Unlicensed Applicator Revisited

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Green Dreams, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. Green Dreams

    Green Dreams LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 593

    This was my post from 2 or 3 weeks ago about my local scrub...

    I shouldn't be touching this one on a public forum....lol. I like all my regulating agencies...great folks... I mean it too.

    Your husband is right...TDA is the way to go. Thats why "Mega Lawn Cos" have TDA. One Clown babysitting a bunch of monkeys with very little hassle. The TDA test is easier too.

    I turned in an unlicensed applicator here to the SPCB. They cite him (I don't know the outcome yet) and what does he do? What does he do? He goes and signs up for the TDA test. Fails it and goes to Lesco asking those guys for help so he can pass on the second go round! That is crap and its very scary. This guy killed some frickin yards. Stained a pool with iron. He has NO EXPERIENCE as an applicator. None! He was a salesman for the Mega Cos here. Nice guy but dumb as dirt.

    The SPCB would not allow him to test without a year of verifiable training. They have tougher requirements. TDA will let anyone test.

    Send in your $180 and be happy. Sorry for the rant.
     
  2. Green Dreams

    Green Dreams LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 593

    I ran into him again today. This time he came up oooing and aahhing my spray rig as he has none. "Where'd you get that from?" I say "westheffer." "Where's that?'', he asks. "Uh... Kansas."

    He has a white shirt with a patch sewed on that looked like he did it himself. Khaki pants and all. First of all white and khaki will stain fast with iron. If you use granular and get it in a pool you're...well you know. He did and was in disbelief when Lesco answered him when asked " theres nuttin' you can pour in a pool to get off the stains?"

    I asked him where he got his field experience. He said he was at Mega Lawn Co 1 for 8 years and Mega Lawn Co 2 for one year... in sales. My reply is..."The next salesman I run into from a Mega Co that has a frickin' clue will be the first." He ain't it. He assures me that "He knows what it takes to keep those lawns green."

    I asked him what fungicide he uses here. "Well, I don't use Talstar", he says. "Uh thats good as its an insecticide, bro." "I use Prostar," he replies. I ask "since you have no spray rig, how do you apply it?" " I pour it in the hand can." Just kinda guess, I guess. Do you use it on leaf spot too? Sure you do. Gets that Take-All as well.

    I ask who he has insurance through. He says State Farm. My buddy is a State Farm agent. They wouldn't touch us with a 10 foot pole, folks.

    So you passed the ag test (finally?) huh? How much was the fee? $150 he says suredly. Sorry, it was $180 and I thought you paid it?

    I'm calling Austin tomorrow and finding out wtf? If he can skate then I am FOOLISHLY obeying the law. Maybe a mower in the back of the truck makes me legit.

    Sorry again for ranting
     
  3. GrazerZ

    GrazerZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 670

    I hear ya. Ran into a "landscaper" last year at Home Depot. I always introduce myself to anyone in the trade. (referals ya know).so i go up to him to say hi and there he is holding a bag of grubx under his arm. I find out later that he has been cited at least once for using roundup w/o a liscence. So I let him know who I was and what we could offer. He then says: "so how do you get rid of nutsedge? roundup just makes it turn color." -make sure you think of Jethro Bodean when you read that sentence- I smiled and said give me a call and I'll come look at it for you, and give you a price. Of course he never called. Secretly I wise nutsedge on all of his lawns. :) If I ever see him applying, I WILL turn him in, stinking looser. Now i'm ranting....
     
  4. JRAZ

    JRAZ LawnSite Member
    from NW
    Posts: 143

    I hear you guys. It is really frustrating to spend the time and money and have the necessary knowledge and insurance then see guys out there spraying without a license. I was just at a local trade show and asked my state ag about enforcement and they basically laughed it off but said funding for enforcement is really lacking however they are aware of the problem. I told them to spend a day with me. I see guys almost everyday with a small pump sprayer in the back of their beat up old truck with their lawn mower and I am convinced most do not have the license needed.

