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etwman
12-20-2002, 03:52 PM
Per several of your requests I am posting some of the pics of our equipment. The last pic of everything was taken in June. Since then we have added several other pieces but they will be included in our 2003 shot.

Everything here gets washed everyday before leaving the shop. No questions asked. Our image is everything. Feel free to ask questions, I will try and answer them as best I can. I am leaving to go out west for vacation tomorrow so I'll do the best I can in the meantime.

etwman

etwman
12-20-2002, 03:53 PM
our 2002 photo shoot in June

For landscaping '98 Dodge Cummins 4x4 with dump body

2000 New Holland Compact TC40D with supersteer and quick attach set up with the bucket so we can run any skid steer attachment.

Harley pro-8 power rake

24' Zimmerman deckover Trailer

etwman
12-20-2002, 03:56 PM
inside the enclosed trailer.

Currently (3) Huslter 2500's
Perman Green Sprayer
John Deere JX75
6 Pieces of Stihl Equipment
Pressure Washer
Tool Chest
Grinder
Generator
Air compressor with (2) airlines to front and back
Air tools and a 300 piece tool chest.
heater
rhino lined floor
enough spare parts to overhaul just about anything on board.

etwman
12-20-2002, 03:59 PM
front of 28' enclosed trailer looking back

etwman
12-20-2002, 04:00 PM
our 2001 photo

mowerconsultant
12-20-2002, 04:03 PM
Nice pics !!!
I like the Hustlers best......:D :D :D

I see you have a couple 2500's from what I can see at least 1 of them has a toolbar, do you use the edger or aerator attachments for the front ?
Do you have a Bac-Vac (s) ???
The 2500's are good mowers, too bad we dont make em anymore.

Later
Pj

Mykster
12-20-2002, 04:07 PM
AWSOME pics etwman!!!! What kind of bed is that on the Dodge? Is that some kinda storage space, behind the cab? Can't make out what it is in the picture.

etwman
12-20-2002, 04:09 PM
pj-

yes we have the edger attachment that guys slip on every other week on the commercial sites and edge the sidewalks real quick. It works really great. No back vacs, we don't bag anything. We send it right back where it came from. We don't cut anything less than 3.5" The 2500's are a great machine build like a tank. The super Z's are good too but I think they were trying get $$ down for production when they came out with that. Sometime in the next year or so we will switch all three out at once to eliminate excessive parts to carry with us. We are around 1000 hours on them now. Oil changed every 50, air every 50, greased every day. And most importantly of all sharp blades every day. With the air tools and jacks we can have a mower switched out in less than 5 minutes.

The guys out at Huslter know all about this rig. It even says "Hustler Turf Equiment" on the outside in small letters.

etwman

etwman
12-20-2002, 04:11 PM
The bed on the Dodge is a reading body. Steel with a hoist. Yes it dumps. The tool boxes are an "L" pack and we have a wheel barrow rack on top of that. Every spec is taken up possible. We carry about 15 tools behind the wheel barrows inside PVC tubing mounted against the front of the dump body. The dodge is diesel 4x4.

etwman
12-20-2002, 04:19 PM
pj this one is for you

HarryD
12-20-2002, 04:28 PM
is that a 24 foot enclosed

oops now that look through them agian i see you stated it was a 28

is that a H&H trailer

etwman
12-20-2002, 04:29 PM
28 and we are out of room and weigh in @ 9,870 lbs. fueled.


Shadowmaster Race Trailer out of .....where else..... Elkhart, where they are all from.

turfman59
12-20-2002, 05:39 PM
Great looking rig! The first pic shows some beautiful landscaping do you maintain that prop also and are those spade cut edges or do you also have a bed edger. How many years have you been doing this full time. Know one can call you a trunk slammer!

Do you prefer the tractor over a bobcat ?

mdb landscaping
12-20-2002, 05:45 PM
Awesome pics! I love the enclosed trailer tow rig. Go Chevy!:D

Mykster
12-20-2002, 06:53 PM
How about some closer pics of the Dodge????

etwman
12-20-2002, 07:23 PM
turfman -

Yes they are our sites. The only sites we maintain are five acres and larger. You can check under "lawn care packages" thread and I talk more in detail about it there.

We do have a brown bededger but are considering a self propelled Bedshaper for next year.

Bobcat over tractor. You can go round and round about that one. The tractor is good because of the 3 point hook up. The bucket on the tractor is a quick attach plate and we do have hydros that run up to the front. We have run augers, grapple buckets, forks, etc. off the front. The only real drawback we face is lift capacity. A bobcat will have it at that. We max out at 2000 lbs. so it gets a little hairy at times. Both have advantages but the tractor runs the overseeder better and the powerrake better. 6 one half a dozen the other. If we need a skidder we rent one.

How many years? This company is going on its 3rd year believe it or not and looks hit into the seven digit sales mark. We declared a profit the 1st and 2nd years. I had a company in NJ for 7 years went off college, got my degree, worked for others while at college. I made a huge amount of notes, what works, what doesn't, and really observed what customers are looking for and what makes grounds care companies fail. I don't plan on this company getting huge. Maybe 3-4 rigs rolling daily. You can profit fine from that and turn a really good $ if you do your homework.



Hope this helps some.

etwman.

IBGreen
12-20-2002, 07:37 PM
Now that is how you run an operation! When you have quality equipment and and a pro look then you must be a pro. People who offer poor services don't have equipment like that. It sounds like I'm kissin butt, but, I'm not I'm just giving credit where credit is due. The trailer has to be the biggest and best advertiser in the world.

IBGreen
12-20-2002, 07:40 PM
Makes me not even want to pull my rig out into public. D!@#n you! Awesome set-up!

Flex-Deck
12-20-2002, 08:43 PM
Here is my stuffhttp://Turf Cover

The Mowerdude
12-20-2002, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by Flex-Deck
Here is my stuffhttp://Turf Cover

Hey Flex-Deck

I don't know if you are aware of this or not, but you'll save a lot on payroll and increase efficiency if you cut the number of people on that crew down to 1 or 2. :D

greenngrow
12-20-2002, 09:02 PM
ETW,

First of all hope you enjoy your trip out west.

Nice looking stuff.
I had to laugh my ***** off. Except for the enclosed trailer and the color of the mowers. THIS IS MY SETUP !!!!!!!!!

Your trucks are newer but man this is really spookie SH@#.


Great minds must think a like.

As soon as I get back from my trip. The family is going to Florida.
(WDW). Leaving just like you the 21 want be back for a week.
I will send you some pictures of my stuff.....

Man you and I need together, Maybe long lost brothers or something.

Flex-Deck
12-20-2002, 09:09 PM
MowerDude - I really don't have any employees, but needed to take a pic that shows a lot of stuff, so I rounded up a couple of people that have the flex-deck, plus mine, just to get the pic - LOL:p

The Mowerdude
12-20-2002, 09:13 PM
I know, I was just kidding. :D :D

lawncare3
12-20-2002, 09:18 PM
Y even have a shop? You have it all there on wheels!

Flex-Deck
12-20-2002, 09:21 PM
Lawncare- that is my mobile garage - holds three tractors, or two tractors and my eXmark WB

etwman
12-20-2002, 09:53 PM
IB Green -

Yes the trailer is the biggest means of advertisement that we have. So much so that we have opted to remove our adds from the yellow pages for next year. Our name is still there, but no adds. Word of mouth and that trailer gives us more work than we know what to do with. Figure out what you spend in the yellow pages then $1500 to letter that trailer and it is well worth it. But your work had better reflect the image.

etwman
12-20-2002, 10:19 PM
Originally posted by Mykster
How about some closer pics of the Dodge????

Here's the Dodge. Not to step on feet but we have had our share of problems with this one. It has 83,000 on it. It's a 98 with an automatic. We are meticulous with maintenance, however we blew the Cummins out at 79,000. Cracked block. Cummins dropped a whole new engine in it at no cost. Secondly the tranny, horrible. After the second one went out we did alot of research and ended up putting an Allison in it. Had to find a different bell housing to match the engine to tranny, and the list goes on and on. But between the two we are under warranty now until 150,000 on the engine and tranny. Now it just eats brakes, I can live with that. I have too much invested in this truck to unloaded it. Our 2003 will be a GMC topkick 5500.

TLS
12-20-2002, 10:57 PM
Are you serious?

It fits?

And its a 4x4?

Is it a full electronic 1000 series?

How much did it set you back?

Give us the details!

Nice setup BTW. See plenty of setups like yours, but in 3-4 years they're out of business, that or their dealin' drugs or something else to make the payments on the equipment. Glad to see your making it real good.

etwman
12-20-2002, 11:51 PM
buddy you don't wanna know the price. It was about $4500 when all was said and done. 6 speed automatic. I can engage the torque convertor manually inside the cab if I need too, or it will do it on its own. It works just like the Allison in the new GM's but with another gear.

The Bell housing was the tough one. We ended up getting out of a used mixer truck that had a cummins/allison combo. If I had to do it all over again I would have gone through B-D Power.com They specialize in transmissions and power upgrades, good ones, to fit up with dodge. Probably for a little less. I know guys that went this route and they are happy. Not that I don't love the Allison, it pulls like the world is on fire, but I think you could save yourself time and money with BD. They are out of Canada.

lawncare3
12-21-2002, 01:43 AM
Really nice rig!

nlminc
12-21-2002, 01:50 AM
etwman.
Very nice! I have a similar set up. My trailer is an 8x20. I just sold a 7x14 that I used for residential lawn routes. The 8x20 is just used for a commercial account carting 2 DCs.

??? Do you use that 28 footer to service residential properties? If so, is it a major PITA to get that in and out of neighborhoods?

Again...nice photos....liked the story about how you started out.

Chris

Simone Lawn Service
12-21-2002, 02:04 AM
I'll think I'll go out in the garage now and throw rocks at my truck and open landscape trailer. I try to keep my equipment looking good, but looks like you've really perfected it. Super Professional looking!!!:)

AztlanLC
12-21-2002, 03:01 AM
Awesome set up you have there etw, How about dodge? you liked? any major problems with it? I'm in the market for a new truck, because my las two fords have had problems, trainy an rear end, they both are f450 and a friend of mine just blew off his trainy on a 2000 f-350.

Believe I like my ford is just that maybe I'm missing on something better.

etwman
12-21-2002, 08:53 AM
Originally posted by nlminc
etwman.
Very nice! I have a similar set up. My trailer is an 8x20. I just sold a 7x14 that I used for residential lawn routes. The 8x20 is just used for a commercial account carting 2 DCs.

??? Do you use that 28 footer to service residential properties? If so, is it a major PITA to get that in and out of neighborhoods?

Again...nice photos....liked the story about how you started out.

Chris

Yes it takes a little work moving it around but most of our sites are large scale commercial. This rig w/ our Toro 580-D cuts about 300 acres a week. The worst was getting in and out of gas stations. So we solved that problem with mobile transfer tanks in the bed of the truck. One is gas the other off road diesel. Two 60 gallon tanks with 12v pumps. Now we fill them up every other day and don't deal with the hastle of the gas stations. However, when we build the trailer we had 2 12"x12" fuel doors put on the right side so when you pull up to the gas station you just sneek the hose right inthe side and fill up without unloading. Works well but it takes some work. The fuel tanks were a better solution.

My guys have a little fun with this rig at times. About it being a little like a NASCAR trailer. Out on a site they'll come into the trailer (pits) and yell out, "I need three blades, I'm a little loose on the hills take 1 pound out of my right rear, and a splash and go. GREEN GREEN GREEN! we're here to make time .. not friends"

I told them we are in no way numbering these mowers with 3, 8, or 24 and we are definitely not wearing helmets. Keep the speed down, we are professionals.

stslawncare
12-21-2002, 12:03 PM
thanks etwman!! Awesome pics, how many crews do you run? just the two? one landscape one mow? what else do you have? any other trailers or truck? how about your shop (s) can we see????

Fantasy Lawns
12-21-2002, 01:03 PM
Now that's what we're talkin' bout ... super tight looking ...details .... glad to see a real pro on board

Just don't move down here .... I don't need that kinda competition ;->

Happy Holidays n safe trip

etwman
12-22-2002, 01:22 AM
Scottie -

Yes we run just the two crews. On monday we combine the two and I get out of the office.
we have to haul the Toro 580-D up to one of the sites on the flatbed. Four of us knock out 130 acre site on Monday then we split up for the rest of the week. We only mow 3.5 days a week with that rig. I've always said that rig doesn't roll unless it nets 4 digits a day. We send the mowing guys over to landscaping on the 5th day.
the mowing guys pretty much stay with the mowing rig so they know the sites well. Peak season there is 6 of us total.

My shop, right now we are renting a small space but I do have a project underway to build soon. We have some neat plans to pull four rigs in a shop from one end and out the other. We also want a wash bay inside. Our goal is to have this done in the next 1-2 years.

With the enclosed trailer that eliminated alot of uneccessary rent. Really the only thing that goes inside is the tractor/harley rake, and some miscellaneous tools. The trailer gets locked up and sits where it is.

We are finalizing plans for the 03 rig as we speak. It looks to be a 03 GMC topkick durmax/allison with an alluminum body for our hardscape. What's happening with the landscaping aspect is we get into these large build project
(we only do $10,000+)and end up there too long. People with money don't have patience, so we may add another crew there. We'll have the hardscape guys preceed the plant installation crew. We were almost 6 weeks out with design/build last year. Too long!

