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picframer
11-22-2009, 05:13 PM
Just kidding but.....

After doing this job today I am thinking I should change the company name to Insane Grade Leaf Collection, OMG this was a tough one, this is the X749 and it was all she could do to get up this grade, we dumped four times, a record and we have done some pretty bug lawns. Customer was so pleased wit the results that she gave us each an extra $50.00 cash so at the end of the day we went for pizza and a beer, man that went down well as itís been a very long day.

Steve
11-22-2009, 05:40 PM
That's wild! Do you have any idea what angle that slope was?

At what point is it just easier to blow the leaves down the hill and then vacuum them up?

You could use an incline gauge like attached to your hood LOL.

http://forum.ih8mud.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=100014&stc=1&d=1162089422

picframer
11-22-2009, 05:46 PM
No idea what the grade is but I had to use four wheel drive and differential lock front and rear to get up it, it's too slow to blow a pile, this place was about 1/2 an acre $185.00, we were in and gone in about an hour, me and one helper, we knocked off 6 jobs, the other crew managed 7. I would guess the grade was close to 40 degrees, there is no way a ZTR could mow this, she was hiring a guy with a push mower but asked if we would do it next year, she also asked about fixing the lawn, building a retaining wall so that she has some flat area, we will end up with a 30 to 40 thousand dollar contract, this is a very, very wealthy area.

Steve
11-22-2009, 05:59 PM
This makes me wonder, how long do you feel it would have taken the average lawn care business owner to do this job if they had to simply use leaf blowers?

How much do you feel they would have to charge to perform that job then?

We talk at times about the expense of equipment but this could be a great example of how having the right equipment can make a job feasible and profitable. Maybe the customer simply wouldn't have wanted anyone else to do it because they couldn't be as competitive as you.

picframer
11-22-2009, 07:01 PM
This makes me wonder, how long do you feel it would have taken the average lawn care business owner to do this job if they had to simply use leaf blowers?

How much do you feel they would have to charge to perform that job then?

We talk at times about the expense of equipment but this could be a great example of how having the right equipment can make a job feasible and profitable. Maybe the customer simply wouldn't have wanted anyone else to do it because they couldn't be as competitive as you.

I asked (and do ask clients what they have done in the past) this site she said for the past 4 years she as used a company that sends two employees, takes them about 4 to 5 hours and charged her $125.00, they hauled the leaves away...IMHO they are loosing money. She chose us as she has many flower gardens and now she will have compost for them in the spring, the way she looked at it and she is correct, the money she pays for compost is close to what we charge for the service.

The right equipment is critical and I fully understand many just simply can't afford some of the gear we have, that unit you are looking at with the leaf collector is almost $26,000, but it does far more than collect leaves, it can run a 5' roto tiller, go almost anywhere etc.

It takes money to make money, I know that, the more services you can offer and if you can afford to buy equipment that saves time, it pays for itself very, very quick, that has been my experience.

Steve
11-22-2009, 07:29 PM
That is so very interesting!

Did you have to sell her on the concept of she would be able to keep the compost and that would help offset her costs for compost next Spring?

I would figure the average home owner would choose the cheaper initial price even if the crew took longer because we all seem to have this immediate gratification desire we must answer to.

It is a fascinating topic when you think about how it is one company can compete with a lower tech, lower cost company.

justin_time
11-22-2009, 08:06 PM
Don't you have the tow behind vac hose for the unit ? Maybe it would of went faster to suck it up through the hose than trying to push the tractor/unit uphill

picframer
11-22-2009, 08:17 PM
Don't you have the tow behind vac hose for the unit ? Maybe it would of went faster to suck it up through the hose than trying to push the tractor/unit uphill

Yes but I am running the Gator high lift mulching blades which will left wet leaves, the vac unit you are speaking of we have but we use it for hard to reach areas, it's too much time, I can simply drive over the leaves up to 10" deep and they are gone, helper just blows in the edges, bedsm around rocks etc, we have the process nailed.

picframer
11-22-2009, 08:25 PM
That is so very interesting!

Did you have to sell her on the concept of she would be able to keep the compost and that would help offset her costs for compost next Spring?

I would figure the average home owner would choose the cheaper initial price even if the crew took longer because we all seem to have this immediate gratification desire we must answer to.

It is a fascinating topic when you think about how it is one company can compete with a lower tech, lower cost company.

Not sure, she contacted me, I gave her a quote, explained what our equipment will do, I am not a hard sale guy, this is what we do, this is the cost, I still get the bids.

The customer that wants the lower cost, is not my target market and never will be, I have the gear to provide a better service, as with anything it comes with a cost, we still get almost 95% of our bids, if you can't afford our service I respect that and I wish you well.

I think the difference is I am not hungry for work, I will give you a quote and you decide, for whatever reason, and I know it's because I have very specific areas where we work.

Most of the 5% we do not get is in areas I am not interested in.

Steve
11-22-2009, 08:29 PM
This is a great lessons for everyone to consider.

Instead of trying to focus on offering the lowest price, focus on offering the best service and the rest will follow.

she also asked about fixing the lawn, building a retaining wall so that she has some flat area, we will end up with a 30 to 40 thousand dollar contract, this is a very, very wealthy area.

It's amazing how a sloped lawn like that can render the yard useless. I bet they would like nothing more than to have a level back yard.