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View Full Version : Honda Civic Winter Rig... 35MPG check it out


Oasis360
11-18-2011, 01:04 PM
I have a medium-sized Ford Ranger that I use for most of the year's yard cleanups / maintenance, which works great for what I ask of it... My idea is that since Winter is here and I am going to try and make most of my services revolve around my Pressure Washer, why couldn't I use my 91 Honda Civic Sedan to cart the pressure washer around in and do only ground level work on Fences, Decks, Concrete, and Patio Furniture??? It gets 30-35MPG and this would allow me to spread my service radius out to almost 40 miles, and the cost effectiveness with fuel savings would really look nice on profits as well...

Winter is slow, and driving the Ranger @ 15MPG just isn't very cost effective for one-time jobs like Pressure Washing. I just did a Full-Tuneup on the Civic as well so using it would allow me to do seasonal repairs on the Ford and maybe even get it ready to be sold, as I plan on upgrading to either a Straight 6 300CID F-250 or a Diesel F-250 for next Spring.

As far as professional image is concerned, I have Magnet-Logo's that can be transferred from the Ranger to the Civic (they don't look all that out of place either) and both vehicles are registered to my business... Has anyone ever done this before??? It seems like a great idea, as the pressure washing equipment doesn't weigh all that much and is fairly compact.

Let me know what you all think, I appreciate all the feedback I can get as I am new to FT Career Landscaping

unkownfl
11-18-2011, 02:06 PM
I have a medium-sized Ford Ranger that I use for most of the year's yard cleanups / maintenance, which works great for what I ask of it... My idea is that since Winter is here and I am going to try and make most of my services revolve around my Pressure Washer, why couldn't I use my 91 Honda Civic Sedan to cart the pressure washer around in and do only ground level work on Fences, Decks, Concrete, and Patio Furniture??? It gets 30-35MPG and this would allow me to spread my service radius out to almost 40 miles, and the cost effectiveness with fuel savings would really look nice on profits as well...

Winter is slow, and driving the Ranger @ 15MPG just isn't very cost effective for one-time jobs like Pressure Washing. I just did a Full-Tuneup on the Civic as well so using it would allow me to do seasonal repairs on the Ford and maybe even get it ready to be sold, as I plan on upgrading to either a Straight 6 300CID F-250 or a Diesel F-250 for next Spring.

As far as professional image is concerned, I have Magnet-Logo's that can be transferred from the Ranger to the Civic (they don't look all that out of place either) and both vehicles are registered to my business... Has anyone ever done this before??? It seems like a great idea, as the pressure washing equipment doesn't weigh all that much and is fairly compact.

Let me know what you all think, I appreciate all the feedback I can get as I am new to FT Career Landscaping

I think you could end up leaving money on the table. Say said customer needs other work done that you can't perform with such civic or you don't have all the equipment to perform a task not spoken about before hand. Sounds like you're a handyman, pressure washer, and landscaper doing this out of a civic doesn't seem smart. I know fuel is a cost but it should be in your bid. IMHO I would focus on selling more and making a dollar rather than saving a nickle.

KrayzKajun
11-18-2011, 02:30 PM
So who's gunna run yur business when u die from inhaling fumes from gas cans etc... With the heater on when its 30deg outside ????
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Patriot Services
11-18-2011, 02:30 PM
A real pressure washer doesn't fit in a Civic.
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KrayzKajun
11-18-2011, 02:35 PM
A real pressure washer doesn't fit in a Civic.
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GOOD POINT! most are the size of a civic!:laugh:

Exact Rototilling
11-18-2011, 04:59 PM
It kinda doesn't look to great. I have a nice looking 98 Civic hatch back that I use for.estimates and.such. Hopefully I will never have to put my Ybravo 25 in the back of.the hatch with a trimmer and hand blower. I have a back.up tow.vehicle in case.my truck.is.ever.down.

Try to combine.trips.as.much.as.possible...use the truck.
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mowerbrad
11-18-2011, 07:39 PM
I don't think it would be a problem to use the civic on occasion when you are fixing something on your truck, if you are getting it ready to be sold/traded-in this spring. I would try and use the truck for the most part.

A truck is just so much more practical and definately projects a more professional image. With the pick-up you are able to carry most tools that you may need for the day without having to drive back to the customer's place again after going home to get the proper equipment.

Like I said, if you use the civic only when your truck is down and getting fixed, I think you could make it work. But I wouldn't make the civic your main vehicle this winter.

Darryl G
11-18-2011, 07:55 PM
I didn't realize pressure washing was a winter business. Where do you get your water from....don't people turn their outdoor spigots off for winter? Frozen hoses, water on decks and sidewalks that can freeze and create a slip/fall hazard. And what happens to your pressure washer if it freezes? I know it's not real cold there but I thought it regularly got down to freezing in the winter.