There is some other equipment but you'll have to wait for the 03 shot. Probably next May.

etwman.

blades94
12-22-2002, 09:13 AM
AztlanLC
Are you running the V-10 in those trucks or the 7.3 Power Stroke?

I know that I trashed the trans in my 2001 F250.

I am drooling for the 6L and the new trans combo that is now available. The price has only gone up about 500 on the engine and 500 on the trans. But from what I have heard it is the cats A@@.

etwman
12-22-2002, 05:09 PM
Actually neither engine.

In the Dodge we are running the Cummins with an Allison Automatic. All cummins engines are only 6 Cylinders but they pull great.

The chevy, believe it or not is a 6000 series gas, not even the big block or the diesel. The reasoning for doing this was everything in the trailer is gas and we wanted to keep them identical to avoid searching for two fuel stops. It is a five speed. I always prefer to tow with a five speed to have more control and it does pretty good. The Chevy will pull away from the dodge off the line, but the Dodge will pass it by around 60 on the highway because of the torque. GM has a really good rep with gas engines and it really does okay pulling 10,000 pounds. It does 65-70 down the highway no problem. I wouldn't want to go cross country with it with that much weight but on 20 mile jaunts its fine.

Hope this helps.
etwman.

Albemarle Lawn
12-22-2002, 07:12 PM
Please email him this for private details....

etwman
12-22-2002, 08:47 PM
thanks

MWS LAWN
12-23-2002, 01:06 AM
But etwman, don't you have to stop for off-road diesel anyway?

etwman
12-23-2002, 12:29 PM
I'll usually stop every other day on my way home with the truck at a truck stop right around the corner and fill up both tanks without the trailer. 120 gallons of diesel/gas will run us about 2 days. Works alot better that way, no employees , no moving trailers around, no coffee break. High pressure pumps, 3 minutes done and gone.

GraZZmaZter
12-23-2002, 12:59 PM
etwman - very nice professional looking outfit. i am impressed with the way you run your business. I wish we all had the same attitude you do about your image. I only have one question. What is off road diesel?? I have a diesel truck, and mower. I run premium diesel in both. Seems to do the trick. Thanks again, and happy holidays!

etwman
12-23-2002, 01:53 PM
I only have one question. What is off road
diesel?? I have a diesel truck, and mower. I run premium diesel in
both. Seems to do the trick. Thanks again, and happy holidays!


Hey everyone listen to this!!!!!

Off road diesel for those of you who don't know is non-road taxed diesel fuel. Same as heating oil. It has a dye in it that law authorities can check easily if you run it on the road. Big fines. But if you run it in mowers you can use it. Farmers use it all the time. Get this on road is about $1.50 gallon. Off road, $.89. Big difference. And perfectly Legal. Some truck stops have it as well. If they don't check with the heating oil supplier local to you to find out where to get it. As far as gasoline, there is no off road gas. However, on your yearly income tax for the business you can file a form to get that tax back that you ran in your mowers. Check with your accountant. You just have to track it closely. Whatever fuel goes into those transfer tanks on our truck goes to the mowers. That's how we track it. Some guys have separate credit cards for mowers. That's another idea. Guys you can save alot of $$ with off road fuels. KEep that in mind.

etwman.

Barker's Lawn Care
12-23-2002, 02:13 PM
etw, wow thats a lot of weight on the trailor"9,870 lbs. fueled". I'd have to assume u have 2 (3,500 gvw) axles=7,000 lbs.!!!!
That would be 2,870 over, please correct me if i am wrong.

jeremy

Albemarle Lawn
12-23-2002, 02:26 PM
Just costs about $.20 less per gallon because it does not include state and federal road tax.

Used to be, off road had higher sulfur, which was better for lubricating injector pumps.

Your Dodge and mowers will run great on either.

There are usually high fines for using untaxed fuel in your truck, and it is easy to spot because it is dyed red like transmission fluid.

But, if nobody is checking....

You didn't hear that from me:D
KB

AztlanLC
12-23-2002, 06:10 PM
blade94 they all are power strokes

etwman
12-23-2002, 07:44 PM
Jeremy -

The enclosed trailer GVW is 9,999 so as long as we scale at that or less we are legal. With three mowers on board we are just barely legal. So we don't add much else. The axles are set for that GVW, but not sure which they are. I think they are 5,000 pound axles.

etwman.


KB -

We are saving more than .20 per gallon on off road diesel. All I know is the difference we pay at the pumps. Last week it was $1.56 for on road and .98 for off road.

Flex-Deck
12-23-2002, 11:04 PM
New wide area mower for next year - It will also get into the small places - double flex-deck deal - both forward wings will follow the ground independenthttp://Wide Deck

Barker's Lawn Care
12-24-2002, 12:56 AM
etw, thank ya! i was just curious

NICE "MO" SHEEN

Tony12
12-26-2002, 09:01 AM
nice rig!!!!

etwman
12-26-2002, 11:33 AM
thanks Tony -

It takes alot of wax, soap, and rags to keep it like this. And black is no easy chore, but it looks good when its clean. It helps too that the guys do a quick wipe down when they pull on site. When its sitting there along a major roadway it gets alot of attention, and needs to be clean.

etwman.

greenngrow
01-02-2003, 11:41 AM
Hey ETW

How was the trip.

Just wanted to say again you have a really nice looking setup.

I could not help but noticing that in one of the pictures. In the background the amount of barns and silos. How close are you to the minites and amish.

Here in KY we are getting alot of minites from the PA area. Urban sprawl is forcing them to move out.

Again really a nice setup...

etwman
01-02-2003, 12:43 PM
Greengrow -

Thanks for the compliments again.

We are only about 20 min. from Amish country. We are between them and the mainline into Philadelphia. From what you may know we decided to go with black equipment with no ties to the heritage in this area and it does get some looks, even by them.

etwman.

Lawn Tek
01-02-2003, 04:44 PM
ETWMAN nice looking stuff . You said you learned what did not work in this biz was wondering if you could e mail me some of those things ,always interesed in those sort of things . Also was wondering how much your getting for advertising space on your trailer like the Stihl and Hustler spots ?

etwman
01-02-2003, 05:09 PM
Lawn Tek -

Well, first thing. Stihl and Hustler logos for advertising. That's a touchy one, let's say we are being treated very well. I should probably leave it at that without opening a can of worms on a site like this. Stihl and Hustler are two very good companies to work with and build very good equipment that we run everyday.

What works and doesn't work. Where to start.....here's a couple

What doesn't........

1. More guys than you need on a site. Everytime I pass a company with two mowers on a trailer and four guys in a truck it just means they are losing money.

2. More equipment than needed. Same thing but opposite. One guy... four mowers. Doesn't add up. Too much overhead. Lots of guys entering into this business love equipment. The more equipment we have the bigger we look. Not a good idea.

3. Charging too little to penetrate the market, then trying to raise your rates with your current customers once you realize your not making money. Customer won't understand and you'll be sitting there with a huge dilemna.

Things to try and do:

1. Be honest with your customers. Exceed their expectations. Charge what you need to. Remeber this quote that I have on my desk "The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of cheap price is forgotten"

2. Pay all your bills! We pay everything within 5 days of receiving an invoice. Trust me people will know and respect this. When you need something locally your credit will be gold.

3. Image is alot. In order to be professional you have to look professional. This doesn't necessarily mean spend $100,000 on equipment it could mean a can of wax for the truck and a pair of Dockers at Sears.

Hope some of this helps.

etwman.

Lawn Tek
01-02-2003, 05:35 PM
etw , well I agree with everthing , I'm doing it right then . I was in another busineess for many years built it up from nothing , sold it for a good payday . Funny we used the same saying at all the time when we were out selling .
other quotes worth noting
" a good man will make you 100 dollars a day "
"a bad man will cost you 1000 dollars a a day "
" if you want preminum oates they cost more "
" oates already passed through the horse are cheap "
" arguing with a good parts man is like a wrestling a pig in the mud " " after a while you'll find out the pig likes it "

and my favorite of all time
" the difference between genius and stupidity is genuis has its
limits ! " :D

MWS LAWN
01-03-2003, 12:48 AM
etwman, I have to disagree with you on your #1 doesn't. Two mowers and four guys. Example- 15 acre site, Cemetary w/ 3000 stones to weedeat around. Yea the two mowers would be a good number for the job, but then ask them to weedeat around all of those stones after they have took 5 hours of taking there time to mow around all of those stones without hitting any. Then there are areas where you have to cut with a push mower, and after that all of the stones have to be blown down before the job is done. I'm open for new ideas, maybe I'm running my crew wrong on this site? In the hot months I feel like digging my own grave and crawling in it myself LOL. Just kidding but if you are not careful you can easily under estimate a cemetary.

etwman
01-03-2003, 05:27 AM
MWS Lawn -

True. I honestly didn't consider cemetaries. I commend you on taking on that project and hope your doing okay with it . From day 1 I have always said I will never mow cemetaries. Mainly for two reasons. 1. They have limited budgets. 2. We just are not set up with the equipment to do so.

Best of luck with them, hope you can turn a decent dollar mowing them.

etwman.

etwman
01-04-2003, 10:39 AM
Lawn Tek -

Here's another idea for you. Marketing. Don't spend a ton on money in the yellow pages. As a matter of fact we spend less than $300/year on yellow pages junk. As you probably know word of mouth is the best way.

Another unique way that we market is with mugs. Now, you can spend $.50 on a white mug, slap a logo on it, and do what everyone else is doing or you can do what we did. We took this style mug ............

etwman
01-04-2003, 10:41 AM
.......... and took a photo of one of our sites (the one below) and had it fired onto this style mug. The company that produces the mug did all the line art for us. Inside we drop a little note that says thanks for the business and a starbucks coffee single. Its been a huge hit. We have about 250 out right now and have even been asked if we would sell them....the answer .....no.....but you can have one as long as you keep us in mind for future work.

etwman.

Lawn Tek
01-04-2003, 12:20 PM
ETW , but has the mug got you anywork other than P R ? My other biz was a Napa Auto Parts store ,and we gave away over
11 yrs , thousands on hats calenders pens etc . But your always wondering if works , well we had sales increases for 11 straight years , but that was the result of a combination of things . My question is what is the single best thing that has built your biz?

etwman
01-04-2003, 03:13 PM
What's the single best thing that has built the business? That's tough. I would have to say there are three that are dead equal.

1. Our Image or reputation (the fact that we are meticulous with equipment presents an image that we are the same way with our work. We are not cheap by anymeans but our image speaks for itself.)

2. Honesty (we don't oversell ourselves with our clients. No matter how big the project I'll always try and save them some money by doing something different in the long run. They'll end up spending the difference with us in the long run anyway once the trust factor is established.) Ironic as it may seem the picture above on the mug is a very extensive property that we have been maintaining for some time. I have never met the property owner face to face. He heard of us, we know what he expects, and trusts us to do it right.

3. Reliability (I say we are going to do something and it get done. No iffs, ands, or buts. I say we are going to be at your site Monday at 7. We are there at 6:45. I only schedule 4 days of work a week. That leaves us a grace period for weather. If we have a sunny Friday, then we'll plug into next weeks work. Customers don't like delays, they love that phone call that says, "We are ahead of schedule, can we get in there earlier?"

Were the mugs directly related to more work. Yes. We found that they are classy enough to bring out over dessert at a customers house after dinner with friends or sit on an office desk. The first question I ask new customers that call our office is How did you hear about us? When they respond that I was at Dr. Smith's office last week and noticed a neat mug on his office desk....... It's a great starter piece on a conversation that always leads back to us somehow. Anyway we have gotten several good perks from that mug, enough to constitute buying more.

Hope this helps,
etwman

Flex-Deck
01-04-2003, 05:24 PM
etwaman - do you set up a striping pattern - like mow two different ways but the same paths every other time? - It looks like the wheels have cut some ruts - looks like the grass is dead on the going away pattern - Just curious - I do not think my customers would like that.

etwman
01-04-2003, 05:34 PM
we do stripe and change directions weekly. Actually this lawn is extremely healthy and the coloring from our digital camera may be a little decieving. We pull about 3 soil tests a season on this turf and treat it with 6 applications. This lawn is so thick that we cut it at 4"- 4 1/2" most of the season, occassionally twice a week. The wide rear tires from these Hustler 2500's eliminate alot of tire ruts in the lawns for us.

etwman
01-07-2003, 06:50 PM
Cut at 4.75" and thick as can be.

etwman
01-07-2003, 06:54 PM
pic2

JLC
01-07-2003, 08:01 PM
ETW,

What kind of grass are you cutting in your region (Fescue, Bluegrass)? The lawns look good.

JLC

etwman
01-07-2003, 08:28 PM
It's actually more of a bluegrass, unfortunately we have found it will struggle more with drought than a fescue.. Then again about 20% of our sites do contain some fescue. Really depends on what was initially installed.....and then which way the wind blows.

etwman
01-11-2003, 09:24 AM
Here's a better shot of that 12" x 12" fuel door located above the fender on the side of the trailer that some of you emailed me and wanted to see. It can save alot of time with unloading and reloading at times.

Another thing. Whenever you order an enclosed trailer I would strongly reccommend getting an extended tongue. Standard is 4' extended is 5'. If you ever pull with a stake body dump, or truck that has a bed that sticks out over the back, you WILL jack knife and damage the corners on an enclosed trailer. Well....you may not if you're really careful, but your guys might. And let me tell you that skin on enclosed trailers is not cheap to fix. That extra foot will aleviate this problem, and for an extra $40.00 on the order its well worth it. I'm 99% sure that all manufacturers offer this option for enclosed trailers.

etwman.

lawncare3
01-11-2003, 11:10 PM
and took a photo of one of our sites (the one below) and had it fired onto this style mug. The company that produces the mug did all the line art for us. Inside we drop a little note that says thanks for the business and a starbucks coffee single. Its been a huge hit. We have about 250 out right now and have even been asked if we would sell them....the answer .....no.....but you can have one as long as you keep us in mind for future work.

