How small of an operation?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mabrito88, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Mabrito88

    Mabrito88 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    So we all know that there are pros and cons to working solo as well as taking on a crew. And most of us have at least a truck n trailer. But today I saw a guy in a subaru with a trimmer and push broom on his ski rack and a mower sticking out his trunk. He had a small car magnet sign offering lawn and landscape. Im guessing the landscape part would be difficilt but still I have to commend his attempt at lawn care.
     
  2. Caddyshack Lawn Care

    Caddyshack Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 732

    Just like we see mower handles sticking out of car trunks. It's ugly, but doesn't rile me the way it does some folks.
     
  3. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    I started with a Jeep wrangler, 22" self propelled and my father's old echo trimmer. When I see the minvans/cars I just laugh. I may go back to a Wrangler just to be different then the other guys.

    Michael
     
  4. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,569

    Yeah, there's a lot of that going on, around here. What's unfortunate is that those guys aren't legit and it's hard to compete with what they're doing, pricewise. In general, they're driving down the rates that property owners expect to pay. I've been questioned about my pricing a lot, lately. I always point out that I carry insurance, so the liability isn't on them and their insurance policy. Seems to work.
     
  5. TuffTurfLawnCare

    TuffTurfLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 668

    There is a guy who cuts in one neighborhood that I have a few accounts in. He uses a trailblazer, with cargo rack in the hitch to carry a Honda 21" echo trimmer and a small blower. He mows on Friday, bags the clippings and leaves them on the curb till Thursday garbage day. So these people have bags of clippings in front of the house damn near everyday.

    He's not insured nor legit in any way. His customers have asked me if I would take their clippings when I'm doing the neighbor's lawn. I refused, stating that I only dispose of my customers debris who pay for bagging. They ended up asking me for a quote and were amazed to discover that I was $5more a week than their guy, at $50 for half acre plot, minus house and driveway. Word got around and I have all.but ran this guy out of the neighborhood. He only has one house left, and its obvious...its the one with rotting grass on the curb.
     
  6. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,867

    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.
     
  7. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013
  8. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    I use ramps for my metro 36". No trailer. I like the setup, and have no plans for a trailer. I plan on moving down to a 32" mower for my next one, and tightening my radius (service area). I think i'll make more, and not work as long. Next year, we'll see.
     
  9. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,151

    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.
     
  10. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,464

    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.
     

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