What am I missing here?

Oasis360
11-19-2011, 01:32 AM
Good point about the fumes from the pressure washer fuel... I really didn't think too much about that, or the fact that outside water lines may not be accessible. I'm really trying to get the ranger sold ASAP to upgrade to a larger truck like an F250 or an open box-bed truck (dumper without the dumping mechanism). I can use the ranger for basic jobs and the Civic for my bidding & miscellaneous maintenance instead, that way saving myself the hassles of loading / unloading the car.

So is pressure washing a viable business in the winter? I know we get more rain than anything here, so mold & mildew become more prevalent.

THIESSENS TLC
11-19-2011, 07:57 AM
If your tryin to save money on gas now, what do you think your gas bill will be like with an F-250?
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BCL Services
11-19-2011, 07:59 AM
Yikes!!!!!

Oasis360
11-19-2011, 02:15 PM
Well the problem I have with my Ranger is that it won't handle a large load very well (over 1200lbs), and there isn't all that much room for larger yard debris (cut branches, twigs, bramble) in the bed. What I want is a truck that I can have 7-8 yards of bark mulch loaded into one trip, also the ability to drive around all day doing my yard cleanups and not have to unload the debris until the end of the day. :cry:
I've seen trucks like these at the local auto auction for around a grand; they are essentially a single cab dually flatbed (8 ft x 10 ft) with 6-8 foot sides & a gate attached to the 'debris' area. It's like a dump truck without the dumping mechanism. I can't afford a dump truck, with cash or credit, so creative loading / unloading in a truck like I mentioned above seems to be the ticket to greater productivity. I can settle for 10-12 MPG if I know I can do jobs all day and not have to unload... I figure I could get away with 8,000-10,000 lbs loads every once in a while too :weightlifter:

GreenI.A.
11-19-2011, 05:58 PM
. I can settle for 10-12 MPG if I know I can do jobs all day and not have to unload... I figure I could get away with 8,000-10,000 lbs loads every once in a while too :weightlifter:

I just replaced my f250 gas, 10-12 mogs was when it was empty. Trailer or weight in the back and it would drop to the 8-9 range

Oasis360
11-19-2011, 08:36 PM
What about a Diesel F250 (either the 6.9 or 7.3 international, not turbo powerstroke) with the bed ripped off and a custom made 8x10 box with 6foot sides on it? I really want to ability to haul massive amounts of debris (not heavy material), and deliver bark mulch, soil, and gravel to clients. There are a lot of diesels for sale at auction in the 800-1200 range and I am starting with my own dollar without financing.

I am eventually going to be purchasing a used dump truck for my long term career plans of owning a T190 bobcat and doing demolition / excavation work. I figure the non dumper style debris-box truck would be great for breaking into this niche, without having to finance or incur debt.

larryinalabama
11-19-2011, 09:25 PM
Several year ago I posted a thred about my pink tercel. I still have it and still use it for my estamate vehicle.

When I had my business in So California in the late 80s early 90s I regurally saw a feller with a SMALL HONDA towing a small trailer, he showed up in the neighbooorhood the same time I was there every week so Im guessing he was successful. Not all of us have 60K new ford f450s deisels, and not all of us are deeply in debt.

Oasis360
11-19-2011, 10:57 PM
A small trailer for my Civic would be enough to specialize in all aspects of pressure washing & fence/deck weatherization. I have experience as a painter and gained skills pressure washing houses, concrete, and wooden decks when I painted for a living a few years back.

I don't want to buy a huge pressure washing trailer and do this as a long term career, by any means. I just want to get into a niche and operate as efficiently as possible funneling almost all revenue back into my long term business goal. The Civic is rated to tow 1000lbs and it does have a brake upgrade (integra 9.5" rear disc brakes and 10.5" front discs all cross drilled & slotted)...

I want to make a ladder rack on my 8 foot trailer so it can hold a few decent sized ladders, allowing me to get up to second story roof lines allowing me to clean gutters out, wash roofs, pressure wash siding, and access some nearby overhanging limbs of trees with my pole saw.

I know that my methods are against the grain, and I probably shouldn't use the civic to operate a legitimate business out of - but like I said, it's Winter and I can funnel almost all of my revenue back into the business to direct it into what I want to do for a living... That is buying a cheap diesel truck from auction and converting it to an 8x10 dump box truck (without dumper) so that I can deal more in brush clearing, rototilling, & land reclamation for lawns, gardens, ect... Eventually I want to own a T190 bobcat and a real dump truck specializing in demolition, excavation, and heavy brush removal. The idea is to get their without incurring debt efficiently and effectively...