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  #411  
Old 05-07-2010, 12:43 AM
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J & D Greens J & D Greens is offline
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[QUOTE=White Gardens;3552614]Thanks J & D, I appreciate that, you should copy and paste this post and send it to CaterKiller as he thinks I'm an idiot. I just got done arguing with him about my business model in a thread in the Landscaping section. I do agree with him though that I wish I could pay for all my equipment up-front with cash, but I've got to do what I need to do to stay competitive right now, and I don't buy anything unless I know I've got the jobs for it.

It is really hard, now I really need to build up my clientele and it would be nice to be able to afford a 32" scag to make mowing faster and do a better job. Right now I have 3 Toro 21" pro-lines and a 21" commercial Snapper. My accounts are not that big in fact rather small, but I can see what the future holds as my maintenance equipment needs grow. It is funny that last winter I built my own cage for the front of my small trailer and every one liked it (in my thread on it) but they all said that I would out grow it very soon. Now the the two things I will need are that larger trailer and the scag. I don't want to go in debt for equipment at this point but if necessary to insure I am able to do the work load I am after I would when I get it, but only then as you said.

Do you work Solo? You talked in this last thread about figuring out work-mans comp. The work I see in your post look as though you have at least 2-3 guys already working for you. I like the work you are doing, when I worked for a crew when I was a kid we maintenance very expensive homes in the wealthiest parts of Denver, ( Polo-Club Drive, Cherry-Hills and surrounding areas. 125 accounts per week ) the thing I love best is when the mowing and the landscaping complement the property and I could look back as I finished the yard and it would look perfect.
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  #412  
Old 05-07-2010, 06:35 AM
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White Gardens White Gardens is offline
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Originally Posted by J & D Greens View Post


Do you work Solo? You talked in this last thread about figuring out work-mans comp. The work I see in your post look as though you have at least 2-3 guys already working for you. I like the work you are doing, when I worked for a crew when I was a kid we maintenance very expensive homes in the wealthiest parts of Denver, ( Polo-Club Drive, Cherry-Hills and surrounding areas. 125 accounts per week ) the thing I love best is when the mowing and the landscaping complement the property and I could look back as I finished the yard and it would look perfect.
I've been solo for 5 years now. I've done all the work myself. The only time I used any help was for the paver sidewalk and I paid out 30 hours of labor for that between two guys. Everyone asks me if I do it myself or not and they are usually fairly surprised when I tell them I do it myself. I've just tried to be as efficient and expedient as possible when doing my work. Part of the reason for the machine is to keep my labor costs down, and anyone I hire this year will be on a part-time, need be bases. I've already got one guy lined up to help and he is OK with that. Even in this thread there is still one or two bigger jobs that I've done that I didn't post pics.

Post a link to your thread J & D, I'd like to take a look at what you do.
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Last edited by White Gardens; 05-07-2010 at 06:45 AM.
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  #413  
Old 05-07-2010, 09:58 AM
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J & D Greens J & D Greens is offline
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The only 2 threads I started so far was to introduce my self and the one on working on my trailer. I'll pm you the link as I would not want to take away from your thread. Thanks David
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  #414  
Old 05-08-2010, 09:44 AM
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White Gardens White Gardens is offline
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The only 2 threads I started so far was to introduce my self and the one on working on my trailer. I'll pm you the link as I would not want to take away from your thread. Thanks David
No biggie. Even though this thread is mine, it's still a public forum.

So here is the S600TX, and trailer that I picked up this week. The trailer was 800 from a guy in Chicago and I took a quick day trip up there to get it. Took about 2.5 hours each direction. The only thing that sucked was that I had to drive the beast up there to get it as that morning the trailer was on e-bay and the guy had 5 calls in the first two hours. I wasn't going to pass it up.

As a side note, it's May 9th and we have a frost advisory for tonight into Sunday morning. April 15th is our average last frost. Makes me wonder if we are going to have another cool wet summer.

