shifting into takedown mode

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    I am already beginning to think about the shift into takedown mode- need new boxes from Uline, markers from ebay, where did I put those 3 inch tape guns...

    before Christmas gotta get about 60 jobs filmed that have add ons or are new. some that I filmed last year were after takedown was done, and I am going to get dvd's done early while I still have this seasons cash.
  2. TexasFire221

    TexasFire221 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 480

    What boxes do you get from uline? 48"X12"X12"? Do you put everything in those boxes? Last season my storage space was packed. This season Im over packed. I will be getting a big building with lofts to help with the storage problem. Just not too sure how many seasons before it is full.
  3. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    I get the 48x12x12 in the double wall 275 pound. they are around 4 bucks each if you get a pallet of 90. They last 6 years plus. I have never thrown out one unless it has gotten wet. They also handle being stacked one on top of the other 3-4 high. I will use probably a pallet or so this year.
    The single wall version is pretty tough, a 3-5 year box and a buck per box less. The 200lb version is really ony a 2-3 year box, but it is only 1.91 for any quantity right now. I have often wondered about just buying those again and doubling the boxes, but I tried it before and it just does not work out.

    The great thing about this size is it works so well with the racks I build out of 4x8 sheets of plywood and 2x6's.

    each new customer will get at least one, and many new customers will get multiples. I use the 4 foot wreath boxes for heavy garland jobs and storing the foldable starbursts.

    A huge soapbox moment for links, boxes and the US.

    In 2001 and part of 2002, I was buying all my light links (called linkables at the time) from Brite Ideas. All the links were welded, powdercoated, and assembled in the US by union welders in Omaha,Nebraska. out of probably 500links, I had one, maybe two break a weld. we had to bend all the links to fit the peaks in those days. I still have many of those out there and some in my used/rental pile.

    They were sold 12 to a case and were shipped loose, without any bubble wrap or anything in between them, in awesome boxes. They were "full overlay" meaning the top and bottom flaps were the full width of the box instead of 1/2. They also were the above mentioned 275 pound double wall. 8 and 9 years later, I still am using 70-80% of those boxes. They are only 46 inches long about 15-18 inches tall and about 13 inches wide. so new links do not fit, but perfect for garland, cords, mini-light balls, timers, etc.

    here's my beef- and I cannot understand this for the life of me. when production of the links went to china, it all went to crap. I can truly say that when Brite Ideas decided they could make more money by having links built in china ( by the way, the price did not go down for me ) , whether they knew it or not, that was the birth of Holiday Bright Lights. Scott Heese may not have even had an idea of the ratchet links then ( remember, he was still a full partner in Brite Ideas in 2002) but the ratchet was the only workable solution to something that holds true to this day- Chinese welds and China steel sucks out loud.

    I estimate we broke HUNDREDS of links until we started buying from HBL. I remember one job specifically, I had a hundred icicles for a 44 link job. I could not finish the job because I broke over 60 links. ridiculous to a power of 10.

    what is worse is the boxes from china then and to this day seem to be biodegrading right before my eyes. Thier cardboard is just SOFT. you cannot stack it, it collapses. and I am talking 1/2 inch thick double wall stuff, it just won't hold it's shape.

    Now, HBL and Brite Ideas COULD sell you links in a good box. look at the boxes the trees come in. or the 5 and 7 foot wreath boxes. or the stake trees. or the Garland. or the 3d toy soldiers, or the nutcrackers, the doves, the...well you get the idea. all those boxes are really pretty hardy, but the light brown ones still not as good as the dark brown US 4 buck boxes mentioned above.

    now here is worst thing- EVERY single HBL member, no exceptions, that I have spoken with in the last 4 years would gladly pay .25-.50 per link more to have them come in a very good storage box, just like the one for 4 bucks above. at 6 links per case, Surely this would be enough money over and above what HBL currently pays for those crummy link boxes they ship them in now.

