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View Full Version : How much time do you plan on recovery


Smallaxe
01-08-2013, 06:59 PM
... for a new piece of equipment that you purchase for under $1000.00???

How much time do you plan to pay for a new piece of equipment up to $2000.00???

Often times I do not buy any new equipment if it isn't going to pay for itself in a short period of time...
What are everyone else's thoughts on the matter???

larryinalabama
01-08-2013, 07:03 PM
Its real hard to say, Ive got stuff that Ive never made enought to "pay" for it and some stuff pays for itself in one use.

One thing I do with small tools, insted of renting them I check to see if Harbor Freight has it, its generally about the same cost has a rental

Smallaxe
01-09-2013, 10:07 AM
The reason I thought this might be a good subject to think about is becuz there are so many people buying cheap garbage to do a business with... I see LCOs cutting corners with tools and machines becuz they think 'A dollar save, is a dollar earned'...
That may have work for Ben Franklin in his private life, but it is cheesy in the business world...

Of course I don't have employees to wreck the stuff either, so I wondered if those that have employees,,, buy quality or buy cheap... :)

ReddensLawnCare
01-09-2013, 10:13 AM
I try to buy quality whenever possible BC down time is a killer especially if you have two employees or more on the clock and the trimmer, blower, sprayer, ect... Is broke down and you are 30-45 minutes from the shop in the middle of a job
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Smallaxe
01-10-2013, 09:05 AM
That is the main point for sure...

The financial aspect of it is always recuperating the cost...

Lowballers will go with the first thing they grab and figure they're making money because it is twice the hourly wage they get at a factory job... the professional buys better equipment and doesn't charge extra, would be just as niaive as the novice...

My cheapest machine/tool earns $5.00/hr... Is that cheap???
This Spring I want a lawnmower for the woods, but I'm not going to be able to charge more for it... Is that a stupid mistake???

clydebusa
01-10-2013, 09:08 AM
That is the main point for sure...

The financial aspect of it is always recuperating the cost...

Lowballers will go with the first thing they grab and figure they're making money because it is twice the hourly wage they get at a factory job... the professional buys better equipment and doesn't charge extra, would be just as niaive as the novice...

My cheapest machine/tool earns $5.00/hr... Is that cheap???
This Spring I want a lawnmower for the woods, but I'm not going to be able to charge more for it... Is that a stupid mistake???

Don't believe you have this right. Some of the Lowballers in my area have very nice equipment.

grandview (2006)
01-10-2013, 07:52 PM
Well if you buy a nice piece of equipment it should last a long time if you take care of it. So, take a good piece and compare it to junk and figure out how junk pieces you'll go through compared to the good one. Like a trimmer I bought 10 yrs ago a Stihl .300 bucks ,so now it stands at 30 bucks a year and every yr it goes down.How many cheap ones would I've used during the same time?

RigglePLC
01-10-2013, 09:48 PM
Small equipment--say less than $1000--I think should pay for itself in about a year. Say you buy a spreader for $400. For using it you pay yourself $20 per hour, plus 50 cents per hour equipment charge, (plus various charges for profit, overhead, fert and cost of driving to the site). If you did 5 lawns per day at one hour each--you would have charged $2.50 for the spreader per day. It would be paid off in 160 days. And...the charge compensates you for the upfront cost and the risk of buying it before you had the work in hand. And...in theory...allows you to buy a new spreader when it wears out. It also compensates your for maintenance cost for the spreader--grease, oil, new impeller and the labor time to apply these.
Of course, with a bit of luck, in year 2, 3, and 4, you will have a paid-for spreader...and can charge the customer for the time, and pocket the $2.50 per day cash.

As for the price vs quality--that is a judgement call. You want professional equipment--3/4 ton truck--not an S-10. Lighweight equipmnet doesn't cut it. And you want to look professional in the customer's eyes.

I once lost a customer, because I did an insect job for leaf-hoppers with a hand sprayer instead of my skid sprayer. Didn't look professional. Naturally, I would have had to use up the product in the tank, and go back to the shop with the truckfor a refill with insecticide.

