Staying busy in the Winter

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Oasis360, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. facework84

    facework84 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    i've heard a large shop vac with a long, stiff extension tube works great for cleaning gutters although i have yet to try it

    any experience with this?
  2. Oasis360

    Oasis360 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    I've been all over YouTube and seen a few of those shop vac-style cleaning extension tubes in action... It seems that a rather large shop vac would be needed, and I would think after 20+ feet of hosing it would have issues with clogging / loss of suction.

    I also seen a guy who uses tarps (like a bib) on the ground below the gutters, and uses a handheld leaf blower to knock everything loose off roof, then what will blow out of gutters down... This seems like an effective method, since the debris that was knocked off the roof would be going into the gutter anyways, and if the gutter debris is dry, may as well get it cleared to move on to the wet slimy gunk at the bottom of the gutters...

    I am going to try the leaf blower / tarp-on-ground setup as a first wave, then follow it with a gutter scoop / 3 gallon hooked bucket to get the remaining gunk off the bottom. After that a hose with attachment should be the right tool to flush out the gutter and clean off any messy edges.
  3. Unique Landscape

    Unique Landscape LawnSite Member
    from Vanc WA
    Messages: 14

    We just use backpack blowers to blow off the roof and blow out the gutters
    and blow everthing into one area and suck everthing with a a leaf loader
  4. Oasis360

    Oasis360 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Do the backpack blowers get all the wet needles / slime / compacted muddy leaf mess we get here in Vanc?
  5. Unique Landscape

    Unique Landscape LawnSite Member
    from Vanc WA
    Messages: 14

    The blowers we us do
    We run the largest redmax blowers made much better than stihl we think
    we have tried all the others and to us redmax is the best for use.
    We buy them from jack at onsight equmipment in orchards
  6. Oasis360

    Oasis360 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    In another month or so I'll probably get a redmax as well... They flow more CFM, the only downfall is they are noisier than the STIHL BR600 Magnum - but who cares about noise when we're there to work ;-). I will go see your equipment guy and tell them you sent me once I am ready for an upgrade.

    What are your thoughts on line trimmers? I was considering a stihl with the combi-style attachment system for limbing up in trees, blade edging, brush saw/blade system, and of course line trimming. I don't know how they hold up to professional use. I am still a little guy in this business so efficiency is my target at the moment.
  7. Unique Landscape

    Unique Landscape LawnSite Member
    from Vanc WA
    Messages: 14

    Same thing we have used ever brand out there over the years
    the stihl 85 was a great string trimmer
    i dont like there 4 mix the have now but that dont mean you wont like them
    We are running redmax string trimmers
    we did buy a tanaka string trimmer used last month and we really like it
    we are useing a echo bed edger with a standard edger blade for edgeing
    hedge trimmers both standard and long handeld are stihl.
    For a pole saw we have echo and a stihl
    we like to use one dealer as we get top service
    Jack really treats us good
  8. Oasis360

    Oasis360 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    The Stihl FS-85 is something I could definitely use for brush clearing applications. And a good pole saw - what dedicated pole saw model are you using? My long term business goal is to own a dumper truck with a bobcat T190 doing excavation, demolition, massive brush clearing, grading, and almost everything else the bobcat can do...

    My goal now is to get started in these niches one step at a time, cost effectively. I figure that brush clearing would be a good start, to learn about that from the ground up. Since I have a nice rototiller I could do basic property reclamation, lawn installation, gardens, etc after clearing the brush out.

    I wonder how hard it would be to do deck / fence weatherization (seal, stain) in the winter here? I am hoping that pressure washing generates me at least decent money this winter. The pressure washer is going to be my primary piece of equipment (aside from the rototiller) this winter.
  9. Unique Landscape

    Unique Landscape LawnSite Member
    from Vanc WA
    Messages: 14

    We use a stihl fs 130 pole saw and a older echo power prunner
    as for brush clearing
    on a large scale we use rich ezeta stump grinding also in vanc
    he has a rayco 175 that is a D4 track mounted stump grinder and brush mulcher on smaller scale we us or tractor with brush hog.

    We do some pressure washing really no money to make
    to many flie by nights doing it for nothing
    I can go broke sitting on the couch dont need to work to go broke
  10. Oasis360

    Oasis360 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Rich Ezeta is who my buddy had come out to his property to remove 6 Fir stumps, good people to work with. I know what you mean about competing with the low ballers out there, most of which don't have a legitimate license, insurance, or even a small bond. I pay my taxes and stay with the market-rates of the business, though I will take just about any work that comes my way. I build relationships with my clientele through honest hard work, going the extra mile, and sending post cards / thank you cards as follow ups after a job has been completed. I believe it's all in the image you cast, and that the average 40+ homeowner would rather hire an honest, tax paying, small business owner trying to support a family rather than a low-ball hustler that is trying to blow-n-go...
    I have a buyer setup for my Ranger, hopefully this goes through in the next couple weeks. I'm going to purchase a class 1 hitch setup for the Civic I own (which can tow 1,000lbs) and use it for my Winter Rig saving most of my revenue for a dump-style truck. I've seen full sized mid-70s era dump trucks go for $2500-$4000 on Craigslist, this is the market I'de like to break into. Hoping I don't get a basket case, though I am a skilled mechanic and have friends who are diesel mechanics if something is amiss.

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