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View Full Version : Help a Brother Out - Quick Tips that Make a Difference


Hedgemaster
01-23-2012, 04:19 PM
I thought that this would be a good way to share tips and advice that may be useful to others. Not geared to any one topic - just things that may make life easier for someone - whether a noob, or seasoned veteran.

Feel free to add your suggestions on products that work, things that increase productivity, ways to stay safe on the job, and so on. From mowing tips, to paperwork management, to your favorite ink pen - anything that may make life just a little bit better/easier/faster/safer for someone else.

I was inspired to start this thread after having spoken to an older gentleman who was working across from one of my clients. We both stopped for a few minutes to talk shop and even in those few moments, I picked up some valuable tips for which I was quite thankful.

Even as a relative noob, there are all sorts of little things I've discovered that others may find useful as well.

Even if you think it's common knowledge, please share your ideas. There are a ton of people who read this forum who would probably appreciate a little help from a stranger - I know I do.
How about it - can you help a brother out?

:)

Hedgemaster
01-23-2012, 04:32 PM
I'll go first...



Have you ever lost your keys while working?
If not, have you thought about how fast a good day can go bad if your keys get lost in a client's jungle of a lawn?


I put my key ring on a locking carabiner.

http://media.rei.com/media/763444.jpg

A lot of people use the 99 carabiners for this and many other purposes, but that little spring gate is the only thing between your keys staying put, and ending up getting run over by your mower because something bumped it allowing the ring to come loose.

I slip it through a belt loop, or anywhere else that's convenient and spin the locking collar to keep them where I know they will be secure.
(Note that belt loops can tear too if you're not careful)

I think I paid about $7 for one like the one pictured. (local outdoor outfitter)
I thought I'd only use it for work, but I pretty much keep them on it all the time.

CHEESE2009
01-23-2012, 05:44 PM
http://www.teyaa.com/images/l/H/HP200W-1.jpg


Keys have always been annoying for me, unfortunately I just hate to hold them.

Summertime
1. Stop truck
2. Windows up
3. Keys in the back/bed of the truck
4. Work

It becomes a hassle, especially if they fly around in the back of the truck getting tools etc, but I'd rather that then holding on to them and having to search an entire lawn for them.

I may just use that thing above, and put it somewhere in the back of the truck clipped onto something.

.

Great thread, these are difficult to keep alive, let's keep this one going!

I'll post something soon. I have to go shovel some rain apparently.

One client complained, yet we hadn't gotten any snow for probably over a week (just a lot of rain), NO IDEA WHY HE CALLED SO LATE?!

CHEESE2009
01-24-2012, 11:54 AM
You know what's refreshing? A cold shower.

You know what's awesome? A cold shower on the go!

When it's really hot out, nothing will cool you down throughout the day like a wet towel.

Soak a towel in some water before leaving home, place it on your head and let one end hang down the backside of your neck. Now put a hat on to keep it from falling off!

The day I decided to start doing this has changed my productivity a whopping 100,000,000%. You will honestly ALWAYS feel 'fresh', it's truly amazing.

Steve
01-24-2012, 03:48 PM
after having spoken to an older gentleman who was working across from one of my clients. We both stopped for a few minutes to talk shop and even in those few moments, I picked up some valuable tips for which I was quite thankful.


What was he suggesting to you?

Hedgemaster
01-24-2012, 05:56 PM
What was he suggesting to you?

We talked about everything from trailers, to hiring employees.

The first time we spoke, he showed me how to quickly sharpen my blade with a file to keep it cutting cleanly. I thought it was pretty nice of him to take the time to do so.

Steve
01-25-2012, 01:48 PM
Was the older guy you were talking with, running his own lawn care company or was he just working on his lawn?

CHEESE2009
01-25-2012, 05:46 PM
Out of all the people on the earth, who do you think suffers the most from a hangover?

Us.

Why?

1. Sunshine
2. Loud noises
3. Sweating
4. Dehydration
5. Customer chit chat

So my advice is to either never drink again, or be sure to consume lots of vitamin water prior to sleeping.

Pro-Tip;
You can also eat CHEESE, which will actually absorb the alcohol in your stomach, this will prevent you from becoming even more of a drunk.

http://supplements-daily.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/scientist-test-tube.jpg
pictured above: me

Hedgemaster
01-25-2012, 06:56 PM
Was the older guy you were talking with, running his own lawn care company or was he just working on his lawn?

He's got his own business. Semi-retired now, but had a few crews before and has since sold most of his extra stuff. Now he just works for a few select clients.


On-topic:

When someone who has been in your shoes longer than you have talks, listen to what they tell you - they probably know what they are talking about.

Hedgemaster
01-25-2012, 07:09 PM
PROBLEM: I hate when my fingers get cold. Cold and wet is even worse.

I always have several pair of gloves in the truck just in case, but I hate putting cold gloves on cold hands - what's the use?

SOLUTION!

I have a portable refrigerator that is primarily designed for vehicular use. I picked it up years ago to keep at my desk to keep my soft drinks handy when I was working my indoor job.
It also has a "WARM" setting, so I dug it out of the basement and plugged it into the outlet in my truck...

