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Putting the man on the local fly-by-nights

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lakegastonla, Mar 16, 2001.

  1. lakegastonla

    lakegastonla LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 296

    What can be done to weed out some of the super-redneck craftsman-riding low ballers that my area is crawling with? They are multiplying like rabbits! I think it has a lot to do with the area I live in, more than anything. These guys think they can just throw a mower and a trimmer on a 5x10 trailer and they are "in business." The resources I am considering are: The county tax assessor, the county extension agent(spraying/pesticide violations), and state government offices. I know someone will tell me that "If I weren't so far down the food chain, that I would have nothing to worry about" but then again, you don't live where I do, so HOW DO YOU know? Things are NOT good, here. Everybody thinks they are qualified to do my job. What to do?

    AVRECON LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 290

    Dude come down south a little further to Greenville. It will boggle your mind, every other truck has a trailor with a mower behind it. But I aint given up just yet, I was out on the hunt today and I will be again tommorow and for the rest of the year.
  3. skyphoto

    skyphoto LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221

    Hey lake,

    My dad and I raised rabbits and when we had enough we would have em for dinner!!!! hehehehehe

    Just a thought!But these guys are more like a bad virus....They spread and antibiotics dont work on them!!!!

    Take care!!Smile and grind yur teeth at em!!
  4. Bob Shoaff

    Bob Shoaff LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    First of all you are going to have to work the night shift. Clothes required would be some black atire and face paint. Now, you get your round up or a granular grass killer and put it on the yards these guys are doing. Then you take a pocket knife and slash their tires. Or maybe the old sugar in the gas tank. Spray paint we suck on their trucks also. It's nice to dream. In reality all we can do is be more aggressive, do better work and when p[eople are tired of the guys who wont get out of bed and mow the lawns and tired of them wanting their beer money every time they mow or they see those missing golf clubs at his yard sale, they will come to the real pros. ( you always PAWN the clubs. Never sell them at your yard sale!)
  5. Stinky

    Stinky LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    You think it's bad in NC and SC! Come on over and visit east Tennessee
  6. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    These guys think they can just throw a mower and a trimmer on a 5x10 trailer and they are "in business."...
    The truth to this is YES they can. There is nothing we can do to stop them from spending a dollar on a dream. The local lottery encourages this mentality.

    ... the county extension agent(spraying/pesticide violations)...
    Here is where you have grounds to stand on! If you see these newcomers breaking the laws, then yes by all means you have the right (and are obligated to do so asa professional) to contact the proper authorities.

    ... Everybody thinks they are qualified to do my job.
    As we all know, not everyone is qualified to do your job. the only way for you to prove this is to become a member of an association, PLCAA, ALCA, State Turfgrass Assn., etc.etc.

    If you truely care about your company image this much you may want to consider becoming affiliated with the bureaucrats at the local Chamber of Commerce. This way you can get your hand into the cookie jar and hope to pull a favor when needed. High Hopes Little Truth -unfortunately.

    The best thing for you to do is to take the necessary measures to offer full service contracts to your clients and perform these services above the best of your ability. Then you will have started to make a name for yourself and the rest will fall into place over time.

    You have to start somewhere. Where is up to you.:)

    Good Luck this season!
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I was down there last July and I can confirm what you are saying. I was on The Outer Banks on a mini-vacation and we drove around the bottom of the Great Murky Swamp, through Washington and on over to Greenville. We took the trip on Friday because I thought that would be the best day to see LCOs out. I have never seen so many riding tractors in the back of pickup trucks. They were everywhere. I did however see 2 "pro" crews in Greenville but that was it.

    The good news is that there does seem to be a growing tech sector around Greenville and where there's tech there's money. My advise would be to find out where that money lives and target those areas. Remember, the cream always rises to the top but it can take awhile sometimes.
  8. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,117

    There are plenty of guys with Crapsmans here but there are also a zillion real lawn companies in my area. But I still have plenty of business, don't worry about the residentials because few of them will ever see your worth. Target the commercial accounts and always try to talk to the owner. He/She will usually be aware of the fact that you get what you pay for.
  9. turfguy33

    turfguy33 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

    I honestly believe that the virus is spreading, the lawn care craze is everywhere. In my neck of the woods, that's all you see. I hate it everytime I see one, cuz that means there's going to be one less yard for me to mow.
    But then I ponder to myself, maybe they had a dream to own a lawn care business. I was there once, and I'm almost positive you were there too. Now I was fortunate enough to know how to grow, and keep growing my business. Quality equipment, Quality service and a desire to learn more everyday to make my business more productive, more profitable, and more customer appealing. Now that's just me. Just relax, and keep doing the thing you do best, mowing grass. Sooner or later two things will happen, the part-timers will quit, (must don't realize that the lawn care biz is Real Work), or they will get smart and try to gain productivity. In my experience, part-timers are out for roughly 2 to 3 years, then maybe 5% go full time.
    As for me, I have a full-time job too. Not because of the money, but because my wife is now a mother, and staying with my future employee(or at least I hope so), and I'm in need of good insurance. I run a full-time lawn service too, but have a lead-man take care of the business while I'm gone. The only advise I can give you, or anybody, is if you give quality work, and a resonable price, you'll stay in business as long as you want..........just my opinion.,............Tim ......Ohio Valley Lawn Services
  10. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    Almost every trade now is losing much work to the do it your self person.Its my belief that the customers that use these low raters are never going to pay a full blooded lawncares rates anyway.If we succede in making it harder for them with regulation etc.There may be a do it yourself backlash Trend.This can eliminate 70 percent of the market.
    I dont mind saying the less govt regulation in my work or private life the better.As far as going after some one personally.You are talking the law of the jungle and there is always a bigger predetor around the corner.
    Of course there is the cowards way with roofing nails, sand inthe motor, or better yet just steal his stuff.
    I charge a pretty fair amt myself I just hope we dont
    regulate ourself out of a pretty good thing.
    A lot of regulatory laws mean just the bigger companies survive to devide up the shrinking pie.You solos and
    two truck operations need to think about that.NUFF SAID

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