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Old 08-01-2004, 12:45 AM
kilpatrickshrub&turf's Avatar
kilpatrickshrub&turf kilpatrickshrub&turf is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: atlanta area
Posts: 39
seems like yesterday

1984, spring, a typical hot and muggy louisiana afternoon. It does indeed seem like yesterday when my late father came home with a cheap push mower, an electric blower, and a crook shaft trimmer in the back of his car. The entire family and im sure his friends as well had thought he'd lost his mind. He'd been running a very large nursery/garden center for a few years and said he simply got tired of being inside so much. ( he left his CPA practice to run the nurseries for the same reason)
Within a week or two he had a trailer, some decent equipment,
and me as labor. I was certainly not happy about spending my summer doing yard work and even less happy at being 14 and having to tell the girls i was "just a yardman". Of course daddy knew better and smiled all the way to the bank. The business grew as fast as the st. augustine grass we were cutting and seemingly in no time we had three crews (one of which was mine). After a two year stint in the army i came back and once again i was running a crew- dealing mainly with the high-dollar maintenance accounts on "doctor drive". Working for family can be tough, so i decided i would venture out on my own and began running an 18-wheeler cross country. Chad's mistake number 1,285. hahaha I'd work a day or few on my home time to help out but stayed on the road. When father got cancer he asked me if i wanted the business but i declined (another mistake) and stayed on the road. I did however retain the rights to the company name which a few years later i sold to my brother for a dollar. He took it and has built up a very impressive company for himself with a payroll of about 15 people. His landscape construction company is where he devotes most of his time and let the maintenance end of things slow down to about 50 accounts. Long story short- I'd had enough of the road so I came home and am running the maintenance side of it for him. We discussed things a bit and looks like ill stay till next year when ill either buy the mainenance end out from him or start my own
company. At least ive got that long to get all my own licenses.
Am NOT looking forward to the pesticide applicators license, that test is a bear.
Researching the license requirements is how i found and of course i promptly signed up. What a wonderful resource this is! Looking forward to further discussions and meeting some of you.
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Old 12-05-2004, 11:31 AM
jc50292's Avatar
jc50292 jc50292 is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Arnaudville, LA
Posts: 34
Dad's smarter than ya thought, huh?

Chad, I moved my family from West Monroe to the Lafayette area last year but before I moved I was considering the lawn care route. I know Todd that owns Lawn Lords up there and I remember him working but always being his own boss and never seemed stressed out like he did when he worked for Central Oil. I got down to the Lafayette area and there are lawn care businesses all over the place. I called a couple of guys on the phone and asked for advice and they bent over backwards to help me get started. I bought a used Gravely 36" and a Redd Max weed eater and away I went. A friend lets me borrow his trailer so I have yet to incur that expense.
My dad told me in high school to mow yards to make extra money(I had 2)but what do dads know? Well, now I'm 35 and my current job doesn't make enough to pay the bills and make ends meet but the lawncare business makes up the difference and next year I'll have a decision to make-whether or not to come the full-time job or to make the part-time full time. It sounds as if you have got a REALLY good deal awaiting you, no matter how tough it is working for family(I know it can be, I worked for someone I thought was my best friend once) and I hope you and your dad can come to a satisfactory agreement.
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Old 02-25-2005, 01:19 PM
Gregs Lawncare Gregs Lawncare is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Jackson, TN
Posts: 6
You mean I'm not the only one...

I thought I was crazy for wanting to get out of public accounting and get back to lawn care. While attending college at night, I worked for Chemlawn during the day. However, that was 12 years ago and I'm getting the itch to get back outside. Glad to know your Dad did it.

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Old 02-25-2005, 01:29 PM
Lux Lawn's Avatar
Lux Lawn Lux Lawn is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 2,296
Chad-- good luck with what ever you decide.
Luxury Lawn
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