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newguy123
12-21-2012, 10:11 PM
My primary target neighborhoods have home values averaging in the mid 275K-350K range. It's a new suburb, very clean, etc...

My question is: on a 1-10, how much significance should I place on the appearance of my truck and equipment (equipment only not personal appearance?) I know personal appearance is important but that's not what I'm worried about.

What are your thoughts?

DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING
12-21-2012, 10:24 PM
7
Posted via Mobile Device

ponyboy
12-21-2012, 10:45 PM
7 or 8 they should look clean taken care of lettered so people can recognize your name and number
Everything should look professional trucks,equipment even the uniforms or shirts you wear

Kelly's Landscaping
12-21-2012, 10:57 PM
Oh appearance matters you do not want to be the guy with mowers in his trunk or on the roof of his station wagon. Nor the guy around here with the mini van with no rear door who parks the mower sticking out the back. You want the next level down same guy couldn't drive for years DUI so rode the mower all over town from one job to the next and of course didn't own a shirt.

Iv had old ladies tell me they wanted me to mow their lawns because i had all new equipment and she believed that meant it would leave a nicer cut. The fact that not only was the equipment not new but had 3000 plus hours on it didn't matter I kept it clean so it must be true.

newguy123
12-21-2012, 11:43 PM
These are great points...I understand having a clean appearance. I'm wondering if appearance is even more significant for the demographics that I stated initially? Maybe taking it a step further, is it equally or more important to have newer looking equipment, trucks, trailers, etc.?

ponyboy
12-21-2012, 11:47 PM
Yes and no
They don't see your equipment till after they signed a contract
When you pull up on the initial estimate you and your truck need to look professional as well as your contract and business cards you leave with them

herler
12-22-2012, 10:12 AM
The other school also says, he who has brand new equipment ain't never seen a day's work.
How many baffoons I hear spewing off about "I been doing this for TWENTY YEARS!!!"
Yeah, and they got brand new equipment sitting right behind them, guess they didn't think anyone'd notice.

Why does it truly have to be new, doesn't new equipment mean the job might cost more?
Customers are not stupid, nice shiny truck, who makes that payment?

I have no way of predicting what exactly is going through that customer's mind when they see me, way I see things the way things are with the economy in a good amount of cases they'll give that guy working out of the trunk of his or her car a chance pretty darn quick, too.

At least he's trying goes that way.

My equipment, my trailer and my truck are tools.
I bought them and keep them up to get the job done.
In that sense they don't need to look good.
And I'm neither spending the time nor the money to make it so, all that does is drive up overhead, some folks might be able to charge more but they might give me the job because I'm cheaper and my equipment looks like it has done the work we're speaking of more than once before.

newguy123
12-22-2012, 11:16 AM
The other school also says, he who has brand new equipment ain't never seen a day's work.
How many baffoons I hear spewing off about "I been doing this for TWENTY YEARS!!!"
Yeah, and they got brand new equipment sitting right behind them, guess they didn't think anyone'd notice.

Why does it truly have to be new, doesn't new equipment mean the job might cost more?
Customers are not stupid, nice shiny truck, who makes that payment?

I have no way of predicting what exactly is going through that customer's mind when they see me, way I see things the way things are with the economy in a good amount of cases they'll give that guy working out of the trunk of his or her car a chance pretty darn quick, too.

At least he's trying goes that way.

My equipment, my trailer and my truck are tools.
I bought them and keep them up to get the job done.
In that sense they don't need to look good.
And I'm neither spending the time nor the money to make it so, all that does is drive up overhead, some folks might be able to charge more but they might give me the job because I'm cheaper and my equipment looks like it has done the work we're speaking of more than once before.

Yeah I always thought that the guy pulling up with brand new equipment, etc. was going to be more expensive. I know people will say that you don't want a price shopper, but customers have an idea what a price should be and if they see a brand new truck pulling up they might just think, "this guy's going to try to get me on a higher price."

Maybe this isn't true for most people but that's what I would think...

Any more thoughts guys?

newguy123
12-22-2012, 01:26 PM
Any more thoughts on this?

vanncann
12-22-2012, 06:29 PM
My opinion varies on this question... I drive a 2011 Dodge 2500 Long Horn, have very nice equipment that is very well taken care of and all the stuff the other guys want... Now when I price a job I price it according to the job... Not what I need to pay the bills! Sense this year is over I can say that I landed over 80% of the jobs that I quoted... So back to the question "Does appearance make a difference?" and can it make a customer turn and run? Not in my experience...

jrs.landscaping
12-22-2012, 09:38 PM
The other school also says, he who has brand new equipment ain't never seen a day's work.
How many baffoons I hear spewing off about "I been doing this for TWENTY YEARS!!!"
Yeah, and they got brand new equipment sitting right behind them, guess they didn't think anyone'd notice.

Why does it truly have to be new, doesn't new equipment mean the job might cost more?
Customers are not stupid, nice shiny truck, who makes that payment?

I have no way of predicting what exactly is going through that customer's mind when they see me, way I see things the way things are with the economy in a good amount of cases they'll give that guy working out of the trunk of his or her car a chance pretty darn quick, too.

At least he's trying goes that way.

My equipment, my trailer and my truck are tools.
I bought them and keep them up to get the job done.
In that sense they don't need to look good.
And I'm neither spending the time nor the money to make it so, all that does is drive up overhead, some folks might be able to charge more but they might give me the job because I'm cheaper and my equipment looks like it has done the work we're speaking of more than once before.

I have to disagree. People want reliability and good work. Your equipment is a reflection on your company, if you roll up with tired iron and a truck puking fluids what do you think the customer's reaction will be? All of our equipment is late model as well as our trucks, we try to clean them once a week and keep them presentable. To answer the question 6-8, given the demographic you are talking about I'd shoot for the 8 Thumbs Up

cpllawncare
12-23-2012, 12:07 AM
My customers normally don't see the equipment until after, sometimes long after, the service agreement is signed and the first few services are done. It's more about closing the sale and in my case the reviews, hundreds of references and pictures we have about the work we do. This is all done at the initial sales presentation. Now, that being said, I always show up with a clean truck wearing professional attire and professionally prepared paperwork, does all this mean I charge more, I don't think so! we charge what we charge based on cost and what the demographics allow. This crap about "I charge less because I have less overhead is bologny" Even if I had absolutly no overhead (Which is impossible) I would still be charging the same rates but my profit margins would be higher, my truck and equipment would still be kept clean, and I would still maintain a high standard of professionalism. Cleanliness is more about self pride than what you should charge.

herler
12-23-2012, 12:19 AM
Oh you want the next level down same guy couldn't drive for years DUI so rode the mower all over town from one job to the next and of course didn't own a shirt.

that was funni

Iv had old ladies tell me they wanted me to mow their lawns because i had all new equipment and she believed that meant it would leave a nicer cut. The fact that not only was the equipment not new but had 3000 plus hours on it didn't matter I kept it clean so it must be true.

I still don't believe it's a clean lawn mower per se, in the above case it's that you took pride in the work, not the fact the mowers were clean, understand the mower could have been dirty but I understand that for you, it had to be clean because else you would not have been able to show the same pride, I get that but you get me, it's about taking pride in what one does.
If appearance is part of that, so be it.

The guy who shows up drunk every job, you think he's going to make it assuming his equipment is spit shined daily?
It's cleaner than yours, he's drunk, are they going to hire him?
Actually someone will, but I'm not going there.

Walk a straight line, talk a straight talk, be a man of your word.
Call them back even if I can't do the job.
Try that, to me it's what it's all about.

cpllawncare
12-23-2012, 12:38 AM
I totally agree with Herler, I take pride in every aspect of my business, I conduct business like it's a business not a hobby.

GreenI.A.
12-23-2012, 04:34 AM
First question is what is you particular demographic. $275k homes are completely different things in different ares. Is that higher in your area? Or is that what a blue collar worker lives in? In my main service area, 275k won't buy you a 4k sq ft lot to build a house on, yet with a 25minute drive a young couple could get a nice starter home for 275.

Either way though, I put a high value on vehicle and equipment appearance. Are trucks that get the most use are all 06 or newer, one that sees less use is an 04 and the I international dump is a 98. Fords are all xlt or higher, Chevys are lt or higher package. No base/work truck models. Interior and exterior of trucks are cleaned once a week, if they start to get dirty sooner than that then the get cleaned more often. Equipment is all kept clean and newer as well.

No, new clean equipment does not mean that you do a better job. But I am a firm believer that it shows pride in your business. I am also a firm believer that newer cleaner equipment is more reliable, thus they are more profitable to run. I believe customers see it this way as well. If I hire a contractor to work on my home and he shows up in a new truck, my thought is not that he over charges. My thought is that he has enough work to justify the purchase. If a guy shows up in a 20 yr old beater, than more than likely he won't get the job, I'll think that if he is good at what he does then he should be able to afford a reliable automobile

yardguy28
12-23-2012, 06:45 AM
my opinion varies.

I keep my truck and trailer as clean as I can. but I'll do estimates in the middle of the day with a load of grass in the back and my shirt and pants have grass stains on them. I mean come on we do dirty work for a living and when your solo your the one doing the work and estimates. if I'm the neighborhood working I'm not gonna make a special trip back there at a later time when I'm more cleaned up.

as for equipment. well I use an enclosed trailer so no one really sees the equipment unless I'm using it. it looks new until I get it dirty. I never wash my equipment. the only water it ever sees is if I'm using it and it starts to rain. how many clients are home when your working anyway?

Richard Martin
12-23-2012, 11:23 AM
Appearance does matter. At least it does to me and that all that matters to me. When I see someone rolling down the street with junk I'm just not thinking that they really don't care about anything. They may talk a good talk, but when you look at what they do closely, the differences are apparent. Even in the way they take care of their customers. I don't believe the equipment must be new, but it does have to be taken care of. This truck belongs to a friend of mine. 99% of you would be horrified to ride in this piece of junk, as am I. He does an okay job on lawns, not great, and he's never interested in doing extra stuff like trimming bushes. When I sold my company in MD he got first pick. He didn't want any of the fancy jobs with full service. Just the simple stuff. His company policies, like insisting upon being paid each week, is driving what few high end customers he has away. He rides around week after week, like a paper boy, collecting from his customers.

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb56/RMartin631/mower%20stuff/truck_zps5a740b2c.jpg

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb56/RMartin631/mower%20stuff/trucktrimmer_zps2b7af841.jpg

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb56/RMartin631/mower%20stuff/truckmower_zpsc8a9eba3.jpg

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-23-2012, 12:17 PM
I totally agree with Herler, I take pride in every aspect of my business, I conduct business like it's a business not a hobby.

Same here. Act and look like a professional usually leads to being treated like a professional.

yardguy28
12-23-2012, 12:21 PM
I would never be ok with that truck because it has rust on it and its multi color. but fix the rust and paint it all one color and it'd be fine.

the trimmer no way. if it can't be held together on its own its time for a new one.

but the mower in the pic. besides the missing anti scalp wheels I see nothing wrong with it. it actually a bit more red showing than my 09 52" toro grandstand does right now.

appearance does matter but some take it to the extreme I think. you don't need new shinny looking dirt free stuff all the time. if your equipment never looks like its been in a yard that says to me your not busy because if you have that kind of time to clean things up that good your not working enough.

it goes along with those that will give an estimate and do the job right then and there. I never do this. if you can afford to do a job on spot your not busy enough and there must be a reason your not busy enough.

I would never hire someone who would do the job right then and there or that pulls up in a rig with everything shiny and new looking.

newguy123
12-23-2012, 04:47 PM
First question is what is you particular demographic. $275k homes are completely different things in different ares. Is that higher in your area? Or is that what a blue collar worker lives in? In my main service area, 275k won't buy you a 4k sq ft lot to build a house on, yet with a 25minute drive a young couple could get a nice starter home for 275.

Either way though, I put a high value on vehicle and equipment appearance. Are trucks that get the most use are all 06 or newer, one that sees less use is an 04 and the I international dump is a 98. Fords are all xlt or higher, Chevys are lt or higher package. No base/work truck models. Interior and exterior of trucks are cleaned once a week, if they start to get dirty sooner than that then the get cleaned more often. Equipment is all kept clean and newer as well.

No, new clean equipment does not mean that you do a better job. But I am a firm believer that it shows pride in your business. I am also a firm believer that newer cleaner equipment is more reliable, thus they are more profitable to run. I believe customers see it this way as well. If I hire a contractor to work on my home and he shows up in a new truck, my thought is not that he over charges. My thought is that he has enough work to justify the purchase. If a guy shows up in a 20 yr old beater, than more than likely he won't get the job, I'll think that if he is good at what he does then he should be able to afford a reliable automobile

Yeah good questions. Actually the 275K would be on the low end...the majority of my customers are in the 375-400K price homes, not blue collar. Mostly execs. and office personnel in larger companies. About 6 years ago these houses would easily go for 450-500K.

But yes I see your point and the reason you asked. These customers would be somewhere near high end, but definitely not upper high end if that makes any sense.

cpllawncare
12-24-2012, 02:20 PM
Richard, your friend just needs to take his truck to macco and have a decent paint job put on it, doesn't have to be a top notch job but at least all one color, needs a new trimmer for Sure, the mower looks like it just needs a good bath, as probably does the rest of his stuff, shoot find a kid and give a few bucks to wash all the equip once a month.

newguy123
12-24-2012, 11:01 PM
Yeah that truck is in a dire need of one solid color...

I guess when it's all said and done appearance is important but maybe not the all consuming answer for business. Accompanied with great work and good customer service it will definitely carry a business far.

Thanks for the help gentleman.

krzys555
12-24-2012, 11:38 PM
we deal with the upper high end customers.mainly white collar workers, or people that inherited money.

looks do matter here, and they are an important factor.

people want a good looking truck, does not have to be new but clean looking, one paint color, no rust showing. same thing with the trailer, weather enclosed or open, for the frame and wheel covers to look clean. not rusted, scraped, or mismatched paint.

equipment has to look half decent, washed once a week or every two weeks.
no rust visible.

scotts lawn care
12-24-2012, 11:58 PM
It does not take too much time and effort to keep trucks & equipment clean. Whatever it takes - is well worth it to look proffesional.

I say a 9 out of 10.

cpllawncare
12-25-2012, 02:24 AM
I forgot to put my rating, I say 9 out of 10 also

BOSS LAWN 2343
12-25-2012, 03:27 AM
Based on my short experience, appearance does make a difference. I have older trucks and older equipment but I try to keep everything looking as best as I can.

Keeping your word and calling customers back is also a reflection of your business.

8 out of 10

cpllawncare
12-25-2012, 03:41 AM
It really comes down to "It's all important" that's why it's so hard to grow, because as you grow you start trying to proritize(sp) things and stuff that was important when you were solo and only had a small amount of accounts to deal, but were able to control start falling down the list of importance, yet in the end it was these things that you paid attention to that got you more customers.

scotts lawn care
12-25-2012, 09:31 AM
It's amazing what a little soap, water, and elbow grease will do to older equipment! Even new equipment that has been worked a few days - to a week benefits from a wash.

