PDA

View Full Version : drive ur truck off the driveway?


birddseedd
10-25-2012, 08:23 PM
got yelled at by a customer for driving my truck down to the back of his new house where im putting out sod.

says not to do it again.....

well. iv got 1 of 200 yards put down. frankly wheel barreling them down the hill will not be safe. sure i told them if nothign else, if the driveway got put in before i got the sod in, i woudl wheel barrel it down. but the more i look at the hill, knowing how much sod weighs, i know ill end up loosing it and doing a faceplant in the cement.

frankly its just not safe.

so,,, do i drive back down there? sure i put a few marks in the dirt on the other side where the mud was much thicker than it seemed, but this side past a puddle is nice and dry. not even any small marks in the dirt going down.

I dont have a bob cat, my mower with a hitch wont move. wheel bareling it just isnt safe.

what would you do?

they are also got on me about my wife working with me. they think im going to sue them if she gets a splinter.

cgaengineer
10-25-2012, 08:26 PM
got yelled at by a customer for driving my truck down to the back of his new house where im putting out sod.

says not to do it again.....

well. iv got 1 of 200 yards put down. frankly wheel barreling them down the hill will not be safe. sure i told them if nothign else, if the driveway got put in before i got the sod in, i woudl wheel barrel it down. but the more i look at the hill, knowing how much sod weighs, i know ill end up loosing it and doing a faceplant in the cement.

frankly its just not safe.

so,,, do i drive back down there? sure i put a few marks in the dirt on the other side where the mud was much thicker than it seemed, but this side past a puddle is nice and dry. not even any small marks in the dirt going down.

I dont have a bob cat, my mower with a hitch wont move. wheel bareling it just isnt safe.

what would you do?

they are also got on me about my wife working with me. they think im going to sue them if she gets a splinter.

Finish the job the fastest way possible and never take them on as a customer again. Congratulations, you are now married to a sod job.
Posted via Mobile Device

Spring Valley Lawn Service
10-25-2012, 08:32 PM
T have them pay you for the sod and see if they ll tote it by hand for the labor u charged.

Sprinkler Buddy
10-25-2012, 08:41 PM
Finish the job the fastest way possible and never take them on as a customer again. Congratulations, you are now married to a sod job.
Posted via Mobile Device

He's right! LoL

birddseedd
10-25-2012, 08:46 PM
chuckles.ya. problem is im not really in the position to turn away customers. this job is the only way im getting by next month.

but i dont even see another option but to drive down there. he thinks its only going to add another half hour to the labor (which they wont pay a penny over the estimate, they have already stated that). but i dont even see it as being safe, its a decent grade down the hill. 200 lbs for a few rolls of sod and itl be draggin me down the hill. woudl you attempt it?

Sprinkler Buddy
10-25-2012, 08:57 PM
Have or borrow an ATV ?

birddseedd
10-25-2012, 09:01 PM
Have or borrow an ATV ?

idealy i woudl just put the trailer on my mower. perfect solution. accept its broken and i lack the 1000 to fix it.

i know people with atv's but they woudlnt loan it. and it woudl kidna defeat part of what he's complaining about. he thinks im putting ruts in teh hard drit goign down. an atv deff would. he woudl freaking knowing most bigger companies would use a skidstear to do it ;)

RussellB
10-25-2012, 09:03 PM
have your wife wheel barrow it down the hill. They'll feel bad and let you drive your truck down.

4 seasons lawn&land
10-25-2012, 09:17 PM
Tell them your going to do the job the way you intended to when you quoted the price and any areas that are disturbed by your equipment will be repaired or otherwise you cant do the job. Because otherwise you actually cant do the job. Your not turning down work. You cant reason with unreasonable people and there are alot of them. If your wife is a legal partner in the company then shes covered by your liabilty policy, otherwise you should have WC or just do this job on your own if they are watching that closely.

birddseedd
10-25-2012, 09:19 PM
Tell them your going to do the job the way you intended to when you quoted the price and any areas that are disturbed by your equipment will be repaired or otherwise you cant do the job. Because otherwise you actually cant do the job. Your not turning down work. You cant reason with unreasonable people and there are alot of them.

the guy that asked me how much the bag of material cost me im putting down on his lawn cost, i respond it costs me 52 dollars to buy it, then he asks if ill do the treatment for 50, would he qualify for this statement?

v6rs97
10-25-2012, 09:20 PM
A client that tells you how to do your job is a client that should be doing it himself.

Mowingman
10-25-2012, 09:32 PM
Rent a power wheelbarrow for a day. Problem solved!!!

birddseedd
10-25-2012, 09:34 PM
A client that tells you how to do your job is a client that should be doing it himself.

doesnt help that i got stuck on the other side and moved over the septic tank. tried to avoide a big mud puddle. ended up having to drive over the puddle forwards and turn aroudn in the back.

birddseedd
10-25-2012, 09:37 PM
Rent a power wheelbarrow for a day. Problem solved!!!

isnt that called a skidsteer? never seen a wheel barrow with an engine. only reason i even got this job was because i did it for a 3rd the price of everyone else. she wanted a quote for a fence and when it was a comparable quote she wanted references and said it was because she didnt know me and didnt know if i would do a good job or not.

but yet, the down spout undergroudn drains that coudl ruine your brand new foundation if installed incorrectly she had no problem paying less money than the competition for....

:dizzy:

i need the money, but ill be happy to be finished aswell.

birddseedd
10-25-2012, 09:44 PM
Should i email her and explain that while i thought i woudl be able to, at a closer look at the steap hill there is know way i woudl be able to do it safely, and if she wants to pay for the skidsteer rental i would be willing to use that?

Mowingman
10-25-2012, 09:46 PM
No, it is a wheelbarrow with a small air-cooled engine and usually chain drive, sometimes hydraulic drive. Many rental places have them for rent. If you know what a powered concrete buggy is, then imagine that configured as a wheelbarrow.


isnt that called a skidsteer? never seen a wheel barrow with an engine. only reason i even got this job was because i did it for a 3rd the price of everyone else. she wanted a quote for a fence and when it was a comparable quote she wanted references and said it was because she didnt know me and didnt know if i would do a good job or not.

but yet, the down spout undergroudn drains that coudl ruine your brand new foundation if installed incorrectly she had no problem paying less money than the competition for....

