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For you Colorado guys

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by WaterGuru, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. WaterGuru

    WaterGuru LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 39

    I am thinking of relocating to the Western Colorado and take a job there heading up a small irrigation division for a landscape company (small meaning me and maybe a helper)

    I have a few questions, first off, other then doing winter shut downs and spring start ups, what can I expect to find different from my irrigation life in Florida?
    Next would be, I know this will be hard to answer, but what is the going pay for a 20 year + troubleshooting manager? (maybe a better answer would be to how much for a top of the hill tech?)

    I am tossed between staying in Florida and starting my own business or relocating someplace I can snowboard and hike and fly fish in my spare time.

    I have never lived out of Florida (at least not in the winter time) so I am not even sure living in the snow is for me. (cold does not bother me too much)

    So I figured I would ask the guys that live there what I can expect... TIA!
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,221

    If you're talking western Colorado (what we call the western slope), I probably can't help much. But I'll give ya a few thoughts. Sprinkler start up season start anywhere from march 1 to April 15, depending on the winter. This winter for the front range (east of the mountain range) will probably start our season mid April as we have more snow on the ground than I can ever remember. It usually is gone in a couple/few days and we are in shorts again.

    No matter when you start them up, we will always get one more cold snap that can break entire backflow preventers, bonnets and poppets, and anything above ground. i have had things freeze and break in mid May.

    Shut downs start beginning of October and run to mid Nov or early Dec. So you get get an idea of how long the season can be.

    Spring will have everybody calling you at once which you won't be able to handle. So you'll turn into a jackass like the rest of us because you're working 12+ hours a day and then doing paper work and phone calls. So good luck with that part unless your company has someone else answering the phone and scheduling.

    I've heard the western slope uses more impact heads and dirty water valves due to lots of junk in the water. Just what I heard.

    I had someone from Florida call this summer looking for a job. Was that you? What area might you be moving to?
  3. WaterGuru

    WaterGuru LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 39

    No, I do not think that was me calling ..... I have only been talking with one company in Co.

    The area in question is the Rifle area, with a lot of work in the ski areas they say. They tell me they cover a lot of areas with multiple offices, from Telluride to Aspen (that seems to be an awful lot of distance, but they do have 3 offices)

    So those schedules can vary ever greater higher up in the mountains I am guessing.

    What about licensing? Any state license or is it by county or city?
  4. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    Expect to pay through the nose for housing and everything else. In Fla. everyone has a well. Out here everyone uses city water for the most part. You're looking at a real short season in Rifle or anywhere in the mountains. I suggest you stay there and come out here to snowboard in the winter or get a job at a ski resort just so you can snowboard. I'm from Florida and had the same idea as you. It just doesn't work out the way we thought it would though.
  5. WaterGuru

    WaterGuru LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 39

    Yeah, that is one of the holding points for me right now. But then again, I just moved from Miami and the cost of living there is nothing to sneeze at either.
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,221

    No state licensing, and I don't know of any cities that require one here either. You do need a cross connection license to pull permits and install backflow preventers in most cities that I know of. But rarely enforced.
  7. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 564

    Loma Colorado here. About 70 miles west of Rifle. Probably 50/50 mix between city water hook ups and irrigation (Pumps). Housing is expensive but tons of opportunity right now also.

    If the irrigation thing doesn't work out you could make GOOD money working for one of several oil companies that have completely exploded in the area.

    Email and I'll give you a cell # if you have questions.

    P.S. Temperature here last night was -15. We had a cold snap right before thanksgiving that froze the ground to about 8"-12"
  8. LupineLandscaping

    LupineLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    Southwestern CO here. More building and money than all the landscape/irrigation co.'s can keep up with. Sifting through the "fly-by-nights" is difficult at first though. I'd never live anywhere else. 12-18 hour days summers....12-18" dumps in the winter...all worth it.

    Durango and Bayfield (the Bay area)
  9. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 599

    Beautiful place you live in, Steve. The S.O. and I honeymooned there 20+ years ago. You have a much better beer selection there now! Breweries galore!

    -Russ :drinkup:
  10. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,221

    Hey Steve - I'll be in Durango Feb. 2-4 for Snowdown. Have been there the last 4 years. We've got some things going on over the weekend, but I could buy you a beer if you'd like? We'll be there for hot air ballooning if the weather holds up.

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