I wax my mowers 2-3 times a season to give them some shine. My 05' 757 Z has almost 3000 hrs - and it still looks good because of maintenance and cleaning regularly.

yardguy28
12-25-2012, 09:38 AM
It really comes down to "It's all important" that's why it's so hard to grow, because as you grow you start trying to proritize(sp) things and stuff that was important when you were solo and only had a small amount of accounts to deal, but were able to control start falling down the list of importance, yet in the end it was these things that you paid attention to that got you more customers.

personally I'd like to think I landed every single account based on my excellent quality at an affordable price.

just because you have the newest and cleanest equipment doesn't mean you do the best work. I've seen guys who have the cleanest rigs in town yet the quality they turn out can't even compete with the guy who is pulling a trailer full of equipment purchased at home depot with his buick la saber.

I'd say maybe half my clients got a look at my rig before they hired me. the other half I was either in just my truck on a weekend or not even my own vehicle.

I've been out with family or friends on a day off and at them stop at a place so I can do an estimate.

willretire@40
12-25-2012, 09:56 AM
Posted via Mobile Device

clydebusa
12-25-2012, 10:11 AM
This topic has been :hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead: to death!

cpllawncare
12-25-2012, 11:03 AM
personally I'd like to think I landed every single account based on my excellent quality at an affordable price.

just because you have the newest and cleanest equipment doesn't mean you do the best work. I've seen guys who have the cleanest rigs in town yet the quality they turn out can't even compete with the guy who is pulling a trailer full of equipment purchased at home depot with his buick la saber.

I'd say maybe half my clients got a look at my rig before they hired me. the other half I was either in just my truck on a weekend or not even my own vehicle.

I've been out with family or friends on a day off and at them stop at a place so I can do an estimate.

I was saying that it's a package deal, everything is important, not just a clean rig, that is only part of the equation. Obviosly, quality is right at the top of the list along with superior service.

yardguy28
12-25-2012, 11:10 AM
well I guess I was saying I'd put a clean rig at the bottom of the list, if even on the list.

GMLC
12-25-2012, 11:46 AM
There are hundreds of companys around me that also do great work. Its cut throat out there. You have to stand out. Having clean equipment, trucks, trailers and uniforms are very high on my list. Acting and looking professional is important to me.
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
12-25-2012, 11:48 AM
well I guess I was saying I'd put a clean rig at the bottom of the list, if even on the list.

It's definitly on the list! and your running a professional organization it's near the top.

yardguy28
12-25-2012, 02:34 PM
It's definitly on the list! and your running a professional organization it's near the top.

:sleeping::sleeping::sleeping:

clydebusa
12-25-2012, 03:24 PM
Oh lets start a thread on washing equipment.

BOSS LAWN 2343
12-25-2012, 03:29 PM
It's amazing what a little soap, water, and elbow grease will do to older equipment! Even new equipment that has been worked a few days - to a week benefits from a wash.

I wax my mowers 2-3 times a season to give them some shine. My 05' 757 Z has almost 3000 hrs - and it still looks good because of maintenance and cleaning regularly.


I never thought of that one...

Chilehead
12-25-2012, 03:46 PM
I would have to say a 7. I think appearing neat, maintained, and clean is more important than new and loaded with money. I drive a somewhat humble rig, yet I have awesome customer retention and gain plenty of new work.

yardguy28
12-25-2012, 04:20 PM
Oh lets start a thread on washing equipment.

we can but from the day I purchase a mower it never sees any water except rain water from getting caught working in the rain.

ponyboy
12-25-2012, 04:46 PM
Not even end of year to put away for winter
Posted via Mobile Device

krzys555
12-25-2012, 05:06 PM
I would have to say a 7. I think appearing neat, maintained, and clean is more important than new and loaded with money. I drive a somewhat humble rig, yet I have awesome customer retention and gain plenty of new work.
totaly agree it does not need to be new. it could be old, and we do have a older 90's model hydro scag. it runs fine but it does not look like a rust bucket. it was repainted 2 years ago.

we also have 2 hoa that have requirement of machines 2 years old or less. they dont check but they care that the equipment looks good and does not detract from there property

clydebusa
12-25-2012, 06:45 PM
Been in LCO since 1982 and this is the 1st time I have ever heard of this.

we also have 2 hoa that have requirement of machines 2 years old or less. they dont check but they care that the equipment looks good and does not detract from there property.

krzys555
12-25-2012, 07:01 PM
one of the hoa's is greenwich oaks.
there rents are 4k for a 2 bedroom apartment.
they do pay very well. were doing the signs for the front entrance in the next few months.

this is a link for the rent prices.

http://www.apartmentguide.com/apartments/Connecticut/Greenwich/Greenwich-Oaks/46146/

our house prices are from 500k to 4mill. average household income is 200k according to the 2010 census.

these people are loaded and most work on wall st or are ceo of companies.

jrs.landscaping
12-25-2012, 08:08 PM
totaly agree it does not need to be new. it could be old, and we do have a older 90's model hydro scag. it runs fine but it does not look like a rust bucket. it was repainted 2 years ago.

we also have 2 hoa that have requirement of machines 2 years old or less. they dont check but they care that the equipment looks good and does not detract from there property


Does the same rule apply for snow removal?

krzys555
12-25-2012, 08:14 PM
no just for mowing equipment such as mowers and blowers.
they never have checked the years of the equipment.

yardguy28
12-25-2012, 09:08 PM
Not even end of year to put away for winter
Posted via Mobile Device

nope, not even at the end of the year to put away for winter.

I use my blower to blow loose stuff and mite at most use like a broom for some stuck on stuff but that's it.

ringahding
12-25-2012, 09:16 PM
For sure our business has increased like crazy with the upgrades of our trucks, mowers & trailers. Personally I cannot picture having all the work we do running around with mini-vans(the vehicle I started with) or the 1982 Chevy(R.I.P. miss ya baby!)that once was our main vehicles.

Smart business owners know that "First Impressions" are EVERYTHING, do not fool yourself thinking that is does not.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8022/7301021996_d558768b37_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ring_lawn_care/7301021996/)http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6053/6370645935_ce6803b395_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ring_lawn_care/6370645935/)http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8063/8212611131_e42afdd78e_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ring_lawn_care/8212611131/)http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7081/7382733878_ed0cbd7a62_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ring_lawn_care/7382733878/)

I suppose you would have to put yourself in your customers shoes, looking out the window.[/QUOTE]

yardguy28
12-25-2012, 09:22 PM
well I'm not saying I don't have nice stuff but I do anything special or extra to keep things clean. my truck and trailer are lucky if they see a wash a year and as I stated above my mowers never get washed as long as I own them.

I'm sure more than one person has seen me pull up to do an estimate with friends or family in the vehicle waiting while I do it.

I've been in business 6 years now. short I know but long if I were doing things wrong and going to fail at the business.

krzys555
12-25-2012, 09:42 PM
don't get me wrong. you don't need to wash a truck, trailer or equipment ever.

you don't ever need a truck or trailer. you could use a car and a push mower and would still get jobs. and i am sure you could fill up your weekly schedule for mow and go only, and you would not have to do extra services. you would make plenty of money. in certain area's.

it is not that you will lose jobs, because of looks.

they might notice your truck and just not call you, so you never know you lost the job.

the same thing goes with seo, and websites. we never know how much we lose because someone does not like or can't find our website. you will still do fine with a crap website or no website at all but it will help you.

in the end in my clean truck and trailer brings me only one extra job a year it is worth it.

yardguy28
12-26-2012, 08:01 AM
For sure our business has increased like crazy with the upgrades of our trucks, mowers & trailers. Personally I cannot picture having all the work we do running around with mini-vans(the vehicle I started with) or the 1982 Chevy(R.I.P. miss ya baby!)that once was our main vehicles.

Smart business owners know that "First Impressions" are EVERYTHING, do not fool yourself thinking that is does not.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8022/7301021996_d558768b37_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ring_lawn_care/7301021996/)http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6053/6370645935_ce6803b395_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ring_lawn_care/6370645935/)http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8063/8212611131_e42afdd78e_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ring_lawn_care/8212611131/)http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7081/7382733878_ed0cbd7a62_t.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ring_lawn_care/7382733878/)

I suppose you would have to put yourself in your customers shoes, looking out the window.[/QUOTE]

just checked out your photos on flickr.

nice work and nice set up. you have a few things I wish I had for fall clean ups.

cpllawncare
12-26-2012, 05:00 PM
just checked out your photos on flickr.

nice work and nice set up. you have a few things I wish I had for fall clean ups.[/QUOTE]

You did notice his stuff was clean and professional looking! doesn't have to be brand new! Brian hit right on the head, IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

newguy123
12-27-2012, 11:21 AM
Yes that is really good looking equipment.

Yard guy, I'm kind of like you. I wouldn't necessarily care what equipment was being used so long as the quality of the work was there.

However, that was my intention on starting this thread. Just because I don't care what the equipment looks like doesn't mean my customer or potential customers doesn't care.

This has been very helpful feedback...anyone else?

cpllawncare
12-27-2012, 06:00 PM
Apparently you didn't read Rings post, "Since we upgraded our equipment our business has increased like crazy" obviously you have to start by doing quality work no one is debating that. In addition, he states " Any smart business owner knows that first impressions are everything" In other words in order to get in the door you have to make an initial impression. When your starting out, again obviously you have to do it with salesmanship and quality work, but once over that hurdle you need to build on things like clean professional equipment and such. I started out like most everybody does, with old equipment mostly homeowner grade, old truck and the such, Yet it was always kept clean, it WAS a factor in my growth.

newguy123
12-27-2012, 10:41 PM
Okay I started this thread so please allow me to steer this back on the right direction.

So it seems that the consensus would say that clean (maybe not necessarily brand new) equipment and appearance is pretty significant.

My next question: how many would go a step further and say that brand new equipment makes more of a positive impression than 5-10 year old equipment, albeit clean equipment? If so...how much more significant is it?

krzys555
12-27-2012, 11:24 PM
Okay I started this thread so please allow me to steer this back on the right direction.

So it seems that the consensus would say that clean (maybe not necessarily brand new) equipment and appearance is pretty significant.

My next question: how many would go a step further and say that brand new equipment makes more of a positive impression than 5-10 year old equipment, albeit clean equipment? If so...how much more significant is it?

i think new equipment does not matter as much as it being clean. give it a year of use and it will not be new looking.(when used by crews). i think instead of buying new equipment you give it a good paint job. (clean it well, 1 base coat, and 3 coats of clear automotive paint. or just powder coat it if possible. it will look like new equipment. we do it on our machines every 2 years, and when we buy it(if needed). you can't tell what year a mower is from. i don't care who you are, there is almost no difference. they all look the same from 20 feet except the color(model wise)

the truck could make a difference though. you could tell about what year the truck was made by looking at it. body style. my f250 crew cab, raised, offroad really gets noticed. it is my toy truck. i am the only one that drives it. it pulls a trailer, if i am working. the rest of the trucks we use are older rams 2500 or equivalent on silverado or ford. they were repainted to be the same color, when we got them.

krzys555
12-27-2012, 11:38 PM
i blacked out the info. yes this is a total show off truck.

we had a great year last year 2011, and i needed some extra deductions

DannyLot
12-28-2012, 08:40 AM
i blacked out the info. yes this is a total show off truck.

we had a great year last year 2011, and i needed some extra deductions

Damn that's a sweet truck! I would keep that one for personal use !

krzys555
12-28-2012, 10:00 AM
Damn that's a sweet truck! I would keep that one for personal use !

It is a personal truck.
I use it for estimates ect.
If i happen to work in the feild, it pulls a trailer with me driving. Otherwise the truck does not get used for business.
However i tend to use it a lot for personal use
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
12-28-2012, 07:51 PM
YG28,

The reason people think your arguing is, the people that are in the know, a lot on here, try to explain why this or that works or doesn't and you fire back with it does or doesn't. I generally value the majority of these guys opinions especially the ones that have proven themselves as sucesseful, again, a lot on here. I've had to rethink my way many times after reading the how some of these guys are doing things, I get stubborn sometimes as well, but after giving some thought usually it makes sense, even if it makes it harder on me I will give it a shot. For the most part we are all trying to learn from each other not bash each others head in.

yardguy28
12-28-2012, 09:18 PM
it's not that I don't value other opinions. even though I know I come across that way a lot.

it's this listen to me and do or try things my way because I've been doing it longer than you attitude I don't care. there are MANY ways to run and operate this business. what works for one may not work for another. and just because you have so many years in the business doesn't mean your ideas or ways are any better or more important than someone with less time in.

plus I don't really think I try to debate why someone else's idea will or won't work. I always feel anyway, that my posts are just me putting down my ideas and ways I do things. I only defensive when I sense that attitude above.

but I'll work on how I come across on this site because I do find it very useful and value most people's input on this site.

Northern Turf Man
12-28-2012, 10:38 PM
While I may not have all brand new equipment, it is definitely the cleanest, shiniest, most taken care of I have ever come across. I am absolutely OCD about all my equipment. My truck is ALWAYS clean and has perfectly polished paint that ALWAYS has a coat of sealant on it. It has zero rust and is undercoated multiple times a year. All power tools, aerators, tractor, etc. get coated with Fluid Film on a regular basis, all paint chips get fixed immediately, and any scratches/scuffs get dealt with right away. All of the customers I have dealt with have complimented me on my flawless equipment, and I have no doubt that I have gotten some business solely because of that.

newguy123
12-28-2012, 11:02 PM
Northern Turf Man,

Wow! I guess you are a little OCD about your equipment. It's obviously helped you and that's pretty cool. What you do is something I'm trying to be more proactive about. My whole thing is that my equipment isn't new, but I know that cleaning it, etc. can make the appearance a lot more suitable than dirty and greasy all the time.

cpllawncare
12-28-2012, 11:32 PM
Unless you've got a ton of stuff it doesn't take that much time to keep it clean, I usually blow off my stuff after each account which really helps keep the buildup down, I don't wash every week but if it starts looking really dirty usually a couple of weeks I wash it.

RSK Property Maintenance
12-29-2012, 12:22 AM
i would say it matters a decent amount probably 6-7, I think new trucks are less important then, new equipment. but either way things need to be maintained and look good in order to be taken seriously. Like my truck has 273,000 miles on it but it could probably pass for having 150,000 less miles on it. I wash my truck about once every 3 months, unless it gets really muddy then i'll rinse it off. my mower is new and that in my opinion counts for a lot, although my old mower which was 2005 which i bought new only had 983hrs on it still looked new, because it was garage kept since day one, which my new mower is as well. same with my little wonder. I would rate my 16 year old truck at 6 or 7 out of 10. its no where near perfect, but its pretty clean for the mileage and age, and a lot customers comment on it, even though it hardly ever wash it, it stays pretty clean on its own.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c169/ryan818/IMG_1300.jpg

JR's Lawn Service
01-03-2013, 09:13 AM
I am new to this site, retired military and this is one of my pet peeves that I have learned over the years. Appearance is more important that most people realize. In this line of work, it means your equipment and yourself.
The first impression people (potential customers) have of you is what they see..before you even say a word. It is not very hard to clean your equipment and maintain it so it looks professional. It shows something I think if you don't. I have a friend and his dad owned a million dollar company. When someone interviewed for the job, his dad would send an employee out to look at the prospective employee's vehicle to see if it was nice and clean, inside and out or looked like a dumpster on wheels. If it looked like the latter, that person was not hired. I totally understand this frame of mind. I admit I am OCD and probably take it to the extreme, but it has paid off time and time again.
Good luck to all of you in 2013, and let's kick some ass..I mean grass.
Jeff W.

cpllawncare
01-03-2013, 10:05 AM
Jeff, that's one reason people like hiring vets, they get it.

