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picframer
02-27-2009, 09:32 AM
I brought my new John Deere 2520 home today, has a loader, backhoe, snow blade etc. This is my larger trailer, it's quite a load!

picframer
02-27-2009, 10:59 AM
Here is three of the 5 tractors

justin_time
02-27-2009, 12:15 PM
I assume you love John Deere ;) :p

Is your lawn tractor the X series ? I'm thinking of investing into one of those

Steve
02-27-2009, 04:09 PM
Oh that looks great! How do you like using it with the snow plow on the front?

picframer
02-27-2009, 07:51 PM
I assume you love John Deere ;) :p

Is your lawn tractor the X series ? I'm thinking of investing into one of those

Yes it's the X500, I had an LA145 for about two weeks, just no traction. The X500 has Dif lock however I have never had to use it just the weight difference and tires make all the difference, I use the X500 in the winter for sanding and it works great. It has the Gator blades which I fell in love with last year, really happy with the results.

As for loving JD, they have served me well, the sales and service people always go above and beyond and they are 15 min from my home. I generally buy the best I can afford but only if i can get it serviced locally, with in the case of ZTR's limits me to Toro or JD.

picframer
02-27-2009, 07:57 PM
Oh that looks great! How do you like using it with the snow plow on the front?

It works really really well, it's made by Horst in Ontario and is a quick connect, I can go from bucket to plow in under two min's, it's 6' wide. I had John Deere put a divetor valve on, basically I press a button and it switches the Hydro from the curl on the loader to the angle on the plow or the Top and Tilt cylinder on the box blade, I just use the loader joystick rather than adding another control unit.

I have a rear blade for the 2305 which is 5 feet and a 60" blower which mounts to the 3 point hitch, I prefer pushing snow rather than looking behind.

Then on the Super H (1947 which I have owned for 30 years) has an 8 foot 6" blade and the 700 Kawasaki Brute Force has a 5 foot blade.

we have 70 cm of snow coming, storm is to hit Sunday, I will have all four units out and about clearing snow, big bucks in these big storms.

picframer
02-27-2009, 08:22 PM
I assume you love John Deere ;) :p

Is your lawn tractor the X series ? I'm thinking of investing into one of those

Here is a pic

justin_time
02-27-2009, 08:29 PM
When my Husqvarna reaches 500 hrs, i'm thinking of going to buy a John Deere X300. I don't see myself getting a X500 like yours. I don't see myself using is more than a mower unless I get bigger in the future. I love the warranty on John Deere... 4 yrs / 500 hrs.. WOW nothing beats that.

Steve
02-27-2009, 11:11 PM
we have 70 cm of snow coming, storm is to hit Sunday, I will have all four units out and about clearing snow, big bucks in these big storms.

WOW that is fantastic!

For the readers considering going the route of buying a tractor and a snow plow vs a pickup and a snow plow can you tell us why you might want to go with one over the other?

What would you say are the pros vs cons of each?

picframer
02-28-2009, 03:06 AM
WOW that is fantastic!

For the readers considering going the route of buying a tractor and a snow plow vs a pickup and a snow plow can you tell us why you might want to go with one over the other?

What would you say are the pros vs cons of each?

The advantage of a truck is that you can cover greater distances faster, the cost would be far less that a tractor I have bought.

The advantage of a tractor is it will take the abuse of plowing and never bat an eye, therefore maintenance costs are next to zip, I have been plowing with the 1947 for 20 years and total mintenance is less than $500.00, a tractor will use far less fuel, I can plow for 8 hours on $28.00 +/- diesel, better traction, I have pulled probably 10 guys with plows on trucks out so far this season and that was with the smaller 2305 tractor. Another advantage is the loader, I can pile snow high and widen driveways, clean bus stops, fire hydrants and just picked up a contract for three fire halls.

Big advantage of these CUT's (Compact Utility Tractor) is the attachments you can get, all of which will expand your business and make you good coin, the average hourly rate around here is $105.00 and because you can do so many things there is good demand, I would take a tractor over a skid steer anyday as they are lighter and faster.