:dizzy:

i need the money, but ill be happy to be finished aswell.

Chilehead
10-25-2012, 09:54 PM
have your wife wheel barrow it down the hill. They'll feel bad and let you drive your truck down.

Quite candidly, one of those 2-wheeled wheelbarrows would work great. They have a large capacity and are pretty stable.

4 seasons lawn&land
10-25-2012, 10:03 PM
do you have alot of materials into it at this point? If not Id say walk away. If Im understanding correctly, you might be in a little over your head for a third the price you should be getting with a bad customer no less. What if the sod dies? That stuff can be finiky! Walk!:walking:

gunsworth
10-25-2012, 10:11 PM
doesnt help that i got stuck on the other side and moved over the septic tank. tried to avoide a big mud puddle. ended up having to drive over the puddle forwards and turn aroudn in the back.

and you wonder why he doesnt want you on his lawn anymore? Cant say I blame him...

ztman
10-25-2012, 10:14 PM
doesnt help that i got stuck on the other side and moved over the septic tank. tried to avoide a big mud puddle. ended up having to drive over the puddle forwards and turn aroudn in the back.

They client may not be worried about your tire tracks, he may be worried about the damage you will do to the septic field, or other utilities you may be driving over on wet soil we a heavy load. That would be expensive

Rvldesign
10-25-2012, 10:44 PM
Sounds like your under bidding has caused you a problem. Can't say I feel bad know that. Just put less pieces of sod in a wheel barrow until your able to lift it and finish the job you agreed too.
Posted via Mobile Device

KS_Grasscutter
10-25-2012, 10:54 PM
Isn't it a little late to be slingin' sod, that far north? I'm damn nervous about some seeding I'm going to be doing this weekend, and I'm WAY souther... Sure would hate to see you have to replace a whole bunch of sod that you underbid quite remarkably to begin with.

birddseedd
10-25-2012, 10:54 PM
Sounds like your under bidding has caused you a problem. Can't say I feel bad know that. Just put less pieces of sod in a wheel barrow until your able to lift it and finish the job you agreed too.
Posted via Mobile Device

i really hate underbidding. but seems like thats the only way to get work these days. as i mentioned above i actualy had a guy ask me to do a job for less than what the materials cost. i didnt even say goodbye when i started walking away from that one.

birddseedd
10-25-2012, 10:56 PM
Isn't it a little late to be slingin' sod, that far north? I'm damn nervous about some seeding I'm going to be doing this weekend, and I'm WAY souther... Sure would hate to see you have to replace a whole bunch of sod that you underbid quite remarkably to begin with.

the grass is going into hibernation. moving it wont have an effect. as long as they can cut it thell keep selling it.

actualy this is one of the best times you can put down seed. itl stay dorment untill the sprinng and start growing soon as it warms up right behind the snow. the sod farm is seeidng all their fields.

DQL10
10-25-2012, 10:57 PM
How many square feet of sod? If its just a truck load you can move it around by hand. Not that big of a deal. It may be a pain but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Tighten that belt buckle one more notch, unload by hand and wheel barrow, get the job done in one day and be proud of the job you done. Dont worry about how much you made on the job be worried about the bottom line and putting money in your bank account.

birddseedd
10-25-2012, 10:59 PM
How many square feet of sod? If its just a truck load you can move it around by hand. Not that big of a deal. It may be a pain but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Tighten that belt buckle one more notch, unload by hand and wheel barrow, get the job done in one day and be proud of the job you done. Dont worry about how much you made on the job be worried about the bottom line and putting money in your bank account.

about a hundred yards left. if i carry it then ill have to carry one by one. put 120 lbs for 2 rolls in a barrel down hill jsut wont work. from now on ill just ask if they mind. if they do mind, ill up the price for a skidsteer.

4 seasons lawn&land
10-25-2012, 10:59 PM
You can lay sod late, your not worried about seedlings. Seed, if it gets moist will germinate and the seedling will freeze and your screwed so not sure how they make that one work.



Side note- They are sod "rolls" roll em down the hill!

hackitdown
10-25-2012, 11:02 PM
It sounds like you don't have options, the wheelbarrow is the solution. Hard work solves many problems. Just step up, get to it.

DQL10
10-25-2012, 11:04 PM
It sounds like you don't have options, the wheelbarrow is the solution. Hard work solves many problems. Just step up, get to it.

Thumbs Up always worked for me!

birddseedd
10-25-2012, 11:12 PM
It sounds like you don't have options, the wheelbarrow is the solution. Hard work solves many problems. Just step up, get to it.

well. the question is going downhill with that much weight in a wheel barrow. dirt is a heavy material. doesnt seem it coudl be done without loosing control and having it possibly raming into the hosue, then iv got repairs to pay for. not just a little dirt pushed aroudn before i smoth it out to put sod donw

flyingdutch16
10-25-2012, 11:18 PM
suck it up and use a wheel barrow... your not gonna lose control with one sod roll in it..

GreenI.A.
10-25-2012, 11:51 PM
I'm reluctant answering this thread since you openly admitted to lowballing your competition. While there is a good amount of profit in sod, I can't see how you are making much profit at that low of a price after you figure in your cost, and overhead such as insurance.

Rent a power wheelbarrow for a day. Problem solved!!!

For a couple hundred dollars you could rent a tract dingo. Very little disturbance to the ground. Also it would had made very short work of prepping the ground for the sod. While it can't lift a full pallet of sod, it would definitely cut down the number of trips. We have also rented a number of powered wheel barrows, they have large flotation tires or tracks to reduce ground disturbance. They basically look like a dingo with a 1/2 yard dump bed on top.

Isn't it a little late to be slingin' sod, that far north? I'm damn nervous about some seeding I'm going to be doing this weekend, and I'm WAY souther... Sure would hate to see you have to replace a whole bunch of sod that you underbid quite remarkably to begin with.