Can I please have one?

etwman
01-12-2003, 08:18 AM
Send me your address at etw@dejazzd.com and I'll see what I can do for you.

roscioli
01-12-2003, 12:18 PM
etwman- do you have a pic of the final product? If you dont mind sharing, what was your cost/piece and how many did you order? I have been looking into mugs, but they vary so much in price on the internet that is just plain difficult to choose one! I have been looking mostly at travel mugs, mainly because i use them myself not only in the car, but around the house. With 2 cats and a dog I like a covered drink! If I can find anythign that looks nice and is a good price, I will do it.

etwman
01-12-2003, 12:25 PM
Mike -

I tried to shoot a picture of the final product but the shot didn't do it justice. I'll see if I can get a better one for you and post it. We have gone through about 200 mugs so far. You can get all the info at www.cloth-clay.com They are not cheap by any means, you'll have setup charges (about $200 if memory serves me correct), minumum orders, etc. but they are real nice to give out. To this point I think we have spent around $1400 on the whole project.

etwman.


P.S.- I saw your posts under the other forum about enclosed trailers. You're 100% right, clean equipment does get noticed! Nice looking rig.

roscioli
01-12-2003, 12:47 PM
etw- I think you are confusing my rig with someone elses, mine is nice and ugly compared to your's, kirby's and hoagie's. I will attempt to post a pic of it here.

roscioli
01-12-2003, 12:51 PM
Better view of truck lettering...

etwman
01-12-2003, 12:54 PM
yeah.... sorry it was Hoagie's rig I was talking about, hope I didn't get you all excited. It is clean though...LOL Don't take it personally.

BRIMOW525
01-12-2003, 06:28 PM
very nic rigs. Around here in 3yrs having rigs like that people would think your shady. Unfortunetly nice guys usually finish last. hope 2003 is better for you and all the other guys here. BTW do u guys do snow removal also? JUst adds more to that bottom line. bad pic but its something.

etwman
01-12-2003, 07:07 PM
We do snow removal but only for those commercial customers that have contracted with us for grounds care for the upcoming season. Then we require a retainer fee in December (anywhere from $1600-$3000) that will be credited against storms. Currently we are just doing two large commercial lots and that is enough for me.

etwman.

BRIMOW525 where are you at in Delaware?

etwman
01-23-2003, 09:26 PM
Several of you have been emailing me regarding good questions. I am doing my best to respond as soon as I can, thanks for your patience. In the meantime I would reccommend you to look into the March issue of Turf Magazine when it comes out for more clarification on our company.

FrankenScagMachines
01-23-2003, 10:10 PM
Brimow, is that an old old Scag ZTR (like early 90's) sittin on the front of your trailer? Man those look like the current Landscaper's Supply Z's! How does it still work? You actually use it regularly? wow.........didn't know anyone still using them dinosaurs :p
I got a kick out of that. Not makin fun of you, more pokin fun at the mower itself and looking back at what was the best available technology 10 years ago or so and now we got deisels that will out power a Ford Escort in our lawnmowers and fuel injection, computers, Bladerunner's that can go 20mph, whats next!!
Thanks for the laugh, don't take it personally please :angel:
Eric

DLCS
01-24-2003, 07:12 AM
Originally posted by BushHogBoy
Brimow, is that an old old Scag ZTR (like early 90's) sittin on the front of your trailer? Man those look like the current Landscaper's Supply Z's! How does it still work? You actually use it regularly? wow.........didn't know anyone still using them dinosaurs :p
I got a kick out of that. Not makin fun of you, more pokin fun at the mower itself and looking back at what was the best available technology 10 years ago or so and now we got deisels that will out power a Ford Escort in our lawnmowers and fuel injection, computers, Bladerunner's that can go 20mph, whats next!!
Thanks for the laugh, don't take it personally please :angel:
Eric


Hmm, at least he has a need for his mowers.;) Don't take it personally.

brucec32
01-24-2003, 03:15 PM
Based on the size of that rig, I'm guessing you don't just whisk through the McDonald's drive-thru for lunch. : )

Lawn Tek
01-24-2003, 03:56 PM
Funny you should say that , Here I am pulling my landscaping trailer through mcds drive through hear a sound , look back and see Im wiping out thier landscape .:D

bubble boy
01-24-2003, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by DLCS
Hmm, at least he has a need for his mowers.;) Don't take it personally.


:p

Flex-Deck
01-24-2003, 07:02 PM
This thread is equip photo's - right? here is the fininsh product- wide area mower on 455 - 9 1/2 feet swathhttp://Wide

DLCS
01-24-2003, 07:24 PM
Brad,

I think your wide area 455 is really cool. Have you ever tried to build a hydraulic powered Flexdeck or wide area mower attachment?

Flex-Deck
01-24-2003, 07:37 PM
DLCS - Companies have them - JD makes an 11' two wing - hydrolic motors running spindles etc - $45,000. It takes a lot of power to do those things and a lot of money - We are just experimenting with methods to keep a wide area mower within the budget of the normal LCO that is trying to make a living.

Thanks, brad

If I get a couple of the bids on 19 acre and 17 acre properties, I am going to purchase a 595 - 4 wheel drive - 24 HP diesel and hang a 54" deck on the right, and the flex-deck on the left and it will have a 62" deck under the belly for a total of (after overlap, the 54" will mow 51") = 10.91 feet wide swath.

KTNC
01-24-2003, 08:33 PM
Etwman,

Did you make the racks for your blowers and trimmers, or buy? If made how exactly were they done? Any other ideas would be appreciated from any one else on storage racks.

Thanks

etwman
01-24-2003, 09:23 PM
Kevin -

The weedwacker rack and backback blower rack was purchased through Lesco. You can get them online at a couple places but they are all within five bucks. The others shelves to hold handheld blowers and sprayers we custom built, then just put eye hooks on the wall and secured them with bungee cords. As far as the cabinets this is what I would reccomend. We took measurements then went to a local store that accepts donated household materials that they resell to benefit local community groups. They had lots of cabinets that people took out of their kitchens when they upgraded, most of which were in pretty good shape for $15 or so. Or check the local paper, people will dump them cheap. These are just a few ideas for equipping the trailer. The heavier items I would secure really well. You'll figure it out real quick after a couple trips around the block what moves around and what doesn't. Also we have an air compressor up front with a splitter. One goes to a recoil up front and the other runs to the back along the ceiling encased in PVC pipe to the back corner so we have air access in the back to avoid pulling a machine up along side. Plus we can run two airtools at one time this way to change blades faster.

Hope this helps.

etwman.

Flex-Deck
01-24-2003, 09:32 PM
DLCS - Know Meglie in your area? - He has the Flex-Deck on about three mowers -

DLCS
01-24-2003, 11:53 PM
Originally posted by Flex-Deck
DLCS - Know Meglie in your area? - He has the Flex-Deck on about three mowers -

Yep, I know Roy Meglie. Well, I know who he is, I see him around alot. I have a friend who used to work for him. I think he is using Flexdecks on all his mowers now. If I'm not mistaken, he is using them on his Country Clipper ztrs. I know he has one on his Exmark walkbehind too.

Flex-Deck
01-25-2003, 07:56 PM
DLCS - you are correct - the country clipper is one of the old original style decks, and it was the one I realized how well it worked on the ZTR - that is one reason I knew what it would do when demoing to dixie chopper for the ZTR - He also runs one on a 36" eXmark -about a 1985 model - says it bags great and mows about twice what the original did - Also runs one on his 855 or 955 utility with a 72" main deck - in fact slammed the flex-deck into a bridge abutment and told me not to change anything as to the way the bracket was designed as it did nothing to the flex-deck - it just slid the tractor front end sideways.

BRIMOW525
01-26-2003, 01:05 AM
So the best hen in the hen house is a dinasour huh? I won't take it personal because yes it is the old SSZ52 1996, BUT.... yes I use it everyday, It'll cut with the best of them(not with a 7.5mph ground speed) but quaility, cuts as flat as a board, hydros will still jerk you like they were new, 1200hrs, 2nd motor ,yea I know about kohlers, stripes better than my deere ( neither have a striping kit), And from the sound of some other guys I do have a use for it. In the fall it has a leaf plow that slides in the front end and is a REAL time saver, not to mention tarps! So don't count this mama out yet. Its not as fast as some but it'll cut better than alot.
ETWMAN: I'm in central Delaware, Kent County

BRIMOW525
01-26-2003, 01:12 AM
by the way bushhogboy.. are you the one who made a v blade out of plywood for your mower to plow snow and push leaves? Don't rag my stuff because right in your profile its says fixed deck, cracked deck and what ever else. She still cuts like new and does not have a crack, weld, or bend to her. Sorry I just read your post again, thats what kind of mower you have.

BRIMOW525
01-27-2003, 08:16 AM
hope you still think its funny.

BRIMOW525
01-30-2003, 01:38 PM
Funny huh?

HarryD
01-30-2003, 02:12 PM
If your customers are happy WHO CARES how old your mowers are :mad:

I just retiered a beat up & tired 10 year old 48" jacobson and it was still striping as nice as the day I got it. but it was time for a new Exmark

brucec32
01-30-2003, 04:45 PM
Originally posted by Lawn Tek
Funny you should say that , Here I am pulling my landscaping trailer through mcds drive through hear a sound , look back and see Im wiping out thier landscape .:D

Way to go out there and "beat the bushes" for new landscaping work!

brucec32
01-30-2003, 05:07 PM
I suspect Bushhog Boy is really a mower salesman planted here to make us feel the need to upgrade to new stuff. : ) But I think he was just kidding around. Obviously he's not running state of the art equipment either. And it's "cranked deck" not cracked deck...lol

'00 Toyota Tundra SR5 V8 modified w/ heavy duty springs/shocks

5.5x12 ft landscape trailer (or)

Safe-T-Ramp system (mounts to trailer hitch of pickup for use w/o a trailer, Lazer rolls right up into truck bed)

48" Lazer Z HP 18hp w/ mulching kit
36" Toro T bar 12hp wb w/ velke
21" Toro self-propelled (x 2)

Echo SRM 2400/3100/2600 trimmers
Echo (the big one) blower
Echo PB 400E blowers (x2)
Echo HC 1500 hedge trimmer
Echo hedge trimmer attachment plugged on end of string trimmer for reach
Various Poulan chainsaws (x3)

Ryan drum type Aerator
Ryan dethatcher
towed core aerator (cheap, but effective)
Push power edger (rarely used)
Push reel mower (used just at home!)
Home Depot special garden rake
torn blue tarp with various holes....3 worn out plastic trash barrels...oh this is getting ridiculous!

BRIMOW525
02-01-2003, 09:47 AM
I just don't need some 12 yr old telling me I'm running out dated equipment. I mean look at his stuff. Iknow alot of guys around here that run the same Scag as mine and have had alot more problems with them and keep em. But just to let you know Bushhogboy, I was planning to trade the scag in for another deere. So I hope my new purchase meets you approval.

DLCS
02-02-2003, 03:24 AM
Originally posted by BRIMOW525
But just to let you know Bushhogboy, I was planning to trade the scag in for another deere. So I hope my new purchase meets you approval.



He doesn't like John Deere. When he worked at the John Deere dealership, he mowed the lawn with a M665, he says JD doesn't stripe. :p :D

BRIMOW525
02-05-2003, 09:18 AM
DLCS, I'll admit that JD's aren't the best "out of the box" stripers but they build a damn good machine and my local dealer cannot be beat of service. Plus a 2yr unlimited hr warranty. The kid just doesn't know what hes talking about and hasn't replied back so ...what ever.

lawncare3
02-05-2003, 08:12 PM
My homie-made sulky:

lawncare3
02-05-2003, 08:13 PM
2

Flex-Deck
02-06-2003, 07:28 PM
Brimow525 - Go Deere - Best Service - Heavy duty Frames - Good engines - Mow nicely - Can add lots of stuff to them and they can take ithttp://Wide Deck

DLCS
02-07-2003, 12:47 AM
Brimow525,


I purchased a new 757 with the 60" deck last year. I have no complaints so far. I think mine stripes pretty good, but my customers really could careless about stripes.

lawncare3
02-11-2003, 11:23 PM
This is my 7hp 21" crapsman RED mower:

PR0 TURF
02-12-2003, 01:17 AM
What an exciting post lawncare3...I've always wondered what one of those looked like...very good input for the site!

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

lawncare3
02-12-2003, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by PR0 TURF
What an exciting post lawncare3...I've always wondered what one of those looked like...very good input for the site!

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Here's one just a couple of inches bigger:

The Hokie Okie
04-23-2004, 01:27 AM
I'm glad you werent serious about the craftsman.

etwman
07-27-2004, 08:09 PM
2001 Freightliner FL-70, 26000 GVW. Air Brakes, Air Ride, CAT Diesel, 6 spd. Fuller.

Body, Switch-n-Go System with three bodies. Light material body allowing 17 cy. of material, flatbed with beavertail, and mason dump body. Bodies can dump at 60 degrees or can be switched out in less than 2 minutes allowing you to leave bodies on jobsites for a crew to work out of depending on the job. It has a 15,000 lb lift capacity allowing you to load a skid loader on the ground, strap in down, and pull it up onto the truck for transport. In addition you can piggy back bodies back to your shop if you end up having more than one on site.

