1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, in the Franchising forum.

    Dismiss Notice

NEW IDEA to save you money!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mower_babe, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. mower_babe

    mower_babe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Hi Guys. I don't know about you, but we have been through the screen printing/embroidery saga w our uniforms. We have paid a ton of money to get shirts screenprinted and also have had nice polo shirts embroidered. This all added up to a ton of money. Also, w the tee-shirts, they would get ripped, grease + oil stained, faded, peeled, stinky etc. Wtih the polo shirts, the guys complained that they were hot and the embroidered names outlasted the shirts.

    So, we came up w another avenue to explore. You guys in factories, chain companies, mechanics, etc are familiar w Aramark or Cintas (uniform rental companies). We just had a guy from Cintas come to us and we were amazed at the prices. For $7.50 per employee per week, they are outfitted w 11 changes in a 2 week period. This includes company name and logo, and employee name. They come to us and measure everyone, that way there are no mistakes. The shirts and pants are really soft, I thought they would be itchy and stiff. You can get short or long sleeved. Now, it could have been slightly cheaper, but I chose a more high end shirt bc of the looks. I think there is also a very small delivery charge every wk ($3 or so.)

    You would not believe, once you sit down and do the math, how economical this was for us, esp when the employees will pay $5.00 of it. I have always picked it all up before, bc they had to maintain them. Now, everyone has the identical same pants and so on. I am electing to BUY coats, hats, shorts for everyone from Cintas. Financially it made more sense to purchase those than to rent them. I think it cost around $2/wk per empl for the coats, so in about 17 wks it would have been paid for and there is not much wear and tear on coats.

    I just thought maybe some of you have also struggled w the uniform issue also. I have had guys show up w no company shirt, brightly colored coats, inappropriate shorts and wild hats, etc. I think this will really unify the look and I was able to pretty much stay w our color scheme. The guys were really receptive to the idea also - bc they don't have to wash their uniforms anymore - (not that they did before.) Just a thought. :cool2:
  2. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    We order our own sreen printed shirts but I do know of some that use a uniform service. Never have talked to them about the cost or service though. I'm sure it's cheaper.
  3. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,903

    Is there a minimun number of people that you have to have for them to supply you.
  4. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I think there is a minimum, can't remember what. I have a friend that runs a garage. He gets shirts, pants and a coat for 3 employees. And 2 rugs. I'm sure the more employees you have the better the price.
  5. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    mower babe-
    How many employees did you get uniforms for?
    Was there a minimum amount of employees that needed to order uniforms from them?
  6. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Would have to agree 100%. We atarted last year and will be continuing our service. Another great thing is that you know your guys have clean clothes everyday. Biggest problem is making sure the uniforms make it back every week to be picked up. Another good idea is to always make sure your employees are owed a check. This way if they decide to quit on you, you wait till the uniforms are back before giving them their last check. Otherwise it comes out of your pocket. :)
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    This summer you are gonna be so sorry you did that.
    Been there, done that.
    The first time I just outright bought uniforms like that.
    I have since tried a couple of rental companies.
    Same ol sob story with all the uniforms.
    Same ol sob story with all the rental companies.

    First of all, if they thought polos were hot, you all better look out! I don't think they could possibly make clothes any hotter, while also being the coldest clothes you could possibly wear in winter. You just don't know, but you will.

    Second of all, after they have been laundered a time or two they don't look so nice and pretty or feel so soft. It amazes me how they can make their freshly dyed uniforms look old in only a few washings.

    Third the seams in them will eat you alive when it's hot out, or just when you move a lot. They friction wear high in the inner thigh area, which is OK since they are rentals. But that ain't all that friction wears in that area if you know what I mean. Advise your men to invest in long snug boxer briefs, especially your hubby, and you will need to invest in something similar for females. The legs need to be long and snug. The shirt seams are also unbearable without an T-shirt underneath.

    Fourth, if you get the thin ones, they wrinkle easily, so they get a lot of starch or everyone looks like they slept in their uniforms lastnight. They also get very sticky. You will find the thin shirts make for the "sweat T-shirt" contest look, which some of us LCO dudes might find mildly attractive on you or other female LCO's.... as you can imagine, not quite the same when it's Bubba, Joe or Fred you are talking about.

    Lastly, rental company service can be quite a mess.

    Anyways, best of luck to you in this venture. If it works out well with the uniforms and the rental company, by all means update us. Maybe there is something out there I haven't tried yet....
  8. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Envy, I can agree they are a little stiff the first 1-2 times you wear them. After that they are ok. As far as the wearing, if they are worn, ripped, stained, etc. they just replace the article with new. To have clean, and new looking clothes washed every week with only minimal investment and manageable monthly fees, you just can't go wrong IMO. :)

    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,259

    o worked for a co that did the whole cintas thing. some guys wont get there uniforms back from being cleaned and they charge you. as far the rips they dont replace em they patch em with an iron patch. the pants suck and most of the grease and oil stains dont come out. they charged each employee 2 bucks a week. i just took mine home and washed them my self. one other problem they always seem to misspell names too. so thats a delay too.
  10. mower_babe

    mower_babe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    JB and Premo: We were told that we had to have a minimum weekly rental, not including the small delivery fee, of $15.00. The price break, he said, occurs for massive chains like Valvoline, Fast Stop, etc. If you guys are interested, I would go to several websites and see if you can look around a bit. Like I said, we checked out Cintas, but I know of Aramark and someplace called like G & K uniforms.

    Paponte: Thanks for the advice. I will keep that in mind.

    Envy: Comfort crossed my mind and was one of the determining factors. My hubby and myself have worked in factories before and know how much the old type uniforms sucked. They were scratchy. Where my stepson works has Cintas and that was my point of contact. I had the rep bring samples of everything w him and was really impressed w them. His uniforms still look really nice and he says they feel ok. Being a chic, I did check the inner seams in that most tender region. But, time will tell. I figure my name was cursed all last summer and the previous one bc of those blasted polo shirts, so it probably can't be any worse. But, I appreciate the warning.

    I hope for good things with this new system. I am really optimistic. I think it will take care of all my uniform complaints. The only thing I think I am losing a bit on is that the back of our tee-shirts were so well seen with our name and such. But I am looking at better graphics for the trucks, trailers and mowers, so maybe that will serve the purpose better.

    Now, if I can motivate them to be on time every morning and clean out the trucks at the end of the day, then I would be in heaven. ahhhh - I can dream can't I?

Share This Page