Executive Lawn Care
01-04-2013, 09:36 AM
I am a new lawn care business owner. I started off with a 2001 Nissan Maxima with a small trailer. No one seemed to mind, I recently purchased a 07 silverado and my customers seem to be very impressed and really like that I went to a truck. Many of my customers care about what equipment is being used to mow their lawns (in the high end clientele). My opinion is that people will always care about what you and your tools look like as long as pricing is competitive. Lawn care boils down to reliability, customer service and of course the quality of work. Equipment will help you in 2 of these categories. However keeping overhead down is key. Buy things as you need them. Just my opinion.

Cheers,

Stewart

JustRidinAlong
01-08-2013, 01:37 PM
My primary target neighborhoods have home values averaging in the mid 275K-350K range. It's a new suburb, very clean, etc...

My question is: on a 1-10, how much significance should I place on the appearance of my truck and equipment (equipment only not personal appearance?) I know personal appearance is important but that's not what I'm worried about.

What are your thoughts?


I would give it an 8 always

To me presentation is 15% of the package.

The vehicle, trailer, equipment is important as its a constant advertisement for the business and is the first perception the customer will have of you.

None of it has to be brand new, just maintained and looking professional.

Vehicle - cleaned washed regularly (every couple weeks) no mud covering windows or brake dust caked on the rims.

Trailer - S/b DOT legal always. If some rust forms, a little touch up paint goes along ways. Also, if the transport doesn't take care of the debris inside the trailer, hit it with the blower of an evening.

Equipment (Except handhelds) - Pressure washer, weekly and then dry with blower, don't want water pooling around bearings or on deck. Plus cleaning the cooling fins and pumps will keep them running cooler and help extend the life.

JLSLLC
01-18-2013, 08:44 AM
Truck/trailer appearance has been important to me. Ive had decent luck with basic signs and a clean truck (usually) & trailer/equipment.

Everything needs a good cleaning but its freezing out

Sean Adams
01-20-2013, 04:50 PM
You should make the effort to have the best of everything for plenty of reasons - appearance and productivity.

But that doesn't mean people won't hire you with a 2002 truck and 5 year old equipment. It's a process.

I certainly don't think it ever makes sense to go out and buy a $50,000 truck and $40,000 worth of equipment if you cannot justify the expense and recover your investment.

When your truck, trailer, equipment and employees appear clean and well-kept, it does make an impression. People do take notice, just like they would if your rust-bucket pulled up with everything duct-taped, oil and black smoke spilling and pouring out all over the place.

Davids Lawncare
01-28-2013, 03:13 PM
I agree with sean. Keep it clean and fix the rust.....Rustoleum works great for trucks and trailers. You can paint both for under $50 with either a brush and roller or air sprayer. Google a poormans paint job..:)

KG26
02-10-2013, 12:08 AM
Trailer is kept clean after every day's use. Truck is washed when needed and by needed I mean washed and waxed weekly. I have an open trailer so for me its the smaller things that count having the gas tanks facing the same way, making sure everything is strapped down tight. When people who may not be my clients are out walking their dog I greet them. Its the little things.

KG26
02-10-2013, 12:16 AM
You have to crawl before you walk. I've seen people working out the back of their trunk out cut the big boys. Don't get cocky don't get lazy.

StanWilhite
02-10-2013, 12:33 AM
You should make the effort to have the best of everything for plenty of reasons - appearance and productivity.

But that doesn't mean people won't hire you with a 2002 truck and 5 year old equipment. It's a process.

I certainly don't think it ever makes sense to go out and buy a $50,000 truck and $40,000 worth of equipment if you cannot justify the expense and recover your investment.

When your truck, trailer, equipment and employees appear clean and well-kept, it does make an impression. People do take notice, just like they would if your rust-bucket pulled up with everything duct-taped, oil and black smoke spilling and pouring out all over the place.

I agree 100% Sean. I remember hearing something as a young boy that has stuck with me thru all of the years. It's in reference to what kind of people other people want to do business with. The saying is short and simple:
"Even a drunkard doesn't want to do business with a drunkard"....and how true this is.

Most potential customers want to do business with people that make an effort to look presentable, and act in a professional manner. They also, in most cases, don't want to do business with someone that curses every other word. It just comes across as very unprofessional, and in my opinion, offensive.

Some business owners throw the "F" word around like it's nothing, and the "GD's" (which are, in my opinion, much worse that the "F" bomb) are sprinkled throughout their sentences as if they were completely necessary.

I'm shocked nowadays at how many younger business people aren't aware of these basic principles. They spend a lot of time and money worrying about details that are absolutely moot points if the basics aren't right to start with.

Just my 2 cents worth.

EverestLandscape
02-14-2013, 10:34 PM
I agree with everybody, the estimate is the first impression. Good looking truck, even if its older keep it clean, clean shirt, maybe a polo shirt, good letterhead, clipboard etc. Then the trucks and trailers come after that. In season trucks get washed every friday and trailer every other. Power wash all my mowers and such one a month (i try) and paint where scratched. Every winter, if the mower is a little beat, i tape off all the decals and paint the machine and good as new. . Everybody around knows me for my good looking stuff and team. It feels nice to know that but honestly i just want my stuff to last haha. Here's one i just got done with, its a 2007 viking with 584 hours.

cpllawncare
02-14-2013, 11:44 PM
That's a great looking mower, just proves it ain't gotta be new to look new, just maintain and keep your stuff fresh and clean, it isn't that hard, I just don't get these guys that don't give a rats butt about what their stuff looks like. And the ones that go out there and look and act like they just crawled out of the dumpster! and talk like they just came out of a cave.

Groomer
02-15-2013, 03:43 PM
this was my lawn truck for 13 years-recently replaced. It was always clean, and sold in a week. Trailer gets a fresh coat of paint every spring. Appearance still matters to me.

StanWilhite
02-15-2013, 08:22 PM
this was my lawn truck for 13 years-recently replaced. It was always clean, and sold in a week. Trailer gets a fresh coat of paint every spring. Appearance still matters to me.

What year is this truck? I kept one just like it (with the exception of the wheels) from 2000 until late 2012....it was an '09. I had great luck with it, I never turned a bolt on it except for routine maintenance. I really like the wheels on yours too...where they stock?

Stan

cpllawncare
02-16-2013, 12:12 AM
If I ever figure how to post pics on here I will post a pic of mine, that's a dang good looking truck. I like that color.

StanWilhite
02-16-2013, 01:11 AM
What year is this truck? I kept one just like it (with the exception of the wheels) from 2000 until late 2012....it was an '09. I had great luck with it, I never turned a bolt on it except for routine maintenance. I really like the wheels on yours too...where they stock?

Stan

I'm going to have to slow down a little when posting......I meant to say my truck was a '99....not an '09. And meant "were" not "where".

Groomer
02-16-2013, 11:48 AM
Stan, that truck is a 99 as well, I bought it new and it served me well. Those are american raceing wheels, the tandem trailer wears them to match.(gonna have to change them now) I've always run a red truck/red trailer combo, sorta my MO. Here's the new lawnmobile, my 5th red F150.

cpllawncare
02-16-2013, 04:46 PM
IMOP You just can't go wrong with a Ford, my dad had them, It's all I've owned and most likely will own.

ringahding
02-16-2013, 07:29 PM
10. Unless you are in your first couple of years.
Look at big name companies in your area and take notice of how they carry themselves.
OR ~ Does the cable company come rolling up in a rusty van?
So you should ask yourself ~ How can I make my company look more professional? Brand your company name is one thing, but when you show up with a rusted out truck customers take notice.

StanWilhite
02-16-2013, 09:15 PM
Stan, that truck is a 99 as well, I bought it new and it served me well. Those are american raceing wheels, the tandem trailer wears them to match.(gonna have to change them now) I've always run a red truck/red trailer combo, sorta my MO. Here's the new lawnmobile, my 5th red F150.

Good looking truck!
I'm a Ford guy when it comes to trucks. I kept a 1970 F100 Ranger (blk/ grey int) for 23 years. I bought it in 1980 and restored it. I put all late model disc brakes, rack and pinion power steering, and FMX auto tranny, factory AC, nice custom interior, nice stereo, etc etc. It drove like a new truck and i ended up restoring it 2 more times. I ended up selling it it 2003 for 12,500... it was nice.
Anyway, I'm with you on the Ford trucks...can't beat'em in my book!

delphied
02-20-2013, 10:55 PM
What it all boils down to is price. If you have junk but the lawn looks good when u r done, the cheapest price gets the job. So bid your asses off boys and undercut the other guy by a dollar. As a rule, the bigger the house, the cheaper the customer. They are usually clueless when it comes to the value of physical work and would like you to work for nothing if you are foolish enough to do it. Go into a more modest neighborhood and you will find less flak about prices.

newguy123
02-20-2013, 11:08 PM
What it all boils down to is price. If you have junk but the lawn looks good when u r done, the cheapest price gets the job. So bid your asses off boys and undercut the other guy by a dollar. As a rule, the bigger the house, the cheaper the customer. They are usually clueless when it comes to the value of physical work and would like you to work for nothing if you are foolish enough to do it. Go into a more modest neighborhood and you will find less flak about prices.

Interesting point...have you found this to be true through experience?

Thanks.

32vld
02-21-2013, 02:29 PM
Every spring my mowers get cleaned up.
My trailer which I hope to replace sometime this season, will have the wood floor and sides restained and the metal frame repainted Hunter green with a brush.

When you pull up to old or new clients you need to look good to create a favorable impression that your equipment is kept in good shape because it creates the impression that you and your equipment are dependable.

Also wax my Jeep as well.

Green-Man
02-24-2013, 11:01 AM
I agree with everybody, the estimate is the first impression. Good looking truck, even if its older keep it clean, clean shirt, maybe a polo shirt, good letterhead, clipboard etc. Then the trucks and trailers come after that. In season trucks get washed every friday and trailer every other. Power wash all my mowers and such one a month (i try) and paint where scratched. Every winter, if the mower is a little beat, i tape off all the decals and paint the machine and good as new. . Everybody around knows me for my good looking stuff and team. It feels nice to know that but honestly i just want my stuff to last haha. Here's one i just got done with, its a 2007 viking with 584 hours.
Wow! That thing looks great! If u wanted to sell it, it would sell instantly.
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
02-24-2013, 05:09 PM
What it all boils down to is price. If you have junk but the lawn looks good when u r done, the cheapest price gets the job. So bid your asses off boys and undercut the other guy by a dollar. As a rule, the bigger the house, the cheaper the customer. They are usually clueless when it comes to the value of physical work and would like you to work for nothing if you are foolish enough to do it. Go into a more modest neighborhood and you will find less flak about prices.

You must be one of those lowballing cut boys, no selling ability.

delphied
02-24-2013, 11:15 PM
You must be one of those lowballing cut boys, no selling ability.

Is it that obvious?

dllawson
02-25-2013, 01:38 AM
10 Especially in the neighborhoods you are targeting. Judge your trucks against every business in your area, not just other landscapers, and strive to have the best. They don't have to be new or expensive, just clean with an easy to read and professional logo.

zackvbra
02-25-2013, 12:41 PM
shoot I got an old scratched up, paint faded, getting rusty, dodge cummins diesel and I do just fine. I also have a couple signs on my trailer with my company name and number. I know of only one successful lawn company (besides Scotts or TruGreen) around here that drives around in a Post-2005 truck, and hes got a brand new silverado. Everybody around here just drives their old beat up work trucks.

If it works good mechanically, I would say run it! But thats just my area, I reckon.

dllawson
02-25-2013, 04:09 PM
I definitely donít think you need a new truck to look professional. We had 8 or 9 trucks on the road when I sold my share of the business. My partner and I were driving the newest trucks in our fleet, and both of them were 10 years old with over 200,000 miles. They had plenty of dents and dings from being work trucks, but they looked professional.

dllawson
02-25-2013, 04:11 PM
I know of only one successful lawn company (besides Scotts or TruGreen) around here that drives around in a Post-2005 truck, and hes got a brand new silverado.

Maybe Chevy's just don't last that long?

Richard Martin
02-25-2013, 04:19 PM
shoot I got an old scratched up, paint faded, getting rusty, dodge cummins diesel and I do just fine. I also have a couple signs on my trailer with my company name and number. I know of only one successful lawn company (besides Scotts or TruGreen) around here that drives around in a Post-2005 truck, and hes got a brand new silverado. Everybody around here just drives their old beat up work trucks.

Do most of you guys work in Valdosta? Lake Park is kinda small isn't it?

zackvbra
02-25-2013, 06:20 PM
Do most of you guys work in Valdosta? Lake Park is kinda small isn't it?

I think I have 17 customers in Valdosta and 15 in Lake Park. I don't know about everyone else. Its not that far from lake park to Valdosta. From the very southside of lake park to the very northside of Valdosta is like 20 miles. and yes lake park is very small, but there are a lot of houses, because there are a BUNCH of lakes.

Technically, the city limits of Lake park is only one square mile, but there are a couple unincorparated towns around lake park called twin lakes and dasher, and they are certainly bigger than lake park.

I see as many lawn guys in lake park as in Valdosta, though.

cpllawncare
02-25-2013, 10:40 PM
A lot of it has to do with the clientele you have, if your driving around multi million dollar homes you don't want to be in a beater truck, I don't care what anybody says it DOES make a difference.

Green-Man
02-25-2013, 11:10 PM
A lot of it has to do with the clientele you have, if your driving around multi million dollar homes you don't want to be in a beater truck, I don't care what anybody says it DOES make a difference.

I completely agree! :cool2:

Turf Commando
02-26-2013, 03:28 PM
Bunch of newbies on here.
Not every business LCO drives the cadillac of trucks why? We work them.
Just keep you're truck clean and washed most rich people don't care what you drive to mow, but definitely care how you maintain their grounds ..

Many companies have nice equipment and trucks but their flaw is on the green ...

cpllawncare
02-26-2013, 06:06 PM
Here's a hint, it doesn't have to be a Cadillac, a well maintained, plain white truck that is clean, rust and dent free will suffice. But a 20+ year old rusted out oil dripping, dent infested truck won't! This has nothing to do with the lawn that a totally different discussion.

