1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Way to busy to......

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tjlco, May 12, 2010.

  1. tjlco

    tjlco LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    I met another lco today, he's got a large operation I'd guess, few different trucks...anyway, he was dropping off blades (62 of them) to be sharpened. I asked him why not get the magna matic and save all that money (4 bucks a blade). He said "If I'm sharpening blades I'm not making money" I said, yes but your about to lose 248 bucks.. he said I'm to busy to worry about blade sharpening...Made me wonder full of poop, or he must really be busy or just hate sharpening blades...anyone else to busy????
  2. i have never thought of having a shop sharpen my blades or would I.
  3. RDA

    RDA LawnSite Member
    Posts: 177

    It really isn't rocket science. If it would require him to spend 4 hours to sharpen them (ignore equipment costs to sharpen for this simple explanation), and he can net more than $248 to his bottom line during that same 4 hours doing his normal gig, then he is better off spending his time working his normal gig than sharpening blades.


  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    There are too many times he could be paying one of his 9 dollar an hour guys to be doing this, too. There are rainy days and days that are BOUND to be short enough to get these done. They don't all have to get done at the same time, either. It only takes about a minute a blade - if even that. The guy just sounds to me like he is just closed minded and ignorant to some things that could be helping his bottom line. Let's do some quick math. If he saves $230 per sharpening, he would only have to sharpen each blade 3 or 4 times to pay for it...everything else after that is saved in gas and his time running blades back and forth. He REALLY needs to look at a bigger picture.
  5. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    First, I am not for or against someone sharpening their own blades or sending them somewhere. I think it all depends on how big a business is. If someone has many employees and lots of business (lawn/landscape/whatever/etc...) maybe it is worth it to them to have someone else do it than taking someone off the job to do these tasks. I understand the rainy day thing but you can't count on that to always happen. If someone is solo then everything depends on them to keep things running. Blade sharpening, oil changes, belts, estimates, billing, whatever, etc... Thats why many very large businesses have accountants, secretaries, mechanics, etc... They outsource these jobs because they can no longer perform these tasks because of being split too many ways. I dont think it is possible to be an owner, crew leader, mechanic, accountant, laborer of a big company without you wanting to throw in the towel. But this also may be the extreme end of larger businesses. I guess some people may want to close up on a Friday or Saturday to enjoy time away from work and have someone else do the blade sharpening or other business needs. I am small enough that this is not a problem and don't mind doing it. It just depends on what someone needs for their business to run successfully. And maybe $250+ is a drop in the bucket for a larger business. Just my thoughts
  6. tjlco

    tjlco LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    I suppose after reading some of the replies...it would be nice at the end of the day, friday or whatever day, to park the rig and go in the pool, not do any accounting, mechanic work, or blade sharpening, or phonecalls for that matter...but then again thats why I beacme an LCO in the first place, to make more money, and do the above things that go with it. If someday I am a large enough operation that I can outsource some of those things, then good for me...I think....
  7. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,213

    I know a few guys that take thier blades to the dealer to sharpen. They hate the job and it is a tax writeoff. Same with having the dealer service your equipment, its a tax writeoff. The worst part is, most dealers do a crap job at sharpening blades.
  8. Scagmower48

    Scagmower48 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 430

    Just because its a tax right off does not mean its free. Blades are easy to sharpen and can be done at anytime. Do a set everyday after work or before work, or on a rainy day. They will be done in no time, and if you keep up on them then you won't have so many to do. Also if you do them yourself, you won't need so many sets, since you can sharpen them and you won't have to wait for the dealer to sharpen them. Most likely the guy who this thread is about is some arogant guy who has bills up to his head.
  9. Magna-Matic

    Magna-Matic Sponsor
    Posts: 827

    Just to add a thought.

    The lawn mower blade is the most directly related piece of equipment to your final product, a beautiful lawn for your customer. If the blade is not maintained the grass is torn by the mower, and yellowing occurs.

    A lawn mower blade should be sharpened between 8-12 mowing hours, by this time the TIP of the blade has become rounded, and now it is tearing the grass rather than cutting. The TIP of the mower blade is the primary cutting tooth, if it is not pointed it is not cutting. (for more info on blade geometry see http://www.magna-matic.com/page/blade-education

    If a quality cut is desired, the service of the lawn mower blade, (balancing and sharpening at a consistent angle) should be controlled "in-house" to ensure quality.

    Thank you,

    Often if a lawn care pro is outsourcing his sharpening, it probably isn't being done as often as it should, the reason for this is the high cost of outsourcing it. It is the frequency of service required in a commercial use setting that makes it expensive to outsource something so critical to the quality of a lawn care professional's end product.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    You see now how it's ALL the same money? :laugh:

    I keep telling folks, doesn't matter, beyond a certain point it's ALL the same,
    now this guy's working all those extra hours BUT the money goes to
    sharpening blades.

    Which it adds out, figure the time we spend sharpening blades, it's all the same probably,
    cut a lawn or sharpen the blades, which one you want to do?

    But after it's all said and done, same dang money LOL

Share This Page