Its getting close to leaf season and im not sure what to do

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Emerscape, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Emerscape

    Emerscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 157

    Alright this is gonna be a long one but bear with me....

    Ive been in the landscaping business for about 6 years now but ive always been working for someone else. Unfortunately my awesome job as an operations manager for a lco on the south shore of boston was cut short by an owner who thought buying a beach house was better than paying his employees..or his loans.....or his insurance..... needless to say i was out on my own starting in july so things are kinda new to me..

    i know leaf season is coming up and things have been real slow for me during this august.. i defiently need to be productive but all i have is an f450 dump and the regular hand tools. working for other companies i always used a walker mower and a couple brazilians with rakes and blowers to get the job done.... should i bother investing in a good mower.. or even a used walker ?

    because of things being slow i have been applying for positions at law firms in boston, one in particular is the typical 9-5 monday thru friday, so im planning on doing some work on the weekends and having a kid that i hire here and there to do small cleanups during the week..


    also how do you go about estimating cleanups.. for a lot of my customers i do time and material but i dont think the fall cleanups will work that way.. any help would be greatly appreciated...
     
  2. Emerscape

    Emerscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 157

    help.... :help: :help: :help:
     
  3. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 578

    emerscape,



    it seems like you've been in the business long enough to know more than most (6 years).

    If you're really only looking for some part time work on weekends, why don't you limit your investment to some decent used commercial equipment and go from there??

    Are you gonna drive those kids around in your dump or are they on their own???

    You could charge by load like some people ---don't forget the cost of dumping and the travel time.

    Will your work radius be small or a lot of drive time?? And how is the kid you hire gonna work out when you're not there watching him/her?? Can they drive your truck... insurance/liability?? What do you consider a small cleanup---1/4 acre residential, 1 acre commercial???

    Every cleanup is different due to terrain and # of trees, wind influence. If you don't want to do it for time/ load /unload cost, then you should probably do a few with your helper at a reasonable per job charge and then adjust after you get your feet wet.
     
  4. scagwildcat

    scagwildcat LawnSite Senior Member
    from nw. ct.
    Posts: 507

    dont take this the wrong way, but if you have been landscaping for 6 years, you should know what you need for equipment, and know that you cant run a company without equipment, i do understand that YES it is hard spending all your money one machines, but lets face it, without them you cant work, what do you do, get jobs and tell people if the job pays enough i will buy a lawn mower, or a leaf blower? ??? use your head , my 2 cents, didnt mean to offend you....or atleast i hope i didnt
     
  5. Emerscape

    Emerscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 157

    i guess i should be more specific... i spent five years working for a high end residential landscape company in CT ..this company worked mainly in the greenwich, litchfield county and fairfield county areas. the type of work we did was mainly complete design and installations.. talking about multi year long projects pushing into the millions for work.. i absolutely loved working for the company and I owe every ounce of my artistic and landscape knowledge to them. we never did leaf cleanups...we had one mower and that was for mowing around the greanhouses and shop... but i do understand where you are coming from.. i spent a little over a year with another company doing the whole fall cleanp thing... i miss the installation and construction aspect but my back cant hold up to it
     
  6. Emerscape

    Emerscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 157

    btw im not trying to fire back at you.. i appreciate your help.. i guess im sorta just in the jumble of things. the kids that will be working for me have worked with me in the past and I trust them with my equipment.. Most of the work I would like to limit to the weekends but im hapy with letting them do it during the week as long as the work gets done... i guess im just asking what kind of equipment should i look at... I would prefereably like a walker becasue thats what i used last year and it worked out well but i dont think i can spend that kind of money... i wouldnt have bought such an expensive truck if i had known things were going to go this way... all in all ill get trhough... any advice on other brands of mowers that are good for picking up leaves?


    thanks guys for your help i really appreciate it
     
  7. scagwildcat

    scagwildcat LawnSite Senior Member
    from nw. ct.
    Posts: 507

    ok, i misunderstood your post, im from litchfield county, i have a truck loader on my f350, a scag tiger cub, a wildcat and a 52 inch walkbehind, the tiger cub and the walkbehind have baggers, the wildcat is 61 inch so it would be to wide to fit on most lawns with a bagger, when i started out all i had was a 10hp blower a pickup truck, one backpack blower some rakes and a few $2 tarps, you really dont need that much, as far as the mower, find a used one to start off with, i like scags, but every one like their own brand, ive always had good luck with them, i would start out with a 48 to 52 inch not to small and not to big , then save some money and put a bagger on it, i bought my bagger for my scag on e-bay, but you still would need blowers because you cant get the mower in the flower bed and under decks ..... the cheapest backpack blowers are echos, they work very well for the price.... as far as the bigger blowers, i would say to look for the at tag sales, or start off with a smaller new one, until you sewe how things go, if things go bad you didnt loose much, if things go good, you can upgrade and use the cheap ones to blow off grass clippings in the summer, i still use the blowers i bought cheap, i just dont use them for fall cleanup anymore, and it saves on my good blowers, blowers are used full throttle, they dont last long, so use the goodones for fall, and your used cheap ones in the summer ...0h, about the mower, i think that exmark or toro are a little cheaper new... hope this helps you, and good luck.......... if your ever in the area ,look me up!!!!
     
  8. Emerscape

    Emerscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 157

    hey thanks for the help.. most of my friends are still back home.. im specifically from warren/New Preston.. my paretns still live above lake waramaug.... if ur from the area do you happen to know my cousin JCL Pro Tree (Jamie Lamond)... or Mosley Tree .
     

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