And Takedow begins in earnest...

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    18 more down today. at 60 down as well. while the 15-17 foot box van is our ideal install truck for 2-3 guys for a day, the ideal takedown truck for us is probably those 4 door FSR Isuzu moving trucks with a 26 foot box on it. you put in 4-5 guys, fill with several little giant ladders, 1 40 and one 32 foot ladder, empty boxes, spools, tape guns, markers, yellow tags, and don't come back until you are full. I can totally see us running 2-3 of those in a few years. would make fuel expense sense too. we are running 3 14-16 ft box vans and gas runs 100-150 per day on those when you do takedowns. depending on wreaths and displays you can only fit about 6 in each. If we could fit 18 jobs in a 26' diesel moving van that would probably 1/2 the cost of 3 gas boxvans. at a 20 working day takedown season, that would save you 1000-1500 bucks in fuel. would take a while to pay for itself. renting one though might make sense, depending on the cost. not sure if I have seen a 4 door moving van for rent tho.
     
  2. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    Most of our customers who have white lights want them to remain up through January, a couple want them into mid February as well. We'll start pulling down the colored lights in about a week. We'll start picking up garland and wreaths from some of the late removals as well.
     
  3. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    Got 13 down yesterday, was cold and overcast all day and kinda depressing. Only 2 guys working today. Doing one long distance takedown and giving everyone a rest for big push next week. At 73 down.
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  4. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,996

    Dave you need to get some Hot Chillys. Mine were purchased for skiing but I'll use them for work on a cold day. They are really thin but a 100 times better then traditional long john stuff. Think of it a turbo charged fleece long johns.

    I was putting together a pile of my ULINE boxes today. It turns out the stocking LL's do not fit very well in the 48x12x12. boxes. One of the stocking is about 1/2" or so too tall to close and stack the boxes. Guess I'm going to have to fudge it since the next height doubles to 24".

    I need to get a picture of this Dave. I used your feedback to install my church wreath a second time. It was a super tight and difficult fit between the ladder and building using the standoff attachment to raise up the 72" wreath. The ladder was maxed out at 40' and we were out of building to go any higher as well.

    I wanted to buy an adjustable stand off attachment but they do not exist. I cut up some schedule 40 PVC (2" I think) into about 8" sections and it fit perfectly over the ends of the Werner standoff. The PVC slid over the stand off and fit firmly with no hardware required. At 40' I'm glad my experiment worked because a failure would not have been pretty. It worked like a charm.

    Everything came down crazy under budget.
     
  5. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,996

    Has anyone come up with a custom method for rolling up C7/C9 stuff? I'm working on a way to build my own spools with PVC and plywood end plates. I want to make a simple stand the spools can drop into while you roll them up. You would think someone would have a commercially available tool for this already.
     
  6. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    This is one of my Christmas Consulting things but I will share it since I am in a good mood- Got to Lowes, get a sheet of 3/4" mdf plywood and have then cut into 8 2x2 sqares, 5 pound box of 2 1/2" screws, 1 pound box of 3 1/2 screws, gallon of tightbond 3 glue. box of a few 12" lazy susan ball bearings over by the drawer slides, a magnetic Phillips drill bit, 1 pound box of 1 1/4" screws, small box of 100 5/8" screws, and as many 8 foot 2x4's as you want as spools. 1/8" and 1/2" drill bit. you need a circular saw and drill. have lowes cut each of your 2x4x8 into 5 equal pieces. it is usually free to have them cut stuff. we also use rough cut oak from a local sawmill but they are heavier
    and inconsistent on the widths and depths.

    you need to learn to cut a 3 1/2" half depth notch in the middle of 80% your little 2x4 pieces. set your depth at 3/4", make the two end cuts, and then max out your depth on your circular saw by drop or plunge cutting from each side. the 3 1/2 middle section should plop out. by putting two pieces together you make the x's for each end of your spool. we predrill with 1/8" bit and glue the x's together and glue to the center spindle with 3 1/2 screws. if you don't pre drill it will split the wood about every 3-4 times and makes you mad you wasted your time making the pieces.

    For the spinner, we use the 2x2 squares and cut off the corners with circ. saw to make an octagon shape to cut off weight and it spins a bit easier. you will just have to learn how to build a lazy susan, the bearings come with instructions, but needless to say it goes between 2 sheets of octagon plywood, The easy part is you put it centered on one sheet with 5/8" screws and the hard part is you drill a 1/2 inch hole through the hole provided on the lazy susan to put the screws through that piece and rotate to put screws in the other side. I can't explain it other than read the instructions and drawings that come with the lazy susans. it makes sense once you build two or three. we build 8 at a time and yes, we break 3-4 per season.

    you place the x spool on the plywood and use 30 or so 2 1/2 inch screws 1/4" away from the edge of the x on the bottom all the way around the x. don't go too deep, too close to the sppol or too far away, you need to be able to put on and off any spool you build inside the open x the screws makes. the screw heads will keep the spool on as you spin the lazy susan. we now double the base for more weight and stability and use glue and 1 1/4" screws for that.

    while this sounds like a lot of work and money, my shop foreman and a part time helper built 80 of these spools and 8 spooler this year, with mostly scrap pieces from our fence and a table and circular saw in 2 days with about 250 bucks in bearings, plywood screws and glue. I spent probably 400 bucks in bearings, labor, plywood, and screws, so around 2-3 bucks a spool and 25 bucks each for 8 spoolers.

    The first spool and spooler takes you the longest, but once you do one the next ten are way easier.
     
  7. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    17 down today, plus one yesterday, at 91 down. should get in another good day tomorrow and then it looks like rain for a couple days. will feel better once we get over 100.
     
  8. Birchwood

    Birchwood LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    2 years ago I thought it would be better to build large spools to hold cords and we could use one for 40s and one for 20s and so on. We used 3/4 plywood cut into 24" circles, and a 24" piece of 4" PVC pipe in the middle with a 2x4 and 2x2 inside, and nailed together. We also dove a 12" timber spike in each end and left it out about 4 inches so we could put on a stand to fill and take off. Worked awesome. Downside was heavy as heck, and had one fall apart and it took maybe 3 hours to untangle. So if I was to do it again I would use screws which we did add after the one fell apart, but might think about making them a bit smaller.

    Now for the c-7s we fold them by grabbing 5 lights at a time and you end up with a handful that is 3 lights in length, fits great in a 18 gal tote. Around 500 c-7 per tote.
     
  9. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    13 down today, at 104 down. got rained out. I am debating when I will stop quoting numbers so as to not reveal the true "size" of my company. probably will by the end of this week. looks like rain tomorrow and Thursday, and Saturday. But hoping to be able to work some.
     
  10. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    continue to get rained out last 2 days but getting some down. got 10 down Wednesday and 4 yesterday. so 118 down. Could have done more both days but I was not with guys to push them. hoping for a long full day tomorrow, maybe 15 plus down. rain is predicted Saturday. I have 2 guys that have been out a few days this week that will want to get their 40 hours in Sat and sunday this weekend, but everyone else will be pretty much off. I think if we can get some decent numbers down this weekend and hit it hard with everyone next week we will be close to wrapping things up. just never know with the weather. And the guys work so much faster and better with sunshine than with overcast, whether it is 20 degrees or 50. It really makes a huge difference in production.
     

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