takedowns 2011-12 season

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    it always seems this board dries up after install season, and I myself pretty much disappear for the month of February. but I thought I'd chime in for a thread on takedowns, and see how you guys are doing on that. we did a few right after Christmas day, but not much. I really failed to call everyone and line that up. so next year my goal is to line up takedowns when we line up installs. I'd like to get 20-40 or more down that 1st week after Christmas. this last week we had awesome weather, started off in the 20's but warmed up to at least mid 40's and had a few days in the 50's and one 60 plus degree day. sunshine for 5 days in a row in January? Unheard of!

    But we did get about 100 down this week with 4 crews running every day. I always seem to underestimate what my guys can takedown, and this year I tried to push a bit more, and my guys seem to get it all done. we had 1 crew on two seperate occaisions get 8 jobs down in day in an 8 hour day. not that the other crews are slow, but 8 of our normal jobs just won't fit in a 14 or 15 foot boxvan. it seems that 4-6 is jammed tight. and many of our larger jobs are almost 1/2 day takedowns.

    How are you guys doing?
  2. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    Hi Dave

    I also have thought that things have been really quiet as well. I actually talked with Bryan last week and mentioned exactly that.

    We have had incredible weather here as well. We started take downs right after Christmas, actually the 27th. I also wanted to take advantage of the weather. We have 6 left as of this morning, tough part is we have a pretty heavy mixed ethnicity is some of the areas. I think we may shoot after a few of the residential we have left today. I am a bit sideways now, I got diagnosed with a hernia last week, so lugging that 32' ladder not so much of a great idea, so I am trying to do everything when my son is off from school.

    I have already actually started to discuss next year with some, we have one which i have a thread on here regarding GFCI, his warranty is out on 90% of his display. THANK THE LORD!!!!! He isn't real happy about that, but I am quite confident he will be even less happy when I bill him $125.00 (bucket truck rate) an hour for having the chase the damn tree and fix whatever is going on on that day. I explained to him the difference in the mini lights vs c-7 and c-9 especially the fuse issue. As of when we took everything down - Spruce still has not gone dormant here as of yet, the tree is up over 50' now. So now the task at hand is to find a good supplier of c-7 and c-9 LED ww. I have several displays out right now with c-7, and would love to change my clients with c-9 incandescent to LED.

    A big goal for this coming season is the idea of converting from incandescent to LED. We have one project with about 100 sets in tree canopies, every set was all checked and 100% operational, until they were being installed. Then I was in the bucket truck with spare bulbs, buzz box and light keeper pro chasing issues when I was trying to put them up. There has to be a way to cut time down that gets dumped into preseason and then having to fix them as they are going up.
  3. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    I wish.........

    Only a few down, actually had to run service calls Friday.

    I will never be able to take down before New Year's, my customers will never allow me to take down.

    And with little Christmas on Jan 6th, we are only able to take a select few down before then.

    So as you might imagine I am crossing my fingers that the weather holds as tomorrow is the first day of running a full staff for take downs....
  4. CleanCut1

    CleanCut1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    We started take downs the day after New Years. Since I work a full time job, I am limited to evening and weekends. We have about 40% down so far. None of my customers would allow take downs before New Years and some wanted to wait until Epiphany. I'm taking off this Thursday, Friday and Monday to make a five day weekend with the goal of getting everything down.

    The temps were in the high 70's here all weekend. I was taking down in shorts and sweating my tail off. It's supposed to be a bit colder this weekend.

    I did learn a couple things that I'm sure some of the experienced guys know, but might help new people like me.

    1. I was about to order some boxes from Uline when I remembered that my friend in the firework business burns hundreds of boxes every season. I picked through his burn pile and got all the boxes I could want. They are all 275 lb test, double wall boxes. So, if you live in a state that allows firework sales, stop by a stand and ask if they give away boxes.

    2. I found that a small paint roller with the roller and hardware pulled off leaving just a metal shaft in the shape of a flat hook screwed on to the end of a heavy duty expandable paint pole is perfect for pulling clips off shingles and gutters. If you bend the roller frame upside down so it resembles as upside down hook, it is great for lifting 36" and some light 48" wreaths off of hooks without having to get on a ladder.
  5. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,130

    I've got my takedowns about half done. Around here, people usually keep their lights up until atleast the new year, for the most par. My houses with colored lights are done, but the houses using all or mostly white lights are still up and they aren't interested in having them taken down untill the end of the month. Seems like they all want them up for the month of January but want them down before february. A few people have made comments that they want the lights up until we get snow (a problem you TX and AZ guys probalby don't have to deal with)
  6. yard_smart

    yard_smart LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    $32k in sales
    Total time of install - 168 man hours
    Total service time - 48 man hours
    Total take down hours - 52 man hours

    Avg almost $120 a man hour.

    Synopsis - ANOTHER GREAT SEASON!!!!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Birchwood

    Birchwood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    As of yesterday we only have 2 left and that is by customer choice. We got 60 down in 4.5 days 5 guys, I feel we rocked it. Every day we pretty much filled a 16' trailer and a 8 foot bed with wreaths. With the use of our painter poles we only used our 40 foot ladder once. We lowered a 6' wreath 16' with the use of 2 poles, I didn't think it was going to work, but nobody really wanted to unstrap the big ladder.
  8. OP
    David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    we've got about 25-30 left, but snow is predicted tonight. This has been the best weather in the first 2 weeks of January we have ever had. I am still hopeful we will get some done tomorrow and mostly finish up friday when it warms back up. maybe leave a few for monday. we'll see. pallet racks sure have filled up in the last 2 weeks. you never really know how much space you'll need for all of it until it all comes in and your done. had to build another 30 spools today for a total of 60 new spools this year. never built that many new ones before.
  9. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    Raining now, but going into the 50's and supposed to stop so we should be able to get in some houses.

    We are about 1/2 way thru, we are 2 weeks ahead of last years schedule because of the weather.

    Hopefully it holds and we will be done by next friday.

    Dave, it is amazing how fast the racks fill up, this is the first year we are having to really utilize the space we have, usually we arent too concerned with how to fit a material into every available spot but this year we are starting to fill up, we will probably fill all of our current rack space and look at clearing out some space to add racks for next season.
  10. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    Dave what are spools??

    Bryan, we got anywhere from a dusting to 6" last night. What a frigging mess!!!!!!!

    3 to go, suppose to be snotty here all day, then frigid until next week.

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