Wilson irrigation. Nice to work around a bigger company we have learned a lot from him already.


Ed one of my friends is Ryan Towns with Towns Land Services and he has done some subcontract work for Accord Irrigation on Large HOA's that was into the tens of thousands of dollars. Ryan is pretty busy but if he can fit you in I'm sure you would get a bigger cut then your getting from Wilson.

He may bill you as little as $65 an hour for a tech and a helper. You could sub out the work and still make at least $30 an hour. Ryan has done all my irrigation work for ten years.

For anyone in Austin I would recommend not working with Accord Irrigation Technologies which is owned by Doug Christensen. They are going to be the focus of a lawsuit if they don't pay up for services rendered and past due from what I hear.

PlantscapeSolutions
04-13-2012, 09:05 PM
This was a job I got from ServiceMagicPro. I did the estimate last November and the clients finally decided to do the work now. The job was so small I just did it myself with no help. The irrigation and stonework was done earlier in the week. It took me two hours to do add the soil, plants, and mulch. The stonework and landscape portion minus the irrigation was about $1800 with tax.

Originally it was supposed to be some backyard work as well. The original labor for the front install was $200 but when they nixed the back I increased the labor to $495. The stonework price went up as well since it was less cost effective. I still managed to make about $800 on this tiny job. On small jobs you have to have a healthy profit margin or it's just not worth it. This job is smaller then I like to do.

The picture would look better if they mowed the lawn!

PlantscapeSolutions
04-16-2012, 12:50 AM
I got the bright idea to move my push mower back a little bit to allow for better access to the Prolocker for one of my Scags. I had to remove all the floor mounted chalks used to secure the Honda and then move two blowers that were in the spot where the Honda would now go. The time I decided to start my project was 10:00 PM.

At 2:08 AM I got everything finished up. For anyone who has a push mower in their trailer you need to check out my simple method for securing the mower. No straps are required and you can get the mower in and out in mere seconds. I've been using this method for many years.

I had to notch the rear mower block a tiny bit because the mower wasn't sitting totally flat. It's best to only notch one of the wheel blocks so you can more easily get the mower in and out with minimal lifting and a sideways pull of the mower. You want to brace the rear tire of the mower with strips of plywood to prevent the mower from trying to walk sideways out of the chalks. It would not be that hard to make a commercial version of my home brew mounts out of steel.

You can also see the boxes we use to store and protect out hedge trimmers. The vertical holder I originally made took up less space but the Echo's would leak gas a tiny bit.

I'm going back to Shin. DH231-30 for my trimmers again. I just ordered two units from Russo for only $435 each delivered. The list price is $479 plus tax. I saved $167 off the local price.

noahb195
04-16-2012, 06:17 PM
I tried to look for those trimmers you ordered. But i cant find them on their website?

PlantscapeSolutions
04-16-2012, 07:05 PM
I tried to look for those trimmers you ordered. But i cant find them on their website?

Russo has the trimmers on the site but no price. Shindaiwai doesn't allow you to advertise cheaper prices. You have to call and ask what the price is.

PlantscapeSolutions
04-29-2012, 04:49 PM
Here is a shot on my new differential cover that holds 50% more oil. I also replaced the 3.73 gears with 4.10 gears that will give my more pulling power. It's a 4x4 so I had to switch out two sets of gears. The rear bearings were replaced as well. It was about $2500 out the door plus the cover I purchased at 4wheelparts.

I can't wait to hook up 20K+ and see how it tows.

FoghornLeghorn
04-29-2012, 05:27 PM
Hey David, thanks for the referral. I just checked my LS mail, so I'll call the lady tomorrow.
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MMADDUX
04-29-2012, 05:36 PM
That is a sick truck!!! Looks like she will pull anything now!
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noahb195
04-30-2012, 05:52 PM
Alright you have the fancy enclosed trailer. But we havent seen the whole get up with the truck and trailer hooked up.

PlantscapeSolutions
04-30-2012, 07:25 PM
Alright you have the fancy enclosed trailer. But we havent seen the whole get up with the truck and trailer hooked up.

This 06' Ram 2500 5.9CR is what pulls the trailer. It need to get some bodywork done and at that time I'm going to put the same logo on the truck that I use on my truck and the trailer.

