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Advice needed; Should I get certified

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Royalslover, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Royalslover

    Royalslover LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    I have been a solo for 20 years focousing on mowing. I have a customer who would like for me to take over fertilization on his properties. It includes three props that are not irrigated-a large apartment complex, a medium sized one and 16 duplexes all in a row. It also includes an irrigated high maintainence prop. Not sure on the square footage. The guy tells me they were paying $600 per app for this prop. They have been recieving six apps for this prop and 2 or 3 for the others. Here's my question; would it be worth it to get my pbl just to do this small amount of work? I think it would gross me about $6000 per year. I don't know how much material would cost. I don't really want to do a whole lot else other than spray the occasional round-up on my mowing properties. Would there be a way to spray without getting a tank for my truck.

    Any feed back would be greatly appreciated. :confused:
  2. crazy4green

    crazy4green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    i run pg and z spray machines if there is ahose on props you can get away with out tank but thats big investment if you are not going to do other props
  3. Fert33

    Fert33 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Central Pa
    Messages: 133

    Yes you should be licensed. For any work that you do with commercial sites involving fertilization programs It is a good idea to know what you are doing. Plus the cost of being caught doing applications without the proper license would be quite a hit in the pocket. Get certified and be done with it. There is money in fertilization, who knows you may quit mowing. :)
  4. Royalslover

    Royalslover LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Thanks. I know I would need to be certified and get a pbl. I'm just trying to figure out if it would be worth it. How hard is the test.
  5. crazy4green

    crazy4green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    its different everywhere but in michigan its fairly easy
  6. Fert33

    Fert33 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Central Pa
    Messages: 133

    In pa it's closed book for the core but for every category it's open book. If you read the material it really isn't that hard. Like I said it's worth the cost.
  7. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,519

    i am sure you have aquired some assets over the last 20 years in buisness. I am sure you wouldnt want to lose eveything in a lawsuit. You wouldnt have much defense in court if you applied something and some kid had a hypersensitivity to a control product, ended up sick or in the hospital. Your insurance co. wouldnt covver you because not being licensed is gross negligence, you cant hide behind the corporate shield in gross negligence cases, So kid gets sick lawyer says "oh could you provide the court with a copy of your pesticide license from 2008? you answer well I didnt have one. lawyer says so you broke the law, your screwed. Im not slamming you here dont take me wrong, im pointing out every applicators worst nightmare, guys that arent licensed arent aware of the repercusions that can come back on them, not to mention the fines that can put a small operator out of buisness. My advice get licensed what if the guy that was doing it rats you out? Inspector shows up and you are bagged red handed. Good luck
  8. olive123

    olive123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    dont forget to take into account that will likely need insurance to apply pesticides. In florida you need 1 million in ins.
    you do not need a license to apply fertilizer. (not yest anyway...)
  9. JWTurfguy

    JWTurfguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Let's be realistic here, guys. If someone is focusing just on mowing with little or no experience with fertilization/pesticides, is it really worth it for them to hit the books and work towards getting a license just to cover a handful of jobs? Most, if not all, states require quite a bit of effort/knowledge in order to get certified.

    I'm a huge fan of getting educated and licensed, but in this case it sounds like it might make a lot more sense for him to simply subcontract out those few jobs. The only way I would really recommend going the other route would be if he's actually trying to branch out and grow in that direction, but it doesn't sound like that's really the case here. Also, remember that in a lot of states, you can fertilize without a certification as long as you aren't applying a pesticide.
  10. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I agree... You would really not be able to even break even with a handfull of jobs, even at $600 an app. Figure that the pesticide license, the business license, and the Liability insurance will run about $1,000 a year, minimum. That's not figuring in the inital costs of the testing. You need Core and catagory 3-B for turf pest. Both are closed book, and rather long... However, for applying fertilizer only, you don't need a license in KS.

    Really large properties can be pushed, but it's no fun... But figure $300 to $400 for a good spreader if you don't have one already. To step up to a ride-on right away figure $6,000 and up. For spraying large areas the ride-on's excell. Dragging a hose on a large property can be a real pain, plus another $3,000 for a skid/tank setup.

    I do all my own fert and squirt... But I honestly just wish I didn't! Unfortunately I don't know of anyone locally that I would trust, and that dosn't mow too... Sure as hell never going to call tru-brown!

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