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DUSTYCEDAR
03-16-2006, 06:42 PM
that is a sweet truck all of your stuff is nice looking

Tony Clifton
03-16-2006, 09:07 PM
It looks like the storage box on that truck is open on top, is that true?

etwman
03-16-2006, 11:19 PM
It is Tony. We were going to close it in but we needed room for tools to stick out. We put a lock on the outsides so for 99% of the time if your walking by the truck you would never notice that the top is open. If it's locked you can't get the big stuff out, like the edger, etc. Plus the open top allows you to stand up in there. The one truck is all steel and the other one is alluminum. Both boxes are identical in size. When the doors are closed it prevents the ramp from sliding out. The ramps are actually detachable so the guys can use them elsewhere on the job if need be.

JAX LANDSCAPING
03-16-2006, 11:40 PM
hey man your set up that you have is very nice looks very clean and profesional.how long did it take you to obtain all that equipment?

etwman
03-17-2006, 08:18 AM
Well, this is our 6th season in business. I've had other equipment but we've sold it because it either didn't fit our needs or it didn't hold up. Everything we have now I'm pretty content with from both a durablility standpoint and practicalitiy perspective. So all that you've seen in this forum has been bought in the last 6 years. The freightliner setups with all the bodies was all purchased within the last two years.

lawnmaniac883
03-17-2006, 07:34 PM
I am just about speechless after reading through your entire thread...you have an incredible company that you have constructed through the years. If there is anything a man can be proud about, you have got it! I have one question for ya, you dont need to go into great detail as I am sure it would take forever.

How did you get started? Was this just a mowing thing with you as a owner/operator or was there more to it? How long have you been in the business? Congrats on your work and your support effort in new orleans and mississipi.

etwman
03-17-2006, 08:33 PM
How did I get started? Okay. For a year after college, believe it or not, I drove a ready mix truck and kept a tablet in the cab to put together a business plan. (I had a LCO in NJ before college). I always wanted to drive truck, it was fun, and I can honestly say I didn't regret it. I needed to get my focus completely out of the green industry to see if I really wanted to return. After a year, and a decent business plan, I decided to go forward. Put together a target market of large scale grounds care on package deals, went to the bank, got a loan, and off I went. I had my first large account before I left driving truck. Hired some good employees, one at first, then more and off I went. I did field work for the first 2 1/2 years but that was about it. I'm pretty much in the office full time now. I do miss the field work but my time can be better spent here. Big jobs don't just happen. We're headed into our 6th year and I'm excited to see what happens. Most of our equipment is "in place" so it's truly time to put up the sails and see what happens. Our growth has been a steady 35% a year, could be more but I'm pretty selective on what we take on. Last month we had a customer take our entire month of Sept./Oct for a project, never before happenend but it should be fun. Everyone will be in on it and the guys are looking forward to it.

Our focus has changed from grounds care to large design/build as I had talked about earlier. This may be our last year doing grounds care. I know we're headed in the right direction and have had the opportunity to meet some high end builders that will continue to push us where we want to be.

How'd we build it? Marketing and precision work. Our key focus is some unique marketing that we are pushing right now. The average consumer won't even notice, but the market we're going after will go nuts. We just spent 6 months doing customer feedback response from about 40 customers over the past 5 years via a marketing company. What we found somewhat surprised us. 83.4% of our customers surveyed on extensive landscape design/build projects did not shop the competition and 97.3% said they would never turn anywhere else for future work. Oh and for those of you that are curious 78% commented on the clean black trucks. It wasn't cheap to have all this done, we found some holes but alot of positive reinforcement and ended up with a 40 page report. Now were gathering all this info and taking it to the next level.

I will tell you though lawnmaniac883 life is not always a bowl of cherries. Don't think that this is the perfect business. Every company has it's weak points and everyday you learn but for the most part I enjoy it.

Good luck on your upcoming season.

lawnmaniac883
03-17-2006, 09:43 PM
Good luck on yours, I hope your business keeps on moving up. Must be nice having employees who enjoy their work and actually look forward to doing large installs and the like. BTW, those trucks are niice :cool:

BladeRunner1967
03-18-2006, 09:22 AM
I see ETW's guys around town all the time. They are VERY professional.

jreiff
03-19-2006, 02:47 PM
Thanks for the response ETW Man. And thanks for all the pics and posts. Keep up the good work.

meets1
03-19-2006, 07:44 PM
Hey - best of luck to all you guys for the 06 season and keeps the new pics coming in! Always looks great!

mulcahy mowing
03-19-2006, 07:54 PM
Man if I saw your trucks running in my town I'd $h!t myself those are nice! Keep up the great work.

etwman
03-19-2006, 08:15 PM
Several of you have asked me (via pm) how we begin to start projects and everything is based off of a plan from one of our architects. No plan - no project. And yes we charge for every plan. I grabbed one from the file that we are going to be building here in the next two months. This one has an outdoor kitchen, pergola, garden shed, water feature, fireplace, outdoor lighting and speakers. The hardscape is a little over 2200 sf and the product will most likely be an imported marble paver from Peru, pretty wild stuff. We will have bullnose custom cut marble that will be used for the countertops, top of sitting wall, and the raised planter. The face of the walls will be stucco to match the siding of the house. Once we get rolling I will try and post some pics of this in progress. Should be fun, we usually do about two of these marble jobs a year.

etwman
03-19-2006, 08:32 PM
I posted this then realized I'll probably get 20 emails about "a what? marble paver?" So here's some pics of a job done about 2 years ago. This job was about 350 sf but keep in mind it was marble. And we jackhammered out another sunken stamped concrete patio to put it in too. It actually goes down white, then you clean it, and add a color enhancer. No two pieces are the exact same color, you're dealing with a natural product out of the mountains in Peru. It's half the thickness of a concrete paver and very durable. Comes in about 7 different colors. Oh, if you have to ask the price, then...you probably can't ....you know.

CrewCutEnterprises
03-19-2006, 09:08 PM
Hey ETW, Its CCE.. Anyways, Everyone loves your trucks, and your work. I've looked at the switch n go for some time now and I wanted to know if you have had any problems or complaints. Im just triing not to purchase something that might now last, but is more affordable than a cable roll off.

Any close up pics of your storage box? Also I know those are 24x24x 6? aluminum containers under the body, They do hold backpack blowers right. Thanks alot.

Heres the truck we almost bought. international 4700 with dt444(7.3 liter)( I wanted a dt466) So we passed. 99,000 miles 29,000 dollars. With switch n go and a 14 ft body

etwman
03-19-2006, 10:00 PM
I'm headed out tomorrow morning to get a crew started on another hardscape project. The job box is already on site and I'll try and snap a couple pics of the inside.

Yes, those are 24x24x6's and yes you can get a blower inside.

No problems with the swith n go, literally none. I've heard through the grapevine that some guys are breaking the cables but those are on smaller trucks and my guess is they are trying to pull out stumps with them. Ours have been worked pretty hard at times pulling all of 15000 lbs up on the truck and haven't caused any concern. Just use a little common sense, like putting the truck in neutral and letting the winch pull the truck under the body when you have a really heavy load instead of trying to pull the whole thing up, and you'll be fine. One of the cool things about the switch-n-go (plus our boxes and big tool box) is that everything is bolted on. I'd hate to say it, but if a truck got wrecked or died, we could unbolt everything and probably get it on a new cab and chassis in two days and be back up and running. The other real nice thing about this system that we found out the other week is that we had a freightliner down with a fuel issue for a couple of days, dirt in the fuel, nevertheless... It wouldn't start but we needed the body on it. Now with a hydraulic system you need that engine running to run the pump to take a body off, with this you didn't because it's electric. So we dropped the body, pulled the truck aside, backed the other truck up, and off we went. The truck was back up in a couple of days but no real loss. This is a nice convience of two trucks with the same system.

I'm starting to see more and more of them in the area. I think ours was the first but knew it wouldn't be the last. That price for that truck was probably a little high, but not by much. The system with the body on that truck was probably $14000 in itself, so you had $15000 for the truck??? You're probably right, you could get more bang for the buck for $15000. Probably a smart move. If you find a cab and chassis down there that you like I know of a couple very reasonable guys up here that could put a system together for you. I've done two now and know to the dime what it will cost....all inclusive. We're not that far away, let me know.

etwman
03-22-2006, 08:23 AM
Okay -

I was out on the site yesterday and took the camera. By the time I got out there the crew had about 1/2 of our equipment out of the job box but I managed to shoot a couple shots. The shots show the screen rails (these were custom made and slide into each other, we have about 40 of them total), saw and other stuff. The block splitter, tampers, geo, and bunch of other tools area scattered over the jobsite. Remember with this type of system everything has to be secured down because your pulling it up on a truck. When everything is in there it's pretty full. The nice thing with this job is we were able to stick the job box right next to the patio, that isn't always the case.

etwman
03-22-2006, 08:25 AM
Here's one with the job box onsite. Interesting when this shows up about 3 days before the project starts, get's the neighbors a little ancy and curious, plus gives the customers something to talk about.

etwman
03-22-2006, 08:27 AM
A different angle. Now everyone should be happy because I finally got pics of the box. Whew...

Marek
03-22-2006, 02:58 PM
Tell us a little more about your trucks what kind of mpg are they getting and do you feel they are about the same to maintain as a 550? How long of a body could you do ,say you wanted to do an enclosed lawn body how long to you think you could make it? I'm getting tierd of my 550s getting 8 mpg and having no power once they are loaded.

etwman
03-22-2006, 04:08 PM
The trucks do pretty good for their size. Most times they are over 10 ...closer to 12-13. I don't really worry about the mpg all that much, if we put 10,000 miles a year on these trucks that's alot. With the tanks on them we may fuel them up every 3-4 weeks unless we're moving alot of fill/stone.

You can get pretty long bodies for lawn care equipment. I'd check directly with Buck's Fabricating on the sizes (www.bucksfab.com). I think they have one on their website. As with any truck once your up against with weight it'll be sluggish. The key is to buy more truck than you think you need and haul less weight, of course that's easier said than done. That's where you get into more power. I will say these trucks are pretty good loaded, not like we're going to do 85 in them, but they are governed at 68 and they do get up to that loaded. Where we do run into power issues is when the truck is fully loaded then we pull 10,000 lbs. now were grossing 43,000 lbs headed down the road. That's something we'll do when we have to but not long distance. The good thing about it is it is legal and safe, just lack of power and alot of patience. I've never owned a 550 so I'm at a loss to tell you how they compare, sorry.

NEUSWEDE
03-22-2006, 04:33 PM
What design software are you using or is it hand drawn? I have used dynascapes before, but a buddy of mine does just landscape design so I leave it up to him.

Also how do you like that JCB? There is one local I see sitting in a field that never seems to get used and I have always wanted to stop and find out about it. I want to get something like that or a Kubota R520s Articulating loader which you can mount a back hoe on as well.

etwman
03-22-2006, 04:42 PM
All our drawing are hand drawn by one of our two architects. At times we'll color them depending on the scale of the project. There's a "softness" to hand drawing that our customers seem to like and neither one of them seem to keen on going to software. I could go either way on it.

The 208 is not bad. It's tough to beat for the compact size. The only hold up is lifting 4000 lbs off of a truck, it's good to about 3800. Oh, and it's not a hill machine, that's where you'd want a good track machine. As far as working in tight spaces and having a hoe with you at all times you can't beat it. I'd look for one used though, they are pretty salty new. Guys that have them love 'em, but they are hard to come by decent and used. We got ours pretty cheap.

