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  #11  
Old 08-20-2013, 05:54 PM
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weeze weeze is offline
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Location: weezertonfieldville, AL
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that's true man. i have one small city business lot i do with a 21". takes about 25min or so and i make $35 a cut.
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  #12  
Old 08-20-2013, 07:58 PM
pythons37 pythons37 is online now
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Location: Deerfield, NH
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I'm the guy with the Walmart Rider and the Craftsman pushers and the 200 foot long extension cord. I'm also the guy with the small chipper/shredder and 8HP walk behind leaf blower and gas fired generator and pole saw and tree loppers. I have a small trailer and a beat up Jeep. I'm a handy guy. I have insurance, too. I'm more expensive than the big mower crowd. I can offer what they can't: time to do a good and thorough job. When I see a problem, like a broken branch, if I can reach it, I'll take it down and if it's small enough, I'll chip it. I'll blow off a driveway with three years of crap built up on it. This method has worked for me and I do not worry about equipment payments or truck payments. I stay busy and work at least 4 days a week. I actually get tips, too. Sometimes, even coffee. I have customers in their 30s and some in their 70s and all in between.
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  #13  
Old 08-20-2013, 08:04 PM
Man Joe Man Joe is offline
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Location: Baltimore ,Md.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryinalabama View Post
I drive by this Astro Van for sale every morning.I wonder if I could put my equiptment in it and limit the use of the box truck.

Funny thing on a hourly basis I tend to get as much or more with a 21" mower as with the bigger mowers.
I used a van for a brief time. Even with just a small mower, trimmer, blower
and gas cans, the fumes bothered me. I would not recommend it.
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  #14  
Old 08-20-2013, 09:25 PM
Southern grass Southern grass is offline
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Location: Blue ridge GA
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These guys don't bother me as much as they use to because there are a million others out there that don't work an are on welfare and talking on there obama phone while my tax dollars pay for it. I will take the guy in the geo metro with the mower hanging out the trunk any day over seeing some guy sitting on his but not doing a darn thing
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  #15  
Old 08-20-2013, 10:36 PM
IES IES is offline
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Location: Central Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern grass View Post
These guys don't bother me as much as they use to because there are a million others out there that don't work an are on welfare and talking on there obama phone while my tax dollars pay for it. I will take the guy in the geo metro with the mower hanging out the trunk any day over seeing some guy sitting on his but not doing a darn thing
Yup. Gotta start somewhere.
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  #16  
Old 08-21-2013, 03:10 AM
Big Dog Diablo Big Dog Diablo is offline
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Location: Shelbyville TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herler View Post
So this thread is really about bashing on some guy that's trying to make a living?

Tell you what, those are the guys, granted some don't get far but if they do make it, you'll have a real problem on your hands.
Worrying about the guy in the shiny new truck with all the bling equipment, that guy's as likely to go bust when he can't make the payments, some think it's all about the money, a lot of these folks out there are up to their eyeballs in debt.
The guy working out of the trunk of a car, when I see someone like that, I know it's time to get back to work.
Couldn't agree more.
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  #17  
Old 08-21-2013, 10:39 AM
ducnut ducnut is online now
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: central IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DA Quality Lawn & YS View Post
These lawn schmo's don't really bother me anymore. They take away some of the crappy mowing work that I would not want anyway.
Shoot, I don't look down on any properties. If it's profitable and doesn't tear up my stuff, I'm game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by herler View Post
So this thread is really about bashing on some guy that's trying to make a living?

Tell you what, those are the guys, granted some don't get far but if they do make it, you'll have a real problem on your hands.
Worrying about the guy in the shiny new truck with all the bling equipment, that guy's as likely to go bust when he can't make the payments, some think it's all about the money, a lot of these folks out there are up to their eyeballs in debt.
The guy working out of the trunk of a car, when I see someone like that, I know it's time to get back to work.
Nah, I don't think it's bashing, at least not for me. I just stated the obvious.