I know a couple of guys have all ready cemented on this, but I'll add as well. The two sod farms I use will harvest right up till the last of the year or until the ground freezes, which ever comes first. We did a job at the end of november 2010, sod was harvested the tuesday before thanksgiving, we laid it the wednesday before Thanksgiving. We ended up having some problems and the farm covered the sod warranty the fallowing spring. But they wont cover anything that may be related to an early freeze after install.



I'll also add, as far as your wife working with you goes. Is she covered under your workman's comp? Is she listed as an owner? If she is not covered under your workman's comp and she gets injured then she could very well sue the homeowner and their insurance carrier.

Also, since you are lowballing, I am assuming you do not have a contract, but instead just a proposal or estimate. Our construction/install contract clearly states that we will use the tools, equipment, and methods we feel necessary to properly complete the job to meet or exceed industry standards. - that means if we feel it is best to drive on the lawn we will. We also state that any damage caused to the property by us will be repaired to the condition equal or better than prior to damage, unless otherwise noted in the contract.

birddseedd
10-25-2012, 11:58 PM
I dont really get a whole lot of landscape work so i havnt written up a contract for it. regular maintenance work i do get signatures for.

sure technically i could sue if she got hurt, but unless the house caves in on top of her, we arnt them kinda folks.

and you can be as mad at me as you want for charging less than other companies, but the fact remains that i have a 10 month old to feed and she is my priority. not what anyone else thinks. be thankfull im working and not out trying to sell drugs to your children.

GreenI.A.
10-26-2012, 12:02 AM
one more thing I just thought of. With a minimum of 3 pallets, our sod farm will deliver next day and place the pallets where we want

alldayrj
10-26-2012, 12:30 AM
here for the view
some math: 100 yards(I'm assuming square however I've never seen it sold this way) is 2700 SF, or 4.5 pallets where I'm from. have it delivered. I guarantee its cheaper than 5 trips with your truck. also, sod here is $.31/SF, I don put a job this size down for less than $1.25/SF, so if you did it for a third, thats $.42/SF. so assuming that the cost of sod and therefore the install price are proportional from my area to yours, you are making a whopping $.11/SF or $297 on this job, minus fuel etc but who cares about that stuff. couldnt you have done it for half or 3/4 of what the other guys wanted? you realize by doing this to yourself "just to get work" you would be better off at home not burning calories and fuel? you are paying them to put their sod down. you are doing a disservice to yourself.

1. wheelbarrow it, I have prepped and installed an area this size myself in a day
2. whos watching the 10 m/o?
3. we need pics

GreenI.A.
10-26-2012, 12:42 AM
here for the view
some math: 100 yards(I'm assuming square however I've never seen it sold this way) is 2700 SF, or 4.5 pallets where I'm from. have it delivered. I guarantee its cheaper than 5 trips with your truck. also, sod here is $.31/SF, I don put a job this size down for less than $1.25/SF, so if you did it for a third, thats $.42/SF. so assuming that the cost of sod and therefore the install price are proportional from my area to yours, you are making a whopping $.11/SF or $297 on this job, minus fuel etc but who cares about that stuff. couldnt you have done it for half or 3/4 of what the other guys wanted? you realize by doing this to yourself "just to get work" you would be better off at home not burning calories and fuel? you are paying them to put their sod down. you are doing a disservice to yourself.

1. wheelbarrow it, I have prepped and installed an area this size myself in a day
2. whos watching the 10 m/o?
3. we need pics

got your math wrong, 100 yards of sod would be 900 sq feet. Your math would be for cubic feet. A sq yard is 9sq feet.

alldayrj
10-26-2012, 12:47 AM
got your math wrong, 100 yards of sod would be 900 sq feet. Your math would be for cubic feet. A sq yard is 9sq feet.

damnit too late to edit. lemme bust out more math#skillz

some math: 100 yards(I'm assuming square however I've never seen it sold this way) is 900 SF, or 1.5 pallets where I'm from. pick it up in 1 load. also, sod here is $.31/SF, I don put a job this size down for less than $1.50/SF, so if you did it for a third, thats $.50/SF. so assuming that the cost of sod and therefore the install price are proportional from my area to yours, you are making a whopping $.19/SF or $171 on this job, minus fuel etc but who cares about that stuff. couldnt you have done it for half or 3/4 of what the other guys wanted? you realize by doing this to yourself "just to get work" you would be better off at home not burning calories and fuel? you are paying them to put their sod down. you are doing a disservice to yourself.

1. wheelbarrow it, I have prepped and installed an area this size myself before lunch
2. whos watching the 10 m/o?
3. we need pics

birddseedd
10-26-2012, 12:59 AM
im charging 752 dollars for 193 yards.

alldayrj
10-26-2012, 01:04 AM
and what does 193 yards of sod cost?

CL&T
10-26-2012, 02:38 AM
All I know is that you better take those few bucks (if he even pays you) and get out of town. Come spring when he sees problems (and he will) he's going to come looking for you and it will come of your pocket since you didn't charge enough to cover callbacks.

birddseedd
10-26-2012, 10:35 AM
and what does 193 yards of sod cost?

$255 plus gas

birddseedd
10-26-2012, 10:38 AM
All I know is that you better take those few bucks (if he even pays you) and get out of town. Come spring when he sees problems (and he will) he's going to come looking for you and it will come of your pocket since you didn't charge enough to cover callbacks.

not sure what kind of problems there can be with sod this time of year. the grass is dorment. next year itl just start growing as normal.

birddseedd
10-26-2012, 10:48 AM
just called the rental place. they dont have a powered wheel barrel and the cost of a dingo is 150 bucks. not worth spending half my labor income on it. they can deal with it. im not using a wheel barrel just for it to take off down a steep hill and run into the house.

CL&T
10-26-2012, 11:27 AM
not sure what kind of problems there can be with sod this time of year. the grass is dorment. next year itl just start growing as normal.

