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. Madmaks

    Madmaks LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 27

    Which means stay as far away from husky as possible. I use to have a pz 52 and when you shut the deck off, after mowing 4" of dry grass, a whole hay bale would fall out. Piece of crap.
  2. Dirt Diver

    Dirt Diver LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 258

    List of some of the tips off the top of my head that I wish I would have known starting out...
    in no particular order. (Obviously, some are personal opinion suited to our situation.) ———save yourself some headaches:
    1) use PB Blaster on a frequent basis on the ratchet strap mechanisms and on the 21” wheel/height adjustments.
    2) if you use ratchet straps, get good ones
    3) ALWAYS carry business cards
    4) keep 3 sets of blades for each mower...easiest way to always make sure one set is sharp
    5) a battery powered impact wrench is the 8th wonder of the world for changing blades as frequently as you should
    6) Stihl safety glasses—the $10.99 in dark and smoke have been the best for staying on and limited fogging
    7) carry a tire plug kit...I’ve been amazed how they hold...also cig lighter powered air compressor
    8) add more good reflective tape to your trailer...if you have a trailer light failure after dark, it makes a huge difference
    9) Stabil Marine to every gas can fill up. This is dependent on where you live, but with only ethanol conveniently available here, it has made a big difference for us..
    10) HRX 217 has been a much better fit than the tank HRC for us...lighter, cheaper, and easier/faster to maneuver, and a better mulcher. Last as long? Maybe not, but we’ve yet to wear one out!
    11) before the season starts, buy enough motor oil, air and oil filters, and grease for the entire season. You’ll stay up on maint better.
    12) when you get a new lawn, immediately knock on the door of every neighbor within 5 or 6 houses in each direction and tell them you are mowing for so-and-so. This has had the highest rate of return of any marketing we’ve done.
    13) type II justrite gas cans. Less spill, won’t tip over in truck, and on and on
    14) for us, the largest model MoJack has been well worth...similar to the impact above, it helps me safely change the blades as often as I should
    15) Fluid Film—great rust proofer under the trailer, etc..
    16) Grass Flap is hands down our best OCDC
    17) a laminated daily checklist in the truck to makes sure you have everything before heading out
    18) keep a tourniquet and hemostatic gauze in the truck or on the mower (learn how to use on YouTube)
  3. Todd73

    Todd73 LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Florida
    Messages: 2,485

    Always work like there’s someone watching...because there probably is.
  4. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Messages: 2,114

    Very good point and so true. No pizzing behind the shed........

    We have some unwritten rules at where I work. We only do commerical jobs, HOAs, Conds etc. No private homes.

    Landscapers are always the first to get blamed if some thing is broken, missing or what every the clinet feels we did. Cover your azz !

    Always be on the look out for broken windows or personal property. Take a minute or 2 and walk a property, cover your azz, stop and let the owner or your supervisor know.

    DON'T move personal/private property. Mow around it or get the owner to move it.

    Dogs and cats are not your friends, kids are worst, keep away from them.

    There are some people out there just looking to get over on you, cover your azz
    Bcoogan23, Lanton, Walker56 and 3 others like this.
  5. LawnVeteran

    LawnVeteran LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    No way! You get to learn like the rest of us. But seriously the most important thing to take care of is your health and your workers health. Eat good. Hydrate. Take breaks. Watch each other as a team. It doesn't matter what kind of mower you have if your about to pass out!
  6. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,505

    My advice? Just don't be the new guy. There is like 1 lawn care company for every 2 people in my area (or so it seems) lol..If I were thinking of being the new guy, I wouldn't be haha..unless I just wanted to cut 4 or 5 yards for some extra money. The only reason I built mine back up full time for the second time is because it just sort of happened and I didn't really want it to, AND I already had the connections and people asking for me to service for them again.
  7. Greencuts518

    Greencuts518 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,841

    Yeah I'm on my second go around, 20 years later. Cool to see how things have changed but many things are the same. It's low stress $$ compared to other ways of making $$. So here we go again. I had nicer equipment 20 years ago but had debt. Now my solo rig is paid in full and just looking for another source of income, but don't you know my phone is ringing regularly and I have been picking and choosing versus taking anything that comes my way.
    Neides Lawn likes this.
  8. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,505

    It's the same for me, I have only been back full time for 11 months and my gross is probably 40% less than what it was when I stopped full time the first time. But, my expenses are down and everything I have is paid for. I didn't buy any equipment last year but had to buy some already this year, plus I wanted an enclosed trailer again, but I still got a small one this time. My stress level is so much better this time around just running solo 95% of the time. My phone has been ringing way more than I thought it would, and I don't even think I want any more mowing accounts unless something great just falls in my lap. It has been a nice feeling.
    sjessen likes this.
  9. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 5,489

    It feels good to be wanted, doesn’t it!
    landscaper22 likes this.
  10. landscaper22

    landscaper22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,505

    Really nice feeling. That's the problem with the "new guy" They are not really wanted. lol...They have not built up a reputation and so many do poor quality work, and don't show up when they say they are going to. People don't like that.
    Bcoogan23, Neides Lawn and sjessen like this.

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