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  #1  
Old 12-30-2013, 12:23 PM
greenlawnpro greenlawnpro is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ossian, IA
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more equipment or hire help

Hi, I currently have seen quite a bit of growth in my weed and fert applications. I did do just over 1,000 apps last season spread out over 4 different apps. It did keep me pretty busy. The yards that I cover average 20,000 sq ft. I currently use a push spreader to do most of the fert apps along with a spyker 12v spreader that i have mounted on the rear of a ride on tractor. That system seems to work really well for me. Can cover an acre in less than 15min. The problem that i have been running into is that for the 2 apps a year that i spray. I have a pickup with a 400 gallon skid sprayer and i use the same ride on tractor only with a 25gal sprayer with 12' boom for larger yards.

So my question is.....Do i look into getting a ride on? Do I hire some part time help?
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:34 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is offline
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Location: Chesapeake beach
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I'd get a ride on before help
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  #3  
Old 12-30-2013, 12:36 PM
nonamelandscaping nonamelandscaping is offline
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equipment

Buy equipment over hiring more people. You can write off the equipment pretty quick. And if taken care of it should last a long time.

You will know what the equipment will cost each month (payment)

The equipment doesn't cost you like another employee does.

A new employee needs to be trained.( Even if they say they know how to do it all) Lets face the facts... they wont.

The employee gets paid... and you have to pay well to keep them around. There are over head items like work comp, unemployment, raises, insurance and really any benefits related to having another employee. It adds up quick and is there pretty much year round if you are working them or not.

Equipment doesn't have a good or bad attitude (unless you don't keep good care of it) the equipment shows up on time (already in your shop). Equipment doesn't call in last min to say they have to stay home with their sick kid. ect.

If you can be more profitable with less over head and less headaches... a machine is going to be the way to do it.

Again like on all post. Someone else will completely disagree with this post for another reason or two. But I am just telling you from my experience and I will say I am doing pretty well in this low ball/ cut throat industry.
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:38 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is offline
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You're going to need a ride on eventuially either way
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  #5  
Old 12-30-2013, 12:39 PM
greenlawnpro greenlawnpro is offline
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Location: Ossian, IA
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Thanks for your input! What do you think the best equipment upgrades would be?
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  #6  
Old 12-30-2013, 12:44 PM
greenlawnpro greenlawnpro is offline
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Location: Ossian, IA
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Do ride on's save that much time? I'm thinking they would be great for a yard 12,000 sq ft and up for spraying. Spreading more like 10,000 and up. Mostly with loading and unload time. Typically when i use the skid sprayer I figure about a min of time per 1,000. Which ride on would you recommend?
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2013, 12:49 PM
BonesMalone BonesMalone is offline
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Location: Central Kansas
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Without a doubt, look at Z Sprays from LT Rich. I was where you are now 5 years and upgrading to a Z Spray will give you a new lease on life. You will not believe what you can do in a day. You will also be using it on 4-5,000 sq ft yards also.
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2013, 12:53 PM
greenlawnpro greenlawnpro is offline
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Location: Ossian, IA
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What size Z spray do you run? What do you haul it around with?
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  #9  
Old 12-30-2013, 12:56 PM
nonamelandscaping nonamelandscaping is offline
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equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenlawnpro View Post
Thanks for your input! What do you think the best equipment upgrades would be?
You need to break down many parts to your business to figure out where a machine can save you time. We have actually realized that on our maintenance side of the company the most profitable and best equipment we purchased in the past few season is a ride on aerator with a spreader on front. Hands down was more profitable than the actual fertilizing part of the business. We can aerate big and little yards in no time! Must have a gate opening of i think 42 inches.
We where able to grow our spring and fall aeration and over seeding customers very quick. We where able to be a little more competitive on bigger lots as we could do them much quicker (again not too much cheaper because you need to remember you are on a very expensive machine... not a walk behind unit).
Another issue we had years ago, is neighbors stopping our crews asking to do there yard quick. But when we spend a great deal of time making routes and timing out everything adding in a house last min actually hurt us. Some may as how so... well we time out everything and do everything on a strict scheduled. We know about how long the yards will take including drive time. If someone gets added in say at a subdivision on the other side of town and our guys then runs out of daylight and has to go all the way across town to do that one last acct. You may a well write it off as a loss.
What a ride on machine will do is cut so much time off your list that you can add a few more days of aeration in the spring or fall and still fall into the right growing conditions for the seed.
We added the spreader on the front so we could over seed and apply a starter fertilizer. Say we org where going to get 125 for the aeration. Add a little seed and fert and now the bill is over 200. That's called profit! More money per location is key!
We went with a Exmark ride on aerator and a turfex spreader. The spreader can be used for reg fert as well on larger properties if needed.

Just a thought!
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2013, 01:26 PM
BonesMalone BonesMalone is offline
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Location: Central Kansas
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We have a Z Spray JR 36. It will fit thru a 36 inch gate. We haul it inside enclosed trailer filled with fertilizer.
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