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classy
02-11-2012, 10:16 AM
Compare Penny spent for Penny earned, which piece of equipment makes you the most money on the maintenance side of the house?

For Example, my Stihl HS45 (Which isn't their Pro-model) makes me more money and gets more jobs than my other equipment, and uses less gas. (as a single unit).... I understand that the rest of the equipment is needed to produce the finished product.

But I must say, I am completely amazed still after 7 years how much business the Hedge trimmer rakes in. I was thinking to get a pro-model, then I saw the movie "A Man Named Pearl". Where this Auto-didactic gentleman created a Topiary garden that rivaled gardens worldwide...... WITH A HOME OWNER HEDGE TRIMMER.
I'd feel like I over-spent, if this hs45 wasn't so fast and effective.

Many outfits here, refuse to do hedges.... I run at them.
I charge $60 per hour for a $500 pieced of equipment, that is constantly requested. I see that people are doing BOBCAT work for $60-$115 per hour.

... you get my drift ...
Thanks for your input ahead of time.

weeble67
02-11-2012, 10:59 AM
I bought a used Ryan aerator, I have made so much money on the side with it. I paid for it the first year which was 6 years ago and have never done anything to it short of a rope for the pull starter and air in the tires. It's a Honda and I love it.

dKoester
02-11-2012, 02:11 PM
My shovels are pretty good money makers. Planting is where its at.

MisterBreeze
02-11-2012, 05:13 PM
I don't mind trimming hedges either but picking up the clippings is a PITA especially in pinestraw.

cpllawncare
02-11-2012, 05:17 PM
I don't mind trimming hedges either but picking up the clippings is a PITA especially in pinestraw.

That's why I have tarps!!

nickslawnltd
02-11-2012, 05:18 PM
Backpack blowers for sure

beano
02-11-2012, 05:21 PM
Also bought a used Ryan areator and have made a killing off of it!

lawnprosteveo
02-11-2012, 05:36 PM
My leaf equipment. Two blowers and a leaf loader. Its really helped my leaf removal income.

joee0914
02-12-2012, 08:50 AM
Stihl Chainsaw by far... easily brought in a couple of thousand by itself last year.

Tizzy
02-12-2012, 09:10 AM
by far my stihl MS460. that thing cleaned house last year with the hurricane and the october snowstorm. i paid $900 for it in august by christmas i had done nearly 15K in work with it.

classy
02-12-2012, 09:28 AM
I think dKoester, took the prize. I don't think my trimmer can compete with a $20-$30 item, that rakes in hundreds or thousands in a day.

2nd probably goes to J0e914 and Tizzy and anyone else who cuts trees.

@beano and @weeno, I just picked up an ancient Ryan Aerator 2 weeks ago, haven't made a dime with it yet, but good to know that it was a great decision.

You blower people, you are probably right, as there is NO job without a blower, absolutely NONE. It probably is the most consistent money-maker. @lawnprosteve and @nick

jackal
02-12-2012, 09:47 AM
In 2003 a z-trac was about $8000.

If I put 3500 hours at 65 bucks an hour = $227,500.

Minus $10 an hour for fuel and maint =$192,500.

Minus the original $8000 =$184,500.

jsslawncare
02-12-2012, 09:55 AM
In 2003 a z-trac was about $8000.

If I put 3500 hours at 65 bucks an hour = $227,500.

Minus $10 an hour for fuel and maint =$192,500.

Minus the original $8000 =$184,500.

I was thinking my mower also.

jackal
02-12-2012, 10:05 AM
Here how I figure my hedge trimmers. I had to buy a new set last year HS 86. The old ones HS 85 were $400 10 years ago. I kept track of how many hrs I used them, 200hrs x 10 yrs = 2000 hrs x $65/hr = $130,000. I pay a helper 10 bucks an hour to clean up after me and $1.00 an hour for fuel and maint = $22,000 Add the original $400. Leaves a profit of $107,600.

djagusch
02-12-2012, 02:10 PM
Here how I figure my hedge trimmers. I had to buy a new set last year HS 86. The old ones HS 85 were $400 10 years ago. I kept track of how many hrs I used them, 200hrs x 10 yrs = 2000 hrs x $65/hr = $130,000. I pay a helper 10 bucks an hour to clean up after me and $1.00 an hour for fuel and maint = $22,000 Add the original $400. Leaves a profit of $107,600.

