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B-2 Lawncare
10-21-2010, 08:58 PM
what's up boys, I am looking at a forecast with snow in it. Dammit!! We are still waiting on the leaves to fall. A lot of the trees still have green leaves on them, witch is unusual for this time of year.
I am sure that we aren't going to get dumped on, but I would rather be ready for it. So I am taking the 2305 off the fall clean up's, I am going to take off the blower for now and put the blade on.
Anybody else in this boat with me?

Hedgemaster
10-21-2010, 10:54 PM
what's up boys, I am looking at a forecast with snow in it. Dammit!! We are still waiting on the leaves to fall. A lot of the trees still have green leaves on them, witch is unusual for this time of year.
I am sure that we aren't going to get dumped on, but I would rather be ready for it. So I am taking the 2305 off the fall clean up's, I am going to take off the blower for now and put the blade on.
Anybody else in this boat with me?


No snow here, but you wouldn't know it to hear the forecaster on the six o'clock news... why all the talk about possible snowfall 100 miles from here is beyond me. Oh yeah... ratings, that's why.


And damn, that's a nice setup.

picframer
10-22-2010, 05:04 AM
No snow in the forecast which is very rare for us, temps are just amazing and I hope they continue, as for leaves, it's been a fall like I have never seen, hardly any leaves down, our leaves would generally have fallen by now especially with the winds we get.

Steve
10-22-2010, 10:55 AM
Holy Crap! That thing is going to eat any snow in it's path! WOW!

What is the benefit of a snow blower attachment vs a plow? Is it better for lighter or heavier snow or what?

Also, NOAA released this information about the upcoming winter.

The winter temperature image caption said "This map shows NOAA's temperature probabilities for December through February. For example, much of the South is predicted to have a greater than 50 percent chance of being warmer than normal this winter."

B-2 Lawncare
10-22-2010, 02:20 PM
Holy Crap! That thing is going to eat any snow in it's path! WOW!

What is the benefit of a snow blower attachment vs a plow? Is it better for lighter or heavier snow or what?

Also, NOAA released this information about the upcoming winter.

The winter temperature image caption said "This map shows NOAA's temperature probabilities for December through February. For example, much of the South is predicted to have a greater than 50 percent chance of being warmer than normal this winter."

The benefit of a blower over a plow is in heavy drifting snow, a plow will move heavy snow but with heavy and drifting snow you only have to make one pass with the blower.
I live in the foot hills of the Rocky's we havent had a good winter for some time, I am looking at buying the broom for light snows for the warm winter that NOAA is forecasting.
On the personal front the warm fall is making elk hunting hard as well. Here are a few pic of where i hunt.

Steve
10-23-2010, 09:13 PM
That looks like a lot of fun!

Is that a mule? How do you use them in Elk Hunting? Have you ever gotten an Elk before?

The Cleaning Doctor
10-24-2010, 03:30 PM
With all the gunfire along the Texas border.... Of course it will be warmer down there.... LOL

Nice machine.....

Look for water holes this time of year as the rut will heat up the bulls and they will have to cool down several times during the day.

B-2 Lawncare
10-24-2010, 06:39 PM
That looks like a lot of fun!

Is that a mule? How do you use them in Elk Hunting? Have you ever gotten an Elk before?

Yep that is a mule, i use them to pack my camp into the MT. My camp is five hours from the closest road. I have one elk under my belt. It was three years a go. Would love to show you guys a pic but I will have to have my wife down load it from our external hard drive. Our PC crashed this summer and we lost a lot of pic's.

B-2 Lawncare
10-24-2010, 07:16 PM
With all the gunfire along the Texas border.... Of course it will be warmer down there.... LOL

Nice machine.....

Look for water holes this time of year as the rut will heat up the bulls and they will have to cool down several times during the day.

Thanks man , the rut up here starts in September and ends about the middle of October. I love being up there. At night siting in the tent around the stove swapping stories. At times I feel like I was born 150 years to late. Would love to be a mountain man.

The Cleaning Doctor
10-24-2010, 07:36 PM
At times I feel like I was born 150 years to late. Would love to be a mountain man.

You are not the only one on that!

Steve
10-25-2010, 02:17 PM
That is fascinating! When you go out on your hunt, how many people do you go with? Is there a reason you use mules over a 4 wheeler?

How long do you stay out when you hunt?

The Cleaning Doctor
10-25-2010, 06:52 PM
Is there a reason you use mules over a 4 wheeler?