And, people have looked at my shiny stuff and made the same assumption. But, the truth is that I wash my truck and trailer a couple times per week. I blow off my equipment after nearly every job. I paid less for my embroidered polo shirts (that I mow in) than I did for my screenprinted T-shirts. My Riggs work pants cost about the same as my casual jeans. I make no payments. I, also, point out that nearly every LCO, in my town, has as much or more in their stuff than I. It's just that I care about my presentation more than they do, which is how I do more than just lawn work for my clients. I've even sat down and eaten lunch with a few of them. The dirty, lawn guy/gal isn't going to be offered that. I want to be more than just a worker, to my clients.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weeze View Post
i think the solo operations in town that have the most customers use the crappiest equipment. most times they don't even have commerical equipment. they use homeowner tractor mowers and pushmowers from walmart and whatever. they mow sunup til sundown 7 days a week it seems. at least around here that's how it is. everytime i pass a gas station or fast food place these are the type of guys mowing them.

now i know they aren't making a killing. they prolly only make $25 a cut on these places. i really feel sorry for them. it's like they are working themselves to death. they could charge double and do half the work and make the same amount of money. i just don't think they get it. some people always think working harder is the answer no matter what. they don't seem to understand the working smarter aspect of things.
There is one team that has most of the gas stations and bars, here in town. They have about the same in their two JD ZTRs as what I have in my entire operation. I have no idea what they're charging. But, they're always dirty, wear cutoff-sleeved T-shirts (even the girl), and torn jeans. I've never seen their stuff clean. We always exchange friendly waves. I just wish they would move themselves up a bit in professionalism, to reflect they truly are professionals. They are in such highly visible locations. Bring up the entire industry. I felt the same way the 18yrs I drove a truck and the years I ran a roofing crew.
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  #18  
Old 08-22-2013, 11:37 AM
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billpiper billpiper is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Metro Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 82
I started out with a lawn tractor. I'm clean when I start, but heat and cutting makes you sweaty and dirty. So what? I earn my pay.
I've increased my minimum charge and the rate I quote at now that I have established customers. I doubt even the guys working out of their car want to leave anymore on the table than they have to. I'm looking to increase the quality of my work and the quality of my customers. Just like most of us. How many of us are there that didn't start off exactly like those that some of us look down on?
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  #19  
Old 08-22-2013, 12:57 PM
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grassmonkey0311 grassmonkey0311 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: MD/NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herler View Post
So this thread is really about bashing on some guy that's trying to make a living?
I wouldnt really call it bashing....

Just this year, I have come across:

-A teacher on craigslist saying he has the summers off, so he does landscaping. He will undercut any price because he does it for "fun".

-Uninsured operator slam a walk behind into an AC unit and broke it. Customer didn't trust me thinking we were all the same. It took a while to convince her, she turned out to be a great customer.

-Numerous phone calls of "my guy stopped showing up".

-Illegals....nothing else to say about that one....

And a whole lot more I'm just too lazy to type. The majority of people around here have a full time job (like myself), but are looking to make some extra cash on the side. Very few of us have dreams of going full time (of which I think I may next year!!!!). The ones doing it for extra cash running illegal operations are the ones destroying business for the rest of us. Not to mention, state law requires a home improvement contractors license for all hardscapes, walkways, patios, etc and 95% of these illegally ran companies offer this as a service. I have no problem with people trying to make a living, or mowing to supplement income because they were laid off. I DO have a problem with people saying "been in business for 3 years", yet they have no license or insurance.
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  #20  
Old 08-22-2013, 11:40 PM
andyslawncare andyslawncare is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Palmetto, GA
Posts: 812
I started borrowing my dads truck with a push mower, bought a mini van and small trailer, and now have 3 trucks capable of $2k+/day and don't owe a penny in debt.

The newbies will go broke or eventually do things right and stay around. You get what you pay for generally and most people understand that. In our market, which is high end, customers demand good communication and on time service and they will pay for that. Also the newbies cut price down for not having licenses, insurance, or education and experience. These are all things that we charge more for, and sell to our customers. they Newbies are generally not selling all of that.

Most of our customers hired us because we are full service and they never have to call anyone but me for anything about the landscape, irrigation, weed control, install, design, etc.
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