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Scaling Back

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by nylan8888, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. nylan8888

    nylan8888 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    Well I told myself I would give it till June 1st and then make a decision. We are normally doing 3 to 5 installs a week by 1st of April and are normally booked through the summer by the 1st of May. It is the 2nd of June and we are only 3 weeks out and averaging 2 installs a week. We run 2 install crews , 1 for irrigation & landscaping and 1 for drains and fence, and 1 service tech. I have been carrying the 2nd install crew for the last month having them do some service ( not profitable to send 2 men on a service call to repair a stuck valve or change 2 rotors) and doubling up the crews on larger installs. Between this and the $2500.00 I spent on gas last month, it is killing my bottom line.

    Have a company meeting set for 8:30 this morning and am going to let 2 men go. I have super employee's, newest hire was over 3 years ago. I should have done it a month ago but it is very hard for me to do this, we are like a family, but I have to swing with the economy and the work just isn't there right now. I feel bad for the men I am letting go because the other companies around here that I have talked to are in the same boat and outlook of finding another irrigation job is going to be scarce.

    We will go to 1 install crew and 2 service techs, with the techs helping on larger installs as necessary. This will keep the other truck on the road and allow us to take some of the service work that we normally turn down. They had said that our economy here in Oklahoma was holding better than most of the country but I guess it has finally hit.
     
  2. Tough call. I feel for you. There is a need for good sevice techs in Dallas if they can't find anything where you guys are. Dallas economy seems to be holding up but my installer buddies are doing more service which is usually the indicator of a downturn for me.
     
  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Now that is the response I was looking for when I brought back up the 2008 Outlook post. Not necessarily what you have mentioned, but just the general state of how things are going this spring. Good/bad, struggling/exceeding, etc. Just wanting to gauge the economy.
     
  4. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,879

    Here in the land of sunshine, where irrigation is an accident waiting to happen, we are S-L-O-W.
    We usually average 3 installs/week plus OT for service tech. Down to 1 sometimes 2 per week and have to squeeze 40 for tech. Let my 3d man go from install crew last week, tech filling in as needed. And it doesn't look like it's going to improve any time soon...
     
  5. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,267

    Our service and residential installs are off this year by 30%, commercial work is steady. We usually run 6 days a week and are cutting back to 4 days a week for service. Figuring that working a 4 day week at 10+ hr are better for both the workers and the fuel card.

    Residentials are slim pickings and I only have another month or so of commercial work. I already have more work lined up next summer then I probably will have for the entire 08 season.
     
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    That's what we'll be doing after next week or so. Gotta cut the fuel and overtime costs. and hell, they're already working 10 hour days.
     
  7. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,595

    That seems to be the norm around here; fuel is killing bottom line.
     
  8. aric43085

    aric43085 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 71

    Any of you guys charging a fuel charge to the customer?
     
  9. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,267

    We are charging the price of a gallon, so right now we are charging 4-4.5 on each bill. And have have not had anyone question it and we are at 300+ start ups ytd.
     
  10. nylan8888

    nylan8888 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    Haven't charged for fuel per se but did raise our service call from $65.00 to $85.00 as of 5/21/08 to off set the pain. Still not enough but $20.00 is a heck of a bump.
     

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