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  #91  
Old 09-28-2014, 05:48 PM
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^^ totally agree +1...!

Yeah still on this topic.

Overall I'm fairly frustrated with lawn maintence. I'm always looking for greener grass.

Commercial bids for lawn maintenance are insanely low here. $60 per now for something that would go for over $120 else where. Fairly tough to even get a $30 minimum here.

Back in 2007/2008 there was an experienced irrigation contractor that moved up here from Florida. Said he relished getting out of Florida but he flat out said my area is loaded down with a bunch of half price hacks in irrigation.

One contractor used to quote, "we will beat any competitor on sprinkler blow out regardless of price". I have seen blowouts for $15 here. Most common price range is $30-$45.
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  #92  
Old 09-28-2014, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPendagast View Post

There are toooo many people doing it.
Not just landscapers, roofers, plumbers, construction companies… hobbyists… the list goers on.
The price is too low, the equipment to do it has gone up astronomically along with the fuel and the insurance.
People expect more more more, want to make no concessions and….. they can literally call anyone, someone will come right out to handle them like a taxi..

there are literally THAT many people doing it.

!
Truth. Drive around during any snowstorm and count the number of trucks with plows hanging off of them. There's all the companies you'd expect, but then an uncountable number of anonymous trucks with no lettering. Everyone's out trying to make money. And why not.....people hear they can charge $35 for a driveway that takes 10 minutes, who can blame them. Unfortunately at the end of the winter the math just doesn't add up as good as it needs to in order to make a living.

Builders, painters etc still have work lined up in the winter in addition to plowing, us landscapers usually don't.

The problem is we all have these expensive trucks just sitting all winter, costing a ton, not making anything........
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Landscape maintenance.
16 years experience, 10 as owner/operator.

And still not rich

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  #93  
Old 09-28-2014, 08:11 PM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Originally Posted by Exact Rototilling View Post

It is simply not worth it to me. I'm cleaning up my Honda HS1132
track drive here in a few minutes to sell. I paid around $3100 new. Hoping to get $2300 for it.
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I would keep it and use it on your own and your parent's property before you lose that much money on it.

You never know you would not be the first person that went back to doing snow years later.
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  #94  
Old 09-28-2014, 10:07 PM
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I would keep it and use it on your own and your parent's property before you lose that much money on it.

You never know you would not be the first person that went back to doing snow years later.
I have many single stage machines I can use here and at my dad's place. Property owner has a back hoe and he usually clears snow on the gravel dirt driveway and 1/3 mile road.

Also I'd prefer to get the Honda HS928 Wheel drive since the ground speed is much faster [track drive Honda are slow] and I believe in most situations is more speed efficient when an actual 2-stage machine has to be unloaded and used because of conditions a single stage struggle with. The single stage blowers are so much faster in most conditions.
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  #95  
Old 09-28-2014, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by RedSox4Life View Post
Truth. Drive around during any snowstorm and count the number of trucks with plows hanging off of them. There's all the companies you'd expect, but then an uncountable number of anonymous trucks with no lettering. Everyone's out trying to make money. And why not.....people hear they can charge $35 for a driveway that takes 10 minutes, who can blame them. Unfortunately at the end of the winter the math just doesn't add up as good as it needs to in order to make a living.

Builders, painters etc still have work lined up in the winter in addition to plowing, us landscapers usually don't.

The problem is we all have these expensive trucks just sitting all winter, costing a ton, not making anything........
This is what I've been saying on stuff.

If you went out into a storm with a ford ranger and a 6.5' poly plow, people would call you names, laugh at you, people who tell you how stupid you were and how inferior you are.

They whip up this imaginary world where only the best will do, to join their self made cool guy club.
so it becomes a one up game, a go big or go home mentality where you have to have a diesel with a 10 foot plow and wings to do a residential driveway.

