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larryinalabama
08-06-2011, 10:03 PM
How many fellers in here are 45 years or older? Im 46 and as much as I love this business my old body sometimes doesnt. I simply endure all the pain, and I also purchase any equiptment that makes life eaiser. Im posting this thred to share experiences and also to ask if you plan stay in lawncare unill retirement.

JB1
08-06-2011, 10:11 PM
50 here, thank god I have good workers.

RussellB
08-06-2011, 10:12 PM
Well I am 54, retired when I was 47 and purchased my business three years ago. Solo for the most part but sons help out on the larger jobs. Hoping one or both of them take over and build the business to what it could be. If not, I'll stick with it a few more years but for now the business has paid for my four wheelers and helped put my youngest though college.
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larryinalabama
08-06-2011, 10:24 PM
50 here, thank god I have good workers.

My uncle says you can do great work in your 50s, hope we can find out

larryinalabama
08-06-2011, 10:30 PM
Well I am 54, retired when I was 47 and purchased my business three years ago. Solo for the most part but sons help out on the larger jobs. Hoping one or both of them take over and build the business to what it could be. If not, I'll stick with it a few more years but for now the business has paid for my four wheelers and helped put my youngest though college.
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Ive taken my 6yr old with me the last 2 summers, mabey in 10 years
i
ll ride with him

shepoutside
08-06-2011, 10:37 PM
49 here, Daughters 16 & 21 staring to do more :)

larryinalabama
08-06-2011, 11:10 PM
49 here, Daughters 16 & 21 staring to do more :)

Mabey they will start their own lawn care business

grass-scapes
08-07-2011, 09:56 AM
46 here. No children that want to do ANYTHING in a field that has....gasp...physical labor involved.

Good workers are hard to find so my old body takes a beating. I'm trying to make it through this "recession" and then maybe sell. Id sell now if someone had any money...LOL.

zak406
08-07-2011, 12:24 PM
49 here, Daughters 16 & 21 staring to do more :)

Any chance for the 21 year olds number? :laugh::laugh:

larryinalabama
08-07-2011, 09:46 PM
Any chance for the 21 year olds number? :laugh::laugh:

Its in the barrell of the loaded shotgun the old man is holding

larryinalabama
08-07-2011, 10:01 PM
46 here. No children that want to do ANYTHING in a field that has....gasp...physical labor involved.

Good workers are hard to find so my old body takes a beating..

Yesterdau I got stung by a wasp and my whole arm is sweeled up, my knee is kiling me I think I have a bone spur in my foot. However most of my friends my age are over weight and have heart and blood pressure problems, so they exersise and go to the gym. Scedule your routes so that they are enjoyable and endure the pain. The non active approach to old age means trips to doctors gyms weight loos centers, they will all carge you dearly, while we actually make money running our businesses

Roger
08-07-2011, 10:48 PM
I will be 70 in September, and work hard six days each week. The body is fine, but perhaps not quite as fast as a few years ago. I know the body is not as flexible.

But, otherwise, I do fine, 8,10, and 12 hour days. Friday, for example, was about 10 hours, with temps topping out at 93-94. Just keep working, and keep drinking.

In 16 years, I've never missed a day of lawn work. Being blessed with good health, I missed only a few days of school, 1-12 (K did not exist in those days), and working for others, I only missed a few days over 35 years. I am an insurer's dream!

Having spoken about not being as fast, I hasten to add that I am more productive than at any time in the past 16 years. Speed isn't everything. I'm convinced that most people get out of the business before they learn how to do it. Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency, ....

If my productivity continues to get better, in 20 years, I will get all the work done without having to leave the house.:):)

larryinalabama
08-07-2011, 10:57 PM
I will be 70 in September, and work hard six days each week. The body is fine, but perhaps not quite as fast as a few years ago. I know the body is not as flexible.

But, otherwise, I do fine, 8,10, and 12 hour days. Friday, for example, was about 10 hours, with temps topping out at 93-94. Just keep working, and keep drinking.

In 16 years, I've never missed a day of lawn work. Being blessed with good health, I missed only a few days of school, 1-12 (K did not exist in those days), and working for others, I only missed a few days over 35 years. I am an insurer's dream!

