Subbing with fertilizer applicators

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Todd73, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Todd73

    Todd73 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Florida
    Messages: 1,562

    It occurred to me today that most customers that want fert programs want weed ‘n’ feed. I am licensed to put only down non-weed control fert and really have really no interest in obtaining the other license at this time. So the question is, do any of you lawn only guys sub out with a dedicated fert company? Has is been successful? What are some pitfalls to avoid when selecting a company to work with?
  2. AGRinATX

    AGRinATX LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    I was the sub chemical guy for a few companies before being brought on to do it in house for a company. Make sure they’re fully licensed and insured, and run their applicator number to see if they have any history with regulatory issues. Ask them what their approach is (individualized vs standard rounds). Find out if they do disease and insect control as well and if they actually know diagnosis. Make sure of their pricing or have them quote the jobs themselves (I had multiple issues with one mowing company way underbidding jobs and then I’d have to piss the client off with a price correction). You also want to have very clear communication with timing so treatments are effective and less damaging.
    Bcoogan23, hort101 and Todd73 like this.
  3. Rockchoplawn

    Rockchoplawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    Just be careful who you sub to. I have a good guy now but had two awful guys before. First guy kept trying to steal my customers. Second guy had an employee who would threaten clients neighbors...
    Bcoogan23 and Todd73 like this.
  4. CrystalCreek

    CrystalCreek LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,809

    I my self (my company) subs for two small guys in town. We take on an extra 55 houses. As being the sub, I can tell you this first hand, the quality is not the same. Now before everyone jumps down my throat, here me out. My service crews are at a property every week. They communicate with the fert guy and he runs out to any problems immediately. The guys that sub us out do not do this unless it is a HUGE problem and often by then its a too late situation. Visiting a property once every six weeks or so verses every weeks makes the difference. I can also tell you since I am being honest, my in house guy priorities our properties first. Its just simple facts here folks and nothing more. All that said, the lawns that we sub out to look really good to the normal person's, but I can see the difference. But Im a perfectionist LOL.
  5. Todd73

    Todd73 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Florida
    Messages: 1,562

    That’s what I’m looking for, and frankly, they’d look better than if I did it. Whenever people start talking fertilizer, I feel like I’m back in high school chemistry and all I hear is, “Blah, blah, blah, science, science, scidnce.” It’s a complete mental block. So even if I get a fert guy who’s doing a minimum job, it’s still probably better than what I’m doing, plus they can lay down weed treatment where I cannot due to licensing restrictions.
    Bcoogan23 and hort101 like this.
  6. matt spinniken

    matt spinniken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 359

    We do it, it can work out really well but you have to totally trust the company you choose to sub to. Also, in Michigan you need to be fully licensed even to sub it out so check on that.
  7. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,090

    Quality referrals are a great benefit of working with a fert company.
    Bcoogan23 likes this.
  8. JoeandTob

    JoeandTob LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 186

    I have never had any luck subbing accounts, although some do successfully do it. I prefer to just work with a reliable company that provides services that I do not - and send each other work.

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