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Stone yard.....some 'good ole boys'

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by steveair, May 26, 2001.

  1. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    Just wanted to see if this may be a little out of the ordinary or if this is 'typical' for the industry.

    I had to pick up a few pallets of moss rock the other day, and went directly to the stone yard. When getting there, boy did I fell like I stepped into another world.

    First of all, everyone I saw either had a can of Budweiser in his hands, or at least had one close by sitting on a pallet of stone. The guy in the skidsteer, loading trucks, had one in his hand and a cigarette in his mouth (Pretty neat trick). When tractor trailers came in, the guys would get out, walk to the fridge, and grab a 'nice cold one', get loaded (I mean their truck, well, I guess themselfs too), jump back in, and head out.

    This was all at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, but I'd imagine it was about the same at 7 am.

    To make the story even funnier, I had to hand pick some stones for a rock garden, and of course, no one could help me. So, I loaded the pallets myself, and after about an hour, went to look for someone to load/weigh me in and take my money. At that point, I couldn't even find anyone. A few guys were loading trucks, and I had to stand in front of them to get them to stop (a little risky) When they did stop, put out their cigarette, and swallow a swig of their beer, they told me to 'hold on a minute' and then just continued.

    By this time, it was 5 o'clock, and I had to meet a client. So I left, without the stone that I had just spent an hour loading, and left.

    The meeting with the client was right down the road, so after, I decided to go back.......I get there and theres one guy loading a truck. He stops and asks 'what the hell do you want'. I replied, 'I want the dam stone that I loaded by myself and no one would load before'.

    He laughed, said give him a minute to finish his truck, then came back over. First thing he said was, "want a beer".

    Well, at this moment, my day was shot, I was pissed, and I said 'sure'. So, after a quick one (believe me, this is not a typical thing, as I know how 'unprofessional' this is, but..certain situations require 'creative' solutions) he loaded my truck finally.

    Of course, it wasn't going to end this easy.

    Right when I was about to pay, some more 'good ole' boys stop in the party began. I was forgotten about again. At this point, I figured what the hell. Before I knew it, I was having another beer and talking 'stone talk' with these guys.

    When I got home that night, I sat down and thought to myself if I need to factor in 'supplier relations' into my bid sheet. If these homeowners had ANY clue what we contractors have to do to get a job done, they would faint. I would love explaining to a homeowner a typical 'trip' to the stone yard and why that is why 2000lbs of rock costs $500 and why the job is running a day behind schedule. How the hell do you factor things like this into your estimate.....

    In this day of age, people think its 'wal mart world', where you just stop in, pick up what you need, pay and leave. Little do they Know. Mr. wal mart sure doesn't run any stone yards.

    Its a wacky business we live, but I have to admit, it gives us some good stories to talk about.

  2. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Man those guys must be Pros :) The only time I start at 7 am is when I'm on vacation and they have an "open bar" other wise I wait till noon or if it's a real hard day 5 pm. Maybe I should take a few trips to my suppliers and check out my drivers???

    Steveair, we can't figure for evey hidden hidden cost on a job some you are just going to have to live with!

    Things we should charge for???

    Rain delays?
    Truck break downs?
    Talkitive customers?
    Loading delays?
    Traffic Jams?
    Hidden tree stumps and boulders?
    Lunch with suppliers?

    Ok guys think of more hidden costs:) and post e'm
  3. Henry

    Henry LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 548


    What yard was that? I'm also from NJ.
  4. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    If that's the only place to get stone, maybe you should move. I wouldn't be seen somewhere like that with that kind of trash supposedly running a business. I must be lucky because there is about 30 places for me to get stones in a 20 mile radius.
  5. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    More Hidden Job Costs:
    1. Trying to get the utilities marked on time
    2. Utilities not marked in correct area
    3. Plant material damage
    4. Educating client
    5. Locating scarce plant material
    6. Site that won't dry out

    OK, who's next?
  6. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,211

    Steve, where is that? If I'm up your way with a minute to spare, I might want to visit that place for its entertainment value. And of course, enjoy a brew. ;) I've never had to deal with anything like that at any of my suppliers.
  7. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    We had a couple of "hang outs" like that back in the Waterbury Area. They make money and they enjoy themselves, what a combo! I bet if an OSHA inspector ever stopped by and caught them operating equipment and the sort while they were slugging some beers there would be a little problem!

    Now, don't get me wrong, when quiting time comes, we throw back a few beers and may putter around the shop, but we don't wait on customers directly like your suppliers.

    It can kill a lot of your time Steve, but every once and a while it might benefit your relationship with them if you stop and talk shop when you have the time. If that involves throwing back a few beers, well, you gotta do what you gotta do! :) Just make sure you don't charge the beer to overhead!

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