takedown info

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. OP
    OP
    David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    At 66 left to takedown as of end of today. 3 jobs left to film. collections are a headache. hoping to get down to 20-30 jobs left by friday with no overtime. will go down to 2 crews next week, one crew foreman going back to college.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    53 to go as of today at close of business. good day tomorrow gets us to 36, then 22 by friday close. keeping overtime to a minimum, so no working Sat or Sun. Hopefully all will go well. going to 2 crews and weather permitting will get the rest done by friday next week. weather has been incredibly wonderful for january- low of 28 to highs in the lower 50's, and no rain or snow/ice. so far.

    on takedowns, I am always worried I have forgotten someone. and I always forget how fast takedowns go as opposed to install. Having a crew taketown 4-6 jobs a day times 3 crews makes quick work of even 150-160 jobs. The giant jobs do take more time, but then the smaller jobs go pretty quick- we had one crew do 8 in one day.

    the 14 foot box vans seemed overkill on install, but on takedowns they are absolute minimum. With all the ladders, spools, wreaths and boxes, the UPS van/bus and the 12 foot enclosed trailer/truck combo we also have seem a little small for much more than 4 jobs. In the future 16 foot box vans are my new rig.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  3. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    Wow, we have a high of 25 today, with fresh snow! Next week it is supposed to be down in the teens and even more snow... we might get done by the end of Jan...
     
  4. loupiscopolandscaping

    loupiscopolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    ive never got into this field b4....how do you charge? per man per hour? by job? id think per man per house just incase the homeowner wants to add a few things...also is it better to supply lights and dec. or the homeowners?
     
  5. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 915

    LOU...Kinda in your area....around here we chrage by the bulb, I only use my lites, and I store them for the customers. Worked into my per bulb charge is my material, which is pennies wholesale, storage, and so on. Very very very lucrative in the central NJ area, but also headaches along with it. Be ready for call backs when bulbs burn out, garland falls and all that fun stuff. Starting next year, all new customers will be getting LED lights only, slowy start to do away with incendecent lites since they burn out.
     
  6. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    We have 50 take downs left with some being multiple day takedowns.

    Not good considering we a supposed to get 10" of snow tomorrow and then the highs are going to be in the 20's all next week. Gonna be a slow go for a while. Planning to finish in 2 weeks.

    Sounds like Hotrod sent is crappy weather out this way.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    LOU and shadetree- If you guys want info on charging and whatnot, there is a ton of info on previuos threads where i amd others outling how and what we charge.

    got it whittled down to 27 jobs left at fridays finish. going to 2 routes monday, hoping for a thursday or friday finish
     
  8. OP
    OP
    David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    A few folks have asked me about storage and I can give you some basics-

    All out c-9 spools are stored in one place on huge shelves I made myself that are from 4x8 sheets of plywood and 2x6x8's. not all customers have c-9s, but for 160 customers total the space required to store all c-9 spools is 4 feet deep, by 9 feet high( 2 levels and we stack the spools on top of each other within a level), by aprox 50 feet long, plus a 6 foot aisle in front of that rack.

    we store all c-9s on spools we make from an 8 foor 2x4. take a 2x4x8 and cut into 5 equal pieces. use your table saw or circular saw to cut a 3 1/2 inch wide by 3/4 inch deep groove in middle of 4 of the pieces. they make the x's on the end, and the uncut piece is the spindle. screw together with 3 3 inch decking screws on each end. we add 40 spools each year for new jobs and to replace the ones that break. we label each strand on the spool with yellow tags, wired on, by customer name and where that strand starts and finishes. we get the yellow tags with wire from Uline.com for about 58 bucks per 1000, or 6 cents apiece. They are the # 8 size.

    we store all wreaths on custom shelves, again, that we built using 4x8 plywood and 2x6x8's. The bottom row holds 6 and 7 foot wreaths, the uppers hold 4 and 5 foot. wreaths for 160 customers fill a 4 foot ( they stick out on the floor) by 9 foot tall by 50 foot length. all wreaths are tagged with customer name and, if needed also 1 of 2, 1 of 3 etc. if a customer has more than 1 wreath. all tags are located on the outside of the wreath when stored at eye level for easy reading. we exceeded this space already with another 10-15 wreaths still to take down this year. we will move all the wreaths into room 3 when it is built in March, and then use the space in room 1 for customer boxes. eventually we will move all the c-9 spools into room 3, and finally add boxes when that space in room 1 is full.