Tool box in between allows for a variety of landscape tools and wheelbarrows. It also has a 6 foot alluminum slide out ramp to allow you to load bededgers, saws, spreaders etc.

Two 6' long diamond plated tool boxes will be mounted under the bed shortly.

Hands down for the dollar spent on this truck we will never again purchase a 3500 or 4500 series truck. It's 3 times the truck at the same price. The days of tying up one truck, for one use, and the rest of the time letting it sit and rot are a thing of the past. We will have a custom bed done this fall which will have our salt spreader permanently mounted to pull on in a moments notice. In addition we are working on a job site box that we will drop at the start of a project and pick up at its conclusion.

etwman

etwman
07-27-2004, 08:12 PM
photo #2 of Freightliner addition

etwman
07-27-2004, 08:13 PM
photo #3 of freightliner addition

f5obsessor
07-27-2004, 08:17 PM
So what all trucks/equip. do you have now?!?

etwman
07-27-2004, 08:29 PM
Too many things to list. We'll take a 2004 photo shoot in a couple of weeks and post the latest shot. In this industry you have to think smart about equipment purchases. You can spend a tremendous amount of money on equipment that is absolutely worthless. This truck was a win win and the next one will be identical so that we can swap bodies between the two. I speak on behalf of alot of guys out there, you overload too many trucks. It's a huge, huge liability. Take a 3500 with a dump bed, throw 3000 lbs in it and your just about maxed out. Take this truck and you can carry 11,000 pounds, have the engine and the trans to do it, not be overweight, and have a truck that will outlast any smaller dump truck. Consider the true costs guys.

etwman

mdb landscaping
07-27-2004, 08:39 PM
hey etwman.........where did you buy that truck at? we are currently spec-ing out a 10 wheeler hooklift truck and id be interested what dealer/location you got yours from. thats one nice truck. yours doesnt appear to be a hooklift, so does yours only angle to dump and switch containers?

etwman
07-27-2004, 08:43 PM
Hey Matt listen up on the hook lift. We were about 5 hours away from ordering one. We stopped. You will spend considerably more, won't get the dump angle, and will get fustrated. I've talked with guys that have them and the end up climbing up in the body and shoveling material out. The reason we went this route is we're not switching bodies out 8 times a day like trash haulers. We may do it 3 times a week. We bought the cab and chassis in Charlotte and had the fabrication done in Hershey. By the time all was said and done we had no more than $37,000 in the truck with all the bodies. You can't beat it, it's built sturdy, maybe not as beefy as a hooklift, but it works for the landscaper and works well.

It does angle to dump. It's quite simple but works well. It's basically a hoist setup just like a dump truck but it has a winch at the top of the hoist closest to the front of the body. Simply lift the hoist and gravity lets you lower the body off slowly with the hoist.

Hope this helps some.

etwman.

MacLawnCo
07-29-2004, 10:31 PM
wow J, looks phenomenal. very classy.

Ray & Karen
01-09-2005, 07:28 AM
ETWMAN,

I would like to know how the dump has worked out for you since you have had an opportunity to use it for several months.

Tony Clifton
01-09-2005, 12:00 PM
ETW Man, nice rig. I see that the truck is a 2001 so I am assuming it was used. The reason I ask is that 37,000 seems like an incredible price for that truck with the tool box and 3 bodies, plus it has the CAT Diesel. So, if it is used, how many miles were on it. Actually, how much do you have tied up in that Tool BOX, and 3 beds? We bought a new GMC 6500 with a 16' dump and Cat Diesel for 42,000. Your truck would be perfect, like you said, drop a container off and come get it when its full instead of tying a truck up.

etwman
01-09-2005, 07:23 PM
Tony -

We bought the cab and chassis for $16,900 and it had 129,000 miles on it. There are 1000's out there off of Penske lease available everywhere. We did a ton of research and it just didn't prove to buy new. It looks new, runs like it's new, truthfully you'd never really know. These trucks run for 500,000 miles and we haven't had a single problem with it plus we'll only put 12,000 miles a year on it. The tool box was around $3,000 custom built buy a local guy. Our newest truck is about to hit the road in about a month. It's a 2000 FL-70 with 117,000 on it. This one will have an alluminum tool box instead of the steel one. Plus it'll be 33,000GVW instead of the 26,000 of the truck that was posted. We bought this truck for even less because it requires a CDL but most of our guy already have that so we fugured we can push our payload from 11,000 lbs to 18,000 with less out of pocket. Plus we won't have to buy bodies either since we already have four of them. This truck set up was the best system we've ever put together. Our other dump trucks are pretty much obsolete and just sit. All of our guys say "why in the world would you ever buy a dump truck that had a permanent attached body to it." We basically have four trucks for the price of two. We'll never go back....

Hope this helps some. You can check out the whole system at www.bucksfab.com. These are the guys that put the systems toghether. Click on Swith-N-Go.

etwman
01-09-2005, 07:26 PM
here' a couple more pics

etwman
01-09-2005, 07:33 PM
Here's one more with a different body on it. It takes a little over 2 minutes to switch the bodies out.

mdb landscaping
01-09-2005, 07:44 PM
hey etwman.....pics look great. per our discussion a few posts back, we did decide to go an alternate way instead of hooklift. the cost to outfit one is ridiculous. looks like we are probably going with a 10 wheeler full size roll-0ff peterbuilt. pics to come in the near future. :D

Flex-Deck
01-09-2005, 08:26 PM
Ditch mowing machine

boatdude
01-10-2005, 01:34 PM
ETWLawn
Glad to see you posting...I think you have a lot to offer the forum. Awesome truck!!! you guys have your @#&* together! I like your take on the rolloff truck...really good idea.
bd

2_Djinn
01-10-2005, 01:46 PM
etwman- Do you have any snow removal pics?

Hi-Output
01-10-2005, 05:13 PM
etwman,

Sorry about the following book but, I need to tell you. Thanks for reading in advance and any help is greatly appreciated!

You're my Idol!

I'm a part-timer wondering about commercial bidding for the future. When I go full-time I would like to have some commercial/ industrial accounts. How would you suggest going about bidding and pricing these kind of accounts. I know I could just look under search to find some advise, but I've been mowing longer than you have and you just seem to be very successful! I do advertize in the local YP, but all I seem to get is calls form people who cannot afford lawn care.(and I know how to price, and I'm not as expensive as most in my area) I do get refferals but, more of the same kinds of properties. PITA's!

Example: 1 acre lot with house, fence around back yard & driveway w/parking pad. It takes a little over an hour to mow, trim & blow w/60" mower. Just myself. Another 10 minutes to get there from closest job. An easy $55 job right? Try $35! "Oh we can't afford $55 to have our yard mowed. All is we want is our grass mowed. We'll have to do it our selves- see ya! So I leave and a week goes by. Sure enough they mow it them selves, I saw them on a Sat. 3 weeks go by- same thing. Finally I stop and ask them how much they would pay? They said we can afford $25. I said there is no way. I can do it for $35 just till the end of the season. I need the work. They said $35 is still more than they can afford, but they would try it for a month. Well, a month goes by and sure enough they have troble paying. I can clearly see that they just were'nt jewing me down. They said "Sorry we can't afford to do this we should have never called. We don't want to, but we're going to have to do it ourselves. Thanks for what you did do though, you did a good job." This is the case with people all the time. Where's their money? It's in their $250,000 home. If they can afford a home like this, than an extra $1500 a year to keep their nice home looking good by a pro should not break them. Right? What Am I missing?

There is a good market in York & Adams Co. where I am, (I think) but how do I target the right customers? There's guy's around here makin big $$$$$$. Obviously there is something wrong. Honestly, I can't figure it out. I do above and beyond what I see others doing. Quality. and quality does take more time. Except for my red Ford Ranger and my equipment, which isn't a real bad looking setup, Do you have any suggestions? I'm at the end of my rope and the guys around here won't tell me anything!!

Thank you for your advise on previous posts. That has helped me too. Beautiful pieces you have- etwman!

ALarsh
01-11-2005, 05:38 PM
I noticed you said you were buying these trucks off of Penske lease but where are you buying them? Location, website, etc?

lawncare3
01-11-2005, 07:14 PM
I noticed you said you were buying these trucks off of Penske lease but where are you buying them? Location, website, etc?

Here are some!! http://stores.ebay.com/WYATT-JOHNSON-GMC Hope that helps.

Flex-Deck
01-11-2005, 07:18 PM
My equipment - 9 1/2 foot swath\

ALarsh
01-11-2005, 07:28 PM
Flex - this post is primarily for etwman's equipment.

ALarsh
01-11-2005, 07:31 PM
Lawncare, not quite the selection I was looking for and none of them are similarly equipped as etwman's Freightliner.

Flex-Deck
01-11-2005, 07:36 PM
Excuseemawa - I believe the title of the thread is """equipment photos"""" did not realize that one person is involved. Thought this was a 25000 member ship deal. I will have to be more discerning in the future.

Hope everyone likes his pics. they are good - glad he washes everything every day. Looks professional.

ALarsh
01-11-2005, 07:41 PM
I thought it was also, but after reading he didn't ask for anybody elses pictures. Not a big deal. :)

Flex-Deck
01-11-2005, 08:04 PM
Bull Pocky - it is a big deal - when I was sponsoring, I could do this stuff. When I quit, I was teatering on being banned.

ALarsh
01-11-2005, 08:09 PM
Flex, i'm not trying to argue here. I was just letting you know that if you haven't read this thread, it is for etwman's pics. He has some great equipment going for him and we want to learn about it, what this site is for.

Can a mod delete posts #134, #136-139?

etwman
01-11-2005, 09:04 PM
Okay guys ...easy....everyone has something to contribute. I wouldn't go as far as saying "this is my thread for my pics." Anyone can voice their opinion and post as they see fit. If I can help with some advice and a couple of pics I will gladly do that. If people are going to bicker, and it results in closing this thread, than I'll excuse myself from lawnsite. I've got plenty of things to work on, trust me. I've been in the business long enough to hopefully figure out what works and what doesn't. I still learn everyday but if I can help a couple other guys along, that's great. There is plenty of work out there if it is done right and you use your head wisely.

Now where were we....Chris (lawncare3) to answer your questions about where we get the trucks. www.trucktrader.com is a huge place to start. Ebay is a little risky unless you can go and look at it up close. We've dealt....believe it or not with a gentleman down in Salisbury NC from Hammer Truck Sales. Nat is a great guy to work with. Both trucks we have bought from him based on just the pics. He stands behind his trucks 100%. I'd buy again from him tomorrow without even seeing pics of the trucks. $350 and it's delivered to my shop and ready for fabrication work. If he says its good...it's good. www.hammertrucks.com is your link. You may end up getting it with a box on it, that's a 20 minute removal deal with a good torch and a lift. Keep the box, you'll only save $500 for deleting it and having someone remove it. Good for storage if you have a place to go with it. Also once you get into the 4500-6500 series trucks or the Freighliners don't let mileage scare you too much. I wouldn't buy 300,000 mile trucks but 150,000 are just fine if they are diesel with a CAT or Cummins, etc.

Hope this helps some.

i_plant_art
01-19-2005, 06:31 AM
thanks for all the info on the trucks it really does make sense to get one like you have rather just a dedicated dump. is it hard to dump/clean out the container once it is full? what do you do angle it down and drive off to bring the material out? looks like you have you stuff together. nice pics of all of the trucks thanks again for the info.

etwman
01-19-2005, 08:48 AM
Funny you should mention dump angle. We looked into hook-lifts and were concerned about the dump angle and material not flowing out of the containers. The dump angle on the system we bought is 75 degrees. We have never had an issue. Everything comes right out. One of the other nice things with this set-up is that on occassion we'll run stone dust or sand out to landscape paver projects. You can put 5 ton of material in the mason body, tilt it about half way up, and back it off the truck until it is just off the ground. This allows you to very easily shovel it into a wheelbarrrow with the back of the body only being 18" off the ground. This way you don't have lost or dumped material all over the ground. Option 2 is just set the thing on the ground and pull into it with a skid loader and scoop out whatever you need. It's like a portable mulch/stone bin.

Hope this helps some. I wouldn't be the least concerned with the dump angle.

jreiff
01-23-2005, 12:57 PM
Was wondering if you had any more pictures of your equipment? Love the pictures so far. Love the international set up. Going to have to get me one. Thanks for all the good info.

etwman
02-12-2005, 09:33 AM
Several of you emailed me on how we put these truck together and what all is envolved. After looking at our contracted sales for 2005 we found no choice but to move forward with another freightliner. After more searching than i care to admit this truck was located and purchased last Thursday. It's a 2000 FL-70 33,000 GVW with 140,000 miles. I paid a little more than I would have liked ($19,500) but for some reason this search was a little more difficult. Same CAT engine as our others, remember...build a fleet. On friday (and i apologize I didn't take pics) we removed the box and torched the last six feet of frame off right up to behind the rear spring hanger. It's now at the paint shop where the cab and chassis will be painted metallic black.

