"You are judged by your equipment"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BAMARED, Aug 13, 2002.


    BAMARED LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    That old saying holds more truth in this business than any other that I've ever seen. (And probably for good reasons.) Not only judged by your customers or prospective customers but by your competitors as well.

    Makes me think of this old fellow that I knew a long time ago. He was what I would call a "master" golfer. When he went out to play a round or two, all that he carried with him was a #1 iron. He did it all with this one club - putted, drove, etc. Not only that, but he could beat 99% of all the other golfer out there. He was really something to see. Can't remember his name but I just remember him as looking like he was in his mid-late 60's and kind of rough around the edges. If someone would to judge him from their first impression, they would have been wrong.

    At any rate, sorry to get off on that tangent - but if an LCO or individual has late model, clean, state of the art equipment chances are he knows what he's doing. Has anyone ever seen any exceptions to this rule?


  2. summitgroundskeeping

    summitgroundskeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    More than I can count.
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Quote: - but if an LCO or individual has late model, clean, state of the art equipment chances are he knows what he's doing. Has anyone ever seen any exceptions to this rule?

    Know of a couple former companies that had new trucks and equipment. Went out and bought all the stuff, but did they have "business sense?" Must not of, they aren't around anymore.

    And why does new equipment and a new truck mean that someone knows what they are doing? Most anyone nowadays can get a line of credit. It doesn't take much to sign your name on the dotted line for a new a truck.

    An example of one "company" that comes to mind. Owner went out and bought a new truck and a new Z.
    "Wow, I'm impressed. NOT!"
    We know exactly where he lives. If his house is worth $15,000 I'd be surprised. So does that mean his business is doing good?

    New equipment and vehicles doesn't guarantee a good business.
    Appropriate sized equipment for the lawns a company is maintaining, and a good reliable clean truck(s) is what is important in this business.
    Bells and whistles are not needed here. Smart planning and setting goals for your business is.
  4. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Messages: 1,540

    Although I do believe our 'outward image/personal appearance' has a lot to do with our success, I feel that the quality of our work (and our 'people skills') is what really keeps 'em coming back for more.

    A $100,000 equipment list wont make a business succeed if the work is sloppy and the attitude is bad.
  5. deason

    deason LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    I agree 100%

    One can go out and buy "new everything". But without customers, planning, and a good finished product, it will sit on the trailer.

    No, this means that the LCO is in debt. Or, has enough revenue to finance these expenditures. Either way, It still does'nt represent a knowledge of the business. It represents the knowledge of the fact that new and shiny stuff are appealing to the eye. That is one small selling point for your business. The rest of your business' succcess lies in you ability to manage and satisfy your customer base and its assignments.

    Being in the "service" industry, we rely on what others need and what we can offer. These "others" are called customers. Customers are not binded by employment laws that hender them from firing you without proper reason. At any given time they can call you and say "your work sucks, therefore you are fired" (along with all your shiny brand new equipment).

    Bottom line here is that if you are not a "go getter", if you are not managing your operation to the penny, if you dont take pride in your job, and you dont intend to satisfy the customer and only yourself, you will not succeed. (then the bank calls tells you they are coming to get all then new and shiny stuff)
  6. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    i agree with your statements as to peoples impression of lcos. thats just facts . now as to whether it is a measurement of his ability and standard of work. the only man i know for sure that is better than i am ,at what i do, uses
    his whatever lt. mr eudy just leaves a perfect everything for the folks he can still do. he got cancer and im inheriting his wk, as he slowly pulls out of it to fight his fight.my equipment is the best in my opinion. but when i used a lt ,my work was just as good as now.just faster now.
    i dont know for sure ,but suspect that mr. stone, a past member of this forum, uses older dependable toro walk-behinds. some of his work is pictured in older post. in my opinion he did what he did well.in summation ,i suspect your post to be for the most part accurate. but there are exceptions to most rules.later now:)
  7. mowngrow

    mowngrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    he who dies with the most toys... wins. not true there is always an exception to the rule. i started out with non-comm. equipment,
    so i was more aware of the job i was doing took my time and beleive it ir not my job looked as good if not better that the comm. cutter. since however i am strictly commercial and i must say that they do a much better job and a lot quicker.
    i was also worried about what people thought on the first impression but it was the last impression( when i was leaving their driveway with the check in hand)that really counts

    dont always judge a book by its cover, because that book might take YOUR business
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    We have a saying in the music industry.

    The best guitar in the world won't make a crappy player any better but the best player in the world can make a crappy guitar sound great.

    It applies to lawn equpment too.
  9. KLMlawn

    KLMlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    Hey, I have an '84 F-350, beefed up the springs a bit, but it isn't anywhere close to new, but it is in good mechanical condition, and I keep it clean and polished ... same with my '97 (6x12) Haulmark enclosed. I try to keep everything as clean and neat as I can, even the mowers, and I stay on top of maintenance and repairs. I continue to keep most of my customers happy, am getting new one from time to time, and plan on being in this business for many years to come .... unlike a number of knuckleheads I know that have gone out and bought a business, sold all the equipment so thhey could buy new, and honestly, I never see them around anymore ... Gee, I wonder why????
  10. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    "Never judge a book by its cover" & "Looks can be deceiving"

    I don't agree that if one has a nice set-up that he/she knows what they are doing.. However I do believe that some people think so..

    I did have a client comment to me one day.. "I'd rather have your nice rig in front of my house instead that jalopy down there" (pointing to another LCO). It was the first time he had seen this LCO and knew nothing about him or his work.. yet he judged him purely on looks.

    I do believe it is important to look good as a professional but it doesn't mean I know more than the next guy.

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