Looks like you know a lot about this business too. If I were you I would find something else to do.

birddseedd
10-26-2012, 11:29 AM
Looks like you know a lot about this business too. If I were you I would find something else to do.

stop doing what has kept my bills paid and my child fed on the whim of some stranger on the internet that knows nothing about me... good advice there buddy.

joes169
10-26-2012, 11:36 AM
You ask an elementary question on the internet, disregard every good piece of advise given to you, and end up at the same place you started after wasitng a bunch of your (and everyone else's time)...........

In the time you wasted here, you could have wheeled the sod down the hill already................:dizzy:

Durabird02
10-26-2012, 11:46 AM
Looks like you know a lot about this business too. If I were you I would find something else to do.

I agree. While reading this I couldn't help but get irritated.
First of all, the customer said stay off the lawn with your truck, so you probably should do that unless you want to have your name run through the mud(that you drove in). Do what you have to do, carry them down one by one if needed, to get the job done. That doesn't mean driving on the lawn after they told you not to.

Second, grass seed will not simply freeze and miraculously grow next spring. If you put the seed down too late, which here in northwest indiana is getting close to that point if not past, it will get wet and start to rot rather than "freezing" until spring. The roots of the sod could suffer the same problems.

I cannot believe you would come on here and tell everyone that you are lowballing to get work, and then ask us for advice on how to get the job finished. If you're going to play the, keep food on the table for my daughter card, go out and get a part-time job. I've worked full-time(50 hours/week) plus two part-time jobs to keep food on the table, you don't have to do a job for 1/3 of your competitors as others have stated just to keep food on the table. Know what your services are worth and dont let the customer tell you what to charge.

GreenI.A.
10-26-2012, 12:10 PM
$255 plus gas

You paid $255 for 193yds of sod? 193 yds is 1737 sq ft. So you are paying $0.155 a foot. Thats a great price, I wish that is all I pay. We did three jobs this season that were each over 10k feet (about 1,200 yds each) and we pay about $0.08 more per foot than you, we buy straight from the sod farm. Even if we pick it up, with the amount we buy, we still pay more than you. If I was to pick up only 1737ft (193yds) I would be paying about $140 more for the sod, thats about 55% higher than you.

So this leads me to think one of two things. 1, your sod is much cheaper there, which leads me to wonder what the sodfarm charges for regular customers who make bulk purchases. Or. 2, you got a discounted price on old sod that was cut a few days before and not sold. In which case I would be planning to replace some in the spring.



stop doing what has kept my bills paid and my child fed on the whim of some stranger on the internet that knows nothing about me... good advice there buddy.

What you seem to fail to relise is that you are the one that is not effectively feeding your child. You are doing the price so cheap, you are not leaving your self any profit. Once you figure in all your costs, what will you have left? How many hours total do you have in this now, add everything up, all the time you spent estimationg the job, getting prices, talking to the customer, driving to venders, fuel to drive to vender and job for estimate, fuel to drive to job each day of work, were and tear on your vehicle, all the time you have into the work, all your costs for materials such as sod and staples if you use them. Add up all the costs and see what you have left for profit, then add up all your time and figure out what the jobs true cost per hour was. I'm gonna guess you would have made more working part time at a convenience store or Burger King.

Yes you are worried about feeding your child, and you are lowballing to get the work. You justify this by saying you are desperate for the work. But if you charged more competitively with a legitimate company (even if you charge a little less to get the job) you would profit more. What does that mean, instead of you, your wife, and child living hand to mouth, you could actually have a little comfort in knowing there is a little aside for a rainy day.

alldayrj
10-26-2012, 02:03 PM
Is the child also in the wheelbarrow? Remove the child from the wheelbarrow and insert the sod.
Posted via Mobile Device

jslawnscape
10-26-2012, 04:36 PM
Because they would not be pick up trucking the sod to location of install, because they don't just do jobs to "put food" on the table, because they know better. Don't underbid if you ask me you have spent your profits in wasted time asking for advice on this site. What did you think we were gonna reply we use a magic carpet to get materials from point A to point B? Im really not trying to bash you, although low ballers screw everyone including them selves. At first I get mad at them, but them I remember for every person that thinks the got a deal from the lowballer, will be 3 people that have been burned by one. We have probably all under estimated something from time to time, maybe it was a mistake, maybe it was bc we were slow, but come on 1/3?

coolluv
10-26-2012, 04:45 PM
Any chance on getting some pictures of this job when its finished?



Dave...

Durabird02
10-26-2012, 05:20 PM
In all likelyhood, it won't get finished. And i only say that because he said that he was basically going to do whatever he wanted and drive across the yard in leiu of what the customer has said. So the customer will come out and tell him to leave and never come back.

Sprinkler Buddy
10-26-2012, 05:31 PM
Why can't I quit checking out this thread, I have already unsubscribed it twice, fixing to be 3X. LOL

birddseedd
10-26-2012, 07:57 PM
This is his wife, the job got done and it looks beautiful. Other than the sod there IS NO LAWN, it's mud not a blade of grass to be found. I don't believe that he is charging 1/3 the price of other people and if he is, they are charging too much and screwing people over anyways. There is no reason that for 12 hours of work someone should be charging near $200/hour (supplies included but still!) My husband works hard to support this family. Everyone else in this town lowballs, so if he doesn't he gets no work...in fact he charges more than some of the people I know...He does great at what he does and you know what...this sod job is a learning experience for him...he's never done one on his own, never priced it out...if it turns out the profit isn't enough, then he'll know to charge more next time. Frankly, some of you guys need to come down off your high horses and remember that you all started somewhere. You don't learn without experience.

