Fired myself finally-on my own; Where do I find a big truck mount leaf vac?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KurtisInIowa, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. KurtisInIowa

    KurtisInIowa LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    I've gone and done it, quit my comfortable, secure, boring as hell corporate job! Whoo-hoo! Oh ****, now what??? All those dreams and plans have to actually happen now. I am seriously looking at doing tree work with a friend who'd been doing very well at it, and could use some serious, reliable help. We'll subcontract work to each other, and just team up on all the jobs. I am thinking of buying a big dump truck and a commercial chipper so he can focus on selling the jobs and dropping the trees. I'll show up for the chipping, stump grinding, and cleanup. For the fall, I am thinking of offering leaf removals and/or just curbside leaf pickup. I know they make big vacuum shredders on a small trailer you can pull behind the dump, but I don't know what to call them and I can't find anything like it on the web. Anybody know who makes these? Also, what do you think my chances for success are with this? I am thinking of hiring a small 2-man crew to do the leaf cleanup, and I'll show up with the dump truck and vacuum . Also, I'd get the word out on the street that I can save the DIY homeowners tons of time by offering a 'pick-up' service if they just want to rake it all to the curb. No more bagging, no more buying the city lawn/leaf paper bags! I think that would be a hot idea come fall time. Also, what do you think the odds of success are if I contact all the LCO's in town and offer to speed them up by having them just get the leaves to the curb, and again, I'll come suck it all up. Think there would be a market for that? Kind of a support service for LCO's?
    Thanks,
    Kurtis

    watch your language
     
  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    Billy Goat, Giant-Vac, Little Wonder, not sure of other brand names. Perform a search on this site under 'leaf loader' or 'truck loader' you should get a number of hits.
     
  3. JKOOPERS

    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,259

    i know a co here in st. louis that contracts leaf pick up with different municipalities. does pretty good too
     
  4. theturfsurfer

    theturfsurfer LawnSite Member
    from mtka,MN
    Posts: 102

    I have searched the web for the type of loader you are interested in. It took me a while to find them but if I remember correctly there are several companies that make large leaf loaders. I to have considered getting a big loader and contacting other lawn services, just haven't followed through. As far as your idea about contacting home owners that is a good idea. I knew of a company called Four Feet to the Curb, I think , and that is all they did. Happy hunting.
     
  5. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    I have to ask, now that you quit your job do you have a business plan.

    These are the questions that should have been asked a long time before quiting your job.-----Oh ****, now what???----you should never have this question.
     
  6. KurtisInIowa

    KurtisInIowa LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    Gee, really? You mean I should have looked in to things before I just upped and quit my $60K/year cush job in the Telephone/Internet industry? Maybe you weren't trying to be a ******, but it comes off that way a little bit. I just threw the 'Oh ****' in there because it has always been the fear of leaving the comfort of that regular paycheck and benefits that has kept me from doing it years ago. Many of you know exactly what I'm talking about. At 39, with 2 kids and a fat mortgage it is not an easy thing to do. So it's just, now that I've committed to doing it, I'm waiting out the month notice I gave my employer, it is a little scary. I still have flashes of 'Oh my God, what have you just done?' at times during the day. At this point my only mowing plans are jobs that come along that would be good with my lawn tractor. I don't plan on doing much mowing, so this leaf cleanup idea just kind of came up as I am planning the tree work side of my company, realizing that I will have a nice big dump that might work great for leaves as well.
    Thanks for your help folks, I'll be needing more along the way. And also thanks for the Motherly advice PM. Is your profile info correct? Maybe you got your start in a similar way?

    watch your language
     
  7. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    No I was not trying to be a **** ****. The question was a very serious one. I am sorry that you are upset over it. The questions that you asked and how you asked them sounded like you did not really know which direction you were headed.

    Did I start that way? No, this will be my 4th full year in landscape with 2 trial years before that. This is an offshoot of an Handyman service that has been going for many years. I also have a group of investment properties that are quite profitable. When I started I had the plan set up as to what I would do and had worked out all the questions to be sure that it would be received and work with a profit. I did not want to infer that you were doing it wrong just to focus on one thing and make that profitable before moving to the next.

    Just some points. If you pick up other's leaves do you know what is in the pile.
    If I am a LCO and put my pile at the curb how long are they going to sit out in the wind before you get to them. How many can you pick up before dumping and how long will it take. How much will you charge and will it be profitable. It sounds like you don't have any equipment and don't even know where to look for any so how do you know how much it will cost. If you don't know your costs how can you make a plan.
    Sorry for being so short with the first answer but my phone rang so I just ended it. I will make sure that my full thought is written before posting from now on. Again sorry.

    This is a great site and there are many people with much to offer. You asked for what people thought and I answered. I believe that the response was a little harsh and I also believe that if you treat others the same that you will cause the people with the answers to keep them to themselves.
    Again I did not mean to offend and I wish you good luck in your endeavors
     
  8. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Kurtis, your profile comment got me thinking and searching.

    Did you really drop a 60K a year job. Rethink that. From what I can tell it looks like you have a Homeowner lawn tractor and not much else. Is that the case. It also appears that you have a 20K home eq. loan to use to build and live on.
    The person that you plan to work with is a solo oper except for his grunt worker which is his girlfriend. And it appears that he does not have the equipment to make a real push into the tree work field. Can he really get enough work to fill you truck every day.

    I see that your wife works and pulls in good money. Can you live on that.
    To do what you want to do will put you in a low income state for a few years. Are you set for that. "Fat mortgage--kids" that has me scared. And what about insurance, Please make sure your wife has good coverage.

    Most guys get into this for beer money or because it is far better than where they were. But you already had the brass ring. Just hate to see people jump without the destination or the plan to get there, already set up.
    Again, please don't take this the wrong way as I only want to help you suceed and wish you the best of luck
    And if I am way off base with all this just say so and I will bid farewell.
     
  9. KurtisInIowa

    KurtisInIowa LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    PM, I appreciate the research you've done and your willingness to think about this a little bit and give me your honest feedback. I reread all my posts here and see that you have offered some good advice to me in the past. It's true, I am not settled on my business plan, or offerings. I can envision several scenarios. Now it's time to make some decisions and go for it.
     
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Were cool, Keep your head up and eyes and ears open and the right stuff will cross your path. Grab the good stuff. Let the garbage pass.
    My financial state let me go at it with a little less worry about instant profit but I still worked the plan and now it is all paying off.
    I am by heart a salesmen and that is what I get to do most now so I am happy and I still get to play with all the cool toys when I want. The money is starting to be good and we should make a profit this year. ( came close last year but with deprecation it came out a loss).
    Keep asking the questions and I will help where I can.
    Keep the kahunas strong.
     

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