This heckling advice? given mostly by people with so little experience in the field themselves, it would make your head spin if you actually knew.

so everyone shoots so super trucks with mega plows, in a field where there is less snow to actually plow than there was even 30 years ago.
back when an f150 with a 7 foot plow was the norm.

I began snow plowing in 1990 and my boss put me in his GMC sierra dually, two wheel drive.
and I plowed parking lots
From 02-05 I ran a Mitsubishi FE 2wd with a plow and sander, as one of the trucks in my commercial fleet, and a 6cyl ford ranger with a 6.5 foot plow that had more power than than trucks I grew up watching pushing snow.

The brotherhood of cool gadgets in the industry, pushed impossible standards to uphold, by people who just don't want to be ridiculed and don't have the knowledge of what to get, or what not to get.
Then the brotherhood cries when "everywhere you look theres a new diesel truck with a 4x4"
and they all sit around in a parking lot waiting for it to snow, drinking coffee complaining about how they are losing money and all the "hacks" are getting the work.

The hacks are using some old hydraulic plow, probably a meyers on a 2500 silverado from 87, that you can't even tell what color it is any more….
and he's pushing for $25.
It's probably got a ladder rack on it and all his other crap for normal work in the back.

He's got to get up at 5am in the morning anyway to get to the construction site, but if it snows, work is delayed or canceled that day.
so really its an hour or two earlier to go plow in the morning really that much more of an inconvenience?

Boom. He goes out and makes 20 driveways clear, and gets $500 to sit in his truck for the morning.

he doesn't need to go out plowing for 15 hours just to make ends meet, he doesn't have a shiny toy with the newest tech to pay for and insure, and he's not waiting for it to snow or counting on X number of events… if it doesn't snow, thats good news…because hell make more doing framing or whatever that day, than he could plowing snow.

My opinion? Let that happen.
Dont compete. Don't even buy heavy trucks with 4x4.
Buy cheap trucks with 2wd for lawn mowing.
if you need heavier trucks for landscaping ops… don't beat them up with snow plowing.
you'll make more money over 5 years, than had you wasted your investment beating it up on the one year it did snow a lot.

Last edited by TPendagast; 09-28-2014 at 11:30 PM.
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  #96  
Old 09-28-2014, 11:38 PM
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have you looked into holiday lighting at all?

the other thing I've been toying with getting involved with for 'winter work' is apartment/condo/rental maintenance.
A lot of property management companies have a 'guy' or two that do this, but there are others that farm it out.

Simple things, property checks, toilets to plunge, light bulbs to fix, rental damage to document.
it sounds like a lot of BS but you're not really cooking and jamming during the winter anyway.
can work out well for you if it grows into an extension into lawn care for the property during the summer.

Ive dabbled in this during slow periods.
But Ive never set up a company with employees and a route to do it yet.

but if you're solo anyway, this is a lot less complicated.

Rentals, condos, timeshares have their own seasons of intensity, which doesn't normally happen at the same time lawn care intensifies, unless we're talking Ft. Lauderdale.
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  #97  
Old 09-29-2014, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPendagast View Post
have you looked into holiday lighting at all?

the other thing I've been toying with getting involved with for 'winter work' is apartment/condo/rental maintenance.
A lot of property management companies have a 'guy' or two that do this, but there are others that farm it out.

Simple things, property checks, toilets to plunge, light bulbs to fix, rental damage to document.
it sounds like a lot of BS but you're not really cooking and jamming during the winter anyway.
can work out well for you if it grows into an extension into lawn care for the property during the summer.

Ive dabbled in this during slow periods.
But Ive never set up a company with employees and a route to do it yet.

but if you're solo anyway, this is a lot less complicated.

Rentals, condos, timeshares have their own seasons of intensity, which doesn't normally happen at the same time lawn care intensifies, unless we're talking Ft. Lauderdale.
I know there is good money in holiday lighting. The big name Companies we all know charge big money here for hanging lights then storage fees when not in use.

Since this is not something my heart is not in...don't think it would be a good fit.