Sprinkler Buddy
10-26-2012, 08:08 PM
Glad to hear the job got done and all is fine. I think that's why I kept coming back to this thread. Experience is the best teacher for sure. :-)

cgaengineer
10-26-2012, 08:21 PM
This is his wife, the job got done and it looks beautiful. Other than the sod there IS NO LAWN, it's mud not a blade of grass to be found. I don't believe that he is charging 1/3 the price of other people and if he is, they are charging too much and screwing people over anyways. There is no reason that for 12 hours of work someone should be charging near $200/hour (supplies included but still!) My husband works hard to support this family. Everyone else in this town lowballs, so if he doesn't he gets no work...in fact he charges more than some of the people I know...He does great at what he does and you know what...this sod job is a learning experience for him...he's never done one on his own, never priced it out...if it turns out the profit isn't enough, then he'll know to charge more next time. Frankly, some of you guys need to come down off your high horses and remember that you all started somewhere. You don't learn without experience.

There you have it, a humble person...not some high horse ridin' grass boy.

I've priced jobs many times and lost...if you get every job your prices are too low.

Personally I will never so sod again for anyone...nearly always bites ya in the ass later.
Posted via Mobile Device

birddseedd
10-26-2012, 08:54 PM
I cannot believe you would come on here and tell everyone that you are lowballing to get work, and then ask us for advice on how to get the job finished. If you're going to play the, keep food on the table for my daughter card, go out and get a part-time job. I've worked full-time(50 hours/week) plus two part-time jobs to keep food on the table, you don't have to do a job for 1/3 of your competitors as others have stated just to keep food on the table. Know what your services are worth and dont let the customer tell you what to charge.

Ya that makes sense, trade 49 bucks an hour for at bets 8:10 an hour. Iv been down that road and lost my place. working for 8 dollars an hour makes it impossible to survive without multiple jobs. anyone that can do addition and subtraction knows this....


This is his wife, the job got done and it looks beautiful. Other than the sod there IS NO LAWN, it's mud not a blade of grass to be found. I don't believe that he is charging 1/3 the price of other people and if he is, they are charging too much and screwing people over anyways. There is no reason that for 12 hours of work someone should be charging near $200/hour (supplies included but still!) My husband works hard to support this family. Everyone else in this town lowballs, so if he doesn't he gets no work...in fact he charges more than some of the people I know...He does great at what he does and you know what...this sod job is a learning experience for him...he's never done one on his own, never priced it out...if it turns out the profit isn't enough, then he'll know to charge more next time. Frankly, some of you guys need to come down off your high horses and remember that you all started somewhere. You don't learn without experience.

Iv done sod before, both laying and cutting.



material cost 435 sod and irrigation materials
gas 53 delivery and travel time
wages 60
total 540

income 1339
net income 799
hours 16 travel and estimate time


profit per hour 49


In michigan you are not going to get much better than this. even devisser, one of the biggest maintenance companies in this nation was plowing drives for 10 bucks last year.

now im going to go feed my child because, even tho i didnt get home till late, i know i can afford to do so.....

So all of you pricks that want to look down on me for working for less than you do, just be thankfull im actualy working for a living and not living off of welfare taken from YOUR taxes http://www.sherv.net/cm/emo/rude/1/flipping-the-bird.gif

birddseedd
10-26-2012, 08:58 PM
Any chance on getting some pictures of this job when its finished?



Dave...

ill try to get out there next week. wife forgot the camera

birddseedd
10-26-2012, 09:02 PM
You paid $255 for 193yds of sod? 193 yds is 1737 sq ft. So you are paying $0.155 a foot. Thats a great price, I wish that is all I pay. We did three jobs this season that were each over 10k feet (about 1,200 yds each) and we pay about $0.08 more per foot than you, we buy straight from the sod farm. Even if we pick it up, with the amount we buy, we still pay more than you. If I was to pick up only 1737ft (193yds) I would be paying about $140 more for the sod, thats about 55% higher than you.

So this leads me to think one of two things. 1, your sod is much cheaper there, which leads me to wonder what the sodfarm charges for regular customers who make bulk purchases. Or. 2, you got a discounted price on old sod that was cut a few days before and not sold. In which case I would be planning to replace some in the spring.




constantine sod farm was reccommended to me by other guys in this area. they charge 1.25 per yard base price. they did let me hold on to the pallets. gotta drop them off next time im in the city.

birddseedd
10-26-2012, 09:05 PM
someone said something about grass seed, the sod farm put their seed down about a week ago. shrugs. i figure they know better than i as all they do is grow grass.

birddseedd
10-26-2012, 09:15 PM
oh. and the wages price (didnt actualy pay it as it was my wife and goes back into our account) is calculated at 10 per hour. when i do hire, i dont pay less than 10. and kinda fee bad about 10. its imnpossible to live off of anything less

alldayrj
10-26-2012, 09:20 PM
Posted via Mobile Device

birddseedd
10-26-2012, 09:29 PM
Posted via Mobile Device

there was no text

GreenI.A.
10-26-2012, 09:57 PM
here's a coment for you though to really think about. Yes you made $800 on this job, and you can think you did great because your hourly income worked out to $49. And that is a pretty good number. The problem is that you need to get the repeatidly, you need a job like that every week. That's why people recomended doing this partime while working another job part time. That net income of $800 won't go far when you need it to last you 2-3 weeks. Especially when you figure in that number you used didn't take into acount for selfemployment tax.

The numbers I used in my last post were off, I missinterpretted what you had given for figures and I appoligise for that.

I will add this about a second part time job. I have what people would consider a successful company. Something that many of the guys on here strive to have. I am proud of the company I have built over the past few years and I am able to pay myself enough to live comfortably. But I still strive for more. I recentenly decided to take on a second full time job at night. Now fortunately for me, this job fits greatly with the schedule. I can work 3 nights from 8pm to 8am and am even able to sleep during most this time. So basically I will be getting paid to do what I would otherwise be doing at home for free. It's extreamly flexible so If were b***s to the walls busy I can take less shifts. Or if were extreamly slow, such as in the winter when we have no snow, I can pick up plenty of overtime. I have been looking at this job for about a year, but had been reluctant to take it as I felt it made me and my business look bad. I thought that me taking a second job would give the impression that my business was feeling. When in reality it is doing good, this choice is just giving me a little more income, a little more comfort. It's not the best paying job, but at the end of the week it means an extra $350 after taxes in my personal account. Thats maney I don't have to pay myself. That's capitol to stay invested in the business. Thats less selfemployment tax I pay.

birddseedd
10-26-2012, 10:16 PM
here's a coment for you though to really think about. Yes you made $800 on this job, and you can think you did great because your hourly income worked out to $49. And that is a pretty good number. The problem is that you need to get the repeatidly, you need a job like that every week. That's why people recomended doing this partime while working another job part time. That net income of $800 won't go far when you need it to last you 2-3 weeks. Especially when you figure in that number you used didn't take into acount for selfemployment tax.