NEUSWEDE
03-22-2006, 05:19 PM
All our drawing are hand drawn by one of our two architects. At times we'll color them depending on the scale of the project. There's a "softness" to hand drawing that our customers seem to like and neither one of them seem to keen on going to software. I could go either way on it.

The 208 is not bad. It's tough to beat for the compact size. The only hold up is lifting 4000 lbs off of a truck, it's good to about 3800. Oh, and it's not a hill machine, that's where you'd want a good track machine. As far as working in tight spaces and having a hoe with you at all times you can't beat it. I'd look for one used though, they are pretty salty new. Guys that have them love 'em, but they are hard to come by decent and used. We got ours pretty cheap.

Thanks, I agree on the hand drawing, looks better that is why I asked if it was a program, I would had had my designer switch to it.
I am looking for a machine used, but those JCB's are nice but hard to find for a reason! The Kubota I found looking for the JCB, but the kubota is bigger!

Keep up the great work.

CrewCutEnterprises
03-22-2006, 08:43 PM
Tell us a little more about your trucks what kind of mpg are they getting and do you feel they are about the same to maintain as a 550? How long of a body could you do ,say you wanted to do an enclosed lawn body how long to you think you could make it? I'm getting tierd of my 550s getting 8 mpg and having no power once they are loaded.


You still havent bought a new truck yet??

Also why is for your 550 getting 8 mpg?? towing trailer??Just wondering...

ETW -Any inside shots of your storage body. That thing is sweet. Im unsure If I want a switch n go or a cable roll off. Do you feel the switch n go is build well enough to load and unload a body say 5 times a day 5 days a week, Say job a box at a job site, then run some containers around during day and pick up job box at end the the day.

Tony Clifton
03-22-2006, 08:56 PM
CrewCut, he just posted some pics of the inside, look on the page before thise one.
I really like the idea of the roll offs the more I see the pictures. The storage body is great, and 2 dump bodies would save me one truck....I think.

ALarsh
03-22-2006, 08:56 PM
ETW -Any inside shots of your storage body. That thing is sweet. Im unsure If I want a switch n go or a cable roll off. Do you feel the switch n go is build well enough to load and unload a body say 5 times a day 5 days a week, Say job a box at a job site, then run some containers around during day and pick up job box at end the the day.
Look up. He just posted some pics.

edit: me and tony posted the same time.... sorry

Lynch Landscaping
03-22-2006, 09:06 PM
Very nice trucks and trailers. I hope i have something like that some day.

CrewCutEnterprises
03-22-2006, 09:38 PM
Look up. He just posted some pics.

edit: me and tony posted the same time.... sorry


Sorry My wording was wrong. Some pictures of the inside of the storage body.

I've been over this thread almost as much as everyone else. Im contemplating buying a 4700 and maybe derating it so my guys could tow a 7,000 lb trailer without a cdl, but we really could only haul brush and mulch with it. As I would want to derate it to 17,500 or so. Maybe 22,500.

Price point....
Option A 99-03 f550 (w7.3 liter) is about 30,000
Option B 2000 4700 international with switch n go body (14 ft, 17 yards) 30,000

what do you choose, It would be a maintenance, Install Sod, Gravel, mulch, etc. It would have to carry shovels, wheelbarrows blowers gas hedger etc, all in a total length of less than 30 ft.

Tony Clifton
03-22-2006, 09:59 PM
Hey crewcut, maybe I am misunderstanding,,,but he did post some pictures of the INSIDE, most of the stuff had been unloaded, but there are still a few pics.

jhgilliland
03-22-2006, 10:27 PM
Im not sure about CrewCut, but i think he may be referring to the storage body mounted on the truck. (The toolbox mounted behind the cab of the truck) Ive been waiting for quite some time to see some close-ups of the inside of the truck-mounted toolbox with ramps. Maybe etwman will get a chance to post some pics of it sometime soon. :)

CrewCutEnterprises
03-22-2006, 10:47 PM
:sleeping: I was talking about the one on the truck originally but my last post i was talking about the roll off storage body... IM SOOO TIRED. I missed the 3 pictures of the inside. Ignore me till the morning

ALarsh
03-22-2006, 11:08 PM
Im not sure about CrewCut, but i think he may be referring to the storage body mounted on the truck. (The toolbox mounted behind the cab of the truck) Ive been waiting for quite some time to see some close-ups of the inside of the truck-mounted toolbox with ramps. Maybe etwman will get a chance to post some pics of it sometime soon. :)
This???:confused:

etwman
03-22-2006, 11:12 PM
I'll take some close ups of the boxes on the trucks here in the next week. #4 has an alluminum box and #3 has a steel one. Other than that they are identical.

Cutcrewenterprises - yes I think they would hold up, we haven't had any problems with them and they do get worked pretty hard at times.

jhgilliland
03-22-2006, 11:58 PM
Alarsh: Yes, that is what i was refering to. etwman spoke earlier about the ramps that can be disconnected for use onsite and also about how the ramps do not come out when the doors are shut. I was just hoping to see some close ups as well as some of the inside tool racks, and his choice of flooring since the top is open.

etwman: No rush on the pics. We all know you are a busy man. Ive been following the thread for quite some time. Waiting for the pics another couple weeks isnt going to hurt.

etwman
03-23-2006, 06:00 PM
Couple pics of off loading, for those of you contimplating a fold down side body, it is truly the cat's meow. Here the twins were on the same job site. Doesn't happen often but they needed extra material brought up so both trucks went to the same site.

etwman
03-23-2006, 06:09 PM
Okay. Got some more pics today of the truck boxes several of you have been requesting. The box is about 54" wide and sits on the frame rails.

The doors are spring loaded and latch to prevent them from swinging open when we go down the road. The gentleman that built this for me did a top notch job. The ramp does come out, I just didn't feel like pulling it all the way. It's on roller bearings so it slides with one finger. The box is just wide enough that we could slide a skid of seed or light material in there if we were in a jam.

I'll post three here and three on the next thread since i took six all toghether.

etwman
03-23-2006, 06:13 PM
here are the other 3

zim bob the landscaper
03-23-2006, 08:01 PM
i wish i had the money u got man keep the pics comming.

TLS
03-23-2006, 11:37 PM
i wish i had the money u got man keep the pics comming.

It's all about money...but, it's also about WORK and charging properly for it!

Wish not...DO!

jhgilliland
03-24-2006, 12:44 AM
etwman- Thanks for posting those close-ups of the box! Looks to be well constructed.

etwman
03-24-2006, 08:17 AM
It's all about money...but, it's also about WORK and charging properly for it!

Wish not...DO!
__________________
TLS


True, but it's not all about the money. You have to do what you like to do. Truthfully it's really about:

1. Not having non-billable hours, they'll kill you everytime. If the guys have worked 45 hours that week, you should be billing 45. Are guys running out to lunch? Why? They should be on the job site. Every time I see a truck/trailer parked at a McD's at lunch there is no way they are only taking a 1/2 hour. By the time they get there, eat, and get back to the site you're paying them to eat.

2. Exceeding the customers every expectation and don't cut corners.

3. Having the right equipment most of the time. You'll never have all the equipment you need, but you can get pretty close. More importantly you have to charge for that equipment each day, whether it sits on a jobsite or gets used. Example, each of those Freightliners get charged $141.00 a day to be attached to a job. When we do a landscape/hardscape/grounds care job the computer brings up what equipment is needed and charges for it correctly either to compile an estimate or bill. If you don't charge for equipment you won't be able to replace it when its worn out. And you had better figure in fuel and insurance into that as well.

When everything comes together just right that's when you start making money. With new businesses I'd say it's 4-5 years before you really start reaping rewards. It's one thing to think your making money it's another to really be doing it. Ask yourself at the end of your season what's left over? Can you make it through the winter with adequate start up funds? Are you banking on snow removal to carry you? You shouldn't be! Tough questions but reality sets in quick. I'll be the first to tell you that this industry is not an easy one to make huge money in, it can be done, but you have to be prepared to turn away business. I can't even imagine how much "unneccessary work" we have turned away in the last five years. I bet our sales would be triple but our bottom line would be the same. One of the things we do to weed out the "unneccesaries" is our appointments are only from 8-4 M-F. If you want us to do your project you'll make a sacrifice from your job to be there during those hours. If not, you don't want us that bad. Do you know how much less running around I do? Huge! Do you know how much higher our job retention rate is? Enormous.

Just some things to ponder over.

Tony Clifton
03-24-2006, 08:40 AM
This may have already been covered, but how much did it cost to have those toolboxes built. I cringe every morning because it takes the guys so long to get the trucks loaded with what they need. I want for my hardscape guys to be able to keep the compactor, transit etc on the truck instead of having to figure out what they need each day. Plus, it takes a while to load all of the hand tools, blower, etc. I thought about getting some 60" underbody tool boxes, but that would screw us up when we are trying to load the trucks with the skid steer because in order to get the load centered the skid steer tires have to actually go under the truck body.

etwman
03-24-2006, 09:08 AM
$2,800.00 for the big alluminum box. Local amish guy here welded it, now that was a year ago so things have changed but that's a pretty good price for that alluminum fabrication. That's mounted on the truck as well. Another guy from northern PA contacted me about getting one done and I gave him the guys number. Down side, you'll probably be waiting a couple of months for it, he's pretty busy.

The first one was out of steel and it actually cost more because i went through a well know fabrication place in the area. Wouldn't go steel again, alluminum is much nicer and lighter.

There definitely is a plus to having everything on the trucks. If we spend 5 minutes grabbing a couple misc things in the morning I'd say that's alot. All the big bulk materials get shipped right to the jobsite. All the hardscape tools are in the big job box.

cgland
03-24-2006, 10:12 PM
Stay off our turf or I'll scratch those pretty trucks of yours!:nono:

Chris

etwman
03-24-2006, 10:17 PM
Good grief, sorry I'll never eat at a Wendy's up there again, though it was good to see your charming face. I hardly noticed you were there because all your trucks were so dirty.

Nice new Ford by the way.

etwman
03-25-2006, 12:39 PM
I have always been a diesel nut but went the gas route with my 02 Chevy. I have gone back over to the dark side again with this 06 GMC H.O. Duramax and let me tell you this thing goes. I dropped a chip in it, added some Banks stuff, and I'm around 430 hp and 860 lbs torque. Hooked up a 10,000 lb load to it, went out on the highway up over a large incline, set the cruise at 80 and crested the hill at 80 without any downshifting.

Due to get lettered on Tues, GPS Nav. system and hands free system in Wed. and we should be good to go. I'll post a final pic later. If you have never driven the new HO Duramax you should go and test drive one.

etwman
03-25-2006, 12:40 PM
second view

MMLawn
03-25-2006, 01:55 PM
You also with that chip/programmer and the Banks stuff justed voided your warranty and GM & Ford are sticking to their guns big time and doing so as they claim the programmers cause too much damage to the turbos and egr's. Also don't figure "I'll just take it out before I go to the dealer for warranty work" because once installed it sends a message to the on-board factor computer that records the info.......they'll even be able to tell you exactly what mods you did and the model numbers you use. If you think not check the GM and Ford Diesel chat sites, everyday new bunch of guying on there crying that did mods then had issues and bam, no more warranty because of those mods. BIG Mistake you made adding it before the warranty expired.

etwman
03-25-2006, 02:28 PM
I'm really not all that concerned about it. My friends duramax was done, and done right, 3 years ago and he hasn't had a single problem. The same guy did mine. You can do them wrong and pay hard or you can do them right and not have any problems. Half of it also comes down to how you drive it, little common sense goes along way.

