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  #51  
Old 10-05-2013, 10:54 PM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Western New York
Posts: 322
Quote:
Originally Posted by scag3wheel View Post
How did the loader work? I to bought one that I could afford this year and have just been using it in my own yard with small piles due to lack of falling leaves near me. Mine is lower hp to so I am just curious to how yours worked with a larger pile.
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Truthfully, I think I may have been able to load the leaves quicker with a pitchfork. Eh maybe not. Saves my back though. That pile was only about 12" high inside the box. Without the compaction, caused by forcing the leaves in, probably would've filled the trailer.

I've watched a ton of videos on leaf loaders. My conclusion is that if you need one, you need to get the biggest you can use for your application without breaking the bank. If I ever needed to purchase say a Billy Goat loader it would be the highest HP tailgate mounted I could find. If you have a lot of jobs or very large ones I'd be looking at a towable unit. I mean it's the difference between sucking up a pile in :30 - 1 1/2 minutes vs 10 minutes. The price difference between the BG tailgate loaders can be a difference of $1000. But if that more expensive unit gets the job done more effectively it's probably worth the expense. Same thing with handheld vs. backpack vs. walkbehind blowers. If I had a walkbehind I probably could've saved myself :20-:30min on that job above, maybe. And you don't have to buy new.

Speaking on effectiveness/efficiency, although I'm no way near this, if the time comes instead of purchasing a dedicated dump truck I'll be looking into a used cab and chassis and getting that switch n go system. 2-3 trucks in 1. They showed one of those giant vac leaf loaders mounted on a body. Suck up leaves in the morning, doing dump truck work in the afternoon and not needing to dump in order to use the truck for the other purpose. Just switch out bodies. ETWman got me thinking about those. Especially if your a small biz with 2 or less crews. Instead of 5 trucks have two. I
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  #52  
Old 10-05-2013, 11:19 PM
Armsden&Son Armsden&Son is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: adirondacks, NY
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Hey there PLLandscape. I am actually a follower of ETW's thread as well and I just recently saw your name over there for the first time. It's almost like the twilight zone looking at your work and company.... We are seriously similar in many ways... Not only the fact that we are both solo trying to do as much as humanly possible alone. But our installs are like dopplegangers. I am a huge fan of the darker(black or dark brown) mulch in juxtaposition with decorative stone, with landscape border in between... I must have done at least 10 installs this last season exactly like yours... I actually picked the look up from a company down in Boston and just fell in love with it... I also use a ton of boxwoods (green mountain and green velvets) I worked for about 15 years for an established company in Boston before I moved to Upstate New York to start my own company.. This was my first year out.... I really like looking at your work because it's exactly how I do things... Right. I am in the same boat with wanting to get a helper next season to make things smoother but It just seems so darn hard to get someone that will be up to my standards... I mean, really, can you imagine any of those installs you did coming out like that if you left someone there to do them? Just like ETW says.... the right employees make the difference... Unfortunately, where I am located, it seems like the pool for prospective employees is small to non-existent... Oh, yeah, P.M me if you want to know any specifics or chat because I purposely stay vague on the threads because of google.
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  #53  
Old 10-06-2013, 07:33 AM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Western New York
Posts: 322
Armsden&Son. I actually had to Wikipedia doppelgänger.... Thanks for the compliments. Those couple installs were based off of customer feedback although I did the "design" work, or really just plant placement.

Workers are hard to find especially when you only need a true part time laborer. I've had some friends in the past that we're awesome but they just move on to bigger and better things because they're not supposed to work as a part time laborer the rest of their life. There are employees out there, we just gotta find them and have a business that can support them. The latter probably being most peoples biggest problem. With the current race to the bottom on pricing everything suffers. Quality, consistency, efficiency, and good employees. It's joining the race to the top, although difficult, and creating a business people want to be a part of and customers who can't live without you. Tough one.
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  #54  
Old 10-06-2013, 10:22 AM
scag3wheel scag3wheel is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Berkshire County MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLLandscape View Post
Truthfully, I think I may have been able to load the leaves quicker with a pitchfork. Eh maybe not. Saves my back though. That pile was only about 12" high inside the box. Without the compaction, caused by forcing the leaves in, probably would've filled the trailer.

I've watched a ton of videos on leaf loaders. My conclusion is that if you need one, you need to get the biggest you can use for your application without breaking the bank. If I ever needed to purchase say a Billy Goat loader it would be the highest HP tailgate mounted I could find. If you have a lot of jobs or very large ones I'd be looking at a towable unit. I mean it's the difference between sucking up a pile in :30 - 1 1/2 minutes vs 10 minutes. The price difference between the BG tailgate loaders can be a difference of $1000. But if that more expensive unit gets the job done more effectively it's probably worth the expense. Same thing with handheld vs. backpack vs. walkbehind blowers. If I had a walkbehind I probably could've saved myself :20-:30min on that job above, maybe. And you don't have to buy new.