The numbers I used in my last post were off, I missinterpretted what you had given for figures and I appoligise for that.

I will add this about a second part time job. I have what people would consider a successful company. Something that many of the guys on here strive to have. I am proud of the company I have built over the past few years and I am able to pay myself enough to live comfortably. But I still strive for more. I recentenly decided to take on a second full time job at night. Now fortunately for me, this job fits greatly with the schedule. I can work 3 nights from 8pm to 8am and am even able to sleep during most this time. So basically I will be getting paid to do what I would otherwise be doing at home for free. It's extreamly flexible so If were b***s to the walls busy I can take less shifts. Or if were extreamly slow, such as in the winter when we have no snow, I can pick up plenty of overtime. I have been looking at this job for about a year, but had been reluctant to take it as I felt it made me and my business look bad. I thought that me taking a second job would give the impression that my business was feeling. When in reality it is doing good, this choice is just giving me a little more income, a little more comfort. It's not the best paying job, but at the end of the week it means an extra $350 after taxes in my personal account. Thats maney I don't have to pay myself. That's capitol to stay invested in the business. Thats less selfemployment tax I pay.

ya. im kinda affraid waht is goign to happen for taxes.

I acutaly had a job at teh beginning of the year. worked out well as i made my own scheduel. but the work kept dwindling down and eventauly they decided to hire someone directly and they got my job. I got a shining letter of reccomendation from my boss, but no job. honeslty i wasnt ready to go full time wiht the business. but so far it has almost kept me going.

If i can get some more customers for this winter i might be ok. i woudl be ok if it wernt for the drought. my 800 per month customer turned into 10 or so per month.

I may have to get a job somewhere this winter or earlier. but im also designing software so maybe thatl become the 2nd job.

all i can do is try. ill be doing the last of my mowing soon and see who all will be wanting fall cleanup.

cgaengineer
10-26-2012, 11:28 PM
Eff taxes...eff the Feds...

There, I said what everyone wanted to say but couldn't...
Posted via Mobile Device

birddseedd
10-27-2012, 12:23 AM
Eff taxes...eff the Feds...

There, I said what everyone wanted to say but couldn't...
Posted via Mobile Device

but without taxes how can our govener have his government paid vacation home that is worth more than my regular and only home with EVERYthing i own twice over. :angry:

cgaengineer
10-27-2012, 12:44 AM
but without taxes how can our govener have his government paid vacation home that is worth more than my regular and only home with EVERYthing i own twice over. :angry:

He can't...

I'm anti large govt...
Posted via Mobile Device

hackitdown
10-27-2012, 04:03 PM
So the question remains...how did you move the sod down the hill?

yardguy28
10-27-2012, 04:13 PM
if it were me I'd either insist I do the job my way or they can pay me for the work I have done and find someone else to finish it.

no job is worth risking safety IMHO.

herler
10-27-2012, 07:04 PM
No you didn't charge enough for the job to be done properly but this is exactly what I keep trying to explain to customers too, you think they only want cheap because but the customers aren't helping either, and dang we do try but help me out a little here.

The way you priced it you ended up having to take shortcuts, that's what I tell customers, it costs X amount of dollars in materials plus transportation and tax and these costs can not be circumnavigated, they HAVE to be paid! So when you have a job that costs three to four hundred, and someone charges eight hundred for it, after the IRS is through we are left with about two hundred.
And that may sound like a lot of money but I kindly forgot to mention a TON of costs, too.

On a side note I did like the suggestion about the 10 cubic foot two-wheel barrow.

Oh, and we have eight hours of labor to do it with because that's how long it TAKES.

So guess what, real simple math and a very long story short is the guy is going to drive HIS truck through YOUR lawn!
That's how it HAS to work out because there's no money left to do it any other which way.
That's the truth, forget face planting wheel barrows, it's all about money and what we have to do and how.

Now you can decide, you want Mister 800 or who you want but what they quoted you and how they decided to do it is not unfair, the price may be low but if that's all they want, you get what you pay for in this Industry but there is one thing I have learned, and I will pass this on now...

Cheap or expensive, they ALL want the same results.
Mr. Beer budget wants it just like Mr. Champagne budget got it.

I thought I would mention that.

CL&T
10-27-2012, 07:43 PM
All exactly true but the thing is the customer doesn't want to hear your problems. All he cares about is price and who can do it the cheapest. If he puts an ad on Craig's List and some crack head says he can do it for X you need to be at X minus 1 to get the job. Even if you lose money and your kid starves to death the customer couldn't care less.

And of course the customer will always want the job done perfectly no matter what he pays but that won't come up until you finish and try to collect your payment.

GreenI.A.
10-27-2012, 08:06 PM
....Cheap or expensive, they ALL want the same results.
Mr. Beer budget wants it just like Mr. Champagne budget got it.....

My simple response when I get these customers is "Go to the Mercedes dealer and ask for the same price as a Hyundai. Because after all, a car is a car"

birddseedd
10-27-2012, 08:51 PM
if it were me I'd either insist I do the job my way or they can pay me for the work I have done and find someone else to finish it.

no job is worth risking safety IMHO.

I agree, thats why i just drove my truck down there. i tried finding a powered wheel barrel, when i couldnt i just drove down there. pulling a 60 lb minimum wheel barrel down a muddly leaf coverd slope isnt safe. maybe if they had grass my feet coudl grip into it would be different.

32vld
10-27-2012, 10:19 PM
No you didn't charge enough for the job to be done properly but this is exactly what I keep trying to explain to customers too, you think they only want cheap because but the customers aren't helping either, and dang we do try but help me out a little here.