If only it was that simple.

Pretty sure you also use a truck to haul the clippings away. Maybe a wheel barrel to get them to the truck. A rake and shread n vac to touch up the area's. The cost of tarps over the years. How about work comp and employer side taxes (if you are paying the help legit). Taxes on profits.

What about your time to do estimates and running around for them. Phone and advertising costs.

200hrs is a year is that actually 100 hrs on the site with your helper or both or you on site for 200 hrs (asking are you charging $65/man hr? or $65/hr for both of you?)

Can you live off that 200 hrs? Can that even cover your overhead?

I would imagine a ZTR would be the most profitable given the amount of billable hours out there. With the increased hours you can cover your overhead which could not be done with a hedge trimmer.

The thread's question should be what is your most profitable add on sale to your core biz of lawn maintenance?

I have never seen a stand alone buisness "Hedges'R'Us". Have you?

clydebusa
02-12-2012, 03:16 PM
Think the most amazing thing I have is the thermos. You put hot things in it and they stay hot. You put cold things in it and they stay cold. How does it know that.

ROC lawn and landscapes
02-12-2012, 04:14 PM
Think the most amazing thing I have is the thermos. You put hot things in it and they stay hot. You put cold things in it and they stay cold. How does it know that.

Genius!!!:laugh: Got a good laugh outa that one!

cpllawncare
02-12-2012, 06:22 PM
I have never seen a stand alone buisness "Hedges'R'Us". Have you?
Hmm? Just wondering? what that business model would look like?

Ijustwantausername
02-13-2012, 05:11 PM
My mowers of course, but I dread having to buy a new one when this one craps out.

scottslawncareav
02-13-2012, 11:19 PM
If only it was that simple.

Pretty sure you also use a truck to haul the clippings away. Maybe a wheel barrel to get them to the truck. A rake and shread n vac to touch up the area's. The cost of tarps over the years. How about work comp and employer side taxes (if you are paying the help legit). Taxes on profits.

What about your time to do estimates and running around for them. Phone and advertising costs.

200hrs is a year is that actually 100 hrs on the site with your helper or both or you on site for 200 hrs (asking are you charging $65/man hr? or $65/hr for both of you?)

Can you live off that 200 hrs? Can that even cover your overhead?

I would imagine a ZTR would be the most profitable given the amount of billable hours out there. With the increased hours you can cover your overhead which could not be done with a hedge trimmer.

The thread's question should be what is your most profitable add on sale to your core biz of lawn maintenance?

I have never seen a stand alone buisness "Hedges'R'Us". Have you?

Every body has a party pooper today that party pooper is you :hammerhead:

classy
02-14-2012, 12:45 AM
Right @scottslawn, almost every thread i see has someone playing devil's advocate. Everybody knew what I meant... so i thought anyway.... besides @djagusch.

Rodney King asked "Can't we all get along?"

The answer is NO. My saying is "You gotta grow up sometime.... PICK A DAY."
...ANY ole day will do.

...this is a LAWN CHAT-SITE, the "Horticulture Nazi" will not be checking our grammar.

..p.s. @people that do not understand the questions that I pose, just don't reply.... IT'S THAT EASY, I Refuse to make everything comprehensible by a 2nd grader.

djagusch
02-14-2012, 09:52 AM
Every body has a party pooper today that party pooper is you :hammerhead:

Just keeping people with a real perspective in life.
Posted via Mobile Device

djagusch
02-14-2012, 10:00 AM
Right @scottslawn, almost every thread i see has someone playing devil's advocate. Everybody knew what I meant... so i thought anyway.... besides @djagusch.

Rodney King asked "Can't we all get along?"

The answer is NO. My saying is "You gotta grow up sometime.... PICK A DAY."
...ANY ole day will do.

...this is a LAWN CHAT-SITE, the "Horticulture Nazi" will not be checking our grammar.

..p.s. @people that do not understand the questions that I pose, just don't reply.... IT'S THAT EASY, I Refuse to make everything comprehensible by a 2nd grader.

There is a lot of guys that truely believe a hedgeclipper is their most profitable piece of equipment. Its also the same people that come in the biz for 2yrs, lower prices to get work, then leave the biz because they can't make any money. So its those people that need it broke down to the 2nd grader level.