Honestly weighing getting my CDL and working oil fields out of state over the winter. I really need a change of scenery and I could use the cash flow boost.

I have commercial driving experience with trucks just under CDL requirement when I worked as a delivery driver years back. I used to fly airplanes for fun...when I had money. Idaho doesn't have an hour requirement for taking CDL test so I don't think it would be very difficult. Just not sure yet how much $ it would cost to get it just yet.

I can pass a drug test, no DUI's, squeaky clean driving record and I'm not a convicted felon or even found guilty of anything beyond a driving infraction say maybe 15 years ago...?

I'm willing to travel out of area for work as long as I can be back in the area every 2.5-4 weeks to see my son and attend to my Dad's needs who is 89.

Here is the problem... How to get hired at a decent job with the intentions of going back to lawn care in March of 2015...?

Then again if I could land something with an actual future, a good fit with benefits...and a pay check that is $65-80k like many on here claim to make and they want to quit to get into lawn care...? Hey let's trade places.

Long term....I am strongly considering getting hired part time with a retailer who gives out benefits with just 24 hours per week. Major hiring cycle for that is around early Spring to Memorial Day weekend. Quit most mowings and do just aerations and aplications. I never wanted to be the "Mow King".

I'm open to suggestions.
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  #98  
Old 09-29-2014, 08:22 AM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Originally Posted by Exact Rototilling View Post
I have many single stage machines I can use here and at my dad's place. Property owner has a back hoe and he usually clears snow on the gravel dirt driveway and 1/3 mile road.

Also I'd prefer to get the Honda HS928 Wheel drive since the ground speed is much faster [track drive Honda are slow] and I believe in most situations is more speed efficient when an actual 2-stage machine has to be unloaded and used because of conditions a single stage struggle with. The single stage blowers are so much faster in most conditions.
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I had one huge gravel driveway and just picked up another. I know the Ariens track blowers have the feature to raise the auger so no stones are picked up which is better then pushing down on the handle bar the hold job just to keep the front raised so I do not suck up any of the gravel. I assume the Honda being it has a track works the same way.

I will not own a 1 stage. I have had too many people stop me to open up their driveways because the plow truck buried them in and their 1 stage could not move that packed snow. Or get them access to their mail box.
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  #99  
Old 09-29-2014, 08:28 AM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Originally Posted by Exact Rototilling View Post
Long term....I am strongly considering getting hired part time with a retailer who gives out benefits with just 24 hours per week. Major hiring cycle for that is around early Spring to Memorial Day weekend. Quit most mowings and do just aerations and aplications. I never wanted to be the "Mow King".

I'm open to suggestions.
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Getting a PT job is a good idea.

Though when you need more business yet will not do mowing does not make sense. I do a wide range of services just to get my billing hours up. Though being solo and knowing my limits I will pass on what I can not handle.
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  #100  
Old 09-29-2014, 11:15 AM
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Exact Rototilling Exact Rototilling is online now
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Originally Posted by 32vld View Post
I had one huge gravel driveway and just picked up another. I know the Ariens track blowers have the feature to raise the auger so no stones are picked up which is better then pushing down on the handle bar the hold job just to keep the front raised so I do not suck up any of the gravel. I assume the Honda being it has a track works the same way.

I will not own a 1 stage. I have had too many people stop me to open up their driveways because the plow truck buried them in and their 1 stage could not move that packed snow. Or get them access to their mail box.
Yes the Honda track drives have a 3 position tilt. The upward most is for transport and what I have used on dirt and gravel. The variable drive lever is a joy to use and I can't imagine being stuck with fixed speeds. This works well when chewing through packed berms. The Honda Impeller is nearly clog proof. I just wish the Honda 2 stage machines had taller handle bars. They must design them for people who are no taller than 5'-4".

As for mowing lawns I am getting smarter. If I raise my rates to the prices many on Lawnsite claim to be getting for just mowing the problem will take care if itself.

Even in an applications based model the weather is a factor on what you can or can't get done in a given day or week.
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