It's Wyoming...... No gas stations. Mules don't break down. Quieter. pack a lot more in..... You can only ride one 4 atv but you can take several mules.

Besides a lot of places you can not use an ATV off road.

If you get lost you can EAT your mule.... LOL:D

B2 will probably come up with more but these are a few quick ones I could think of.

Take ATV, Wife/GF wants to go. Take a Mule they stay home.... Made this one up.

B-2 Lawncare
10-25-2010, 09:09 PM
That is fascinating! When you go out on your hunt, how many people do you go with? Is there a reason you use mules over a 4 wheeler?

How long do you stay out when you hunt?

most of the time there are three of us, You cant take a 4 wheeler where i hunt. It's to ruff and its in the wilderness. I use mules over horses because they can pack more and eat less and for the most part out work a horse. Until this year I would take the hole month off, and stay up there the hole time.
One time this summer my wife and I were at camp, It was about ten pm. One of my dogs was out running around an started to bark. I called to the tent, that's when I heard what sounded like riders coming down the trail. I shouted to let them know we were there. IT was late for rides to becoming down the trail. I got a very eerie reply. IT sounded like someone who was hurt. I shouted once more. this time the reply was very close and in some down timber just to the north of camp. At this point i was scared, I pulled out my 45 and popped off three rounds. No good it kept coming!! I had my head lamp on and now I pulled out the lantern so that i could light up the area where i had the mules. I wanted to be able to see them. As i did so my wife screamed there it is. It was a cub that looked like it had just been kicked off the tit. Up a tree he went.
60 yards from the tent. He sat there all night let out the most eerie cry. At some point during the night he came down and went away.

B-2 Lawncare
10-25-2010, 09:17 PM
We got snow today, it didn't stick it was to warm If it snow to night it might stick to the grass. (****) I had all hands on deck to day raking and picking up leaves. I ment to take pic to show you guys . I will tomorrow, we still have a lot of trees that wont drop there leaves. this sure is a strange fall.

Steve
10-26-2010, 07:13 PM
That sounds like a real freaky story! At any point were you concerned it was a bear? Could your pistol have stopped it if you needed too? Or what would you have done if you found yourself confronted like that?

Was it a concern at all with the cub up in the tree that night? Might the mother come looking for it?

mharbert
10-27-2010, 02:09 PM
Here is mine.. 48" wide.. 1984 John Deere 420. Just finished restoring the tractor.. every bolt is new!

Steve
10-27-2010, 07:09 PM
Oh that looks great! Do you use that to service your customers with? How long does it take to plow a normal residential driveway in your area?

B-2 Lawncare
10-27-2010, 07:38 PM
Here is mine.. 48" wide.. 1984 John Deere 420. Just finished restoring the tractor.. every bolt is new!

I like it.
How long did it take? I can fix a lot but there is no way that i could do a full on restoration. Do you mow with it?

mharbert
10-28-2010, 11:34 AM
It took 2 months of working on it after 4 months of it setting and waiting to be worked on..

