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skyjack_1
01-22-2007, 04:33 PM
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Hello All!!!

My dad is a forum addict, but on a different kind of forum.

My name is Ben Weldon. My passion is Well-Done Lawn & Landscape, and just well-done for short. I have been in this industry for a little over 10 years. I am 26 and still in school. College that is, hopefully getting a BS in Hort. and Landscape Mgmt. Already have an Associates. Almost there for my BS, 19 hours to go, add some business courses and maybe I can spread my wings.

I started mowing lawns at 14 with my brother and dad. Had a few jobs here and there while mowing lawns but never happy unless my shoes had a green tint stain. Working and doing school is no easy task. School gone slow, but worth every bit. May get a little competitive edge with a degree.

Stationed in Granbury TX, southwest of DFW, I have lived here most of my life. Don't plan on moving out. Have already got a lot from this forum, just never registered till now. I am a licensed irrigator and have a lot to offer. I plan to acquire some certifications once out of college. CLT, CTP, and so on. EXCITED about it. Already a planet member and soon to expand to other associations to receive and offer help if needed. Will answer any questions and will ask a lot. May only be 26, but I do what I gotta do to see that it gets done the right way, the Green Way.

Steve
01-23-2007, 07:46 AM
Welcome to our forum!

How does having a irrigator license effect your business?
Why did you choose to get this license?

skyjack_1
01-23-2007, 01:05 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Jan. 23 2007,7:46)]Welcome to our forum!

How does having a irrigator license effect your business?
Why did you choose to get this license?
Thanks for the intro.

Gaining an irrigation license has helped this business tremendously. I set high goals for myself, and getting a license was one of them. I want to be certified in what I do on a daily basis. I want people to trust me and feel comfortable with my abilities. They need to know that I'm not just some guy trying to earn extra money to buy beer on the weekends. Not very often do people truly find what they want to do for the rest of their lives. That cannot be said for me. I got this license when I was 19 and fresh out of high school. Irrigation is one of my favorite things to do. Have learned a lot, both in installation and repair. So if anybody have questions, shoot-em at me. I should be able to answer most. It provides a challenge and requires some thinking and planning skills.

Down here in Texas, stripes in the lawn are not very easy or common. Experimented on an Augustine lawn but no luck. Just doesn't lay right. Never had a Bermuda lawn thick enough or short enough. Most people like it tall. Conserves water.

Before this gets too long, I guess I'm signing out.

Steve
01-23-2007, 01:23 PM
That is really interesting! Do you forsee yourself getting more licenses in the future? Do you want to specialize in more fields?

skyjack_1
01-23-2007, 10:14 PM
Yes I do see myself getting more licenses. Applicators, backflow testing and not sure yet what others. Certifications definitely though. Some through Planet, TNLA, Irrigation Association. Lots of plans hopefully enough time. Would like to learn more bout hardscaping. Gonna get back into landscaping. Just stepped out for a moment. Got burned. Sticking with my bread and butter for now. Maintenance.

Steve
01-24-2007, 02:51 AM
How important is a plumbers license in the irrigation business? Would you ever go that direction?

skyjack_1
01-24-2007, 05:51 PM
I don't feel like a plumbing license would do much for the irrigation industry. It's mainly bout the design of the system and components. Don't know much of what's involved in a plumbing license. Maybe if I was gonna plumb a house, I could see it. But not in irrigation.

Irrigation is pretty standard sometimes. Seems like there is more to plumbing a house. I have fixed a lot of mains going into the house, but it stops there.

Steve
01-25-2007, 02:05 PM
Can you hook up an irrigation system to a house without a plumbers license?

skyjack_1
01-26-2007, 09:39 AM
Definitely. You see there are actually three different licenses in the irrigation industry. You have an installers license. The simplest of the three. This licensed professional can install everything but the most important backflow device. The backflow device is what taps into the potable main water system. The pipe going into the house. The backflow doesn't allow any water to flow back into the main system.

The next license is an irrigators license. I have this license. This professioal can install the entire system, including the backflow device. For any of my guys to install this component, I have to be present on the job site while the installation is being done. I do not have to be a licensed plumber.

The last is a license for backflow testing. I will acquire this one soon. This person may work for a utility company or on his own. He is hired to test any backflow device. They have been trained only to test them. The device must be working properly or it has to be replaced.

Steve
01-26-2007, 04:25 PM
That is wild!

How long did it take you to get the current licenses and how long will it take to get the next one?

skyjack_1
01-26-2007, 05:12 PM
To acquire the license that I have now took four days training in an irrigation basics school taught by Sundance Irrigation in Fort Worth, TX. Jerry Lewis is the teacher of this school and is very good at what he does. He has a high passing percentage.

I then had to wait till the next test time came around. It wasn't to shortly after the class. For this test I had to travel to Austin TX. I got there the day before to check into the hotel. Got up early the next morning and went to take the test. It was a class of 300 or so. People come from all over the state to take this test. A large percentage do not even pass the test.

Over the past few years or so, the testing has become more lenient. Used to, a person would have to travel to Austin to take the test. Now they can take it all over the state. More people becoming licensed irrigators. Just more competition. Will have to tighten up on my strategies a little.

After it all said and done, 1000 dollars later and some new acquired knowledge, I was off and running to lay that pipe. A license in one pocket and a pair of pipe cutters in the other, dry lawns were at my mercy.

Gonna take another four days of school, more money, and some time, and I will acquire a backflow tester license. Not sure when, but gonna be when out of college. Shortly I hope. We all know what running a business is like. If we knew what was gonna happen, we wouldn't need insurance.