    ok, maybe this is a worse thing- it ain't gonna happen. I have mentioned this to Scott in 2005, 2006, 2007...well, you get the idea. In 2008, Their solution to this problem was to offer for sale a 48x16x12 200lb rated double wall box for 7.50 each. I love america.
  4. TexasFire221

    TexasFire221 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 480

    Well just ordered some boxes from Uline. Im going with the 275lb this year instead of the 200lb. Just not too happy with the boxes I purchased last season. Little over $325 for 80 boxes. I had been renting a few storage units last season to store everything but grew out of that really quick this year. I bough a building that is 12'X24" with two lofts that will hold me for probably two more seasons I hope. I have a 1,200 sqft shop that I store my lawn equipment in did not want to fill it up with tons of boxes. Everything went pretty well this year. The only problem I had with lights were some kids tearing my lights down from a reception hall. The owner called me today and wanted some of her money back because they werent up very long. She said the wind blew them down. Didnt have any problems with GFI's.
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    we have lined up about 10 jobs to takedown between Christmas and New years, and my wife will be calling folks tomorrow to try and bump that up closer to 20. I still need to order the above boxes, but I do have about 20-30 still left that will hold me til those come. I also use the #8 yellow tags from uline with the wire to mark all spools and wreaths. I have about 350 of those, so I may need another 1000. at 58 bucks, or 6 cents each, that is an easy buy.

    need to also build some spools for c-9s. I had 15 extra from last year, so I probably need another 15 or so.

    we have cleaned out the trucks, got markers ready, and I am ready to see how fast and organized we can get all this stuff done.
  6. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    Thought I would post an update on boxes- Uline no longer carries the 48x12x12 double wall 275 unless it opens on the skinny end. the one that opens on the 48" length is only available in the 275 pound single wall.
  7. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    Takedown stuff done so far-

    from ULINE-
    I ordered a pallet of the 275 pound single wall 48x12x12's. 3 bucks each, 120 per pallet, about 360 bucks. shipping for an entire pallet is amazing low for me, only 74 bucks. I think my order comes from Dallas, Texas and it is only 5 hours or so away from me.
    I also ordered the fluorescent yellow #8 tags with wire, they are 78 bucks prewired for 1000 tags, or about 8 cents each. these tags are great for labeling wreaths, and for labeling strands of c-9s with directions as they go on the spool. we actually use about 5-600 per year.

    we got 5 jobs down monday ( 1 crew), 10 on tuesday ( 2 crews) , and 9 down today ( 2 crews ) . so at 24 down and 4 scheduled ( 1 crew) for tomorrow, and that is all that would let us take it down before Jan.2. 2 crews will work saturday after friday off, then sunday will probably be a work day as well if good weather.

    3 crews starting monday.
    my goal is to get all lights down by Jan 20. we'll see.
  8. christmas79

    christmas79 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    I'm getting calls now for take down but there is so much snow here now. I think I will wait until some of the snow melts because it's a pain taking the lights down in the snow and ice. Well Happy New Year!!!
  9. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    38 down.
    about 140 to go. could not work Sunday and today, about 4 inches of snow and ice on the ground and roads. roads should be safe tomorrow, so we will push through full days on tuesday and wednesday with snowy conditions and around 20-35 degree temps. thursday and friday I am not sure if we will make it more than 1/2 days. The actual temps will be between 0 and 17 actual degrees. windchills below zero.

    while you northern guys may make fun of this warm weather Arkansas boy, I know each crew can get 3-6 jobs down per day when the temps are 35-50 degrees, and 1/2 that when temps are below 20. If I can gamble on warmer temps next week, I may gamble on later rather than just get a few jobs down per day for the same labor.
  10. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    18 more down today. very cold ( 8 degrees) at 9 am this morning. 23 degrees was the high today. 19 degrees start and 38 is the high tomorrow. shooting for 20 jobs down tomorrow and getting closer to 100 left. folks already calling, and there is snow and ice on the roofs. gonna be at negative temps on Thursday and friday.

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