TA-DA!!! WARM GLOVES!!!


http://img.alibaba.com/img/pb/107/574/368/368574107_251.jpg

:D

bruces
01-25-2012, 07:15 PM
I bring several pairs of gloves as well ,and put them across my dash with the defroster going while driving so they are dry and toasty when required .

Hedgemaster
01-25-2012, 07:21 PM
I bring several pairs of gloves as well ,and put them across my dash with the defroster going while driving so they are dry and toasty when required .

I place the pair I'm going to wear when I get out between my a$$ and the heated seat between jobs. :D

CHEESE2009
01-25-2012, 07:56 PM
I put my pair of gloves in a place I forget, then go to the store and buy new WARM ones every time!

Steve
01-26-2012, 03:13 PM
You know, I always wanted to get one of those portable refrigerator units but figured they wouldn't work worth a damn.

Do they really keep food nice and cool?

CHEESE2009
01-26-2012, 04:17 PM
I think I'm the only one here who never packs a meal.

I spend a lot of gas just driving around procrastinating, and going the distance for restaurants.

I should really change my ways, LOL.

Hedgemaster
01-26-2012, 08:49 PM
You know, I always wanted to get one of those portable refrigerator units but figured they wouldn't work worth a damn.

Do they really keep food nice and cool?

I think we used it once for a long car trip just to keep cans of soda in and it did OK, but I have my doubts about it staying really cold if the car isn't running - like a parked car in the summer heat.

I mostly used it in the office because I hated my drink getting warm if I didn't drink it right away. Rather than going back and forth to the office fridge, I just kept it next to my desk.

The one I have (not the one in the photo) is just a "cheapie", so maybe a better quality one would work better.

yourscape
01-26-2012, 08:58 PM
You know, I always wanted to get one of those portable refrigerator units but figured they wouldn't work worth a damn.

Do they really keep food nice and cool?

I have been using one for the last 10 years; a suggestion is to freeze a bottle of water to help it out throughout the day. But yes they work pretty good except the cords melt at the plug but I replace them and cool still works.:)

Hedgemaster
03-20-2012, 11:26 PM
Unless your phone takes REALLY good, high resolution photos, pick up an inexpensive camera to keep in your truck at all times!

I took a ton of pics last season with my cell phone - I thought I could use some of the before/after pics in my marketing material. Well, 90% of them are not good enough. They just aren't in focus the way they should be and now they are useless to me.

Don't miss out on getting that great pic that could be used to promote your business. Have a decent camera available.

Hedgemaster
03-22-2012, 12:08 AM
If you react to poison ivy - be prepared!


I keep a "Poison Ivy Kit" in my truck. A few years ago I had a pretty bad reaction to poison ivy that I had unknowingly come in contact with while pulling weeds by hand. I never, ever want to go trough that again.

I carry the following items:

- A bottle of Ivarest for cleaning after possible contact.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_4PVFXX60X44/SkKJIlMfQMI/AAAAAAAACNU/A9Wf7vf0o0g/s400/IV_Foam.300.jpg

Tecnu is a popular cleaner, but requires more effort/water to rinse. I like the Ivarest because it foams when you pump it and it seems to go a long way. It's also easy to rinse off, which brings me to the next item...


- Bottled water.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RCReZGvRBeU/TzmQFoqRIYI/AAAAAAAACRE/aOtjjIP7gTM/s1600/plastic-water-bottle.jpg

For rinsing the medicated cleaner/poison ivy oils off. I just take empty bottles and fill them with tap water and put them in the box for rinsing, or whatever else I may need it for, like washing hands.


- Paper towels/rag.

http://www.oppictures.com/singleimages/400/GEP26610_1_1.JPG

For drying off after washing.


- Ivy Block

http://emergencyrespondersupply.com/images/products/detail/IvyBlock_lotion_300.jpg

I rarely use it because I hate the way it feels, but it's good to have handy just in case.




You guys that are immune to the stuff are lucky. I have to say that up until that bad case I had, I had never had poison ivy before. If you knew the hell I went through, you'd understand why I keep a box of supplies on hand. If I even think there was a CHANCE I had come in contact, I wash up as soon as I finish the job. I had a mild case on my legs and forearm last year after hitting some with the trimmer, but I think that by washing often, I prevented a serious case of misery.

CHEESE2009
03-22-2012, 08:51 AM
I grew fond of the stinging sensation of poison ivy.

As for always keeping a camera handy, I agree. I always friggen forget!

We can even do little competitions, "Take a picture of where you pee on the clients lawn when you really gotta go, best place wins".

Steve
03-22-2012, 01:23 PM
LOL why didn't I think of that Scott :)

Hedgemaster
03-22-2012, 09:31 PM
What, nobody has ANYTHING they can add?



http://dl3.glitter-graphics.net/pub/708/708353ktyzp004l8.gif







:D


C'mon. Add something. Anything.

CHEESE2009
03-23-2012, 07:20 AM
If you are going to have breakfast, don't have eggs unless you want to rush back home to take care of 'business'. Have a fruit or something.

If you are feeling tired, just chug a bottle of water. It's so easy to get dehydrated without knowing and that might be the cause of your tiredness.