Andy

picframer
02-28-2009, 03:08 AM
When my Husqvarna reaches 500 hrs, i'm thinking of going to buy a John Deere X300. I don't see myself getting a X500 like yours. I don't see myself using is more than a mower unless I get bigger in the future. I love the warranty on John Deere... 4 yrs / 500 hrs.. WOW nothing beats that.

The X300 is a nice tractor, I belong to a tractor forum and have never seen a complaint on the X series, they are really built well.

picframer
02-28-2009, 06:13 PM
When my Husqvarna reaches 500 hrs, i'm thinking of going to buy a John Deere X300. I don't see myself getting a X500 like yours. I don't see myself using is more than a mower unless I get bigger in the future. I love the warranty on John Deere... 4 yrs / 500 hrs.. WOW nothing beats that.

Here is the image I took last fall I was looking for

Steve
02-28-2009, 06:15 PM
Andy,

For lawn care business owners who have a tractor or are thinking about getting one, what is the best way to market the services you can offer with a tractor? Should you network with others in your area and let them know you can be called to sub-contract out tractor work? Or should you market to your customers that you have a tractor and can do the following jobs?

What is your advice on that?

picframer
02-28-2009, 06:36 PM
Andy,

For lawn care business owners who have a tractor or are thinking about getting one, what is the best way to market the services you can offer with a tractor? Should you network with others in your area and let them know you can be called to sub-contract out tractor work? Or should you market to your customers that you have a tractor and can do the following jobs?

What is your advice on that?

What I did was send a post card and cover letter to my current woodworking clients, I exported a client list into excel then sorted by postal code, I wanted to start with clients who live in what we quite often call the rich or upper scale are. The letter basically said Oakridge Woodworking has expanded into Organic Lawn Care (anything Organic is a big seller here), deck construction and mini excavation, from the 200 +/- letters I sent i received just over 50 inquiries, we now have a few months of excavation work and quite a few lawn care contracts, some want snow removal also.

Now what I did with snow removal was I was only interested in our area, so after or during a storm I would drive around in the truck, I had a card made up for snow removal, if a driveway wasn't plowed I left the card in their door, if they were outside I stopped, introduced myself, said I offered snow removal if they wanted to give their back a break just give me a call, by the storm or every storm, picked up just over 30 driveways which is more than enough, word of mouth spread and I started getting calls from others.

What I did also was tell these people I offer lawn care, mini excavation, tree chipping, I try to take note of something I could do at their home, it's tough as we have so much snow but if I saw a tree(s) that needed to be removed for example, I would simply say if you are interested we perform tree removal and chipping, give it some thought and give me a shout in the spring/summer.

Next we have a medical clinic in our area with a free bill board for local services, I posted these cards there, the local pizza joint and a take out, I have since taken these down as I do not want any more driveways this season.

Here are the cards I had done up, maganetic sign to match the color of the truck also.

There is an area fairly close to here I call the retirement area so I did up a funny card which I will have mail dropped to this area only, probably in late April.

Now when it comes to buying a tractor, most of the CUT's are similar, I believe JD is considered the most expensive however, what is critical is that you have a very good feeling about the dealer, it doesn't matter much what brand although you should do some research but stuff happens and when you need service you need to know the dealer will back you up, that is #1 in my books. They can be expensive and if you are considering a tractor, I would encourage you to buy something a little bigger than you need, they hold their value very well and I believe there is 0% interest financing in the USA at the moment from many of them. Join a tractor forum and ask for assistance, I personally belong to My Tractor Forum, they are great and most do not care what color your tractor is, they just want to help you.

picframer
02-28-2009, 06:45 PM
Andy,

Should you network with others in your area and let them know you can be called to sub-contract out tractor work?

What is your advice on that?

Sorry I overlooked this question, personally I stay clear of sub contracting work, I can't be bothered trying to collect money from a contractor that says they are trying to collect from the owner, I go direct and will go head on with a bigger more established company.

If you know the contractor well and are not concerned about payment, then yes this will get you a pile of work fast. I have had contractors call me but I tell them I really appreciate the consideration however we are booked solid at the moment, a polite way of saying thanks but no thanks. I consider myself fortunate that I do not need the extra work at the moment.