I knew that info going into it. Thanks anyway.

cgland
03-25-2006, 04:27 PM
Our trucks were dirty because............................we were working???? or something? BTW nice to see you too!:waving: Now all of my hardscape guys want a truck like that!:hammerhead: Thanks alot!

Chris

CrewCutEnterprises
03-25-2006, 08:36 PM
I have always been a diesel nut but went the gas route with my 02 Chevy. I have gone back over to the dark side again with this 06 GMC H.O. Duramax and let me tell you this thing goes. I dropped a chip in it, added some Banks stuff, and I'm around 430 hp and 860 lbs torque. Hooked up a 10,000 lb load to it, went out on the highway up over a large incline, set the cruise at 80 and crested the hill at 80 without any downshifting.

Due to get lettered on Tues, GPS Nav. system and hands free system in Wed. and we should be good to go. I'll post a final pic later. If you have never driven the new HO Duramax you should go and test drive one.


Hey, nice paver driveway in the picture, Wonder who did that? Gotta love black....

ALarsh
03-26-2006, 02:37 AM
How many miles were on the 02 Chevy when you traded it in? Do you have any more details of the Nav setup and what your going with?

Mr. Vern
03-26-2006, 02:52 AM
Ok ETWMAN - is that your logo on the front license plate I see?

etwman
03-26-2006, 07:54 AM
The '02 was just short of 90k miles, if I didn't trade it in at this point I might as well keep it and run it into the ground. So the local dealership ran some good numbers, we had $3000 on our GM Card, and the prices were right so I moved on it.

Nav system. I'm most likely going to go with the Garmin Nuvi 350, I was looking pretty closely at the Garmin Street Pilot 2720 but the Nuvi has battery capabilities and I can easily take it with me when I go places. I'm mainly getting it for appointment addresses so we don't constantly have to be printing mapquest directions here in the office.

Yes that is our company logo on the license plate.

kingofbling
03-26-2006, 06:36 PM
You also with that chip/programmer and the Banks stuff justed voided your warranty and GM & Ford are sticking to their guns big time and doing so as they claim the programmers cause too much damage to the turbos and egr's. Also don't figure "I'll just take it out before I go to the dealer for warranty work" because once installed it sends a message to the on-board factor computer that records the info.......they'll even be able to tell you exactly what mods you did and the model numbers you use. If you think not check the GM and Ford Diesel chat sites, everyday new bunch of guying on there crying that did mods then had issues and bam, no more warranty because of those mods. BIG Mistake you made adding it before the warranty expired.

You might want to verify your information before you post. Installing a chip into any car/truck on voids the warranty in this case on the computer, it does not void the warranty on the whole car. Its just like when you install a dual exaust, you void the warranty on the whole factory exaust system, just like when you install a aftermarket stereo system you void the factory "wiring" against the stereo wires/speakers/etc.

lawn_pro
03-27-2006, 04:51 AM
Nice looking work & Very nice looking equipment...You are not afraid to spend the $$$$$$$.....good luck this season

MMLawn
03-27-2006, 05:29 PM
You might want to verify your information before you post. Installing a chip into any car/truck on voids the warranty in this case on the computer, it does not void the warranty on the whole car. Its just like when you install a dual exaust, you void the warranty on the whole factory exaust system, just like when you install a aftermarket stereo system you void the factory "wiring" against the stereo wires/speakers/etc.


Naw kid, you need to verify YOURS. Mine is verified and I can back it up with TONS of proof of both GM & Ford doing so. Chips/Programmers VOID the entire Engine & Drivetrain Warranty because the chips/prgrammers directly alter the engine and transmission by increasing HP. That is their sole purpose. It is also the company policy of both GM & Ford on their Diesels and they are enforcing it big time becaus of all of the Turbo and EGR problems THEY say are effected by chips/programmers. And that is the information, PERIOD!

mulcahy mowing
03-27-2006, 06:33 PM
Naw kid, you need to verify YOURS. Mine is verified and I can back it up with TONS of proof of both GM & Ford doing so. Chips/Programmers VOID the entire Engine & Drivetrain Warranty because the chips/prgrammers directly alter the engine and transmission by increasing HP. That is their sole purpose. It is also the company policy of both GM & Ford on their Diesels and they are enforcing it big time becaus of all of the Turbo and EGR problems THEY say are effected by chips/programmers. And that is the information, PERIOD!:clapping: :clapping: :walking:
my dad was the head mechanic for a big car dealership for many years (i know you dont care about my dad) but he was a great mechanic for a good 10 years he always said any chips/mods you put in the car/engine voids it all.

MMLawn
03-27-2006, 07:45 PM
:clapping: :clapping: :walking:
my dad was the head mechanic for a big car dealership for many years (i know you dont care about my dad) but he was a great mechanic for a good 10 years he always said any chips/mods you put in the car/engine voids it all.


That's right. :waving:

2004F550
03-29-2006, 12:40 AM
We just told them straight up the chip was going in from the very beginning and if they wanted to void the warrenty then forget the sale of the truck....so we have the chip and the warrenty...just workem over, it can work

Mr Budget
03-29-2006, 06:44 PM
here's our rig photo taken with our new Razr cell photo

53963

etwman
03-29-2006, 07:24 PM
Here are the final pics of the truck. All is set up and done. I have a friend of mine who works for Nextel and he puts all the hands free systems in our trucks. The "push to talk" buttons are wired into one of the buttons on the steering wheel, took a little figuring but we did it. Drop the phones in the cradles, they charge, boost your signal, goes to an speaker with an aux mic, and free up having to hold a phone while driving. In addition the GPS was installed making it alot nicer to find customers from wherever I am at the time. It disconnects in two seconds, battery powered for 8 hours, so I can give it to any of my guys if the need arises. Fuel tanks, tool box, step bars, and tires are all done as well.

It is a pain setting up new trucks but this one was easier because it was just a pick up. Another freightliner would be a totally different story.

Crystal Brook Landscape
03-30-2006, 12:15 AM
ETW,
Very nice business you have there. Couple of questions for you; What are those screed polls made of? I like the idea of interlocking them, they look like PVC, that can't be they would be to flimsy. Also do you run a miniex. or do you use the JCB for your excavation work? Again very nice.

rickt
03-30-2006, 12:59 AM
Naw kid, you need to verify YOURS. Mine is verified and I can back it up with TONS of proof of both GM & Ford doing so. Chips/Programmers VOID the entire Engine & Drivetrain Warranty because the chips/prgrammers directly alter the engine and transmission by increasing HP

You also with that chip/programmer and the Banks stuff justed voided your warranty and GM & Ford are sticking to their guns big time and doing so as they claim the programmers cause too much damage to the turbos and egr's. Also don't figure "I'll just take it out before I go to the dealer for warranty work" because once installed it sends a message to the on-board factor computer that records the info.......they'll even be able to tell you exactly what mods you did and the model numbers you use. If you think not check the GM and Ford Diesel chat sites, everyday new bunch of guying on there crying that did mods then had issues and bam, no more warranty because of those mods. BIG Mistake you made adding it before the warranty expired.


Sorry to burst your bubble but a mod chip does not void your warranty. When you add any aftermarket part onto your truck car or suv the warranty is not voided just like that, there is no such thing as a "voided warranty". In there terms if you install the chip and then it causes a problem that specific repair is not covered under the warranty and you will have to pay out of your pocket to fix it. No proof is needed just call your local dealership.


And that is the information, PERIOD!

You think your a know it all huh ?

There is no such thing as a voided warranty. When you install any aftermarket part on your car it doesnt void the warranty, it only voids the repair for that part or the system it controls.

Ford or GMC, etc cant void the warranty on the whole car because that would be illegal (read in BOLD were you stated this).

As a matter of fact it all depends on the dealership, dealers submit there warranty tickets to Ford weekly, so if they want to make more cash they will just skip over your "modified" part (acting like they didnt see it) and fix it free of charge (i have worked for a dealer in the past and have seen this done).

Call your local dealer and ask them and see for yourself.

Oh yea one last thing, you know these "performance" trucks (aka special edition) trucks you see at the dealership, are you aware that the upgrades are done "in-house" meaning they are customized by the dealer, by doing this the dealer voids the ford warranty because they are upgrading from stock, this voids the repair on all the parts in fords eye's however the dealership is still obligated to repair them.

Im not talking about SVT's ,etc. These are the stock trucks that the dealer upgrades with bigger wheels, aftermarket seats, speakers, suspension, etc etc.

etwman
03-30-2006, 07:35 AM
okay the whole chip nonsense, take it to another forum. I'm sure this could be an entire thread in itself. It doesn't really matter to me if the warranty is voided or not, the trucks done and I'm really happy with it.

Paul to answer your questions. They are 1" alluminum rails with studs welded in the ends so they interlock without having to "hop over" to the next piece of rail when screeding. You don't even notice where they are interlocked when screeding. We had them custom made by a local welder.

Secondly, we use the 208 for most of the small footer excavation work we have. Major stuff we'll get a mini ex or large ex for the work. The 208 is no mini ex but it beats hauling one in for the small footer work on occassion. It has plenty of digging strength but no swing like a mini ex.

Lynch Landscaping
03-30-2006, 08:11 AM
Do your have a pic of all the trucks together. I would Love to see it! Those trucks are sweet!!!!!!!!!!

Gruneich Lawn Care, Inc.
03-30-2006, 11:16 AM
Nice truck, do what you want with the chips, its YOUR truck.

etwman
03-30-2006, 05:57 PM
As soon as the grass greens up we're going to attempt to take a shot of all the equipment. We need this pic as we finish up the website so it has to be done. Where we do it is another issue, let alone trying to get all the equipment in one place during our busiest time of the year, we're trying to figure all this out. It isn't going to be as simple as it was four years ago. Since we don't work Saturdays, and never have, Friday may be the only solution.

I'll post it as soon as its taken.

lawnkid
03-31-2006, 02:27 AM
etwman,
I've looked at every page of this thread and I am very impressed. To be a successful businessman there is a lot of planning and it looks like you did your homework. Much like you did I worked for several landscaping companies absorbing as much information about running a business and doing quality work before venturing out on my own. I am currently enrolled in college so I hope to make the most of the education I receive and continue to grow my company. By the way you describe all this work, one could only wonder what kind of social life you have outside of work. Do you have any kids and how much time do you actually get to spend with them and your wife. With a business of your caliber, it almost seems impossible to get away to enjoy life. My sister's friend's father is a CEO of a large aeronautical company around here and although he only works in his office from 9-5 like most people, he can never get away from his cell phone or computer. Just wondering how you are able to do it all. I for one will never be a slave to my job. Once that clock hits 6pm, my cell phone is turned off and only if it's very important I'll pick up my office phone but usually I'll just let it hit the voicemail.

etwman
03-31-2006, 07:37 AM
There is alot of wisdom to what you just wrote. I have been blessed with two daughters (2 1/2 and 2 months) and a great wife for whom I enjoy spending alot of time with. When I started the business I said we will never work weekends, weekends are family time. To this day not one of my guys (other than a rare snowstorm) have ever logged weekend hours. Typically I like to see the trucks back at the shop by 3 p.m. Friday which usually happens. Often times on these large build projects the foreman receives a packet of information, i.e materials needed, plan, tracking info, etc. and they exchange their cell phone number with the customer and deal with them directly. I have some top notch caliber guys and if I visit the job site 3 times throughout a major project I'd consider that alot. If they need me they'll call me and that's usually only if there's a major add on. There are incentives for them to run the job right, exceed the customers expectations, and not have any call backs. The guys love the challenges and the indepence and do a very good job.

