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your previous life

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by humble1, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,519

    I just wanted to start a thread to see what your job was before getting into the "chem biz" for instance rayhollio (sp?) has said he was a motorolla sales guy. Rodney farming corn, etc, me I have been in the landscaping trade on my own for 20 years, i also am on a firedept as an EMT.
  2. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    I've never had a "real" career. I've had lots of job, but I started doing this while I was in high school, I was a licensed applicator before I was old enough to vote.
  3. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

    No previous life for me. Started doing landscape maintenance in high school with my best friend. At the same time I got a DUI when I was 17 and for my community service work I started maintaining the baseball field at my high school because all we had was the janitor who mowed it once a week. I found out I enjoyed it so when I got accepted to the local university I went into horticulture. After several different avenues I'm back solo again and love it more than ever.

    On the side I work in the fly fishing industry consulting on fly rod design.
  4. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Airborne radar tech in the USAF led to working for DOD contractors, eventually becoming a National Sales mgr for a 15 Mill division. When peace broke out (when Russia collapsed) all these smaller companies got taken over by the big boys, like Lockheed and Northrup until there were few jobs to be had. Then... I started a small construction biz, then drove NYC subway trains. Now, I do this! But apps are only a portion of my new biz, I'm an LCO that uses IPM and apps. Been an interesting ride, that's for sure.

    This was sort of what I really wanted to do since I was a kid. My sequence in high school was ornamental horticulture. I've been winning some ribbons at the county fair for produce and flowers for a few years... so this is my hobby as well. Yeah, I'm an old fart.
  5. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,671

    Istarted with Chemlawn in 1990 after graduating college. Got disgusted with the owner (I could see I was going nowhere). Took tests for a couple FD's. I got on one as a Paid Firefighter/EMT. Took all the classes. Haz Mat Tech, Heavy Rescue Tech, Confined Space, and the list goes on. The only thing I didn't do was kiss the right a$$. After 9 years and 2 Lieutenants tests of being in the top 3 and not promoting. I weighed the good, the bad and the ugly and went with this. I Love it!. I love being with my family. I miss the guys and the work of the FD. I still see some of the guys. I don't miss the schedule or the politics.I wouldn't change a thing.
  6. T-Cart

    T-Cart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Hey guys,I am a new guy here.I started crop dusting in 1978,Retired from that after the 2004 season.Been in lawn care since then.Branching out into the spraying end this year.People ask me all the time how this compares to the other job and I tell them that it is a lot alike,Go down to the other end and turn around and come back,Keep doing this till you get to the other side.Little lower and a lot slower.:)T-Cart
  7. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    :laugh: hey, there have been some questions here lately about ULV spraying... you gotta know something about that! I'm a newbie myself, but welcome in any case! (I'm also likely about as fossilized as you are!)
  8. FdLLawnMan

    FdLLawnMan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,242

    After working 34.5 years as an engineering technician with the larges Marine Manufacturer in the world I was getting really sick of the politics. I was paid very well and had for the most part an interesting job. What got me was evdery day I was out doing applications I was for the most part happy. When I was at work I couldn't wait to get back outside. I started this as a part time job 4 years ago. My customer base grew from 4 to 32 to 64 to 104. I knew it was time to get out when I was out of vacation in June. The company was looking for volunteers to take early retirement and I jumped at it. I am in the midst of sending out my renewals and marketing for the coming season. I couldn't be happier.
  9. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    From 1985 - 2001, I was a house painter who had the luxury of working on brand new 200K-600K houses. Old houses are NOT fun to paint! I worked for my uncle and worked my way up to foreman. I left when I realized I'd gone as far as I was going to go. I began my family and needed health insurance and a 401K.

    In early 2001, I went to work for the Lawn Company of Cape Cod and jumped into the lawn fertilization business. I learned this trade from one of the most respected agronomists in the state of Mass and many 10-20 year veterans. We had in-house classes every winter and were always encouraged to "do the right thing." I serviced a route of 450+ customers for two years and then jumped into the tree/shrub department. I enjoyed that a lot and picked up a lot of knowledge. This lasted for two more years and then I jumped into management.

    During this time, Scotts Lawn Service bought us out and basically ran a once successful business right into the ground. ALL of the 10-20 year veterans left and the place was run by idiots at Corporate Headquarters who only cared about increased revenue and how they were going to get it. That location is still in business but the average employee has about 1 year of experience and the turnover rate is probably close to 200%. Our retention rate of close to 90% under the previous leadership is now down to about 81% under Scotts' leadership (I have one friend left who still works there and he gives me the info). Despite the fact that their employees leave at an alarming rate and their customers are now beginning to jump ship too, their revenues have held up because they keep increasing their pricing. It became so difficult to work for them, I quit and moved onto greener pastures.

    I'm now an Assistant Branch Manager at a John Deere Landscapes location and I love it!
  10. garydale

    garydale LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    Happy to say I've been in green industry my whole life.
    Started at 14 years of age pulling weeds for $1.00 per hour.(Now 60 years old)
    Greenhouses 4 years
    Garden Center 4 years
    Residential landscape 5 years
    Large Commercial Maintence 8 years (Award winning)
    Large Commercial Landscape 10 years (Award winning)
    Certified Applicator Business 12 years
    It's been good to me!

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