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Discussion in 'Original Pictures Forum' started by White Gardens, Apr 28, 2009.
Nice work, and the lawn looks pretty good too.
Wasn't bad except the bed edges really had never been cut, and on top of it, it hadn't rained for a couple of weeks and the ground was hard as a rock. The house sits close to a man-made lake and all the ground around there is a silty clay.
Good news everyone, looks like I'm going to be buying a mini-skid in the next couple of weeks! I think I'm going to opt for the Vermeer as the dump-height is the best even though the tracks can be aggressive on turf. I might just have to go buy plywood or green mats to lay down on job-sites until I can buy a smaller wheeled mini for small yards. Luckily I'll have a mini to move stacks of plywood!
Busy, Busy, Busy.
Lots going on the last couple of weeks. Mainly getting through a lot of small stuff still and staying caught up on maintenance for my clients.
I did two mulch jobs the past week in a half, one consisting of 10 yards and another at 12 yards. Also tilled a couple of gardens, did some transplanting at a house, and a couple of clean-up type jobs.
On top of it I have been meeting with two clients who will be my first landscaping jobs of the year, with another 5 in the works. One should take me no more than two days, and the other a little more than a week.
I put in 5 mow bids this year and didn't get a single one. On top of it two of my mow accounts sold their homes so I'm now down to one. I've came to the conclusion that for at least the time being I'm not pushing the mow-side of my biz. I was trying to hedge myself against a slow landscaping year, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
I've got 2 guys lined up to help me part time this year. One younger with no experience and one older with tons of landscaping experience. Should work out pretty good. It's weird thinking that I'll be someone's boss though.
Good Old Gary Harms from the Vermeer dealership is getting a machine lined up for me. I decided to go with a gas S600TX as it's 5K cheaper than a diesel. It's got plenty of power for what I do.
Gary also dropped off a machine last Friday for me to demo. It's a higher hour S600TX but has a newer motor. I don't care for it though as the tracks and sprockets are beat up pretty good. The other gasser I want to buy is in better shape, and lower hours. I'd rather deal with a motor than tracks, rollers and sprockets any day.
I used it Sunday to haul away 15 tons of dirt from my mother-in-law's house, and today I used it to do two driveways that need 7 tons of rock apiece, 14 tons total.
I like it, I like it a lot. I can't get over how much material these things can move.
Nice work, what did you use to edge the beds?
Good to read your updates....
Yard boss tiller head on the end of an FS90. I take the outside two tines off and use the inside two tine to cut the edge. It usually comes out pretty good, but unlike a bed edger, it's harder to keep a strait line.
Thanks Stillwater. Hadn't seen any posts from you lately and I wasn't sure what was up. But then again I haven't been hanging around LS as much as I used to as I've been super busy and the wife and kid take up my free time.
How you liking the chevy?
I might have said it before but you need some simulators on that thing.
I like it, I like it a lot.
I thought I would miss having a diesel, but the 8.1 motor has more than enough power to do what I need it to do. I hauled a 4 ton load and pulled the mini on a trailer back home at the end of the day. (Probably a little overloaded) I did go in third though as the shift points are higher and I didn't want the tranny searching between 4th and 3rd. I'm contemplating putting 22k plates on the things and legally hauling 5 tons easily.
Na, no simulators. They get ruined the first time you curb the tires. I'm a fan of the classic steel rims. I will be taking them off soon and painting them up and painting the steel rings and hubs black again.
I have just retired from my full-time job of 31 years, and I have to say that I look at your business as a model to strive for. You do excellent work, I am only doing maintenance accounts right now, with small jobs my clients want. As time goes on I look to go to college for business, landscape design, fertilizer license. I love this kind of work (always have). Good luck, David
Thanks J & D, I appreciate that, you should copy and paste this post and send it to CaterKiller as he thinks I'm an idiot. I just got done arguing with him about my business model in a thread in the Landscaping section. I do agree with him though that I wish I could pay for all my equipment up-front with cash, but I've got to do what I need to do to stay competitive right now, and I don't buy anything unless I know I've got the jobs for it.
It might not be perfect, but I feel I'm lining myself up to expand a little each year as business grows. I'm just getting my Workman's comp figured out to hire someone part-time, and hopefully I can work on efficiency a bit more this year before I expand more. I don't want to be losing money on wasted time. That and I want to pay off my truck and new skid this year before I hire to ensure I can pay my employees.
I've tried to keep it simple with the landscape maintenance and let the installs fall into place. I didn't want to get into the mowing trap of investing tons of money into equipment just to try and compete with the low-ballers out there mowing yards. I'm glad I've kept it that way as I've seen/noticed twice as many mow services this year.
Just as a little equipment update, the mini should be ready to pick up on Friday, and yesterday I took the Dump to Chicago to pick up a 14ft., 10K steel deck equipment trailer, with tilt, for $800. Can't hardly find a trailer like that for less than $2500. I didn't want to take Heavy D (Dump Truck) but the guy had 5 calls for it and I wanted to snag it before someone else did. Other wise I was going to borrow a chevy 1500 to go get it.