Turf Commando
02-26-2013, 07:01 PM
There's many newer trucks dented, that drip oil have poor maintenance and guess what they have high class customers. The debate is juvenile at best.
Posted via Mobile Device

Groomer
02-27-2013, 11:56 AM
I agree that a truck doesn't have to be new-but for me it has to be clean, not spotless, just tidy clean, sure its gonna get dirty-hell, my previous 99 still had grass behind the plastic in the dash when I sold it-but it still ran good and looked good. Dings and scratches? yup, but I wasn't chuggin' down the street blowing smoke, with busted springs, and wearing 3 different colors of paint. But thats just me.

GMLC
02-27-2013, 02:33 PM
In my opinion and experience people view clean trucks, trailers and equipment as an example of your work. If you dont care about your own stuff or equipment why would you care about their property? I have always said this is a cut throat business. I always assume my competition does great work too. Its the little things that seperate us.
Posted via Mobile Device

32vld
02-27-2013, 02:57 PM
There's many newer trucks dented, that drip oil have poor maintenance and guess what they have high class customers. The debate is juvenile at best.
Posted via Mobile Device

If one had the money to buy a new truck then they should have collision and be able to afford to have the truck body fixed.

Same with the oil leaks.

Again a truck and trailer do not have to be new to look clean and presentable.

BladeGunner
02-27-2013, 03:06 PM
Times have changed due to the failing economy, you have to be on your A+ Game.

Back in the late 90's before I owned my business I worked for my uncles company and we had so many clients we worked 7 days a week and we actually had to turn down some customers because we were too busy, and guess what, we drove 2 beat up old and ugly Chevy trucks.

Back in those days it was different, but I agree that now you have to really be on your top game. I don't drive a brand new sparkling and shiny truck, but I keep it clean and maintained and I wash the machines when it's needed.

Pietro
02-27-2013, 06:24 PM
as long as its not a rustbucket I think youre okay. My trucks gets washed a few times a year...but the truck and trailer are lettered, and they look professional.

dllawson
03-01-2013, 12:14 AM
I am kind of new to the site, but I think 10 posts in a row that all agree has to be some kind of record.

lawnpro724
03-07-2013, 11:42 AM
Trucks should be a rolling billboard and all your equipment should be clean and in good shape and mower blades should be nice and sharp. Image is everything in this business and your quality of work should be second to none.

Drewslwnsvc
03-18-2013, 07:59 PM
I always put a high responsibility on having clean equipment Truck, trailer, etc. When someone is purchasing your service they are also purchasing you.

Kurt6845
03-19-2013, 11:52 AM
Read thru most of this post and have to agree with the last few folks. It's not about having the newest, brightest, shiniest stuff. It's about having presentable, maintained, and professional looking stuff. I run an 03 F250 Powerchoke with 178000 miles on it, but you would never know that by looking at it, I keep it relatively clean as well as my trailer and equipment. Everyday when we get done mowing, we back the truck/trailer up in front of the garage and hose everything down, it takes 5, maybe 10 minutes and it makes the equipment and evertyhing look that much better, not to mention the aspect of taking care of equipment and maintenance. Lastly, have a somewhat organized look to your rig, all too often I see guys rollin down the road with a truck and trailer that looks like they picked their equipment up with a front loader and just dumped it on the trailer, randomly putting stuff where it fits. Think about it realistically if you have a need for that much stuff, then you should be able to justify a bigger trailer to organize better..... just saying.

birddseedd
03-20-2013, 02:38 PM
Oh appearance matters you do not want to be the guy with mowers in his trunk or on the roof of his station wagon. Nor the guy around here with the mini van with no rear door who parks the mower sticking out the back. You want the next level down same guy couldn't drive for years DUI so rode the mower all over town from one job to the next and of course didn't own a shirt.

Iv had old ladies tell me they wanted me to mow their lawns because i had all new equipment and she believed that meant it would leave a nicer cut. The fact that not only was the equipment not new but had 3000 plus hours on it didn't matter I kept it clean so it must be true.

I think she is right in that aspect. from her perspective. The fact that your equipment looks new shows that you maintain it well. and maintaining it well does make lawns look better. your equipment looks new. chances are your blades are maintained and sharpened. no breakdowns to put you days behind. im sure she wasnt thining of it this way, but its true none the less.

birddseedd
03-20-2013, 02:40 PM
But dont get me wrong. my 30 year old bobcat walk behind will out plow my under 1000 hours 62" toro any day as far as looks.

Glenn Lawn Care
03-20-2013, 03:39 PM
Truck/trailer appearance is everything in my opinion. You don't see the big guys driving trucks that are 15 years old and rusted out, they have new equipment.

birddseedd
03-20-2013, 03:40 PM
i know. i want one of devissers trailers sooo bad.

ponyboy
03-20-2013, 03:44 PM
I posted already my thoughts now a question any clients ask you what equipment you use and how old is it
Posted via Mobile Device

yardguy29
03-20-2013, 06:24 PM
I've never had a client or potential client ask me what equipment I use or how old is it. a few have asked if I use my own but that's it.

rickstang
03-23-2013, 03:42 PM
I think you have to get that smooth medum. Don't have a four door dualy and a fancy trailer. I have a new ford f150 with a nice enclosed trailer.And I have my logo across the side for advertising. I think it gets me more buisness. But, who knows right?

birddseedd
03-23-2013, 04:14 PM
appearance defiantly gets you more. its all about looks. in fact I'm putting an office in my trailer. do a walk through then step into the office. customer gets to sit in my chair as j slip in one next to the desk. pull out paperwork for all their options or even set up the laptop and show them some landscape options. even have supplier mags out so they can browse and chose materials.

Banksy
03-23-2013, 05:01 PM
appearance defiantly gets you more. its all about looks. in fact I'm putting an office in my trailer. do a walk through then step into the office. customer gets to sit in my chair as j slip in one next to the desk. pull out paperwork for all their options or even set up the laptop and show them some landscape options. even have supplier mags out so they can browse and chose materials.

Let me play "Joe Homeowner" customer for a minute. If you came to my house and asked me to come into your trailer, I would feel weird and wouldn't do it. What I would be comfortable with is you come into my house (neatly dressed and groomed) with your lap top and small printer to discuss my options as your customer.

That's an interesting idea, but not at all practical. I don't see any customers wanting to climb around your equipment. Really, bird. You weren't going to do this.

knox gsl
03-23-2013, 05:29 PM
Let me play "Joe Homeowner" customer for a minute. If you came to my house and asked me to come into your trailer, I would feel weird and wouldn't do it. What I would be comfortable with is you come into my house (neatly dressed and groomed) with your lap top and small printer to discuss my options as your customer.

That's an interesting idea, but not at all practical. I don't see any customers wanting to climb around your equipment. Really, bird. You weren't going to do this.

I think that's his plan. I would hate to drag that big trailer around for estimates.

birddseedd
03-23-2013, 05:35 PM
The office area woudl be separated from teh equipment. carped. even a small couch aswell as a computer chair.

knox gsl
03-23-2013, 05:38 PM
The office area woudl be separated from teh equipment. carped. even a small couch aswell as a computer chair.

How big is that thing?

yardguy29
03-23-2013, 05:51 PM
I think you have to get that smooth medum. Don't have a four door dualy and a fancy trailer. I have a new ford f150 with a nice enclosed trailer.And I have my logo across the side for advertising. I think it gets me more buisness. But, who knows right?

already got the fancy trailer. think I'll be looking for a 4 door dually next. the combo would be perfect.

birddseedd
03-23-2013, 07:07 PM
How big is that thing?

the box is 2 fish foot

Banksy
03-23-2013, 07:09 PM
What's a fish foot?
Posted via Mobile Device

birddseedd
03-23-2013, 07:13 PM
its a phone correction. the box is about 20 foot.

jrs.landscaping
03-23-2013, 07:13 PM
appearance defiantly gets you more. its all about looks. in fact I'm putting an office in my trailer. do a walk through then step into the office. customer gets to sit in my chair as j slip in one next to the desk. pull out paperwork for all their options or even set up the laptop and show them some landscape options. even have supplier mags out so they can browse and chose materials.

You know a $500 dollar tablet would do all of that and take up less trailer space :drinkup:

birddseedd
03-23-2013, 07:15 PM
well. even if customers don't see it it still be nice for my own use.

Banksy
03-23-2013, 07:42 PM
We could all use that when the old ladies kick us out.
Posted via Mobile Device

birddseedd
03-23-2013, 07:57 PM
actually when I said I will live in the trailer when we get divorced she said she would take the trailer

BOSS LAWN 2343
03-23-2013, 08:31 PM
appearance defiantly gets you more. its all about looks. in fact I'm putting an office in my trailer. do a walk through then step into the office. customer gets to sit in my chair as j slip in one next to the desk. pull out paperwork for all their options or even set up the laptop and show them some landscape options. even have supplier mags out so they can browse and chose materials.

This has to be a joke?

Let me play "Joe Homeowner" customer for a minute. If you came to my house and asked me to come into your trailer, I would feel weird and wouldn't do it. What I would be comfortable with is you come into my house (neatly dressed and groomed) with your lap top and small printer to discuss my options as your customer.

That's an interesting idea, but not at all practical. I don't see any customers wanting to climb around your equipment. Really, bird. You weren't going to do this.

:laugh:

birddseedd
03-23-2013, 08:39 PM
even if it turns out to be for only personal use I think it be nice

caseysmowing
03-26-2013, 09:23 PM
Appearance does matter. At least it does to me and that all that matters to me. When I see someone rolling down the street with junk I'm just not thinking that they really don't care about anything. They may talk a good talk, but when you look at what they do closely, the differences are apparent. Even in the way they take care of their customers. I don't believe the equipment must be new, but it does have to be taken care of. This truck belongs to a friend of mine. 99% of you would be horrified to ride in this piece of junk, as am I. He does an okay job on lawns, not great, and he's never interested in doing extra stuff like trimming bushes. When I sold my company in MD he got first pick. He didn't want any of the fancy jobs with full service. Just the simple stuff. His company policies, like insisting upon being paid each week, is driving what few high end customers he has away. He rides around week after week, like a paper boy, collecting from his customers.

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb56/RMartin631/mower%20stuff/truck_zps5a740b2c.jpg

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb56/RMartin631/mower%20stuff/trucktrimmer_zps2b7af841.jpg

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb56/RMartin631/mower%20stuff/truckmower_zpsc8a9eba3.jpg

Perfect!! This seems to be what some people on here are looking for in a contractor but not me. Not making enough to run a proper business because you are lazy, not charging enough, or spending all your earnings on other things.
Posted via Mobile Device

Richard Martin
03-26-2013, 09:56 PM
Perfect!! This seems to be what some people on here are looking for in a contractor but not me. Not making enough to run a proper business because you are lazy, not charging enough, or spending all your earnings on other things.

Nah, that's not why his equipment looks like this. He's made a few poor decisions that haven't helped matters any but the root cause is not his own. He's gotten stuck living where the times and cost of living have far passed him by. He's moving into his mid 50's and long ago became stubborn and set in his ways. He is what his environment and days gone by have made him. There is very little that he can do now to change things.

He was very suited for the place that where he lives now used to be. It was a blue collar area with little old white haired widows spent their final years. He would do just what these type of people wanted. Houses were cheap and the cost of living was too.

But then about 15 years ago the area started shifting as the area was "found" by people with money and well being. The price of real estate quadrupled in just a few years and the market shifted. The new residents were looking for things that he is either unwilling or unable to provide. Then the Great Recession hit and that has just about put the last nail in his businesses coffin. It's on life support now, having lost many customers and his 2 biggest jobs, one just a few weeks ago.

yardguy29
03-26-2013, 10:05 PM
Perfect!! This seems to be what some people on here are looking for in a contractor but not me. Not making enough to run a proper business because you are lazy, not charging enough, or spending all your earnings on other things.
Posted via Mobile Device

since when do clients care whether someone they hire makes enough at there business to run it properly. since when do clients care if someone they hire is charging enough. since when do clients care where someone they are hiring spends there money.

birddseedd
03-26-2013, 11:01 PM
Nah, that's not why his equipment looks like this. He's made a few poor decisions that haven't helped matters any but the root cause is not his own. He's gotten stuck living where the times and cost of living have far passed him by. He's moving into his mid 50's and long ago became stubborn and set in his ways. He is what his environment and days gone by have made him. There is very little that he can do now to change things.

He was very suited for the place that where he lives now used to be. It was a blue collar area with little old white haired widows spent their final years. He would do just what these type of people wanted. Houses were cheap and the cost of living was too.

But then about 15 years ago the area started shifting as the area was "found" by people with money and well being. The price of real estate quadrupled in just a few years and the market shifted. The new residents were looking for things that he is either unwilling or unable to provide. Then the Great Recession hit and that has just about put the last nail in his businesses coffin. It's on life support now, having lost many customers and his 2 biggest jobs, one just a few weeks ago.

no..... (to that phrase, not your post)

he should take some soap to that mower. that alone would help quite a bit.

birddseedd
03-26-2013, 11:03 PM
I think part of it might be that (i dont know this guy or the story) is he failed to let the business expand. business that are not allowed to expand often go under. business that expand to quickly often go under

caseysmowing
03-27-2013, 07:28 AM
since when do clients care whether someone they hire makes enough at there business to run it properly. since when do clients care if someone they hire is charging enough. since when do clients care where someone they are hiring spends there money.

Not what I meant. They want a professional!! Not just someone that does great yard work but someone that handles themselves and there business like a professional. Let's say a door to door salesmen came by your house selling whatever. Pants around his ass, dirty looking, tattoos on there face, no teeth, and talking like they have no sense. Would you even think about handing them money let alone in your house??
Posted via Mobile Device

CreativeLawncareSolutions
03-27-2013, 08:48 AM
It matters a lot less than a lot of you guys are willing to admit. Price is almost always the deciding factor. Reliability would be the next most important factor. This is why we pick up jobs in July.

Appearance? 5 tops. Just don't look like a complete hilljack. Speak clearly. Wear clean clothes. This is all common sense stuff, though.

32vld
03-27-2013, 09:34 AM
If I was that broke and had a truck like that one I would do a rattle can paint job. Chestnut Brown wood stain the particle board bed racks.

Trailer would get a brush and black rustoleum paint the metal. Stain the wood floor of the trailer.

Then clean up all that equipment.

My own trailer every year gets the hunter green paint just before I start my lawn season. Along with staining the wood floor and wood side racks.

He is sending the message that I do not even care about my own property so I am not going to care about your property.

He has bigger issues then his equipment.

I bet if he was asked to join a landscape forum he would not want to do that either.

32vld
03-27-2013, 09:45 AM
It matters a lot less than a lot of you guys are willing to admit. Price is almost always the deciding factor. Reliability would be the next most important factor. This is why we pick up jobs in July.

Appearance? 5 tops. Just don't look like a complete hilljack. Speak clearly. Wear clean clothes. This is all common sense stuff, though.

Price shoppers go to Mc Donalds. They do no care about quality. They just know they will not feel hungry.

Those that are smarter and want quality realize going to a good diner you will spend the same for a deluxe burger plater then if you get the big mac and supersize you are spending the same money.

Then there are those that want the best, they go to the 5 star restaurant.

All customers want value for their money.

I just want the customers that value having their grounds look the best that they can.

