Winning Bids = determined by truck you drive?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by BSDeality, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,850

    I recently picked up a 1994 Toyota 4cyl pickup to drive around as a daily driver, estimate and "light duty" work truck. Overall the truck is in "OK" condition, 31" tires on aftermarket rims, brushguard and its a little rusty by the drivers side tire in the back, but overall its a clean truck. My other vehicle is a 2005 F350 PSD XLT, 18" factory wheels, etc. When I take my '05 on estimates I have approximately a 60% signing rate for estimates. However When I take my Toyota I've been averaging 85-90% sell's. I noticed a drop off last year in my estimate signings when I upgraded from my 94 Dodge 1500 to my 2005 Ford and figured it was just the season was slow. I now take the Toyota on as many estimates as possible. Anyone had similar results?
  2. newlooklandscp

    newlooklandscp LawnSite Member
    Posts: 224

    Ive seen the complete opposite with myself. I had a 2001 F250 in ok condition (only got 50-60% signing) and purchased an 2006 F350 Superdutuy diesel this winter. Ive seen a 80-90% signing when I take my F350. I also think that looking good is a main point. All my equipment if washed mutliple times a week and NOTHING has any rust or loss of paint. I think it probably depends on the accounts your bidding on.

  3. Palmer'sLS

    Palmer'sLS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 535

    My dad always told me that its all about the first image. In my case, my mower is more valuable than my truck is ('85 f-150), when i show up with my new enclosed 6x12, and w/b mower, it just shows that i am not interested in what i drive but my quality of i would say that yes, i get more business by driving my beat-up ol' ford
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Does the estimate vehicle make a difference?
    Absolutely !!!

    I almost never take the rig on estimates due to the low conversion factor and the fuel mileage is horrible... Unless it just happens to be on the way, I give estimates in either one of 2 older bmw's. I've even been known to drop off the truck and hop in the car or start out in the car, then switch.

    It's weird, it's funny, some folks couldn't care less, others flip a little, some are impressed, some still act like I'm just the lawnboy, it varies but it's almost always interesting.
  5. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 550

    i have a 93 s10 blazer that is kind of beat up and i take it on estamates and people don't haggle with me on price, but if i take the big red well kept powerstroke i always here sh*t about my prices
  6. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 2,412

    I just went on a small commerical bid and the guy commented my 2004 2500HD. He said the guy that did it last year used an old truck and raggedy looking enclosed trailer and he also said that the guy was probably doing the job just because he wanted the couple extra bucks. He said 4 times how nice the truck looked compared to the last guy. In his eyes, I think he saw that a nice looking truck means your serious and dedicated to this business.
  7. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,646

    I don't have data to back it up, but I think having a clean, up-to-date vehicle can only be beneficial. I want people to always see me and my equipment in tip-top shape because I feel that they will equate that with the quality and care of my work. I know some people overlook it, but I have some customers that always come out and kid with me about how clean my truck always is or that they see a dirty spot on it. I'm not saying that you need to have the newest of everything, I just think that what you do have should be kept in the best shape possible, for a multitude of reasons.
  8. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,733

    I had this very same conversation at a condo complex I was manager at. The people in this little 25 unit complex are not hurting by any means what so ever. The outcome was for the decent vehichle, not the big brand new truck as is showed that he was making plenty of money as it was and probably overcharging.. The old beat up pickup truck showed they were not doing good in business or did not care. The older, but decent looking truck showed that they had values and were doing their best to make a living.
  9. newlooklandscp

    newlooklandscp LawnSite Member
    Posts: 224

    Just because I drive up in a brand new truck doesnt mean I over charge. Sure I can be c*cky (not with customers but in general), we do good work and stand by it. But to me it means that this is my full time job and I really do care what my work looks like. Most of my stuff is word of mouth, I never advertise. Personally if I were to get a bid from someone, I would take the guy with the nicer truck over the sh*t truck (if the prices, etc. were close). Matter of fact I did that for a huge sprinkler job I sub'd out and it work out for the better. The other guy I found out had a bad rap. Thats my two cents I guess.

  10. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,251

    As far as regular lawn maint estimates, very few are even with the homeowner. However, the few times that I actually meet with the homeowner they almost always comment that they like the fact that I have a nice truck/trailer.

    Down here most people have been burned or know of someone who has been burned by Johnny Lowballer rolling in the beat a$$ f150 with plywood sides on his rusted out trailer, so they appreciate the professional appearance.

    Hell, most of the time the homeowner is just glad someone showed up:waving:

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