-

One of my clients has a hot daughter, but I'm sure that's also a bad idea.

Hedgemaster
03-26-2012, 09:30 PM
TIP #758


Always have a spare pair of boots/shoes and socks in the truck!

http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/thumblarge_415/1246615200k79Q21.jpg

http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-11746525231274_2197_664310072



This came in handy today. I was out doing a cleanup and mow on a large job that is "all uphill" and I made the mistake of wearing my boots that aren't quite broken in yet. I was OK on the "flatter" section, but as I walked the sloped lawn picking up downed branches, my feetses started screaming at me.
I went to the truck and put on a pair of running shoes. AAAaaahhh...


In the summer I always keep at least one extra shirt in the truck as well. Good for days when you're looking all funky, and someone calls and asks you to stop for a quote on your way home.

Steve
03-27-2012, 12:00 PM
How about a first aid kit

http://www.campinglife.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/first-aid-kit.jpg

and a fire extinguisher?

http://keepsafeathome.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Fire-Extinguisher-Suppliers.jpg

Hedgemaster
03-27-2012, 08:29 PM
^^^ Excellent tips!

I have a very basic first aid kit that I want to expand upon by adding things for the most common lawn boo-boos.


At my dealer's open house they had the state police there giving a seminar on safe trailering - one of the things I learned is that it is mandatory to have a "secured fire extinguisher" and a reflective triangle in your truck.

I already had flares and a triangle under the seat, but I went out and got an auto fire extinguisher. Aside from legalities, it just makes sense to have one handy.

CHEESE2009
03-28-2012, 05:16 AM
LOL, are you guys referring to the time I my tractor caught on fire or something? :confused: :D


Good times. HAHAHA!

Never leave home without a full bladder.

Steve
03-28-2012, 12:13 PM
At my dealer's open house they had the state police there giving a seminar on safe trailering - one of the things I learned is that it is mandatory to have a "secured fire extinguisher" and a reflective triangle in your truck.

Did they give any other helpful tips at the open house?

Hedgemaster
03-28-2012, 12:59 PM
Did they give any other helpful tips at the open house?


I found out that leaving a ball hitch sticking out of your receiver when not towing is in fact, NOT illegal. (I've been told that it is countless times over the years)

No minimum/maximum chain length requirement - they just can't drag.

Cashin H&P
03-28-2012, 09:26 PM
I found out that leaving a ball hitch sticking out of your receiver when not towing is in fact, NOT illegal. (I've been told that it is countless times over the years)

No minimum/maximum chain length requirement - they just can't drag.

I almost always keep my hitch in. If some one reends me they are going to coime out alot worse then my trailer hitch. This plan has worked a few times haha people not paying attention and hit me.

As for a fire extinguisher I have always kept one in my truck but I had a friend have an accident while he was mowing. The exhaust fell off his ztr and caught the field on fire. Its a good thing he had his and I was only a few min. or we could have had a really big problem.

Hedgemaster
03-28-2012, 09:46 PM
TIP # 945


Call me crazy, but I keep a spare gas cap in my tool box.

https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/9086/10h/origin-d5.scene7.com/is/image/TractorSupplyCompany/4420985_set?$prod_det_no_flsh$

Once, I topped off my mower at the truck before heading to the lawn. I started mowing and noticed that my gas cap was missing!
I'm not sure what happened, but I think I had set the cap on the mower while filling and in the process of putting the can back in the truck, I forgot to put the cap back on and it fell off somewhere on my way to the lawn.

Initially I couldn't find it as I retraced my steps. I was going to use the plastic wrap from my sandwich and duct tape it over the gas tank, but at the last second, I found my cap.



On second thought, how about I make TIP #944 "REPLACE gas cap before putting away gas can!" LOL!

Hedgemaster
03-30-2012, 06:18 PM
TIP #966

Keeping the grass out of the washing machine keeps YOU out of the dog house!


I picked up a long handled brush at Wmart. I keep it in the garage for quickly removing the debris that is stuck to my pant legs before entering the house and depositing my grungy clothes in the basement hamper.
Sure, you can brush it off by hand, but this is faster, and easier, with no bending required.

http://i.walmartimages.com/i/p/00/07/17/98/00/0007179800226_500X500.jpg

:D

Martywdx
03-30-2012, 06:53 PM
Lost two gas caps last year, first ever. One off the lawn tractor and one off the push mower. All with in a week. go figure.

CHEESE2009
03-30-2012, 07:37 PM
I also used to hear that leaving your hitch on without towing a trailer is illegal, glad to hear that it isn't. I would have been breaking this law for years, lol.

I love when cars aggressively tailgate me. I sometimes hope that they would crash into the back of my truck. I would get a good laugh at all the damage that the car would receive, as nothing would happen to my truck.

A hitch is a little force field, and idiots behind us don't 'get it'.

Hedgemaster
03-30-2012, 08:10 PM
I have a ball mount for weight distribution bars and an anti sway bar for pulling our camping trailer that looks a lot like this...

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e55/sk1er18/Misc/Reese003.jpg


I really did notice people staying back when I had that hunk of steel on the back of the truck.

JeffK26
03-30-2012, 09:50 PM
I finally have a tip.

