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For anyone working in the New Tampa area

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Day off?, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Day off?

    Day off? LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    The county inspectors have been patrolling heavily. In the last 10 years I have dealt with inspectors only 3 times... All 3 occurrences happened this week!
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    Day Off

    This is typical of the Bureaucratic Wage slave. About every 10 years someone screams and they get off their dead center and give the world crap for a week or two. Then it is back to the usual SOP of doing nothing. However Fines are the new taxes here in Florida since our State Budget tanked.

    The worst one to watch out for is the Fla DOT. Lawn trucks that spray Roundup whether legal or illegal are considered HAZMAT stops because of Pesticides. The each DOT officer is a EPA officer and must perform so many Hazmat stops each year to keep that certification. You had better have Labels and MSDS etc for each chemical as well as a spill kit and chemical lock box. If you think the BEPC or Ag inspector was trouble, Get ready because the DOT officer will make the Ag inspector look like a boy scout.

  3. Day off?

    Day off? LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    Hi Ric, I know all about the DOT... Yes they are no joke! Fortunately, I no longer deal with chemicals. I find chemical companies to work with, then reffer my customers to that company. Less stress for me and it eliminates the finger pointing game between maintenance vs treatment companies!
  4. yamadooski

    yamadooski LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 434

    Well Day Off then by your statement as above you are now pulling weeds by hand or you tell your customers to do it? Because Ive been doing this in this area for 19 years and still have not found a fertilize company that sprays for weeds in the beds.
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    As a Niche market I have a small Trailer with a Skid Spray and 300 ft hose reel on it full of Roundup. I keep this set up ready to go 24/7 because I spray enough Roundup to justify it. But I do mostly sub work from landscapers who want large areas killed. I also do some commercial parking lots etc as well as Aquatic work. BTW Because of my equipment set up I can do large areas cheaper and better than the landscapers can do it them selves with a back pack. I don't kid myself and know I am getting that work because of price and not the fact I am legal compared to them being illegal.

    BUT the bottom line is as a Spray company I can't make any money spraying beds. People won't pay what I would have to charge in order to turn a profit. However as a Lawn cutter you pretty much have to provide weed control in beds if you want to stay competitive. It can also be a nice add on or up sell since you are already there.

    Therefore most Spray companies really don't care if you are legal or illegally spraying Roundup in beds. We do get upset when people spray be on the beds and spray on large areas or do other treatments that we can make a profit.

    NOW I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT ROUNDUP PRICES. I know what I have to charge to make a profit, which is $ 10.00 per K. But what I really don't know is what other have to charge to make a profit. Therefore I might be leaving a lot of money on the table. So What are spray companies charging per thousand??? I believe most spray companies are going to use Back Packs, where I use power spray.

  6. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,360

    Ric that's a serious setup for weed control in beds. Thats what my spray guy uses for turf kills prior to sod work. I'm working with just 2 and 3 gallon jugs. Once they are under control its a weekly spot spray of maybe 10 weeds or cracks per yard. The price gets built into the monthly cut cost. Top yards pay for Snapshot to further cut down on weed issues.:usflag:
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    That is my point. My set up is not designed for spot spraying weeds in beds. Killing out Turf to make beds or sod replacement is more the kind of work I do with that set up. I have enough Landscapers that need Kill outs done to keep this set up. I can also do it faster and cheaper than they can with a back pack.

    The 300 ft hose reel isn't even good for spraying Pond banks for Aquatic weed control which I also do a lot of. So this is a very specialized set up that took time to build a market for.

    BTW I am not going to list all my equipment BUT I will admit to being a equipment freak. Most of my equipment isn't new or was purchased used. But I am able to have dedicated sprayers for different applications because I have a lot of junk, Oops I mean Equipment.

  8. Tri-City Outdoors

    Tri-City Outdoors LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    I'd say the $10-13 per k range is were you need to be. Every sod job we do is sprayed by someone licensed. The $10 per k is the cheapest we had is done for. We do lots of $12ish also. Example One guy would charge me $40 weather it's 3 or 4 k. But, at 5k I would expect to pay more.
    As you mention your set up allows you to be more efficient. Your in the market with pricing but making more $ than Joe the spray guy. Also the niche market is for landscape who can't legally do it. They hire you at a good rate. Get a good job preformed and they get some extra meet on the bone. Johnny no workman's comp is doing sod job for........Well lets say for $25 per palm prices......That really dose not leave the legal guy a lot of sod jobs after the low ballers. Basically the cheaper I can get a legal burnout for a sod job. The cheaper my sod estimate is. In return the more sod jobs for you to burn out.
    You not leaving money on the table you are EFFICIENTLY filling a niche market. The guys who blow mulch are probably making good $. But, they do it for a 1/5 of what I can do it for. If it makes you feel better bump it up a little per k. Most likely no one will ever care or notice.
  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Thanks for the reply.

    I make a second trip to touch up any misses because burn outs will sure tell on your misses. But the call back is a spot treatment. I would like to think I have the system down pat even if I make a second trip.

    I am actually very happy with my price structure and make money. Talking with Fl Landscape he pointed out I would not be so happy with the margin if I had to pay a tech instead of doing it myself. I generally get a flat hundred minimum for most burn outs. Most are under 10 K and I have a high percentage record of picking up the account after the sod is laid. I look at burn outs as a paid sales call to up sell full service.

  10. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    A couple things you have brought up in the post that we did not discuss when we talked about this. You know my cost would be much higher for a preferred vendor which I shared with you. At $20 per K they would ensure it was killed and maybe as is there price per K higher in the market but they do have employees and not the owner/operator out there doing it.

    I would also say that your point about it being a sales call is about right. A sod job of any size for me also means the home owner is getting informed on the fact that there is a reason this sod is getting replaced. Is it irrigation? Got a person to fix that for them Thumbs Up Was it a pest issue that was not addressed by their current provider? Got a provider for them on that issue tooThumbs Up Or was it the knuckle head keeping their lawn cut it was a green? I can help with that too Thumbs Up Point being that lawnturds do have their place in this world and that sod installations are generally good business for everyone (associated with the lawnturd) if handled properly. I would say you could afford to raise your prices slightly if you do not get the account however if you get the account the lawn turd gets a discount for the lead!

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