We've racked up 95,000 miles on this truck since November of 2006. I will never again allow any foremen to take my truck home. This poor truck has been in four accidents. The truck would have 10-15K less miles if it had not been taken home.

In the most dramatic accident my foremen fell asleep at the end of the day just around the corner from my shop. He went into a corner doing 55 mph asleep. He woke up and over corrected and the truck pulling a 12' trailer did a 180 and went off the road backwards.

He was very lucky. The trailer did not jacknife and tear up the truck. It only ruined the axle and one wheel on the trailer. The truck hit a tree just behind the drivers headlight and did about $4000 in damage.

Only the driver had on a seat belt. The other four guys in the truck had none. If the truck had flipped or rolled like it easily could have guys could have been ejected out the windows left and right and there could have been dead bodies every where. We got pretty lucks.

The same trailer once got rear ended and it ripped the Ranch Hand bumper off the F250 truck that was pulling it. It only did $250 in damage to the trailer. A lesser trailer would have been folded in half probably.

noahb195
04-30-2012, 07:37 PM
Wow man thats some history right there. Its good looking truck though. It looks just like groundskeeper llc's truck.

PlantscapeSolutions
04-30-2012, 07:57 PM
Wow man thats some history right there. Its good looking truck though. It looks just like groundskeeper llc's truck.

The truck is an ST model and came with ugly trim rings and inserts so I bought the OEM alloys in the picture from someone for $300. Calling the factory wheels ugly is an insult to the word ugly.

PlantscapeSolutions
04-30-2012, 08:10 PM
We had to build the ramp in the picture to get 24 yards of soil to the bed behind the patio. The ramp is upside down in the picture but we used this side for our bigger dolly for moving plants. With the ramp right side up the approach to the ramp was flush with the surface and we needed no bags of mulch on the ends. We hauled about 80 loads of soil across the ramp the week before.

I made a universal joint in the middle of the ramps so the two sides could flex but not pull apart. That stupid Sago in the planter was already there but it doesn't look right.

ed2hess
05-01-2012, 07:18 PM
I got the bright idea to move my push mower back a little bit to allow for better access to the Prolocker for one of my Scags. I had to remove all the floor mounted chalks used to secure the Honda and then move two blowers that were in the spot where the Honda would now go. The time I decided to start my project was 10:00 PM.

At 2:08 AM I got everything finished up. For anyone who has a push mower in their trailer you need to check out my simple method for securing the mower. No straps are required and you can get the mower in and out in mere seconds. I've been using this method for many years.

I had to notch the rear mower block a tiny bit because the mower wasn't sitting totally flat. It's best to only notch one of the wheel blocks so you can more easily get the mower in and out with minimal lifting and a sideways pull of the mower. You want to brace the rear tire of the mower with strips of plywood to prevent the mower from trying to walk sideways out of the chalks. It would not be that hard to make a commercial version of my home brew mounts out of steel.

You can also see the boxes we use to store and protect out hedge trimmers. The vertical holder I originally made took up less space but the Echo's would leak gas a tiny bit.

I'm going back to Shin. DH231-30 for my trimmers again. I just ordered two units from Russo for only $435 each delivered. The list price is $479 plus tax. I saved $167 off the local price.

Alll great minds must think alike ....we got those three same mowers and those platforms for blowers are just like ours. I just took our trailer up to Spillar to build a permanent shelves for the blowers. When i got it back I realize I could not longer get the 48" unit past it so it is being modified. I am definitely getting a welder next winter and learn how to weld.

PlantscapeSolutions
05-07-2012, 11:30 PM
Alll great minds must think alike ....we got those three same mowers and those platforms for blowers are just like ours. I just took our trailer up to Spillar to build a permanent shelves for the blowers. When i got it back I realize I could not longer get the 48" unit past it so it is being modified. I am definitely getting a welder next winter and learn how to weld.

The blower hooks are Trimmer Trap units for open trailers. I used the mounting bracket as a tube holder. I didn't like the idea of all the weight being supported by the plastic so I made the shelf. I also trimmed the hook shorter on the Trimmer Trap to make getting the blower on and off the hook much easier.