The way you priced it you ended up having to take shortcuts, that's what I tell customers, it costs X amount of dollars in materials plus transportation and tax and these costs can not be circumnavigated, they HAVE to be paid! So when you have a job that costs three to four hundred, and someone charges eight hundred for it, after the IRS is through we are left with about two hundred.
And that may sound like a lot of money but I kindly forgot to mention a TON of costs, too.

Oh, and we have eight hours of labor to do it with because that's how long it TAKES.

So guess what, real simple math and a very long story short is the guy is going to drive HIS truck through YOUR lawn!
That's how it HAS to work out because there's no money left to do it any other which way.
That's the truth, forget face planting wheel barrows, it's all about money and what we have to do and how.

Now you can decide, you want Mister 800 or who you want but what they quoted you and how they decided to do it is not unfair, the price may be low but if that's all they want, you get what you pay for in this Industry but there is one thing I have learned, and I will pass this on now...

Cheap or expensive, they ALL want the same results.
Mr. Beer budget wants it just like Mr. Champagne budget got it.




I have found that when you take the time to explain why you have to charge what you do charge as herler points out I have found that you get the job at your price from the people that don't want short cuts but want the job done right.



All exactly true but the thing is the customer doesn't want to hear your problems. All he cares about is price and who can do it the cheapest. If he puts an ad on Craig's List and some crack head says he can do it for X you need to be at X minus 1 to get the job. Even if you lose money and your kid starves to death the customer couldn't care less.

And of course the customer will always want the job done perfectly no matter what he pays but that won't come up until you finish and try to collect your payment.


Not every customer wants only the lowest price. Those customers leave to the low ballers to lose money doing those jobs.

The way a customer selects any contractor, contractor's must select the kind of customer they want.

Selecting a customer is not about "I don't drop my trailer ramp unless".

birddseedd
10-27-2012, 10:52 PM
No you didn't charge enough for the job to be done properly

I feel i did charge enough. I dont live in California. 49 per hour AFTER expenses is pretty dang good.

My goal for mowing is 40 per hour and i have talked with at least one rich guy 45 minutes north of me that has the same goal.

and yes it was done properly. Iv both cut and laid sod before and have never had any problems with it. its funny how you can know my work without knowing me or inspecting my work.

You must be some kinda super hero, can you teach me how to do it.

CL&T
10-27-2012, 11:46 PM
Anybody can get 40, 49 and even 150 per hour. The trick is getting it eight hours a day, five days a week. That's what separates a business owner from someone who just works for himself. You may think you are doing great at $40/hr but if you take your actual billable hours and divide them into a 40 hour work week/ 52 weeks per year then subtract your expenses you probably aren't making minimum wage. Your hourly rate should be based on what you need to break even plus a profit NOT what somebody is willing to pay you or what you think is fair. And don't EVER think charging $200/hr is unfair.

alldayrj
10-28-2012, 12:20 AM
Anybody can get 40, 49 and even 150 per hour. The trick is getting it eight hours a day, five days a week. That's what separates a business owner from someone who just works for himself. You may think you are doing great at $40/hr but if you take your actual billable hours and divide them into a 40 hour work week/ 52 weeks per year then subtract your expenses you probably aren't making minimum wage. Your hourly rate should be based on what you need to break even plus a profit NOT what somebody is willing to pay you or what you think is fair. And don't EVER think charging $200/hr is unfair.

Gospel of truth
Posted via Mobile Device

birddseedd
10-28-2012, 10:03 AM
Anybody can get 40, 49 and even 150 per hour. The trick is getting it eight hours a day, five days a week. That's what separates a business owner from someone who just works for himself. You may think you are doing great at $40/hr but if you take your actual billable hours and divide them into a 40 hour work week/ 52 weeks per year then subtract your expenses you probably aren't making minimum wage. Your hourly rate should be based on what you need to break even plus a profit NOT what somebody is willing to pay you or what you think is fair. And don't EVER think charging $200/hr is unfair.

sometimes im working full time or more. sometimes less. depends on the part of the season and how much extra work i get. slowed down now that half my customers have sold their houses and the grass has stopped growing.

CL&T
10-28-2012, 11:10 AM
Exactly my point. Averaged out over a year what are you making?

birddseedd
10-28-2012, 02:06 PM
This year ill be netting 11 - 13 k depending on winter. that's with an insane interest rate on my truck. keep in mind as i stated above i was not ready to go full time for the business, and this year we had the worse drought that we have had in 56 years. my 800 per month client was down to about 25 per month several months.

CL&T
10-28-2012, 02:44 PM
The federal poverty level is $19k for a family of three. You mentioned someplace that you have programming/software experience? I would focus on that and do this on the side.

birddseedd
10-28-2012, 04:59 PM
The federal poverty level is $19k for a family of three. You mentioned someplace that you have programming/software experience? I would focus on that and do this on the side.

I have minimal experience in coding. not enough to actualy create an income. im studying that on the side. for far iv grown 50 to 75 percent every year. even during this drought. give me a year or two at that rate and ill be quite comfortable. able to buy bobcats and wood to stay out of the mud.

California wasn't created in a day.

Kelly's Landscaping
10-28-2012, 05:53 PM
California wasn't created in a day.

Never heard that one before I find it amusing though as with the right quake it may be destroyed and sink in just one day.

The prices on that job were far below anything I could touch. Here the sod is closer to 40 cents a sqft. We typically get .95-1.05 a sqft with prep work and soil so that job would of been about 2000 here. Iv done one that was 7000 but I learned to prefer the steady lawn income to the occasional large job. No point in meeting with the clients and going through all the leg work then all the logistics of getting the materials and labor to do the job when we make 1600-2000 a day mowing with just 4 guys.

ed2hess
10-28-2012, 05:59 PM
I admire you for plugging away and not giving up. Our worst drought year was last year and we worried that future of the lawn business was going to be bad forever. We depend on it for all our income also. This year we got more rain and things look better. So keep your spirits up.

By the way I had a similiar situation once and I put the gravel in bags on a piece of plywood and pulled/slide it down the hill.

