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GrasGuru
07-30-2011, 04:35 PM
Hello, I have been in the lawn biz for years and have been succesful with this as an owner/operator. I have a golden opportunity to get into ROW and wonder if there are any out there that do this as a second business and if so, does it seem to be lucrative??

Ric
07-30-2011, 05:26 PM
Hello, I have been in the lawn biz for years and have been succesful with this as an owner/operator. I have a golden opportunity to get into ROW and wonder if there are any out there that do this as a second business and if so, does it seem to be lucrative??

ROW Right Of Way???


Many many years ago I heard of a Road and Right away contract for $ 100K a year and darn near busted my hump getting all the information. Then I saw it worked out $ 10.00 an acre to not only mow but pick up all the trash people threw out of their cars etc. Of course the acre wasn't Square but rather long and slim with lots of signs etc to weed eat around.

GrasGuru
07-30-2011, 05:31 PM
ROW Right Of Way???


Many many years ago I heard of a Road and Right away contract for $ 100K a year and darn near busted my hump getting all the information. Then I saw it worked out $ 10.00 an acre to not only mow but pick up all the trash people threw out of their cars etc. Of course the acre wasn't Square but rather long and slim with lots of signs etc to weed eat around.

No, not mow---spray. Total Vegetation Control. Right-Of-Way

Ric
07-30-2011, 06:14 PM
No, not mow---spray. Total Vegetation Control. Right-Of-Way

OK I was talking ROADS and you are talking RR and power line Right of way???? De Anglo Brothers Hazelton Pa are the biggest contractor of ROW.

http://www.dbiservices.com/

howierd3866
07-30-2011, 09:18 PM
no he's talking about spraying along the ROW (right of way) no mowing at all....I belive as long as it ROW spraying its a easlier license that the others...

Ric
07-30-2011, 09:36 PM
no he's talking about spraying along the ROW (right of way) no mowing at all....I belive as long as it ROW spraying its a easlier license that the others...

Howierd

Here in Florida it is a 50 Question multiply guess test taken at your local extension office for Free. That license is a Chapter 487 Bureau of Compliance Monitoring or Agriculture type license that costs $ 300 for 4 years and doesn't require insurance. Chapter 483 or Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control is the mac daddy licensing agency that does Horticulture Structural and Termite licenses

GrasGuru
07-31-2011, 12:50 AM
I should have explained better. I believe this will be mostly short track vegetation control from the main line RR to mfg facilities. I'm scheduled to have lunch with a man who did this for 20+ years on Monday. He just retired last year and still has all of his contacts and one of the trucks he used. Like I said, it seems like it could be a golden opportunity. Lots of details to be worked out though. I just wanted to get some opinions from those who might have experience in this area.

Ric
07-31-2011, 10:38 AM
I should have explained better. I believe this will be mostly short track vegetation control from the main line RR to mfg facilities. I'm scheduled to have lunch with a man who did this for 20+ years on Monday. He just retired last year and still has all of his contacts and one of the trucks he used. Like I said, it seems like it could be a golden opportunity. Lots of details to be worked out though. I just wanted to get some opinions from those who might have experience in this area.

Gras

I am real surprised the De Anglo Brothers don't already have that contract or that your friend beat them out for that many years. But this could be one of those areas where the little guy can do it cheaper than the big boy with overhead.

Any time you can find that Niche Market it can be very lucrative. Of course you must pick and chose the right Niche.

Heavyduty1
07-31-2011, 06:43 PM
I should have explained better. I believe this will be mostly short track vegetation control from the main line RR to mfg facilities. I'm scheduled to have lunch with a man who did this for 20+ years on Monday. He just retired last year and still has all of his contacts and one of the trucks he used. Like I said, it seems like it could be a golden opportunity. Lots of details to be worked out though. I just wanted to get some opinions from those who might have experience in this area.

Wow, sounds like you need to follow this through. It would be nice if you could pick up all the old equipment and the information on contracts is priceless.