Having spoken about not being as fast, I hasten to add that I am more productive than at any time in the past 16 years. Speed isn't everything. I'm convinced that most people get out of the business before they learn how to do it. Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency, ....

If my productivity continues to get better, in 20 years, I will get all the work done without having to leave the house.:):)

Roger you are my hero, I also hope to be in businees at 70 if actually make it that long.

shepoutside
08-07-2011, 11:07 PM
Any chance for the 21 year olds number? :laugh::laugh:

1-800-not-a-chance :nono:

zak406
08-07-2011, 11:20 PM
1-800-not-a-chance :nono:

For some reason the call did not go through, haha jk Btw im 21 not 40 lol :usflag::usflag:

hackitdown
08-08-2011, 08:42 AM
I'm 48, started doing this at 40 (not counting back in the '70s mowing neighbors lawns). I'm trying to scale back on the actual work, and shifting my hours to employees. I'm trying to spend my time on sales, maintaining equipment, marketing, and my kids. I plan to run this business right through retirement, maybe until I die.

txgrassguy
08-08-2011, 09:07 AM
I'm 48 - been in this business over twenty years now. My main foreman has been with me almost eleven years now. Between the two of us we cannot keep reliable labor simply due to our work ethic.
No worries as he and I are handling essentially everything now - being bought out in Oct time frame so we are good until then.

Wayne 55
08-08-2011, 10:13 PM
I'm 56 been doing this sense the age of 7. Yes 7! My father started the business in the early 60's full time. During the summer when not in school I went with him on jobs doing what I could. During the school year I spent time both on the job after school hours and working at home taking care of the plants, shrubs and trees. As I got older I was doing more and expected to do it also. Still at 56 I enjoy this work. Not a lot of the crap that goes with earning a living at it but the work itself. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing the fruits of your labor years after it has been completed and still looking as good as the day you completed it. To this day 2 to 3 times a week I pass my fathers very first job he ever did nothing changed except of course the plantings are bigger but the stone work he did still stands and so does the flag stone patio. Dads long gone 26 years now but his work still lives on. My work has somewhat changed but still Landscaping plays a huge roll in it every day. I've been involved more in commercial work but the roots of those early days still run deep. I've seen lots of changes in the racket some good some Oh well I'll leave that alone for sake of argument. Maybe someday I indulge on it somewhat for the heck of it.

larryinalabama
08-08-2011, 10:27 PM
I'm 56 been doing this sense the age of 7. Yes 7! My father started the business in the early 60's full time. During the summer when not in school I went with him on jobs doing what I could. During the school year I spent time both on the job after school hours and working at home taking care of the plants, shrubs and trees. As I got older I was doing more and expected to do it also. Still at 56 I enjoy this work. Not a lot of the crap that goes with earning a living at it but the work itself. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing the fruits of your labor years after it has been completed and still looking as good as the day you completed it. To this day 2 to 3 times a week I pass my fathers very first job he ever did nothing changed except of course the plantings are bigger but the stone work he did still stands and so does the flag stone patio. Dads long gone 26 years now but his work still lives on. My work has somewhat changed but still Landscaping plays a huge roll in it every day. I've been involved more in commercial work but the roots of those early days still run deep. I've seen lots of changes in the racket some good some Oh well I'll leave that alone for sake of argument. Maybe someday I indulge on it somewhat for the heck of it.


Wayne you have a Heart of Gold. Thanks so much for the input. You are truley blessed of the world your Father left to you as well as others. This business is my passion, and its great to see that your passion was handed down from your Father.

Thanks again hope you will post alot here as you may be the most experienced Man Lawnsite has ever had.

David Haggerty
08-09-2011, 08:55 AM
Do this 'till I retire? Noo.... I'm going to work long past retirement. I'm going to "retire" in 28 days when I turn 65 and start to draw social security. Then I'll put the business in my wife's name and build up her social security till she turns 65 in ten years.

What else would I do with myself? Sit on the couch? My idea of a day off is to go for a bicycle ride or paddle my kayak. But nobody PAYS me to do those things.

I started mowing in my late 30's 'cause the kids were calling me "the Pillsbury doughboy"! My bloodpressure & cholesterol were off the charts. It took 30 years to get into shape. I'm in better condition today than I've ever been.

