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Want to hit myself with a hammer!

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Surferbum21, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Surferbum21

    Surferbum21 LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW OKC
    Messages: 392

    B/c I am stressing myself out so much. As most of you know I am trying to get into the application side of lawn care and have taken my test and have equipment I am possibly buying. After all this I am trying to figure out if it is worth getting into? I know a lot of you guys enjoy it but after reading up on some of the threads on here it confused me. How much money is there really to be made in fert&squirt applications? I have done lawn care and landscape for 10 years now and have built it to where I am making roughly 100k pre-tax. Should I rather stay with this and just expand mow&blow? Or is chemical apps a good venture? With one helper last year I never made less than $600/day after paying out and easily made $800-1000 on good days. I never made less than $60/hr and usually would make $90-100/hr. I do this b/c I have good routes with 3-4 lawns in a row that we can knock out within the hour.

    i think the thread I read kind of scared me about getting into chemical apps b/c of the stated profit margin. Like how much money are you guys really making (if you don't mind me asking)? Are you able to spray and generate $100k/year? I know I'm not going to make that just off apps right off but I am wondering how much can you really make doing this? I prob work 10 hr days 5-6 days with 2 FULL months off in the winter and still make a killing not to mention I work half day on wed and never work sundays and most the time take of saturdays. Do you spray guys make equivalent with time off whenever you want? It just seems like with how much is factored into spraying (wind, rain, licensing, accounting for chemical usage, etc.) that it might not be worth the headache...

    Main question is...should I stick with just mowing/landscaping? Or should I do both? and is this something I can slowly get into and eventually get rid of mowing b/c the money is so much better? I mean is the money really that much better?

    P.S. Thanks everyone for putting up with me for the past month
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  2. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Eh nevermind
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009
  3. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    My personal belief is that one with 10 years in the lawn care business should inherently know the answer to your question. But to answer your question yes provide the service, but first slap yourself for waiting so long to provide this service
  4. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    The money has always been excellent. The margins much higher than mowing. Let me explain: One applicator and one truck can service on average 30 lawns in a day. More if the route is tight and the lawns are average size. One truck can generate $1000 to $1500 a day. If that same truck is doing grub applications you can double those numbers. If he's doing regular applications along with those grub apps you can triple those numbers. When's the last time a lawn mowing crew ( 2-3 guys , a truck and trailer and a whole bunch of expensive equipment) did those kind of numbers?
    Do you still need to think about it?
  5. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    yuup, always good profit if priced right. you better kiss your free time away though if that is all you have right now. you will quickly spend lots of time trying to get apps done especially if you get a decent number of them. you could hire someone else to do it for you or hire more to help mow and you do apps to improve time usage, but good luck with that one. you are well aware i am sure how hard itis to find good help
  6. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    You can generally gain higher margins from various markets because the level of expertise & licensing for a professional in the "squirt & fert" business is PERCEIVED BY THE PUBLIC to be higher than that of mowing contractors (generally) Plus, it's also a game of numbers. There simply are too many people mowing grass!

    The key to all of this from the get-go...is KNOWLEDGE.

    Genuine shining self-confidence of what you need to do (or NOT to do!) with weeds, bugs & brown spots (diseases) in turf will gain you that initial respect you'll need to get that "referral train" started with the carry-over mowing customers.

    1st and foremost............Do your homework in the field! :waving:
    Don't just read a couple State of (whatever) study guides & take the pesticide operaters's test, and walk up to your new spray truck thinking you're in like Flint.
    Go to some local university field days and/or outdoor seminars, where people get down on their hands & knees and get dirty, discussing the in's and out's of what you'll need to be talking to your customers about, down the road.

    Don't be afraid to flex your mind toward newer ideas & market trends.....especially things like offering a "greener" division of your business, that could offer mechanized compost application in turf, and/or "step" organic lawn feeding programs using a rotation of protein meals like corn meal, soybean meal & alfalfa meal.

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