Years ago I used Spillar to make some brackets I designed for my open trailer. Now I use Virgil Moore in Creedmore for welding stuff. Virgil place is a ornamental fence and structural steel shop.

He added the steel braces you see in the front of my gooseneck trailer. He also enclosed the I-beam on the gooseneck so it would be more rigid to support the braces inside the trailer. The steel used inside the trailer was 1/2" plate stock which isn't cheap. I thought for sure I was going to owe him at least $500-$600 for the work. The bill was $150!

I had Virgil do a 911 repair on my gooseneck dump trailer and I'm still waiting on the bill from months ago. I ran into Virgil at the Walmart gas station a month ago and reminded him to bill me but nothing has showed up in the mail yet.

PlantscapeSolutions
05-13-2012, 03:59 PM
I continue to be amazed at some of the people who are running enclosed trailers with an open trailer mentality. Enclosed trailer are great and they can actually save you money if you use then to their full potential. Every trailer setup will vary since everyone uses different mowing equipment. Trying to organize an enclosed trailer can be a real brain teaser.

I didn't trust the foremen I had when I purchased my enclosed trailer so it sat for a while and I had plenty of time to work on my trailer layout. I'm going to post some more trailer pictures and try to give guys ideas of ways they can improve their trailers.

I've seen a few really nice pretty boy trailer pictures on Lawnsite but none that were nearly as functional as they were pretty. My trailer is still a work in progress where I change things if I see a better way to do things.

The hardest thing about organizing an enclosed trailer is one item can effect how several items around it are stored and the ease of access. Moving one item a tiny bit can cause you to have to move three other items.

PlantscapeSolutions
05-13-2012, 04:04 PM
Here the first pointer. Most trailer come with crap skylights that will UV degrade and self destruct in 3-4 years. Don't buy the same POS replacement units at a trailer place. Go to an RV place and for $30 you can get RV units with a lifetime warranty against breakage.

PlantscapeSolutions
05-15-2012, 05:21 PM
I recommend doing three things to the ramps of enclosed trailers.

1. Replace the tiny screws in the piano hinge with bolts and use fender washers to try to spread out the clamping force. The piano hinge is the weakest point in the whole trailer. Harp on your guys to always set the fold down portion on the ground and don't drop it even an inch.

2. Bolt on an aluminum wear strip to increase the longevity on the fold down ramp. With no wear strip the ramp will wear thinner and the aluminum trim on the end will end up getting worn and eventually damaged.

3. If you wear out the plywood on the ramp the door trim and piano hinge must all be removed which is a PIA. Protect the ramp and fold down ramp by adding a 1/4" layer of plywood that can easily be replaced it it gets worn or damaged.

The fold down ramp will not close properly with the added layer of plywood. The plywood will cause a pressure point to occur on the weak hinge and cause a premature failure. You will need to add a door stop of some sort to take the stress of the hinge. I used the wheels you see as my door stop. The door stops actually support some of the weight of the folding ramp and greatly enhance the longevity of the piano hinge. The stops also prevent the fold down ramp from swinging back and forth when the door is closed and the truck is in motion.

Is anyone else this insanely analytical?

PlantscapeSolutions
05-17-2012, 06:51 AM
I think it is best just to build your own boxes and device for securing articulating trimmers and regular trimmers. The Echo trimmers do not like to be stored vertically and that is how many racks are designed. It's better to stores the trimmers horizontally.

It's really easy to build a box for the articulating trimmer head that is way better then anything you can buy. Pardon all the grass in the picture but the drive portion of the articulating trimmer really needs to be stored in a box to keep the drive shaft from sliding out.

PlantscapeSolutions
05-25-2012, 12:37 AM
I put my V-Ride tires on backwards to increase the offset by about 1" on each side. I'm planning on putting on some 2" +/- wider tires now to increase the footprint and decrease the pounds per square inch.

It's a joke that the 48" has 10.5" wide tires and the 36" has the 7" tires. The 48" only weighs about 80 lbs more but it's tires are 50% wider then the 36.Because the rims are only about 6" wide the tires actually only measure out to be about 6.25".

The first picture shows the wheels installed backwards with the spare next to it with the correct side out. You can see the difference in the offset. The tire offset do not extend out any further then the deck. New tires will extend out about 1" past the deck.

