Fert & Squirt guys doing anything with irrigation?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by GREENITUP, Nov 9, 2018 at 9:58 AM.

  1. GREENITUP

    GREENITUP LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    This probably isn't the best location for this post - but having done applications for 14 years, my question is about expanding (slightly). About half of my lawn customers get aeration and seeding each year. This years poor results(and accompanying complaints) plus the physical toll it takes on me are making me look at switching to other fall-time opportunities. Have any of you guys ventured into BASIC irrigation ??? specifically system blow outs for winter? Guys here are getting $65 and up for what looks like 15 minutes of work. thanks for any input.
     
  2. lawndude28

    lawndude28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    Poor seed results? Dry year or too much rain?

    65 is high end here, lots of companies advertise 45 on the bandit signs.

    One guy can typically do a blow out in about 45 mins, no way you can do it in 15, you have to go through all the zones one by one.
     
  3. PKLIP

    PKLIP LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    We do tons of turn-ons and blow outs. You are right, the regular service is very easy. You will also need to be able to make basic repairs, especially at the turn-ons. Changing heads, nozzles, fixing leaks etc.
     
  4. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,230

    I have been looking into the same thing. Besides the extra income, I'd like to have more control over current customers irrigation systems. We've had an abundance of rain this year. I watered my lawn literally 2 times this year. I had some customers that watered 4- 7 days a week. Some that also watered in mid afternoon because it was hot, not because it was dry along with a few that watered in the rain :dizzy: Consequently, I've sprayed more fungicide than I ever have this season.
    My 2 guys know irrigation. I know almost nothing but I learn quick.
    First thing we have to do is attend a 40 hr course (one week, 5 days in a row, 8 hrs/day) with the state to even legally touch an RPZ. That class costs approx $400 per person. After that, we'd have to attend an 8 hr "refresher" every 2 yrs. The class is given once a month and is about 1.5 hrs distant from my location. I wouldn't even attempt to fly under the radar even though there are those that do.
    My biggest obstacle is not the costs, it's the time. We are so busy all year. Trying to attend that type of schedule would be a logistical nightmare. I have the customer base to make it work and I even have a connection with my local municipality to take on side work that their water dept doesn't have time for. It has the potential to be lucrative for sure.
     
  5. lawndude28

    lawndude28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    Sounds like you should go for it, it is great fall income to help with winters or a lot of guys around here do pre pays in the spring (covers turn ons, turn offs and back flow test) and make 50-60-100k in the spring. Helps with the cash flow.

    Siteone has an 'university' they do here every winter and you can receive credits from them. Its great because...its in the winter. Of course the State stuff around here is in the summer and in the middle of overseeing season. Could check with them and see what they offer.
     
  6. ETM

    ETM LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GEORGIA
    Messages: 1,814

    We do everything. In irrigation repairs alone this yr me and the wife did a little over 20k. That extra was to easy.
     
  7. GREENITUP

    GREENITUP LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    Sounds like more "legal" requirements than I imagined. I wouldn't want to touch anybody's property without knowing what I am doing first (get training). I only mentioned 15 minutes because I spoke to a guy doing it yesterday (for a larger irrigation company) - he said 15-20 minutes average. Is it common to deal with actual repairs during a blow-out? I can see it more for the spring turn-on though.
     
  8. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 811

    Seems easy enough right? Irrigation services are not easy. Doing a blowout can be simple and take no time at all if it's a simple system and back drains easily from any outside plumbing once blown out. Get on a system that has 2 dozen 12 inch pop ups that each have to be stepped down will take time. Dragging a hose 100 yards to a lake for your hookup can suck. Bringing the pump back up to the house...better have a dolly. Better hope there aren't any main or zone line repairs that need repaired to get the air out to every head. Better hope the controller is fully functional so you don't have to go find valve boxes buried under mulch to open the zone lines. Better hope you get there before the backflow freezes or the valves freeze so you can get air through the system. Other than that it's a breeze!
     
    Atlantic Lawn and Mdirrigation like this.
  9. GREENITUP

    GREENITUP LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    damn Hineline..... sounds like there are more potential problems than
    good points to the job. what keeps you doing it? profitability ?
     
  10. GREENITUP

    GREENITUP LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    Maybe my original post wasn't worded well. I guess I wanted to ask other guys like me who have also done some basic irrigation (not the installs or design) - which is easier or seems more profitable : core aeration / seeding services vs. basic irrigation work ??? My back and feet know exactly how hard A/S is - just not the latter.
     

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