On friday the underbody toolboxes were ordered along with stainless steel mirrors, bracketes, bumber, grill, rims, and airhorns. A visor from Lund is on its way. The tool box behind the cab is being fabricated at another site. Nextel will put a hands free system is this truck (like all the others) which has an auxillary antenna, speaker in the cab, cradle for the phone which charges the phone while in the base, and the push to talk button which is mounted on the stick shift so shifting and talking couldn't be easier. From the paint shop it will go to get the switch and go on and the bumper fabricated. After this is all on it will be lettered and loaded with tools. Projected day for this truck to be on its first jobsite is March 14...let's see if it happens.

mdb landscaping
02-12-2005, 11:01 AM
pretty sweet. We are working on getting our roll-off truck with in the next week. then we are gonna fabricate the frame so the back of the frame hydraulically folds underneath the truck when we are using it as a dump vehicle because normally the roll off extends all the way to the ground, and it would drag if we are dumping material. Definately post some pics of your rig when its done. ours probably will be 2-3 weeks before pics.

cgland
02-12-2005, 06:26 PM
ETWMAN - Great to find you here! I actually picked up a Hanover book w/ your card on it from the Patio & stove place on Rt. 322. You did a great job on that project. We are located right down the street (Rt 222) in Mohnton. Your operation looks top notch. We have many of the same ideals as businessmen. We are actually planning to open up a satellite in Lancaster/Ephrata. I would love to get together w/ you. Maybe we can strike up a business relationship and trade some services. Shoot me an email to discuss.

Chris

Toy2
02-12-2005, 07:15 PM
etwman,

You have an awesome story to tell and pictures to back up your success, which gives the newbies inspiration to succeed as you have....keep it up!! :)

fishinman22487
02-12-2005, 09:22 PM
Etwman-
You have created quite a business up there in PA, congrats on the new Freightliner. A lot of us in Florida would so so look up to you with a lot of respect. Keep up the good work :)
Here's some of my landscaping work I have been working on.

etwman
02-13-2005, 02:00 PM
I'm going to vear off this subject a little to reply to your recent comments. To the guys down in Florida and Texas I commend you for running businesses that deal with a 12 month season. I am pretty well spent after 9 months and could not imagine a 12 month cycle. With that I'm sure comes increased competitition as well. For this ... hat's off to you. For me, I enjoy my winters off.

Mr. Martinez. I'm glad I can inspire some of you guys. I hope for each of you the best in sucess in the upcoming year. It had been a big chess game for us over the past 5 years, this didn't all of a sudden happen. I finally feel that over the past year we have reached the summit that I was climbing for. Our landscape projects now average $38,931 for an installation, and we have raised our minimum dollar amount on them this year. Word of mouth is critical, our advertising budget was .8% of our sales for last year. Our image, professionalism, and references pave the way to every project we do. Our retention rate (and i say this to encourage you not to brag because it is doable) is 92% of everything we quote. That is a big change from 2 years ago. When our phone rings now I know someone is on the other end that wants us to do their project. For 2005 we have reached a serious fork in the road that forces some critical decisions. Two weeks ago I passed all of our 2004 sales numbers for contracted work for 2005. We don't have many time slots left for this year but people continue to call. On Friday afternoon i met with a couple of a fairly large house in a historic part of the area. Once again based on a previous customer's referral. I had a plan done for them and presented it to them at this follow up meeting. I had no formal proposal done for them, I just wanted to go over the plans and ideas. Three times they wanted to give me a sizable deposit to hold time slot in our schedule. I declined. I needed to go back to the office and punch some numbers to see even if i could fit them in. We have reached a point that we are going to have to decide 1. how big we're going to get? 2. do we raise the minumum? or 3 are we much more selective on what we take on? It's not an easy decision in the least bit, probably the toughest one yet.

Employees have not been an issue for us. Two weeks ago I decided we need to bring three on full time with benefits. This process will include putting the word out through friends at the church and locally that we are hiring. The current employees also do some probing. Within a week i was flooded with calls and two are already hired. The foreman make the final decision, I stand back as only a bystander. This relinquishes me of conflict issues on a crew. One of my biggest pet peaves is making sure that each and every guy is happy with what they do. We have a really neat trust relationship here amongst all of us and I want to keep it that way. There's very little I wouldn't do for anyone of them. I believe that the guys really enjoy working here and would hope you would get the same response from talking with any of them.

I say this as an encouragement to all of you out there. Once you get above that cloud line you are in a whole new world. I'm not saying all of this to rant and rave. I'd sit down with any of you over a cup of coffee to lend an ear or hand. This is doable for any of you. As the season draws closer I wish each of you the best of luck. Think wisely with every move you make.

etwman.

etwman
02-13-2005, 02:42 PM
Per your emails here are a couple of project pics from 2004.

PMLAWN
02-13-2005, 02:54 PM
etwman, Thank you for your words and help. I for one appreciate and will take them to heart. Though you do not say them to brag you have a right to be proud. I am not where you are yet but plans are in that direction.
Also, good luck with the growth. Going to the next level is always a little exciting as well as rewarding.

stumper1620
02-13-2005, 03:19 PM
Thank you, etwman
I think you are one of the largest inspirations to all of us. I can tell from your last post a lot of your success has to do with your respect for your employees.
I really enjoy reading and following this post that is showing the tremendous growth of a company. may god keep blessing you with great employees, a customer base that never ends and growth that continues at a impressive rate.
you do excellent work and are receiving great rewards for that.
steve :waving:

fishinman22487
02-13-2005, 06:51 PM
ETW- Those are some nice Japanese Maples in one of those after pictures. Do you maintain that account too? If you don't mind me asking where did you go to college?

etwman
02-13-2005, 09:58 PM
We don't maintain that account. That was strictly a build project. Those Japanese Maples, one was there the other was brought in for the install. Actually we have been very selective on our grounds care accounts and have actually scaled back slightly thus allowing more room to expand our landscape division. Will we continue grounds care in future years? Don't know, ask me in 12 months. My foreman say no, I'm not quite sure.

College.... Messiah College in Central PA for a BA in Human Resource Management. Then a couple of Penn State courses on top of that. Been contimplating some more classes but maybe in time. Right now i have a great family and wife I'd like to spend time with.

Prior to college i had a small lawn care business in central jersey where i grew up with my parents. It was big for a teenager and fun but too much responsibity at such a young age. I didn't know money management too well but learned it quick. Good lessons learned. Throughout college I made it a point to work for a different lawn care or landscaping company each summer. When you're in college no one really cares that you leave in August, it's expected. It's a great 4 month education into different landscape companies philosophies. What works ....what doesn't. You learn real quick who's making money and who isn't. I could write a book on just that four year experience in itself. Think about it guys....what would you give to go work for a competitor for four months and educate yourself then return to what your doing? C'mon now...you all rubberneck out the window of your truck when you pass a competitor...you're curious. Yeah I wouldn't feel write company hopping on a full time basis...a year here....a year there....but college is different. You learn a lot of good info then apply it to college classes. In my opinion college should be 5 years. Study 2, work one in the middle, then go back for the last two. Learning it is one thing, applying it is a different ball game.

Okay I'm goin' offline, headed to Atlantic City for a conference for a week. I'll check in when I get back.

DeereHauler
02-13-2005, 11:53 PM
etw,
where exactly are you from?

Bull
02-14-2005, 03:22 AM
ETW, thanks for all of the post they have been very inspirational to many I am sure. I have one question that I would like to get your opinion on. I live in what is still considered somewhat of a rural area. Our local town has a population of about 7,000 with another 45 to 60,000 living out within a 15 mile radius. We have a nice hospital and very good schools which over the last 5 to 7 years has begun to spur developmental growth. However very very seldom do you see or hear of anyone requesting the level of work that you have shared with us. Most is just basic lawn care with bed maintenance and shrub installs. In your opinion is some areas just not prone to requesting this level of work? I would have to drive 50 plus miles one way to get into an area where this type of work is requested more. How do you compare my scenario with your location and what if anything can be done to at least start the trend in an upward direction? Again thanks for all of the post.

PMLAWN
02-14-2005, 04:24 AM
Hey Bull, where in NC are you talking about. Sounds like EWT might be out for a while. I believe that there will be need or lack of it because of population but almost any area will have some wants of certain work. look at, not only, #of people but income and what is going on in the area to make a decision. No doubt though that a bigger population will have more opportunity

Bull
02-14-2005, 06:35 AM
Hello PMLAWN, I have seen some of your post and it is nice to see another member near my area. I am just north of you in Elkin. I don't know if you have ever been up to this area but farming is still pretty popular. We do have a few nice developments that are up scale for us. Those homes are in the 300k to 600k price range but there probably isn't more than a hundred or so close by. Now from 250k down those are plentiful. It's not that the price of the home has a lot to do with it as it seems to be more the mentality. Most people around here are more conservative with their money especially with the past economy and everything. Several mfg. businesses have closed. Those who seem to spend big are usually the ones who have moved here from somewhere else such as the doctors and other professional people. However even those seem to be reluctant to spend their money on hardscapes. You can drive by these high end homes and they are just crying out for curb appeal. Everybody seems to sow grass right up to the foundation of the house. Vineyards are rapidly becoming more popular as tobacco is getting pushed out. You however are in an area where I know money is plentiful. With Nascar and the new Lowe's headquarters in your area that place has grown very fast. Also having Lake Norman nearby doesn't hurt either. How is it for you in regards to what type of work do you do - lawncare vs hardscapes?

HOMER
02-14-2005, 07:57 AM
So the best hen in the hen house is a dinasour huh? I won't take it personal because yes it is the old SSZ52 1996, BUT.... yes I use it everyday, It'll cut with the best of them(not with a 7.5mph ground speed) but quaility, cuts as flat as a board, hydros will still jerk you like they were new, 1200hrs, 2nd motor ,yea I know about kohlers, stripes better than my deere ( neither have a striping kit), And from the sound of some other guys I do have a use for it. In the fall it has a leaf plow that slides in the front end and is a REAL time saver, not to mention tarps! So don't count this mama out yet. Its not as fast as some but it'll cut better than alot.
ETWMAN: I'm in central Delaware, Kent County


Ha Ha............that mower looks like a wheelchair, like something in a Walmart that folks ride on to get their groceries. :D

Funny thing is I have a 97 model with a 48" cut..........1600 hours and yes, it will make a very nice cut. I have my Trac-Vac unit set up on it and I do use it every day..........why..............because it still runs and does a good job and it's paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidddddddddddddddd duh fooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr payup

Old, slow, and is up more than it's down. Wish I could say that for some of my other equipment.

etwman
02-24-2005, 11:14 AM
Alright, here we go. Boy it sounds like you sitting on something there. It's hard to say how soon, or when, but something's gonna give in your direction. It may come down to some unique marketing to get in there but if your the first one to put in an exquisite hardscape project on just one of those homes you'll become a well known contractor. If you want give me a call at my office sometime and I'll chat a little with you.

Take a look at a couple of things. Where are the larges cities? Are they growing or pusing out? How soon will those people be in your area? Don't go cheap, you'll build the wrong reputation. I know it's hard at first. People will be conservative, we have that in our area too, but if sold correctly they'll be the first ones that will want the nice landscape. If they end up with one, it'll travel right on around the corner.

Hope this helps some. Sorry it took so long it's been a tough couple of weeks here but I'm starting to feel better.

etwman.

cgland
02-24-2005, 12:53 PM
Hey Jarod,

Any new progress on the newest fleet member? What did you think of MAHTS?

Chris

etwman
02-24-2005, 04:11 PM
Latest progress. Box is removed, frame is chopped, and the cab is painted. On Monday it'll either come home to us here or go to the fab shop. Haven't decided yet. All the toolboxes, mirror brackets, bumpers, grills, air horns, visors, wheel simulators, are clogging up my shop and if I stup my toe one more time coming in the door I'm going to go crazy. IT's not like you can shift a 6 foot tool box off to one side to easily. So we may put a bunch of that on and then take it down to the fab shop. I'll see what Monday brings. We're still on track for our completion date. I need to talk with my operations manager he's been cordinating the whole thing since I've been out of town here the past week.

MAHTS. Had a good time. The employees to their wives down and I got them each a room. Wives shopped guys went to classes and the expo. We all regrouped for dinner. Good, if not better than last year. Bought a couple things, learned a few other knacks. EPHenry does a good job no doubt.

etwman.

PMLAWN
02-24-2005, 06:21 PM
Hello PMLAWN, With Nascar and the new Lowe's headquarters in your area that place has grown very fast. Also having Lake Norman nearby doesn't hurt either. How is it for you in regards to what type of work do you do - lawncare vs hardscapes?
Hi Bull, Sorry so long to answer but went to Orl. last week to John Deere training and had a lot of work this week.
We do a lot of stuff. Main part is maintenance with over 100 properties with a mix of small residential to HOAs and condos.
As far as landscape we do a lot of walls because of the lake. Most homes are seeded when new so it lasts 1 year or till it gets hot and drys up so we get a lot of renovation work. Doing a waterfall now that drops into the lake, 40 foot drop. most new subdivisions run somewhere around 150 to 200 homes and there are about 40 new ones going right now. Just read about a new one that will have over 900 homes. The landscape package most come with have 2 or 3 boxwoods and seed on hard clay. Lots (LOTS!) of room for upgrades.
I always charge a fair price and don't take advantage of people but there is work for the taking and you could name your price.
We work hard to get maintenance work at our prices but landscape work is abundant. Most of our work is by referral. I love this area and the lake is great but the growth is supper for landscape. Just don't tell anybody else. Don't want to many here to mess things up. Funny thing is that most of the lowball-scrub-jackleg still can not get work. Most of the people moving here are professional and will only pay for quality. Nice work environment. Even Statesville has a lot going for it and it is not too far from you. Are you locked in to that area or can you move down. Maybe sell a few days of work down here and drive down for the day You are off exit 85, right? If you can drive 45min south and make an extra 2-300 a day it might be worth it. Good luck.

christmas79
02-24-2005, 07:26 PM
NICE EQUIPMENT
Is that your house too?

