Question for you folks who are 45 or over, when do you say enough?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by QualityLawnCare4u, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    When I started in this biz I was 38 and in great shape. Now at almost 52 I find myself really burning out fast. I have been working on a shrub job since last week, life long client, who has these huge boxwoods that I have to stand on a 6 ft ladder and lean just as far as I can lean with my 8 ft long pole hedge trimmers to do them.

    Today I worked on them and only lasted 2 hours and I could not even pick up the clippers above my chest I was so exhausted. I lacked 4 bushes of being through and I don't care if the client had handed me a 100 dollar bill I had no more to give. I also have rheumatoid arthritis and fybromyalgia and just ain't worth a chit no more:laugh:

    I thought back to the first year I did these things and all I had was a POS homelite wal-mart trimmers and I have no idea how I made it back then. I hired a guy last year to help me on these, a young buck with big arms and he was whining like a baby before dinner:cry: I don't know if I will make it thru another season and the phone ain't ringing much and I am not upset about it...yet.

    Just wondered how you other old dodgers are holding up?
     
  2. rwar

    rwar LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    I hear you,Im only 42 and I really dont like trimming anymore.One thing is these gas trimmers are just too heavy to swing for very long and I havent seen a set of electrics I like.Back in the 80s the place I worked for had a set of little wonder trimmers,at least a 30 inch blade one sided,no safeties so you could cut with one hand as far as you could reach,wish I could find something like those.
     
  3. outlaw1960

    outlaw1960 LawnSite Senior Member
    from denver
    Posts: 307

    LOL, I just pick and choose my jobs now, sub out the rest. Been doing this a long time, part time from 1982 to 1991, then full time ever since. The days seem a lot longer now!
     
  4. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    I have always heard that the fun begins at 40, however, I think I missed it or still waiting on it to catch up. I hate admitting to myself that I just can't do the things I used to do. I need me a 21 yo GF to straighten me out!:nono:
     
  5. Lawn Pawn

    Lawn Pawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from zone 3
    Posts: 568

    SixtyTwo and getting really slow and sore...

    Picking jobs that my machines can do, eliminate as much bull-work as possible.

    Know when to pass-up certain jobs.

    Go slower, but keep it steady and productive.

    Work smarter not harder.

    THINK ! . . . . . . Work safe....
     
  6. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,206

    As we get older we learn that we have to give up things of the past. Its tough to admit that we just can't do the same things year after year. When you mentioned an 8' pole pruner, I automaticly felt pain in my back. But your still a youg guy. I'm 68,I started down sizing 3 years ago and finially gave up last year and sold out. I kept my best coutomer and worked about 20 hours a week all last season, even then there were some tough days. Take care of your health...........
     
  7. fireman gus

    fireman gus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 517

    I am 59 and still going strong. The reason - my 35 year old son does the majority of the work. I try to just supervise. In truth I play out by noon and then go half speed the rest of the day. I am very fortunate to have someone younger to help.
     
  8. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,022

    At age 52 you might want to go see your internist or urologist to check your testosterone levels.

    Some times our testosterone levels are lower than they should be (even after being adjusted based on our age).

    If you are low, they might prescribe testosterone. It might help some.

    Also as others have said, pick and chose your jobs. You might be in a position finically to be equipment intensive instead of labor intensive.
     
  9. kilgoja

    kilgoja LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 944

    i'm only 35 but i still pick and choose my jobs lol...i'm not 20 years old anymore...even at 35 i have limits compared to what i used to could do...so above 45 you are gonna have even more limits...my dad is 68 and he doesn't understand that sometimes...ended up hurting his back one day too....gotta know when to say when...and when to say no i'm sorry but i just can't do that job anymore...stick to the easier things like riding a mower and such...i wouldn't do what you are describing and i'm 35 lol...i hate trimming bushes and shrubs...i did a job of 40 bushes last year...never again...i'm fine doing 10 bushes or less for my customers but i'm not gonna be climbing a ladder to do them lol...they can call someone else for that type of thing
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  10. Not to knock any guys in this age group, I admire your hard work, but why are you guys still solo? I am right now but the goal is to have 1-2 crews. I hear guys say I don't want the hassle of employees, but is it worth this?
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