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  #481  
Old 10-20-2012, 04:56 AM
BOSS LAWN 2343's Avatar
BOSS LAWN 2343 BOSS LAWN 2343 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brooklyn Park, MN
Posts: 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by zspeed130 View Post
Good points! I lost money not having business cards and now they have made me lots!

So far as safety goes I even keep a tourniquet ( and my phone) in my pocket when I am using something like a chainsaw. You never know !

Z
Posted via Mobile Device

Business cards are A MUST, I wouldn't look too good if a customer or somebody at a gas station asked for a card and didnt have one!

I have my guys carry them around too, has worked out well! Oh yeah... buy in bulk too.
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93 F150
94 Chevy 1500 8'6" Western
96 GMC 1500 7'6" Western
98 Chevy 8'6" Western

8x30 Tandem
6x12 Single

Snapper WB Z-Turn 48" (Trac-Vac)
36" WB John Deere Z-Turn (Trac-Vac)
John Deere F510 Z-Turn 38"
Toro Personal Pace 21" Mowers
12,000 sq. ft Shop

21 year old

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  #482  
Old 10-27-2012, 07:59 PM
Giestimator Giestimator is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Medina, Ohio
Posts: 8
Know your costs.

Biggest thing that I would say in this industry is not to try to go out and be the lowest guy on all bids just to get work. Know your cost for your jobs and price them accordingly.
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  #483  
Old 12-16-2012, 09:53 AM
backwoodslandscaping backwoodslandscaping is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Southern, NH
Posts: 2
Most helpful tool i have found to have is a leatherman on your waist at all times. Its worth the $80 bucks for a nice one. Saved me a million trips to the truck for a tool! It works for everything even like shrub removal and you dont want to dive that nice sharp chainsaw into the dirt for the roots but the shovel or ax aint doing the trick, trust me that little saw on the leatherman works! For all of us with out nice shiny skidsteers to do the job.

Pb blaster sucks waist of money, by fluid film or the new WD-40 penetrating

If something isnt running properly dont just let it go. try to fix it there or right when u get home because eventually that piece of equipment isnt going to start in the morning..Thats a long ride home at 8 a.m.

At the end of the year stabil will be your best friend. Please winterize your equipment. If you dont use some sort of fuel treatment in the winter and come spring your equipment wont start and your screaming why wont this start. sorry that's your own fault!!

You will learn how to become Macgyver yourself when something breaks but dont trust it to last all season.. fix it right at the end of the day!

You will never have enough bungees or ratchet straps!

Sneakers and jogging pants are a no no! totally unprofessional! and please put a shirt on, customers dont want to see your tatoos!

GATORADE and WATER!!!
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  #484  
Old 12-16-2012, 11:17 AM
sgbotsford sgbotsford is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 102
Interesting. I have no problem with sneakers, especially if doing anything that requires climbing. (E.g. ladder work cleaning gutters I'm clumsy in boots) If I'm working on roofs I want a rubber soled shoe or even a soft mocasin to minimize damage and maximize traction.

Jogging pants? No problem. But I want them neat and clean if we are going to a client. No ripped out crotch, torn knees. And the elastic has to work so don't have to constantly hitch them up. (Since I run a tree farm 85% of my work is at the farm.) Similarly if they wear shorts, they are neat. No cutoffs. Running shorts are ok. Lots of my guys come to work in jeans, but use a pair of running shorts as underwear, and peel down as the day warms up.

Long pants or shin guards when using a weedeater, or rototiller, depending.

Mowing? My present walk behind mowers have a rubber flap on the back of the bell. I've yet to have anything thrown through that, so if the guys want to wear sneakers, I've no problem with it.

I hire a lot of high school kids. If I get too inflexible, they go find somewhere else to work. Being able to suntan while weeding or mowing is one of the perks.

Big thing for me is being polite. This hasen't been a problem yet. I live near a farming community, and parents insist on polite kids. But one who is impolite would stand out, so it's something I talk about during orientation.