PlantscapeSolutions
06-10-2012, 01:35 AM
Here is part of an HOA property we've maintained four about five years. This place is deer central so you can't plant just anything. I've redone this planter twice. The shrubs in the middle are Little Leaf True Myrtles. I cut then back by about 40% before I took the picture so they are a little rough looking.

There is also a regular True Myrtle with a larger leaf that can get taller. Here in 2009 both types of True Myrtles did just fine when we had single digit temperatures.

For you Austin guys Far South is the only place you can get True Myrtles. This is a great plant that is relatively unknown to most landscapers.

KrayzKajun
06-10-2012, 09:07 AM
Nice work David.

ed2hess
06-10-2012, 04:04 PM
Here is part of an HOA property we've maintained four about five years. This place is deer central so you can't plant just anything. I've redone this planter twice. The shrubs in the middle are Little Leaf True Myrtles. I cut then back by about 40% before I took the picture so they are a little rough looking.

There is also a regular True Myrtle with a larger leaf that can get taller. Here in 2009 both types of True Myrtles did just fine when we had single digit temperatures.

For you Austin guys Far South is the only place you can get True Myrtles. This is a great plant that is relatively unknown to most landscapers.

Well that is really nice and the stone sets it off. We found out this year that those cora are definitely have a problem with same old disease. But on the beds where we put in new soil mix no problem.

PlantscapeSolutions
06-11-2012, 01:43 AM
Well that is really nice and the stone sets it off. We found out this year that those cora are definitely have a problem with same old disease. But on the beds where we put in new soil mix no problem.

All annuals have a veracious appetite for nutrients and well draining soil. The crap soil found in just about every landscape is chocolate loam (God forbid it's sandy loam which I call "red death"). For lawns chocolate loam works OK but in the beds I call it "chocolate death".

The fine clay particles are very small and allow very little space for the air roots need to breath. Add just a little water and all the air space is displaced and now the roots have no oxygen and many types of plants start to suffer.

The fungal infection that takes out the Vinca is an air born type of Phytophthora fungus. The Cora is immune to this but if they are planted in poor soil you may lose them to a soil born type of Phytophthora. Even in perfect soil the air born version of the fungus will clean house on common Vinca. I have seen the air born version of the fungal come into a growers production area and just clean house.

NewMowGuy
06-11-2012, 02:22 AM
Wow. Extremely impressed with the quality of the work your doing. It's giving me much needed inspiration for my next business venture. At the risk of sounding too nosey, would you be willing to divulge what your companies approximate profit margin is? Only reason I ask is because I would be extremely proud to own a business like the one you do, but I'd like to have an idea of where I would be at financially if I did.

Thanks! and keep up the great work.

PS : If not, no hard feelings. :)

PlantscapeSolutions
06-11-2012, 07:17 AM
Wow. Extremely impressed with the quality of the work your doing. It's giving me much needed inspiration for my next business venture. At the risk of sounding too nosey, would you be willing to divulge what your companies approximate profit margin is? Only reason I ask is because I would be extremely proud to own a business like the one you do, but I'd like to have an idea of where I would be at financially if I did.

Thanks! and keep up the great work.

PS : If not, no hard feelings. :)

I have three employees and have sales of $260K - $320K. If you pick the average of the two it would be fair to say I have a profit margin of 30%.

PlantscapeSolutions
06-13-2012, 10:17 AM
I thought I show you guys my oil change tricks that make the work less of a PIA.

The large flat oil change pans at the auto stores are messy to empty. Forget those things and throw them away. Your Finale or other 2.5 gallon herbicide jugs actually will hold three gallons.

The green tube you see is part of an oil change kit you can buy at Geno's Garage (http://www.genosgarage.com/EZ-CHANGE-DRAIN-PLUG-18MM-02-12/productinfo/EZ-DP-18MMPLA-DG/) online if your a Dodge guy. The second part of the kit is a plug and cap that replaces the OEM plug. All you have to do is remove the cap and the tube will screw right into the oil pan plug. I simply put the Finale jug under the oil pan and the oil shoots down the green tube into my jug. It can be windy as hell and you won't spill a drop.

I use a cut off plastic bottle to make removing the oil filter clean and spill free. I loosen up the filter by hand and then cup the filter with my cut off bottle and spin it the last little bit until the filter comes loose. If ant oil runs down the side of the filter it get captured by the cut off bottle.