CrewCutEnterprises
02-28-2005, 09:27 PM
ETW. I love the trucks. I looked at buying a new swap loader and its so expensive if you break it all down to buy new. I never thought of the used approach and cuttin off the body. Now How long on these FL's? If they take a 16 ft swap loader and maybe a 6 foot storage bin. That would be a 20 footer.But you said you cut off all of what was left behind the rear spring hanger. So maybe it was a 24 ft box truck which is a common truck used from penske.

Let me know the size because i will follow your route. O and thanks for the Insight.

Jason Rohrbaugh.

so swap loader was 10,000
and truck @19000
and the bodies are like 3 to 5 k each??

etwman
03-01-2005, 08:48 AM
Jason -

The FL-70's are 252" WB and 186" CA. They had a 24 foot box on them at one point in time. This allowed a 48" tool box between the cab and the front of the dump body. Now I'm not sure what length your swaploader is but this setup works well with the switch n go from Buck's Fabricating. We torch the back frame off so that there is about 4" left behind the rear spring hanger. From there we set the complete system on, drill 8 holes, and bolt it on. Good to go. Fabricate the bumper and set the tool box on. Once you've done one truck the second and third go together real fast.

We looked at swaploaders too. We basically got the same system for 5k-7k less. The local dealer can't keep these systems in stock fast enough and they've worked flawlessly for us.

If you fall in love with a cab and chassis with a wheelbase longer than 252" you can shorten it. Cost about $800.00. If you found a beaut of a truck it may be worth it, but remember lenghtening that wheelbase is much more expensive. You want to make sure your rear axle is as far back as possible to absorb lifting heaving loads off of the ground. This is why that 252" works the best. If you don't want a box look for a 204" WB.

These trucks are everywhere out there. I think, but I'd have to check, we paid $17900 for the one and $18900 for the other. Chances are you'll have to have the cab painted, that'll run you around $1200, but do it before you put everything on the truck. You'll thank yourself later.

Hope this helps some.

ALarsh
03-01-2005, 08:55 AM
etw- How has the chevy treated you pulling such a large load? Any Problems?

Thanks.

etwman
03-01-2005, 09:04 AM
I have always been a diesel nut. Every truck I have either owned or currently own is a diesel except for the Chevy. Nothing against Chevy but it'll be the first and last gas truck I'll ever own. People say once you go diesel it's tough to go back, it's true. I had my fun, it's a stick shift with that 6.0 in it and it does okay with 10,000 lbs towing around town, get on a highway and it's a different story. I'll probably part with it this summer. Don't get me wrong i haven't had any problems with it at all. It's a '02 with 68,000 on it. I'd like to go to a crew cab shortbed with the duramax and allision. Won't have much bed space but it's pretty much my personal vehicle now anyway. We've got four other trucks the guys use for work.

ALarsh
03-01-2005, 06:22 PM
Do you have a new fleet picture of all the equipment.:)

Mark McC
03-01-2005, 06:36 PM
Shouldn't this thread be in the pictures forum?

nobagger
03-01-2005, 06:51 PM
etwman, that is a sweet set up is that a 1ton chevy or a 3/4 ton chevy? and how does it pull that huge trailer

etwman
03-02-2005, 01:51 PM
1. To ALarsh - Fleet pic of all the equipment. We tried desperately to get one at the end of last year but were so busy we never found time. We are definitely due, we have a '00, '01, & '02 but it stopped there because it's difficult to find the time. The other dilemna is that where we took the previous shots isn't big enough for all the equipment so we are going to have to move it to another location for a shot. In April we've been asked to host a small business breakfast and meeting with some other businessmen in the area where we will have everything displayed, show samples of our work, and discuss what makes this business run. Hopefully it'll be a nice Saturday and we can rent a bucket truck for a couple good shots. I'll post them as soon as I can, but this year we will have a fleet shot.

2. Mark, I don't know where it should be located. We talk about equipment but then again I get into discussions about business practices. It's the most viewed threat in all of lawnsite you tell me where it belongs.

3. Nobagger, check my previous post on the other page where I talk about the Chevy, maybe that'll help some. Oh and it is a HD 3/4 ton. To go to a 1 ton anymore it has to be a dually.

mdb landscaping
03-04-2005, 06:45 PM
hey etwman, awhile back i picked your brain on hooklift versus roll-off. well today we took delivery of our roll-off. check it out. gotta go through it, strip it down paint it, and customize our containers and hydroseeder. i love this thread. cant wait to see what you second truck done looks like.

Boycea
03-12-2005, 07:26 AM
MDB, thats a nice truck, did you get any bodies with it, or do you have to purchase them separately. When is it supposed to be ready to be put to work?

Etwman, are you located anywhere near the Haulmark trailer factory in Pennsylvania?

etwman
03-19-2005, 04:34 PM
Okay, so it was a nice Saturday and I decided to pull the trucks out. They were pretty clean so I grabbed the camera. We're short one vehicle in this shot but at least I got a shot for those of you who have been requesting one. I didn't bother with the trailers and the rest of the equipment, I'll do that shot later this year. The new Freightliner is about 95% done (Truck #4). We need to stock it with tools, airhorns need to go on, and a few minor details. All in all it turned out pretty good. I was truly impressed with the fabrication done on the alluminum toolbox by a local welder, this one should hold up longer. Enjoy.

Triple L
03-19-2005, 05:18 PM
hay etw, you said you are going to be in the march issue of turf magazine. I got turf central and looked but I did not see anything about you in there. Are you going to be in the next issue.

carlriv
03-19-2005, 06:18 PM
ETWMAN

you said

"From there we set the complete system on, drill 8 holes, and bolt it on."

I know you need to hook up the electric, but is the rest of it really that easy?

I know it does not look difficult.

etwman
03-19-2005, 10:45 PM
Triple L - That was the March 2004 issue of Turf we were in ....not 2005. It was a fairly short article just talking about equipment.

Carlriv - The main hoist system is pretty much that simple. Yes there is some electrical work to be done and it really depends on what kind of hitch system you want. With this last truck we fabricated it to hold a 20 ton pintle hitch as well as a reciever hitch. In addition we ran air lines to the back. It really depends on whether you plan on pulling a trailer as far a how involved you get. If you want a simple switch and go system than yes it's pretty much that simple. Mount the system, connect the hoist electrical lines to the battery, and mount a simple controller in the cab and your done. Hope this helps some.

TerraVenture
03-19-2005, 11:02 PM
Do you have any before shots of the fl70's prior to fabrication?

etwman
03-19-2005, 11:07 PM
You know what I don't. And every time we went to move the truck from one fabricator to another I kicked myself for not grabbing the camera before running out of the office. This one went together real quick. One guy down in Philly mounted the switch and go and did all my hitch fabrication, while another guy up here in Lancaster did the alluminum box. The dealer we bought if from removed the old box and had the cab painted. Other than lettering it really only made three stops. The small odds and ends we did at our shop. Sorry I didn't grab more shots. I pretty much have the original yellow Freightliner shots posted earlier and then the end result. When we build the next one I'll leave the camera in that truck.

TerraVenture
03-20-2005, 09:10 AM
I noticed you had a overseeder for your tractor in one of your posted pictures. Do you use that for renovation only or do you use it for both renovation and installing new lawns. If so, do you find it works better than hydroseed. I am going to get a lesco sliceseeder this year for renovations and a hydroseeder for establishing lawns. I just wanted to get you two cents on how you establish a new lawn down where you are.

etwman
03-20-2005, 01:56 PM
That is a Harley Pro 8 Power Rake on the back. We usually power rake then drill seed with a 72" seeder. We haven't done much lawn installation in the past year or so. That unit was primarily purchased for a development we did lawn installations for a local builder which consisted of about 100 lawns back in 2002/03. I've pretty much closed the book on dealing with builders, too much disorganization. If they want us it's on my terms. Currently the only time we do an lawn install is if we're finishing up a big landscape project for a customer and they want to make sure the lawn is installed correctly.

We debated a hydroseeder but if I went that route it was going to be big. In addition hydrants or a local water supply in that development was hard to come by. I think your fine going either route. Another good preseeder is made by ATI. I think it's their model 806, great innovation. Although with any good lawn installation a good finish grade and proper drainage is key.

JRSlawn
03-20-2005, 02:21 PM
Are you looking to sell your harley rake?

etwman
03-20-2005, 04:55 PM
Probably not but I do know of a couple others in the area that are for sale. www.abcgroff.com had one for sale not too long ago in thier used department. Not sure where you're located at but they are in New Holland PA.

Patrick.B
03-20-2005, 06:05 PM
Three JD Riders and one WB to cut little yard like this ,,,Nice equipments but how you pay these guys ?

jreiff
03-20-2005, 10:59 PM
After all said and done, what was the total cost of the truck, the finished product- hoist, box, tool storage, paint, etc....

Love how they look. Telling the boss about it. I think that they would be the ideal truck to have with the different size & types of boxes that you have with it.

Love all the pictures and the great inof that you have to share. Keep up the good work.

lawnkid
03-21-2005, 12:19 AM
Man those trucks sure are nice but how do you manage to turn around in subdivisons and how do you back up onto a driveway say if you have to deliver a load of topsoil or something. Again nice rucks by the way though.

etwman
03-21-2005, 08:12 AM
J reiff - Total cost on this truck all said and done was around $45,000.00 Now, you could easily do it for less (probably shave $5k-$7k) but we put a bunch into dressing it up and making it match the other one. In addition we had some air line and increased fabrication costs with doing the back bumper up for a heavy trailer. Plus we paid a little more for the cab and chassis than I would have liked. Still, you're not going to put together a new 33,000 GVW truck that looks like that with all those options for $45000 I don't care where you go.

Lawn Kid - You'd be surprised, really, where you can stick those trucks. They're not as big as they look ...only about 22' long if that. They're not all that much longer than a crew cab long bed pick up. My guys can stick those things anywhere you could put a 3500 hands down. They're good and they all have their CDL's. The only thing you have to watch on occassion is soft ground but that's a little common sense.

Patrick.B
03-21-2005, 06:49 PM
Here my truck and Equipments Mar21357.JPG (172.1 KB)

Patrick.B
03-21-2005, 06:52 PM
Mar21352.JPG (191.3 KB)

Patrick.B
03-21-2005, 06:55 PM
Okay !!! Last Pic LOL :blob3: Mar21359.JPG (184.8 KB)

mdb landscaping
03-25-2005, 04:51 PM
well heres a few shots of our roll off we are almost done with. still have to put the stack passenger mirror on, and getting the graphics done wednesday. then we are gonna go pick up our cans and flatbed for it. ill post some pics when its all done.

Patrick.B
03-25-2005, 07:39 PM
mdb landscaping nice kenworth mdb ,,,,i run rolloff for 11 years before i got in Lawn Service ...Nice rig..... :waving:

CrewCutEnterprises
03-26-2005, 02:12 AM
my new truck

99 350 xlt diesel 4x4. Will be replacing my 250 gas.

etwman
06-25-2005, 09:36 AM
In late May we hosted an open house and breakfast for a group of about 200 men in our community at one of our sites we did a build project. Attached are some pictures from the event. This may be as close as we come to a full 2005 photo shoot. Still not everything made it into this photo as all the equipment was relocated to this site to hold the open house and time did not work in our favor. 90% of everything is there.

etwman
06-25-2005, 09:59 AM
A couple of you emailed me about some of our spring projects. Here's one that just finished up. I don't have the final shots off of the camera yet but I do have some "in progress" shots. I'll post the finals as soon as I get the camera. This one was a 3,200 sf pool patio with boulder wall construction. My guys were pretty efficient on this one because they had another one of equal size following right behind it. From start to finish (boulder wall to landscape) they were in and out in 7 days. I have the honor of employing a very quality oriented, head smart foreman that can turn these projects around in an extremely efficient manner with great results.

i_plant_art
06-28-2005, 12:08 AM
ETW-

nice pics of the fleet. i really like the picture of the paver patio in the first set of pics. the color contrasts well with the black mulch. nice looking projects. in the second set with the pool did your guys do the pool in house or did you sub it out? look very good what do you guys chrage for somethign like that 40-50k??? keep up the good work i always like seeing pictures of yalls fleet and work.

etwman
06-28-2005, 09:07 AM
The pool was contracted by the customer on thier own. We were brought in at the same time. If there is one thing that irritates me in this line of work its the pool companies. Their goal is to sell the "fall special pool deal" and what you get is just a pool, no landscape, a concrete slab, skin and bones in order to keep the price down. They want nothing to do with a landscape plan. The customers don't realize that you can easily spend just as much on the paver and landscape work as you can on the pool itself and then we look like the bad guys. These customers were smart in getting a plan done with us from day one. Our architect positioned the pool correctly in the back yard, we build the boulder wall before the pool went in (which can be an afterthought as witnessed before), then constructed the patio and landscape. This project from walls to lighting will easily approach 6 digits with the pool installation. The customer knew what they were getting into from the beginning and ended up with a nice project.

I attached another photo for another pool job we did earlier this spring. This one the customer didn't have us involved from the beginning. After we got involved they realized they needed a boulder wall to hold the dirt in from running all over the neighbors property (another misinformed item by the pool company). So the boulders were placed out on the road and brought in one at a time. Our foreman mentioned to the customer that it might be more cost effective to fill the shell of the pool in and start over. Very costly fix. Informing the customers on pool installs is critical, especially if they are strapped to just be able to pay for the pool. Just a little FYI.