We get away on vacation a couple times a year, two weeks during the summer months. Actually we take our Ski Nautique:) up to a lake up in the Adirondacks that doesn't even have cell phone service and I don't even worry about it. Family time is very important, not only for myself, but for those who work for me, and that is a value that will never be sacrificed in this company. I kind of see everyone here as one big family. I'd trust any of my guys with my kids at anytime.

Yes businesses can take up alot of time and for those who don't have one they will never understand the true sacrifices made. But you need to ask yourself why your really in it. For me I enjoy doing what I do and I wanted my wife to be able to be at home with our kids while they grow up. There's a huge value to that in itself.

Good luck in college, you'll be able to relate alot to business practices I'll assure you!

Mickhippy
03-31-2006, 08:17 AM
This is an old thread but it came up so....

This is what I used early this season, the JD is now retired more or less! Everything else is still current!

FinerCutslawnCare
03-31-2006, 02:29 PM
I like your little setup^....How do u like the ztr, and can you get a stripe kit for it???

etwman
03-31-2006, 04:16 PM
Once you go ZTR you'll never go any other way. Don't really need a stripe kit, we cut pretty high 3.5-4.5" and they stripe really well. Everything we mow has at least 6 apps on it, that really helps with the striping.

Mickhippy
03-31-2006, 09:22 PM
I like your little setup^....How do u like the ztr, and can you get a stripe kit for it???

Thanks mate! Love the SZ and dont know about the stripe kit. We dont go for the stripe look, not that we can do it well on our grass types. Bermuda, Kykuyu etc where I am.

TroutBrookFarms
05-09-2006, 10:15 PM
Here's a shot my mowing gear.

qualitylawnmanagement
05-09-2006, 10:45 PM
Here's a shot my mowing gear.

Hey how much was your equipment trailer? That's what I'am looking at doing, just add some side on it. This way I don't have to have two different trailers if I have to go rent a bobcat or anything else like that.

TroutBrookFarms
05-11-2006, 08:57 PM
I bought my trailer two years old, for $1500. It's a 7000 lb. trailer with brakes. It's pretty versatile because I can haul my mowing gear or a bobcat, but it's short enough (14 ft.) to be maneuverable.

qualitylawnmanagement
05-11-2006, 09:18 PM
I bought my trailer two years old, for $1500. It's a 7000 lb. trailer with brakes. It's pretty versatile because I can haul my mowing gear or a bobcat, but it's short enough (14 ft.) to be maneuverable.


Thank you! I think that is the way to go, so you can have a do it all trailer.

qualitylawnmanagement
05-11-2006, 09:23 PM
ETWman nice set-up man. I'm just wondering how I can get more landscape jobs? I pretty much just want to have set amount of mowing accounts but I love doing installs. DO you have any pointers on how to get customers to do more landscaping installs if so send it to my email, qualitylandscape@hotmail.com. that is one slick set-up man. Hope this year goes well for you. Also nice GMC you got, do you have a picture yet of it hauling your enclosed trailer yet?

kemmer
05-13-2006, 09:09 PM
etwman- what did you go to college for? im going to be attending Umass amherst this fall for landscape construction

etwman
05-15-2006, 09:08 AM
Human resource managament and marketing, then took additional landscape courses

etwman
05-15-2006, 09:41 AM
Several of you have sent me emails inquiring about the marble job that I had mentioned earlier. It is about 70% done. Attached I posted about 10 pics from the beginning of the project. Several things to mention:

1. Most of the pics of the marble show it ghost white. This is due to the fact that the marble has not been enhanced yet. When everything is all said and done you add a sealer to bring out the colors. The last pic showed the walkway enhanced, but I don't have any other pics of enhanced finals yet. I'll get them soon.

2. There are two landings. The one closest to the house will contain a pergola, kitchen, and fireplace. That's what the sonit tubes were placed in the ground for.

3. The other landing will be a cabana type out building without sides out of redwood.

4. The whole patio is about 2800 sf of marble which came in about 20 crates from Peru. This will all make a nice photo shoot when all is said and done later this summer. I'll post the finals when it is done. The plan for the project is back a couple pages in this post.


We have another one coming up down towards Philly in another month or so.

etwman
05-15-2006, 09:43 AM
Here are the last 5 from that job.

jazak
05-15-2006, 11:01 AM
Very, Very NICE

J&R Landscaping
05-15-2006, 03:48 PM
Outstanding Work!!!

Tony Clifton
05-15-2006, 09:37 PM
Very impressive, and while I hate to admit it, I am not easily impressed.

br549oicu8
05-15-2006, 10:52 PM
Absolutely beautiful!!:cool2:

zim bob the landscaper
05-16-2006, 03:15 PM
wow you guys are good...really good.

jhill603085
05-25-2006, 12:54 AM
everything in this thread is incredible. i am a 19 yr old college student with future plans of getting into the landscaping business after i get out of college. i found lawnsite a few months ago, and i have been reading threads ever since. and i read this entire thread in one night. i never imagined that a business could grow so quickly from what i have seen at the beginning of this thread to what it is now. my hat is off to you etwman, and you have shown me so much about what landscaping is really about. good luck this season!!! im pretty sure that you will do pretty darn well.

Itsgottobegreen
05-27-2006, 02:18 AM
what did you do, stand on top of the skid steer to get those shots. Or did you raise the bucket all the way up and stand in that.?

etwman
05-28-2006, 09:47 PM
We bought two 15 foot fold up ladders that go out with the construction crews, they work pretty good for elevated shots of most of our projects.

RPM Lawn Care
05-28-2006, 09:53 PM
Are you getting paid to advertise the equipment you use on the side of your trailer?

etwman
05-29-2006, 08:51 AM
RPM -

We were compensated "well" when we did the lettering on the side. What the details were and the amount of compensation I can't really discuss. The same approach was used on other pieces of equipment that we own.

etwman
06-25-2006, 08:44 AM
A couple of you have been emailing and asking me to post a couple more. Sorry, we've been pretty busy juggling a couple decent size projects. Here's one we just finished. New home construction. Did all the hardscape, landscape, and then put three acres of grass in when we finished. All in all took us about three weeks.

Hope everyone is having a good season.

Enjoy.

tthomass
06-25-2006, 11:21 AM
do you design/sell/build or does someone else do the designing? nice work

Signature Landscaping1
06-25-2006, 11:50 AM
Really nice work!

etwman
06-25-2006, 02:43 PM
Depending on the scope of the work we may involve an independant architect if we need some engineering stamps. The selling and construction is all done in house. No subcontracting of any work is done which makes the flow of the project go alot smoother because you're not waiting on someone else.

M RASCOE&SONS
06-25-2006, 04:36 PM
very nice work..how many employees do you have ?

meets1
06-25-2006, 05:23 PM
Looks awesome! Nice flow from pavers to wall and the different colors that were used.

etwman
06-25-2006, 05:38 PM
It's surprising to many but we're not that big, just very selective on the projects we take on. Many are very surprised at the numbers we turn in a year based on our size. We have 5 full time and grab a couple seasonal help to aid in carrying us through our busy time. We've never run an ad for employees, as a matter of fact we ususally get flooded by calls in the spring of people wanting to come work for us. We don't have turnover so hiring is often a very selective process. Usually word of mouth is how we end up hiring.

clc2003
06-26-2006, 01:32 AM
fantastic work. I hope I can be half as sucessful as u are. Love the pics and all of your equipment. I was wondering, on the last set of pics of the paver patio, etc. is that brown or black mulch, and if it is black, is it the rubber mulch?

etwman
06-26-2006, 08:43 AM
It's black mulch, as a matter of fact about 75% of what we do is black. Our customers seem to prefer it a little more and it gets the landscape to "pop" a little more as far as appearance.

Lynch Landscaping
06-26-2006, 09:10 AM
Lets see a pic of all of your equipment!

Surf'n'Turf
06-26-2006, 11:15 AM
Great thread...those switch'n'go trucks make sense! Where in Central Jersey did you operate back in the day?

etwman
06-26-2006, 03:18 PM
Just north of Princeton was where I grew up and had the LCO.

The trucks make too much sense, I can't imagine going back to the old school. On a rare event you have a truck down for service, etc. you just put the body on another truck and off you go. You're not really down a truck. The other month we had our hardscape body on #3 and we had a fuel sensor go bad. We pulled it out, winched the body down, put it on #4 and off they went. It's either that or your truck with all the tools on it would be sitting at a truck garage somewhere waiting to get worked on....for who knows how long. Then you'll take another truck up there, off load everything, waste 1/2 day, then get the truck fixed and waste another 1/2 switching it back over. Efficiency!!

Surf'n'Turf
06-26-2006, 05:20 PM
Princeton is a great area, the cost of living in NJ is going through the roof though. Keep up the good work!

etwman
08-19-2006, 01:48 PM
Lynch -

This upcoming week we will have a fleet picture taken and I will post by weeks end....I promise. I'm not sure if I'll get it all in one pic but we'll see what happens. Everything is very clean right now due to the fact that we are about to leave for upstate NY on a 6 week hardscape project at a resort, so it's a good time for a pic. Just about everything is headed up and will preceed 12 tractor trailer loads of block/pavers from EPHenry due to arrive shortly. This has been in the planning stages for three years now and is finally coming together. It's an 1100 foot long beach wall on a lake with meandering paver walkways above it. I'll post some pics of that sometime in October. We'll be home each weekend, but will stay, eat, and work at the resort. Most of the equipment will stay onsite and travel will be done by air. Employees families can come and go as they wish.

I'll get the equip pics up asap. Sorry for the delay.

lawncare18
08-19-2006, 03:03 PM
Where is the resort in upstate ny located???? Good luck.. im asuming you will work sun up to sun down on this project???

etwman
08-19-2006, 03:27 PM
Speculator, NY. 12164. It's about 6 hours from us, 330 miles, thus the reason most of the equipment will stay up there throughout the duration of the project. There will be some long days I'm sure, because as you know winter can set in early up there so you have to keep moving. 1100 feet of footer won't go quick and needs to be done with precision. There is an old cinderblock wall that needs demoed first, to be replaced with a coventry wall and 40 pillars (every 30 feet) which will all have lights on them. This project will be seen all across the lake. Should be ideal conditions working in the Adirondacks in the fall, everyone's really looking forward to it.

stuffdeer
08-19-2006, 04:15 PM
Employees' families will be will flown out as they wish...HOLY CRAP

I want to work for you...Give me aplace to live, and decent wage, and I'm there!

etwman
08-19-2006, 04:33 PM
Okay...whoa before this gets all blown out of proportion. If there's room on the plane they can go back and forth. Everyone is driving up the friday of labor day weekend in company trucks/personal vehicles for r/r then we start monday. Some families will stay for the week, others will head back monday, everyone's driving home the end of the first week, leaving company trucks up there. For the weeks after that it all in the air until the project is done. If there's room in the charter, family members can go, workers get first priority. We'll leave Monday at 6 a.m on site by 7:15. Done Friday at 4 home by 5:15. We'll have long days but no working weekends. If the guys want to stay up there for the weekend and the families want to join them that's fine. The plane will be empty headed north on Friday and can bring families up, taking them home Monday morning.

