Value of licensing for small LCO

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by conepile, Dec 1, 2001.

  1. conepile

    conepile LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    I trying to decide whether the effort to get certified to put down weed control and grub control is worth it; I'm looking at less than 30 clients. I'm in Indiana and it seems I need the 3B type, and maybe more. What do I need? I got a packet from the state chemist, but there is contradictory information, both in what they sent me and what I was told on the phone. For example, there is reference to certification required for all tank-mixed applications, yet another reference says all types.

    I don't know what effort is required for being able to legally apply dry products (fertilizer, weed control, grub control), but the effort to apply it is minimal. Also, what are the implications with Round-Up (or similar product) in a pump sprayer for spot use? Of course, all of this is fee-based.

    Any insight/advice is appreciated.
  2. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    You need a license for it all: everything but fertilizer.

    Any substance this is meant to control, repel, damage or kill a living organism is a pesticide and you need a license.

    Weeds, grubs, fungus: all require a license regardless of formulation: dry or spray.

    You need a license to legally apply Round-Up as well. Some guys fade this one and have their mowing crews do it, but you need a license for it.
  3. jdwilliams1

    jdwilliams1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 97

    Conepile, I work in Indianapolis also. Everything Kent Lawns said is true. I just recently got my 3a and 3b and the process is not that bad nor expensive but many tangents need to be considered. From start to finish you will spend over $500 for the needed classes and certifications. The programs are only offered certain times of the year and I don't think they are offering anymore training until next fall but I could be wrong, this training is $275. Unless you have a certain amount of on the job training w/ another licensed company you must take this training. You must have a 3b just to put Preen down on mulch beds. If you are currently cutting grass your insurance will need to be changed to cover this aspect of your business. Is it worth it? 30 customers really may not be worth it, and unless I was planning on turning 30 into something bigger I probably would let someone else take care of that for your clients. 30 customers will decrease your profit margin because you will be purchasing your product for more than the average company, but don't let me discourage you. It can be the best profit maker you have and we all start somewhere but you must plan on growing and with a 3a you can advertise a new service for your customers and sometimes they appreciate that!
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I'm not exactly sure how it is in your state, but here in Michigan, it doesn't matter if it's liquid, granular, powder, or whatever. If it's a pesticide, you are required to be certified AND licensed as a business to do this on your own. If it's just fert., then no certification and/or licencing involved. Ideally, for 30 accounts, if you can find someone to sub for you, and do your 2 herbicide aps. That leaves you 4 aps you can do yourself. Extremely lucrative. I'll probably be phasing right out if the mowing in a few years, if this keeps up at the rate I'm going. I still would LOVE to do a few acounts, and I KNOW I want to keep my equipment for cleanups and stuff.;)
  5. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    I have to agree. It probably is not worth it. I have about 140 customers for mowing and maitenance, 10 required full service, so I got licensed last year. I used to sub the work but could not find a sub who wasnt unreliable, inconsistant or effective. So I got my license. $275 for the Purdue course is right. $700.00 for electric spreader and a push spreader. $2,900 for a spray rig. $60.00 for remote testing at H & R Block $3,000 for a dedicated spray truck (and your going to need one). About $100.00 per year for CCH's. Change Insurance companies, and your ready to start. Start worying what kind of quality your guys are doing, how they are driving, If they checked the oil, why they aren't where they are supposed to be ect. Applications are a different type of business, just as installation are. They are more profitable than maintance, in my opinion, but soly because of lower equipment cost. If you do decide to do it you will have to run it like it is a seperate company. I am glad I got my license---- I think.
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    A lot of good advise has been already given. I agree with everyone. But will add my .02

    Ask your self. Are in it for the long run???----If your answers is YES.------>==Then your answer is yes it is worth. If it is worth it, then it is worth doing well. Don't just get a lic, get as much education as possible. The learning curve is a long low sweeping curve that goes up slowly. This curve is never ending. But rewards From this curve come early on. The reward curve runs parallel to the learning curve but slightly above it. You reap what you soo.

    You do not have to start with Russ's equipment list (he might of even lowballed the cost????). A good backpack sprayer and spreader can get you going. It takes 3 years of practise to get good and 3 life times to be an expert. Study hard and practise on a few yards until you know what you are doing. Good luck

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