TIPS, Do's and Don'ts tips for the new guy

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Eric ELM, Apr 16, 2001.

  1. pablodelapena

    pablodelapena LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    *trucewhiteflag*hi iam new here ,advise on grassbrown spots.put ice tea bags in the grown about 1 inch deep. about 1feet apart.and you will have green grass .:cool2:
  2. tomc327

    tomc327 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 0

    I use the Bates brand boots with the steel toes and zipper on the side. I can tie them with double knots and never worry about them coming undone and getting tangled in anything.
    Double and triple check your math before submitting invoices if you don't have software to do it. It makes you look like an idiot and you feel really stupid when you ask why the check is less than the invoice.
    Take your time when looking at jobs for an estimate and look from different views. Nothing worse than looking ahead at two more days work after the third day on a job you estimated 4 days on and priced that way. That's another day of workers, gas and valuable time that you aren't getting paid for.
    And finally always use the right tool for the job. A weed whacker isn't going to clear an overgrown drainage swale, that's a heavy equipment job.
    Thanks to everyone for there wisdom and lessons. Be safe out there.
  3. Animal

    Animal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    First post here looks like lots of good info to be found.

    yes this is so true, I learned the hard way,that hearing protections is a must. when I engage the blades on this John Deere 737, I know where it got the name from, it sound as loud as a

    I have learned the little yellow foam earplugs do the best. I tried the head set kind and after awhile learned not only do they start to hurt. but also get snagged on low limbs.

    RECESSION PROOF MOWING LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    You want good advice, here's some good advice...

    Do only what you are good at. That means, if you're a "mow and blow" guy, only bid on "mow and blow" jobs. Don't bid on the ultra-anal-retentive corporate lawn that requires overseeding, aeration, multi-striping, edging, etc. Know what you do best and concentrate on that.

    Buy used, good equipment. Never buy new. Low to moderate hour machines are just fine. Commercial equipment is built to last these days so don't go into debt heavily just to mow 30 lawns or so. Keep your head on straight.

    When a client says that somebody else could mow for less...tell them to hire 'em...TODAY! Never get into a pissing contest with a customer because they will lie, they will say whatever they have to and leave you hanging out to dry. If I can mow that yard for $35 and customer says another guy bid it out for $25, say to her, "Can I have his number...he can mow my yard, too"!

    Make your new best friend your dealer. Find a dealer who will service your used equipment and then get on a first-name-basis with him. He'll find equipment for you, repair emergencies, in of the key elements to my personal success in the mowing business is ready and willing dealer involvement. Get to know the service personnel as well.
  5. IXR

    IXR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Never under bid yourself!
    Gas is $3.69 here in Wichita, think what it costs you to haul your equipment around AND the upkeep it needs.
    If a home owner says they can get it done cheaper... let them do it!
    If you take a job just to get a customer and do it too cheap, you'll just be mad at yourself and loose money too.
    I love what I do, but none of us can do it for free!

    Here is a great idea... maybe some of you guys already do this but,
    I posted an ad on craigslist for "free gass clippings, mulch, compost, horse feed".

    I can't bring enough home! It is amazing how many people want them.
    And I don't have to take them to a compost heap or the landfill.

    Maybe I am the last guy to figure that out but it is sure a cool way to get rid of them!

    Hope all is having a great season... work safe.

    P.S. Welcome "Animal".
  6. bare spot

    bare spot LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,457

    i should of paid attention to this post, second time in two yrs, dead battery (lights were on). got lucky again with good a samaritan and wasn't much downtime but picking one up tom.
  7. tomc327

    tomc327 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 0

    I thought I was drinking enough water and even mixing in some Gatorade, until yesterday. You have to keep hydrated more than you think you need to. When the heat gets to you it's too late. The work suffers just because you can't keep up. Just take my word for it and drink the water.
  8. badzy

    badzy LawnSite Member
    from florida
    Messages: 1

    in any business, whether landscaping or not; the key to success always lies on your interest and conviction. Your keenness will guide throughout the business process and through "rise and fall"
  9. Cornraker

    Cornraker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Always keep a can of starting fluid in the truck!
  10. joefish

    joefish LawnSite Member
    from Va
    Messages: 1

    I found that it's the little things that can shut you down. A $3.00 idler spring, water in the gas. I found that it's easier and cheaper to spend $100.00 on a simple box of spare parts than the time and gas you spend going to the dealer. Make sure that your fuel containers are clean. As for the electric clutch bit... MY Bad Boy with 26HP kaw water cooled will not handle the blades at low RPM without killing the engine. Factory rep said
    to engage at full RPM. I agree with those who say "no" to this as it puts tremendous shock to the belts idler springs and makes my jaw muscles ache. TIP that works for me -- " At low RPM (above idle) I give the engine a little choke at the same time I pull the switch for the electric clutch. I get a little puff of black smoke but it's alot smoother start... Hope this helps t!! Also -- It's hot out there - need to cool down quickly -- Dip a towel in cool water and wrap around you neck -- drink water not sodas - you can do a better job thinking about what you are supposed to be doing rather than how sick you are going to feel.
    As my grandmother says -- "If you need something call me, I will tell you how to do without..! :)

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