I learned this a couple years ago after trimming a long sidewalk on a HOA common area...

Always carry a spare length of trimmer line. Nothing sucks worse than being the furthest from your truck, and the trimmer revs up and spits the last bit of trimmer string out into the yard, the engine revving is close to a mocking laugh.... Ya know you never run out a few feet from the truck, it's aaaaalways at the furthest corner of the property...

I took this tip a step further and when I buy a roll of trimmer line, i take the time out to cut off lengths of line my trimmer takes and roll it up and hold it with a bread tie. Each week I restock my supply. That way it saves you the time on the job from stretching and cutting. You have 20ish rolls of line ready to go, just undo the bread tie load and go...

JeffK26
03-30-2012, 09:54 PM
Oh and an addendum to hedges brush for grass off the clothes...

My wife, being the ever so handy seamstress made a laundry sack that hangs on the bathroom door. It's exclusively for my work clothes....they stay separate from other clothes and get washed separate...

You can get these bags dirt cheap and Wal mart....

Also, she made me a handy dandy denim trash bag to hang on my Ferris to grab trash on properties.

Hedgemaster
03-30-2012, 09:55 PM
I finally have a tip.

I learned this a couple years ago after trimming a long sidewalk on a HOA common area...

Always carry a spare length of trimmer line. Nothing sucks worse than being the furthest from your truck, and the trimmer revs up and spits the last bit of trimmer string out into the yard, the engine revving is close to a mocking laugh.... Ya know you never run out a few feet from the truck, it's aaaaalways at the furthest corner of the property...

I took this tip a step further and when I buy a roll of trimmer line, i take the time out to cut off lengths of line my trimmer takes and roll it up and hold it with a bread tie. Each week I restock my supply. That way it saves you the time on the job from stretching and cutting. You have 20ish rolls of line ready to go, just undo the bread tie load and go...


... and it always runs out when you have just ten more feet to go before you're finished.

:mad:

I already pre-cut my string and put the two lengths together with a twist tie, but I never thought about carrying any in my pocket.

Hedgemaster
03-30-2012, 10:00 PM
Oh and an addendum to hedges brush for grass off the clothes...

My wife, being the ever so handy seamstress made a laundry sack that hangs on the bathroom door. It's exclusively for my work clothes....they stay separate from other clothes and get washed separate...

You can get these bags dirt cheap and Wal mart....

Also, she made me a handy dandy denim trash bag to hang on my Ferris to grab trash on properties.

I need a trash bag for my mower too, but it needs to be made of steel, and powdercoated Ferris red. You know... so I can WAX it.

:D :D :D


My work stuff gets washed separately as well. It all goes in together regardless of what color (of green) it is.

JeffK26
03-30-2012, 10:15 PM
My work stuff gets washed separately as well. It all goes in together regardless of what color (of green) it is.

Yup....

wife: "Whites, colors and greens."

Greens being anything and everything I wore for the week, whether it used to be white, khaki or gray.

Hedgemaster
03-31-2012, 11:06 PM
TIP #43


If you carry a smart phone, use a notepad/memo app to note serial number/model number of equipment, and part numbers for commonly replaced items.


I was out tonight and grabbed some motor oil for my new mower, and figured I'd also get a filter while I was at it, but didn't know what filter to buy. :(

cruzgardening
04-01-2012, 01:20 AM
how bout having a broom included in the rake rack? I learned the hard way had a client who had lots of dirt u guys can imagine, so we have brooms and landscape brushes to clean off the grass clipings its actually pretty fast and no crazy dust.

BTW never had a fire extinguisher but i will got to the local hardware store or the shop and get 2 and how do u guys fasten them in ur truck?

CS-LawnService
04-01-2012, 06:26 AM
I have 2 fire extinguishers one mounted behind the driver seat of the truck and one mounted on the trailer
As far as tips
Always Check your wife's spelling BEFORE paying to have flyers printed,

Thanks Mark :)

CHEESE2009
04-01-2012, 07:06 AM
Is it safer to have a cold cup of yesterdays coffee rather than a compressed fire extinguisher that'll be under the hot sun all day?

Hedgemaster
04-01-2012, 08:26 AM
how bout having a broom included in the rake rack? I learned the hard way had a client who had lots of dirt u guys can imagine, so we have brooms and landscape brushes to clean off the grass clipings its actually pretty fast and no crazy dust.

BTW never had a fire extinguisher but i will got to the local hardware store or the shop and get 2 and how do u guys fasten them in ur truck?

Yup. I carry a small broom and a push broom. I rarely need them, but when I do, I'm glad I have them handy.


I haven't mounted mine yet. Laws may vary, but the trooper who informed us that we need an extinguisher stated that they must be "secured". When asked for clarification of "secured", he said that if it were in a box keeping it from shifting, "not just lying around", that would be sufficient.
I think that the rules may be different for larger commercial vehicles, but I'm not certain.

I was thinking that mounting one in the bed of the truck or inside the trailer may be a good idea as well.

Hedgemaster
04-04-2012, 07:20 PM
TIP #793


Quoting a job.

