Repair Work For School Systems

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by IRS, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. IRS

    IRS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40

    Plan on doing more service work this coming year. Have any of you had sucess
    in working for School Systems, many have inhouse jackleggs do all repairs
    often with poor results. Any ideas on getting this work?
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Inhouse jackleggs eh?

    Hayes might not like that comment :)
  3. IRS

    IRS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40

    Mr Purple Hayes is not a "inhouse jacklegg" he is clearly a rose among thorns
    and a credit to all in this most noble of association of ditch diggers.
  4. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Ok, I've done some. Biggest problem I've had is that I get the crap they can't fix. That means the gravy is skimmed off and your left with wiring problems and the occasional bad valve they couldn't fix on their own. I let them know up front that I charge extra for that type of work (hourly rate goes from $40 to $60 w/ a two hour min.) and I stand behind my work and don't bill them unless I fix it. A couple of them, I even offered to LET them run me off if they thought I didn't have a handle on things within the two hour minimum. I've stated before that I LOVE T&M. I am much more in love with the M than the T. On a side note, this isn't just schools. Lots of large commercial properties have on site personel capable of "screwing a head on". For regular fixes like heads, I still only do the $40/hour, and I'll even teach. Bonus to teaching is you can often become the supplier for the parts. The first time or two out, anyway. There is NOTHING that compares to selling PGP's for $30 each out of the case and never touching dirt :)
  5. Mjtrole

    Mjtrole LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    We've done quite a bit also and also a ton of city work, when budgets get cut, irrigation gets put aside first. I've also found that since there "in house irrigation guy" is budgeted for already, prices seem really high to them, but like bic says Materials is where it's at, they pay retail through suppliers and you should add a time charge for picking it up.
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Most school districts (at least here) have some type of Operations or Maintenance person that routinely does the repair work. However, depending on area and financial structure a lot of districts will contract out small system renovation for areas where new buildings or other things have disrupted the existing system. This is more in line with repair work as opposed to complete new systems that are always put out to bid.

    The best thing you can do is get in with the Grounds or Maintenance supervisor and spell out your services. If some repair areas do not go over a certain amount then the bidding process may not be necessary and things are just handled on an estimate basis. Be honest and up front and if you run into something out of the ordinary after you've made an estimate and started the work get with them immediately to work things out. Best thing is to find out how they want things done since ultimately their repair people will have to do minor repairs in the future.

    Jackleg Hayes :)
  7. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    The world could do with a few more of these and a lot less of "those" :) for in house management crews!
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Problem is Bryan that government agencies are usually behind the times when it comes to committing resources to attract and keep qualified personnel in the area of landscaping and irrigation.

    My basic philosophy is that as the "customer" on a contracted end of a project I need to know as much as possible to insure that we are getting what we pay for. Doesn't always work out that way since locally we have a problem with timely inspections before the project is turned over to us but I still want to understand what was put in the ground so our maintenance end is more efficient.

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