Running solo and using a dual purpose work and personal truck

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mr. Magpie, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. Mr. Magpie

    Mr. Magpie LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 322

    What are you guys' thoughts on these two strategies for acheiving lower risk and cost in business? Have you found that running solo does not generate enough income and profit? Why or why not? Have you found that using a truck for both purposes has any drawbacks to it?
  2. Creative Lawn Care

    Creative Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 271

    I run solo 90% of the time. I have done ok by myself. Not getting rich but my wife is able to stay home with my youngest child while I send my older two children to private school. We are getting ready to build a new house. Again we are not rich but are able to provide an above average income for our family with my solo company. Anyway as for keeping your expenses low...If you decide to add one helper, the only major increase in expenses should be the cost of his labor. 1 or 2 people can basically operate with the same amount of equipment. As for the work/personal truck combo, thats the best way to go for as long as you can to keep your overhead down. I have been in bus. several years and still drive my chevy truck for work and personal
  3. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Posts: 1,405

    Using a truck for both works fine, but remember that the vehicle will endure increased wear and tear!
  4. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 566

    One truck, I will not buy my wife the second car like most do. We manage, I personally think a second vehicle is such a huge cash drain I will avoid it if at all possible. I told my wife I would rather have one kick ass truck than an old truck and used car. (.. well Ford of course) :p
  5. Bray

    Bray LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    I use my Ford as a personal work truck. My wife has an Acura suv that she hauls me and the kid around in. I wouldn't want to pay the extra upkeep on another vehicle but a dump truck would be nice to have at times.
  6. Mr. Magpie

    Mr. Magpie LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 322

    So, for all the guys out there who have multiple trucks and large crews, have you tried solo first and found it to be not lucrative enough to have an acceptable living? Or maybe you are just growing it so that you can build wealth in the company so that you can sell it someday? I am just having a hard time understanding, probably because of a lack of understanding of large businesses, why I hardly see any solo operations in my neighborhood while I am cutting or just driving around.
  7. Mr. Magpie

    Mr. Magpie LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 322

    Oh, so you don't have to have any insurance coverage (idiot ins.) for one helper? What if he leaves the trailer door down after a stop or he throws a pebble into a window? (My buddy just had one of his crew leave down the trailer door after a stop.... luckily no equipment fell out!)

    Also, maybe there aren't many costs but what about risk added for one helper? Risk is a "cost" if you ask me.

    Come to think of it, I think part of the attractiveness of the large crew is that you don't have to work as hard (sit in the truck for a while if you feel like it, ect.). Is this part of it?
  8. Liberty Lawncare

    Liberty Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 485

    I am solo now I use my truck 3/4 ton GMC for work and personal. I have an old 81 1/2 ton with broken transfer case I will fix up to have an additional truck when nessary next season. I have a worker hired for fall cleanups and next season. With two of us we will get alot more work done. The drawback is workers comp insurance and dang taxes. But I think the extra worker will bring in more money and haveing a helper is great.
  9. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    Matt and I run the business ourselves. We have two trucks that we use solely for the business, and two cars that we use for personal use.
    I personally do not think it is a good idea to use the work truck for pleasure. The truck is your money maker, if it breaks down, then you're screwed, you better have a backup. I think it is risky to put the extra wear/tear/and abuse on the truck if it's not necessary. Keep work and pleasure vehicles separate.
  10. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    As far as your question on Workers Comp Ins it will depend and be regulated by your State. For example in NC you only HAVE to have Workers Comp Ins when you employee 3 or more people in the business. Of course if you want it you can buy it for 1 or more employees. Also most policies that I have seen will NOT cover the business owner.

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