That's the whole flying deal. Whew....

BSDeality
08-19-2006, 04:43 PM
Speculator is a great section of the north country. I would love to check out it out if I'm up that way. I visit Chestertown (off exit 25 of the northway) frequently. Sounds like quite the project. I love the switch/go systems you guys use too.

etwman
08-21-2006, 12:50 PM
Okay -

Finally got most of it together, we needed it for our website anyway. There's a couple misc. things that aren't here but so be it....most of the equipment is here, not everything got drug out of the enclosed trailer (blowers, pushmowers, etc) because of a lack of space. This is the last company shot we'll be able to do in the back yard, there's just not enough room anymore.

etwman
08-21-2006, 12:51 PM
second shot...different angle.

etwman
08-21-2006, 12:52 PM
third shot ....different angle

etwman
08-21-2006, 12:53 PM
fourth shot....different angle

etwman
08-21-2006, 12:54 PM
final angle

etwman
08-21-2006, 12:57 PM
This is kind of interesting.....I dug back into the photos and found this pic from spring of 2000. Obviously things change........

stuffdeer
08-21-2006, 12:58 PM
Very Nice!

Lol...My first shot doesn't even look that nice!

ALarsh
08-21-2006, 01:23 PM
Its really neat to see the 2000 vs. 2006. Substantial growth in 6 years. Think 6 years from now.;)

Great work.

jazak
08-21-2006, 07:33 PM
Very nice. Came a LONG way since 00. What do you think wil be your next big purchase. Also looks time for some new mower, no? Either way nice stuff.

etwman
08-21-2006, 08:01 PM
Not sure what'll be next. Either a track skid loader or another Freightliner. I'd almost like to dump the dodge and get a 4500 series truck. You still need a non CDL for some summer college guys and to pull the enclosed trailer. We'd like a shop that we can put everything in but I'm only ever building one shop, one time, so if I have to wait another year or two so be it but it'll be done right.

Mowers? We are mowing less and less every year. They all had a major overhaul this past winter. With the hours we put on them in a year they'll last 10 more years. If it were up to my guys we wouldn't be mowing at all.

CrewCutEnterprises
08-21-2006, 09:11 PM
Ok, Well I count.

2 Freightliner FL70's with switch n go system, 1 with storage body, 1 with drop body
24 ft enclosed trailer
22 ft axle over open trailer
1 flat body
2 mason style dump bodies
1 dodge 3500 stake dump with L pack
JCB loader
Permagreen centri
3 hustler mowers
1 bed shaper
the new Chevy


You've come a long way, Ive followed your growth and I too love the switch n go system but. just can justify the purchase, Keep up the great work and posting pictures...We all appreciate it.

Jason.
Crew Cut Enterprises

Okay -

Finally got most of it together, we needed it for our website anyway. There's a couple misc. things that aren't here but so be it....most of the equipment is here, not everything got drug out of the enclosed trailer (blowers, pushmowers, etc) because of a lack of space. This is the last company shot we'll be able to do in the back yard, there's just not enough room anymore.

etwman
08-21-2006, 09:52 PM
I've stopped counting, it make me queezy at times. And I wasn't about to drag all the snow removal equipment out in the middle of August either. There's another 2 plows, pusher, salter, 3 snowblowers, broom, etc.

There's a couple other nick nack things in the barn but it just got to a point that the pic needed to be taken and enough was enough. How much stuff did you really need to clean. We got what we wanted for the website and it's back to work.

BSDeality - If you want to come over to Speculator just let me know and I'll make sure we're there. My guess is will be there until mid-october. If you time it right I'll have our boat up there and there are some great evening ski/wakeboard runs in the fall on that lake.

BSDeality
08-21-2006, 09:56 PM
etwman, I hope you've got a wetsuit if you plan on skiin' or boarding in october. It gets mighty cold up there at night in the fall, September is usually still warm enough to be in the lakes though. You'll be up there for all the leaf peepers too, there is some beautiful scenery up in the high peaks area. You can also go up Whiteface MTN or Gore Mountain gondola's to get some excellent views too.

etwman
08-21-2006, 10:07 PM
Wetsuits, drysuits, we got 'em all. The question is will our back still be worthy of watersports after long days of work. Building a beach wall, staring at the calm water all day long might be motivation enough. Work is the first priority though but there will be some time for fun too.

Off the subject a little but we bought our Air Nautique in May from Candlewood East Marina in Danbury, beautiful lake. I actually lived in New Fairfield for 7 years when I was young.

Nevertheless....

MLawns
08-21-2006, 10:19 PM
etwman, great to see progress like you've achieved. Maybe I'll take the wife for a ride some weekend as she's always on me about that anyhow, and check out your job. I used to drive thru that area occassionly.

BSDeality
08-21-2006, 10:26 PM
Candlewood is an absolute madhouse, I haven't been on it in years and it was crazy then, i can't imagine what it is like now. I love the air nautique's, I still have yet to ski behind one though.

Phil's Lawn Care
08-23-2006, 03:41 PM
Wow etwman... You have really been an inspiration. I am only 16 and have been in business for 4 yrs. I live in Willow Street south of the city. It's awesome to hear all that you have done and just living so close.

etwman
09-23-2006, 08:31 AM
We are headed into week #4 of our NY project with hopefully two more weeks to go. Most of the wall is up but yet to be capped. There is a 3800 sf patio area to be laid in an area at one end of the wall in front of a snack shop. This will be done over the next two weeks. We are currently on load number 12, laid over 110 skids, but all is going pretty well. Black rod iron lights will go on the pillars and eyeball lights every 14 feet on the face of the wall shining down on the beach. The wall was 1100 feet long, that was enough footer to last us for quite a while.

EPHenry reps came up last week with plans to put this job in their catalog. Phase II will go next fall with 6500 sf of meandering paver walkways just back behing the top of the wall.

All in all the feedback has been great.

etwman
09-23-2006, 08:34 AM
Will post final pics in a couple of weeks.

lawncare18
09-23-2006, 11:43 AM
Amazing work!!! YOu own all the skids and excavators or renting them up there??? ALso the weather must be getting bsad with all this rain and cold temps.. bet your gona be out of there just in time?? Keep up the good work and hope you post some more pics!!!!!!!

jazak
09-23-2006, 11:49 AM
So do you think you're going to be going home with all that JD equipment + a new bigger truck to pull some it??:laugh: :clapping: :laugh: Rentals correct? Or does the campus own them?;)

etwman
09-23-2006, 12:52 PM
Weather is beginning to turn up there. 31 the other morning. Peak season will be there shortly. Our window is closing fast. We're on the safe side until about the 3rd week in October. We've had our share of damp days but you have to move forward if your that far away from home. No sense sitting around. We backfilled one day when it rained. Fortunately we haven't really lost a day yet.

About 50% of the equipment we trucked from home and the rest was up there. I could have used another track skidloader up there but we managed. You can't take a wheeled machine on the sand. A local rental company that we used brought a load up for us as well.

No more equipment for awhile, at least no plans on anything currently. That may change this winter.

Tony Clifton
09-23-2006, 01:01 PM
Looks great, you are fortunate to comae across such fun jobs.
Do you feel using the grid and all of that drainage was necessary for such a short wall?

etwman
09-23-2006, 03:12 PM
The engineers stated we should take all the necessary precautions up there. The freeze thaw cycle is really harsh, the soil is horrible, and we only wanted to do this once. We wrapped the whole footer in textile to prevent any washout if the lake water were to ever erode the base. It's a rarity the water comes up to the wall. Drains in the front are set every 30'. Stone in footer is 16" deep, about as deep as we could go without hitting water. The grid had to go there because is was a combination wall with a repeating panel. Grid can go every 21" high. It was either there or right below the caps. Their call was to put it on top of the footer block.

Was it all necessary? I don't know....but it's done and it'll last. Every wall is different depending on placement/climate etc.

lawncare18
09-23-2006, 04:43 PM
you do this work year round.. or do you just plow snow during the winter???

paponte
09-23-2006, 08:38 PM
Great work man! Glad to see you brought all the important tools up with you. Hopefully the boat was your tool! :laugh:

We just recently bought an FL70 ourselves. I opted for the hook-all by American roll off. It's a dual articulating system, so it can be used as a dumper, or slide it back then roll it off. I was concerned about the dump angle as well and wanted to drop loads instead of pulling them out. How much did the mason bodies run you? I am looking to purchase a 14' mason, as well as have a body for a sander.

etwman
09-23-2006, 09:31 PM
The bodies ran anywhere from 3-7k depending on which one it was. Obviously the hardscape body was more expensive. You won't regret the ability to switch out bodies, now you just have to learn to utilize them all. The bigger trucks are definitely the way to, oh and get this, we got 12 mpg in them running them loaded up to NY. I can't complain about that.

The boat is mine, though I'm really not sure why we brought it up the first week. We were so beat each day I may have put one hour on it the entire week. We did get out one night for some wakeboarding, parasailing, etc. so it was a little fun.

Lawncare18 - We'll hardscape as long as the weather holds. Usually we take two months off in the middle of the winter for trade shows, work on equipment, etc. We do plow a little, just two commercial sites, that's enough. I don't really push it, nor look forward too it.

Dig Doug
09-29-2006, 07:33 PM
Any new pics from this week? When do you plan on wrapping the job up? Do you find using the skids more useful then the JCB you have now? Do you plan on buying a mini x or skid? Looks great, keep the pictures coming.

charlie orr
09-30-2006, 09:13 PM
We are headed into week #4 of our NY project with hopefully two more weeks to go. Most of the wall is up but yet to be capped. There is a 3800 sf patio area to be laid in an area at one end of the wall in front of a snack shop. This will be done over the next two weeks. We are currently on load number 12, laid over 110 skids, but all is going pretty well. Black rod iron lights will go on the pillars and eyeball lights every 14 feet on the face of the wall shining down on the beach. The wall was 1100 feet long, that was enough footer to last us for quite a while.

EPHenry reps came up last week with plans to put this job in their catalog. Phase II will go next fall with 6500 sf of meandering paver walkways just back behing the top of the wall.

All in all the feedback has been great.

Boy, that wall looks GREAT!! Will you be going home soon! We will miss you, and the lighting, really looks good, who ever did that sure new what they were doing!! LOL Thanks for all the help, this guy is top notch, he has taught me an awful lot. Love him like a brother. He is very efficient in everything he does, runs a tight ship, but at the same time still a great friend.
See you on Tuesday!

etwman
10-01-2006, 08:21 PM
4200 sf of pavers left to lay and some fine tuning and we should be headed home in another week and a half. Wall is completely done and capped, pillars are all set, and we are concentrating on the handicapp ramps, steps, and large patio at one end.

MysticLandscape
10-02-2006, 12:05 AM
Nothing beats New England in the fall, nothing.

lawncare18
10-02-2006, 05:38 PM
Bet you are glad to be getitng done.. weather is deff turning fast up there i bet.. Keep posting pics for us.. great job!!!!

Jamesgateslandscaping
10-02-2006, 09:28 PM
Nothing beats New England in the fall, nothing.
Gotta do it:rolleyes: , but New York isnt part of New England...close but no cigar:waving: ;)
James
PS-I heart smiley faces and this was a joke:laugh:

LawnBoy89
10-10-2006, 12:03 PM
Man...you are my idol

etwman
10-12-2006, 10:38 AM
Headed home late last night, 24 hours before the snowflakes are predicted to fly in Speculator. Will be landscaped in the spring.

