What to look for?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by knox gsl, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,249

    I am continuing to grow my lawn maintenance business and am lacking in the area of lawn care. Its been my experience that the spray techs tend to tell customers that everything that is wrong with their property is the fault of the mowing company or irrigation system and I would like to have control of the whole thing instead of playing the blame game. I also understand that the profit margins are better here than in mowing and help is easier to get and keep. I plan on studying and getting all certifications over the next few months while starting to pick up equipment here and there to outfit a truck for next season.

    What I'm looking for is recommendations of the type of equipment to look for to do my applications. My focus will be on residential properties under 1/2 acre. I will provide tree and shrub care but will focus on turf. I would ideally like to have a 1ton SRW box truck to work off of with a skid sprayer and push spreader but that is why I'm asking these questions. It seems like at first I may be better served with a 3/4 ton pickup as it can also be used to tow a trailer or used as a work truck when not on a route. What size skid sprayer will work well in this scenario, I'm not above pulling hose, and from my research 2gpm is pretty common. Should I just skip all the BS and just get a good ride-on?

    Lastly, for the guys that are full service and mow also how well can you take a fert and squirt account and sell them on full service?
  2. Biogreen

    Biogreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    do you have fescue or bermuda yards?
  3. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Unless you really want to get into applications sub it out to a good local operator and develop a relationship with him. I know very few lawn maintenance and landscaping companies that even do lawn apps.
  4. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,249

    Both and mixed, I hate the mixed ones.
  5. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,249

    I want to do both as I would ideally would like to hire someone full time to run a route for me. My goal is to be a full service, one call landscape business.
  6. Nate'sLawnCare

    Nate'sLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,001

    I just got my certification, so this will be my first year doing apps. I'm primarily targeting my existing customers to provide a full service, so I'm not making huge investments in equipment. I will primarily be doing a little Round-Up and maybe some pre-emergents. You might want to take it slow as well and since you're doing 1/2 acre and under, a backpack sprayer should work well for now. I have a Redmax I've used on my own property and I like it. Good luck.
  7. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,257

    I'm up the road from you in Kingsport. I spray liquid for everything for WARM SEASON turf ON THE COAST, which is totally different from Fescue/Blue grass that we have here. My advise is to KNOW your Turf and its habits: ie, what does it look like when healthy, when is starved, when drought hits, how about fungus: do you know what it is and looks like and how to prevent it; almost every aspect. Visit a golf course superintendent. Fescue is the easiest grass to maintain. I will suggest that you only accept a few small lawns that you can take document and take through a whole season using a backpack and good spreader. This will teach you the turf, time management of each. IF you can accept a healthy lawn and some that aren't; such as weedy and poor soil conditions. Becoming a REAL Lawn expert is not an overnight job that you can get from a book. Weather will get you down at times or send your lawns into dormancy in the summer. Learn all of this so you can be honest with your clients.
    How old are you? Hope you're in good physical shape. Lawn Care needs it. Very soon, you'll be able to take on an employee (Need to gross over $40K/person) to warrant each. Under that, your overhead, insurance, maintenance, salary will override your profit margin. Business practices are more than just writing a check.
    Anyway just too much to write about. Go slow and think things through. PM ME EXACTLY WHAT YOU DO!!! . I'm in Knoxville often and might stop bye sometime if needed.
  8. avguy

    avguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 565

    Roy....I met James (Knox gsl) 2 years ago through this site and hired him to help me with some things around my place. He's a bright guy with a strong work ethic. He's even helped me some in my business. Any knowledge you could share with him I'm sure would be appreciated.

    James....good luck! Scott

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