CreativeLawncareSolutions
03-27-2013, 09:56 AM
Price shoppers go to Mc Donalds. They do no care about quality. They just know they will not feel hungry.

Those that are smarter and want quality realize going to a good diner you will spend the same for a deluxe burger plater then if you get the big mac and supersize you are spending the same money.

Then there are those that want the best, they go to the 5 star restaurant.

All customers want value for their money.

I just want the customers that value having their grounds look the best that they can.

This is simply not true. No matter how many times you say it isn't going to make it so, either. People are interested in price and price only 9 out of 10 times. We mow grass. We plant shrubs. We do not work in a laboratory trying to discover a cure for cancer. Any idiot can do just a good a job as the next in this business if they have the equipment and the drive (and most people have both). Lets not pretend it's anything but exactly that.

Appearance can help you win out if you're the same price as someone else. I don't really see any LCO's around my area that look any differently than the next one, though. Truck, trailer, mowers, clothing, advertisements, etc are all basically identical.

birddseedd
03-27-2013, 10:11 AM
It matters a lot less than a lot of you guys are willing to admit. Price is almost always the deciding factor. Reliability would be the next most important factor. This is why we pick up jobs in July.

Appearance? 5 tops. Just don't look like a complete hilljack. Speak clearly. Wear clean clothes. This is all common sense stuff, though.

I dont know. around here the bigger companies look a heck of alot better.

birddseedd
03-27-2013, 10:12 AM
Price shoppers go to Mc Donalds. They do no care about quality. They just know they will not feel hungry.

Those that are smarter and want quality realize going to a good diner you will spend the same for a deluxe burger plater then if you get the big mac and supersize you are spending the same money.

Then there are those that want the best, they go to the 5 star restaurant.

All customers want value for their money.

I just want the customers that value having their grounds look the best that they can.

i usualy go to burger king because its a bit better quality health wise.

KG26
03-27-2013, 01:44 PM
I don't really see how or why that matters when you go on quote runs the prospect is not seeing your equipment. :confused:

CreativeLawncareSolutions
03-27-2013, 03:47 PM
I don't really see how or why that matters when you go on quote runs the prospect is not seeing your equipment. :confused:

It doesn't matter at all. People are fooling themselves.

jrs.landscaping
03-27-2013, 04:22 PM
In today's world, I think the best representation of your business is your website. It allows you to showcase your work, equipment, and generally what sets you apart from the other companies in your area.

BOSS LAWN 2343
03-27-2013, 05:27 PM
I dont know. around here the bigger companies look a heck of alot better.

They have been around longer and may be more established.

i usualy go to burger king because its a bit better quality health wise.

Horse meat burgers :hammerhead:

jrs.landscaping
03-27-2013, 05:36 PM
Horse meat burgers :hammerhead:

It's leaner than Kangaroo ;)

birddseedd
03-27-2013, 07:23 PM
shrugs. less greesy than mc donalds

KG26
03-27-2013, 09:28 PM
It doesn't matter at all. People are fooling themselves.
I agree, don't get me wrong I clean my trailer out when it needs it but for the most part I just make sure tools are in place, and not just in there. With that being said when I go to a quote I show up neat, and presentable.

CreativeLawncareSolutions
03-27-2013, 09:34 PM
I agree, don't get me wrong I clean my trailer out when it needs it but for the most part I just make sure tools are in place, and not just in there. With that being said when I go to a quote I show up neat, and presentable.

Of course. That goes without saying. I can guarantee you though that the majority of my customers couldn't even pick my truck out of a lineup. They're not home when I'm mowing their lawn!

32vld
03-27-2013, 09:36 PM
This is simply not true. No matter how many times you say it isn't going to make it so, either. People are interested in price and price only 9 out of 10 times. We mow grass. We plant shrubs. We do not work in a laboratory trying to discover a cure for cancer. Any idiot can do just a good a job as the next in this business if they have the equipment and the drive (and most people have both). Lets not pretend it's anything but exactly that.



There are people that want quality. I got a lady that got tired of going for price and went for quailty. She was paying $40. She pays me $72. Actually she gives me four twenty's, an $8 tip, every week for mow, edge, blow. It is true.

I will give you that we do not do brain surgury.

Any idiot?

Well this industry must be filled with sub idiots because of all the poor quality work being done.

This work is so simple, yet LCO's rut lawns. We have people here rutting lawns. They can't handle driving a mower.

So what?

Well when that sub idiot gets his trailer loaded he then is driving a truck pulling a trailer.

birddseedd
03-27-2013, 09:55 PM
You are right in one thing, on average the customer is not going to see you directly. as was stated, they arnt home.

but having good looking equipment has to do with marketing that is not directly measurable. I forget what its called, but its about having potential customers see you on several fronts, see your flyer, flashers, radio, even billboards. Think about a commercial you see all the time, you dont really think about it untill you hear the ad on the radio.

good looking equipment is the same thing. its simply another front. say they see your flyer a couple times. and see you in a flasher or something. and then all of a sudden a big white 20 foot enclosed trailer next to them with your logo painted across it. the more and different ways they see you, the more likely they are to think of you when they want service.

CreativeLawncareSolutions
03-27-2013, 10:09 PM
You are right in one thing, on average the customer is not going to see you directly. as was stated, they arnt home.

but having good looking equipment has to do with marketing that is not directly measurable. I forget what its called, but its about having potential customers see you on several fronts, see your flyer, flashers, radio, even billboards. Think about a commercial you see all the time, you dont really think about it untill you hear the ad on the radio.

good looking equipment is the same thing. its simply another front. say they see your flyer a couple times. and see you in a flasher or something. and then all of a sudden a big white 20 foot enclosed trailer next to them with your logo painted across it. the more and different ways they see you, the more likely they are to think of you when they want service.

Branding.

I agree that it is useful. I'm not saying it's ok to drive a beater and mow lawns shirtless. I just think people put way too much stock into it. Price is what ultimately rules the day.

BOSS LAWN 2343
03-27-2013, 10:20 PM
Branding.

I agree that it is useful. I'm not saying it's ok to drive a beater and mow lawns shirtless. I just think people put way too much stock into it. Price is what ultimately rules the day.


I don't know any LCO's in my area that mow shirtless, even last year when it was over 100 degrees out. Good points though :weightlifter:

KG26
03-27-2013, 10:35 PM
Of course. That goes without saying. I can guarantee you though that the majority of my customers couldn't even pick my truck out of a lineup. They're not home when I'm mowing their lawn!

Isn't that the best, makes me feel like a landscaping ninja! this is when the landscaping ninja appears >> :blob2: closest thing to a ninja I could find >> :cool2: :blob2: << Ninja leaving.

birddseedd
03-28-2013, 12:19 AM
Branding.

I agree that it is useful. I'm not saying it's ok to drive a beater and mow lawns shirtless. I just think people put way too much stock into it. Price is what ultimately rules the day.

so in other words, the person that gets the most work and makes the most money is the one who charges the least?

Toro 455
03-28-2013, 07:22 AM
I will give you that we do not do brain surgury.

Can you imagine a surgeon managing their own lawn? I can. When it comes to taking care of a lawn they're not as smart as you might think.

Can you give us another example? Rocket scientist maybe? OOps! Nope! I've known one of those too. He wasn't that great at lawn mowing.

It's like that Prilosec commercial on TV. Do you want your doctor doing your job? I just HOPE my doctor is as good at his job as I am at mine.

cpllawncare
03-28-2013, 07:41 AM
I think you have to get that smooth medum. Don't have a four door dualy and a fancy trailer. I have a new ford f150 with a nice enclosed trailer.And I have my logo across the side for advertising. I think it gets me more buisness. But, who knows right?

I track all my marketing efforts, I can tell you where every lead came from, if it came from the lettering on the truck I know that, if it came from a referral I know that, same for Door hangers, post cards, website and any other marketing I do. Otherwise how do you know what's working and what's not? And where to concentrate your marketing money?

CreativeLawncareSolutions
03-28-2013, 08:13 AM
I track all my marketing efforts, I can tell you where every lead came from, if it came from the lettering on the truck I know that, if it came from a referral I know that, same for Door hangers, post cards, website and any other marketing I do. Otherwise how do you know what's working and what's not? And where to concentrate your marketing money?

This is key. You gotta ask.

PlatinumPlus
03-28-2013, 06:17 PM
i agree with knowing where all your business and leads are coming from. its Crucial and will make you profitable if you track it

birddseedd
03-28-2013, 06:26 PM
one of my hopefully new customers came from a felow realistate agent that emailed everyone

Stillwater
03-30-2013, 01:34 AM
I have been in business longer than dirt is old and am considered extremely successful, I give truck and equipment appearance a 4 their are many aspects of running a business that take priority over the fact your equipment shines but maintaining your equipment to a safe and presentable and legal level is a must. our equipment is not purchased to impress its is hear to earn money.
Posted via Mobile Device

newguy123
03-30-2013, 12:33 PM
I have been in business longer than dirt is old and am considered extremely successful, I give truck and equipment appearance a 4 their are many aspects of running a business that take priority over the fact your equipment shines but maintaining your equipment to a safe and presentable and legal level is a must. our equipment is not purchased to impress its is hear to earn money.
Posted via Mobile Device

Very interesting sir, thank you for your input!

wagil
06-19-2013, 08:28 PM
I guess my 95 Chevy 2500 2 tone wouldn't make it in today's world even though there isn't a lick of rust on it.

I would agree FLASH does sell, and it sells all day long. It;s just human nature so gravitate towards the new and shinny object.

If a guy is operating out of an open trailer it wouldn't be to hard to strip the racks and other things in order to repaint it every other year. Same goes with mowers put a bag over the motor, seat, and hydro's and get to it.

I've been in the concessions business for 9 years and i see it all the time. people will pay more for the same item just for the wow factor. believe it or not, when you roll up to a job your an extension of the customer while your parked doing that particular job. and as odd as it sounds they take as much pride in your equipment as you do, they just might not know it. so I would give appearance at least an 8. shirts are cheap if nothing else buy a bunch of blanks from jiffyshirt so everyone on the crew at least has a matching t-shirt.

Prestige-Lawncare
06-21-2013, 11:26 AM
I am big on appearance. How you look shows how you are, how you operate your business, what you put into your work and your business. A perfect example (and I don't usually like using examples, such as one of these) .. but look at those in sales, Real Estate, and of course lawyers. They dress and carry themselves in a professional manner because people perceive them as successful because of the way the dress and appear. If they look good, they appear to make money .. therefore they must be good at what they do.

Just my opinion.

4seasonsturfandsnow
06-24-2013, 11:20 AM
There is no black and white on this one.

Some customers could care less about appearance. They know what price they want to pay and they want the job done right. Other customers want professionalism and a corporate feel. I think people feel comfortable with corporate, it makes them feel safe.

At the end of the day though it's always going to be worth it to look good.

RSK Property Maintenance
06-24-2013, 08:13 PM
There is no black and white on this one.

Some customers could care less about appearance. They know what price they want to pay and they want the job done right. Other customers want professionalism and a corporate feel. I think people feel comfortable with corporate, it makes them feel safe.

At the end of the day though it's always going to be worth it to look good.

ya, looking good never got anyone less business. more people are gonna see a truck going down the road with a mower behind it, then any ads you might have anywhere. but looking like garbage, could stop people from calling, depending on how superficial the people in your area are depends on how much they care about what your truck, trailer, and equipment looks like. for the areas i work in 70-80% don't care as long as you are the right price, and do a decent job.

ducnut
06-25-2013, 12:00 PM
I am big on appearance. How you look shows how you are, how you operate your business, what you put into your work and your business. A perfect example (and I don't usually like using examples, such as one of these) .. but look at those in sales, Real Estate, and of course lawyers. They dress and carry themselves in a professional manner because people perceive them as successful because of the way the dress and appear. If they look good, they appear to make money .. therefore they must be good at what they do.

Just my opinion.

I totally agree with this.

Put two outfits at the same client, offering the same service, at the same price, and the most professional looking will get the job every time. Even if the more professional looking costs a bit more, they'll still get the job.

mont750
06-26-2013, 01:40 PM
newquy123
I believe your question really goes to how you want your company perceived? We all talk so much about branding and what we want customers and potential customers to think when they see us pull up to a job site or going down the road. I can tell you you don't have to have brand new equipment to present a professional image. However in my humble opinion and experience we are best serve when our equipment what ever it is, is clean and functioning correctly when we are out in the field. The question I ask of myself is would I want my company setting in front of my home working on my property. There are many aspects to what we do, however as with most businesses it's the little things that separate the really good ones from the average ones. Hope that helps.
BM
Mow N Lawns

LBOperator
06-26-2013, 03:46 PM
I don't know if I can ad any light but here's my 2 cents. My pulling truck is an old Dodge W250 Power Ram, it's kinda beat up but it's clean, my trailer is plain but I keep it painted black at all times, don't want to show rust. And I have been taking my wife's nice Xterra to quote jobs and I wear a nice polo shirt kacky shorts and decent shoes. I don't go in a suit, but I could play a round of golf and not get kicked off the course. My equipment is clean and well maintained but if I relied solely on how my big truck and brand new Scag looked, I would get any yards. I am fairly new to the business, and don't get me wrong once I get 20+ yards a week I will be looking to upgrade, but I will always buy very good condition used unless the dealer has something I just can't pass up.

knox gsl
06-26-2013, 11:34 PM
I don't know if I can ad any light but here's my 2 cents. My pulling truck is an old Dodge W250 Power Ram, it's kinda beat up but it's clean, my trailer is plain but I keep it painted black at all times, don't want to show rust. And I have been taking my wife's nice Xterra to quote jobs and I wear a nice polo shirt kacky shorts and decent shoes. I don't go in a suit, but I could play a round of golf and not get kicked off the course. My equipment is clean and well maintained but if I relied solely on how my big truck and brand new Scag looked, I would get any yards. I am fairly new to the business, and don't get me wrong once I get 20+ yards a week I will be looking to upgrade, but I will always buy very good condition used unless the dealer has something I just can't pass up.

Is the Ram a 4x4, cummins, 5 speed?

herler
06-27-2013, 01:11 AM
I drive a rat looking truck and most if not all my equipment looks the part.
I'm talking dents and panels out of line and paint missing and rust holes, you dig it?
That's me.

Now get a load of this ...

I totally agree with this.

Put two outfits at the same client, offering the same service, at the same price, and the most professional looking will get the job every time. Even if the more professional looking costs a bit more, they'll still get the job.

Wouldn't a rat mobile owner be the fool to offer the same price as the pros?
Especially considering, a rat truck like mine costs $2,500.
Compared to a new 3/4 ton, 30 or 40 thousand.

You guys understand this cost difference?
You guys understand my truck is all paid for, that my insurance is tons cheaper?
You understand that just because of that, my costs are already a lot lower?

So what happens if the owner of the rat outfit does as good a job as your so-called pro?
And charges according to his costs, which are lower...

No man, I'm not talking a 'bit' lower.
I'm talking $40 instead of $65.

GUESS WHO GETS THE JOB!!!

echo
06-27-2013, 01:24 AM
You have to get hired first to prove you can do as good of a job.
Posted via Mobile Device

LBOperator
06-27-2013, 02:55 AM
Is the Ram a 4x4, cummins, 5 speed?

