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Estmate car

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by larryinalabama, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    I just filled my Chevy pickup up with gas, 85 #(*# BUCKS. I have an old pink colored Toyota Tercel that gets 40 mpg that I use to get to my full time job.
    My question is will I look Gay If I use it to run around in to give estmates? A lot of the work I do can be estmated overthe phone, but weekley maintance or large jobs cannot. I live in the woods so I can sometimes drive as much as 50 miles round trip to give an estmate. I really cant afford to spend 15 to 20 bucks and an hour time just to give an estmate. Thankfully Im small and most of my business comes from word of mouth, so I generally get most jobs that I bid on, but at some point in time Im wanting to get more work.
  2. Carolina Cuts

    Carolina Cuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,152

    That's a tough one... but understandable.

    Personally, I'd send the car into Maaco, get the toyota a cheap paint job. Same color as the truck.... Unless your truck is pink of course.

    If that's not cost effective for you. Then drive the pink tercel, and suck it up.
    NO one can be driving all over, here and there giving estimates that aren't guaranteed with a gas guzzler.
    Yes, it looks more professional to show up in a work truck... but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    There's a crew around me... they have 3-4 dump trucks, 2 regular 8' bed trucks and their estimate truck? A 2006 H2 Hummer.

    If he pulled up in front of my house with a hummer to give me an estimate.... I'd hire the kid down the street pulling his mower on a Huffy.

    Some people don't want to see a fancy, shiny 'estimate' vehicle.

    I give estimates in my truck. And I make sure it's at the end of the day, when I'm sweaty, filthy dirty... and hair a mess.
    First comments I usually get? "Damn son, looks like you've been working hard..."
  3. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    Painting the car might help but its still a Tercel. Anyone else have this problem?
  4. Tider6972

    Tider6972 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 649

    Problem? Man, if that's your biggest problem you got too much time on your hands!

    Drive which ever ride that works best; if you've got to drive some distance drive the economy car. Most won't care, many won't notice!

    Good luck growing your biz!
  5. Tobin

    Tobin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Get the tercel wrapped with your company logo, still gay but not as much.

    Do what you gotta do let your work speak for itself
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Not gay at all, I've been giving estimates in my '91 318is (a small bmw) for more than a few years now (25-32 mpg)...
    It's the perfect car, something that doesn't cost a fortune (blue book on it is like $1,500) yet doesn't look like a beater.
    So anything along those lines of a compact to mid-size, I'd say the Tercel would work quite well, too.

    You really just have to have enough of a REASON to do it then it looks quite normal (and the price of fuel is reason enough lol).

    It's actually rare when I use the truck to give estimates.

    I DO wear clean clothes and shoes for this (I mean I don't go out giving estimates in the car after I'm all dirty and sweaty).

    Other good 'estimate' mobiles:
    Jettas, Escorts, Saturns, Geos, etc, etc...
  7. DrGreenThumb

    DrGreenThumb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    I do estimate in my 02 Jetta when they ask I tell them im saving the gas.
  8. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    Topsites and DR will that affect my image, I charge slightly higher prices than the average going rates. I alaways have considered a truck full of equiptment part of my sales pitch.
  9. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 616

    A lot of guys up here are running around in those little Smart cars or Mini's giving quotes. I do agree with other posts, a quick paint job will keep you looking good enough, decal the thing and treat it like a company vehicle. I show up to quotes in my pickup truck and the only reason I dont have a small car to do it in is cuz i'm 6'5", and what would look gayer than a pink car is a giant like me getting out of a shoebox.

    On anonther note, I was in PA last week and filled up at 3.40 something a gallon. I know its alot, but were at almost 5 bucks a gallon up here. I was pleasantly suprised when I filled up my TAHOE. God bless America:usflag:
  10. 2fatguyslawncare

    2fatguyslawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    So, a motorcycle would be OK then too? Not a loud chopper, but a bike with bags and reasonable sounding exhaust?

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