"Sure seems like it's taking a long time...."

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by JimLewis, May 20, 2008.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    LOL. This is a funny one. At least it was to me....

    I just left one of our customers house. She is an elderly lady, I'd guess her age to be approx. 75 years old. I was the highest bid she got out of 4 bids but she liked our literature, presentation, system upgrades, warranty, and references better than the others she got. So she hired us despite us being a little more expensive, which is pretty typical for most of the work we do.

    Anyway, we're now into our 2nd day of her new irrigation system installation. 10 zones plus backflow. Here, the 2' deep double-check valves that are standard procedure in these parts take a good half day just for that part of the job. It's about a 4-5 day job for us. Pretty good sized property, lots of hand trenching, etc. I wrote it in bold on the 2nd page of our contract when we'd begin, how long it would take, etc.

    So I stopped by to check on the job this afternoon at 5:00. More to make her happy than anything. My guys have done this stuff hundreds of times before. They don't need any supervision. I look everything over and explain to her what stage we are in and what to expect tomorrow. Then she says to me, "Well, it sure seems to be taking a long time." I accidentally laughed in front of her and replied, "Um...well....yah. It's not something that goes in real quickly." She says, "I guess I didn't understand that. I was under the impression it would be done in 2 days or so." I said, "Well, I am not sure where you got that impression. I had said before it would take about 4 and a half days and that's pretty much accurate based on where we are at right now. I expect it to take the full 4 and a half days. I wrote 4-5 days on your contract and went over that when we signed the contract together." She accepted that but still looked a little puzzled.

    I am sure it's just the old age. But if you guys saw this property you'd laugh too. 2 days??? No way in heck that would happen. LOL! :laugh::laugh::laugh:
  2. Without A Drought

    Without A Drought LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,091

    Are your "guys" just one guy? Why does it take 4 days to install 10 zones? It seems like a long time to me. Do you have machines or are you hand digging the whole thing? I don't know, we can get 25 zones installed in about a day. Maybe Oregon time is different... siestas maybe?

  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,231

    4-5 days does seem to be long to me as well. When I was installing, me and one guy could easily do 4-6 zones in a day or a day and a half. But our zones may be smaller, not sure of available gpm there, soil, etc.
  4. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    Sounds like you threw her for a loop, Jim. I know you guys do nice work, seen it first hand. Sept for that class pipe, come on.
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I know. It is different here than in other parts of the country. We have a lot of unique challenges that make our irrigation work take longer. I don't have time to go into all of that now. Suffice it to say, I am close to a lot of other irrigation companies in my area. This is a normal 4-5 day job for a 2 man crew for this area. My guys work fast and hard all day long. There isn't a way to get this property done any sooner.

    I just thought it was funny. I explained it all before. It's typical for this area for jobs like this to take a week or so. I just never had anyone say we were taking a long time before. Most people say just the opposite....like, "Wow! You have the best workers I've ever seen before. I don't ever even see them take a break."......"That's some hard work, I am impressed how quickly your crew is getting things done." ........ "I am sure glad I am not the one out there digging. This would have taken me a month or more to do what your guys did in just a few days."

    That's the typical comments we get. So to have one the other way around was just funny to me. I guess it's one of those things others can't relate too. But I thought it was funny.
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Class pipe? Class 200?

    What? Now that you're in CO you're a poly-pipe snob? That's cool. I see how you are. Just 6 months ago you were telling me everyone around AZ did it with PVC, and now that you're in with the poly crowd you can look down on us PVC users. I see how you are..... :usflag:

    Nobody uses that stuff around here. Nobody pulls pipe around here. Just wouldn't work. Not on the properties we're working with. Most properties (like this one) you couldn't even fit a small trencher around the property or up the steps into the back yard.
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,231

    No it was a good funny story. And believe me, I wasn't questioning you or your guys. From all I've seen, heard, read about you, you have a class act company and do excellent work.
  8. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,231

    Tony - SprinklerGuy - also turned to the Dark Side when he moved here from AZ.
  9. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    ::pulls E-brake on Jim's High-Horse::

    J/K Jim. I love PVC, dont yet enjoy poly. But I love the thick skinned stuff! SCH40 is my flavor. Just givin you a hard time. It'll take me a long time to enjoy the poly, especially when cool outside.

    All commercial up here is still PVC, there is hope.
  10. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    Quality over speed any day......

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