View Full Version : Need to learn quick

03-31-2003, 10:11 PM
Hey guys,

Well our attempt to venture into lawn care (2nd season) is turning out to be a bust. I am not giving up completely (yet), but a guy that worked for us plowing snow aproached me with an idea.

It seems that this guy has a lot of experience with asphalt paving. Even had his own business for a while, but he couldn't handle the business side, and lost it. He says that if we could provide the equipment and take care of the office work and the money, he could make us all a fortune. I know this guy is a bit of a talker, but I tend to trust him and overall, I think he is a solid guy.

My partner and I know zip, zero, nada about paving or sealing. I do know that I will have to fork out a chunk of dough to buy a dump truck and a paving machine of some sort.

This guy swears he has about a dozen jobs lined up already, everything from sealing to single pull driveways (whatever that means) to large lots, they are just waiting for him to show up with the equipment.

I went back to the begining of this forum and have read about 1/2 of the posts. i am still hungry for info. Can anyone suggest any additional resources (web or otherwise) so I can make an educated, informed decision on weather to get into this or not.

Thanks for any help.

03-31-2003, 10:22 PM
Like you said the big chunk of cash is needed for the equipment, then you need laborers and a good rake man even if you have a machine.The biggest thing is having a good base and knowing how to pitch water.It's a real easy business i think just alot of hard back braking work.

lawn storm
04-01-2003, 04:39 AM
i done black top for 20 years
invest your money in lawncare

if he could make a fortune he would have done it for his own company .

theres alot more than reading about it you got to get your feet hot :D

Randy Scott
04-01-2003, 10:21 AM
Originally posted by Bigtodd
Hey guys,

Well our attempt to venture into lawn care (2nd season) is turning out to be a bust. I am not giving up completely (yet), but a guy that worked for us plowing snow aproached me with an idea.

My partner and I know zip, zero, nada about paving or sealing. I do know that I will have to fork out a chunk of dough to buy a dump truck and a paving machine of some sort.

These two paragraphs scare me a little. First, why have two attempts at lawncare failed?
Second, dumping a load of money into something knowing "zip, zero, nada" isn't too bright an idea. Especially just because someone else told you it's a money maker.
Lastly, I think your "buddy" who can make so much money at paving, but couldn't handle the business end will end up taking you two guys for a ride.

This whole situation has disaster and "you getting taken" written all over it.

04-03-2003, 08:22 AM
Don't know about your neck of the woods, but here on the Mass/Ct state lines, mid states area, paving is so highly competitive, I find it's not worth it. Just leaving the highway dept after many years, one can receive bids of 48 per ton layed down, 47.5o, etc, etc. There is no difference between municipality and private.
You need expensive equip to start off with, insurance binders that are costly, you wait forever to get paid, etc.
Personally if this guy has so much work and makes so much, how did he lose it? Think about the overall economy.. I can tell you in my neighborhood, people aren't going to do much other that req'd basics. Paving a driveway is not a req'd basic in comparison to other needs. I think there is a little too much hyperbole coming from your super paver employee.

04-03-2003, 11:13 PM
Thanks for the replys guys,

First off, we haven't exactly "failed" at lawn care, what I meant by "bust" was that for the seacond year in a row, the accounts that we have landed have not been up to our expectations. There are reasons for that which is a whole different story... I guess bottom line is that I'm kind of in a mode of looking for another direction to grow our business.

The reason I posted was because we don't know anything about the business of paving and no, I'm not stupid enough to go into something I know nothing about without doing a bunch of research first. I guess I just wanted to get a feel for if this was something I should look into or not.

And lastly, this employee is a decent guy and a heck of a worker, but like I said, he's a big talker and I would not dream of spending my hard earned money or putting my *** on the line simply based on his word alone. If we are going to go into a new venture it will be after we know exactly what is invoved, what the risks are and have a plan.

So thanks again for the comments and concern. Sounds a like you are collectively discouraging me, so maybe I'll keep serchin'...

04-03-2003, 11:22 PM
Have you looked into other needs that are cropping up in your neighborhood? Are people starting to install small lined ponds, or installing stone walls/retaining walls anything else along these lines.

04-04-2003, 01:28 AM
I'm not in the asphalt business but I have an asphalt drive that is just under 800 feet long. In the last three weeks I've had two unsolicited pitches for repairing and resealing my drive. I'd like to have it done as I know this would benefit a longer life, but it's way down on my priority list. When I explained this to each bidder, they dropped their prices dramatically and then they dropped it again until they were willing to work for roughly half their original bids. They appeared desperate for the work. I'm the homeowner "lamarbur" is talking about. The economy doesn't support this type of maitenance.

04-05-2003, 07:33 PM
Even though it seems odd I would suggest working with a company that does asphalting as there main service for awhile and pick up the skills there. You could probably find some good equipment at an auction or even find a dump truck for a resonable price at http://www.prairieinternational.com/.

05-23-2003, 04:15 PM
titled "entreprenurial Spirit" in the starting business forum. I laid asphalt on occasion when I had my truck. It's okay if you find a solid contract and you work year round. Keep in mind, no one paves when it's raining for any length of time, so in the winter months you need to be able to find other work for that truck and equipment. Overhead is steep and you are definitely the last one paid.

08-25-2003, 01:18 AM
I did asphalt for about 4 years. It's easy to pick up on, not saying you should jump right into it. Best money maker in asphalt is to buy an infrared truck and do patches. Patch takes about 15-20 minutes, material amount is low and going rate around here is $75 per patch. Only thing is the trucks run around $100,000+ Sealcoating is probably the cheapest to get started. Company I worked for guy had 4 shops and did about $30,000,000 in work each year with a 5 month layoff. So hey if you can get something going I guess theres a lot of money in it. Owner was a good buisnessman though guess he only paid himself around $75,000-$100,000, and reinvested all his profit back into his company. I will also add this is hot, dirty, not at all fun work. You havent lived until you had sealer burn, the mist gets into your pores and then the sun burns the chit out of you, making you look like leather face. From expierence I'd rather have grass stains on my pants. Best of luck