Final tallies on the project:
1,353.6 man hours over 5 1/2 weeks.
1.56 million lbs of material brought into the resort for this project.
14 tractor trailer loads of block / pavers up from PA. on 171 skids.
11 flights upstate
0 days lost to rain & 0 jobsite injuries.
2 new babies to employees!!
4 guys ready to be home.

etwman
10-12-2006, 10:41 AM
Second set of finals

etwman
10-12-2006, 10:44 AM
Last picture.

lawncare18
10-12-2006, 02:05 PM
Loooks great all done.. very very very nice work you do.. I hope your going to give your guys a day or two off after working that hard and you guys prob not getitng home until the wee hours of the am im asuming they will get a little rbeak>.. bet your glad you are out.. weathers gona turn bad up there I think real early...

Lynch Landscaping
10-12-2006, 09:30 PM
You do some sweet work, some day I hope to be like you guys!

pcs
10-23-2006, 10:14 PM
What kind of lights are on the walls. How do you install them?

etwman
10-23-2006, 10:38 PM
Those are Malibu lights, there are tons of different brands out there you can use. The resort ordered those in, we use primarily Kichler.

You drill through the block, run the wires through, then tapcon the lights on the face. They go on pretty quick. Make sure you put them on, run the conduit, and pull the lines before you backfill. Makes life alot easier.

Flew back up to Speculator today for a two hour final inspection with the engineers. 10 days after we pulled out. The wet snowflakes were flying, got that project in under the wire. Winter has set in.

BSDeality
10-23-2006, 10:51 PM
Jarod, that looks awesome. I wish I could have gotten up to see you guys in action. Too bad our schedules didn't match up. I will have to get over to the resort at some point to check it out. Winter is definitely setting in, I'm headed upstate this weekend to cleanup the camp and put the boat away before the big snows come.

Lynden-Jeff
10-23-2006, 11:02 PM
Quick shot of my rig at a house. Will post more of equiptment later.

http://www.lyndenlawncare.com/rigg.jpg

Cheers
Jeff

MysticLandscape
10-23-2006, 11:41 PM
Xoopiter , not a good idea to put all that weight on the truck like that, I had my hitch snap over the summer luckily it was only 5 AM when it happened.

Lynden-Jeff
10-24-2006, 12:00 AM
Xoopiter , not a good idea to put all that weight on the truck like that, I had my hitch snap over the summer luckily it was only 5 AM when it happened.

Hey,

All it is is a plastic hood for the bagger and a plastic garbage can in the back and the Z at the back is only temporary until my 16' trailer is ready. Its also a class 4 hitch. Im not really worried about it snapping but this is only temporary plus the season is pretty much done.

Cheers
Jeff

Woody82986
10-24-2006, 11:07 AM
Xoopiter, thats a great color for the rakes. I guess it catches people's eyes.

Lynden-Jeff
10-24-2006, 03:28 PM
They where 6 bucks each so I bought a bunch. I guess they do catch peoples eye lol.

Cheers
Jef

THEoneandonlyLawnRanger
10-27-2006, 09:45 AM
my John Deere WB

etwman
11-02-2006, 03:13 PM
Another small one down the mainline towards Philly. Attempting to catch up from the back log from being in NY. This one took about 7 days.

etwman
11-02-2006, 03:13 PM
Sorry one more.

TPLawnPro
11-02-2006, 04:53 PM
Wow! That brick paver work looks great!

Dirt Digger2
11-17-2006, 05:07 PM
Another small one down the mainline towards Philly. Attempting to catch up from the back log from being in NY. This one took about 7 days.

curious where that is...it wouldn't happen to be Tattersal would it?

etwman
11-17-2006, 09:04 PM
Not exactly sure where Tattersal is. This was in the Rerserves off of 100 in Chester Springs, PA.

cleancutccl
11-18-2006, 09:57 AM
EWTMAN, are you able to move pallets of material around with the compact backhoe or is just for prep work?

etwman
11-18-2006, 11:02 AM
No we can move stuff around, it has a quick attach for pallet forks, high and low flow. Lift capacity is around 3500 lbs. The nice thing with this is we can put suitcase weights in the hoe and extend it out for better counterbalance. While its not a perfect skidloader, everytime we think about replacing it we use the hoe. Bang for the buck it the perfect machine, a track loader will grade better and lift more hands down. If this machine came on tracks and had just a little wider wheelbase, it would be the perfect hardscape tool. There's no other machine out there that's this compact, has a bucket and hoe, great visibility, can lift this much, and you can still put on a 10k GVW trailer. Those are the benefits. Down side they're 48k new.

DUSTYCEDAR
11-18-2006, 11:50 AM
lookin great

exmarkmaster01
11-18-2006, 04:14 PM
very nice jd them dude. great colors

Adam's Lawn and Garden
11-18-2006, 05:05 PM
ETWMAN,

do you have your new website up yet?

adam

etwman
11-18-2006, 06:55 PM
Yeah, it went live last week......I finally decided enough was enough, we'll just launch it. I have a couple other things I need to do to it yet, but for the most part it gets the point accross. Most of the material we wanted to copywrite protect before it went live.

ohhh okay....www.earthturfwood.com

now I'm going to get 50,000 hits on it....tell me what you think Adam.

lawncare18
11-18-2006, 08:21 PM
great great web site... keep up the great work you do!!!!

Lazer_Z
11-18-2006, 08:57 PM
Beautiful site. You guys really out do yourselves on every project. I like how in your portfolio in the one project you mention the "wow" factor well from seeing your work here it looks to me that every project you do no matter the size has that "wow" factor built in.

Rob

etwman
11-18-2006, 09:24 PM
The one criteria I had from day one when we just started working on the site was there will be no pictures on there that aren't ours. If need be, I'll wait to launch it until I have what I want. I will never use vendors pics to illustrate the scope of our work in any of our marketing or advertising. Anyone who works here can tell you where everyone of those projects were located and when they were built. There are even (4-5) 30-50k projects that I didn't put on there yet because I want to check with the customers first. I'm pretty sure they won't have a problem so I'll get them up soon.

You can have lots of "bling bling" and "wow" on your site, but if its not yours why is it up there? For what? To attempt to sell the customer on something you haven't done or can't do? To me it seems like false advertising, maybe its just my opinion or me being over picky.

Sorry if I hit a nerve.

etwman
11-18-2006, 09:43 PM
Ohh, hey on another note, and sorry I haven't responded. Several of you have been sending me PM's on wanting to get together for lunch or over a cup of coffee to chat business. That's not a problem, I just have to find time. It would work best beginning to mid December. I will look at my schedule after the holiday, try and come up with a local Diner or something where 6-8 of us could sit down, and post a time and date in the Networking Forum. I'll let you know when its there.

coolbreeze
11-28-2006, 04:04 PM
Yeah, it went live last week......I finally decided enough was enough, we'll just launch it. I have a couple other things I need to do to it yet, but for the most part it gets the point accross. Most of the material we wanted to copywrite protect before it went live.

ohhh okay....www.earthturfwood.com

now I'm going to get 50,000 hits on it....tell me what you think Adam.
great site. nice clean and simple with actually client photos. also, nice to put a face with the name.

etwman
12-03-2006, 06:04 PM
Okay -

Where -- Here's the place:

Silk City Diner
1640 North Reading Road
Stevens, PA 17578

When: Friday, December 15th......9:30 a.m.

Who: Anyone who wants to chat business. You can learn alot from round table meetings at times. I thinink 8-10 might be a good group.

Everyone has mapquest so its easiest just to post the address. They have a couple back rooms we can sip coffee and eat. 9:30 may be a good time because it won't be so crowded and it give guys time to travel if need be. I know the owners pretty well there and can get a table off in a corner.

Our shop is about 4 miles from here. If people really want to see the equipment I'll make an attempt after we meet.

PM me if you are interested. If we end up with too many interested I'll repost and cut it off and look to maybe to another one in Feb sometime.

Looking forward to it.

Matt k
12-06-2006, 09:48 PM
I think a better meeting place would be Earland Dr. in New Holland, I hear the owner is an admirer of yours!!! Can local boys attend?

mow king
12-20-2006, 05:31 PM
ETW-

Did you have to cut down the frames on the Freightliner's while fabbing them up? If so, how much did that set you back?

I'm looking at cutting down a truck with a 24ft box truck currently on it and the only thing scaring me away is the possible cost of cutting down the frame.

Thanks.

Total.Lawn.Care
12-20-2006, 05:59 PM
Mow King, if you read through his post, I think he said that they cut the frames off 6" behind the read axle spring hanger. This is what gave them the long wheel base, but not much rear overhang with the bed and it aided with lifting the loads onto the trucks, pulling the, right up over the axle. I think he had a great idea with these trucks and I have a friend in the ladn clearing business that is thinking about building a couple of these trucks based on the versatility that ETW has expereinced.

Lawn Enforcer
12-20-2006, 06:52 PM
Wow! I've read through this whole post, and I am impressed. Very nice equipment. Congratulations to you on all of your success! Keep up the good work! Also, that 2000 photo, how many accounts were you doing, and how many people did you have working for you?

etwman
12-20-2006, 07:18 PM
In 2000 we had about 6 accounts (3 were pretty big) and one full time employee with 1 part time.

Mow King, cutting the frame is the easy part. Torch and 5 minutes. Fabricating everything should be done by someone who knows what they are doing. Both of these trucks had 24' boxes on them when we bought them. We had them taken off and the lift gates torched off by the seller before we took delivery, which left us with just the cab and chassie. Most guys will do this for nothing if you give them the box.

Total lawn care answered most of the other questions.

mow king
12-20-2006, 07:31 PM
In 2000 we had about 6 accounts (3 were pretty big) and one full time employee with 1 part time.

Mow King, cutting the frame is the easy part. Torch and 5 minutes. Fabricating everything should be done by someone who knows what they are doing. Both of these trucks had 24' boxes on them when we bought them. We had them taken off and the lift gates torched off by the seller before we took delivery, which left us with just the cab and chassie. Most guys will do this for nothing if you give them the box.

Total lawn care answered most of the other questions.

Actually I was looking to put a 12' flat bed on this truck to haul a 25k gvw gooseneck around. SO this would involve cutting the frame and shortening the driveshaft, etc. I was looking for a rough idea on cost for that.

Thanks.

etwman
12-20-2006, 08:36 PM
I'd say you could probably have the frame torched, move the rear axle, and shorten the drive shaft for somewhere around $1500-$2000, give or take if you find the right guy.

lawncare18
12-20-2006, 10:48 PM
Hows business been .. the weather must be keeping you busy still since it is so warm.. keep up the good work.. any new equip on the way??

coolbreeze
12-21-2006, 08:11 AM
how did the meeting go?

etwman
12-21-2006, 01:58 PM
We've pretty much slowed down. When you deal with upscale project customers tend to shy away from construction around the holidays because they entertain and don't want the place ripped up. We'll do work on equipment after the 1st of the year, go to a couple conferences, and crank back up beginning of March. We typically don't work through the winter, I won't take the risk in getting caught with freezing ground or attempting to price projects for Jan/Feb. In addition, I'm working on two fairly large projects for spring 2007 that won't come together overnight.

Meeting went okay, some good info came out. I was a little irritated that a bunch of people who said they were coming didn't show up, nor bother to call and inform me that they weren't coming. I won't mention names but they know who they are. Alot of good info can come out of these meetings but people need to hold to their commitment.