This first project was basically two walls. (see attached pics) A 150 ft. retaining wall and the boulder wall. It took us longer to construct this project than the big paver paito that was posted earlier, and we didn't even do pavers around this pool. It turned out okay, (we did it for a friend of the family, which could be a thread in itself but we won't go there) I think it would have been nicer with pavers but money was an issue due to misinforming on the pool company so we did the best we could do for them. If it had been done right from the getgo we probably could have saved them a chunk towards a paver patio. We hauled dirt out, dirt in, boulders in, boulders out. No place to stage because the darn pool was already in. Planning is key to this type of stuff....thus the huge reason....why.....you don't ever quote on price per square foot!!

etwman
06-30-2005, 09:04 PM
Here's a couple more from completed projects. The first is from the spring project prior to landscape.

The second and third was another 3,000 sf patio and walks that was completed locally. The sod will be installed shortly in time for the weekend.
We won't get to the lighting until next week. I'll try and post some more angles when i get time.

LwnmwrMan22
07-03-2005, 11:50 AM
ETW -

Just wondering if that's the same enclosed trailer you had from 2002??

If so, has the rhino lining held up over the years? Or did it wear off??

I've got a 24' Featherlite enclosed trailer I was thinking about doing that to, but I did it to my dump trailer, trying to protect it from all the salt here in MN during the winter, but it just wore off.

I was thinking maybe it would work out better in the enclosed trailer.

etwman
07-18-2005, 04:07 PM
Yes that's the same trailer we had in 2002. The rhino lining has held up fine. We went about 12" up on the inside walls so we could pressure wash the interior easier. We actually went to a auto parts store and bought a generic brand and rolled it on for about half the price. Honestly, I can't tell the difference. This floor gets worked pretty hard and none of it has come up. We did two coats.

Good luck

etwman
07-23-2005, 03:13 PM
This one has been a little longer in the works. After about 20 different layouts we came out with this solution. We keep all of our hardscape tools in this storage box and sit it down on jobsites when we start and pick it up when we're done. There were a couple criteria for having this:

1. We wanted our own project photos on the outside. Not someone else's brochure pics, no vendor pics, etc. There's value to our own photos and we can tell the customer where that project took place.

2. We wanted to be able to put a track skid loader inside and lock it up.

3. We knew we were going to drop a chunk of cash getting these murals on the sides and back, but if it's done right it should pay for itself shortly. After all there's over a quarter of a million dollars in hardscape job photos on there alone.

The box has been out for about a week and the response has been overwhelming. We debated a small enclosed trailer but then theft became a concern, with this you need this type of system to get the box. That's a pretty big deterant.

The size of it on the truck is a little awkward, but practicality surpasses the awkwardness in this situation. Now that it is lettered you really don't think twice. Our max height is about 12 feet so there is some caution you need to be aware of.

Sorry about some of the colors in the photos. I used one of the crew's digital cameras when I took these and didn't have our good digital along with me. The green doesn't appear quite right in the photos but at least its a shot

wallawalla
07-23-2005, 08:37 PM
etwman, what type or the name of lining did you use for the trailer floor and do you think it would work on an open trailer. Thanks

etwman
07-23-2005, 10:28 PM
It's been four years since we got it. I actually think we purchased it at a Pep Boys by the gallon and used a roller to apply it. It was made for a pickup truck bed application but we used it on the enclosed trailer floor so i don't see any reason why it wouldn't hold up on an open trailer. I'll see if I can find the name for you but don't hold your breath on it.

Good Luck!

cgland
07-23-2005, 11:19 PM
Hey Jarod - I love the box! What an awesome "billboard"! We still need to get together for lunch one day! Hopefully when we slow down a bit........maybe December LOL!

Chris

wallawalla
07-24-2005, 02:00 AM
Thanks etwman. Also great looking trailer. Keep up the great work and keep the pictures coming.

mdb landscaping
08-17-2005, 07:07 PM
hey etwman. heres a shot of our roll off. i finally got around to taking some pics. the empty spot in front of the hydroseeder is so we can put full pallets of material on.

Tony Clifton
08-17-2005, 09:17 PM
Sweet Rig Dude. That thing is a monster.

Tony Clifton
08-17-2005, 09:22 PM
ETWMAN, I really like that box, what a great idea, your whole setup screams efficiency, you guys are turning me into a fan of these rolloff trucks. If you dont mind me asking, how much was that storage container (without the graphics), and was it custom built?

etwman
08-18-2005, 08:10 AM
The strorage body was around $5,000. Now, guys will say "well I could have an enlcosed trailer for that." Yeah you could, but then you run the risk of theft, license fees, tires, maintenance, etc. There's nothing to this. The body was somewhat custom built, we started with their (bucks fab's) base model and added a bunch of options. We took the support channels that were on the outside originally and moved them inside for shelving supports, etc. Efficiency is key is this business, we thrive on finding better ways to do things everyday. We thought we were efficient four years ago, boy were we wrong. We've come along way since then, and have some other plans on the sidelines were looking into for the future.

These roll off containers (and mark these words) will be everywhere in 3-5 years. This systems will do for landscapers what the zero turn did for mowing companies. I can't imagine going back to a stationary dump. We've got bodies everywhere, each for a different use. There was some preliminary talk of displaying one at the Louisville Show but I'm not sure i have the time to send it down.

Thanks for the support.

jreiff
08-18-2005, 08:21 PM
Love the roll off system that you have and the billboard box. What a great way to advertise on a job.

Do you have any pictures of the inside of your box?

Itsgottobegreen
08-18-2005, 09:04 PM
I can't wait until the end of next season if everything goes wells. 2007 F-550 with a switch and go system. Two heavy duty cans (one with chipper body which we will modify for a leaf vac) and a dump bed with the tool box and tall greedy boards. My 2nd reason for buying one is my buddy is buying a chevy 5500 with a switch and go. He is starting a hauling/dumpster service company. So I am going to help him in hauling cans around in the evenings. payup

etwman
10-20-2005, 08:39 PM
Thought I would throw up a couple more shots of smaller project we finished about two months ago. A couple of you guys have been sending private messages asking for some more pics. We're on our biggest project yet right now, and have been there for 5 weeks, once the pics come in I'll try and post them. But for now, here's a couple more. Once again there was nothing there before we started.

enjoy.

etwman
10-20-2005, 08:44 PM
I did have one more. This project was neat in that it incorporates the "family" atmosphere into our portfolio. Something kind of different but good, but the end result turned out a little better than anticipated and future sales built off of this. This one actually had gas lines run, lighting, Bose speakers, hot tub wired in for the upper landing, etc. Talk about a change.

I have a little sign on the corner of my office desk I look at often...it says...."Don't ask why."

Potomac Lawns Inc.
10-20-2005, 09:21 PM
etw,
Great work

jblawns123
10-20-2005, 09:27 PM
Godamn thats sweet, awesome!:blob3:

rob1325
10-20-2005, 10:14 PM
etwman,

Nice job! I had a question for you. What lights do you have hanging on the walls? Also, the lights on sidewalks? Very interested to find out if you don't mind.

Thanks,
Rob

BladeRunner1967
10-20-2005, 10:20 PM
looks great ETW!!!

Your company is top notch dude. I see your trucks all the time.

TLS
10-20-2005, 10:59 PM
Nice work! Looks as though your work cost more than what the house is worth!

etwman
10-20-2005, 11:09 PM
Rob -

Those lights are Kischler I believe. Not the cheapest, and definitely not the easiest to get the wires through a wall, but they look really sharp. The lighting for this job was about $4700, but keep in mind that included all the roughing in for the future hot tub, 34 landscape lights, two outdoor recepticles, and speaker wire run to three points. The gas line was split coming off of a tank at the other end of the house and ran to two locations under the patio so that we could run it to the grill. No more 5 gallon tank to run out on the grill, plus there's another hook up on the other side if the grill needs to be moved. It's ten times cheaper to do all this when you do construction than later. Always plan for the future, that's what we tell all the customers.

I'll see if I can get a link for you to those lights and I'll drop you a message.

Oh, and TLS, what did I say that little sign on the corner of my desk said......

etwman.

DLCS
10-20-2005, 11:18 PM
Beautiful work, keep the pics coming.

rob1325
10-21-2005, 11:40 PM
Rob -

Those lights are Kischler I believe. Not the cheapest, and definitely not the easiest to get the wires through a wall, but they look really sharp. The lighting for this job was about $4700, but keep in mind that included all the roughing in for the future hot tub, 34 landscape lights, two outdoor recepticles, and speaker wire run to three points. The gas line was split coming off of a tank at the other end of the house and ran to two locations under the patio so that we could run it to the grill. No more 5 gallon tank to run out on the grill, plus there's another hook up on the other side if the grill needs to be moved. It's ten times cheaper to do all this when you do construction than later. Always plan for the future, that's what we tell all the customers.

I'll see if I can get a link for you to those lights and I'll drop you a message.

Oh, and TLS, what did I say that little sign on the corner of my desk said......

etwman.

Thanks,
really appreciated

Rob

etwman
10-29-2005, 03:30 PM
I wanted to vear off course just a moment to discuss a different avenue. For the past 4 weeks I have been working with 14 others (some of whom are fellow business owners) to put together a trip to the gulf region. Our goal was to go down and help where we could. It's tough to sit here and watch those people struggle as they begin to rebuilt. So I made the right connections, and formed a group. On Thursday evening things began to come together at a loading location. 3 skidloaders with grapple buckets, 9 chainsaws, 100 sheets of drywall, 100 sheets of plywood, 30 sq. of shingles, fuel, clothes, and food were loaded into a tractor trailer that we will meet up with Sunday. We're flying down tomorrow to try and help make a difference. This isn't a "blow your horn" type of message, rather an encouragement message to all those who need the help. If there's a will there's a way. I was truly amazed with the outpouring of friends and community church members that put together over $250,000 in equipment and supplies, either lent or donated to this cause. This morning our tractor trailer ran through a scale house in northern Tennessee and scaled at 79,960 pounds. I'll be headed out tomorrow but will try and post a couple pics when I get back in a week. Attached are a couple of pics of loading.

etwman.

f5obsessor
12-22-2005, 02:09 AM
Any update on how the trip went? I have been reading your posts for a while now and I am just blown away by your business. It looks like a clean cut company that does great work! This just really puts it on a new level though.. Let us know how it went if you get a chance.

etwman
12-22-2005, 09:48 AM
Sorry I didn't get a chance to repost after I returned. I've had my hands full with figuring what equipment to get for next season and when to get it by. As you well know this has to be done early. As far as the trip; you can see pictures, watch CNN, look through magazines, but it truly doesn't hold a candle to the devistation. Our team of 15 spend five days down there (3 in New Orleans and 2 over in Bay St. Louis Miss.) and were speechless at what we saw at times. This was 12 weeks after Katrina went through and there were places that looked as if it came through yesterday. It'll be 5-10 years before all this comes back. I have never seen more track skidloaders, grapple buckets, tub grinders, piles of debris etc. in all my life in one area. And what contractors were charging people who had lost everything would make you sick. The piles of rubbish from the streets, trees, and gutted houses were enormous and they haven't even started demo on houses yet. New Orleans is bad and they definitely have their share of huge issues, but Bay St. Louis was ground zero. I'll never forget the 1 1/2 hour drive from New Orleans east to Mississippi and not seeing one inhabitable house for as far as the eye could see. Half of New Orleans still didn't have power. In Miss, for the first 10 blocks in from the bay there is nothing but concrete slabs where houses were. We spent the week running the skidloaders with chainsaws (all the debris went to the curbside so FEMA could pick it up), reroofed a couple of roofs, and gutted a couple of houses that were salvagable. It will be a trip forever etched in all our minds and it makes you feel extremely greatful for what you have.

So what's next. Upon my return I was asked by several to consider leading a second trip. I accepted and on Jan 22-28 I will return to Mississippi with 35 people to pickup where we left off. When we were down there we came in contact with a family in Bay St. Louis who had lost almost everything but we were unable (due to time) to really help them. We are headed back to rebuild their business for them. Myself and three other team leaders will fly down in a private plane on the 9-10 to take accurate measurements of what's needed for the project. We will return, load two tractor trailers full of building materials and equipment and fly the group back down on the 22nd. This team will in no way rebuilt everything destroyed but hopefully in some small way could make a difference. The friendships and contacts in the gulf region will forever last a lifetime.

Attached I posted a couple pics of the trip. I really don't want to post a huge amount because there are so many available online. If you really want to see ground zero type in Katrina Photos Bay St. Louis or Waveland in Mississippi and you'll see quite a bit.

Have a great and happy holiday everyone. Be greatful for what you have.

f5obsessor
12-22-2005, 10:19 AM
How did you decide where you would work? Did you contact FEMA?

etwman
12-22-2005, 10:36 AM
No, we had some friends of friends that lived in New Orleans...then they knew of some other people in Miss. There are lots of organizations you can go through to go but we went on our own. Our trip was 100% funded by people/friends in the community and through a chruch. I've planned out some complicated landscape projects before but this is alot to think about. You're not dealing with your regular employees, you're working with people who have talents in other ways and you need to know how to use them best.