When you're out there on a beautiful spring morning with a light breeze blowing, and the birds chirping, and the temperature is a comfy 72 with no humidity... TRY to IMAGINE what the same lawn will be like to mow in the dead of SUMMER when it's 99, excessively humid, and the smell of the neighbor's dog poop is in the air.

That $35 quote you gave in the spring may not seem like such a good idea when that small hill becomes a MOUNTAIN in the summer heat.

CHEESE2009
04-04-2012, 07:47 PM
TIP #793


Quoting a job.

When you're out there on a beautiful spring morning with a light breeze blowing, and the birds chirping, and the temperature is a comfy 72 with no humidity... TRY to IMAGINE what the same lawn will be like to mow in the dead of SUMMER when it's 99, excessively humid, and the smell of the neighbor's dog poop is in the air.

That $35 quote you gave in the spring may not seem like such a good idea when that small hill becomes a MOUNTAIN in the summer heat.


Yessir! Great advice. Nearly smacked my guy when he said "I'll drop a card in this guys mailbox"... damn lawn had so many obstacles to trim around, HA!

avetslawncare
04-04-2012, 09:48 PM
business is booming... my biggest problem is staying organized with when lawns needs to be done, appointments for estimates etc..... i have papers everywhere in my truck and have to search all over..... i take all pictures with my ipad and want to do everything on the ipad now...... any good apps that people know about for estimates, just note taking?

JeffK26
04-05-2012, 02:36 PM
Friendly advice to fellow noobs....

It's been said on here before but....Do not be afraid to bid what the job is worth and do not be nervous to be yourself, do not be so stuck in the stiff professional that you come off as a robot that states facts and numbers only.

I've been turned down, it sucks, I could have 21 properties now, but I don't and its' ok because I'll get there. I'd rather have 15 accounts making what I should be making than 21 making nothing. Heck, if I would have lowballed to get the jobs I would be mowing 21 lawns and making what I'm making mowing only 15, 6 more lawns for the same pay, screw that noise.

One client said i was the middle bid, another said I was the highest, but they were a referral so that may have swayed them a bit.

I have had one comment that it was her speaking with me that got me the job, (i schedule bids for the evenings so i CAN speak with them). I asked questions, I love dogs and was able to play with her dog for a minute. The other 2 companies bid it during the day, left a piece of paper with a price and left it for her to read when she got home.

Another job was a guy called me to mow two of his rental properties...One property is overfilled with leaves and acorns, he didn't ask for a cleanup bid, but I added one anyway and stated "due to the risks of property damage and personal injury I cannot mow this property without the cleanup." The 2nd property was overgrown, I bid it 2 and a half times the regular mow and explained the high price was due to the height. I really didn't think I would get these two properties, landlords tend to be cheap....He called and asked when I can start. He told me the last company was fired for breaking windows and liked how I stated the risks if a job was not completed. So for bidding properly, I'm invoicing over $500 the first week with this job.

Be cool, be personable. People respond better to someone they can talk to and laugh if a joke is cracked than a scruffy looking guy, or even the 100% professional that has a stern face and is all business with no personality.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to cite a couple of my experiences to help anyone that is nervous for putting the real bid out there.

bruces
04-05-2012, 08:14 PM
I just saw a guy with an open trailer full of hedge clippings and other assorted yard crap .Anyway ,he had a length of orange plastic snow or safety fence that he bungied over the top of the load .Looked like an awesome way to keep things from blowing out of your trailer ,and it looked like he had a length of pvc pipe to hold it when he was not using it .

JeffK26
04-23-2012, 08:17 PM
https://encrypted-tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTrvSCe8J1VDlHUPn6AvDA8MD6KISiKJ ZzN3zd81OA5GD_CH8HW

I find this helps a lil bit.

I use these small loop bungee cords to hold gates open. A few of my properties have gates that have a spring on them, and a couple more gravity close them. When I pull up, I walk to the gate with one of these in hand, loop and hold the gate open. As I'm leaving from blowing I grab it, make sure the gate closes and go.

It's not a huge time saver, but I find it pretty convenient to just keep mowing, tirmming and blowing the property without having to open the gate a couple/few times.

JeffK26
04-23-2012, 08:30 PM
https://encrypted-tbn2.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSrRrMCjhVmyz_i7ONUcap94o3_8PV3k TR5X2nCMPv_z07QcuNB

Also, i have used this in construction and in Iraq.

Empty butter tubs filled with water and frozen into a big block of ice. Dump into your water jug and fill with water. The block of ice keeps the water cold all freakin day even in 100+ temps. In Iraq we used the 45 oz tub of butter to freeze water. We would be out on a 8 hour patrol with temps reaching 130, 150 in the humvee trunk where the water was stored and the water would still be cold.

Also, if you find yourself getting hot during the day, hold your wrist under the spout on water jugs and open up and let the water pour over your wrists...you'll feel and instant cooling sensation through your body.

Do not attempt this on elbows or over your head. The wrists are the best bet since the blood has time to actually "warm" enough once it hits the heart. If you dump ice cold water over your head or even on the front of your elbows you risk passing out from shock from blood being too cold once it hits your heart.

