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  #31  
Old 08-17-2013, 12:29 AM
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94gt331 94gt331 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLLandscape View Post
Bad day today. One job finished sub par from my norm (wasn't working with a great site which led to this). A job I did for a friend a while ago, mind you I cut him a crazy deal, is full of minor complaints. I replaced a bush that was struggling even though I told him with the significant discount he got there is no warranty any anything. But don't want to have someone bad mouth you. I think I'm done with the family/friends discounts. Pay full like everyone else or hire another contractor who is cheaper. They just aren't worth it anymore.

One last thing for myself. Schedule only 1 job per day unless the multiple job days are jobs you have done before or have multiple people helping. Price accordingly too!!! I get into this waaaaay too much. I'm too pressured to finish the first to get to the second which messes with quality. Any of these new jobs need to have a price tag minimum. I know I'll lose some but being able to give all to one job during a workday is better than cramming too much. Chasing the hundred dollar work (meaning anything 3 figures probably the $500-$700 range) just doesn't work. Too much running around and materials eating away from profits.

Sorry needed to put it in writing for myself.....
I agree about chasing those $100 jobs. I too run into this quite often. I like to make a certain amount per day working and those half day jobs make it hard sometimes when you have a crew out there. You can only charge so much sometimes. Yeah it would be nice to set up a minimum job price but with my crew of 5 of us I will take whatever and be happy to have the work to keep us busy but I agree it keeps me running to much and eats profits alot. Some days we make little profits and other days we make up for it with larger easier jobs so it mostly levels out I think.
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  #32  
Old 08-17-2013, 05:36 AM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is online now
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I'll still continue to do the jobs that come my way. I think the smaller ones can create more frustration some days. I don't have a crew and I know having help would make me much more efficient/quicker on these types of jobs.

Goal for next year. Have enough work for a consistent part time summer helper. I'm at that point, in my life not necessarily in business, where I need to reduce the amount of field work I'm doing. I'll still be out there just need the laborer(s) to reduce the burden.
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  #33  
Old 09-02-2013, 08:43 PM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is online now
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Got the first real leaf box partially together today. I know it's early but the amount of leaves coming down in my own yard is scary and would rather be ready than scrambling like last year. I only have a few properties that need actual removal and last year the box was just made up with the scrap around the garage. I went with an actual "box" sitting in the trailer vs connecting it with the dump trailers side boards. Dont worry it's strapped down and chained to the trailer. That way the box can be removed if I'm in need of the dump trailer for any late landscaping. And I use the dump to haul around the mower so it's easier this way. It's pretty heavy though and would rather not to need to remove it. It would be real nice to have a winch mounted to the front floor of that trailer. I picked up a smaller "vintage" truck loader for this operation last year. A new loader would take way too many years to recoup and most towns here haul away leaves anyways so not much need for this set up.
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  #34  
Old 09-16-2013, 12:10 PM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is online now
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Alright first things first. This is called the BUDGET leaf rig build. I have barely a handful of fall cleanup/leaf removal customers but enough that I needed something to help with removal as the town only picks up leaves in bags.... Not a chance with the amount of leaves, and probably environmentally irresponsible. I needed something but spending $1500 on a used, beat up "commercial" unit would take too long to recover and may need to be replaced which I saw as a waste of money. New one, not for $3000. So I found a leaf loader last year. It's not a Billy Goat, nor Little Wonder, not even close to anything of the such. It was made by Parker Sweeper Company (which still makes leaf loaders), and is no longer made. That's how old this thing is. But the guy I bought it from was a guy who cared for everything he owned. I was personally owned and mainly used as a blower instead of loader. He must have been an engineer to configure it the way he wanted. This thing was immaculate for being as old as it was and started on the second pull. Handed him some cash and it served me well last year. The "leaf box" was constructed of scrap laying around. Hardly a good choice but worked. It loaded quite well but had two problems. The suction hose had a ton of holes and the leaves were barely broken down.

I decided to make a few changes this year. First was mounting it on the trailer tongue as I just had it sitting in the dump bed last year. Bought a new suction hose (holy expensive), and installed a reducing blade. Then constructed a box to sit inside the dump trailer. Finding an exhaust/loading hose was next to impossible so I fabbed up some ducting. It worked great last year, and is CHEAP. A custom piece would cost a fortune! Enough reading here it is. Don't worry it's chained to the trailer D-Rings too. Oh and if you're wondering why only half the trailer? I use the trailer to haul the mower around too during clean ups. The box is 9 cu.ft.
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  #35  
Old 09-16-2013, 12:21 PM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is online now
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I needed or wanted to fix the problem with the leaves not shredding up enough. So I bought a shredding blade but realized it wasn't going to just bolt on. I called a local machine shop and they fabbed up a piece to hook up the blade to the impeller. Works like a charm. Ran a wheelbarrow full of leaves through it and it did have more reduction than in the past. yea these small pieces add up but I'm still way below the cost of a beat used loader. Also, if in the future the demand for cleanups rises I'll make the investment in a commercial loader and custom leaf box (similar to perfect earths). For now this set up works and is completely paid for. Sorry some of the images are sideways.
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  #36  
Old 09-16-2013, 03:54 PM
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Deererunner Deererunner is online now
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Where did you order the shredding blade from? I need to get one for mine.
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  #37  
Old 09-16-2013, 04:13 PM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is online now
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I'll plead the 5th on that one only because I used another manufacturers product on this. Whatever equipment you have just call that manufacturer or search it out on the internet.
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  #38  
Old 09-16-2013, 05:38 PM
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grassman177 grassman177 is offline
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great work, I like your design and your install is very clean.
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  #39  
Old 09-16-2013, 06:00 PM
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McG_Landscaping McG_Landscaping is online now
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work looks great! what program did you use on the second page to make that design?
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  #40  
Old 09-16-2013, 06:28 PM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is online now
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Originally Posted by grassman177 View Post
great work, I like your design and your install is very clean.
Thanks. I'm still always learning and finding things I need to improve upon.
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