Brucelawns
01-11-2013, 01:44 AM
Buy the best commercial equipment. I always buy new mowers, and blowers. You can pick up some good used weed wackers. A Used mower or blower is not a smart idea. You don't know if they changed the oil regularly on that used mower (maint. tracking). Blowers can get beat to hell especially during cleanup times.

I say pay more for the quality and reliability a new mower and blower provide. Don't go cheap on your tools. If this is your business invest in it and it will pay you back.

Brucelawns
01-11-2013, 01:49 AM
Often times I do not buy any new equipment if it isn't going to pay for itself in a short period of time...
What are everyone else's thoughts on the matter???

If the equipment isn't paying for itself in a short time would mean that you aren't charging enough when you use it or you aren't using it enough to justify the purchase. That would be your thoughts. Right?

Smallaxe
01-11-2013, 10:11 AM
Often times I do not buy any new equipment if it isn't going to pay for itself in a short period of time...
What are everyone else's thoughts on the matter???

If the equipment isn't paying for itself in a short time would mean that you aren't charging enough when you use it or you aren't using it enough to justify the purchase. That would be your thoughts. Right?

That is my thinking on the matter as well... if the equipment isn't going to pay for itself, then it is likely something you don't need... always been my rule...

We are thinking the same way...

However:
Now that I'm winding down the career and mowing isn't even my main thing at all, I still want to buy a mower that will do a better job with all the forest lawns I do... But I really can't charge more for it... it will just do a better job... :)

cpllawncare
01-26-2013, 09:19 PM
For me it's an issue of downtime I buy new commercial grade everything, blowers trimmers and such don't cost enough to risk the downtime of a used one, I started out buying cheap stuff I guess like everybody, but it always was used up within a season so I made the decision to go commercial grade on everything haven't regretted that decison yet.

Florida Gardener
02-01-2013, 12:15 PM
I think it depends. I just bought a verticutter that was a HD rental. It was used once as told to me by the rental dept. I paid $392 out the door for it. I don't have any jobs yet, but will soon enough. But I can have it sit for now and it's not that big a deal. Now, if I were going to buy a new one for 3-K and don't have any jobs lined up, different story...I think it depends on the equipment, cost, and if you will have the work to justify the purchase. I wouldn't buy a sod cutter if I did one sod install per year, but if I was doing 5-10/yr, it would make more sense to buy it...
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cpllawncare
02-01-2013, 07:57 PM
Obviously there's a big difference between a 3k sod cutter and a $300 trimmer or blower, that's going to get used and abused daily, I would love to have an aerator but we don't do enough yet to justify one, so we rent, hopefully that will change this year but even then I probably won't buy a new one, I would love to have a brush cutter also but again we're not quite ready for such a large purchase so we rent.

Smallaxe
02-02-2013, 11:15 AM
I agree that we are talking about the most business sense,,, that makes sense...
I cringe every time I hear about people going into debt just to buy the 'TOYS' they think that every pro. should have...

RSK Property Maintenance
02-03-2013, 01:01 AM
well for something like my lawn mower which was over 10000 i give it a year, for something like a backpack blower i plan on it paying me back in a days time, same with a trimmer, my bagger system which was close to 3000 i planned on it paying me back within a few months. my plow within a single snow storm, my 12" diesel wood chipper within a weeks time. so pretty fast, for everything i buy, if It's not gonna make me the money back within a years time i probably don't need it.

cpllawncare
02-03-2013, 09:52 AM
well for something like my lawn mower which was over 10000 i give it a year, for something like a backpack blower i plan on it paying me back in a days time, same with a trimmer, my bagger system which was close to 3000 i planned on it paying me back within a few months. my plow within a single snow storm, my 12" diesel wood chipper within a weeks time. so pretty fast, for everything i buy, if It's not gonna make me the money back within a years time i probably don't need it.

So if you pay $500 for a BP you expect to make $500/day profit, WOW!

Smallaxe
02-03-2013, 10:58 AM
For my $500.00 BP Blower I charge only $10-$15/hr to run the machine, besides the other charges... so my exa. would be 40-50 hours to pay for the blower...
My smaller blower that I got about 10 yrs ago I only charged $5/hr to run...