CL&T
10-28-2012, 07:17 PM
So far I've grown 50 to 75 percent every year, even during this drought. Give me a year or two at that rate and I'll be quite comfortable, able to buy bobcats and wood to stay out of the mud.

I would advise against buying on credit.

birddseedd
10-28-2012, 07:39 PM
I would advise against buying on credit.

That would be very good advice.

unfortunately i just didn't have the credit to buy another truck and pulling my equipment with my motorcycle is a very temporary measure. Overall I do make more money with it than without it.

Richard Martin
10-29-2012, 11:52 AM
im charging 752 dollars for 193 yards.

I presume the HO bought the sod?

That works out to 43.3 cents a square foot. I'd get the powered wheel barrow as has been suggested.

Durabird02
10-29-2012, 12:39 PM
Ya that makes sense, trade 49 bucks an hour for at bets 8:10 an hour. Iv been down that road and lost my place. working for 8 dollars an hour makes it impossible to survive without multiple jobs. anyone that can do addition and subtraction knows this....

Interesting that you mention working an $8/hr job is stupid and i cant do simple math, but then later on you mention that you made a net of $10,000-$13,000 for the year. Hmm...seems like you COULD in fact trade your "high profile lawn care job" for a mickey D's job and break about even.

birddseedd
10-29-2012, 02:38 PM
Interesting that you mention working an $8/hr job is stupid and i cant do simple math, but then later on you mention that you made a net of $10,000-$13,000 for the year. Hmm...seems like you COULD in fact trade your "high profile lawn care job" for a mickey D's job and break about even.

chuckles. ya its sad. but here i have time to presue other income types while the business is growing. also keep in mind this year has been hard on everyone. worse drought in 56 years. some places in the us have never been this dry.

and even in these conditions im still maintaining my 50 percent growth. if the year wasnt so bad i probably would be approaching 20k net this year. but a drought is a drought.

so next year i might net around 30k. sure would be nice.

32vld
10-29-2012, 03:13 PM
Interesting that you mention working an $8/hr job is stupid and i cant do simple math, but then later on you mention that you made a net of $10,000-$13,000 for the year. Hmm...seems like you COULD in fact trade your "high profile lawn care job" for a mickey D's job and break about even.

I'd rather do like birdseed did and break even and be my own boss then work at McD's.

DQL10
10-29-2012, 03:55 PM
We had a slight drought in VA and during that drought it was our busiest time of year doing other things on our properites. Bed clean ups, irrigation check ups, brush clean ups, pavers, the list goes on and on. In order to stay busy during things we can't control like rain fall and too much rain fall, we need to be diverse. Find new sources of income for the business. When your 800 dollar a month customer went to 10 then 25 dollars a month you should have asked if there was anything else that needed to be done on the property. For example, we send our customers the same bill each month. If for some reason we cannot mow that day we are there, we go around and pull weeds out of the beds, rake them clean, pick up sticks, and edge up the driveway, sidewalks, and beds. When we go back the following week, we end up having to double cut the lawn and will also edge everything again. Its all still a learning process but you cannot lowball. At the very least, your business must break even every month. From what I remember, the IRS gives you 3 years to show a profit. That is if you are paying taxes and have a tax id number and business license and all proper credentials for a legit business.

birddseedd
10-29-2012, 04:13 PM
We had a slight drought in VA and during that drought it was our busiest time of year doing other things on our properites. Bed clean ups, irrigation check ups, brush clean ups, pavers, the list goes on and on. In order to stay busy during things we can't control like rain fall and too much rain fall, we need to be diverse. Find new sources of income for the business. When your 800 dollar a month customer went to 10 then 25 dollars a month you should have asked if there was anything else that needed to be done on the property. For example, we send our customers the same bill each month. If for some reason we cannot mow that day we are there, we go around and pull weeds out of the beds, rake them clean, pick up sticks, and edge up the driveway, sidewalks, and beds. When we go back the following week, we end up having to double cut the lawn and will also edge everything again. Its all still a learning process but you cannot lowball. At the very least, your business must break even every month. From what I remember, the IRS gives you 3 years to show a profit. That is if you are paying taxes and have a tax id number and business license and all proper credentials for a legit business.

I did get some other work. so i was able to still turn a profit. maybe not as much as what i woudl have without hte drought, but im only 1500 behind on my mortgage.

things will get better this winter.

DQL10
10-29-2012, 06:19 PM
I'd rather do like birdseed did and break even and be my own boss then work at McD's.




True but how often is he breaking even? Every once in awhile, all the time, or once a year? Sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and provide for your family. Nobody should shun anyone for doing that.

birddseedd
10-29-2012, 06:39 PM
True but how often is he breaking even? Every once in awhile, all the time, or once a year? Sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and provide for your family. Nobody should shun anyone for doing that.

my goal is to bring in 1300 per month. typicality i bring in a few hundred over that.

next year thatl have to go up quite a bit.

so im not getting rich yet. but im gettin there.

plus i get to bring wifey with me to work :)

DQL10
10-29-2012, 07:53 PM
I gotta ask and I apologize if this was already stated but is your wife covered by your insurance? Also what is your age?

birddseedd
10-29-2012, 08:19 PM
I gotta ask and I apologize if this was already stated but is your wife covered by your insurance? Also what is your age?

29. and if you are asking as an employee im not really sure. my insurance has been a bit flakey. looking into another company

any recommendations?

Durabird02
10-31-2012, 12:43 PM
my goal is to bring in 1300 per month. typicality i bring in a few hundred over that.

next year thatl have to go up quite a bit.

so im not getting rich yet. but im gettin there.

plus i get to bring wifey with me to work :)

Is the $1300/mo your goal for the company gross? or your wage that you are paying yourself, gross or net? Either way, that is not a lot to live on.

birddseedd
10-31-2012, 12:56 PM
Is the $1300/mo your goal for the company gross? or your wage that you are paying yourself, gross or net? Either way, that is not a lot to live on.

i know.....
believe me i know.... but it is growing every year.