Hedgemaster
04-23-2012, 08:42 PM
https://encrypted-tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTrvSCe8J1VDlHUPn6AvDA8MD6KISiKJ ZzN3zd81OA5GD_CH8HW

I find this helps a lil bit.

I use these small loop bungee cords to hold gates open. A few of my properties have gates that have a spring on them, and a couple more gravity close them. When I pull up, I walk to the gate with one of these in hand, loop and hold the gate open. As I'm leaving from blowing I grab it, make sure the gate closes and go.

It's not a huge time saver, but I find it pretty convenient to just keep mowing, tirmming and blowing the property without having to open the gate a couple/few times.

I've never seen that type of bungee.

I have one gate that plays games with me. It stays open JUST until I get to the mower and then swings shut as I start heading for the opening.


Grrrr...

Hedgemaster
04-23-2012, 08:48 PM
Adding to the "cold water" topic, I usually freeze a few bottles of water and toss one or two into the cooler to supplement the freeze packs. When it's super hot, they may start to melt a bit, and sometimes I'll take one out and let it "thaw" as I work.
It melts enough to give me COLD sips, as opposed to leaving a "cold" bottle out, which quickly turns to "warm".

http://earth911.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/water-bottle.jpg?84cd58


Also, I like to take a variety of types of drinks with me. Sometimes I fill an empty water bottle part way with iced tea, put it in the freezer, and the next morning when I pack my cooler, I fill it the rest of the way with iced tea. Guaranteed cold!

JeffK26
04-23-2012, 09:17 PM
http://www.clifbar.com/

https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRq04iimD6AEwhIYsHmWVZFzejQMMY_W Mdop1ZV8WiQ9wToO2lihBY1Dwnt

Also,

I can't eat and work. I have never been able to work in a physical job in the heat and eat anything that actually fills you up such as a simple sandwich. I tend to drink lots of water and I think the water and food bloats me.

Anyway, Clif bars ( i wrote this in another post i believe ) are the best thing to give ya some calories and energy.

I have used them for training for half marathons, used them in the half marathons, and used them a few times this year while working.

They are a Godsend for me.

If anyone else finds it hard to eat and work on a full stomach, these do very nicely.

mark123
04-23-2012, 09:34 PM
I get a salad every day for lunch at Get Go for $4. No cheese, meat or dressing. Fills me up and keeps me going. High nutrient and low calories keep me healthy. I'll usually do a Rockstar Sugarfree, too.

Hedgemaster
04-23-2012, 09:42 PM
If not for Clif bars, I'd have been found passed out in teh middle of a lawn somewhere.

I live on those things.
"Crunchy Peanut Butter" Nom Nom Nom :)

I like Blueberry Crisp when I'm heading out and already getting hungry.
Cool Mint Chocolate is a refreshing treat on a hot day.

Often times a Clif bar or two is all I have to eat in a day. Sometimes I stop for a small lunch, but eating too much doesn't work well for me.
(and then you gotta find somewhere to "unload" :D )

JLM
04-24-2012, 10:51 AM
Use Trimmer line as a strap for your sunglasses, leave it long and use black tape to hold it snug. I used to have a guy who did this just incase he ever needed more line.

Apex Lawn & Landscape
04-24-2012, 11:45 AM
I always find it a challenge to stay on top of paper work, scheduling etc. When you start to get more than 10 customers, organization is a must..I came up with a simple yet effective way of staying organized in my truck when I'm going from yard to yard and billing my customers.

<img src=http://i427.photobucket.com/albums/pp360/stavropulos/87f91e25.jpg>

I have a file box with A folder for each customer...in front of those I have folders for : new estimates: lawn service contracts: product info/receipts: unpaid: and jobs finished. When I get a call and do an estimate , I stick that estimate in the new estimate folder. When work starts and half payment is made, I write half payment received on invoice and place into unpaid folder. When job is complete and final payment is made I put the invoice into jobs finished. Product info /receipts are for my fuel / material / supplies / etc. Each fuel receipt I mark on top dump truck / mowers / hand tools etc. I have 24 accounts per week to mow, I typed up a chart of my yards and went to office depot and had it laminated...and bought a wet/dry erase marker and can easily cross off my yards mowed for that week. I don't have to have a paper made for every week I just simply erase it and start over. Hope these ideas can help!

<img src=http://i427.photobucket.com/albums/pp360/stavropulos/c75d382a.jpg>

mark123
04-24-2012, 06:37 PM
One thing I've always done is keep a refill of whacker string in my back pocket. The reason is I'm always about 100 yards from my truck when it runs out. :p

SECTLANDSCAPING
04-24-2012, 06:57 PM
One thing I've always done is keep a refill of whacker string in my back pocket. The reason is I'm always about 100 yards from my truck when it runs out. :p

Happen to me today. Then I found out I had no more in the truck either. I have 3 rolls of line in the toolbox of the other truck. http://www.audi-tt.ru/forum/phpBB2/images/smiles/facepalm.gif

Apex Lawn & Landscape
04-26-2012, 09:32 PM
Munch On These Bad Boys While Knockin Out Your Yards...I Treat Myself To These While Singing My Favorite Lawnmower Tune: Eddie Money " Take Me Home Tonight" Just Make Sure Your Face & Clothes Are Clear Of Any Seed Shrapnel Before Talking To Customers!

