Sprinkler blowout +-

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Currier, Nov 8, 2000.

  1. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    This was my first year offering sprinkler winterization. In the past I'd always seen these guys with the big compressors anf thought that would be the way to go. Managed to get a compressor this year and it has been good...but just as with most things in life it has not been as easy as I thought it would be. Actually it has been very tiring. I have been very busy but the pricing around here is very depressed as there are so many offering this service and some have no idea how much to charge. So now I am at the point of setting my my own course. I now charge what I need to charge and what the job is worth. These compressors are $10,000 machines and you get these guys doing systems for $20.00...kind of like the cut rate mowers...flash fast, ruin the market for others, die out, and be replaced by another soon to be failure. So the lesson here for me, and the thing I will remember this winter and next year at start up is: Know your costs and set your prices. One lawn at a great price is much better than 5 lawns at poor prices.Our time is valuable and our equipment ain't cheap, and the bottom line is we are pretty good at getting the job done
     
  2. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

    Most guys in our area rent the compressor for a few days. They mostly all charge $50.00 to close a system.
     
  3. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,211

    Wow. It sounds like you should have posted here before buying a $10,000 air compressor. I'm sure that you would have gotten a few response telling you not to buy one (unless you are in some type of general construction business) when you can rent one for a week for + or - $200.00. I talked to a sprinkler guy doing a winterizing job last year. The company he worked for did over 1,000 in a 3 week span and he was hauling a rental compressor, so I would assume renting is the way to go. Of course they could have been using the rental because the owned one might have been broken at the time. He was at the property I saw him at for about 25 minutes. I didn't ask what they charge.
     
  4. tpirobert

    tpirobert LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    Irrigation contractor here rents compressor ( big gas tow behind unit ) and charged me $100 to blow out commercial property with 5 zones. Since I don't do irrigation I'd rather sub it out and have sub responsible for any blown out heads,fittings etc..
     
  5. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    BRL, Did I say I bought one? It is a buddies that owns a construction business, I don't even rent it. My concern is with those folks that try to make a full time living doing this stuff yet they are having to compete with 20.00 fly by nighters.
     
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    I spoke to a friend of mine who does irrigation (big time!) and he said they do ALOT of winterizing, but since it's such a small part of the total business, he rents his compressors. His main income is installation and maintenance. I guess it would be a little like asking some of the guys out here how much they get to blow a curb free of clippings, and saying. "But the blower costs 400 dollars." If you have access to a compresor though, that's awesome! I think I would consider it too if I had one to use!:)

    [Edited by Runner on 11-09-2000 at 03:01 PM]
     
  7. UNISCAPE

    UNISCAPE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    I LIVE IN NORTHERN NJ. I BLOW OUT ABOUT 20 SYSTEMS WITH A
    5 HP 30 GALLON COMPRESSOR. WE CHARGE $50.00 FOR UP TO SIX ZONES. AND $75.00 UP TO 12 ZONES...
    $100.00 FOR COMMERCIAL AND 12 ZONES OR MORE
     
  8. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,211

    Currier,
    <Managed to get a compressor this year>
    Sorry! My mind changed "get" to "buy" ;). In NJ you're not allowed to touch sprinkler systems without the license (not even to replace a head you might chop off or break somehow!) so I sub out or give away any irrigation work. I'm sure those guys aren't having the low balling problem like we all experience in our other specialties because of this fact.

     
  9. BRL
    How well is the contractor liscense requirement enforced in New Jersy? If it is anything like here in San Francisco, everybody replaces sprinklers with a liscense or not.
    John
     
  10. UNISCAPE

    UNISCAPE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    GUSBUSTER...IL ANSWER THAT.YOU ARE RIGHT IN THE FACT THAT NO ONE CHECKS UP ON YOU ....I HAVE FRIENDS THAT HAVE BEEN IN THE SPRINKLER BUSINESS FOR OVER 15 YEARS AND FAILED THE LICENSE TEST TWO AND THREE TIMES.... ITS TOUGH. AND NOT MANY ARE LICENSED.
     

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