Is business picking up everywhere else?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by JDSKIDSTEER, Apr 11, 2010.


    JDSKIDSTEER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    Just wondering if business is picking up everywhere else? The heavy equipment operators are still slow around here, but Skids and Mini ex customers are starting to pick back up here. I have been busy as I was before the recession. I have sold 12 machines in two weeks and 20 attachments. The Lawn and Garden sales on the green side of the business are slamed with business we have not seen in about 4 years, and tractor sales are much better. I am scard to say everything is back to normal. I will wait and see how long this last before I decide. I dis have a hot streak last May and June. This may be just another hot streak and honestly was not that bad of a year compared to eslewhere.How is it looking everywhere else?
  2. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    Winter was dismal here in Arkansas. Worst I've seen since the beginning in 96. Now we can't get enough done. People want things yesterday. Hard to say how long it will last though. Last summer was terrible after a decent spring too. I actually went on a vacation which hasn't happened in almost 15 years.
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    That "recovery" must be starting on the East Coast. Hopefully it continues to move west. Still shitty here.
  4. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,246

    It looks okay here, I've never done work in March before. A couple years I didn't hit the ground till May so this is good. I have a decent amount coming and hopefully can get my 550 on the road this week. I am very surprised to see so many basements that are going in here and wonder if people are trying to beat the interest rate hikes that may be coming? I have been calling, mailing out fliers and giving out business cards to everyone and I think that is helping.

    I am more gun shy on spending money honestly, I am only going to spend if it really helps me be more efficient or productive and the payoff is instant. I do know that I am working for less but trying to be more efficient so it comes out in the end but am stressing value to clients more than ever.
  5. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Talked to my old man, the landscaping market back home is shot, he's not even sure if he'll fire up this year. Went and looked at 5 jobs this week, none of them are worth bidding.

    The big dirt is still slow and probably will be the rest of this year. There are some large projects firing up here in the Seattle area; Mass transit infrastructure, pontoons for a new floating bridge, and a huge tunnel in downtown Seattle is supposedly going to slowly gain speed. Outfit I'm with is fairly busy now that spring is here, we have 2 huge jobs that we're starting in the next couple weeks. I've been told we've been bidding the hell out of smaller projects with pretty good success that are about 6 months in duration.
  6. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,791

    I think we will see a "Spring" boom then it will get back to spotty work. At first I was very optimistic about the recovery but after looking at jobless numbers, the possibility of tax hikes, and interest rate hikes coupled with high fuel prices, I think 2010 will get scary.

    The gains in the stock market over the last 8 months or so have been very good. It's possible that we are all seeing a false sense of security. Government meddling, poor fiscal management, and continued bloating and spending will put strain on all of us in N. America. Canada will feel it too as they are tied to the US through manufacturing and trade.

    I put an ad out looking for a helper. I have received over 20 responses in just a couple of days. Some guys are way over qualified (degreed and experienced) and others are laid off from iron work or other industries looking to do anything to make a buck. It's sad. Of course, I can't hire everyone as I am barely squeaking by but I need someone quick so that I can continue to be efficient. I am technically overbooked right now which is a good thing but if weather turns wet again, I'll tick off a number of customers. I already had one customer, that for a small $250-$300 job made me jump through a lot of hoops. He ended up changing specs, canceling me, then rehiring me but in just a short time I had lost my helper and couldn't do the job. The guy then ignored my explanations and I'm sure has had a really bad experience. My point is, though we are all "hungry", all that trouble for a $300 chipping job that didn't materialize due to scheduling and labor issues will no doubt leave a nasty impression and word of mouth travels fast in this area. Can't afford negative publicity when times are lean but I did get this on a quick $250 job:


    How refreshing to have a contractor who returns calls, shows up when they say they will and takes pride in doing the work as the client requested.
    Thanks for the excellent job, and we look forward to having you do additional work for us in the next few weeks.

    Sincerely, "

    That will undoubtedly lead to good publicity which is what we all need when times are tough. Though people are looking for a deal, a reliable contractor with a history of good work in the community might mean the difference between idle equipment and working.

    Oh, as jobs have come in I have had to modify some of the things I do. I generally do NOT burn anything but my competitors do. While a lot of mulching only outfits are sitting, I am glad I kept my tree shear and have been able to keep clearing and now I will do some burning. It isn't my ideal way of getting rid of the brush but not everyone can afford to chip or mulch large acreage and still get their projects completed under budget. Again, the point is that some of us have to diversify even more than we have done already. Just sit around with your family, wife, buddies, or on here and brainstorm ways to keep those machines working.

    Best of luck to all of you who are and have been suffering. I hope everything turns around soon but I think it will be a slow climb back..
  7. mow king

    mow king LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 571

    I'd say it's still slow at least for Lawn work in Cleveland - We've received about 4 times as many spring fliers as we usually receive. A few even put their quote right on their flier - low bid so far for weekly maintenance of my one acre yard - $25!!
  8. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,246

    I agree with you Jason, the national stuff that is going on concerns me very much.
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    This province ie B.C. the damn gov't is cutting back on stuff and now they want to bring in the HST which is a new ****ing tax so everything we buy or services will have a 12% tax on it.

    Things would be improving but the gov't is taxing the crap out of us and cutting back on services etc. Say good bye to recovery of our economy for another year.

    Say you do a job worth 1000 dollars there will be 120 dollars of tax on it then all the materials bought for the job will have 12 percent tax on it.

    Going to be a intersting year I bet you will see some of the contractors here fold up they can't take anymore hits to the bottom line they are barely surviving now.

    You want taxes come to this province where they take 90% of your income in taxes.
  10. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    We in the dirt/landscaping business here are participating in the "Jobless Recovery" layman's terms: no jobs, low to no machine sales, no sales at local farm stores which are usually packed this time of year........and I am still scratching my head trying to figure out the meaning of that an example: I went to Lowe's this morning and myself and one other guy were the ONLY two customers in the entire, nada, nothing. One large successful dirt contractor has told his staff to quit bidding jobs and not waste their time - work is being let out at below cost. Landscapers who I work with who usually have a job in hand and a few to look forward to have nothing. I am getting slaughtered on my bids to guys who are willing to run a machine for $35-$50 an hour and dump trucks for $60-$50 an hour.

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