<img src=http://i427.photobucket.com/albums/pp360/stavropulos/381efc74.jpg>

<img src=http://i427.photobucket.com/albums/pp360/stavropulos/1e19055a.jpg>

Hedgemaster
04-26-2012, 10:10 PM
TIP # 2093

Don't lose your $130 Columbia rain jacket during the rainy season. :mad:


Well OK, I only paid $30 for it on clearance at the outlet store, but I can't get another one at that price, and it seems to have grown legs. I can't find it anywhere.

JeffK26
04-26-2012, 10:14 PM
TIP # 2093

. I can't find it anywhere.

Did you check the wife's car? :p

monoshock
04-27-2012, 12:01 PM
Unless your phone takes REALLY good, high resolution photos, pick up an inexpensive camera to keep in your truck at all times!

I took a ton of pics last season with my cell phone - I thought I could use some of the before/after pics in my marketing material. Well, 90% of them are not good enough. They just aren't in focus the way they should be and now they are useless to me.

Don't miss out on getting that great pic that could be used to promote your business. Have a decent camera available. If you get to the job and find your camera batteries are dead, (quick fix) Find a piece of wire or and metal item and stick the AA battery on you truck battery for about 5 seconds to recharge the dead battery. I've done this many times to save loading back up and driving to buy new AA batteries. :)

monoshock
04-27-2012, 12:03 PM
Munch On These Bad Boys While Knockin Out Your Yards...I Treat Myself To These While Singing My Favorite Lawnmower Tune: Eddie Money " Take Me Home Tonight" Just Make Sure Your Face & Clothes Are Clear Of Any Seed Shrapnel Before Talking To Customers!

<img src=http://i427.photobucket.com/albums/pp360/stavropulos/381efc74.jpg>

<img src=http://i427.photobucket.com/albums/pp360/stavropulos/1e19055a.jpg>The dill pickle flavored ones are good to.

mark123
04-27-2012, 07:36 PM
I used to do the sunflower seeds every day. It tore up my gums and the salt content was making me a fat hog.

Apex Lawn & Landscape
04-27-2012, 07:47 PM
Lol sorry to hear...I try to gain weight but am as thin as a rail, they help me smoke less.

mark123
04-27-2012, 08:05 PM
Lol sorry to hear...I try to gain weight but am as thin as a rail, they help me smoke less.I was up to 226 lbs last summer. Cut out salt, sugar, and animal products and dropped to 179 in 6 weeks.

Eat to Live (http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Live-Amazing-Nutrient-Rich-Sustained/dp/031612091X/ref=sr_1_1)

CHEESE2009
05-01-2012, 02:08 PM
Tip # Negative -42

If you work with a partner, or an assistant. Pick them up before you attach the trailer and load your equipment up. Make them help you.

Drop them off at home only after they helped you unload/drop off the trailer at the end of the day.

Apex Lawn & Landscape
05-01-2012, 11:04 PM
Tip -42 addition : Always check that assistant has LATCHED TRAILER PROPERLY!! Your first yard will head south quickly as your trailer flies up,you try throttle forward causing your trailer to slam down onto the tailgate leaving you an expense that all of todays work will pay for!

CHEESE2009
05-02-2012, 09:16 AM
Tip -42 addition : Always check that assistant has LATCHED TRAILER PROPERLY!! Your first yard will head south quickly as your trailer flies up,you try throttle forward causing your trailer to slam down onto the tailgate leaving you an expense that all of todays work will pay for!


Oh God yes!

Another reason why staff sucks. They are so difficult to trust. They never strap in one of the mowers. Always forgetting.

I have so many peeves when it comes to locking the ramp of the trailer, I like my hooks to face INWARD dammit! :D

Hedgemaster
07-16-2012, 08:22 PM
TIP #219C


When you find something that works/fits, buy MULTIPLES if you can afford it.

Shoes and clothing are what made me think of this.
I finally needed to replace my shoes and they don't make them any more. They still sell the same "model", but it's updated, thus DIFFERENT. Ugh.

Shorts and long pants I bought for work last year no longer exist either.


Fortunately my wife had the foresight to buy four pair of boots for me last year when they went on sale at a really good price. I had mentioned how happy I was with them and as soon as they went on sale, she ordered more of them and had them shipped to the house. A few months later they were no longer available for sale - period.

mark123
07-16-2012, 09:32 PM
I hit up the Goodwill store for work pants. If they have my size I get them. $3 for jeans on half-off day.

Lopes Lawn Care
07-16-2012, 10:19 PM
Tip #666

Picking up one piece of paper is easier then picking up 1000 tiny pieces of paper. So get off the mower and do it.

CHEESE2009
07-16-2012, 10:46 PM
Tip #666

Picking up one piece of paper is easier then picking up 1000 tiny pieces of paper. So get off the mower and do it.



... Or you can keep going over it until it disappears... LOL

I hate when there's paper on lawns, I have this one corner house that's a target for litter.

I'll move obvious crap, but sometimes I just can't be bothered to get up every damn second. If only there was an easier way :p hahahahahahahaha

JeffK26
07-16-2012, 11:12 PM
I hit up the Goodwill store for work pants. If they have my size I get them. $3 for jeans on half-off day.