Where you going to stay? Showers?
Are you taking food or getting it down there? We took all our food. The trailer was a refer trailer and we partioned the first 5 feet off and put all prepared food in there, then loaded equipment and materials.
Where you going to get fuel?
You going to fly? Drive? What about all the luggage? That all got loaded in the trailer and the team flew. We didn't want to risk losing luggage and it was there when the team arrived.
What are you going to do if you have a machine down?
Cell phone coverage?
What if the tractor trailer was only licensed to run in certain states, can you get FEMA excemptions? For weight/length as well.
Tentenus shots?
How are you going to get around down there?
What goes in the tractor trailer? How are you going to get skidloaders in there safely? What comes out first, second, etc?
Raingear?
Bugs/mosquitos?
First aid kits? Where's the closest functionable hospital?
Where do you get materials if any? We saw one home depot, it was rough, had chain link fence all the way around it with guards at every door.

It's a real operation, not something that comes together overnight. You should see my folders on this stuff. I'm all about efficiency, it needs to work like a well oiled machine. It's not that I'm discouraging anyone from going, that's not it at all, I think everyone should really see this. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity....hopefully. Just make sure you're planned out. Things are slowly getting better down there but they have a long way to go.

Envision
12-22-2005, 11:06 AM
I was able to take part in a trip to New Orleans the week before Thanksgiving from relief efforts coordinated through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and my local church. I would encourage all to try to take a week of your time and try to help the people that were affected by the hurricane. The damage is an eye opener when you are there in the middle of everything, it really changes the perspective of what you see on TV. I cannot imagine how long it will take to get everything cleaned up, and when you are there the people thank you up and down for helping out. And, as ETWMAN says, there is a ton of planning to make the trip work as you cannot be a burden on the residents, they obviously have enough issues as it is.

Don't want to hijack the thread, but wanted to give my 2 cents.

BTW, etwman, absolutely a top notch operation you are running.

Tim.

etwman
12-22-2005, 11:25 AM
"there is a ton of planning to make the trip work as you cannot be a burden on the residents, they obviously have enough issues as it is."

Well said Tim. It's 100% true. The more self sufficient you can be the better off it is for everyone. Deciding to throw a bunch of stuff in a p/u this afternoon and head south is not the best option. Planning is key.

f5obsessor
12-22-2005, 12:34 PM
I'm in no position to plan a massive effort like that, but I am hoping to get a group of guys to go on a mission trip through a church. I have the utmost respect for both of you or anyone that goes down to lend a helping hand to our southern brothers.

meets1
12-22-2005, 09:20 PM
Great to see our fellow "greens people" helping out. I heard alot about this with construction companies but not with landscape companies. Hats off to you guys and Merry Christmas!

DUSTYCEDAR
12-28-2005, 04:56 PM
nice work ...........

tillislawnserice
12-29-2005, 10:28 AM
man i'm just startin out i need sum help can any body help me start my busines i'm from alabama, how much those fuel transfer cost

DeereHauler
12-29-2005, 09:50 PM
etwman,

what you and the others have done is a great thing, and very inspiring. you have built yourself the most incredible business, and it looks like it was a huge help in your efforts. we have all given support in different ways, but that takes the cake.



by the way, where abouts are you located in central PA? i'm in Lewisburg, union county, right off rt 15, and I-80.

etwman
12-31-2005, 09:13 AM
We're located in the Denver/Ephrata area in Lancaster County. Midway between Harrisburg and Philly. I get through lewisburg about 3-4 times a year on the way to the mountains in Liberty or Loch Haven, really nice area.

I'll post an update when we get back from this trip. In the meantime I have my hands full making some equipment decisions and finalizing the website. We've been so back and forth on the site for two years as to really whether or not we want to do it. Now that we've decided to go forward it needs to be top notch to copy our brochure that we worked with for over a year. I hope to launch it within the next 8 weeks and will post the link once it's up. The company near NY that did the top notch brochure has agreed to spearhead the website, much to my liking.

Have a great New Year everyone. Thanks for the support. Let it snow....at least for us snowmobiliers.

etwman
12-31-2005, 09:18 AM
Oh Tillislawnservice....those transfer tanks cost around $1600 give or take a little. Best bet is Northerntool.com, get (2) "L" tanks and weld them toghether then get the Fill Rite pumps from there as well. My tanks were custom built but that was before they offered them, this is a better bet.

DeereHauler
01-01-2006, 10:32 PM
We're located in the Denver/Ephrata area in Lancaster County. Midway between Harrisburg and Philly. I get through lewisburg about 3-4 times a year on the way to the mountains in Liberty or Loch Haven, really nice area.


etwman,

i've worked in both liberty and lock haven. this whole area up through here is something to see, makes for nice traveling.
my fiance is a student at lebanon valley college. maybe sometime while i'm visiting her i could stop over and say hi, and see all the great things you have done for yourself. i've enjoyed all the pics you have posted since i found this site.

thanks for the reply.

bryan

Bret's Lawn Care
01-21-2006, 03:38 PM
any updates?

Wolfie's L&L
01-21-2006, 05:48 PM
ETW, do you do any work in the York area? Nice rig by the way.

Jason

etwman
01-28-2006, 10:19 AM
Jason -

We don't really get out to York, as a matter of fact I don't think we've ever done a job out there. Most of our work is heading down the mainline to Philly. We may do 5-6 decent projects in Lancaster County a year but that's about it. Occassionally I'll send a truck to Hanover to pick up supplies but that's the only time I'm out that way.

Bret, I'll work on some stuff here in the next week and see if I can get something posted. I just returned from a second trip in Mississippi and have some catching up to do in the office.

etwman.

lawnrangeralaska
02-05-2006, 03:50 AM
Have you updated to newer Hustlers yet?

etwman
02-05-2006, 01:50 PM
Believe it or not we haven't. We mow less and less each year, I'm not sure how much more we'll actually be mowing, we're back and forth on this so much. About 80% of our business is in landscape design & build. We still have our main grounds care customers that we had when we started the business but haven't really pushed for more. There's too much competition out there and I have better things to do than argue over $10 difference per cut. If people want us specifically for grounds care on a package deal that's fine, if they're getting four quotes I'm flat out not interested and I'll tell them that. My guys would rather do complex design/build jobs anyway. Thus the reason why we haven't updated. We have (3) 2500's with 60" decks on them each around 1000 hours and they're fine. For those of you who knew the 2500's they were built to last, there's not one piece of plastic on them. I ran the super Z's and they are great machines too. If I'm going to upgrade I'll do everything at once with three new super Z's, but there's no real need right now.

DeereHauler
02-06-2006, 12:45 AM
etw man,

i was at a local everride dealership last week and i saw a New Holland tractor, as we were talking about hedge trimmers, i looked over his shoulder and read "earth turf and wood, landscape divison" on the loader arm. that caught my attention very fast. he said you have gotten out of yard seeding. i also saw you have a jcb (?) backhoe now in your pics. i would imagine with the size that it is much easier to maneuver around landscaping projects. i have used a similar new holland w/o the super steer, and it had a backhoe, although it turns very well, its a large and long unit.

etwman
02-06-2006, 12:26 PM
Deerehauler -

That was a great tractor for seeding. When we started out we did some seeding for a couple of building contractors, about 300 lawns. When we finished those phases that was it, tired of their demanding schedules and cheapest price so we left under mutual terms and I walked away. It's almost a close second to the competetion of mowing grass at times. I wanted to use better seed combinations, they wanted cheaper price, I wanted the best results, etc. We entered into the larger landscape design and build aspect and skidloaders became more necessary to lift the loads we needed to move around. About 3-4 times a year we'll still install a lawn but I'll rent something if that's the case, and it's usually to finish up an entire project. That tractor was loaded, supersteer, 3 sets of remotes, quick attach up front, etc. It paid for itself over 500 hours and then sat in our barn for about a year before I finally said this is stupid, all we did was move it around to get it out of the way. So we sold it and I delivered it up to that guy in Pottstown I believe. I don't know whether he still owns it or you saw it through someone else. He was really back in the sticks. Do I miss it? There's a day here and there, but not really we run our skidders more anyway. Funny you came accross that tractor, I bet I sold that two years ago and didn't have time to pull the lettering on it, small world.

Oh for those of you who emailed me about more pics. Just bought an 06 3500 GMC Sierra Crew Cab 4WD SRW with that high output duramax/allison combo. What a machine, man does it go. Once I do it up with a couple of whistles and bells I'll throw up a couple pics.

DeereHauler
02-07-2006, 06:18 PM
etw man,

the guy who had it was a fairly young half-amish guy. he has a mower repair business in elysburg, i think its called twin ponds. he said the guy he bought it from had all kinds of attachments for it and he wanted to buy them all but didn't have the need... so it may be the 3rd owner.

yard seeding around here is hard to get into unless you have a good financial backer. 2 big companies have hydroseeders, and 2 skid-steers. can't compete with them, they just get bigger and bigger, and now one of them is getting into larger commerical projects.....

please post some pics of that gmc. i have a 2004 sierra 2500hd, i love it to death. i almost hate to use it for work, it was loaded to begin with and i added sirius radio, and a remote starter, i won't ever be able to part with it. i can't wait to see your new one.

this april i'm going to be working on a farm house in lancaster (just some electrical help) i'd love to come see your operation.

thanks for the reply, and yeah its a small world!

bryan

terracare
02-11-2006, 03:23 AM
etw, we came from northwestern Indiana up to Pottstown for my cousin's wedding a few years back. Funny thing tho, isnt the main street in Pottstown "High Street?" We got a kick out of that one :P

Sorry just a random thought.. Nice pictures btw, looks like you're doing some cool things in PA. :)

Todd

etwman
02-17-2006, 07:18 PM
First off, Bryan, give me a call when your in the area and I'll see what I can do for you as far as getting together. If I can make it work I surely will.

On another note. I have gotten alot of emails asking are bigger trucks really worth the investment. So I thought I would post this info for everyone to chat about. I went back to the beginning of the company in "repairs and maintenance costs" only in the "trucks" category and found the numbers. We break every piece of equipment out individually on the books so we can track expenses real close. Now keep in mind we are pretty particular about upkeep on these trucks so some of these numbers may seem low. The prices below are all inclusive with the expception of fuel and insurance. Everything else that went into these trucks (registration, tires, transmissions, etc.) are included in the numbers below:

2000 - $1,682.00
2001 - $4,382.46
2002 - $6,261.13
2003 - $7,154.50
2004 - $3,814.00
2005 - $2,471.00

Okay, so what does all this mean. In '00-'03 we were using 2500/3500 series trucks for most of our work. Based on the numbers it was evident they were getting overworked resulting in blown transmissions, etc. In '04 we rolled out the first Freightliner. By '05 the 2nd Freightliner debuted and both of these trucks were used for about 80% of our work. Yes, the parts on the Fl-70's are more expensive but they last 10 times as long. If you directly overlay the fuel consumption there is really no huge spike. A steady 20% increase each year and maybe a little more with fuel prices last year. Once the 3rd Freightliner debuts (and I'm sure it'll come sooner than later), thus eliminating the "3500" all together the numbers should be really interesting.

Now, with this said this in no way says you shouldn't use 3500 series trucks. It depends on your scope of work. Pulling a mowing trailer? Fine. Trying to move 10 yards of mulch around or three skids of pavers I'd look to a much bigger truck. Especially if your maintenance costs are way out of line.

Hope this answers some of your emails.

jreiff
03-16-2006, 02:16 PM
ETWMAN- You have any pictures of you job site storage box, inside shops. Kind of how you set it up for all of your tools? Thanks

Ollie3
03-16-2006, 02:52 PM
Nice equipment! Everything looke awesome.

Ollie

etwman
03-16-2006, 05:31 PM
Jreiff -

Truthfully the shop isn't all that complex. Believe it or not we don't stock much inventory. The few guys that have stopped by are very suprised with this. Honestly if I had a momumental building I don't know what I'd do with it, put the trucks inside I guess, maybe a wash bay. We've done enough hardscape/landscape jobs that I can hit it pretty much dead on. Leftovers get chucked or given to friends. I don't play that game and many guys would gasp at this but I have no intention of being a stockyard. If I have 3 skids of pavers out back I'd say that's alot. Inside I may have 2/3 skids of polymeric sand, skid of flex edge, the perma green, bedshaper, and some pallet raking. All the plows/salt spreader go in storage, out of sight out of mind. The 16 skids of Lesco fert is in a farm down the road and the only reason I took that early is because they gave me a decent cash discount. The enclosed trailer stocks all the grounds care equipment. The three Hustlers, about 8 pieces of Stihl stuff, generator, compressor, air tools, grinder and spare parts. But that's pretty much it. All of our tools are on the trucks. I can grab any truck and it's pretty much stocked for whatever we need. If we are headed to a hardscape project the hardscape body goes. We have 6 different bodies for the Freightliners, three trailers, the Dodge, skidders, and that's about it. I will say I am casually looking at another Freightliner. In this line of work you can dump a ton in equipment, the key is to find which ones work best. My guys will tell you if I have a piece of equipment sitting around here for a full year without use it's gone.

Not sure whether or not this pic got posted but this is the box on the Freightliners for all the hand tools, wheelbarrows, bedshaper, etc. The tool boxes on the sides hold the blowers, chain saws, and other weather sensative stuff.

I do apolgize for not having a pic of the hardscape body inside. I will do that. Unfortunately it is already out the door and we're on our third project for it already because of the early spring. Last year it didn't come back to the shop much, just went from job to job. I'll have the guys take a pic of the inside to post. It basically houses enough supplies to get us through three decent jobs (1000 sf +) then we need to restock it. The cutoff saws, lasers, screen rails, brick saw, tampers, all that's in there.

I'll get more up soon for you. I'll try and get pics of the new GMC up at the same time.