Now I'm in a quandry about buying my new lawnmower, because I WANT a certain one, but business wise it will not increase revenue at all... so I don't NEED it... :)

cpllawncare
02-03-2013, 12:04 PM
For my $500.00 BP Blower I charge only $10-$15/hr to run the machine, besides the other charges... so my exa. would be 40-50 hours to pay for the blower...
My smaller blower that I got about 10 yrs ago I only charged $5/hr to run...

Now I'm in a quandry about buying my new lawnmower, because I WANT a certain one, but business wise it will not increase revenue at all... so I don't NEED it... :)

Exactly! You not going to pay for a piece of equip in a day normally.

RSK Property Maintenance
02-04-2013, 11:36 AM
So if you pay $500 for a BP you expect to make $500/day profit, WOW!

yes, I have days doing fall clean ups where I can gross 1000-1200, no way do my expenses for the day come close to half that even, probably not even a 1/4 of that including taxes. even on a bad day of fall clean ups i'll profit 4-500. my only problem is i only have about 20 clean ups maybe. that's probably stretching it, but my bagger system paid for itself pretty quick still just doing clean ups with it. something like the new cheetah i bought which actually cost me 7300 because i traded in my 05 tiger cub towards it will take a little longer to pay for itself but still relatively quickly otherwise, It wasn't worth buying and it didn't need it.

I charge by the job for clean ups. usually if I price it right and things go smooth i'll end up at 140 hour, with myself and 2 other guys. the reality is if I charged 50/hr 60/hr per man per hour i would make more but i think my customers would have trouble with that. even if told 30 or 40 per man per hour they would think i'm crazy, so i just give them a price for the whole job start to finish, i'm usually pretty accurate on clean ups

Smallaxe
02-05-2013, 09:56 AM
yes, I have days doing fall clean ups where I can gross 1000-1200, no way do my expenses for the day come close to half that even, probably not even a 1/4 of that including taxes. even on a bad day of fall clean ups i'll profit 4-500. my only problem is i only have about 20 clean ups maybe. that's probably stretching it, but my bagger system paid for itself pretty quick still just doing clean ups with it. something like the new cheetah i bought which actually cost me 7300 because i traded in my 05 tiger cub towards it will take a little longer to pay for itself but still relatively quickly otherwise, It wasn't worth buying and it didn't need it.

I charge by the job for clean ups. usually if I price it right and things go smooth i'll end up at 140 hour, with myself and 2 other guys. the reality is if I charged 50/hr 60/hr per man per hour i would make more but i think my customers would have trouble with that. even if told 30 or 40 per man per hour they would think i'm crazy, so i just give them a price for the whole job start to finish, i'm usually pretty accurate on clean ups

I would make the same 1000-1200 dollars with the old smaller blower... only it may have taken longer,,, so that's not the point of the question... the example of upscaling my blower size and charging more for its usage is the point...

Sometimes we pay extra for something that doesn't benefit the business at all,,, so you can't say that the 'extras' are paying for themselves... what you are saying is the you can afford them...

When a machine/tool brings in extra money/time into the business, that amount of extra money/time is paying for the machine/tool... that is the business principle I'm addressing... sorry for the confusion... :)

RSK Property Maintenance
02-07-2013, 04:31 PM
I would make the same 1000-1200 dollars with the old smaller blower... only it may have taken longer,,, so that's not the point of the question... the example of upscaling my blower size and charging more for its usage is the point...

Sometimes we pay extra for something that doesn't benefit the business at all,,, so you can't say that the 'extras' are paying for themselves... what you are saying is the you can afford them...

When a machine/tool brings in extra money/time into the business, that amount of extra money/time is paying for the machine/tool... that is the business principle I'm addressing... sorry for the confusion... :)

oh yah i see in that case then the mower/ bagger system i bought, the new back pack, and anything else i bought don't pay for themselves that quick at all, but they do save a decent amount of time and make life a lot easier.

Smallaxe
02-07-2013, 05:11 PM
Time is Money... and at my age "making it easir and better" is money...

Anything that increases efficiency is worth money... Just a matter of 'quantifying' its value when doing the books... :)

andyslawncare
02-12-2013, 08:43 PM
A $25 shovel can make several thousand in a year.
A $16,000 skid steer can make more money with less work.