Stay away from the Auto parts store filter. There have been stories of premium brand filters failing and clogging trucks oiling systems causing engine failures. Wix or Donaldson are the way to go. The Wix filter have a decent box you can use to hold the filter for pre filling.

The Schaeffer 9000 is about $22 a gallon and is full synthetic. It's better then the stuff you find at an auto parts place but not $35 a gallon like Amsoil which is good but I just can't see paying $125 for oil. Find out who your local Schaeffer rep is and you can buy the oil directly from them.

My truck is DPF deleted so I do not have to do the ECM determined oil changes that can be as short as 3500 miles on my 09'. The newer DEF using trucks probably go much further because there is probably no oil dilution going on like the pre DEF trucks.

Always make sure you do hot oil changes so any finite material in the oil pan will get washed out.

muddywater
06-14-2012, 08:44 AM
What do you use for your autocad? How much is it? How hard is it to get proficient? How long does a typical backyard design take to do? Once you are proficient, is it faster than hand drawing? What do you print it with? Or do you get it printed at a plan printing shop?
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PlantscapeSolutions
06-14-2012, 10:02 AM
What do you use for your autocad? How much is it? How hard is it to get proficient? How long does a typical backyard design take to do? Once you are proficient, is it faster than hand drawing? What do you print it with? Or do you get it printed at a plan printing shop?
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I used to be a draftsmen for two years and had two years of classes in AutoCAD before that. I have two versions of AutoCAD LT. I have 2008 and an earlier version. I can do things quicker in CAD they I could be hand. Plus making changes in CAD is neat and clean.

I was able to print 11x17 at my house but the new Microsoft software doesn't have the printer drivers to work with AutoCAD. Now I can only print 8.5X11. I could print else where on any size if I needed to.

I purchased AutoCAD 2008 on Amazon for about $800 a few years back.

PlantscapeSolutions
06-14-2012, 09:45 PM
I have now bent the ball socket on my second gooseneck hitch. This time I'm installing a Una-Goose. It's been tested for 30,000 lbs of downward pressure and 60,000 lbs of towing force. This seems to be the best hitch you can buy by far. You can see their info at http://www.una-goose.com/product.asp. With shipping I'm looking at $514.18.

PlantscapeSolutions
06-26-2012, 02:09 PM
Here is a shot of my front gooseneck support bar. It was bent down 1"

KrayzKajun
06-26-2012, 02:26 PM
wow!!!! that sucks! im so glad i listened to you and went with the bigger dump trailer. my 18fter is a life saver and makes for a great dumpster at my yard, when its not in use.

ed2hess
07-13-2012, 09:57 PM
Do you have any suggestion for a low end compost spreader? We have got to stop this spreading by hand. We want to add in our moisture manger product with compost. I remember you got some high end unit and we arean't ready for that.

PlantscapeSolutions
07-14-2012, 12:48 AM
wow!!!! that sucks! im so glad i listened to you and went with the bigger dump trailer. my 18fter is a life saver and makes for a great dumpster at my yard, when its not in use.

Did you ever install any air bags for towing?

SouthLouisianaGrassCutter
07-14-2012, 12:55 AM
I have now bent the ball socket on my second gooseneck hitch. This time I'm installing a Una-Goose. It's been tested for 30,000 lbs of downward pressure and 60,000 lbs of towing force. This seems to be the best hitch you can buy by far. You can see their info at http://www.una-goose.com/product.asp. With shipping I'm looking at $514.18.

What brand of hitch did you bend?

PlantscapeSolutions
07-14-2012, 01:14 AM
Do you have any suggestion for a low end compost spreader? We have got to stop this spreading by hand. We want to add in our moisture manger product with compost. I remember you got some high end unit and we arean't ready for that.

With compost spreaders there is really no low end units. It's go big and spend $5500 - $6000 or stick to shovels. A deck over dump trailer is really a must for loading as well. I'm the only one in town with the 20' dump trailer setup that works best. Emerald Lawns and The Dillo Dirt Company have Ecolawn or Earth & Turf machines but I think they both have compost delivered and shovel it into the unit which is a pretty high lift.