If and when I do another one I'll make sure I know who's going to be there.

coolbreeze
12-22-2006, 09:58 AM
well i hope those who did attend enjoyed themselves. for those who didn't i guess it's their loss, since it was free information and brainstorming.

DUSTYCEDAR
12-22-2006, 10:42 AM
oh well missed that guess that happens when u dont pay attention.

J&R Landscaping
12-23-2006, 04:54 PM
The meeting was good. It would have been nice to hear from a few more people but some really good idea's were shared IMO!

Tim Wright
12-23-2006, 06:57 PM
The meeting was good. It would have been nice to hear from a few more people but some really good idea's were shared IMO!

It was good to meet you Joe. I hope you have a great new year.

Tim

J&R Landscaping
12-24-2006, 04:59 AM
Thanks Tim!

Same to you! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, Jarod, and Chris!

cgland
12-24-2006, 11:52 AM
You guys too! Hope everyone has a prosperous new year!

Chris

Tim Wright
12-24-2006, 02:53 PM
Same to you guys.

It was good to meet you also Chris. I just did not know your post name here.

Jared too!

Thank you guys for sharing of your experience and wisdom!!!!!!

You all have a good Christmas.

Tim

etwman
02-04-2007, 05:26 PM
Just like everyone else, over time you outgrow your current shop. Though we became ingenious with optimizing every corner it became inevitable that a permanent change was needed.

After about a year of searching we signed an agreement on a new three acre commercial zoned facility last week. We had contimplated building, then stumbled across this option by word of mouth. We got immediate approval by the employees and they are anxious to move. It has offices, lobby, and an attached 4,000 sf shop with a mezzanine for additional storage. The shop is totally heated, has steel lines w/ a built in compressor, drains in the floor to wash equipment inside, 14 ft bay doors that will permit us to pull ALL of our trucks inside at once, as well as 20 parking spots in front for employees and customers. Behind the shop is 2 acres of (currently farmed field) that will be stoned in as needed to allow for storage for supplies, truck bodies, and trailers. In addition, its located on a main road and is only 1/2 mile from the turnpike entrance which is great for access down the mainline towards Philly.

It is currently occupied and we will transition into it beginning of April. Spring is not my first choice to move, but it is pretty much turn key. We'll only have some very minor improvements. After we get situated, and have signage up, I'll post some pictures. Like everything else, it wasn't cheap by any means, but we'll grow into it in time and wonder how we ever did without it in two years.

TWUllc
02-04-2007, 06:18 PM
Congrats! .

Lawnsmithcare
02-04-2007, 09:51 PM
Congrats hopfully it works out good for you.

Lawn Enforcer
02-04-2007, 11:03 PM
Congrats on your shop! Sounds like your getting a delicious building on your hands! Can't wait for the pics!:)

coolbreeze
02-06-2007, 09:16 AM
that's awesome, congratulations!

DUSTYCEDAR
02-06-2007, 01:52 PM
thats great news

Idealtim
02-06-2007, 10:38 PM
It's threads like this that should go in a ''Hall of Fame'' on lawnsite. This is my third time reading the whole thing from start to finish.

lawnpro724
02-08-2007, 06:05 PM
Here is my stuffhttp://Turf Cover

I hope thats bigger than it looks with all that equipment thats over kill.

Krehling's Prop. Maint.
02-16-2007, 09:37 PM
etw, where at in central pa are you located?

Adam's Lawn and Garden
02-16-2007, 11:12 PM
He's at the MAHTS show in ATC so i'll just save you the wait. He's in Denver, PA like 2 miles from the turnpike. Probably, like 20 minutes or so from you, he's like 45 minutes from me and i'm in york.

adam

Krehling's Prop. Maint.
02-16-2007, 11:35 PM
thanks boss

boppersims
02-18-2007, 10:47 AM
I love the choices of trees and bushes around the house in your equipment photo. I would like to see all of it. I need some ideas for my own home and can you give me names of the different types? Thanks a bunch.

Jason

lawn guy1350
02-22-2007, 12:10 AM
wow, all i can say is wow. what a great thread. and thats one hell of a company. i cant believe im just now finding this...i hope to be to that caliber some day.

Drew Gemma
02-22-2007, 10:41 AM
etw man tht compact loader/ hoe what advice do you have for someone wannting to purchase on eof those? I really like the Kubota TLB L 35 or L39

for my application I need a 4wd tractor to brush hog parts of my farm. The loader for our mulch pile and to keep are drive way smooth. I would like to use for hardscape also. Thoughts suggestions?

Thanks for you information!

etwman
02-23-2007, 05:23 PM
Tractors typically don't do it for hardscape, you have to go the skidloader route if you really want to accomplish anything without frustration. They just don't have the lift capacity to do hardscape that skidloaders do. As a result we sold our compact a while back and are actually in the process of looking pretty hard at an ASV trackloader. According to alot of online sources they outclimb, outlift, outperform, and outlast alot of competitor brands. I have one more unit to demo and a little more research until I'm sold but what I see so far reinforces what the web is saying. Sorry I can't give you anymore advise on the tractor issue. The one we had had around 40 hp, which was decent, I'm not sure I'd go much less.

Compact tractors are great for landscape work and for running implements on the back. To try and come up with a machine that works great in both applications you really need to go to a track skidloader, they don't rip up the ground that much. The down side is they are expensive, they are a ground engaging machine, and they are expensive to maintain.

Pick your poison. In a perfect world there would be a perfect machine....but then again we're not in a perfect world.

CrewCutEnterprises
02-23-2007, 06:06 PM
Hey ETW, Can you take a pick of inside of the frieghtliner, im having a hard time finding a air ride seat and a bench seat in a fl. I find 2 bucket seats but i want to seat 3 people.

thanks

cgland
02-23-2007, 08:48 PM
We have the L39 Kubota. I had the bright idea to buy this thing to outfit a second hardscape crew........bad idea. we ended up buying another skiddy. The L39 is great for landscape work, planting trees, light excavation work and digging for retaining walls, but if I had my druthers I would trade it in for a mini x. Like I said though, It is great for softscaping.

Chris

Adam's Lawn and Garden
03-07-2007, 09:01 PM
Did you take pics of the new shop you bought? and any new equipment for this year?

adam

etwman
03-08-2007, 06:41 PM
Settlement on the property is the second week of April. I have a few pics but will wait until we are in and the signage is up until I post. How we are going to find time to move in mid April I have no idea.

We are strongly considering an ASV track skid loader and possibly another Freightliner. Both of which I'm sure will come soon. I'll have tool boxes made shortly and kept in our shop which will enable us to put the truck together very quickly once we find the chassis.

Currently I'm too involved in 5 major projects that are all drawn and ready to be scheduled ...thus not much time for equipment shopping. These bigger residential projects take an enormous amount of legwork to pull together but are very rewarding. The smallest of the five projects is 3 tractor trailer loads of pavers / wall products.

On top of all of that I'm trying to find time to make a 5th trip down to the Mississippi coast in May to help some good friends that I met 18 month ago rebuild their home.

Such is spring....

mrusk
03-08-2007, 08:01 PM
Currently I'm too involved in 5 major projects that are all drawn and ready to be scheduled ...thus not much time for equipment shopping. These bigger residential projects take an enormous amount of legwork to pull together but are very rewarding. The smallest of the five projects is 3 tractor trailer loads of pavers / wall products.

On top of all of that I'm trying to find time to make a 5th trip down to the Mississippi coast in May to help some good friends that I met 18 month ago rebuild their home.

Such is spring....

Those big projects require ALOT of leg work. Up to 50-60k is not to bad. I am designing some jobs in the 125k-150k range. It is alot of leg work once you start involving sub contractors and many trades.

Its one thing if you are just doing a 100k paver driveway. But on these residential projects, most of the time it is alot of medium and small projects tied into one job. There is a ton of details to work out.

Once you get past a certain point it a whole nother form of work!

Matt

etwman
03-08-2007, 08:46 PM
I would agree with your last Matt and I'm sure you would agree with this.......if people are going to take on these type of elaborate projects that climb into the 6 digits you had better darn well know what you are doing. You can really screw a customer and yourself if you are charting in unknown territories without experience. It'll be your first and last if you don't do your homework.

We have two significant projects that are in the drawing stages for 2008 right now. That's no exaggeration on how much time it takes to put these together and we don't even sub work out. That project up in NY had over 240 hours in it with engineering, planning, and research before one scoop of dirt was ever moved.

Adam's Lawn and Garden
03-08-2007, 09:05 PM
That's crazy how much time is put into these projects. How much does the owner of the company walk away with after a 60K job is done?

adam

etwman
03-09-2007, 03:59 PM
The owner doesn't walk away with anything, the business does. This is a very general question. It comes down to alot of things:

1. How efficient you are.
2. Your overhead costs.
3. Cost of materials.
4. What you feel the company needs to make on a project.
5. For some, it depends on how busy or slow you are and how hungry some guys are for work. Supply and demand.


Everyone is different. I would say alot of guys out there aren't making a decent percentage profit on jobs, that's why there is such a great turnover in this industry as a whole. Then you have the guys that think they are making money and aren't, they are the ones that pray to the holy of holies for snow in the winter to carry them through. Then at the top there are the cream. The guys who know how to make money, know what it takes, invest wisely, know where they want to go and get there, and can absorb a slow season and be fine. I know this is tough to say but I'd bet the cream is probably 10% of the industry, if that.

Margins? They change with the growth of a company, people are everywhere. I know where we need to be and that is all I really care about.

mrusk
03-12-2007, 12:19 AM
I would agree with your last Matt and I'm sure you would agree with this.......if people are going to take on these type of elaborate projects that climb into the 6 digits you had better darn well know what you are doing. You can really screw a customer and yourself if you are charting in unknown territories without experience. It'll be your first and last if you don't do your homework.

We have two significant projects that are in the drawing stages for 2008 right now. That's no exaggeration on how much time it takes to put these together and we don't even sub work out. That project up in NY had over 240 hours in it with engineering, planning, and research before one scoop of dirt was ever moved.


Its all about doing your home work. I think the final proposal i am working on now will be in a binder with about a ton of pages. I am not going to spend 240 hours on it, but i bet i put in atleast 40-50.

And to think, 150k is NOTHING compared to some jobs that are done.

steveair
03-13-2007, 09:06 AM
Does anyone here do risk assesment? What I mean is, I see a lot of guys tackling very large jobs, that, if something goes wrong, they lose everything.

What happens if something goes wrong? I know you can plan out everything to the final cubic foot of mulch, but the bottom line is, Crap happens and you have to be ready for it.

If you are under a million dollar business and are doing 200k work, is there not a great deal of risk involved? Do you have the economic reserve to handle a catastrophic job. If something goes wrong, can you handle a 80k loss, a 50k loss, even a 30k loss?

Some people can go to las vegas and put 50k bets down. They may not be happy when they lose, but they can recover. It seems to me like there are a lot of contractors putting 50k bets down these days, but they aren't on the tables of Las Vegas. They are on the properties of clients.

I always try to keep in mind that even if I can handle a large job, I may not want to get involved. I sleep much better at night when I have nothing but 10k-20k work. Far less worries.

When working with subs on large projects, do you have a proven track record with them? Can you say, without any doubt, they will show up on time, they will get the job done, and they will get it done right? Again, I see the scenario of a contractor getting burnt because he put a lot of trust in someone he hardly even known, and just for the reason of getting the 'big' job.

