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Hello from Long Island, NY

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Ecscaper, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Ecscaper

    Ecscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Hi guys,

    Found this site in search of some info on barricade and so many of the posts were great I decided to sign up.

    The long story is my partner and I had our own landscaping business in the 90's. Not sure of the years; maybe 91 to 98 or so. Around that time we saw a huge influx of illegal immigrants in this area.

    We had a tough time because 1) it was difficult to find any legitimate employees that would actually give us a hard days work and 2) it was difficult to compete with companies that were using illegal labor.

    At the point we had two crews-- 1 lawn crew and another crew of two that would take a pickup and do other maintenance. We had other equipment.. JD 855's with attachments etc

    It got to a point where we had to either really hang our butts out there and expand, or call it quits. We had reached a ceiling with our current setup. The living was good, but not enough to support health insurance, a mortgage, a retirement plan etc..

    So we liquidated almost everything we had. He just registered to begin his testing to be a reg architect. I'm established in a civil service position. Life is good.

    However, throughout all these years I still have 3 lawn accounts that I still mow to this day. I kept my 60" exmark tracer and my 44" bagging explorer (now if you remember that, you're old school!) If it has to do with their lawn, I handle it. I walk the fert, have my friend put down the stuff you need a license for. Check every irrigation system in the spring and winterize it in the fall. Just something about looking at a nice green lawn after putting in all the work to get it that way. A sense of pride an accomplishment. Also like stickin it to the 'man' (aka those big national chains) when my lawns look better than theirs and I don't have to cut it twice a week like the poor sap homeowner who hired em. Not to mention I need the exercise!

    Recently I've began to think about starting up again. Not looking to leave my job, but would love to back a young motivated individual looking to run his own business. I miss getting dirty!

    I wish it would have worked out, I really loved the work. I had 2 semesters of horticulture under my belt, a DEC limited registration (back when you couldn't get a full license unless you worked for somebody else.. so much for self-employment!).

    I still have lots of great memories..

    ..taking the crew out waterskiing if they finished the lawns by 4pm on a friday

    ..having 'bobcat wars' in the shop yard with the grapple buckets

    ..leaving one poor guy on a job pruning these HUGE spreading juniper bushes for so long that when we checked on him the next day he was standing in the middle of them (about 4' off the ground) singing a song about how he was the 'juniper ninja'

    heh those were some great times... It's nice to see so many you guys here working hard and dreaming about that bright future... I wish you all luck, but don't forget to have fun.

    DLAWNS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,780

    Welcome to Lawnsite. God luck with everything.
  3. ALLPro Landscaping

    ALLPro Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    Hello from Rockland NY Good luck and welcome to lawn site
  4. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    The LI area is becoming a nightmare. That is, unless you spend the thousand or so $ you need to ne completely legal here. You left this biz 10 years ago. Nassau county might even deny you a license to operate. It will cost you $450 to find out.

    With counties and municipalities hurting for $, they are targeting landscapers now for fines and revenue. Get caught ilegally operating in Nassau, they can take your vehicles and equipment.

    My cost to apply pesticides per year just went from $250 to $500. No hearings, no input, just a 100% increase.

    This business at least on LI is undergoing major changes, and where it ends up, I have no clue.
  5. Ecscaper

    Ecscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I hear you. Some Villages require the SUffolk Co. license (what's that, like $700 to start), some the Town licenses (About $100, not too bad).

    I actually called my friend yesterday to get proposals for Merit on my lawns. He said the DEC just raised all the fees.. Like double for the business registration??

    Anyway he is going to give me a break so I can tack on a little and when all is said and done what he normally charges is what I will be charging and still making a little.

    It would be nice if most companies could work together like that.. I think everyone would make more money and do it legally..

    I know the DEC is going to be out in full force this year. With the budget crisis in NY and them being self-sufficient to begun with, it's no wonder fines start at $5k. I've spoken to some of them and they seem like pretty nice people as long as you're not breaking the law..

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