Need to learn quick

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Bigtodd, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. Bigtodd

    Bigtodd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Hey guys,

    Well our attempt to venture into lawn care (2nd season) is turning out to be a bust. I am not giving up completely (yet), but a guy that worked for us plowing snow aproached me with an idea.

    It seems that this guy has a lot of experience with asphalt paving. Even had his own business for a while, but he couldn't handle the business side, and lost it. He says that if we could provide the equipment and take care of the office work and the money, he could make us all a fortune. I know this guy is a bit of a talker, but I tend to trust him and overall, I think he is a solid guy.

    My partner and I know zip, zero, nada about paving or sealing. I do know that I will have to fork out a chunk of dough to buy a dump truck and a paving machine of some sort.

    This guy swears he has about a dozen jobs lined up already, everything from sealing to single pull driveways (whatever that means) to large lots, they are just waiting for him to show up with the equipment.

    I went back to the begining of this forum and have read about 1/2 of the posts. i am still hungry for info. Can anyone suggest any additional resources (web or otherwise) so I can make an educated, informed decision on weather to get into this or not.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. cat320

    cat320 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    Like you said the big chunk of cash is needed for the equipment, then you need laborers and a good rake man even if you have a machine.The biggest thing is having a good base and knowing how to pitch water.It's a real easy business i think just alot of hard back braking work.
  3. lawn storm

    lawn storm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    i done black top for 20 years
    invest your money in lawncare

    if he could make a fortune he would have done it for his own company .

    theres alot more than reading about it you got to get your feet hot :D
  4. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    These two paragraphs scare me a little. First, why have two attempts at lawncare failed?
    Second, dumping a load of money into something knowing "zip, zero, nada" isn't too bright an idea. Especially just because someone else told you it's a money maker.
    Lastly, I think your "buddy" who can make so much money at paving, but couldn't handle the business end will end up taking you two guys for a ride.

    This whole situation has disaster and "you getting taken" written all over it.
  5. lamarbur

    lamarbur LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    Don't know about your neck of the woods, but here on the Mass/Ct state lines, mid states area, paving is so highly competitive, I find it's not worth it. Just leaving the highway dept after many years, one can receive bids of 48 per ton layed down, 47.5o, etc, etc. There is no difference between municipality and private.
    You need expensive equip to start off with, insurance binders that are costly, you wait forever to get paid, etc.
    Personally if this guy has so much work and makes so much, how did he lose it? Think about the overall economy.. I can tell you in my neighborhood, people aren't going to do much other that req'd basics. Paving a driveway is not a req'd basic in comparison to other needs. I think there is a little too much hyperbole coming from your super paver employee.
  6. Bigtodd

    Bigtodd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Thanks for the replys guys,

    First off, we haven't exactly "failed" at lawn care, what I meant by "bust" was that for the seacond year in a row, the accounts that we have landed have not been up to our expectations. There are reasons for that which is a whole different story... I guess bottom line is that I'm kind of in a mode of looking for another direction to grow our business.

    The reason I posted was because we don't know anything about the business of paving and no, I'm not stupid enough to go into something I know nothing about without doing a bunch of research first. I guess I just wanted to get a feel for if this was something I should look into or not.

    And lastly, this employee is a decent guy and a heck of a worker, but like I said, he's a big talker and I would not dream of spending my hard earned money or putting my *** on the line simply based on his word alone. If we are going to go into a new venture it will be after we know exactly what is invoved, what the risks are and have a plan.

    So thanks again for the comments and concern. Sounds a like you are collectively discouraging me, so maybe I'll keep serchin'...
  7. lamarbur

    lamarbur LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    Have you looked into other needs that are cropping up in your neighborhood? Are people starting to install small lined ponds, or installing stone walls/retaining walls anything else along these lines.
  8. saktate

    saktate LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    I'm not in the asphalt business but I have an asphalt drive that is just under 800 feet long. In the last three weeks I've had two unsolicited pitches for repairing and resealing my drive. I'd like to have it done as I know this would benefit a longer life, but it's way down on my priority list. When I explained this to each bidder, they dropped their prices dramatically and then they dropped it again until they were willing to work for roughly half their original bids. They appeared desperate for the work. I'm the homeowner "lamarbur" is talking about. The economy doesn't support this type of maitenance.
  9. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    Even though it seems odd I would suggest working with a company that does asphalting as there main service for awhile and pick up the skills there. You could probably find some good equipment at an auction or even find a dump truck for a resonable price at
  10. Harley58

    Harley58 LawnSite Member
    from Orlando
    Messages: 28

    titled "entreprenurial Spirit" in the starting business forum. I laid asphalt on occasion when I had my truck. It's okay if you find a solid contract and you work year round. Keep in mind, no one paves when it's raining for any length of time, so in the winter months you need to be able to find other work for that truck and equipment. Overhead is steep and you are definitely the last one paid.

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