    ~ J
     
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957


    I will Ditto the above. It is a real bear to pay the price of being legal and get under cut by the scrubs. Right now with all the Hurricane clean up and redo work the Scrubs are having a field day. Does matter if it is pesticide or irrigation. Landscape install requires Worker Comp and commercial landscape install requires a Registered License with test.

    I have not seen a State Inspector in over a year. When they do come out to inspect, they grab the Licensed guys because they have their names and addresses. The scrubs get a skate.

    Now it would do no good to report any of them. The State of Florida is more interested in getting back to normal by any means possible than having things done right. Last estimate I went on was a $ 1,200 job and the Home owner told me he had a price of $ 365 for the same job. I told the Guy no way it can be the same job, I can't buy the material for that price.

    The other thing plaguing this area is the poor quality of work that leads to double the expense to do it right. An ex sample is the stump grinders. They are grinding the stumps just below grade. No problem if you want grass to grow over it. However in most cases the trees were located as framing for the landscape and need to be replaced. Try planting in the same spot with a un-ground stump in your way. Try pulling a stump that has no way of being grabbed by a boom. Now tell try telling a home owner he just paid several hundred dollars to have his stumps ground. That he will have to pay 4 times that to have them taken out right so you can plant a tree.
     
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    While I am venting let me add an other story.

    The other day I saw a station wagon pulling a 14 ft lawn trailer with 3 pallets of Sod on it. No trailer brakes on that model trailer and the axles were so bend the tires were at an angle. At 2 tons each pallet of Sod their was no cop stopping him let alone the DOT. Or course if my 14,500 GVW cab over is ONE pound over weight I have to go to court.
     
  7. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,889

    Ric,
    thats why i got a grinder and started doing stumps, I had 2 of them done in my yard and spent more time using an Axe than a shovel when i was cleaning up. When i grind stumps i tell my customers its guaranteed when they start cleaning up if there is any spots not deep enough or that i missed due to chips covering it, just give me a call and i will come back and finish it right.
    stumps should be a minimum of 6 inches under ground. I prefer gone if i can get that deep. if a tree is going in the same spot i would charge more and keep going until its gone. i also remove the surface feeder roots and root rises around the tree. that sometimes looks like a gopher had a blast but its nice after its all cleaned and done.
    I told my wife after those storms maybe it would be a good time to take the grinder and go down there to visit my sisters.
     
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957


    Stumper

    People are starting to get wise to Out of State contractor now. However a lot of locals have become professional landscaper over night. The station wagon above had a magnetic sign with the name "Professional Landscaping" on it. In fact it was a newer SUV type.

    But the landscaping is still just beginning. Roofs and windows had to be repaired first. Pool cages are the big demand now. People are on a 18 month waiting list. Most of the Stump work has run it's course. However over the next two years there will be more. If you can grind 24 to 30 inches deep then there may be a demand for your services. Some Palm trees go even deeper, but most replacements only need that depth.
     
  9. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,889

    nope can't get that deep, excavator could.
     
  10. JRAZ

    JRAZ LawnSite Member
    from NW
    Posts: 143

    Since we are all venting, I have one for you that happened a few days ago.

    I was extrememly under bid on a local residential job because I was told I was too high. This is what got me -

    Cst says: "Oh yeah, that was just too high for us. We got some Vietnamese guy that said he would do everything you would do for 3400.00."

    I said: "Let me caution you. That sounds too good to be true. My materials list came to that much."

    Cst did not want to hear any of that. So we politely said our thanks and hung up. Just an FYI - my bid came in at just a little over 10k, so you can see I was really under bid.

    I have been called back to fix mistakes in the past of other scapers that under bid me on the same job. Then the homeowner has to pay more than what they would have had to originally pay for me to install when they should have just hired me in the first place. It is amazing that homeowners will take risks like this.

    ~ J
     

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