Truck/Trailer Appearance

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by newguy123, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 2,715

    I have to disagree. People want reliability and good work. Your equipment is a reflection on your company, if you roll up with tired iron and a truck puking fluids what do you think the customer's reaction will be? All of our equipment is late model as well as our trucks, we try to clean them once a week and keep them presentable. To answer the question 6-8, given the demographic you are talking about I'd shoot for the 8 Thumbs Up
     
  2. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    My customers normally don't see the equipment until after, sometimes long after, the service agreement is signed and the first few services are done. It's more about closing the sale and in my case the reviews, hundreds of references and pictures we have about the work we do. This is all done at the initial sales presentation. Now, that being said, I always show up with a clean truck wearing professional attire and professionally prepared paperwork, does all this mean I charge more, I don't think so! we charge what we charge based on cost and what the demographics allow. This crap about "I charge less because I have less overhead is bologny" Even if I had absolutly no overhead (Which is impossible) I would still be charging the same rates but my profit margins would be higher, my truck and equipment would still be kept clean, and I would still maintain a high standard of professionalism. Cleanliness is more about self pride than what you should charge.
     
  3. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,145

    that was funni

    I still don't believe it's a clean lawn mower per se, in the above case it's that you took pride in the work, not the fact the mowers were clean, understand the mower could have been dirty but I understand that for you, it had to be clean because else you would not have been able to show the same pride, I get that but you get me, it's about taking pride in what one does.
    If appearance is part of that, so be it.

    The guy who shows up drunk every job, you think he's going to make it assuming his equipment is spit shined daily?
    It's cleaner than yours, he's drunk, are they going to hire him?
    Actually someone will, but I'm not going there.

    Walk a straight line, talk a straight talk, be a man of your word.
    Call them back even if I can't do the job.
    Try that, to me it's what it's all about.
     
  4. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    I totally agree with Herler, I take pride in every aspect of my business, I conduct business like it's a business not a hobby.
     
  5. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    First question is what is you particular demographic. $275k homes are completely different things in different ares. Is that higher in your area? Or is that what a blue collar worker lives in? In my main service area, 275k won't buy you a 4k sq ft lot to build a house on, yet with a 25minute drive a young couple could get a nice starter home for 275.

    Either way though, I put a high value on vehicle and equipment appearance. Are trucks that get the most use are all 06 or newer, one that sees less use is an 04 and the I international dump is a 98. Fords are all xlt or higher, Chevys are lt or higher package. No base/work truck models. Interior and exterior of trucks are cleaned once a week, if they start to get dirty sooner than that then the get cleaned more often. Equipment is all kept clean and newer as well.

    No, new clean equipment does not mean that you do a better job. But I am a firm believer that it shows pride in your business. I am also a firm believer that newer cleaner equipment is more reliable, thus they are more profitable to run. I believe customers see it this way as well. If I hire a contractor to work on my home and he shows up in a new truck, my thought is not that he over charges. My thought is that he has enough work to justify the purchase. If a guy shows up in a 20 yr old beater, than more than likely he won't get the job, I'll think that if he is good at what he does then he should be able to afford a reliable automobile
     
  6. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    my opinion varies.

    I keep my truck and trailer as clean as I can. but I'll do estimates in the middle of the day with a load of grass in the back and my shirt and pants have grass stains on them. I mean come on we do dirty work for a living and when your solo your the one doing the work and estimates. if I'm the neighborhood working I'm not gonna make a special trip back there at a later time when I'm more cleaned up.

    as for equipment. well I use an enclosed trailer so no one really sees the equipment unless I'm using it. it looks new until I get it dirty. I never wash my equipment. the only water it ever sees is if I'm using it and it starts to rain. how many clients are home when your working anyway?
     
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Appearance does matter. At least it does to me and that all that matters to me. When I see someone rolling down the street with junk I'm just not thinking that they really don't care about anything. They may talk a good talk, but when you look at what they do closely, the differences are apparent. Even in the way they take care of their customers. I don't believe the equipment must be new, but it does have to be taken care of. This truck belongs to a friend of mine. 99% of you would be horrified to ride in this piece of junk, as am I. He does an okay job on lawns, not great, and he's never interested in doing extra stuff like trimming bushes. When I sold my company in MD he got first pick. He didn't want any of the fancy jobs with full service. Just the simple stuff. His company policies, like insisting upon being paid each week, is driving what few high end customers he has away. He rides around week after week, like a paper boy, collecting from his customers.

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  8. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 774

    Same here. Act and look like a professional usually leads to being treated like a professional.
     
  9. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    I would never be ok with that truck because it has rust on it and its multi color. but fix the rust and paint it all one color and it'd be fine.

    the trimmer no way. if it can't be held together on its own its time for a new one.

    but the mower in the pic. besides the missing anti scalp wheels I see nothing wrong with it. it actually a bit more red showing than my 09 52" toro grandstand does right now.

    appearance does matter but some take it to the extreme I think. you don't need new shinny looking dirt free stuff all the time. if your equipment never looks like its been in a yard that says to me your not busy because if you have that kind of time to clean things up that good your not working enough.

    it goes along with those that will give an estimate and do the job right then and there. I never do this. if you can afford to do a job on spot your not busy enough and there must be a reason your not busy enough.

    I would never hire someone who would do the job right then and there or that pulls up in a rig with everything shiny and new looking.
     
  10. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,095

    Yeah good questions. Actually the 275K would be on the low end...the majority of my customers are in the 375-400K price homes, not blue collar. Mostly execs. and office personnel in larger companies. About 6 years ago these houses would easily go for 450-500K.

    But yes I see your point and the reason you asked. These customers would be somewhere near high end, but definitely not upper high end if that makes any sense.
     

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