Speaking on effectiveness/efficiency, although I'm no way near this, if the time comes instead of purchasing a dedicated dump truck I'll be looking into a used cab and chassis and getting that switch n go system. 2-3 trucks in 1. They showed one of those giant vac leaf loaders mounted on a body. Suck up leaves in the morning, doing dump truck work in the afternoon and not needing to dump in order to use the truck for the other purpose. Just switch out bodies. ETWman got me thinking about those. Especially if your a small biz with 2 or less crews. Instead of 5 trucks have two. I
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I get what you mean about the efficiency/effectiveness thing that you mentioned. Is my 8 horse loader that I could afford going to suck up a pile the size of my truck in a minute? No but it will get the job done and beats loading it by hand, that's for sure. I don't have enough clean ups yet to justify buying a big one, like you had said but if would be nice to get one. Mine actually does better than I expected though. Good luck with yours.
As for finding good help, I am lucky that my dad and I can handle most of the work that we get so I can't really help you guys there.
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  #55  
Old 10-06-2013, 11:55 AM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Western New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scag3wheel View Post
As for finding good help, I am lucky that my dad and I can handle most of the work that we get so I can't really help you guys there.
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I'm not sure I would ever want family involved in any of the starting process or at all as an employee/helper/whatever. I'd rather not risk ruining relationships over business things (money, not showing for work, or anything that could cause an issue). Friends are one thing as I don't need to sit at holiday family meals with them or other family events. My own opinion. you must be young to have your father working with you. Mine is much to old for labor type work.
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  #56  
Old 10-06-2013, 09:16 PM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Western New York
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Came to a stark realization today. I was thinking back to a conversation I had this summer with my neighbors 18 year old son. He was asking me first if I needed any help this year. As we talked a bit he dropped a question on me. "So where do you picture PLL (my business) to be someday?". You know what, I couldn't even give him a straight answer. I probably muttered a few words like "get bigger, get more work, etc..". This only means one thing. I really need to get my business plan much sharper than just a few thoughts in my head that were my business plan. I should've been able to give him a concise answer without thinking. Without a road map, getting to your destination is quite difficult. I've been working on one, a real one, for the past month and I continue to make edits. I do see how this can pave the way and spell everything out and answer any questions I have about where I need/want to go. Shame on me for letting this go too long. Don't get me wrong I had a decent idea in my head but on paper makes it much more real and holds you accountable. I have a lot of work ahead of me this fall/winter to make sure 2014 is where I need it to be.........
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  #57  
Old 10-06-2013, 09:41 PM
Armsden&Son Armsden&Son is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: adirondacks, NY
Posts: 1,898
You are absolutely correct. Do you know anything about the law of attraction? Some people believe in it, some people don't. But the basic premise is simple.... The more energy you put into something, the more that something will gravitate towards you (that is actually a very crude definition and folks who truly practice it would be mad at me probably) but look at it this way... The greats; Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Mozart, Beyonce, John Rockefeller..... The list goes on and on but these folks are and were successful because they breathed, ate, and slept basketball, music, entertaining, business. If you don't have a solid business plan, how can you even dream about the future? How do you know what you want? Know, you know that I love ETW's thread and I take his advice to heart, I mean, look at the guy, he's super successful. However, one thing he says is to do one thing really really well and not focus on a bunch of stuff. Well, I want my company to be multi-faceted, I want to be offering maintenance as well as installs and hardscaping and turf care and pesticides. I want folks to know that when they need anything, ANYTHING outside the perimeter of their home and inside the perimeter of their land boundary, I am the guy to call. And that is truly what I think about all day long, when I am working, eating, sleeping... And my business plan is right there almost like a mantra in my head... Over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over............
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  #58  
Old 10-22-2013, 07:40 PM
Armsden&Son Armsden&Son is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: adirondacks, NY
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Hey PL... How are your clean ups coming?
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  #59  
Old 02-27-2014, 08:04 PM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Western New York
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  #60  
Old 03-14-2014, 03:05 PM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Western New York
Posts: 322
Some of my marketing for this year. Don't ask why I blanked out the phone number, I just did for posting. Ha.. All pictures are my work not stock photos. Thanks to Bob at Plan-it Graphics for the design work!


Just need to wait for the weather to turn to get these mailed out and hung on doors. Just had a blizzard Tues/Wed, not sure landscaping is on peoples minds quite yet with a foot+ of snow on the ground.


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