Does LOOKS Matter to You?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mowman, Oct 29, 2001.

  1. Mowman

    Mowman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    What I mean is do you worry that you must have the BEST looking truck out their to pull your equipment? ie: No rust or other defects as dents and other eye sores? Just wondering what everyone thinks. I've been looking for an older truck some are rusted. I don't mean fenders FLYING in the wind just things like cab corners and rocker panels. Yes, I'm looking at Chevy's. I just can't see having a BRAND NEW Truck and scratching it and denting it up. What do you all think???????

  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    It must or I wouldn't be paying 596.00 a month like a dumbazz!:cry:

    If my old Chevy had been more dependable I would still be pulling with it, got a little embarrassing banging on the starter in frt of potential customers houses and having it overheat all the time.

    It shouldn't matter as long as whatever you use is clean and YOUR clean too.
  3. Dochere

    Dochere LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    My personal vehicle has to be in perfect shape, never dirty, waxed and polished all the time. My work vehicle has to be presentable. No rust and washed once a week. as far as age or not having the new body style, that does not matter to me.
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    As long as the vehicle is presentable you should be okay. If you would be embarrassed to show up at a car show (I'm not talking about entering it) with it then you maybe should leave it behind the barn. But then I'm the only guy in my area that I know of that even bothers to put a little soap and water on my mowers.
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    There is an old saying " Dress for sucess" and it applies to you truck trailer and Equipment. Image is everything. If you drive a beat up truck, pull a rag-out trailer and have junk for equipment don't complain when the customer beat up your price or hires the other guy for a higher price.
  6. lawnworker

    lawnworker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 897

    I like to use older trucks that have wear and tear already .If i were to buy a new one and scratch it up i would freak out being brand new and all.Having said this if you are a solo operation you can really baby your truck whether it is a new are old truck.Mowman those older chevys are prone to rust [ 1987 and older models] you need to be a autobody man to keep the rust off once it gets a good start nothing short of cutting it all out and welding new steel in will fix it.Getting back on topic i think as long as the truck doas not have giant rust holes the customer should not be concerned are perceive more value in one service to the next based on vehicle looks .IF they are getting top notch lawn care service.

    :blob1: lawnworker

    XOFMOT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    Just remember...Those old rusty, dented , smokin', squeeky trucks were flawless new vehicles on a dealers lot at one time. Like RIC said " DRESS FOR SUCCESS". I go around in a 2 year old Silverado. It gets washed every 2 - 3 days, and always looks new. I present myself (short haircut, clean shaved, clean clothes-even keep 2 extra pairs of work clothes in the truck JUST IN CASE). I keep my vehicle and trailer lookin as clean and presentable as I can. 90% of my service area are HIGH end customers and that ol' rusty p/u just doesn't look that good in front of the $750,000 home!

    We all know (or at least HOPE), our work and work ethics are our basis for keeping present customers as well as getting new ones. Any business destined for success has to perform in a TOP NOTCH manner in this business. We all have the problems of SCRUBS in our "WORK AREAS". This is something we have to deal with, and work to put a stop to! I am expensive. I charge on a average of $65.00 per hour for my services (yes, I have customers). I am lucky enough that my service area will not tollerate the "SCRUB" LCO.
    5 of my customers (residential) asked to see proof of insurance even before I gave them an estimate. Looks and appearance DO COUNT, even more so if you are in an area of $$$$$$.
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    "Dress for sucess" I got a phone call and posted before I got my whole .02 in. No it does not have to be a brand new truck etc. but the better it looks the better you look. Nothing beats sucess like sucess. That why everyone stands in line at a resturant when the one across the street is empy. Also if their nieghbor uses ABC Yard service it must be good so they use ABC yard Service. Remember people want to know that they are spenting their money wisely. Percieved Value and Recieved value are one in the same.

    The other side of the coin is this. When people see a sign that is made of spray paint instead of pro-lettering they will call it because "why". "Why" because they think it is some poor guy who will work for nothing and they can get a bargin. Cheap work gets cheap refferals.

    I can't spelllll but 2+2=5
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I agree, it's very important to dress for success. Vehicles, personnel, business cards, bid sheets, etc. should all look as nice as possible (within the contraints of your budget).

    However, I am proof that you can have a very succesful business with older trucks. All of the 4 trucks in our fleet are 72 Chevy 3/4 tons. However, I have put very nice new paint jobs on them and they are all very neat and clean looking. It helps that 69-72 are collectors years too. So we get a lot of nice comments on them.

    My truck, however is a new one and looks awesome. That's the one they see when I give an estimate. But the trucks in our fleet don't look bad at all. They are very professional. And they all look alike - the paint and the lettering.

    What I do is buy these older trucks that have newly rebuilt or recently rebuilt engines and good trannys in them but maybe the paint is old. Then I get a good deal on them (I pay between $1000 and $2000 for them) and slap a nice paintjob, wheels, etc. on them and we are good to go. They look nice and are reliable as can be.

    I don't think it's wise to buy all new trucks when you have a fleet. I sure as heck wouldn't want 5 truck payments each month. I am very happy with the 4 trucks we have that are paid off.

    p.s. rust in the rocker panels of Chevy PUs is very common. They all have that. And a decent body shop can fill those areas in for not too much money.
  10. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I could not agree with you more. In Fact one of my competers has a 1956( I think ) GMC that looks like it came right off the show room floor. If he takes that good of care of his truck I bet he will take that good of care of my yard. Dress for Sucess.

    I can't spellll but 2+2=5

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