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Solo Operators-What's the best way to lower operating costs?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by smitty's lawncare, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. lazyike

    lazyike LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    Gas, gas, gas... At the end of the year this is my largest expense,,, If I can cut just 10% from the previous year it equals a large amount of money in my pocket.. Look at your largest expense and think of ways to reduce that, its money in the bank.
  2. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    ^^^^^ True,, one truck to CNG last November @.90cents a gallon saving in the range of 200 a month. Hope to change other 2 trucks to CNG this year or at least 1.
  3. smitty's lawncare

    smitty's lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    All this advice is awesome guys! thank yall so much!
  4. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Some to most people who ask me this question think there is some magical solution.
    There isn't, and worse is the answer may not be to your liking, but in my experience it's the only thing that works.

    You have to learn to live within...
    Or actually below your means.

    You understand, it's a common misconception, living within one's means doesn't mean...
    If I earn a thousand dollars I can budget all of that but no more.
    What it means is if I earn a thousand I can budget about 900 of it, and no more.
    May sound silly but that's why I call it living below your means.

    Without that it doesn't matter how much you cut costs on the one end and work harder on the other,
    if you spend every dime you make now you'll spend every dime later, too.

    In the above example if you budget a thousand you'll be broke every dang time.
    Doesn't take much to put you in a financial predicament then.

    The fact you say all your equipment is paid for could be the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Pay off your auto insurance upfront, the day it comes due, all in one lump sum.
    That will save you around $20 or more a year, when you get that renewal letter look for the lump sum total.
    Once you find what it is you'd have to pay all in one lump sum, just pay it all off.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013

    THORNTON SERVICES LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    In my opinion when looking at my past , things I could have done to save a ton of money. Do Not Eat Out , this is addictive and costs a fortune , back when I did this alot , $7 breakfast $7lunch go out with girl for a $40 steak dinner , and do this 3 or 4 times a week , you are over $200 a week in food ,:dizzy::hammerhead::hammerhead: , this one thing has helped me save a ton of money. the second is enforce a 7 day waiting period on all unessisary purchases , I have made alot of purchases in the past , and then realized I don't need that 5th trimmer ,4th chainsaw , and one year I bought a mower and turned around and traded it the next year cause it wasn't what I needed 10 hrs on the machine:hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead: , this sort of stuff , try to stay away from the equipment collection addiction , keep it basic simply reliable , and it will save you a ton of time wich = money , keep your equipment upgraded but don't have to much , if you are a solo op you probally do not need 4 trucks and 5 chainsaws. Just My thoughts good luck.
  6. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,021

    All good advice. Esp. the OHIO principle and trailer setup for efficiency.

    I would add or echo tightening of routes. Gas expenses are very high and you also lose alot of time driving from property to property loading and unloading. This is one of my least favorite things to do. For the most part, I enjoy the work but hate the driving, loading, unloading. This year we are targeting neighborhoods we already work in to cluster our properties.
  7. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Solo, with three trucks....?
  8. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    Well kinda solo, I have a Lawn truck and a construction truck. And then the go to bank truck. I run a couple of helpers when needed.
  9. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,613

    if solo use a 4cyl truck instead of a v8. you are only pulling 1 mower or maybe a big mower and a pushmower. you don't need a v8. this will cut your gas bill for your truck in half each year. 20mpg is alot better than 10mpg. you will get alot of hate especially on this site about it but you can laugh at them while you are saving alot of money each year.
  10. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    Bottle your own water, make your own ice, if you drink gatorade by the powder and mix your own, that will save you a few dollars per day.

    Never hit the gas pedal hard, and coast to stops. That saves gas but also save a lot of wear and tear on your equiptment

    Shop for parts, some of the sponsers on this site can save you a whole lot in parts.

    Do real good work make the yards the best ones on their street, that will save you on advertising.

    Then get your personal life debt free and efficent, it will help during a slow time.

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