I think ALOT of big companys subcontract for Asplundh, who control ROW contracts from Canada, US and Mexico. Don't know if they are the biggest ROW world wide but they are close to it. First time I saw those orange trucks I thought they were some fly by night company, I know better now. :hammerhead:

GreenCare Consulting
08-02-2011, 03:20 PM
ROW can be profitable, but you will need to have license category for it, some equipment, and maybe insurance. Also, the chemicals are different from the lawn chemicals if you want to do a good job. There is longer residual also, and a lot more applicator exposure and negative emotion around it. RR tracks would be a good place to work, since you will be out of sight for the most part. But, you know, if you kill an acre of brush for a cell phone tower some concerned citizen is going to call someone, and you better be sure you have your application records right when they do.

Hope this helps!

GC

Ric
08-02-2011, 05:11 PM
Howierd

Here in Florida it is a 50 Question multiply guess test taken at your local extension office for Free. That license is a Chapter 487 Bureau of Compliance Monitoring or Agriculture type license that costs $ 300 for 4 years and doesn't require insurance. Chapter 483 or Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control is the mac daddy licensing agency that does Horticulture Structural and Termite licenses


I have started a few thread on Niche Markets but ROW and Aquatics are two big ones here in Florida that have Multimillion dollar companies competing. Licensing isn't a problem, just about any one can pass the simple tests and there is no requirement or cost to sit for them. But the Big Boys spend a lot of time vining and dinning to get the big contracts. I have both the ROW and Aquatic as well as a few more Chapter 487 licenses and they all only cost me $ 300 once every 4 years. BTW I just re-test every 4 years rather than take the CEU. The tests are super easy and FREE to take. My current License expires on June 30 2012. I can retest any time now and my Test score is good for one year until I pay the License fee.

Other Chapter 487 licenses have most to do with Agriculture. Custom applications or "CARE TAKERS" as they are popularly called. Once again these jobs are more about knowing your stuff being able to sell than getting the simple License.

One Market I was thinking the ROW license would cover was Parking lot weed spraying. I was thinking add that to a Limited License and you would be golden. But my local inspector said people would need a Chapter 482 L&O Licenses and a ROW license to be totally legal.



..

Heavyduty1
08-02-2011, 07:58 PM
ROW can be profitable, but you will need to have license category for it, some equipment, and maybe insurance. Also, the chemicals are different from the lawn chemicals if you want to do a good job. There is longer residual also, and a lot more applicator exposure and negative emotion around it. RR tracks would be a good place to work, since you will be out of sight for the most part. But, you know, if you kill an acre of brush for a cell phone tower some concerned citizen is going to call someone, and you better be sure you have your application records right when they do.

Hope this helps!

GC

Good advice. One local company that sprays ROW's for elec lines has fines every month for improper use of a pesticide. If they are making good money, the fines might be a calculated risk they are willing to take.:drinkup:

GrasGuru
08-03-2011, 12:15 AM
I thought I might share with you folks how my lunch/meeting went yesterday. We met for lunch and made small talk about how each of us started out. This man has a Masters degree in agronomy from LSU. Right out of school he went to work for Monsanto as a Research Agronomist. After a few years he decided that he would start a LC company in this area. He worked up to about 300 clients. Along with his lawn clients, he began doing fencelines, commercial lots and typical bare ground work locally. These were generally smaller jobs that would most often pay the same day and he liked this. He picked up more and more of this type business and gradually let lawn clients go. He still had contacts from his days with Monsanto and they put him in touch with a couple of larger companies. Weyerhauser being one of them. At the time Weyerhauser also owned a couple of small RR lines as well as lumber Mills. Word of mouth spread. By this time lawn clients had gone by the wayside. He also actively called on smaller RR owners(150-200 mile tracks). He showed me a book that he used that listed these potential clients with Names, phone#s, addresses, etc. He said at the time, this book could be purchased for around $200. All RR operators are provided with this book each year. After his initial purchase of the book, he usually just got a last years copy from one of his clients after that. In his hayday he was covering an 8 state area from Alabama to eastern Texas and was grossing 6-700K per year with 50-100 clients. One of his clients grossed hime 100k/year. The downfall for me was the 8 state area. He was usually gone most if not all week and home on weekends. This is not a lifestyle I want to lead, I don't care how good the money is. I have kids and do not want to miss seeing them grow up. If I were single or married with no kids and my wife could hit the road with me it might be different. I spent about 4 hrs with the man. He gave me a tour of his shop, showed me one of his application trucks he used for the railways that he still has and we talked for a couple of hours about products and techniques used as well as differences and similarities between what he did and what I presently do. The long and the short of it is, I learned quite a bit from this man in just a few short hours. It was an eye opening experience to say the least. I see that his particular path is not the one I wish to take but I also saw that there is lots of potential for extra income in this area of expertise. Sorry to be so long winded but I thought some of you might be interested. It was interesting for me.