To look at the profit of a machine on what you paid for it is being pretty pointless. Especially when it makes up a percent or so of a persons gross sales.
Posted via Mobile Device

classy
02-14-2012, 12:20 PM
There are very few outfits that specialize in hedges. @all @djagusch. %30-%42 of my service requests request hedges. Anyone can cut a hedge, what it looks like when you're through, I'm going to assume you know is a COMPLETELY different subject. How complete the Initial landscape layout is fullfilled is a subject most people never contemplate (mostly customers). Allowing a "see-saw" hedge to never recover the dips happens ALOT.

REAL Hedge attention - is like the Pink Elephant in the room. With a person that specializes in Hedges it becomes an Emerging Market. Perhaps not in your area, but here, there are MANY cut-and-runs, that DO NOT touch hedges. And when they do, it looks like ........ Unlike grass, as you know, hedges DO NOT necessarily ever recover.

These are just a few of the angles I present to everyone here, and definitely to the customer. There ARE NOT many people in this industry that are GOOD at hedges. Depending how you market your hedging skills, they have the ability to secure extremely good customers and relations.

There is special equipment just for hedge trimming from the Genies to the Henchmans. (going to go on a limb and assume you realize all the actual cutting machines). And you're wrong, there are Topiary companies out there, and yes, Topiary are hedges. Perhaps you aren't into that side of the biz, but others are, and it does exist. There aren't many companies that are Hedges/Topiary only, which is good, as the number one sin in business is COMPETITION. So a company that offers and CAN PROVIDE extensive HEDGE work, will set themselves apart from the rest of the pack. Most companies do not even have the talent on staff to MAINTAIN Topiary. I understand you not being aware of these things, it is an interest that I and VERY FEW others have.

EVERYBODY has a lawn mower, anyone can make grass look "reasonable", but FEW can do hedges right. It only takes ONE guy to break your hedge forever. And I show the customer where this is taking place on their property, so yes, Hedge "related" activity "assists" with bringing in a large portion of profits.


I could write 2 or 3 pages on this, am I taking this too far guys? @all
ENOUGH!

cpllawncare
02-14-2012, 07:42 PM
^^^^ Classy, your absolutly right, I am always amazed at some of the hedge jobs I see, I myself can't claim expert at the topic, but I would pay a good hedge guy well if I ever find one, it's defintily an art form.

doyles
02-14-2012, 08:35 PM
all these answers are good but how about my truck. with out it nothing would get done. no trailer could move around,no equipment would leave the shop i could not go out and give estimates. and when winter came the plow would not have place to attach to.
so the truck is how all the money is made.

Kelly's Landscaping
02-15-2012, 11:50 AM
What are we looking for here most per hour, or most billable hours, or best return on the smallest investment?

Hedges are nice I have 4 of the hs45s 2 of the extension trimmers one a km that can reach 11 ft. But they only bring in $10,000 a year for me, still its at a time when nothing else it going on so its most welcome.

Now the perma green makes us $200 an hour but now you got expenses other then just fuel.

Now my most profitable machine per hour is the lesco lawn renovator (which is a slit seeder) no questions asked. But I get only 2 or 3 days a year on it and only a few hours of work on those days but when you have solid work lined up she can make $500 an hour.

But the mowers have to be the best they last what seems forever we have one with 4750 hours on it which means that machine alone has made us $500,000

Guzzo856
02-15-2012, 01:19 PM
my v box salt spreaders. Paid them both off first 2 storms and made $20,000 with them last year

classy
02-15-2012, 01:33 PM
WOW @Kelly,yes... best return on smallest investment. Between your slicer and a plain shovel, one of those looks the most profitable. I like the responses on this topic, I've learned alot about how others are profiting, and of course it's a good question to ask even ourselves.

Sweet @Guzzo, we never have a need for salt, so that gives me another view of this biz, thanks for the responses!

Just keep mowing
02-20-2012, 04:15 PM
My shovels are pretty good money makers. Planting is where its at.

I completely agree! I almost hear a "cha-ching" every time a shrub or tree goes into the ground.

NC Greenscaper
02-20-2012, 07:07 PM
I don't mind trimming hedges either but picking up the clippings is a PITA especially in pinestraw.

I don't like cleaning clippings from pinestraw areas either. I've tried tarps but the clippings still miss the tarps and land in the straw. What I do is blow/rake most of them and then spread a layer of fresh pine straw. I factor the straw into the job.