    All cords, timers, mini's, light links and garland go in 48x12x12 boxes that I buy from Uline.com or boxes that new product came in. That space fills an 8 foot wide double sided rack that is again, aprox 50 feet long, but is 11 feet tall with boxes stacked to ceiling.

    all odd sized items, 8 and 9 foot wreaths, 3d angels, 5 foot stars, 2-d trains, sign poles etc, go into room 2 and are tagged by customer name.

    Room 2 also has racks that are 4 foot deep, but mostly that room is new stock and empty boxes.

    All bins in the racks are labeled by room number 1,2,3, then a row by letter a, b, then a bin location by number, even on one side and odd on the other side of the row, then Bottom, Middle or Top by B,M, or T . all items stored are noted by bin location in the customer work file.

    FINALLY, all 40 or so old welded Brite Ideas starbursts ( they don't fold flat and don't box well like the Holiday Bright Lights ones) are hung above our opened garage door by s-hooks. I had some 4 feet of space above that thing when it was open, and we just use a pole to hang them up and take them down.

    so room 1 is 30 feet by 50 feet, 1500 sqaure feet by 9-11 feet tall. 3 racks, one against each 50 foot wall and one in the middle that is double with 8 foot wide. 2, 6 foot wide aisles running 50 feet along racks.

    Although it seems as though all this is organized, and I have it all together, in fact it has been a huge work in progress to maximixe space. Every year I build racks and add storage space. I modify existing racks to better hold wreaths- 7 footers, 4 footers, or 3 footers, again to maximixe space. 13 months ago I puchased the other half of my property ( I was splitting a building with a friend) and got the office, a bathroom, and a small employee space, and 900 sqare feet of storage space( only 9 feet tall though ) , and it is all used. Room 3 will be a signifigant addition of a 24x82 metal building ( 2000 feet ), and goes from 13.5 side to 17.5 feet peak tall , but my fear is THAT won't be enough to buy me 4-5 years like I'd like. I may invest another 4 grand to make it 2400 feet ( 30 foot wide) , and a slightly higher peak ( 18.5) but I really don't have the funds. I need to find the funds because I like the arrangement in room 1 and would like to duplicate it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  9. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    Always label like crazy! There is no way you will remember a year later!
     
  10. OP
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    David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    yeah- Labeling is of extreme omportance to me, but not to my guys. I have to constantly preach it. Funny how they forget hard hard some installs were when they could not figure out how to put up some c-9 jobs. then takedown begins, and they turn into the same way, get them down as fast as possible and they'll figure it out next year.

    updates- will basically be done tomorrow with some clean up/organization in the shop to be done on Thurs and friday. Have never finished this early, but I have never had 3 crews taking down, never used boxvans before this year, and never this good of weather. We have had no rain or snow days since Dec. 26th.

    and of course, now all the customers have way higher expectations for next year.

    Lots of lessons learned this year, But mostly just hiring good folks, good instructions ( video's of jobs ) , and organization. Gotta do 4 crews next year, just too much overtime on 3 this year, without awesome weather we would not have made our committments on installs. 4 crews would allow us to give crews a day off per week during November and maybe only 11 hour days instead of 12 and 14.

    Shop foreman is a must now. I am spoiled- having trucks unloaded/loaded when install/takedown guys get there is absolutely critical. also it keeps warehousing responsibility straight.
     

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