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Billy Goat
12-17-2012, 05:56 AM
I noticed in my area (Maryland), it seems about half of the lawn care businesses do not display the business name on their truck or trailer. You know they are some kind of landscaping business because they have all kinds of lawn equipment. I was wondering why this is? Of course I know displaying your name helps promote your business but why others do not.

Steve
12-17-2012, 02:05 PM
I would think it be due to either.


They are running an operation that is unlicensed or insured
They are not fully committed to the business and therefor don't want signs on their personal vehicle.
They don't have the money for signs yet.


With that said, I think if you can get signs on your vehicle you will have an advantage over them.

If you ever get a chance to talk to any of them, ask them why and I am sure there is an interesting story behind it.

Billy Goat
12-17-2012, 02:54 PM
If you ever get a chance to talk to any of them, ask them why and I am sure there is an interesting story behind it.

Yes Steve this will be interesting to know why. Its like seeing unmarked white vans with ladders piled on them, I see them everywhere seems like. Same for landscaping trailers with ZTRs and a few trimmers and backpack blower. No business name on truck or trailer. In my area it maybe a zoning thing. Where I live you can not legally park your commerical vehicles in the street where you live. I see alot of owners of work type trucks and trailers parked in their driveways.

dpld
12-17-2012, 03:06 PM
In my area it maybe a zoning thing. Where I live you can not legally park your commercial vehicles in the street where you live. I see alot of owners of work type trucks and trailers parked in their driveways.

that may very well be the problem.
more towns everyday are cracking down on home based contractor businesses.

Mowin4Dollas
12-17-2012, 03:14 PM
I was thinking about getting signs for my truck and trailer, but I will neither be licensed nor insured... Being 16 it limits me a lot.

stevef1201
12-17-2012, 03:17 PM
I think the biggest thing is that they are not running a truly legal business. If you run a legal business, you need not only to have business liability but also have commercial vehicle. Then there is the IRS, if you have your business name permanently on your vehicle, (Not magnets) then and then can you take business deductions for you r vehicle. If you are legal, you are paying 1 to 300 a month for vehicle insurance, plus another 1-400 a month for liability and workers comp insurance. See be in business is not cheap, that is why you are being low-balled, and find it hard to be in business. If yo see these guys, get their license number, try to get a name (I have a friend in the sheriff's office) and report them for not having a business license, if you see them applying chemicals report that (is can be a felony), driving with out report insurance, etc.

Naylor's Lawncare
12-17-2012, 04:51 PM
I agree with some of the replies so far,but my boss i work for now(well till the end of the year)don't advertise at all.No phone book,signs on truck,business cards,nothing.But you ask any body they no him.I no a couple of company that do the same work and can't wait for him to retire because they never can get a job he bids on.He's a legend in this town.Maybe the guy don't need to advertise.There is a guy and his family that mow here and the dont have signs on there vehicle and this is the way they make a living.

SECTLANDSCAPING
12-18-2012, 01:42 AM
Its because there uncommitted, broke or illegal. Every once in a while a guy will have a brand new truck and not want to damage the paint. I doubt this is the reason.


One of my seasonal workers works for a chimney company. The owner offered to buy him a truck if he would let him wrap it with his business logos. If thats not a testament to how powerful advertising on vehicles is, I dont know what is.

ringahding1
12-18-2012, 09:18 AM
Every market is different, but the one constant is employment or that there lack of. So there is going to be boat loads of guys/girls looking to make some quick $$$.

I actually had a f/t job when I figured this is what I could picture myself doing for the rest of my life.

My first real season were plenty of things I needed to know, but did not, such as:

Register business with my state
Taxes
Liability Insurance

Most of these wannabe LCC's you see driving around have a "Real Job" & do this for extra $$. Most likely do not pay taxes for the services they provide.

Not only does this increase the competition, but it also becomes very difficult to give per man & per hour estimates.(I think someone else mentioned Low-ball)

If you are in it to win it....Mark up your trucks & trailers and just go for it!

turf&tree
12-18-2012, 10:14 AM
I too am sick of the part timers taking jobs away from me. I have my truck and 3 trailers setup with beautiful signage. I get told by people all the time "I see your trucks everywhere". Well I only have one truck lol.
I have invested loads of time, money and energy into education, equipment, and advertising. And I still have these scab part timers or guys flying under the radar offering their crappy services for the cost of their next 6 pack.
So I get as much info on them as I can and turn them in to the tax people, the dept of agriculture and whoever else will listen!
Yes I think truck signs, shirts, etc just screams professional.
Been doing it that way for 35 years now.

Steve
12-18-2012, 02:01 PM
If you have signs on your truck and trailer, you could create some marketing material that points out the down side to hiring those who don not have signs.

