Starting Up Right

Discussion in 'Seal Coating Forum' started by Tommy Boy, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. Tommy Boy

    Tommy Boy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    Ok guys, need a little help on start up. Assume you have 20K – 30K, you want to start up a seal coating operation to supplement a good size lawn maintenance operation. You want to do small asphalt repairs, crack sealing and striping. What do you need / want to get you going minus labor. Don’t worry about vehicles, just trailer and all related equipment. The devil is in the details, so think about things like stencils and blowers, anything to provide a professional product.

    Thanks for you input in advance.
  2. Coater

    Coater LawnSite Member
    from MI.
    Messages: 51

    One Word,, ( SEAL RITE ) Just look their website make sure its the one in MO. I seen another website using their name up in the east part of the country. Give them a call and they will set u up the right way!
  3. ChicagoSeal

    ChicagoSeal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Yea, Seal-Rites are great. A good 550 gallon tank that comes on a trailer that you can spray with (compressor and pump included, and quality at that) will cost you about 14k.

    If you are talking about only doing residential, you might want to just go with the Hand-Agitated 550 gallon tank which will save you about 9,000 from Seal-Rite and will come with the tank as well as the trailer.

    The way they build their tanks on their trailers is very nice, I don't own one but I'd imagine it has many perks that nobody else has.

    Also, if you're going with hand-agitated, you'll probably want a 48 inch and 36 inch squeegie for applying the sealer on the surface, an 8 inch "edger" brush, for outlining the edges of the driveway beforehand, a good 5+hp blower (you probably have one already) a decent hot pour crack filler (should run you 1-3k, depending on brand and quality) as well as some fairly cheap gloves (a lot of these) buckets (if you're not spraying obviously) some wooden stakes and orange ribbon to block off driveways after you're done sealcoating them, a sign on a wooden stake with your business name and phone number and "free estimates" to put up while you are working on driveways, a camera to take before and after pictures to show your customers, liability insurance, which shouldn't cost you more than 1200, and as little as 600, unless you want a lot of coverage. A pressure washer, 3k PSI with a turbotip nozzle for getting up sealcoat that gets on places you don't want it, as well as using it in case it rains on a freshly sealed driveway, you'll have to wash off the sealer that got on the sidewalks and house.

    Uh, that's all I can think of off the top of my head, I'm tired and sore so I'll post some added stuff that you'd need to start up with.

    I'd assume you are good on the marketing aspect of this since you already have a fairly siimilar business that will give you clients for sealcoating.

    Good luck on this, also if you are doing this next year, you might want to check out the local sealcoating distributors, they usually have a "for sale" board where sealcoaters post equipment they have for sale. That is, if you want to find bargains and don't mind used equipment, just make sure you know what you're looking at so you don't get ripped off, if you shop smart you can find almost anything at a great deal.

    Hope some of this helps.
  4. ChicagoSeal

    ChicagoSeal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Oh, you also need to figure out what you will charge, the different types of asphalt that require more sealcoat to seal than others, whether or not you should push the customers for a double sealcoat or not (depending on how often they've had it sealed) and just little details that might not be so obvious to somebody who hasn't sealcoated for awhile.

    I don't think posting other websites is really looked upon well here, but I'd honestly suggest reading through some old posts on the NPCA website, there's a forum dedicated to sealcoating as well as a residential consumer questions forum, you can look at questions, discussions and polls about various equipment, sealers and maintenence tips. You can search back for at least a few years, I guarantee you every topic you'll need to know to start this business is on there.

    Also, for "repairs" go with an infared unit. I have not used one, but I have seen them in action and have heard nothing but great reviews.

    Basically this allows you to fix trouble spots on asphalt with an infared machine, it heats up the asphalt so it can be raked, smoothed, leveled out and then tampered down even with the rest of the driveway, all at a fraction of the cost that it would take to get an asphalt company to come out and do the same type of work.

    You can get small ones brand new for as little as 3,000, used ones can range from 1k-2500 for a small one, and bigger ones are obviously more, you'll have to dig up some info on it if you want to know about it, there are a lot of different places you can look.
  5. jholley

    jholley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    it depends on what size jobs your wanting to do.a 550 on a trailer is good for small to med jobs that can be done during the day or one tank at a time at night.550 or smaller on a truck is good for driveways,a truck trailer combo can be tough to get around on busy streets when you get to the end of the drive.the 550's work good for edging the lots in before useing the big truck to fill in.
    for bigger jobs I have a 1500 gal tank mounted on a UD strait truck.for real big jobs we have a semi trailer(s) of raw sealer dropped off to refill the truck.
    as for pumps,the air pumps work fine.i use one alot.great for smaller lots.but i like the big neal pump on my big can crank that thing up and run with can run 2 wands or the spray bar.its a money maker when you spray over 6,000 gallons a night in a big parking lot.
    for what ever you get try to get an automatic.a stick sucks for the guy driving while spraying.we use one guy to drive,one to pull the hose and one spraying.

    as for blowers we use 10 and 11 hp honda powered billy goats.they work great and very reliable.the hondas seem to have a little more kick than the briggs and use less gas.
    for crack's and cleaning around the edges,grass ect we use the walk behind edgers you can buy at lowes cheap and put the wire wheels on them made for the billy goats.a real time saver.
    for the hot crack filling we use a 50 gal tank and walk behind bander with the torch attachment.tons faster than the little pot.
    as for stripers,i like graco personally,the small 3400 for everyday use and the 3900 for double lines or when two are needed.i have used a friends big titan that lays a great line but kicks you but pushing the heavy thing around.
    you need a bunch of stencils,some you will rarely use but you will need. you need a lot of handiman ,fire lane, no parking stop night it can take forever for them to dry if you have alot of them to do.
    it can be hot dirty work,sealer burn hurts like hell and dealing general public(dumbass's) can really piss you off.when you have people knocking down your baracades to pull up closer to the door at the ymca,you just want to kick their ass's.i mean come on,their going there to work out.

    good luck

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