I mow with a ZRT.. Better cut, faster, this is going to be my loader tractor.. Though I wish I had your 2305 for that duty.. $10,000 cheaper but not equal level either... You have a nice machine!

~~~~~~
For those who want to know more about how I do snow removal..

I just sold a smaller cozy cab, to hope for the correct size hard cab for this years tractor.. Projects are never done..

I choose this setup b/c our sidewalks are 48" and this single stage snow thrower is 48" wide ( one pass) I like snow thrower b/c I feel they are perfect for residential properties. It doesn’t require the same amount of engine power (not a 2305's HP) as the 2 stage models to throw the snow when the furthest I should be throwing it is 20 feet (don't want to hit things) Its true that last year we had a 16 inch in one snowfall and the snow did come over the top of the thrower, but I have a friend with a 47/blower and he had the same issue. I like speed and that is why I like my thrower.

I did a frame off restoration on the 420 (minus engine- hoping for a 28hp repower someday). The thrower is new to me and I've got it torn apart right now to replace bearings, chain, sprockets and I'll have it powder coated in spring after I'm done using it. It’s the right thing to do with used equipment.

I do not load/unload my tractor, I've been asked wayyy too many times. Time is money and transporting is losing money for me (plus I have to mess with the trailer, and additional fuel/wear for my truck).. I market only to people that live within 1 mile of me. Last year with a smaller machine I was able to do 14 properties per hour. This year I only want 30 properties and I'll charge $20 a house. I'll take your criticism on my price but before you do, don't say that is too low if you aren't making more than $240/hour gross ( 12 properties x $20 = 240) Thats not lowballing, thats economics/speed! I’m a one man crew, and with snow its important to get it removed FAST.. I like to have everything done by 7am, or within 3 hours of the end of snowfall. This keeps my customers happy. If you take longer, they aren’t going to be happy. It’s a give and take and speed is everything with snow removal. If you get too big, have a second plan. For me I’m happy with $500 a snowfall and still making it to my primary career on time.

Something for you people out there in my situation. First I love to “ play in the snow” second I live in a newer development of 240 homes. The market we’re in all but 6 people mow their own yard.. Think about that.. I’m not going to find the recurring income from my development, BUT on the other hand I come in cheap for snow removal and become their go-to man for everything else they hire out. So I get all the premier jobs in my neighbor just because I get to “play” for cheap in the winter time… The power of economics, cheaper rates, more demand… When I get everyone on board for snow removal I don’t have to fear competitors coming into my neighborhood.

I'm excited for snow!

Steve
10-28-2010, 07:42 PM
on the other hand I come in cheap for snow removal and become their go-to man for everything else they hire out. So I get all the premier jobs in my neighbor just because I get to “play” for cheap in the winter time

How do you handle driveway snow clearing? Do you use the same snow blower?

Also what is your suggestion for others out there trying to market their snow removal services for the first time?

Do you use a contract or charge per time you show up? What do you feel works best?

B-2 Lawncare
10-28-2010, 09:56 PM
I bet the cozy cab was hard to part with. A soft sided cab is on my wish list - need to be able to take it off for summer mowing. Most of the time we only get light snows that are dry. A big snow for us 6". What happens here is the wind drifts the snow. So about 90% of the time I use the plow.
I understand where you are at with what you are charging for the snow, and I like your sales approach. I'm in a town a lot like Mayberry (small town USA). This winter I have dropped almost all of my residential clients and focused on commercial properties. We still have 19 residential customers, they are almost all shovel work, kept them so that we could keep a couple of guys working this winter. My commercial properties are mostly small parking lots.
I am just a displaced farm kid who likes to run this equipment.

mharbert
11-09-2010, 09:40 PM
I bet the cozy cab was hard to part with. A soft sided cab is on my wish list - need to be able to take it off for summer mowing. Most of the time we only get light snows that are dry. A big snow for us 6". What happens here is the wind drifts the snow. So about 90% of the time I use the plow.
I understand where you are at with what you are charging for the snow, and I like your sales approach. I'm in a town a lot like Mayberry (small town USA). This winter I have dropped almost all of my residential clients and focused on commercial properties. We still have 19 residential customers, they are almost all shovel work, kept them so that we could keep a couple of guys working this winter. My commercial properties are mostly small parking lots.
I am just a displaced farm kid who likes to run this equipment.

I'm a wanna-be hobby farmer I guess :)

Interesting about commercial accounts. I think it would be easier to deal with for billing.. Funny thing is that guys charged $100/hour two years ago but last year the standard was $80.. Most commercial accounts failed to pay toward the end of the year with the large amount of snowfall and recession. Any other year I think things would be different. Also getting a property management company as an account and I've heard of guys making over 300,000 per year. That is crazy....

Steve
11-11-2010, 12:50 AM
Interesting about commercial accounts. I think it would be easier to deal with for billing.

What is your view on why you feel commercial clients would be easier to deal with for billing versus residential ?

B-2 Lawncare
11-11-2010, 10:19 AM
Guys are dropping there prices because of the amount of people competing for the work. It's part of the game and should be part of your business plan.
I was recently in southern California and saw this first hand. As we were out an about I was looking for any large lawn care companies. I stopped in at a local John Deere dealer, that deal's in the big stuff and turf equipment. the turf sales manger said that he has seen several of his large clients scale back. He said with all of the (illegals and every day joe's) guys can't compete. This is where I would retool and go after large commercial accounts that want insurance ect. Less people willing to compete for the big stuff.
Snow is a little different, there are a lot of guys out there who have equipment used for other things, like dirt work that is now siting. They could take this stuff and start pushing snow with it. Thus prices have to come down. But less than residential accounts.
For me billing is less of a headache with commercial because they pay on time and for the most part without complaint.

Steve
11-12-2010, 02:45 AM
Do you find on average the local prices have dropped a certain % across the board?

Is this the first year this has happened or has this been going on for the past few years as the economy has stumbled and put a lot of people out of work?

Also, in such situations, how do you combat it? Can you do anything with your marketing or customer service to try and keep the prices higher or does it all simply come down to price now?