Lot of this depends on location. California is a lot more casual about skin than Carolina.
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  #485  
Old 12-16-2012, 12:25 PM
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jonthepain jonthepain is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Raleigh
Posts: 487
^^^

wow. i never saw that coming.

so much for professionalism.
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  #486  
Old 12-16-2012, 04:56 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 7,991
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgbotsford View Post
Interesting. I have no problem with sneakers, especially if doing anything that requires climbing. (E.g. ladder work cleaning gutters I'm clumsy in boots) If I'm working on roofs I want a rubber soled shoe or even a soft mocasin to minimize damage and maximize traction.

Jogging pants? No problem. But I want them neat and clean if we are going to a client. No ripped out crotch, torn knees. And the elastic has to work so don't have to constantly hitch them up. (Since I run a tree farm 85% of my work is at the farm.) Similarly if they wear shorts, they are neat. No cutoffs. Running shorts are ok. Lots of my guys come to work in jeans, but use a pair of running shorts as underwear, and peel down as the day warms up.

Long pants or shin guards when using a weedeater, or rototiller, depending.

Mowing? My present walk behind mowers have a rubber flap on the back of the bell. I've yet to have anything thrown through that, so if the guys want to wear sneakers, I've no problem with it.

I hire a lot of high school kids. If I get too inflexible, they go find somewhere else to work. Being able to suntan while weeding or mowing is one of the perks.

Big thing for me is being polite. This hasen't been a problem yet. I live near a farming community, and parents insist on polite kids. But one who is impolite would stand out, so it's something I talk about during orientation.

Lot of this depends on location. California is a lot more casual about skin than Carolina.
I don't know if you mean college kids or high school kids or pre-schoolers or what, but where I am in the US workers have to be a minimum of 18 to work in a "hazardous occupation."

Here's the list (emphasis added):

EMPLOYMENT OF MINORS
Prohibited Occupations and Places of Employment For All Minors Under the Age of 18 Years
Manufacturing and storage of explosives
Motor vehicle driving and outside helper
Mining
Logging and sawmilling
The use of electrical tools, circuits, or equipment (except double insulated hand tools)
Exposure to radioactive substances or ionization radiation
Power-driven hoisting apparatus
Power-driven metal-forming, punching or shearing machines
Slaughtering or meat packing, processing or rendering. This includes electric meat slicers.
Brick, tile, and kindred products manufacturing
Wrecking, demolition, and shipbreaking
Roofing operations
Excavation operations
Automotive maintenance and repair, EXCEPT (the following are permitted):
island work
changing passenger car tires (no truck tires)
use of air hand tools
preparing cars for painting, limited to sanding and masking (no spray painting or welding)
hand cleaning and washing of motor vehicles (no flammable liquids)
clerical or bench work
Beverage bottling
Soldering, welding, brazing, smelting, rolling, flame cutting, or any other types of metal processing
Brick, clay or tile manufacturing
Coke and tar products processing/manufacturing
Dry cleaning/laundry operations
Processing of food products
Construction, EXCEPT the following:
Landscaping (planting small trees, shrubs, etc.)
General yard work/cleaning (no riding reel lawn mowers)
Brush painting & window cleaning (no ladders over 6 feet, no flammable cleaners/thinners, etc.)
Clerical/shipping/stock work
Glazing/glass cutting operations
Heat treating operations or helper
Ice manufacturing
Installation/maintenance/repair of electrical machinery/equipment
Paper/paper products/paperboard manufacturing
Plastic/plastic products manufacturing
Pharmaceutical products manufacturing
Operation of foot, hand or power presses
Printing operations
Pressure testing
Synthetic fiber manufacturing
Rubber/synthetic rubber products manufacturing/processing
Spray painting and dipping
Stone cutting and processing
Leather products processing/tanning
Sewing machine operation using needles over 1/16 inch diameter
Tire recapping, vulcanizing or manufacturing
Textile machinery operations
Trash/cardboard compactor
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  #487  
Old 12-20-2012, 01:54 AM
PAHighlander PAHighlander is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Athens, PA
Posts: 1
So I figure this is the appropriate place for my first post. I've been lurking around these forums a couple days after numerous google searches led back to you guys, and actually spent half of yesterday afternoon reading this book of a thread.
There is a huge amount of info here and I will likely be rereading some parts. I plan to begin my business in the coming spring as a side gig next to my fulltime working for another established landscaper locally. It isn't going to be easy. I have a long road ahead of me, but I know the game well enough now that I'm confident I can do this. I've been working for someone else for 7 years full time, he's a good person, not a great boss, but he tries to treat his employees right. He is in his late 60's but isn't ready to retire, we've talked a buyout in the next couple years but his numbers are a bit overreached as far as my research speaks and I'm the man doing the majority of the work, training crew supervising etc. I've treated the business like my own for the past 5 years, but I'm not the one renting a house in Florida for a months vacation while we are on layoff. I'm the one barely surviving the winters on UC and scrounged up work. I've been planning this move for the past year as things between us got, strained. I'm not going to quit flat out as I don't think I can pull enough profit out the gate to eat for the year, and I still hold hope that we can workout some sort of deal in the coming season. But it's become clear to me that starting my own business is the only way I will improve the quality of life for my family. Short of jumping ship to the gas industry which is the only other decent paying industry in my area that doesn't require a degree. Plus I love the lawncare business, I want it to be my career.

