prices killing me!

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by PTSolutions, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    from OH
    Posts: 2,328

    how have you guys been handling the price spikes in fert this season? we only do granular apps and i can not touch the prices of companies like Tru Green and Scotts. a bag of fert sometimes costs me as much if not more than the $35 that trugreen charges per application.

    What do you guys charge for labor for application? We just find out how many bags we need for the sq. footage, then add say 20-30 in labor for the application depending on the difficulty of the yard. Some of my seasonal clients, 5 step applications: $300 whereas Tru green would charge less than 200! how are you guys doing it? i swear they dilute their stuff...
  2. FdLLawnMan

    FdLLawnMan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,182

    TruGreen usually only applies straight urea with about 2% iron and then spot sprays as needed. Whrn they apply it they only put down 1/4 to 1/2 lb of nitrogen per application. Any more and you would burn the lawn. So, during 5 applications they have applied 2.5 lbs of a non-slow release fertilizer for the season. I tell people my 4-step is the same or better than their 5-step. With my 4-step the customer gets 3 lbs of nitrogen, most of it slow release.
  3. indyturf

    indyturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indy
    Posts: 1,873

    5 apps!! I thought TG did at least 7!! lol but your 4 apps are still much better at any rate!!
  4. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    Scott's Lawncare was in my local Lesco/JDL branch buying fert the other day. If I'd had a digital camera with me, I'd have followed him to his first stop. It would have been hilarious to post a pic of him dragging a bag of Lesco fert out of his Scott's van to fill up his spreader. Someone said EPA/DOA pulled the plug on some of their fert(not registered properly or something like that).

    KACYDS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 559

    I worked for Lesco for many years before I started my own business. We use to deal with two Scott's Lawncare Franchises and they had to use Lesco products and not Scott's. I was told that Scott's believe that Lesco's Fert. was a superior product vs. Scott's.
  6. bug-guy

    bug-guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 972

    i was told scotts fert is too expensive for commercial use it's a homeowner product also some scotts are franchises not all but some
  7. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    from OH
    Posts: 2,328

    so do you guys just try and do your best to convince your customers that even though your more expensive that its worth going with you? is that the only way to combat this issue?

    i know labor rates are different for different markets, but for sake of comparison, what is the avg charge to spread one bag of granular that say covers 10k sq. ft.? depending on the yard we charge between 20-35 per app for labor and we have never needed to use more than 2 bags.
  8. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    While I don't contest TGCL's practices, I will disagree with your concept of burning a lawn. I spray liquid all season long here in the desert. Even in the heat of summer I have applied as much as the standard 1#/M and have NEVER burned...

    It's a marketing gimmick. 5 ferts + 2 weeds. If I counted each chemical as a separate "application", my program is a 14 application program. Maybe if I did that, but just told people it's only $25 per app...
  9. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,744

    My per app prices are always more expensive if you look at them individually. But I cant tell you the number of people that come back the next year b/c of poor results or the fact that their 7 step $39 program cost them $600 at the end of the year.
  10. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Posts: 2,499

    You can sell yourself simply by saying, I do the apps, if there is a concern I will address it, at the end of the day when the big guys summer help is rushing to finish so they can go out with their friends, I will be finishing up the detail work just like its my own lawn.

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