Ric
08-03-2011, 11:40 AM
I thought I might share with you folks how my lunch/meeting went yesterday. We met for lunch and made small talk about how each of us started out. This man has a Masters degree in agronomy from LSU. Right out of school he went to work for Monsanto as a Research Agronomist. After a few years he decided that he would start a LC company in this area. He worked up to about 300 clients. Along with his lawn clients, he began doing fencelines, commercial lots and typical bare ground work locally. These were generally smaller jobs that would most often pay the same day and he liked this. He picked up more and more of this type business and gradually let lawn clients go. He still had contacts from his days with Monsanto and they put him in touch with a couple of larger companies. Weyerhauser being one of them. At the time Weyerhauser also owned a couple of small RR lines as well as lumber Mills. Word of mouth spread. By this time lawn clients had gone by the wayside. He also actively called on smaller RR owners(150-200 mile tracks). He showed me a book that he used that listed these potential clients with Names, phone#s, addresses, etc. He said at the time, this book could be purchased for around $200. All RR operators are provided with this book each year. After his initial purchase of the book, he usually just got a last years copy from one of his clients after that. In his hayday he was covering an 8 state area from Alabama to eastern Texas and was grossing 6-700K per year with 50-100 clients. One of his clients grossed hime 100k/year. The downfall for me was the 8 state area. He was usually gone most if not all week and home on weekends. This is not a lifestyle I want to lead, I don't care how good the money is. I have kids and do not want to miss seeing them grow up. If I were single or married with no kids and my wife could hit the road with me it might be different. I spent about 4 hrs with the man. He gave me a tour of his shop, showed me one of his application trucks he used for the railways that he still has and we talked for a couple of hours about products and techniques used as well as differences and similarities between what he did and what I presently do. The long and the short of it is, I learned quite a bit from this man in just a few short hours. It was an eye opening experience to say the least. I see that his particular path is not the one I wish to take but I also saw that there is lots of potential for extra income in this area of expertise. Sorry to be so long winded but I thought some of you might be interested. It was interesting for me.


GrasGuru

Sorry it didn't work out for you. But very interesting and proof there are many niche market out there besides Fine Turf and Ornamental. Kind of what I was leading up to in my above post about Chapter 487 licensing here in Florida.

But I think you also are making a point about how CONNECTIONS and MARKETING an idea is the major hurdle, not the Licensing. If in fact you have an Idea and can sell it, you can always hire a licensed person to do Technical support. What your guy is selling is Income from his connections and Marketing which has a track record.

Case in point about Marketing an Idea. Chemical Mowing is the application of PGR so grass does not have to be mowed every week of even every Month. The State of Florida is starting to chemical mow Hwy ROW. But I have approached both local City and County years ago with no luck in selling the Idea even showing 6 figure saving a year on several different contracts. Even Industry parks and large estates have not been receptive to Chemical mowing. But it isn't my marketing because their are others trying to sell the Idea with out success also. It is very frustrating to of perfected chemical mowing and have no market for it. If you can sell it I can supply the starting Technical help.

Heavyduty1
08-03-2011, 05:06 PM
GrasGuru

Sorry it didn't work out for you. But very interesting and proof there are many niche market out there besides Fine Turf and Ornamental. Kind of what I was leading up to in my above post about Chapter 487 licensing here in Florida.