I have to say the best piece of advice I read here, and one that hit home hard for me reading it was...

"Don't do anything stupid"

So I got to thinking. And here's a few I do. Scratch that, I used to do and won't again.

#1 Stay the *&^% off steep side hills that make you uncomfortable. My boss doesn't believe in using pushmowers, so I push the limits of a ZTR to avoid extra hours trimming. As I'm growing up and married now I realize this isn't something to be proud of it is plain stupid. For Pete's sake I make hourly.

#2 Test wet areas with your feet and don't try to cut time by speeding over them. Actually come to think of it my boss does this more than I do. Muddy ruts make you look like a hack.

#3 When Dropping a tree Do NOT assume it will go where it's expected. Be as safe as possible but be ready to drop saw and bolt. I had one defy the laws of physics and slingshot backwards off another tree 1/3 its thickness to launch straight back at me. A fraction of a second slower on my dive and I'd be dead.


Safety is the single most important thing to consider in this business. Speed and efficiency are secondary to it. Be safe, your life insurance policy, no matter how well stacked will not console your family.
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  #488  
Old 04-05-2013, 04:25 PM
Vanderhoff Landscaping's Avatar
Vanderhoff Landscaping Vanderhoff Landscaping is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: North Jersey
Posts: 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esby View Post
Always wear some sort of safety glasses while trimming and even for blowing. And also, there isn't a day where I have forgotten to protect my ears from the equipment noise. You want to be able to hear in the future right???? Wear ear protection!!!!
What? lol. Sorry I just could not resist. I second the hearing protection! Also safety goggles.
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  #489  
Old 04-10-2013, 03:44 AM
Laughn Mowerson Laughn Mowerson is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawnman_scott View Post
Get liability insurance right away. When i started i was licensed, but not insured, i just automatically figured i couldnt afford it, but when i broke my first sliding glass door, the customer was impressed that i had insurance. I say first because there has been a few.
I'm not insured. Live in LA where insurance is very expensive. Almost would cost me a sliding door per month to justify insurance. I don't mean to pry, but how much is your insurance a month?
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  #490  
Old 04-10-2013, 03:46 AM
Laughn Mowerson Laughn Mowerson is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanderhoff Landscaping View Post
What? lol. Sorry I just could not resist. I second the hearing protection! Also safety goggles.
Definately wear protection. I have debris hit my glasses directly frequently, and you don't want to be like my father, barely able to hear anyone talk. And talking very loudly yourself. Hearing protection is a must. A good pair of ear plugs goes a long way and makes you look respectable, because you respect yourself.
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