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A Good Laugh

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JimLewis, Feb 17, 2001.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Well, I am bored so I'll share this story with whoever wants to read it.

    When I first started, 6 years ago, I had nothing. I knew nothing. I didn't even know what an edger was. No kidding. Much less how to use one. Anyway, I took out an ad and started mowing people's lawns. The funny part was my set-up;

    The first 2 weeks I mowed lawns in my wife's 1989 Mazda 626. I would brake down the handles of the little $50 mower I bought and put it in the trunk after every lawn. Then, I had plastic bags to put the grass clippings in. Those bags went in the back seats during the day and then into the dumpsters at the appartments where I lived at night. This isn't the funny part. It gets worse.

    After 2 weeks, the wife was tired of me using her car. So I had to start using my own. I had a 1980 Chevy Camaro at the time. Imagine a 70's Formula Firebird. That's what it looked like. Except I had just painted it custom metallic blue. It glowed. Now imagine a towing package on the back. It gets worse.....

    I bought a trailer from a guy for $50 that used to be an old truck bed. It's primary color was rust. But you could still see some yellow too. The trailer, wheels, tires, etc. had been sitting in a field for years. It was damn ugly. It was also a good foot or so higher off the ground than the Camaro was. And the axle squeeked, loudly.

    Now imagine that piece of crap being towed by the aforementioned Camaro - the trailer tilting up at the back because the tongue was so low - with a crappy mower, edger, and broom in the back. A Blower? I didn't know about those.

    I can't even begin to count how many times "real" landscapers would pull up next to me at a stop light and just die laughing. I could hear the cowls even through their closed windows. I just laughed too. It WAS funny. I knew it. But I couldn't afford anything more at the time.

    I was told on several occasions that it looked like my car was going 80 mph but the trailer was going 20. I wish I had pictures. You guys would be dying. Anyway, it's a relief now to have nice stuff. But it's humbling to remember where I started from.

    [Edited by jimlewis on 02-17-2001 at 03:55 AM]
  2. moonarrow

    moonarrow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223

    Jim that is a good story, and it is good that we can look back and laugh, Storys like this I think are a good contribution because it shows the American way that with determination, any one can succeed, and helps the small guys realize this and that they are not alone and if they work at it better things will come with time
  3. Greenkeepers

    Greenkeepers LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 695


    You had to start somewhere!! Glad to hear that you're still in business and have moved up the cutting chain :)
  4. jrblawncare

    jrblawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    I started with a 9.50 ad in the penny saver,a crapsman leave vac.I called myself "The Leaf Man" doing fall clean-ups...the phone rang off the hook.Bad "yes" ,as bad as Jim "NO".
  5. rdh

    rdh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    good story jim,
    just shows every one how far some people can go with nothing

    [Edited by rdh on 02-17-2001 at 05:41 AM]
  6. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183


    Did you sell that set-up? I think I saw it the other day in town!
    I did have a truck when I bought my first mowing machine, a 22" high wheel Murray! I started out wanting to pressure wash and called a real estate guy. He told me he didn't have anything to wash but he did have a yard that needed mowing. The rest is history but I still remember pushing that first yard, it was one that I would turn away in a second now----------straight up! The Bermuda was so thick I was worn out by the second pass and so was the mower. I wasn't born with a silver spoon, I did have humble beginnings and to some I am probably still humbly beginning----------but I'm a long way from that day and proud of it. Looking back is the fun part. I remember sitting on a swing under my carport with my wife a few years ago, thinking of a way to make some extra money, her words were loud and clear, "I tell you one thing I'm not gonna do----I'm not mowin' no grass"!

    Woops :D

    Sorry honey :( I'll make it up to ya one day!
  7. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    Jim, That is a GREAT story!

    Reading your posts, looking at your website, I would have NEVER imagined such humble beginings!

    And that was ONLY 6 years ago?!?!? WOW!! Inspirational!!!

    I wonder what those guys that laughed at you are doing now?
  8. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 564

    Hey when I started I used my bike to pull my mower/gas/etc on a trailer...I think someone took my picture last year and posted it on here!(LOL)
  9. Mark

    Mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    Great story Jim, I started with a old MTD 36" rider,a broom and a trimmer which was gave to me don't know the brand,but it was a one stringer. Hauled it in the bed of my truck. Had six accounts, that was 10yrs ago. Ill never forget where i came from. Then after around two yrs and alot of praying I purchased my first new mower and trailer, then started growing in accounts, and now im at the point that i have to turn down jobs every yr. Longsuffering as the Bible says and my prayers were answered. Marks Mowing Service
  10. motor86

    motor86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    There is a kid a grade younger than me that mows. He drives a OLD John Deere mower around town with a trailer behind it. The trailer is covered in rust. He has a 35 year old lawn boy in the back, and a 15 year old Weedeater trimmer. On the trailer is a big sticker, saying "KQ 98 Hot Country". It is a radio station....everyone laughs.

    I am not much better. I have new equiptment, but for the last 4 years of mowing I pushed it around town, since I didn't have a truck.

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