Starting out in chem apps

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by jondcoleman, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. jondcoleman

    jondcoleman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    Hi everyone,

    Looking for some help here. We are going to be starting doing fertilizer/pesticide apps this year. Looking for any tips on getting started in this (i.e. things you wish you had done differently, common mistakes, what equipment to buy, etc.). I really don't know a lot. I just finished the two courses at the community college here and will be taking the test to get licensed soon. We are looking to run one one man crew to do all of the chem apps. We will be advertising mainly to our current mowing customers. How many use granular vs. liquid. I already bought a 100 gallon spray tank but am open to any suggestions. Give me everything you got. Thanks in advance!

  2. mrkosar

    mrkosar LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 680

    Read, read, read...and then read a little more. Search function on here is beautiful feature. Local library is also great source of info.

    I haven't done this too long, but my opinion and from what i've read, slow release granular fertilizers and liquid herbicide treatments are the best way to go. Push proper cultural practices as much as possible...if you are mowing then i'm sure you know what i'm talking about.

    things i wish i would have done: at my old lawn company before starting my own i wish i had obtained more info from them. especially when it came to the whole process (accounting side, specific products used and rates, maintenance of equipment). i also wish i wouldn't have spent $100,000 on an education that I could have gotten from reading 10 or so books from the library for free. i did learn how to bong a beer, and i challenge anyone to a game of beer pong. college does force people to learn better social skills, and communicating with many different personalities, morals, races, etc...

    my biggest mistake so far: NOT STAYING ORGANIZED. Another is poor communication with the customers. Good luck. Hope you like reading.
  3. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    Your first year you may want to consider just using someone else's plan, then you can tweak it down the road as needed. Your local ag extension, will have such a plan, as will your local lesco dealer. A 100 gallon tank will cover 50,000 sq ft max, so you may want to consider doing granular apps and using the tank for weed/insect control as needed.
    Of course if you are just starting out and your lawns are small (like 4-5,000 ft) then 100 gal would be very usable.
  4. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    First a 100 gal tank is way to small. even at 1 gal per thousand you have to spray 1.5 gal to get 1 gal on the ground. Second, know your product cost and ensure you have your equipment calibrated. product cost runs us about 13-18% invoice total. Be ready to have thick skin, as every custoemr shas different expecations and it is impossible to keep everyone happy 100 percent of the time, If it were me I would spend at least a year on a production truck, this will help becasue you will learn what to expect from your thec, and how much production he should be getting done in a day. Be prepared to spend money to get the customers, a flyer like most lawn mowing compnaies use will probably not be good enough to land much business. Good luck Lawn Care is a tuff buck... get a good mentor with years of experience in this business.

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