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What is it with fly by nighters

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Gravel Rat, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. Bleed Green

    Bleed Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,514

    That is very true too. Most of the advertising that my Dad gets for his company is by word of mouth and repeat customers who were happy with the previous work that we have done for them.
  2. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,793

    if it wasn't hard enough fighting the lowballing fly-by-nighters...


    Cheapskate. Like fill dirt in Texas is worth something? Um, Texas has more worthless ground, pit run, and fill than most two states combined.
  3. zak406

    zak406 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    thanks alot for agreeing with me man :)*trucewhiteflag*
  4. shooterm

    shooterm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 463

    Going to be honest after our company shut its doors we have fifty unemployed operators that make handymen look like fools. We lost work to concrete companies running equipment, out of state blacktop companies doing gas stations and Amish backed GC's. Its just a sign of the times everyone needs to try to make money some how.
  5. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    I have seen both the "legitimate" and fly-by-night outfits use the same low quality workers. Drinking, smoking, acting stupid and doing mediocre work. Labor is labor, and that usually involves immigrants or ex-cons who will work for peanuts. No wonder I always dismissed the landscape business as a no-profit industry. Yes I have been in it before, yes I do the occasional jobs for cash to survive but most of my work is fixing other people's equipment. Recently I was upset about an idiot that drills 36" tree holes in rock for around 3.00 each. The funny thing is that I got a call to fix a Bobcat 963 and it was the same guy! The operator ran it without oil and blew the engine. If the engine cannot be fixed it will be at least 5K to replace it or 3K for a short block Perkins. Now the low-baller is out of the picture so a friend's friend who hired him is desperate to finish the holes for the agricultural exemption and has asked me to do it with my 863. I told him 50.00 a hour. Unfortunately I do not currently have liability insurance but maintain my LLC in case I get more business and will get it again. On an empty lot with no easments there is basically nothing that can go wrong. I get no unemployment or other assistance as previous income was from the security camera business and financial problems bankrupted the company a friend and I started, who is no longer a friend it seems. At the rate I am going I may make more money fixing the equipment of the lowballers and end up with more machines for my collection. You would be surprised how often a fly by night company opts to leave behind a machine because it is too expensive to fix or they got put in jail for bad behavior.
  6. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    Dont take this the wrong way, but $50 an hour for a machine with a drill is pretty cheap. You are also driving the prices down, beacause you dont have the expense of insurance every month. What would you do if some how you did hit a utility or a kid putting your machine on the float?
  7. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Believe it or not it is the going rate in this area. The lot has a fence and is in the middle of nowhere. I take my time because it is an old machine so it all works out in the end. He could find someone else easily but asked me because once the fly-by-nighters come around, the thefts begin shortly after. My lot is only one street away and none of these lots have any utilities. Biggest danger is facing a wild pig or alligator.
  8. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,793

    I spent more than 14 years in S. Florida. $50 is not the going rate for a legitimate company operating a 74 hp machine with an auger. I think you are leaving money on the table. You can't tell me that here in S. Central Texas, where we can get $65-90 hour competing against exchange students who bring out a coffee can and an iron bar is that far ahead in per hour work than South Florida. If you are able to work cheaper because you have no insurance, you are part of the problem in the industry. No recognized hazards or not, you owe it to your customers to carry insurance when you are operating a business. What about sales tax? Do you have a sales tax permit? That adds to your costs in compliance fees and time.
  9. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    No sales tax on services in Florida to agricultural customers as far as I know. I do not do this for a living so it is just to help a neighbor solve his problem. I do have a sales tax number when I sell parts to retail customers though.
  10. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,793

    It's the same way in TX. Nobody can blame you for helping out a friend for what you think is fair. If you were to work the machine for a living, though, my opinion would still stand. I still think you should carry a rider for your machine regardless of where you use it...just to put some protection between you or your customers and a disaster like a gas line or water main.

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