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  #415  
Old 05-08-2010, 10:53 AM
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J & D Greens J & D Greens is offline
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We have had a lot of good weather with a day or two mixed in at around 28-30 degrees. but fortunately the weather has been mild in the way or snow or rain that was for-casted to hit the area.

Everything is so green and lush, I have asked a few costumers permission to take some pictures of their properties for a future web site, and I'll try to post them so you can see them. Mind you I only cut their grass, some one else did their garden plans and such. But these and what I see you guys doing has me wanting to take some courses in landscape design, so that eventually I can have two crews running under us (me and my wife) one landscape and one maintenance.

It is a lot of work to do solo and make any money at it. I think hire a crew at some point only makes sense.
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  #416  
Old 05-08-2010, 10:59 AM
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By the way nice find on the S600tx.
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  #417  
Old 05-08-2010, 12:08 PM
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Looks great!

Got any plans to do anything to the trailer?
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Just run the god damn sh*t out of the machine and the hell with all the other crap, make money instead of worrying about crap that only accountants think about!
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  #418  
Old 05-08-2010, 01:05 PM
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White Gardens White Gardens is offline
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Looks great!

Got any plans to do anything to the trailer?
Ya, probably just wire-wheel it and use a two-part epoxy paint (what I used on the dump bed) on it and paint it black. I also need to re-paint the rims.

It will be on the back-burner though as I've got other stuff to do for the time being though.
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  #419  
Old 05-08-2010, 11:34 PM
Caterkillar Caterkillar is offline
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Originally Posted by White Gardens View Post
Thanks J & D, I appreciate that, you should copy and paste this post and send it to CaterKiller as he thinks I'm an idiot. I just got done arguing with him about my business model in a thread in the Landscaping section. I do agree with him though that I wish I could pay for all my equipment up-front with cash, but I've got to do what I need to do to stay competitive right now, and I don't buy anything unless I know I've got the jobs for it.

It might not be perfect, but I feel I'm lining myself up to expand a little each year as business grows. I'm just getting my Workman's comp figured out to hire someone part-time, and hopefully I can work on efficiency a bit more this year before I expand more. I don't want to be losing money on wasted time. That and I want to pay off my truck and new skid this year before I hire to ensure I can pay my employees.

I've tried to keep it simple with the landscape maintenance and let the installs fall into place. I didn't want to get into the mowing trap of investing tons of money into equipment just to try and compete with the low-ballers out there mowing yards. I'm glad I've kept it that way as I've seen/noticed twice as many mow services this year.


Just as a little equipment update, the mini should be ready to pick up on Friday, and yesterday I took the Dump to Chicago to pick up a 14ft., 10K steel deck equipment trailer, with tilt, for $800. Can't hardly find a trailer like that for less than $2500. I didn't want to take Heavy D (Dump Truck) but the guy had 5 calls for it and I wanted to snag it before someone else did. Other wise I was going to borrow a chevy 1500 to go get it.

How much did you pay for the vermeer? Also since it saves you labor cost, does that mean you bill the machine as an additional man hour/laborer?
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  #420  
Old 05-08-2010, 11:46 PM
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White Gardens White Gardens is offline
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How much did you pay for the vermeer? Also since it saves you labor cost, does that mean you bill the machine as an additional man hour/laborer?
9500, with 450 hours on it. I know that there is cheaper units out there, but this one has the best dump height and power out of all the machines that I tested. That and it came from the dealer as one of their rentals, so I know the service record of it. I've actually lined up a mini backhoe attachment for it also for a heck of a deal and it will come in handy digging footers for retaining walls, and light landscaping work around houses. Eventually I want to buy some green-mats to put down in order to not tear up lawns.

I also now have the option to buy mulch in bulk now, so that should cut out half my mulch bills every year.

No, I don't charge extra as a laborer, but I charge for the equipment usage like I would any machine that I use on-site. Be it be a machine I own or rent. When it comes to hand-held equipment I charge accordingly per man hour to adjust for the efficiency of said equipment.

I know I took a small shot at you in this thread Killar, but I honestly felt slighted by the thread in the Landscaping section. I appreciate all comments and opinions, and try not to take things personally.
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