I buy mowers used; usually with under 250 hrs.
I buy trimmers, edgers, chain saws, hedge clippers, and blowers new.
I buy used trucks and trailers. If I were to buy one this year, I would buy 2008 or newer with less than 75,000 miles.

All top grade equipment. We use Echo, and have multiples of each of their largest machines. Use Exmark mowers, drive 3/4 ton trucks, etc.

Maintenance crew is equiped with a back up power head and attachments and a minimum of 2 back pack blowers and mowers.

Some things you just can't break down into a direct pay off period until its worthless, for example: I bought an edger 7 years ago, and it crapped out last month...it cost me $3.57 per month to own that thing and now I have it for parts--the carb and shaft are both still good.

cpllawncare
02-12-2013, 11:06 PM
If you watch the billy goat commercial on you tube you will see what a difference stepping up to bigger blowers will make as for effiencency(sp).

RSK Property Maintenance
02-18-2013, 01:12 AM
A $25 shovel can make several thousand in a year.
A $16,000 skid steer can make more money with less work.

I buy mowers used; usually with under 250 hrs.
I buy trimmers, edgers, chain saws, hedge clippers, and blowers new.
I buy used trucks and trailers. If I were to buy one this year, I would buy 2008 or newer with less than 75,000 miles.

All top grade equipment. We use Echo, and have multiples of each of their largest machines. Use Exmark mowers, drive 3/4 ton trucks, etc.

Maintenance crew is equiped with a back up power head and attachments and a minimum of 2 back pack blowers and mowers.

Some things you just can't break down into a direct pay off period until its worthless, for example: I bought an edger 7 years ago, and it crapped out last month...it cost me $3.57 per month to own that thing and now I have it for parts--the carb and shaft are both still good.

good deal, I buy all the above new except trucks and trailers, because the mowers don't depreciate very much unless you really run them into the ground, I would know because I bought my 2005 scag tiger cub brand new spring of 2005 when I first got my drivers license, and traded it in summer 2012 with 985 hours on it in excellent condition for about 2300 less then what I originally paid for it, so at that point buying another new machine this time with the 61" deck and 34hp motor i wanted the first time wasn't really a bad choice. knowing it will hold its value for a long time, especially since my stuff is garage kept, and the trucks get bought used because they take a huge hit, and i'm not making enough money where I need the big tax write off of a new truck, a used truck works just fine and looks just fine for now, although a newer truck has crossed my mind many times and will hopefully come this year, but still probably be an 05-10 with under 100,000 miles and diesel. so it should hold its value pretty well even after 200,000 if i keep something that long.

elbow300
02-25-2013, 01:25 PM
I think about equipment cost versus labor costs. You said you do not have any employees to worry about, but if you can buy a piece of equipment that makes you 20% more efficient, you can either finish your work day 20% earlier, or get that much more work done. I imagine that you, like most professionals, intend for your business to grow with time. When you have labor hours to consider, you can not afford down time created by breakdowns. The benefits of highly productive reliable equipment goes much farther than the time it takes to make each dollar you spent on it. Buying quality equipment is almost always the way to go in my opinion, provided you are frugal enough to pay cash and not finance.
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GARRETTWOOD
03-02-2013, 10:36 PM
The reason I thought this might be a good subject to think about is becuz there are so many people buying cheap garbage to do a business with... I see LCOs cutting corners with tools and machines becuz they think 'A dollar save, is a dollar earned'...
That may have work for Ben Franklin in his private life, but it is cheesy in the business world...

Of course I don't have employees to wreck the stuff either, so I wondered if those that have employees,,, buy quality or buy cheap... :)
Always try to buy the best quality when it comes to machinery, most of the time new over used. Better to make payment then have something in for repair all the time. Hand tools buy cheaper ones and replace when they break.
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cpllawncare
03-03-2013, 10:14 AM
Always try to buy the best quality when it comes to machinery, most of the time new over used. Better to make payment then have something in for repair all the time. Hand tools buy cheaper ones and replace when they break.
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I was thinking about this the other day when I was in a harbor freight and saw prices on rakes and shovels and told myself instead of buying Kobalt brand I should just buy HF brand for wayyy less and just replace when they break, I haven't had any of my Kobalt stuff break yet so it might be a while before I get to test that theory.