I used to have a helper but I'm a firm believer in "If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself".

My toughest day is when I mow Timbertech. It's about 30 acres, and takes 7 hours of sitting on the mower. I'm glad to find a piece of trash so I can jump off of the mower and stretch a little. I've been mowing that same lawn for 30 years, back to when Cincinnati Milacron owned the property. The little 7 to 8 acre lawns are easy. A little trimming & edging break up the monotony.

People ask me "don't you hate having to get up and go to work every day?" I answer "No, the day I'll hate is when I CAN'T get up and go to work!"

Roger
08-09-2011, 09:13 AM
.... "No, the day I'll hate is when I CAN'T get up and go to work!"


What he said...

Perhaps your perspective aligns with mine because we see friends our own age who have great health problems, "... can't get up ...." All the minor ailments and aches of the 30s, 40s, and 50s are trivial when stacked up against those who are unable to do the simplest of tasks. Far too many folks of younger ages takes their health as a given, do foolish things, don't care for themselves, make stupid decisions about eating, drinking, use of substances, etc. to understand what lies ahead in older ages.

Wayne 55
08-09-2011, 10:03 AM
Wayne you have a Heart of Gold. Thanks so much for the input. You are truley blessed of the world your Father left to you as well as others. This business is my passion, and its great to see that your passion was handed down from your Father.

Thanks again hope you will post alot here as you may be the most experienced Man Lawnsite has ever had.


Thanks Larry what you said means a lot!


Well Larry I can say you are off to a good start. You need passion for this business. Yes its about making money but you also have to thrive to want your work to outshine others. Don't settle for second best when you do a job for your customers. Gain knowledge any way you can then put it to work for you.

People complain about the work force of today. No good help out there to choose from. Well it was no different back then. You have to weed through help till the right people come along. And there is good help out there you just need to find it. When you do you need to take care of it too. Just think of the time you spent looking or training for that one person.

Most of what I have seen in this industry is no different from years back. When times are tough people come out from the woodwork to do this same jobs we do without passion or any knowledge of proper ways of maintaining a private home. This has made this industry stagnant for pricing jobs. But if you are not a weekend warrior and spent the time working at your business developing a solid customer base and giving the customer not what they want but more. Then you have IMO made it. I see on this site too many cutting their profits for a job here and there. If your work deserves the original price you figured and the quality of work you do justifies it. Then leave that price alone. Just because some other company can beat it doesn't mean you need to drop to that level. If you have the experiance needed in this business to do the jobs right then that experiance is worth something also! Why would you lower yourself to the inexperianced companies prices to get a job? In all due time those companies are gone but your left still competeing with the wages they try to force on you. Don't ever sell yourself short!

One example I see is the rates of mowing. These prices are the same as we got if not less 30+ years ago. I don't care where your from North South East West, Equipment cost has quadrupled but the rates are the same. Basing now off the 60.00 a hr rule (same as we got in the 70's). Not that this isn't somewhat a bad thought but. If your work deserves more then charge it. Our customer base grew as our prices went up. Believe it or not its true. But then again we also gave a better product than others. While many in the area mowed lawns with either standard rotary mowers or commercial machines such as Buntons, Goodalls or Yazoo's we used a different approach of mowing with Reels. Lockes to be more specific. In its hey day those machines gave the customer a manicured lawn only seen on golf courses. For us it was a money maker in more ways than one. Two 75" machines on a Acre lot we were in and out in in under 20 min. It might not sound like much today with the Z turns and such used now days but I would put the end results against any machine of today and show you why we did what we did then. Maintenance to those reels were nothing either. Back lapping or grinding was done by us a couple hours of work put them in tip top shape. All again for another story.

One thing I will say we never did and that's advertising. Not once did we have to run ads or fliers or post signs on jobs. Most our work and customers were from word of mouth. Some came from people who stopped by as we worked and asked for a price quote. This is where we could jump the price somewhat. Feel them out see if they bite and never sell YOUR product or price short. Remember they asked you. And for a reason, eye appeal! If your jobs finished product is worthy of the price you charge with profits you expect even a little more then get it.