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Biggest threat to the industry? Illegals, part timers or Big multiple crew LCO's?


LawnSite Bronze Member
New Jersey
To me undoubtley the most dangerous and underpriced are the big LCO's. I speculate they are more concerned with being the big shot and not watching their bottom line. Often the illegals and part timers do the work themselves therefore price a bit higher. On a side note often the bigshot LCO's are often young; not always some younger guys do a a great job pricing.


LawnSite Member
Atlanta, GA
I have had a problem with some of the big LCO's because they run multiple 3 or 4 man crews that can do massive amounts of volume. Therefore some of them charge a pretty low price but can still make money because of how much they do. They also still provide some pretty good quality as well. To customers they are a great deal.

I'm not say all of the large lco's run like this. There have just been a few around me that I know of. They just out bid everybody else. I cannot really be mad because if I want to I could run things the same way. I have chosen a different plan.


LawnSite Member
South Central WI
Its comming from everywhere by me.... usually its the little guys or illegals that I lose work to, (im also little, but not a scab) But this year its been 1 particular big timer lowballing everyone to get the work, i've heard rumors of some problems financially and that to me seems like the first sign of desperation before they fold. Lowball everyone because more work means more money right!!?? usually wrong....


LawnSite Fanatic
Lowball everyone because more work means more money right!!?? usually wrong....
LOL, your SO right. I'll never lowball. Either the customer wants me to do it for the price I quote or they don't. I didn't open a business to work for nothing. I'm making the same money I was when working for "the man" only I work 1/3 the hours!


LawnSite Fanatic
I think any "company" that lowballs is the big threat to the industry. I don't care if the company is big, small, legal or not...the lowballing strategy that some of the companies are taking is what is hurting the industry. For instance, if I price 10 lawns at $30 each and then have some other company come through and price all those same lawns at $20 each, then people are going to get into the mind-set that the price for lawn care should be really cheap. If I priced all my properties at $20, I couldn't make any money and I'd end up going out of business. But if prices stayed in a similar "zone", then customers may realize the true cost of lawn care and not complain about my price because so-and-so can do it for half the price.


LawnSite Fanatic
I just ran into this crap today, someone asked me if I had a crew but it was the way it was
said where I caught the real meaning: It would be cheaper that way...
I didn't say anything but Whatever!

Because I didn't feel like explaining it at the time but I don't see how a crew makes a lick of a difference,
if a job takes 10 hours then it's 10 hours of labor that have to be covered whether I do it by myself
in 2 days or if I bring 4 helpers and we knock it out in a few hours it's still 10 hours of labor...

And some might say but the owner always gets paid more, and I say that's because I don't sit around lol
But it really doesn't matter because either way the price of the job doesn't change any.

At the auto shop it costs $100 to mount 4 tires on my car, doesn't matter how many mechanics actually work on it...

On another note I'm guessing the quote I gave earlier didn't sit too well, but tough luck I'm not lowering
my price if I'm by myself vs. someone's crew, let them bring in their 10 helpers and bust it out for less.
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White Gardens

LawnSite Fanatic
Bloomington IL
I was talking to another scaper in the area about these issues.

I think that the biggest problem is with any green-industry services is that there is no set "rules" or guide lines for the industry.

How are we supposed to move forward and charge more with inflation when people are still charging the same price for services from the early 90's.

I think that's why I haven't pushed the mowing side of the biz. Mowing accounts come and go, and once you invest in the equipment then you need to sustain a certain level of business to sustain your over-head.


LawnSite Member
I'm new to the industry so I can't talk from years of experience but in my area it is the big LCO. Everyone I have talked with said they will come down to the price you say.


LawnSite Bronze Member
New Jersey
This is why I started this thread. Bigger LCO's are always complaining about illegals and part timers. When ironically they're the lowest priced ,least profitable operation. It's very hard if not impossible to get 200 or more good paying profitable customers in such a competitive field; hence they give really cheap prices. Often if they kept their 80 or 100 best customers, got rid of all the excess trucks, workers, toys and crap they'd make more money and actually have a life.


LawnSite Senior Member
Cincy, OH
Around Cincinnati I have noticed it to be the lowballers. I see these guys with no overhead ie: INS, WC, TAXES offering a $35 yard to do it for $20. My equipment is paid for and I don't have the expense of a shop and home, just run out of my house. I do pay taxes, ins., and looking into WC. Flagged a bunch of these guys on CL last year just for fun and one replied "we are legit, we are bonded." I laughed. He was advertising $20 max on cuts. He is not registered with the state of OH.