We are done with takedowns ! we actually finished taking down items on tuesday or the 18th, and the shop foreman and shop crew finished unloading and warehousing those items on the 19th. we also cleaned all the trucks and organized a ton of stuff yesterday at the shop to get ready for next year. we still had some miscellaneous boxed up stuff in the shop/organization to finish up today, but we are snowed in and probably will finish that tomorrow. then next week, finally getting back to finishing construction on my shop. I am absolutely thrilled with finishing takedowns this early. I normally finish up on Jan 31 or so, sometimes going as late as Feb. 5. I went back and checked, and the last time we finished this early was 2004. that was way back when we had a lot less clients. and less workers to be sure. The main thing that was different this year was twofold: running 4 crews on takedowns and fantastic weather the first week of January. I can't believe I always forget how much a crew can take down in a day when the weather is decent. It seems the first few days I was underloading the guys with work, and then I overload them and they can't fit it all in thier truck. it really was a balancing act, as you can send guys to 5 houses in the same neighborhood, and then they can't fit it all in the truck. or they can do 3 of those and then some c-9 jobs a few neighborhoods over with less volume ( garland, bows, yard art-steel frame structures, wreaths ) but more work ( roof time. I will repeat it here what I have learned this year, that on my jobs, 2 guys working 8-5 or 8-6 on good weather days, without perfect routing, cannot effectively do takedowns all day with a 14 foot box van. 18-20 foot is what is really needed. I would say 16 foot is the minimum if it is an 8 foot tall box with the shelf over the cab like a uhaul or aero van. so all you guys looking to buy a boxvan next year or an enclosed trailer need to plan on that. If we had larger trucks, we would have finished last week easy. and payroll would have been probably less. but getting things done quicker this year REALLY minimized complaints.