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How Did everyone start out

Discussion in 'Seal Coating Forum' started by bran3225, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. bran3225

    bran3225 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Just wanted to know how everyone started sealcoating. What type of equipment,employees,part-time etc...... Just thought it would be interesting to hear from everyone.
  2. MisterRatburn

    MisterRatburn LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 23

    Great question! I wonder how many guys will admit that they started out with the $1,000.00 business in a box square tank unit!
  3. I started by doing asphalt driveways, we installes them, over the next several years business got slow and we started to switch to asphalt maintance, by sealing and repair,
    Sold all our big trucks and stuff.
    I did it backwards started BIG and ended up small.
  4. seal4cash

    seal4cash LawnSite Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 27

    I once called someone to seal my driveway (i knew nothing about it like most people) when the guy showed-up, i decided to watch how he does it, and i realized that there is really nothing to it.....all you need is a tank with a gear pump and a wand.....so i looked-up some ads in the paper and i purchased a used unit, it was similar idea as the "$1000 in a box" kind of setup....steel tank, gear pump and a wand sitting on a trailer...nothing fancy, paid $1200...
    It took me a couple of driveways to "get with it"...since i was a one man operation i had to come-up with some low-tech, but clever ideas on how to quickly and effectively cover and un-cover things, that i didn't want to spray, since i didn't have the extra pair of hands and still move at a reasonable paste...
    I got it down to a science and in a little while, i could do a driveway almost just as fast as 2 guys by not wasting a single move....the good part is, that i got to charge same $$ as the 2+ guys opperations and didn't have to share it.....
  5. TylerD

    TylerD LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Want to share some of the techniques you use I couldn't imagine doing this job with out my employee.
  6. seal4cash

    seal4cash LawnSite Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 27

    What i do is hit a grocery store or an electronic outlet big box kind of store... and get some good straight big pieces of cardboard (the thinner kind if possible)....just make sure theres no bends in it it has to be straight, so you can't really use smaller broken down boxes.....then i proceed to cut them in various lengths....mostly around 4ft long and about 2 ft high....some about 2ft x 2ft....the most important thing is that the edge that contacts the ground is STRAIGHT and SQUARE....always carry couple spare ones on you...

    In order to keep the cardboard as rigid and square as possible, use 1/2 x 1 in piece of some wood like threshold moulding and attach it lenghtwise to each piece through the middle via self-tapping screws (the really short ones so they don't portrude from other side).....go in from the cardboard side and be gentle it dosen't take much for it to go right through the cardboard...
    So now you have bunch of re-inforced cardboard with a ridge on the other side....

    Then you just pick-up bunch of ordinary bricks and here's how you use it:

    Lets say you are trying to spray in front of the garage door at the top of the driveway....you stand the cardboard where you want it in front of the garage door with the wood ridge facing the door and stand the brick from the other side of that cardboard (try to kind of lean it backwards a little so you get the right angle between the brick and cardboard) it should be like a letter A with the brick leaning into the cardboard also... then you spray about 3 ft of sealant in front of the cardboard (don't spray too far since you have to be able to reach it again and move it along couple of times to cover the whole lenght of the garage doors)...

    You can use couple of bricks and cardboards at the same time creating different shapes around the corner of a building or overlaping for example...be creative it takes about 2 seconds to move the board from one position to other...if you need to lean the cardboard against the wall just lean the brick against it this time the brick is in the front (you might have to move the brick after you spray over it and spray another touch-up line where the brick was sitting....)

    If the driveway has decorative curbs running along side of it i use 10 ft metal gutters to cover them (about $14 at home depot)....i drill 2 holes about 3 in from the middle through the top part and put a piece of rope through it with nuts on the end and use it as a handle to lift it and move it along....
    If there's no curb just spray with no cover you will get about 1 in of the grass black, but i never had anyone complain about that....

    What i do first is finish all the edging and then just spray the middle....
  7. seal4cash

    seal4cash LawnSite Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 27

    Forgot one more thing....VERY IMPORTANT... get yourself a "float handle" for the wand....once you use it you won't go back...it will give you surgical precision when spraying tricky places doing tricky precise manouvers...i don't think i could even do a driveway without one (especially alone without helper)
  8. ORRUG2K

    ORRUG2K LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Whatss A Float Handle... Look Like...
  9. Loooogie

    Loooogie LawnSite Senior Member
    from YORK
    Messages: 295

    I am just starting out, this is my 4th day. I am only doing this part time, mainly on the weekends.

    The guy at work has been talking about doing this for 4 years but never did it. So one day I said I was going to do it.

    I have never seen a machine up close or in action, I don't even have a asphalt drive but I managed to built my own machine. Just read the posts in this fourm!

    The guys here are great.

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