This one has the Z block 360 in it, and it's a 4 speed with bulldog big Dana's front and rear. I just sold a 12 valve last year. When this engine goes I have a 12 Valve Cummins that's going in it. I love these body style trucks, almost impossible to find not rusted out nowadays, and if you do there expensive.

32vld
06-27-2013, 08:36 AM
I drive a rat looking truck and most if not all my equipment looks the part.
I'm talking dents and panels out of line and paint missing and rust holes, you dig it?
That's me.

Now get a load of this ...



Wouldn't a rat mobile owner be the fool to offer the same price as the pros?
Especially considering, a rat truck like mine costs $2,500.
Compared to a new 3/4 ton, 30 or 40 thousand.

You guys understand this cost difference?
You guys understand my truck is all paid for, that my insurance is tons cheaper?
You understand that just because of that, my costs are already a lot lower?

So what happens if the owner of the rat outfit does as good a job as your so-called pro?
And charges according to his costs, which are lower...

No man, I'm not talking a 'bit' lower.
I'm talking $40 instead of $65.

GUESS WHO GETS THE JOB!!!

To keep costs low is good business. New pickups can be had for $24,000 for 1/2 to $30,000 for 3/4.

To ruin area pricing by being a low baller is not good business.

Low balling the work for 61% of the local going rate makes me wonder why customers or the LCO does not value his work.

"Wouldn't a rat mobile owner be the fool to offer the same price as the pros?"

This sentence structure indicates whether intended or not that a LCO is not running a pro operation. Maybe indicates why low balling is needed to get work.

A better question.

Wouldn't any LCO be the fool to do work at 39% off?

Doing a $100 job for $61 is not good business.

A truck can look old. Dented door, fender, or any bolt on part is easy to change. Trip down to the junky.

Multi hue truck. Trip down to the big box store. 12 rattle cans latter truck is not new looking but is clean and presentable. Showing that this operators cares about his business, his equipment, he will care about my yard.

That $39 from doing work at the non low balling rate will pay for the 12 cans of paint.

ducnut
06-27-2013, 10:04 AM
I drive a rat looking truck and most if not all my equipment looks the part.
I'm talking dents and panels out of line and paint missing and rust holes, you dig it?
That's me.

Now get a load of this ...



Wouldn't a rat mobile owner be the fool to offer the same price as the pros?
Especially considering, a rat truck like mine costs $2,500.
Compared to a new 3/4 ton, 30 or 40 thousand.

You guys understand this cost difference?
You guys understand my truck is all paid for, that my insurance is tons cheaper?
You understand that just because of that, my costs are already a lot lower?

So what happens if the owner of the rat outfit does as good a job as your so-called pro?
And charges according to his costs, which are lower...

No man, I'm not talking a 'bit' lower.
I'm talking $40 instead of $65.

GUESS WHO GETS THE JOB!!!

Dude, don't be offended.

LBOperator
06-27-2013, 05:50 PM
My truck is kind of beat up, but I am never going to lo ball because I want to make money not just get a job.

A PLUS Lawn Care Services
06-29-2013, 11:06 AM
I think vanncann hit right on the money, if you price the job correctly you should not have any issues and you will have better chance of getting it if you have the nice looking truck and more professional equipment end of story.

ExmarkBoy
06-29-2013, 05:50 PM
A 9 or 10. Those sort of people choose services like ours on how clean, professional, and expensive you look. I would look into a fleet wash plan from Mike's Express. Pretty cheap.

bluescapes
05-17-2014, 01:09 AM
First impressions are everything. If your truck , equipment and uniforms are dirty and in disrepair. A homeowner with think, if they don't care about themselves and what belongs to them, how can I trust them to take care of what belongs to me.

gallihergreen
05-17-2014, 02:29 PM
A homeowner with think, if they don't care about themselves and what belongs to them, how can I trust them to take care of what belongs to me.

Absolutely! End of thread IMO.
Posted via Mobile Device

RSK Property Maintenance
05-21-2014, 08:42 AM
http://i1286.photobucket.com/albums/a608/Ryan_Krajewski/C3B9F9A4-34C3-44E9-967B-5B6C7C973181_zpsva7dmddh.jpg (http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/Ryan_Krajewski/media/C3B9F9A4-34C3-44E9-967B-5B6C7C973181_zpsva7dmddh.jpg.html)

here's my estimate truck, I use it for work on nice days...rainy days or even days its wet out, I drive the 97 which the bumper is hanging off, I secured it with a ratchet strap so it doesn't fall off, I got to where I am without the newer nicer truck, so it might help some, but the older used looking truck with a small amount of surface rust will work just fine.

Turf Commando
05-25-2014, 12:41 AM
I've obtained many jobs in high class areas. It wasn't my truck or mowers it was my work that spoke.
Do a good job surpass other so called pros and work will seek you out.
Posted via Mobile Device

ROS_Grounds
05-25-2014, 02:09 AM
Appearance is very important...

But not necessarily how new your equipment looks, but rather how clean and professional you and your work appear.
No one wants to see dirty machines that just scream out that they are carrying weeds and diseases from the job you did on Friday.
No one wants to see us with ripped clothes or with no shirt on.
If we can't spend the time or money (for those without pressure washers) to wash our trucks and trailers once a week, what message does that send?

Does a truck and mower need to be brand new? Absolutely not... But in good professional order!

IMHO

southerntide
05-25-2014, 07:53 AM
I've obtained many jobs in high class areas. It wasn't my truck or mowers it was my work that spoke.
Do a good job surpass other so called pros and work will seek you out.
Posted via Mobile Device

Quality of work speaks for itself, over how nice or new your vehicle is and clean your equipment is, if you have time to keep your mower washed and waxed everyday then your really not working much :laugh:

ducnut
05-25-2014, 11:48 PM
Quality of work speaks for itself, over how nice or new your vehicle is and clean your equipment is, if you have time to keep your mower washed and waxed everyday then your really not working much :laugh:

How do you keep it so clean I don't even have time to wash mine lol

But, you have time to sit on the internet. :confused:

Plowguy43
06-10-2014, 09:11 AM
http://i1286.photobucket.com/albums/a608/Ryan_Krajewski/C3B9F9A4-34C3-44E9-967B-5B6C7C973181_zpsva7dmddh.jpg (http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/Ryan_Krajewski/media/C3B9F9A4-34C3-44E9-967B-5B6C7C973181_zpsva7dmddh.jpg.html)

here's my estimate truck, I use it for work on nice days...rainy days or even days its wet out, I drive the 97 which the bumper is hanging off, I secured it with a ratchet strap so it doesn't fall off, I got to where I am without the newer nicer truck, so it might help some, but the older used looking truck with a small amount of surface rust will work just fine.

That's a nice looking truck! I agree if you are prospecting new business then having a professional/clean appearance can be important in certain markets (upscale neighborhoods). Although if you are referred to someone because you are the best at what you do, but you drive an old beater truck/trailer - you can still pick up plenty of business that way.

I knew of a guy who used an old beat up Datsun pickup and had a town in Cape Cod locked down, all upscale houses and this guy was amazing at keeping lawns & vegetation perfectly groomed. His word of mouth business spread like crazy, but I guarantee he would've been shut down if he went door to door in that truck he had.

grassmonkey0311
06-10-2014, 10:34 AM
Of course. That goes without saying. I can guarantee you though that the majority of my customers couldn't even pick my truck out of a lineup. They're not home when I'm mowing their lawn!

Sorry Creative, I gotta duke it out with you on this one :drinkup:

My trucks don't look good for my current customers...they look good for my FUTURE customers. When my guys are driving from lawn to lawn, this is when people see them the most. Not in some cul-de-sac out in the middle of no where.

I think a good truck/trailer will go a long way. I'd give it an 8 or 9 on the 1-10 scale. It's the image you are showing potential customers about your business. If you have a beat up old mini van towing a 5x8 trailer with a toro that looks like it won't make it through another lawn, whats a potential new customer going to think?

I think it plays a large part in your image, branding, and seriousness of building your business. On the flip side, if you are a solo op and want to stay solo, then I don't think it makes a difference. Your not trying to grow, your just trying to maintain.

ducnut
06-10-2014, 10:45 AM
On the flip side, if you are a solo op and want to stay solo, then I don't think it makes a difference. Your not trying to grow, your just trying to maintain.

^^^ I strongly disagree.

You need to stay sharp, no matter. The customer you have today could be gone tomorrow. I'm always looking for new work/customers.

One never knows what opening the next door will bring. If one looks like a hack, there will be fewer doors to open.

grassmonkey0311
06-10-2014, 11:03 AM
^^^ I strongly disagree.

You need to stay sharp, no matter. The customer you have today could be gone tomorrow. I'm always looking for new work/customers.

One never knows what opening the next door will bring. If one looks like a hack, there will be fewer doors to open.

I'm not saying it's ok to look like a hack. I'm saying its less important than a guy trying to brand and build a business. Big difference.

A solo op with a decent working truck and trailer will suffice.

Plowguy43
06-10-2014, 11:04 AM
Sorry Creative, I gotta duke it out with you on this one :drinkup:

My trucks don't look good for my current customers...they look good for my FUTURE customers. When my guys are driving from lawn to lawn, this is when people see them the most. Not in some cul-de-sac out in the middle of no where.

I think a good truck/trailer will go a long way. I'd give it an 8 or 9 on the 1-10 scale. It's the image you are showing potential customers about your business. If you have a beat up old mini van towing a 5x8 trailer with a toro that looks like it won't make it through another lawn, whats a potential new customer going to think?

I think it plays a large part in your image, branding, and seriousness of building your business. On the flip side, if you are a solo op and want to stay solo, then I don't think it makes a difference. Your not trying to grow, your just trying to maintain.

Agree about the future customer part, but I don't think anyone in business really stays happy with no growth.

^^^ I strongly disagree.

You need to stay sharp, no matter. The customer you have today could be gone tomorrow. I'm always looking for new work/customers.

One never knows what opening the next door will bring. If one looks like a hack, there will be fewer doors to open.

True!

On the flip side, do you think that "overly" nice/new/expensive looking trucks could hurt your business?

What I mean by that is, a guy driving a brand new platinum crew cab F350 Diesel towing an enclosed trailer with new equipment may look very expensive and someone wanting a simple cut of their lawn may not bother calling him because they may get the impression that his prices will be very high due to his overhead?

grassmonkey0311
06-10-2014, 11:16 AM
I know quite a few who are happy with no growth. One has 125 customers, its him and a helper. He only keeps it at that and doesn't want to grow. Many guys on here are happy staying solo....theres only so much a solo op can do.

Over expensive...eh....I get what you mean. To me it would show the company has done well, they are proven, and many people must be happy with them. My father in law thinks the opposite, as he never drives his car to a quote- always an older company truck of his. To each their own on that one.

whiffyspark
06-10-2014, 11:25 AM
Agree about the future customer part, but I don't think anyone in business really stays happy with no growth.



True!

On the flip side, do you think that "overly" nice/new/expensive looking trucks could hurt your business?

What I mean by that is, a guy driving a brand new platinum crew cab F350 Diesel towing an enclosed trailer with new equipment may look very expensive and someone wanting a simple cut of their lawn may not bother calling him because they may get the impression that his prices will be very high due to his overhead?

There's a company around here called scapes. His work trucks are lariats. Every truck matches. Burgundy with gold bottom

The whole crap on here about someone having an expensive truck is just an excuse for people to feel better about them selves

Your customer does care wether you realize it or not. Especially in the keeping up with the jones neighborhoods
Posted via Mobile Device

Plowguy43
06-10-2014, 12:19 PM
I agree with the high end neighborhoods for sure. Those places generally do things "just because" their neighbor is.

I just wonder if in some of the middle class style neighborhoods if some people pass on those higher end looking companies because they just want a simple service without the extra's and think they'll get it cheaper elsewhere.

I know that in my town most people post on facebook asking for teenage kids to come mow their lawn, I used to say something but have since given up.

32vld
06-10-2014, 11:08 PM
I know quite a few who are happy with no growth. One has 125 customers, its him and a helper. He only keeps it at that and doesn't want to grow. Many guys on here are happy staying solo....theres only so much a solo op can do.

Over expensive...eh....I get what you mean. To me it would show the company has done well, they are proven, and many people must be happy with them. My father in law thinks the opposite, as he never drives his car to a quote- always an older company truck of his. To each their own on that one.

Driving up in a Corvette or equivalently expense auto screams this guy charges too much. He is ripping people off.

Maybe not the truth but the it is the image that it projects.

whiffyspark
06-10-2014, 11:10 PM
Driving up in a Corvette or equivalently expense auto screams this guy charges too much. He is ripping people off.

Maybe not the truth but the it is the image that it projects.

Nah that's what YOU think. If you have a kitchen contractor pull up in an escalade what are you going to think? Would you rather someone pull up in a beat up 90s pos?

Even a "normal" work truck is approaching 40k these days.

ducnut
06-11-2014, 04:03 AM
I just wonder if in some of the middle class style neighborhoods if some people pass on those higher end looking companies because they just want a simple service without the extra's and think they'll get it cheaper elsewhere.

I know that in my town most people post on facebook asking for teenage kids to come mow their lawn, I used to say something but have since given up.

That's because they're more concerned with paying $15 for the mow, as opposed to getting a better product, without risk, at the correct price of $30. If those kids/low-ballers/whatever would charge appropriately, they could have nicer stuff, pay taxes, and have insurance. I care for two properties across from a guy mowing 4 properties for what I mow two. He's always looking over at me, if we're there at the same time. I'd love to explain it to him, so he could be making a living. Sometimes, I think they feel it's better than spending the day behind a fast food counter. :confused:

BTW, I mow crap to estates, so I'm not sure it hinders me in the lesser areas. For sure, I wouldn't be in the estate areas without my presentation.


On the flip side, do you think that "overly" nice/new/expensive looking trucks could hurt your business?

What I mean by that is, a guy driving a brand new platinum crew cab F350 Diesel towing an enclosed trailer with new equipment may look very expensive and someone wanting a simple cut of their lawn may not bother calling him because they may get the impression that his prices will be very high due to his overhead?

Well, hopefully, the appearance is more to the benefit of staying in and picking up nicer areas, versus what is lost to those who assume the LCO is going to be too high. I'd much rather work one nice property, instead of chasing four lesser properties. You can charge more because they're generally larger, upsell services, and reduce operating expenses by staying out from behind the windshield. I regularly preach that business model and its benefits.

I know of one guy who rocks a black, F550 CC pulling a black, 40' enclosed gooseneck. Everything about him and his crew is pristine. He does a lot of corporate and executive properties. His revenue numbers are staggering. He wouldn't be at that level without his presentation.

Plowguy43
06-11-2014, 09:05 AM
I wish there was a Like or thumbs up button here, because that is a great post.

32vld
06-11-2014, 10:18 AM
Nah that's what YOU think. If you have a kitchen contractor pull up in an escalade what are you going to think? Would you rather someone pull up in a beat up 90s pos?

