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SUV's/cars, unprofessional?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cessnasovereign, May 7, 2006.

  1. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    No offense to anyone who uses on in their business but to me, it looks like someone just trying to make a little money on the side (which is fine).. I drive a GMC Sonoma pickup and I don't know what I'd do without a bed to throw stuff it whether it be tools or mulch.. But today I saw a Ford Crown Vic towing a lawn care trailer. :hammerhead: :dizzy: :laugh:
    The trailer was homemade looking too. But I asked someone this.. If you were getting quotes and someone pulled up in a junky old pickup, someone in a nice pickup, someone in an SUV and someone in a car, all pulling trailers, and they all were equally nice and the same price, same equipment, who would you hire?
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Some people are hiring for price, if the guy in the car is cheaper than the others, then that is who some people are going to hire. $$$'s speak sometimes.
  3. hillibilly

    hillibilly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    I have wondered if my 1988 Silverado (that looks brand new because previous owner re-painted it almost a year ago and put new "everything in it") looks unproffesional for it be a mid sized truck. But when I put my trailer on it it sure looks purtty lol .
  4. RandyG67

    RandyG67 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    To me a Crown Vic is like a dang F350! I drive a Ford Contour SVT and a Miata. My hobby is weekend autocrossing and both cars are fun to drive in that respect.

    About a month ago I was quietly minding my own business during a day off when my 12 y/o pops in, telling me his Boy Scout troop has an opportunity to attend a whitewater canoe trip in Summer of '07 at a cost of $1000-$1200 per child. He wants to earn the money himself and thinks mowing lawns is the ticket but needs some help doing it. What am I going to say? Sure I'll help him! So we print up some flyers, buy a good trimmer, blower, and a decent 2nd mower and we're in business.

    Pulling up for estimates in one of the aforementioned vehicles towing my Harbour Freight tire/tool trailer (for my weekend-warrior driving events) measuring 40"x48" loaded with lawn equipment does make for a conversation piece, but it hasn't cost us any business. Of course, Mrs. Smith realizes she's helping a young Boy Scout earn his keep for a trip and, in the end, she's getting a quality job.

    Also, keep in mind that our clientele is mostly middle class, spec-home, 60'x120' St. Augustine sod yards. If I owned a larger, more manicured home with more exotic type grass I'm prolly giving my business to the crew with the nice rig that sounds like they know more than just cut, whack, blow and leave....someone who presents themselves as more of a "green-thumb" type of professional.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I'm in my 5th year and there are days I do odd jobs in my car, the kind of stuff only requires some small hand tools and the like, thou no trailer... I just load stuff up in the trunk (and yes the trunk has to shut), sometimes a thing or two in the backseat and off I go to hit up 5 or 10 yards where all this itty-bitty stuff has been planned, knock it all out in no time and much better fuel.

    Far as full operations running around in small vehicles with homemade trailers, I secretly wish them the best of luck.

    How it looks is not my concern, professionalism is an attitude looks can only complement. What I mean is, looks help but looks don't make the Lco a pro or not, the Lco himself does that, it is within them, inside, maybe in the heart or the head that I dunno but somewhere thereabouts.
  6. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    Well I can understand that, being it's your kid but I think maybe people would look a little different if it was you acting like a professional business.

    To me, it just doesn't look right when someone is driving around in a Ford Explorer towing a lawn trailer.
  7. LandscapeMasterpieceGA

    LandscapeMasterpieceGA LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    I tow a 5x10 behind a Bucik Rendezvous. I cant afford to buy a dedicated truck yet, and the Rendezvous has been great. Sure, I would like a bed to throw stuff in, but instead, I have a "cargo area" that I place things in. The suv has a nice luxury look to it, and I think it neither helps or hinders my business. I don't think a truck would help my image any at all, but it would make things easier for me.
  8. Bustus

    Bustus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    I think the type of vehicle is only really a factor depending on the type of work being performed, and the theme of your business. I run a student based operation and try to keep costs as low as possible. My 91 F150 isn't the shiniest truck out there, but it can haull when I need it too. The customers understand this and don't really care what I drive. If I were aiming at million dollar homes where money means little, I'm sure it would be better to charge more and have all new equipment where the clients feel really superior.
  9. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

    I got a nice truck but when I see some operators with much nicer trucks I'm a little envious and when I see this one in particular that pulls a huge enclosed trailer with massive decals (I have to unload my truck everday :() I just make that MY goal to have one day. It's really an impressive setup.

    But when I see guys with a crappy looking car, no decals, pulling a trailer I'm thinking they are entrepenuers just starting out with a little less than I have.

    I've known much more professional looking companies that do Much much worse jobs and over priced at that.

    Nice vehicles and decals gives me more confidence in a company outright but you never know about their work until they've worked for you.

    What I really cant stand is the side-job jack off all trades, trying to make a buck but doing horrible work. I was just talking with this guy, he's really nice guy and really doesn't have a clue. He had just finished a job across the street where was just starting a job. He used a lawn mower with one of those spring devices on the blade to dethatch, the lawn looked all yellow and if he cut it right down to the roots almost and the bags were half way up the driveway. Not at the end of the driveway or all the way at the top around the corner of the garage which we also do but half way up a long driveway. lol. Poor was all proud of his work I ened up giving him a roll of garbage bags.
  10. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    my 100+ customers dont care that my 97 gmc jimmy is the work truck towing a 7x12 enclosed trailer we are in our third year and no ones ever said a thing

    someone i know in my same town uses an old generation suburban and does over 200 houses and been in biz for 8 years i think

    landscapers in real trucks probably always laughing but i laugh because i put more money in my pocket then they do

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