Same here....I have a few top of the line brands for absolutely nothing. Goodwill and Salvation Army are good for work benches and other modification items.

Godslapper
07-17-2012, 08:24 AM
If you want a happy life marry an ugly wife.

Lopes Lawn Care
07-17-2012, 11:36 AM
Lol, yeah i got a church that I do that has the same problem. It's in the ghetto and there's always a ton of litter cause it's on a busy street and people just don't give a f***. I find more baggies there then any other job. haha. When i get there i walk around and pick all that **** up first or i have my guy pick it up if he's with me that day.

Tip #666 extension 4%2&>0*

Picking up branches before mowing over them is key to having a good blade life. I know it's a commerical mower and it will chop that stuff right up but you'll pay for it in the end.

On the other end of things rocks, boulders, and small animals are o.k. they do not harm the blade. Insted they add much excitement to everyday work.
(obviously kidding about that)

Godslapper
07-17-2012, 03:02 PM
Lol, yeah i got a church that I do that has the same problem. It's in the ghetto and there's always a ton of litter cause it's on a busy street and people just don't give a f***. I find more baggies there then any other job. haha. When i get there i walk around and pick all that **** up first or i have my guy pick it up if he's with me that day.

Tip #666 extension 4%2&>0*

Picking up branches before mowing over them is key to having a good blade life. I know it's a commerical mower and it will chop that stuff right up but you'll pay for it in the end.

On the other end of things rocks, boulders, and small animals are o.k. they do not harm the blade. Insted they add much excitement to everyday work.
(obviously kidding about that)

lol. A few weeks ago some baby bunnys forgot to duck their little heads. I still brought them home to my 6 year old, but some how it just wasn't the same as when I bring home the little guys with their heads still on. Hahahaha.

CHEESE2009
07-17-2012, 05:16 PM
I like to go to the pet store, just to bring home some animals to mow over.

You're right, it is very exciting!


meow meow meow

Lopes Lawn Care
07-17-2012, 11:22 PM
Killer lol

CHEESE2009
07-18-2012, 04:47 AM
Tip#2140

If you ever get discouraged, and feel that the quality of your work could be better, slow down and take your time - don't think about how many clients left you have to do for the day, or how behind you are.

Always remind yourself,
"I am right for taking my time, I'd be wrong for being anxious".

It's not necessarily about taking your time in order to provide proper quality, it's all about keeping your sanity, and keeping yourself from being overly anxious.

Make some adjustments if you find yourself stressing out, let the forum know about what's stressing you out, and we'll help!

Godslapper
07-18-2012, 09:12 PM
I always tell my guys Quality over quantity. Then I tell them to go faster.

CHEESE2009
07-24-2012, 09:16 AM
Tip #9897

Your voicemail should encourage callers to leave their address, along with the service they require.

This is so you don't have to call them back and get stuck talking to them for an hour. You can also listen to the way the person speaks, to see if he/she is too much of a prick for you to even bother with. LOL.

Any calls that say, "my old grass guy just left me".. well... that doesn't necessarily mean the previous guy was bad, but maybe the customer scared him off.

Or maybe, the customer ate him. :eek:

-

I remember a lady calling me just to complain about the grass guy she fired, she got so mad thinking about it, she ended up hanging up on me before leaving me any details of what she wanted.. wtf.. lol

JeffK26
07-24-2012, 09:14 PM
Tip #A45B

I'll have to take a pic tomorrow, I didn't think I'd be posting this tonight.

It's been HOT here. 105 actual temp today with heat index of 110. Same for tomorrow.
Less than 2 inches of rain since June 1st.

Keeping cool is a need...so I installed a bicycle water bottle holder onto my mower. The night before I go out to work I fill 4 water bottles halfway with water and freeze them.

When i get out to mow a lawn I take the ice bottle top it off with water, place it in the holder and start mowing. The ice melts a bit, but it keeps the water cold throughout instead of having warm water by the time you're finished. I have a 2 gallon water jug filled with water and blocks of ice I freeze in empty butter tubs.

Hedgemaster
07-24-2012, 09:18 PM
I actually have a bicycle water bottle holder sitting in the garage waiting to be installed on the handle of my push mower.

I tried a "clamp-on" type, but it wouldn't stay in place, so I want to screw/bolt it on.

SGL1
05-14-2014, 06:40 AM
If you react to poison ivy - be prepared!







You guys that are immune to the stuff are lucky. I have to say that up until that bad case I had, I had never had poison ivy before. If you knew the hell I went through, you'd understand why I keep a box of supplies on hand. If I even think there was a CHANCE I had come in contact, I wash up as soon as I finish the job. I had a mild case on my legs and forearm last year after hitting some with the trimmer, but I think that by washing often, I prevented a serious case of misery.
I often wonder if I'm immune because I have never to my knowledge had a problem with PI. I have skin issues too but that's mainly because I'm an old fart now. But I've never been one with allergies of any sort.

SGL1
05-15-2014, 06:14 PM
If you want a happy life marry an ugly wife.

Beauty is skin deep...but ugly goes to the bone.