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

    ah, spools- Think I may have described these before. I normally take an 8 foot 2x4 and cut into 5 pieces equally. take 4 of those pieces and cut a 3/4" deep x 3 1/2" dado in the middle. these become the "x" on the ends and the last one is the spindle. I use titebond 3 glue and 3 1/2" decking screws and glue/screw x's together and the x's to the spindle. be warned-don't just use nails or screws, been there, done that. these fit on a lazy susan platform we build to spool and unspool c-9 lights when we install/takedown.
  2. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    an update for us, we were able to get some stuff done thursday even though we had some snow on the ground and roofs. we ran 4 full crews on friday and finished up all our paying customers. we are left with my house, our training house, and my brother in laws house for monday. one crew should be able to knock out those three on monday and we are officially done. never have finished this early before that I am aware of. I did not keep real good records in 2000-2002, so maybe we beat it way back then.

    Although this is the first year we have run 4 crews on takedowns, the limiting factor for us this year was again the size of the jobs and boxvans. usually by 2:30-3pm the guys had no more space in the boxvans for the next one or two jobs.

    I knew this going in, and I looked at 18 and 20 footers when we bought 2 this year, but just worried about the guys driving them. just about anyone that can drive a pickup can adjust to driving a 14-16 foot box van. but jumping to 18 or 20 feet is a much longer wheelbase and even I have to pay close attention on turns.

    choosing an Isuzu cab forward type would help with this, and I wish I could afford to buy 5 isuzu diesel or similar 3 across seating rigs with 18 foot bodies on them. but I can't. In the used market I really don't have much problems finding very good used ford e350 or e450 van bodies with 15 foot boxes, around 100k or less miles for 5 grand or so. Isuzus run about 3-5k higher each. you do get back some of that money on fuel savings and resale value, but repairs on those are very costly. I bought an isuzu body a few years back and it blew the gas engine this season after an employee busted the oil pan. The guys like driving it, but to replace the engine is 4k. to buy another ford boxvan was 5k. no brainer. selling the isuzu for scrap for 1300.
  3. CleanCut1

    CleanCut1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Our first season is now complete. We did the last take down today and have everything packed away in storage.

    Our first season was much better than expected. I can't wait till next year.

    I really appreciate everyone who has posted on this forum over the years. The knowledge gained by reading all the threads was invaluable and definitely contributed to our success.
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    Thought I'd wrap up my thoughts on takedowns by letting you guys know we did finish up last monday, with the exception of one client that asked us to wait until mid february. I will do that when I get back from cruising the carribbean.

    I leave this wednesday and don't come back til February 14th. with the sinking of the costa ship over in italy they are nearly giving away cruises these days. I will be taking 2 week long ones back to back on different boats out of new orleans.

    Hope you guys will play nice while I am gone.
  5. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    Apparently I will still be taking down while you are sipping mai tai's....

    have fun.
  6. TimNNJ

    TimNNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Hey it's been a while since I have been on here. We had great weather right after the new year. We hit some 60 days so we worked everyday until everything was down. We sure do kill it taking the lights down. I took pictures with a buddies Nikon but they didn't come out to hot and it was right before we were taking them down..bad timing..some bulbs were out.
    I actually met with the clipper magazine people today to get ready for this years marketing. I need to get my postcards done in a the next few days for March already..sheesh..but the awesome thing she told me about was for 4k in November or October depends when I want to hit it, you get the front page of the magazine which hits 150000 homes in my wheel house. I thought that was a good deal. .16 cent post cards per 10k and they have another option for .11 postcard..that's all in..postage/print on glossy...if you can find them around your area it is the best bang for the buck I found...doing the post office postcards was a pain..and cost more then this option..just have to plan a few months in advance.or try now for the year..you can get setup on a payment plan. which will be nice instead of all that up front.
    This year I can't complain. We did the amount of worked I planned on..and left a bunch out there. Christmas Decor is popping up around here ..I heard you have to pay 50k to join?..sounds crazy?..I too would like to go Led ...but when I just don't like the white leds ..they just don't do it for me yet..but splitting up the c9 are a pain...but it is what it is....I wanted to post the article the paper did about us and a Christmas Decor around here but it is not available anymore on the web....I am in search of a 30' painters pole..lol..we wasted so much time with a tow behind lift..live and learn..also about 9 timers crapped out on me...what a pain..won't use those anymore for sure....Going to Mexico first week of March then back to work..Now doing designs for landscapes for when we get back and in talks with a pool and lawns company selling their Lawn and landscape side..2012 is going to be another great year..cheers guys
  7. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753


    Christmas decor is not 50k to get in and never has been. I think someone may have added a 0 to the actual cost.

    We use smart shopper which is a competitor of clipper, but he gives me great prices. Good for getting the name out there, but you will get tire kickers.

    I have not looked into the postcard option, I am thinking about doing the saturation mailer the post office is doing and just picking routes. probably cut down on the total cards I send out by 50%.
  8. NY Landscape Lighting

    NY Landscape Lighting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 121

    17 more to go. Hopefully some snow melts with this rain..
  9. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    we did the saturation walking route or every door direct mail thing and was satisfied with the results. we did 1 1/2 mailings in 2011 for Christmas and will do 3 full mailings in 2012 for Christmas lights. I will be sending out 3000+ cards a month starting this month for landscape lighting. I do believe you can spend 500 or 1000 this way and get back 10 times what you spend, maybe 20 times, but it is not a linear curve, I don't think you can spend 5000 and get 50k in sales.

    we have over 200 clients, have used lifts in the past for various things and used our scissor lift this year on one home. but by far the fastest and best thing to have is guys who are very good with ladders and climbing on roofs. we have a rope and harness for the crazy stuff, but 99% of our work is ladders and roof work. a lift often slows you down.
  10. TimNNJ

    TimNNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    I thought 50k was a bit crazy...lol...I was thinking about looking into it ..but I think we should be ok on our own...My main guy used to do roofing and some tree work so he was are roof guy..and climb in a tree if need be...I I know I took a hit on some trees I priced for sure..but that is the learning curve. I am looking forward to this year. I just wish the people I have for landscape stuff would let us get started since it's been so mild out..

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