But I think you also are making a point about how CONNECTIONS and MARKETING an idea is the major hurdle, not the Licensing. If in fact you have an Idea and can sell it, you can always hire a licensed person to do Technical support. What your guy is selling is Income from his connections and Marketing which has a track record.

Case in point about Marketing an Idea. Chemical Mowing is the application of PGR so grass does not have to be mowed every week of even every Month. The State of Florida is starting to chemical mow Hwy ROW. But I have approached both local City and County years ago with no luck in selling the Idea even showing 6 figure saving a year on several different contracts. Even Industry parks and large estates have not been receptive to Chemical mowing. But it isn't my marketing because their are others trying to sell the Idea with out success also. It is very frustrating to of perfected chemical mowing and have no market for it. If you can sell it I can supply the starting Technical help.

Ric, what does the state of Forida use to spray the HWY ROW with?

I've seen 2 ton flatbed trucks with huge sprayer tanks spraying the HWY ROW here last year but have no idea what's was being sprayed.

Heavyduty1
08-03-2011, 05:17 PM
I thought I might share with you folks how my lunch/meeting went yesterday. We met for lunch and made small talk about how each of us started out. This man has a Masters degree in agronomy from LSU. Right out of school he went to work for Monsanto as a Research Agronomist. After a few years he decided that he would start a LC company in this area. He worked up to about 300 clients. Along with his lawn clients, he began doing fencelines, commercial lots and typical bare ground work locally. These were generally smaller jobs that would most often pay the same day and he liked this. He picked up more and more of this type business and gradually let lawn clients go. He still had contacts from his days with Monsanto and they put him in touch with a couple of larger companies. Weyerhauser being one of them. At the time Weyerhauser also owned a couple of small RR lines as well as lumber Mills. Word of mouth spread. By this time lawn clients had gone by the wayside. He also actively called on smaller RR owners(150-200 mile tracks). He showed me a book that he used that listed these potential clients with Names, phone#s, addresses, etc. He said at the time, this book could be purchased for around $200. All RR operators are provided with this book each year. After his initial purchase of the book, he usually just got a last years copy from one of his clients after that. In his hayday he was covering an 8 state area from Alabama to eastern Texas and was grossing 6-700K per year with 50-100 clients. One of his clients grossed hime 100k/year. The downfall for me was the 8 state area. He was usually gone most if not all week and home on weekends. This is not a lifestyle I want to lead, I don't care how good the money is. I have kids and do not want to miss seeing them grow up. If I were single or married with no kids and my wife could hit the road with me it might be different. I spent about 4 hrs with the man. He gave me a tour of his shop, showed me one of his application trucks he used for the railways that he still has and we talked for a couple of hours about products and techniques used as well as differences and similarities between what he did and what I presently do. The long and the short of it is, I learned quite a bit from this man in just a few short hours. It was an eye opening experience to say the least. I see that his particular path is not the one I wish to take but I also saw that there is lots of potential for extra income in this area of expertise. Sorry to be so long winded but I thought some of you might be interested. It was interesting for me.


Thanks, for sharing the details of the meeting. Don't know your exact family situation but It would be nice to make that kind of money for a few years, then you could sell and get out.

I've passed on a contract in the 60-80k range, due to a family sickness but 700k is a lot of cheese. :laugh:

Ric
08-03-2011, 07:51 PM
Ric, what does the state of Forida use to spray the HWY ROW with?

I've seen 2 ton flatbed trucks with huge sprayer tanks spraying the HWY ROW here last year but have no idea what's was being sprayed.

Heavy

There are also Aquatic ROW contracts to keep drainage open. In fact they can be very big buck contracts in some cases.

Google "Diamond Wet Blades" to see the special Equipment used. These type of Applicators generally use Non Persistent Amino Acid Inhibitors type herbicides.

Part of competitive nature of these contract, the Specs require only those with Million dollar contract experiences with the State or local counties can bid these larger jobs. While I am not sure this is legal, I am not going to spend the money on Lawyers to fight it.

Heavyduty1
08-03-2011, 09:45 PM
Heavy

There are also Aquatic ROW contracts to keep drainage open. In fact they can be very big buck contracts in some cases.