Even a "normal" work truck is approaching 40k these days.

Pulling up in a $40,000 work truck is not the same as pulling up in a $80,000 personal vehicle.

The nice truck reflects positive on the business. They are not fly by night broke ass.

$80,000 personal vehicle to many indicates that he charges too much. Specially when the customer can not afford a $40,000 vehicle.

32vld
06-11-2014, 10:23 AM
I know of one guy who rocks a black, F550 CC pulling a black, 40' enclosed gooseneck. Everything about him and his crew is pristine. He does a lot of corporate and executive properties. His revenue numbers are staggering. He wouldn't be at that level without his presentation.


Exactly that his image helps him land those job.

People will not go into a greasy spoon and pay $500 for a dinner for two.

Yet they will pay that gladly in a 3 star restaurant with white linen table cloth and napkins.

Though to state that his revenue numbers are good. Without knowing gross and what goes into his pocket, eh.

Plowguy43
06-11-2014, 10:28 AM
I think a lot has to do with your target market as well. Lower income will scoff at an expensive truck, whereas higher end customers want a high end company
Posted via Mobile Device

whiffyspark
06-11-2014, 10:29 AM
Exactly that his image helps him land those job.

People will not go into a greasy spoon and pay $500 for a dinner for two.

Yet they will pay that gladly in a 3 star restaurant with white linen table cloth and napkins.

Though to state that his revenue numbers are good. Without knowing gross and what goes into his pocket, eh.

I do not know of one successful company that doesn't have half decent matching stuff. It's marketing 101

Just because someone has a fleet of matching trucks doesn't mean he's broke as ****. We had 30 trucks where I worked and every single one of them matched. Even the Prius's all matched. Image IS everything. Not everyone thinks like YOU do

If you drive a pos expect pos customers. That simple
Posted via Mobile Device

whiffyspark
06-11-2014, 10:32 AM
I think a lot has to do with your target market as well. Lower income will scoff at an expensive truck, whereas higher end customers want a high end company
Posted via Mobile Device

It doesn't matter. Image is everything.
Posted via Mobile Device

Plowguy43
06-11-2014, 10:37 AM
It doesn't matter. Image is everything.
Posted via Mobile Device
believe me I get what your saying, there are places by me that will slam the door on you if you show up in a nice car. I have the same problem with businesses that I write policies for, I know when to drive my truck and I know when to take my nicer car. Image "is" everything
Posted via Mobile Device

ed2hess
06-11-2014, 07:29 PM
believe me I get what your saying, there are places by me that will slam the door on you if you show up in a nice car. I have the same problem with businesses that I write policies for, I know when to drive my truck and I know when to take my nicer car. Image "is" everything
Posted via Mobile Device

That is the way it is here. They will Not ask a guy that has a nice truck and trailer for bid. They know the price will be more and that is in ehe 300k as well as the million dollar homes. One of the biggest small yard companies gets his trucks from Talibon after they throw them away. And you would call his trailers junk. But the Roving Gardner is cutting in million dollar homes next to the only home we have in neighboorhood.

RSK Property Maintenance
06-17-2014, 12:36 AM
I drove and still drive the older "pos" truck a few times a week. just hit 290k in the old 7.3 and still continue to get great customers, I have had a few over the years and I mean literally only a few that were not good customers and I dropped them. but the others have lasted. the customers that see a nicer newer truck, think (a) wow look at his newer nice and shiny truck on those fancy wheels, he must do a good job and be successful, (b) wow look at his newer nice and shiny truck he must charge a lot. The customer who thinks b is probably not a customer you want to have because they are cheap, and if they don't agree to your pricing then you probably don't want to work for them unless you have no work then you need to work for whoever until you are booked solid then you can weed out the customers you don't like and build a list of perfect clients.

32vld
06-17-2014, 09:13 AM
I drove and still drive the older "pos" truck a few times a week. just hit 290k in the old 7.3 and still continue to get great customers, I have had a few over the years and I mean literally only a few that were not good customers and I dropped them. but the others have lasted. the customers that see a nicer newer truck, think (a) wow look at his newer nice and shiny truck on those fancy wheels, he must do a good job and be successful, (b) wow look at his newer nice and shiny truck he must charge a lot. The customer who thinks b is probably not a customer you want to have because they are cheap, and if they don't agree to your pricing then you probably don't want to work for them unless you have no work then you need to work for whoever until you are booked solid then you can weed out the customers you don't like and build a list of perfect clients.

People expect a old truck to have faded paint and show some wear and tear.

Though they are turned off by the old green truck that has a blue hood, red LF fender, white LF door, stoved in RF door, and has just is covered in as much rust as paint.

Also having a nice truck does not imply that you will get rid of customers that you do not like.

Every customer that pays full price is liked.

If Landscapers would stop buying trucks that they could not afford they would not be desperate for work to make huge truck payments so they would not have to low ball. Hence no need to drop any customers because he would of not taken on any low profit customers.

32vld
06-17-2014, 09:25 AM
A new truck does not turn people off.

The truck is a recognized business tool and expense.

What will turn people off is when that new truck shows up with the new non factory aftermarket wheels and tires, lifts, $$$$$$ of crap in modifications. Making the truck more of a personal vehicle/statement then really needing a work truck.

That moded truck draws just as much negative attention as if the LCO drove up in a new Corvette. Making the statement that I not only charge a lot but I am making a killing off of my customers.

whiffyspark
06-17-2014, 11:02 AM
People expect a old truck to have faded paint and show some wear and tear.

Though they are turned off by the old green truck that has a blue hood, red LF fender, white LF door, stoved in RF door, and has just is covered in as much rust as paint.

Also having a nice truck does not imply that you will get rid of customers that you do not like.

Every customer that pays full price is liked.

If Landscapers would stop buying trucks that they could not afford they would not be desperate for work to make huge truck payments so they would not have to low ball. Hence no need to drop any customers because he would of not taken on any low profit customers.

You make a whole lot of assumptions.
Posted via Mobile Device

yardworketc
06-17-2014, 08:15 PM
New is irrelevant. Well taken care of, clean and maintained is important. You don't need to show you just drove off the car lot. You need to show that you have pride, integrity, and attention to detail. What you drag along reflects on your personality.

Dave

www.yardworketc.net (http://www.yardworketc.net)

whiffyspark
06-17-2014, 08:26 PM
A new truck does not turn people off.

The truck is a recognized business tool and expense.

What will turn people off is when that new truck shows up with the new non factory aftermarket wheels and tires, lifts, $$$$$$ of crap in modifications. Making the truck more of a personal vehicle/statement then really needing a work truck.

That moded truck draws just as much negative attention as if the LCO drove up in a new Corvette. Making the statement that I not only charge a lot but I am making a killing off of my customers.

I guess rsk is a bad business man. His truck is no where bear stock
Posted via Mobile Device

jrs.landscaping
06-17-2014, 08:44 PM
A new truck does not turn people off.

The truck is a recognized business tool and expense.

What will turn people off is when that new truck shows up with the new non factory aftermarket wheels and tires, lifts, $$$$$$ of crap in modifications. Making the truck more of a personal vehicle/statement then really needing a work truck.

That moded truck draws just as much negative attention as if the LCO drove up in a new Corvette. Making the statement that I not only charge a lot but I am making a killing off of my customers.

A guy we sub for has a '14 F350 srw with a lift and fancy tires.

His business does seven figures......... the people he works for must have different opinions from yours ;)
Posted via Mobile Device

curleelawncare
06-17-2014, 10:35 PM
I landed my first commercial account 4 years ago because of "IMAGE" A lady followed me for 6 miles before I stopped for gas. She was looking for a contractor for their HOA. She said my presentation was best because my vehicle and enclosed trailer were clean and tires were shiny with armour all. I landed the job then and still continue to maintain it 4 years later. Little did she know that it was my first week in business.

RSK Property Maintenance
06-19-2014, 11:24 PM
A new truck does not turn people off.

The truck is a recognized business tool and expense.

What will turn people off is when that new truck shows up with the new non factory aftermarket wheels and tires, lifts, $$$$$$ of crap in modifications. Making the truck more of a personal vehicle/statement then really needing a work truck.

That modded truck draws just as much negative attention as if the LCO drove up in a new Corvette. Making the statement that I not only charge a lot but I am making a killing off of my customers.

I don't think the part about fancy wheels is true or a lift or any of that, I think it shows customers you are busy and do a lot of work especially when they see a younger guy like myself pull in a 4 year old truck done somewhat tastefully, they think wow that young man really works hard for his stuff and must be busy. Successful people like to be around other successful people, or at least people who look somewhat successful. Especially in a nicer, newer neighborhood where keeping up with the jones is important.

http://i1286.photobucket.com/albums/a608/Ryan_Krajewski/8968C3FC-D1E1-484E-8ACE-4A8B08FE0CD0_zps3eki1mke.jpg (http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/Ryan_Krajewski/media/8968C3FC-D1E1-484E-8ACE-4A8B08FE0CD0_zps3eki1mke.jpg.html)

this is what my buddy pulls up and does his estimates and works with as you can see. at first when first got it he used to park it and switch to his older but still nice looking 2004 regular cab 6.0 powerstroke on 20" wheels and do estimates in that and then he stopped switching and has been using his dually for estimates for a while, and honestly I don't think he's seen a change in the number of jobs he lands or not. I think the price really determines a lot he's still busy in the spring and fall and summers are slow for his tree business. and yes he's on american force 24" wheels they cost about 10k...not cheap lol and that's a f450 too one of the most badass pick up trucks you can buy.

alexschultz1
06-20-2014, 09:43 PM
10k for wheels....? .......... For WHEELS? In my eyes, when I see $10,000, I see a year of daycare paid off.

RSK Property Maintenance
06-20-2014, 10:49 PM
10k for wheels....? .......... For WHEELS? In my eyes, when I see $10,000, I see a year of daycare paid off.

Hard work pays off.....work hard like my buddy did building his landscape company for 7 years, get 100 accounts to cut weekly, do some shrub pruning, some mulch jobs while living rent free at a girlfriends grandparents house and don't drink at all or do anything but work and save almost all your money every month and then open up a tree service, buy a bucket truck, chipper, and then buy the truck of your dreams and boat you have been looking at every morning for 10 years and you too will be able to have 10,000 wheels too, not be concerned that they cost 10k because 10k is only 2 days work. Hard work pays off...end of story. he tells me how much he did one job for and some of his jobs he does in a 2 days or 3 days are more then I'll make all month and I crack 5 figures a month usually. anyways truck and trailer appearance does look better, but once you have had the customers most of them don't care what you drive. but being young and having a truck like mine doesn't hurt one bit....my customers actually mention it too me.

alexschultz1
06-20-2014, 11:07 PM
Couldn't agree more, but $10,000 just seems like an obscene amount of money for wheels. It is an obscene amount of money lol. I need to start doing tree work. It would be nice to have that kind of disposable income.

KrayzKajun
06-20-2014, 11:46 PM
I guess rsk is a bad business man. His truck is no where bear stock
Posted via Mobile Device

I guess I'm in tht class also. Rolling around in my dually on 22.5s.
Posted via Mobile Device

32vld
06-21-2014, 12:01 AM
10k for wheels....? .......... For WHEELS? In my eyes, when I see $10,000, I see a year of daycare paid off.

No matter how many millions I could have. I would never have enough to spend $10,000 for wheels.

32vld
06-21-2014, 12:04 AM
Whatever a car or truck costs.

For example a $30,000 vehicle with $10,000 wheels is still a $30,000 vehicle.

ducnut
06-21-2014, 10:40 AM
work hard like my buddy did building his landscape company for 7 years, get 100 accounts to cut weekly, do some shrub pruning, some mulch jobs

open up a tree service, buy a bucket truck, chipper

he tells me how much he did one job for and some of his jobs he does in a 2 days or 3 days are more then I'll make all month and I crack 5 figures a month usually.

I continually preach offering other services; diversify. There's a lot of money in the landscape/other services side of property maintenance.

Kelly's Landscaping
06-21-2014, 11:06 PM
I have bought my share of rims and tires in my life and I have no idea what $10,000 dollar wheels look like. My big trucks the ram 4500s I upgrade to Accoa rims on both of them at the time of purchase that was an extra $1,000 each. The stock tires cost nearly $400 each and there are 6 of them so $2,400 Plus what ever the cost was of the original steel rims before I had them upgraded so perhaps $4,000 per truck. But were talking about tires rated at 4,000 pounds each so I don't think those prices are out of line in the least.

I want to have aluminum wheels on all my trucks and trailers and I do. The reasons is they don't rust they are lighter and they save fuel and as an added bonus they look awesome.

As for prices of trucks and cars you would be surprised just how many people have no idea what things cost and couldn't care less. I do not know the prices of any cars you could be driving a BMW or a Mercedes or an Acura to me they are all pieces of Crap I wouldn't be caught dead in them. You like them great but get real if you think its a status symbol. I have no respect for them or their prices what so ever. And the people that drive them feel the exact same way about trucks. I have had many clients compliment me on getting a new truck in the past few years. Then they go on to guess they must of cost $30,000. Truth is they cost $65,000 each but to a car person they don't have a clue nor do they want one they just like that they are shiny and look nice in-front of their homes.

The point is that other than men who work for a living in trades like ours that actually buy and drive trucks most of your clients have no idea what the real costs of this business are. There is no need to debate if there is a maximum amount of money you can spend on your work truck before your clients will freak because they can't tell. They also cannot tell the difference in mower prices my 2 main mowers cost $17,000 each to my clients they look just like the ones they see in home depot.

RSK Property Maintenance
06-22-2014, 12:16 AM
Couldn't agree more, but $10,000 just seems like an obscene amount of money for wheels. It is an obscene amount of money lol. I need to start doing tree work. It would be nice to have that kind of disposable income.

he had the money before doing tree work, weekly maintenance pays big time...you just need volume, we are up in ct so our prices are much higher then down south. but mainly the hurricane sandy, and irene and the other little ones we had were the icing on the cake for him, he went out and bought his cigarette boat, used which was still 95k then the dually to tow which was 34k used and 4 years old at the time, then the wheels then a rolex also used new the watch is like 30k-40k he picked his up for 15k i think. then maintaining the boat for a few years. But he takes the watch off for doing estimates, that might turn people off and cost him jobs, but showing up in his dually has little to no effect. doing tree work if you don't know how could cost you your life, best to stick to doing what you can do safely. and about having disposable income that comes down charging enough to pay for your expenses, and leave money left for profit, which my buddy did very well. he also didn't buy anything at all for 6 years. he's the kinda guy who's equipment is constantly breaking or broken, rakes worn out and cracked, string trimmer needing replacing and he won't spend the money, but that's why he has so much he uses stuff way beyond needing to replaced.

RSK Property Maintenance
06-22-2014, 12:20 AM
I have bought my share of rims and tires in my life and I have no idea what $10,000 dollar wheels look like. My big trucks the ram 4500s I upgrade to Accoa rims on both of them at the time of purchase that was an extra $1,000 each. The stock tires cost nearly $400 each and there are 6 of them so $2,400 Plus what ever the cost was of the original steel rims before I had them upgraded so perhaps $4,000 per truck. But were talking about tires rated at 4,000 pounds each so I don't think those prices are out of line in the least.

