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Went through my mowers this winter.

Discussion in 'Original Pictures Forum' started by Landscraper1, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. The Grounds Crew

    The Grounds Crew LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    It looks like you have all the equipment for a succesfull multi million dollar company. I am very impressed with the number of mowers and heavy equipment you have. It is genius how you keep costs down by having all of your materials on site and a compost pile. That must help greatly reducing overhead.

    I would like to know how many employees you have?
    Do you have a website? If so, what is the link?
    May you please tell us the story about how you got to where you are today?
    And since you already a large operation, how do you plan on expanding? Do you plan on growing in the one location, or opening another location, to better serve your state?

    Sorry for all the questions. It is just important to learn the secrets and get advice from guys like you. Thank you.
  2. Landscraper1

    Landscraper1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Southeastern Ma.
    Posts: 755

    Not yet. Purchased left over XR7's. I have been very Happy with them. Heard many good things about the new decks but, not happy about the new vacs.
  3. Landscraper1

    Landscraper1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Southeastern Ma.
    Posts: 755

    Have been very happy with GM's. All of my trucks are GMCs or Chevys except for 1 Isuzu Cabover.
  4. Landscraper1

    Landscraper1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Southeastern Ma.
    Posts: 755

    No, they thought it was a good idea. When I bid on large properties, I usually am asked for an equipment list. I figure a picture would be more impressive and believable.

    My first commercial mower was a 36" Bobcat Walkbehind. That was 32 years ago, when Bobcat's were painted orange and there was no such company called Scag.
  5. KPZ Enterprises

    KPZ Enterprises LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 488

    thats a great idea then if your asked for an equipment list....funny i started out with a 33in cub cadet walk behind when i was 15, im 21 now n have 2-60s riders n a 48in walk behind, not sure if anyone else has asked u this but how long did it take you to get that big?
  6. Landscraper1

    Landscraper1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Southeastern Ma.
    Posts: 755

    I believe that being organized is key in any business, The way the shop and trailers are set up can greatly reduce man hours. That is important to stay competitive in today's market.

    I currently have 19 full time employees.

    I am in the process of getting a new website so, the one currently is not very impressive. If you want to see goto www.darochaslandscape.com.

    For me to tell you story, I would need to write a book. to keep it short I can tell you that I started cutting lawns at the age of 10 with my older brother. It turned into a family business. My dad and 3 brothers. We incorperated in 1980. Opened a Nursery in 1984, to get our dad out of our hair. Younger brother left the business in 1997. My Dad retired in 2000. At our largest we had 32 employees, a Garden Center, Power Equipment Shop, Florist Shop, and had nothing but debt while grossing close to 3 mil.

    We later downsized. In 2005 my brother and I ended up splitting the business. I kept the landscape accounts and he kept the Garden Center.

    At the time of the split I had 13 employees, old beat up trucks and equipment, and debt to pay off. I am now 6 years later out of debt (except for a couple of truck payments) and finally making money. That's the short version.:hammerhead:

    At the point I am at now, I would not grow much larger. In order to grow larger, I would have to hire someone to help run the company, I dont want to do that. I have been burned before, I will never put myself in that position again. I will max out at 22 employees then I'm done.

    I now have a managable business and am making great money. I also have 5 rental properties, that keep me busy. This is an area I am going to expand, since it's a great time to buy.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  7. The Grounds Crew

    The Grounds Crew LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    That's really interesting. It is amazing how such a large company can struggle financially. But since your starting to make money now, I plaud you on that. It is also important how you powered through all of your struggles and hardships to get to where you are today. Good job and keep up the good work. I am sure you will have many future successes?

    Do you plan on just staying in the maintenance and landscaping or get back into selling power tools and openening a garden center?
  8. Landscraper1

    Landscraper1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Southeastern Ma.
    Posts: 755

    The problems I had were mostly of others doing. I was working like a dog to keep feeding a machine(the business). Like I said, I can write a book. Thanks, for the words.

    I have never left Landscaping and most likely won't until I retire. The problem we had when I was larger, we had someone running the power equipment division, another running the nursery, and another the florist shop. Those are the parts of the business that was bringing us down. The landscaping always made money and that's what I have concentrated on since 2005.
  9. S-205

    S-205 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 1,306

    Its really good that you can clearly define which area's of your business created the debt, the problems and the hassle. And that you were able to root them out and focus on what makes you money and hopefully what you liked the most.

    Was landscaping and maintenance what you enjoyed doing, or were the power equipment, nursery and the floristry?
  10. Jelinek61

    Jelinek61 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 542

    Very impressive operation you have going. I totally agree about keeping an operation lean and finding the right size and sticking with it. Some companies grow to the point that the owner can not handle it and costs start to skyrocket because of mismanagement. Keep up the good work.

    Any pics of a whole mowing rig with truck/trailers?

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