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  #1421  
Old 09-03-2013, 11:05 PM
alldayrj's Avatar
alldayrj alldayrj is online now
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Location: Long island, NY
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Looks awesome
What are you setting the boulders with?
Also, any concern with the stone over the woodbins unsupported and it eventually sagging? I recently set 2" stone similarly, less span, and the customer was concerned since his 1" granite island slab has a nice belly in the middle that holds water.
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  #1422  
Old 09-04-2013, 09:39 PM
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tthomass tthomass is offline
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Location: N. VA
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Thank you.

We place the boulders with Bobcats, they weigh 2,000-3,000lbs each.

I have zero concern about stone sagging. It's 2" thick, not manufactured and secured in multiple places. It's not exactly flexible material, so if there was an issue it would crack.
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  #1423  
Old 09-05-2013, 10:46 PM
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Birchwood Birchwood is offline
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always your work looks great but why a fire pit and a fire place?
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  #1424  
Old 09-06-2013, 09:01 PM
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tthomass tthomass is offline
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Thank you!

The fire pit is gas powered, so if they want a quick fire to relax in the evening they can or they can have an all out blaze in the fireplace.
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  #1425  
Old 10-21-2013, 09:13 PM
RPM90 RPM90 is offline
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Location: Philly
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Hows things going. So I have a few questions for you, I am at a point where I have to decide if I go to the next level by adding more employees or stay where I am at. Were you profit margins better per crew with smaller crews like a 2 man crew vs a 3 man crew? Also have you been more profitable with adding more crews? Has your quality of work suffered at all by having so many crew? I am at 3 crews now and think I may need to add another next year, I don't know if I just hold off and have a large backlog or add this other crew. The money is there and have the money to add the crew just don't want to get too large and my quality start to suffer with some many different moving parts.

Thanks,
Ryan
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  #1426  
Old 12-03-2013, 10:50 PM
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tthomass tthomass is offline
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You will always have growing pains and we endured a lot of those this year. Everything from paper trails to some stupid quality concerns. We grew too quick and it took a few months to get our arms around all of it. I just went over numbers with my maintenance manager this morning and we are doing almost 4 times as much maintenance this year. Profit was not as high but we've got a big working customer base now to fine tune and regroup on where we're losing money and missing opportunities. It won't all be fixed this winter, nor next, but we're going to continue improving.

Next year we will be going to a 4 day work week. This limits overtime and makes us hero's when it comes to customer service because we will have better availability. This will also reduce equipment usage by 20%+, cut down on maintenance/fuel and get us more life out of our equipment/tools.

I'm also getting away from "this crew" is cutting, "this crew" is mulching, "this crew" is doing bed maintenance, "this crew" is pruning etc etc. We have too many different people on the same property and its stupid. We are reducing workloads on the crews and making the foreman also be mini account managers. We will assign them properties, they will know every service and they will be responsible for everything that takes place on that property. We often double up crews on mulching jobs, plantings etc but the foreman that is responsible for the property will be present when work is being performed and that foreman will be designated the "boss" to anyone else, including other foreman.

With that I have another idea.......I am going to attach 4 weeks pay at 40hrs per week in the winter as an incentive to the foremen. This will be used to fill weeks that are slow to give them a more steady income in the off season. Any hours left on March 1st and I'll cut them a check. This is a big concern for guys in our industry but this will be an incentive. I cannot force anyone to pay for damages to anything, but I can reduce an incentive. The catch is anytime damages or quality concerns arise that are deemed legit, that money will be taken from the incentive. The foreman's helper can also reduce the incentive if he causes damages or quality concerns. This will then have the foreman managing the work that his help is doing. All of the details have yet to be ironed out but I like the idea.

I'm typing this in a rush so hopefully it makes sense.
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  #1427  
Old 12-03-2013, 10:52 PM
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tthomass tthomass is offline
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Here's an updated picture of the previous job. Going to look really nice this spring.
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  #1428  
Old 12-03-2013, 10:57 PM
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tthomass tthomass is offline
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Location: N. VA
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New truck I bought while home for Thanksgiving. This will be rolloff #3.

-Removing the box
-Moving the rear tandem forward
-Chopping the frame
-New rear bumper
-Mounting another rolloff hoist
-(2) 2'x2'x6' polished stainless toolboxes
-Polished stainless fenders
-Painting the truck blue
-Lettering/logo
-Virginia Tech license plate frame

It's a 2002 with less than 47,000 miles in "like new" condition. Couldn't believe it when I saw it.
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  #1429  
Old 12-03-2013, 11:58 PM
Drakeslayer Drakeslayer is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by tthomass View Post
You will always have growing pains and we endured a lot of those this year. Everything from paper trails to some stupid quality concerns. We grew too quick and it took a few months to get our arms around all of it. I just went over numbers with my maintenance manager this morning and we are doing almost 4 times as much maintenance this year. Profit was not as high but we've got a big working customer base now to fine tune and regroup on where we're losing money and missing opportunities. It won't all be fixed this winter, nor next, but we're going to continue improving.

Next year we will be going to a 4 day work week. This limits overtime and makes us hero's when it comes to customer service because we will have better availability. This will also reduce equipment usage by 20%+, cut down on maintenance/fuel and get us more life out of our equipment/tools.

I'm also getting away from "this crew" is cutting, "this crew" is mulching, "this crew" is doing bed maintenance, "this crew" is pruning etc etc. We have too many different people on the same property and its stupid. We are reducing workloads on the crews and making the foreman also be mini account managers. We will assign them properties, they will know every service and they will be responsible for everything that takes place on that property. We often double up crews on mulching jobs, plantings etc but the foreman that is responsible for the property will be present when work is being performed and that foreman will be designated the "boss" to anyone else, including other foreman.

With that I have another idea.......I am going to attach 4 weeks pay at 40hrs per week in the winter as an incentive to the foremen. This will be used to fill weeks that are slow to give them a more steady income in the off season. Any hours left on March 1st and I'll cut them a check. This is a big concern for guys in our industry but this will be an incentive. I cannot force anyone to pay for damages to anything, but I can reduce an incentive. The catch is anytime damages or quality concerns arise that are deemed legit, that money will be taken from the incentive. The foreman's helper can also reduce the incentive if he causes damages or quality concerns. This will then have the foreman managing the work that his help is doing. All of the details have yet to be ironed out but I like the idea.

I'm typing this in a rush so hopefully it makes sense.
Big thumbs up! We have done something similar the last few years and you will be very glad you did it.
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  #1430  
Old 12-04-2013, 12:21 AM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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We have been doing a 4 day work week this year. Mon - Thurs. It all started so that I could leave town by noon on Fridays to go out of town to race. And it's worked out so well that working 4 day weeks has become standard even when I'm not hitting the road for a race.

For me as the owner with all the admin responsibility it can get a little crazy trying to cram everything into 4 days.
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