This if perhaps one of the traits of the successful business. They have the resources to handle the big turns. Most of the larger companies I know are not getting their income from soley their landscape business. They have all sorts of outside investments, whether its property, investments, other companies. When things slow down, or turn bad, they have other outs. Well, that or they have rich relatives?

I have seen just too many guys get into this 'I can handle the big job' mentallity way before they should. Experience is only part of it.

etwman
03-13-2007, 09:20 AM
1. We only handle what we feel comfortable taking on in the scope of our abilities. We have turned down some larger projects that may jeopardize our reputation if something were to turn wrong or "flags go up" that I don't agree with.

2. We use no subs. So to rely on subs is not an issue.

3. We are well covered with catastrophic loss, business interruption, and replacement coverage. As well as various umbrella policies that will not only protect us as a company but our employees as well.

4. We have never lost money on a project. Though many may find that very hard to believe, I spend an enourmous amount of time with preliminary work prior to even preparing quotes, let alone starting site work.

But yes I do agree I have heard of many guys getting in way over their head on projects, especially in the spring, and barely getting out with their shirt. Some guys are too hungry for bigger projects and see bigger $$$, but this may not be the case.

Your point is well conveyed.

mrusk
03-13-2007, 05:02 PM
I belive on these larger projects, the most important part is knowing how to run a job.

I am subbing out electric, plumbing for gas lines, excavation, masonry irrigation and landscape lighting. You really need to know how to book all the different trades to get everything done efficently. Before i even start even coming up with pricing, i have my game plan figured out. I know which order to bring the subs in to get everything done the quickest.

On the proposal i am working on know, before my crew even gets to the job site, 700 cubic yards will have already been excavated and relocated on the property. All electrical conduit will be run and back filled. Half of the irrigation could be ran, and masonry pillars built. Atleast 30k of the job will be done before i even bring my crew out.

My background is in construction. Before i started my own company, i worked for a General contractor. I never worked for a landscape company. But my background really helped me learn how to run jobs.

Yes, numbers like 100k, 200k, etc sound like big jobs. But in reality, once you see how far the money actually goes, you see these jobs are not that big. I'd rather do a 200k residental job, then try to figure out how to properly estimate a 100,000 sq ft paver parkinglot. When your doing full property landscaping, hardscaping, irrigation, pool, fence, lighting the numbers add up REAL fast.

Adam's Lawn and Garden
03-13-2007, 11:48 PM
Etwman,

Why did you decide on the ASV track loaders? I test drove a RC-30 that he is willing to sell me for 17k used. It is nice. Why don't you get another JCB?

adam

etwman
03-14-2007, 10:05 AM
Because JCB does not make a good track machine from things I'm hearing. ASV was the original in track skid loaders. Their track mechanism is used on CAT and others.

Potomac Lawns Inc.
03-14-2007, 09:37 PM
Pic from last year with the tractor and a friends tilt deck trailer

Tim Wright
03-15-2007, 10:16 AM
Jared is one person that I believe will do just fine going where ever it is he wants to go.

A great head on his shoulders, a good eye, just all around good business sense. He has a head for business growth.

I am enjoying watching him grow.

Jared, have a great year!!!!

Tim

Total.Lawn.Care
03-15-2007, 10:40 AM
Jared is one person that I believe will do just fine going where ever it is he wants to go.

A great head on his shoulders, a good eye, just all around good business sense. He has a head for business growth.

I am enjoying watching him grow.

Jared, have a great year!!!!

Tim


I agree. More importantly, I want to watch me grow much the same way Jarod has...

etwman
03-23-2007, 11:05 AM
Thank you for your kind words gentlemen.

Attached in the 1st of '07 to start next week. This will hold us here for about 4 weeks with plantings, etc. Its up in the Hershey Area. 2200 sf pavers, 500 sf. wall, 35 lights, hot tub, fire ring, the back tier steps up and the hot tub landing steps down. Should be pretty nice when done. We have two others of this caliper following right behind it. I'll through up a couple pics once things begin if I get a chance.

Have a good season everyone....time to play ball!

mrusk
03-23-2007, 11:55 AM
Now jared, besides the one job with the marble all i ever see is pavers on your jobs? Now pavers are ok, they just do not have that highend look as much as natural stone. On any kind of higher end job i go in and recommend bluestone flagstone or some other kind of natural stone.

I am just curious why you spec the material you do? I know alot of these jobs you do are in 6 figure range.

etwman
03-23-2007, 12:09 PM
We have done a fair amount in flagstone, combination, etc. i just haven't posted many. We have a neat one coming up that'll be flagstone with an outdoor fireplace. EPHenry has a pretty strong pull in the paver market, and when people grab their catalog that's usually the route they want to go. Our archictect will spec whatever the customer would like. I'd say we do 60-70% pavers, rest being natural products.

We can do pretty much anything and usually have, I just haven't posted many of the other route and I should.

mrusk
03-23-2007, 12:18 PM
Yea post some pics of natural stone! Looking out into my back yard and seeing 2500 sq feet of pavers would drive me nuts! I like mixing different material up. I found some clay pavers that match the brick on a house i am working on perfectly. I am going to use them as the boarders of the natural stone patios, etc.

10 years ago very few people had pavers, now everyone has them. I think to be cutting edge, you need to come up with designs with different types of material, etc. I love knowing that no one else in a certain devlopment will have anything like what i am giving my clients.

etwman
03-23-2007, 02:01 PM
True. But when a customer wants what they want and are prepared to pay for it, they do have the final decision. When a customer, that's prepared to spend $80k, saw an EPHenry patio at the flower show in Philly, and they are married to that catalog, that's what they want. They don't want a patio, they want an EPHenry patio, and you'll find that the closer you get to Philly. Kuddos to EPHenry for having the emphasis on marketing that they do.

Would I like to do something for that customer in natural stone? Sure. Do I? At times. BUT... and hear this folks.......I think this is one of the biggest fine lines in this business that often gets stepped over. You can "suggest kindly" different products / plants, etc. but when contractors or architects push a product too much it offends a customer. What happens then is you jeopardize the possiblity in closing the deal on a project or take ownership away from the customer. Finding the middle ground is an art, and it only comes with experience. I've had customers spend easily 6 digits on paver work. Does it look good, sure, as long as it flows and is designed correctly. Does it look as good on a 200 year old farmhouse back in the country, no it doesn't.

There have been some projects that we have done that the customers are adimate about using certain products even if it doesn't fully go. Those are the projects that we do and will probably never post. Some we don't do because I can't bring myself to do them. Are the quality sound? Sure. Do I jump up and down over them? No.

Can you be creative with pavers? Oh yes you can. Matter of fact this one in Hershey should be that way. They are getting pretty daring on some layout and color ideas, some of which I've never done, but it has the potential to be pretty unique.

Pick your poison, every job is different in its own unique way. But no I do see where your coming from.....

mrusk
03-23-2007, 06:27 PM
ETW i think what it comes to, we are both doing work on million + houses but are markets are completly differerent. No one has ever said " I want a EP HENRY PATIO!" In my area almost everyone wants blue stone or some other natural stone. Any work over a certain $ range is almost all wet layed masonry. Lots of cultured stone and wet layed bluestone raised patios in my area.

I guess Ep henry markets heavily in your area (its near their homebase right), and it seems like their advertising works.

I never tell customers what material i think they should use. I like to met with them at the supply yard so they can see all the different material layed out in 10x10 squares. I think its much better for the client to see the pavers layed out, vs seeing 3 4x6s on the garage floor.

McKeeLand
03-23-2007, 08:15 PM
ETW, we rented a ASV 4810 last year and we are currently in the process of working a deal to buy it. it is the older model but only had 60hrs to start. we put about 100 hrs on it and loved it. you can't stop that machine and it will go anywhere. the new ones are even nicer. we could run it across a newly sodded lawn and it wouldn't leave a mark. just leaf rake the grass back up and no one would know. my only complaint was that it needed more breakout force. the tracks give it so much traction and it has so much power, like a 90+ hp cat, that it would bury the bucket in the pile and need to back off to curl back. super smooth, like a Cadillac across rough terrain too. not like a t190 that pitches and bucks over every bump. awesome machine to grade with too.

etwman
03-23-2007, 08:36 PM
I've heard more and more good about ASV. That RC-100 is an ox, played in one the other week. You could practically push all of PA to the other side of Ohio with it....at an idle non the less. Its a shame its so big. But they are incredibly smooth, I will give them that. We'll nail something down soon.

I'm been convinced, rather persuaded, to try the JD 332 for a month at a price I can't turn down. So we'll run it and work it hard, but I'm not really sold on JD track loaders.

McKeeLand
03-23-2007, 08:45 PM
i like the compactness of the JD, just don't like the rubber over steel tracks. the ride is so rough and they don't' give nearly the weight distribution of the posi tracs. i think they put down like 2.5psi, less than the human foot. that's awesome for soft ground or when you have to cross sidewalks.

etwman
04-16-2007, 04:23 PM
Things have been a little crazy but we managed to move everything in two days. The shop for the most part is set up. Painting inside will have to wait until we have some spare time later this year, though it will be done. Its taking everything I have not to do it now, but we are too busy. We did the necessities like pressure washing etc. I took some quick pics today as I was running out the door. The are no pearl shots but at least its a glimpse for those of you who have been asking.

I will post some more at a later time after we landscape the front and put our signage up. The offices in the front will be renovated as well.

etwman
04-16-2007, 04:27 PM
We can get all four trucks inside though I didn't have time to make it work. They'll all go in but you're not going to have alot of room to move around once they are all there. To have a heated shop that burns waste oil is truly the way to go, not too mention we can wash trucks inside. The mezzanine was the added bonus which allowed us plenty of room to put all our snow removal equipment and more.

Here's two more.

Lazer_Z
04-16-2007, 04:36 PM
Very nice, enjoy and good luck with it. Please post more pictures when everything is complete. Maybe MAHTS '07 I'll finally get to meet up with you as I missed you last year.

Rob

Lawnsmithcare
04-16-2007, 06:08 PM
Very nice shop it's nice to see it all put together now.

Lawn Enforcer
04-17-2007, 02:52 PM
Sweet shop! I love it, looks good. I think you may have mentioned this before, but do you rent, lease, or did you buy the shop?

Youngbeginner
04-17-2007, 04:52 PM
Congratulations on the shop!

etwman
04-17-2007, 06:09 PM
Purchased it, I'm not a big fan of renting or leasing. There's 3 acres there all together. The shop and offices take up about 1 acre and there's about 2 acres of tilled field behind for supplies.

Lynch Landscaping
04-17-2007, 08:39 PM
Nice shop, lets get some more pics.

DUSTYCEDAR
04-17-2007, 08:48 PM
that is sweet and the trucks fit in it

Adam's Lawn and Garden
04-17-2007, 09:01 PM
How do you get the salt spreader and plows off of that top platform? Looks tricky to get them off. That shop is awesome, as said before, more pics are nice

adam

J&R Landscaping
04-18-2007, 01:20 PM
Looks nice Jarod, Can't wait to see the pics once it's all done!

NNJLandman
04-18-2007, 03:24 PM
Nothin like that Black Gold System...amazing isnt it.

Tim Wright
04-19-2007, 12:19 AM
I am glad to hear it is coming together for you Jared!

Tim

tazman7
04-24-2007, 01:52 AM
Hey, ETWMAN- if you could private message me I would like to ask you a few things. Thanks- Todd