Maybe have an image of an unmarked van and use a title like

'Would you hire this contractor?'

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3117/2644050054_ac9b8c99ac_z.jpg

Then below..

Be wary of hiring any contractor who is afraid to put their company name and contact information on their truck. This is a potential red flag that may signify they are an illegal business, with no insurance, and no licenses.

Instead, be safe and hire a contractor who is fully insured, fully licensed, and a full time professional.

In your marketing, you always want to promote what you have that the others don't. Accentuate your positives and eliminate your negatives.

Matther777
12-18-2012, 04:04 PM
Same in my area. Lots of low ball company with no name. Well till I get started. Just yesterday a roofing company was across the street (yea, in the middle of December) and none of the trucks and vans had a name. They didn't even leave a sign when they finished. To me that is bad business to not have a name. People look for those things in a business. The places I used to work at we would have neighbors come up to us and say can I get a card? We see your a landscaping company. So to me it is important to advertise on a trailer and truck. It's stupid to not do it.

Matther777
12-18-2012, 04:05 PM
If you have signs on your truck and trailer, you could create some marketing material that points out the down side to hiring those who don not have signs.

Maybe have an image of an unmarked van and use a title like

'Would you hire this contractor?'

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3117/2644050054_ac9b8c99ac_z.jpg

Then below..

Be wary of hiring any contractor who is afraid to put their company name and contact information on their truck. This is a potential red flag that may signify they are an illegal business, with no insurance, and no licenses.

Instead, be safe and hire a contractor who is fully insured, fully licensed, and a full time professional.

In your marketing, you always want to promote what you have that the others don't. Accentuate your positives and eliminate your negatives.

That is a great idea! May I steal that idea?

SECTLANDSCAPING
12-18-2012, 04:38 PM
That is a great idea! May I steal that idea?

no you cant, thats my prized van.

Billy Goat
12-18-2012, 07:31 PM
Would be nice to hear from you guys that dont display their business name on their truck and/or trailer and why?

dpld
12-18-2012, 08:19 PM
Would be nice to hear from you guys that dont display their business name on their truck and/or trailer and why?


i think there is many reasons why ranging from trying to be under the radar to just not knowing or not having the money or a full 100% commitment.

this economy the last few years has produced many small businesses both good and bad.

most quality customers that know what they are looking for and can tell the difference between a established business and some no name don't need another landscaper to point that out to them.

i found from experience that low ballers come and go and they been around since the beginning of time as well as they are nothing new and are not going away.
anyone who wastes too much time pondering over them is only hurting themselves.
all you can focus on is your own image as a business and the type of product you put out and let it speak for itself.
i also think by going out of your way to point out the competition and their shortfalls only paints your business in a bad light.

i have always refrained from talking about any other business with a customer or potential customer and i am not gonna waste my opportunity to get my businesses message across talking about anyone else's.
even if i despise the competitor i try to keep my opinions to myself.

politics and talking smack about the competition are major no no's and most will be better served to stay away from such topics.

CHEESE2009
01-07-2013, 12:39 PM
Pros of having a sign on your vehicle:
- You look professional
- You gain confidence
- You attract business


Pros of NOT having a sign on your vehicle:
- Stop signs are optional.
- Literring is less stressful.
- Getting caught by passerby's while shagging someone in the parking lot doesn't effect your business name.



I have the best of both worlds, magnets!

All Set
01-14-2013, 07:05 PM
There are a few reasons we do not have signs on our trucks yet. First off there is just my husband with the 50k 1 ton that he loves. He is afraid to mark it up right now due to the economy and how things are going. We bought magnetic signs that where great until they started to rust and destroy the truck. We would love to get it painted, we are licensed and insured have tons of flyers out there and signs to post when we are working, but we are just afraid that if everything goes under there is another expense we just do not need right now

stevef1201
01-14-2013, 07:34 PM
There are a few reasons we do not have signs on our trucks yet. First off there is just my husband with the 50k 1 ton that he loves. He is afraid to mark it up right now due to the economy and how things are going. We bought magnetic signs that where great until they started to rust and destroy the truck. We would love to get it painted, we are licensed and insured have tons of flyers out there and signs to post when we are working, but we are just afraid that if everything goes under there is another expense we just do not need right now

Magnetic signs are ok, but you have to remove them every night or they will screw up your paint job

Cashin H&P
01-14-2013, 07:42 PM
I lettered my truck when I started. Its forced advartising! I also have a sign on the gate of my trailer, I had stickers made with my logo and info and put them on my parents, girlfriend, friends, sister cars. I even put one on my snowmobile!