I want to have aluminum wheels on all my trucks and trailers and I do. The reasons is they don't rust they are lighter and they save fuel and as an added bonus they look awesome.

As for prices of trucks and cars you would be surprised just how many people have no idea what things cost and couldn't care less. I do not know the prices of any cars you could be driving a BMW or a Mercedes or an Acura to me they are all pieces of Crap I wouldn't be caught dead in them. You like them great but get real if you think its a status symbol. I have no respect for them or their prices what so ever. And the people that drive them feel the exact same way about trucks. I have had many clients compliment me on getting a new truck in the past few years. Then they go on to guess they must of cost $30,000. Truth is they cost $65,000 each but to a car person they don't have a clue nor do they want one they just like that they are shiny and look nice in-front of their homes.

The point is that other than men who work for a living in trades like ours that actually buy and drive trucks most of your clients have no idea what the real costs of this business are. There is no need to debate if there is a maximum amount of money you can spend on your work truck before your clients will freak because they can't tell. They also cannot tell the difference in mower prices my 2 main mowers cost $17,000 each to my clients they look just like the ones they see in home depot.

You are dead on about that. Most have no clue how much stuff cost, and to them it doesn't really matter, they care that you show up as agreed, and do the job as agreed. That's honestly about it. you could drive a honda civic towing a 5x10 trailer with a few push mowers and if the lawn was cut each week before the customer got home i doubt they would care....as long as it looked good.

ed2hess
06-22-2014, 08:24 PM
I have bought my share of rhere is no need to debate if there is a maximum amount of money you can spend on your work truck before your clients will freak because they can't tell
Customers are not my business advisors.

KS_Grasscutter
06-22-2014, 11:39 PM
My guess is the guy driving the brand new bone stock F350 toting around nice reliable equipment, as well as the guy with the clean OBS Powerstroke and clean older but reliable equipment will be in business a hell of a lot longer then the guy with the brand new F-TeenThousand ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8P5vGcf-NU&feature=kp ) with ten thousand dollar rims but won't spend $300 on a damn line trimmer. Jus sayin.

32vld
06-23-2014, 09:20 AM
My guess is the guy driving the brand new bone stock F350 toting around nice reliable equipment, as well as the guy with the clean OBS Powerstroke and clean older but reliable equipment will be in business a hell of a lot longer then the guy with the brand new F-TeenThousand ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8P5vGcf-NU&feature=kp ) with ten thousand dollar rims but won't spend $300 on a damn line trimmer. Jus sayin.

Damn, learn the what the hell you are talking about before you post.

When you buy $10,000 wheels they come with the 5" long pointy and sharp lug nuts. You do not need an edger. Those lug nuts edge the lawn when you drive close to the curb. Everyone now about those $10,000 wheel and lug nuts.

Are you feeling embarrassed now for you saying that he should waste $300 and buy a edger that he has no need for? :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

whiffyspark
06-23-2014, 10:00 AM
My guess is the guy driving the brand new bone stock F350 toting around nice reliable equipment, as well as the guy with the clean OBS Powerstroke and clean older but reliable equipment will be in business a hell of a lot longer then the guy with the brand new F-TeenThousand ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8P5vGcf-NU&feature=kp ) with ten thousand dollar rims but won't spend $300 on a damn line trimmer. Jus sayin.

Doubt that
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Plowguy43
06-23-2014, 10:41 AM
Hard work pays off.....work hard like my buddy did building his landscape company for 7 years... while living rent free at a girlfriends grandparents house .

Living rent free makes a big difference, plus it seems like your buddy went from the "proper" way of running his business to the complete opposite end of the spectrum - saving money, not spending it on useless stuff (like drinking, going out, etc) to spending all of it on items that depreciate horribly fast (boat, truck, wheels, etc).

Just odd that he'd go from one end to the other as soon as he starts making decent money. I'd hope by now he's purchased his own place to live in.

whiffyspark
06-23-2014, 10:48 AM
Living rent free makes a big difference, plus it seems like your buddy went from the "proper" way of running his business to the complete opposite end of the spectrum - saving money, not spending it on useless stuff (like drinking, going out, etc) to spending all of it on items that depreciate horribly fast (boat, truck, wheels, etc).

Just odd that he'd go from one end to the other as soon as he starts making decent money. I'd hope by now he's purchased his own place to live in.

What good is moneyed you don't enjoy it once in a while? Considering he brought them used in sure he's smarter than you think he is.
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Plowguy43
06-23-2014, 11:42 AM
What good is moneyed you don't enjoy it once in a while? Considering he brought them used in sure he's smarter than you think he is.
Posted via Mobile Device

Completely understand that, and I'm not insinuating he's not smart. Regardless of being used, vehicles depreciate fast, wheels depreciate fast, boats depreciate faster, etc. A house will appreciate and if he's spending $90k+ on a boat, then a house or some property would be a decent investment (as I said in my first post, I'm assuming he has purchased property at this point).

herler
06-23-2014, 12:29 PM
Completely understand that, and I'm not insinuating he's not smart. Regardless of being used, vehicles depreciate fast, wheels depreciate fast, boats depreciate faster, etc. A house will appreciate and if he's spending $90k+ on a boat, then a house or some property would be a decent investment (as I said in my first post, I'm assuming he has purchased property at this point).

Yes, but a used 5 thousand dollar truck can depreciate at most 5 thousand dollars...
So no matter how many years it lasts, it has lost less in depreciation than ...

A brand new loaded F-350 runs close to...
You ready?
50 thousand dollars.

Driving it off the lot is an 11 percent depreciation.
You'd lose fifty five hundred dollars merely driving a brand new loaded F-350 off the lot.

After one year, a vehicle has lost 25 percent its original value.
You'd lose $12,500 by owning that F-350 for one year.

After three years, the vehicle has lost almost half, or about $20,000 of that 50 grand.

And after five years, the vehicle has lost about two thirds...
Or around thirty to thirty five thousand dollars.
After five years, that F-350 is worth maybe 17 thousand.
It has lost 33 thousand dollars in depreciation.

To make that up, a worker has to work off 6 thousand dollars a year just to pay for that.

Plowguy43
06-23-2014, 12:45 PM
Are we saying the same thing? I'm not understanding if your agreeing with me or trying to educate me on depreciation (which I clearly understand the concept hence my equipment choice :) )

whiffyspark
06-23-2014, 01:00 PM
Yes, but a used 5 thousand dollar truck can depreciate at most 5 thousand dollars...
So no matter how many years it lasts, it has lost less in depreciation than ...

A brand new loaded F-350 runs close to...
You ready?
50 thousand dollars.

Driving it off the lot is an 11 percent depreciation.
You'd lose fifty five hundred dollars merely driving a brand new loaded F-350 off the lot.

After one year, a vehicle has lost 25 percent its original value.
You'd lose $12,500 by owning that F-350 for one year.

After three years, the vehicle has lost almost half, or about $20,000 of that 50 grand.

And after five years, the vehicle has lost about two thirds...
Or around thirty to thirty five thousand dollars.
After five years, that F-350 is worth maybe 17 thousand.
It has lost 33 thousand dollars in depreciation.

To make that up, a worker has to work off 6 thousand dollars a year just to pay for that.

Depends on if it's a diesel or not for one. If it's a diesel after 5 years they're still selling for 25-30k

Even after that, a new truck is a new truck. I enjoy having new trucks. It's what I like and I pay for
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GreenI.A.
06-23-2014, 07:46 PM
I have been experiencing something this spring that made me think about this thread. We have traded in a few trucks and traillers and have bought a few more. Up until now we have always had matching vehicles. All trucks were silver with green and brown lettering, enclosed trailers, back of box truck and chip body were black with white lettering. I have decided to change trucks and cabs to white, and enclosed trailers and boxes to green with silver lettering. About half the fleet has been changed (either traded in or re-painted) over the winter. I have always known how important marketing is, but I am amazed how many people have made comments that they haven't noticed our trucks around as much. They are still around just the same as before, people just aren't noticing how many since there are two different paint and lettering schemes.

Plowguy43
06-23-2014, 09:10 PM
I have been experiencing something this spring that made me think about this thread. We have traded in a few trucks and traillers and have bought a few more. Up until now we have always had matching vehicles. All trucks were silver with green and brown lettering, enclosed trailers, back of box truck and chip body were black with white lettering. I have decided to change trucks and cabs to white, and enclosed trailers and boxes to green with silver lettering. About half the fleet has been changed (either traded in or re-painted) over the winter. I have always known how important marketing is, but I am amazed how many people have made comments that they haven't noticed our trucks around as much. They are still around just the same as before, people just aren't noticing how many since there are two different paint and lettering schemes.
I agree, if you have a "fleet" consistency is important as it's branding for your company.
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Shorelandscaper
06-24-2014, 01:02 AM
I agree whole heartedly...fleet color / scheme...uniforms...etc

herler
06-24-2014, 10:41 AM
Depends on if it's a diesel or not for one. If it's a diesel after 5 years they're still selling for 25-30k

Even after that, a new truck is a new truck. I enjoy having new trucks. It's what I like and I pay for
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Right but don't forget to mention they also cost more out the door, unlike the 50 thousand for a gas model diesels cost more like 70 thousand, that's why they're "still" worth 25-30 thousand after 5 years is because instead of having lost 33 thousand the diesel has lost 50-55 thousand of its value, it's not because it "kept" its value "better," ultimately it still lost right at two-thirds of its value, the reason it is still worth more is because it had more room to lose.

whiffyspark
06-24-2014, 11:16 AM
Right but don't forget to mention they also cost more out the door, unlike the 50 thousand for a gas model diesels cost more like 70 thousand, that's why they're "still" worth 25-30 thousand after 5 years is because instead of having lost 33 thousand the diesel has lost 50-55 thousand of its value, it's not because it "kept" its value "better," ultimately it still lost right at two-thirds of its value, the reason it is still worth more is because it had more room to lose.

No

If you pay $70k for a truck that's stupid

A brand new 6.2 is 35-40 oth

A diesel can be had for 50
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RSK Property Maintenance
06-24-2014, 02:36 PM
My guess is the guy driving the brand new bone stock F350 toting around nice reliable equipment, as well as the guy with the clean OBS Powerstroke and clean older but reliable equipment will be in business a hell of a lot longer then the guy with the brand new F-TeenThousand ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8P5vGcf-NU&feature=kp ) with ten thousand dollar rims but won't spend $300 on a damn line trimmer. Jus sayin.

he's a top of the line self taught mechanic as well, so when something breaks he fixes, and he has 2 or 3 string trimmers, he just uses them until they are completely junk then fixes what absolutely needs to be fixed if its worth it or buys a new one if he absolutely needs it, but he's been in the landscaping for 10 years now, doubt he's gonna go out of business now....and he drove to florida with the boat back in 2012, there's probably pictures of our trip to miami. anyways he went and bought the wheels and tires directly from american force for 7000 with adapters and all 6 aluminum. lol.

Living rent free makes a big difference, plus it seems like your buddy went from the "proper" way of running his business to the complete opposite end of the spectrum - saving money, not spending it on useless stuff (like drinking, going out, etc) to spending all of it on items that depreciate horribly fast (boat, truck, wheels, etc).

Just odd that he'd go from one end to the other as soon as he starts making decent money. I'd hope by now he's purchased his own place to live in.

eh the boat is actually not that big of a bad investment, its not the best, but its one of the most desirable go fast boats out there. its entry level a national brokerage company that buys boats all the time offered him 95k for the boat. he's put about 30k into it maybe more but his initial money is still there and going to be there for quite some time. but you are right, the main reason he did that is because he was in a serious relationship for 7 or 8 years and she kept him focused on the money...and that's all he did. he also never experienced what it was like to be 20-29 for the most part. that's why he party's all the time now and spends more money. He rent's an apartment in nice apartment complex with his 19 month old son and girlfriend of 4 years. he's looking for a house, but he won't buy anything unless its really good deal like a forclosure that's going for 400k, but is a 700,000 house. he's all about the money. but dumping 80k into building a 9 second mustang that he parted out for 30k or less wasn't the smartest thing he did. but he'll be fine.


Completely understand that, and I'm not insinuating he's not smart. Regardless of being used, vehicles depreciate fast, wheels depreciate fast, boats depreciate faster, etc. A house will appreciate and if he's spending $90k+ on a boat, then a house or some property would be a decent investment (as I said in my first post, I'm assuming he has purchased property at this point).

he's been looking but still no property, he somehow gets to keep his stuff in his parents 2 car garage. that he took over at 18 and they are fine with it.

gogreenmaureen
06-30-2014, 05:52 PM
I agree with you. I love the ones crying over price/slow payers too, with 5 loaves of bread under each arm.

NickSnow&Mow
08-26-2014, 10:30 AM
I do think apperance matters and I wouldnt buy a beater truck and trailer. Although im 14 and roll up to $500,000-1000000 dollar homes on my johndeere lawn tractor and trailer
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Tennesseepowerstroke
08-26-2014, 11:41 PM
Right but don't forget to mention they also cost more out the door, unlike the 50 thousand for a gas model diesels cost more like 70 thousand, that's why they're "still" worth 25-30 thousand after 5 years is because instead of having lost 33 thousand the diesel has lost 50-55 thousand of its value, it's not because it "kept" its value "better," ultimately it still lost right at two-thirds of its value, the reason it is still worth more is because it had more room to lose.

Can you give an example of a similarly equipped truck of the same brand that has a $20,000 difference in price between a gas engine and a diesel engine? I don't think you can.

MiscCleanUpCrew
08-26-2014, 11:48 PM
Can you give an example of a similarly equipped truck of the same brand that has a $20,000 difference in price between a gas engine and a diesel engine? I don't think you can.


Hell up here Ram dealers are giving away diesel engines at no extra cost.
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Jaybrown
08-27-2014, 12:23 AM
At. Most diesel is a 10k option. Now if you get the truck fully loaded then it's 70-90 k

Jaybrown
08-27-2014, 12:27 AM
Some rich people are all about show. They want the best of everything. So the best looking lawn crew they thing is the best. New truck and trailer looks better in front of mansions. They don't want a leaking old rusty truck pulling up. That's embarrassing to their reputation of having the best. So may also go with you because you are the most expensive therefore the best in their eye.

RSK Property Maintenance
08-28-2014, 11:18 PM
Some rich people are all about show. They want the best of everything. So the best looking lawn crew they thing is the best. New truck and trailer looks better in front of mansions. They don't want a leaking old rusty truck pulling up. That's embarrassing to their reputation of having the best. So may also go with you because you are the most expensive therefore the best in their eye.

not very true, most people who have money, have it because they are smart. not dumb so they probably aren't likely to go with most expensive guy. but the hard working guy who does a great job and may or may not have a brand new looking truck, but also not 2,000 dollar piece of junk that is all rusted out either. You are right they don't want a leaking old rusted truck, but it is possible to have an old very lightly rusted truck pull up and washed and maintained so its not leaking and looks presentable....