Google "Diamond Wet Blades" to see the special Equipment used. These type of Applicators generally use Non Persistent Amino Acid Inhibitors type herbicides.

Part of competitive nature of these contract, the Specs require only those with Million dollar contract experiences with the State or local counties can bid these larger jobs. While I am not sure this is legal, I am not going to spend the money on Lawyers to fight it.

When you said chem mowing I thought you where talking about spaying something that would slow the growth rate down, which would require less mechanical mowing.

Yeah, I've seen some custom made contract specs before, It keeps the little guy out. Then when you get the million contract exp they change it to 2 million.:drinkup:

Ric
08-03-2011, 09:59 PM
When you said chem mowing I thought you where talking about spaying something that would slow the growth rate down, which would require less mechanical mowing.

Yeah, I've seen some custom made contract specs before, It keeps the little guy out. Then when you get the million contract exp they change it to 2 million.:drinkup:

heavy

That would be a good definition of Chemical Mowing. I mowed my own yard 8 times last year and it was never higher than 6 inches. I guess because I only said the type and not the brand name of the PGR you miss understood.

GrasGuru
08-03-2011, 10:29 PM
GrasGuru

Sorry it didn't work out for you. But very interesting and proof there are many niche market out there besides Fine Turf and Ornamental. Kind of what I was leading up to in my above post about Chapter 487 licensing here in Florida.

But I think you also are making a point about how CONNECTIONS and MARKETING an idea is the major hurdle, not the Licensing. If in fact you have an Idea and can sell it, you can always hire a licensed person to do Technical support. What your guy is selling is Income from his connections and Marketing which has a track record.

Case in point about Marketing an Idea. Chemical Mowing is the application of PGR so grass does not have to be mowed every week of even every Month. The State of Florida is starting to chemical mow Hwy ROW. But I have approached both local City and County years ago with no luck in selling the Idea even showing 6 figure saving a year on several different contracts. Even Industry parks and large estates have not been receptive to Chemical mowing. But it isn't my marketing because their are others trying to sell the Idea with out success also. It is very frustrating to of perfected chemical mowing and have no market for it. If you can sell it I can supply the starting Technical help.

Actually, in a way, it did work out for me. Like I said before, it was an eye opening experience for me. I learned much from him in a short amount of time and it's given me some ideas on a more localized plan of attack for generating more income for my own business. He really wasn't looking to sell,(Maybe some of the equipment). He was more looking for the right person to train and take over. He had some long time large clients(one of them 18 yrs) that begged him not to retire. They told him if he could find the right person to take it over they would be very interested. Quality work kept him in repeat contracts for many yrs.

Ric, what does the state of Forida use to spray the HWY ROW with?

I've seen 2 ton flatbed trucks with huge sprayer tanks spraying the HWY ROW here last year but have no idea what's was being sprayed.

This is what this guy had. 1700 gal tank with nozzles pointing in different directions on the back of the truck. 20 hp motor/pump for using T-jet tree gun with hose. He could spray 80-90 ft and hit most areas of RR crossings from the platform on the truck with the T-jet gun. Electric controls for nozzles in the cab of the truck. Gizmos everywhere

White Gardens
08-03-2011, 10:40 PM
Thanks, for sharing the details of the meeting. Don't know your exact family situation but It would be nice to make that kind of money for a few years, then you could sell and get out.

I've passed on a contract in the 60-80k range, due to a family sickness but 700k is a lot of cheese. :laugh:

Ya, and you could hire one or two guys to go do some of the route so you wouldn't be gone all week.

...

GrasGuru
08-03-2011, 10:50 PM
Ya, and you could hire one or two guys to go do some of the route so you wouldn't be gone all week.

...

The last few years he was only doing about 300K(he cut down the area he was covering as he got older) and had a couple of guys that helped him. When he was doing 6-700K he had 6 guys helping. This was seasonal work also. He worked from about mid march to no later than Oct 1. He was at home between these times. Seasonal work meant seasonal help which meant many times the same personnel were not there the following season. I'm sure he had to train new people all the time. As we all know, finding people that will do quality work can be difficult and rarely is this business a "cake walk".