Steve
01-15-2013, 12:42 PM
That is very creative! Where do you put those stickers on their cars? Also are you tracking where new callers initially hear of you from and are you finding any of them hear of you from your vehicle ads?

CHEESE2009
01-20-2013, 06:58 PM
MAGNETS
Magnets are probably your best bet, even if you've had a bad experience with them. For $30-40 every year, it's not so bad.

My truck is black, and I keep my magnets on all season long, and I don't notice any discoloration, in fact, your vehicle will probably have 1000 dents before you notice any discoloration at all. :D

VINYL
Consider vinyl a semi-permanent solution; it can stay on for years until you decide you want it to come off! Vinyl also doesn't crack or peel like magnets.

Moki
03-01-2013, 09:31 PM
Another reason that I have not seen mentioned is that these guys/trucks/trailers without signs may have enough contracts that they do not have to advertise.

Steve
03-04-2013, 02:43 PM
Another reason that I have not seen mentioned is that these guys/trucks/trailers without signs may have enough contracts that they do not have to advertise.

That is a very good point, but I do wonder if having a choice at getting a new customer and removing a problem one, or just finding better paying customers is worthwhile to investigate, even if your schedule is full.

GreenBlue
03-15-2013, 10:27 PM
I would have to say the same, I'd be skeptical if a lawn service pulled up to my residence and didn't have any company name on either their truck or trailer. A lot of lawn business owners around here have their business name either on the their truck, trailer, or both. But I think it could also be a city rule too. Where I live you can't have a company vehicle on your property past 5 p.m. and if you are caught the city will fine you. Of course it makes you wonder couldn't they at least spend $50 or less and have some type of a sign? It all has to do with credibility. It'd be like going to see a doctor and not having anything letting you know what type of doctor he was, heck you might have a cold and he'll want to take your kidney? LOL. I know once I get my lawn service going I'm getting magnetic signs, two for my truck I'll be buying, and 3 for my trailer (one for each side and the back). I've decided I'm going with an enclosed trailer, not only because of protection from weather, but also its easy storage, take off the signs (about 2 minutes) and I'm done for the day, don't have to worry about being cited from the city. That's my two cents anyway.

Steve
03-18-2013, 12:40 PM
Where I live you can't have a company vehicle on your property past 5 p.m.

Do you notice fewer competitors in your area have signs because of this law?

Also, would it be worthwhile to have your truck and trailer lettered with vinyl and when you park it at home put a blank magnet similar to the color of the truck and trailer on to block the sign?

MBLC
03-18-2013, 04:24 PM
I don't have signage on my truck or trailer.
Truck: Not painting it because it gets parked at a residence and that is against zoning regs. Won't magnet it because that destroys the paint. This year I was thinking window stickers or as someone posted above maybe a static stick would be better.

Trailer-also against zoning regs where I park it. It is an aluminum enclosed so a magnate is out of the question.


Even if we had a "proper" office, they recently changed the zoning regs regarding contractor vehicles in rented-leased office space. Being a local company, many residents like that we operate out of "their" town.

The biggest and worst reason- Theft. In the suburbs where we do our work, it is extremely common for blowers, trimmers anything not nailed down to be snatched away while you are on a job site or parked overnight. 3 local companies have lost the following in the past few years off the top of my head: 2 backpack blowers, 2 trimmers, from the traps in his open trailer when he stopped at a hardware store. An entire trailer, 2 mowers, trimmers blowers fuel cans misc tools taken from a gated and filmed storage facility. The entire truck and trailer combo with full equipment taken from his own lot.

It is common practice in our area for thieves to follow landscapers on their routes and await the opportunity to snag whatever they can. Gotta love Chicago.

For identification purposes we wear uniforms- t-shirts/ sweatshirts with our name logo and number. All employees must wear our gear when on company business- fliers etc. I do find it a hindrance that we are missing out on easy advertising. We are fully insured and are licensed with the state, pay our taxes, so flying under the radar is only in regards to potential thieves, not laws

GreenBlue
03-19-2013, 09:04 AM
Do you notice fewer competitors in your area have signs because of this law?

Also, would it be worthwhile to have your truck and trailer lettered with vinyl and when you park it at home put a blank magnet similar to the color of the truck and trailer on to block the sign?

Steve where I live there are alot of competitors that don't have signs, all you see is their trailer with mowers and trimmers on it, it could be because of the city ordinance, but then again it could be another reason.

I have considered when we get the truck and trailer to use vinyl lettering, we've decided more on magnets because they are easy to put on and take off, and when we get closer to actually getting the business going we may decide to just do the vinyl, its an idea we kind of play around with and there's pros and cons to using either vinyl or magnets.