I picked up a reno project in the wealthy area of the city, all inside work that will take myself and two helpers at least two months, building and installing Jatoba cupboards and stairway. It's funny as a neighbour came over on Friday and asked if I built decks or did outside work, and I replied sure, lets wait for the snow to clear and have a coffee over what you would like, we will make it the talk of the neighbourhood, perhaps it won't be but people like to feel important and they are.

picframer
02-28-2009, 06:50 PM
For the summer

Steve
03-01-2009, 04:36 PM
Here are the cards I had done up, maganetic sign to match the color of the truck also.

Very creative! Now were all the postcard designs you made also duplicated to being magnetic truck signs as well or were there just a few different magnetic truck signs?

picframer
03-01-2009, 05:34 PM
Very creative! Now were all the postcard designs you made also duplicated to being magnetic truck signs as well or were there just a few different magnetic truck signs?

No I kept them seperate, I have different signs for each trailer and am taking the truck in tomorrow for lettering.

Steve
03-02-2009, 06:25 PM
Oh I can't wait to see how your truck comes out!

Joe Mow
03-11-2009, 10:33 AM
Here's mine... a 4100 I got for chores around our small acreage. I'm going to be marketing cutting to acreage and lot owners, so this ought to come in handy.
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb297/Radulator/P8070131.jpg

picframer
03-11-2009, 03:30 PM
Here's mine... a 4100 I got for chores around our small acreage. I'm going to be marketing cutting to acreage and lot owners, so this ought to come in handy.
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb297/Radulator/P8070131.jpg

Nice tractor and since you have a loader, offer that service also. That tractor will do some amazing things as you are probably aware, a Landscape rake with guage wheels makes a driveway look like a million bucks, I recently bought a tiller after renting one last year and will offer this service also. Once you have a tractor that size it opens up a very exciting part of your business.

Steve
03-11-2009, 11:18 PM
Here's mine... a 4100 I got for chores around our small acreage. I'm going to be marketing cutting to acreage and lot owners, so this ought to come in handy.

Very nice tractor!

When you market these services, will you be including a photo of yourself on the tractor? What do you think is the best way to get across to the customer what your equipment looks like and what it can do? Or is that not so important?

picframer
03-12-2009, 03:44 AM
Very nice tractor!

When you market these services, will you be including a photo of yourself on the tractor? What do you think is the best way to get across to the customer what your equipment looks like and what it can do? Or is that not so important?

90%+ of the time it's critical, people want to see what you have done in the past, when you show up and they see the size of the tractor they will think there is no way that will do the job.

These smaller tractors have a big tractor attitude, I have been running tractors for over 30 years now/all sizes, when I first saw my smaller one I thought for the twenty grand I was about to spend there is no way it's worth it as I doubt it will even plow my driveway, the salesman assured it would do whatever I asked and it did. In short it continues to shock me what they will do and it has never let me down.

Here is a suggestion on getting going, I suggested this to my son and his best friend last summer. Advertise on the local board's you are University students with your own summer business, explain what the equipment will do, when driving around and you see something you can do, stop and leave a note or do up a flyer if the people are outside talk to them and introduce yourself, once you get going word of mouth and neighbours of where you are working will keep you going. This worked and the guys had more work than they knew what to do with last summer.

This summer should be interesting, we have added a lot of attachments to expand what we can do and bigger equipment for the larger jobs, added the Organic Lawn Care side, it will be myself, son and two of his friends, both very experienced around heavy equipment, one friends dad bought him a truck and trailer to help him out, I am supplying the equipment and will take a percentage of every job he does.

I met with two septic tank pumping companies yesterday as I was thinking people have to get their tanks cleaned every 8 years or so and most homeowners, myself included, would rather hire a backhoe to remove the soil for the truck to get at the top of the tank, One meeting went very well and he said they have been trying to find someone with a smaller backhoe to do this as the larger machinery damages the customer lawns and we struck a deal which he will include in his advertising, the second meeting was luke warm, fellow just didn't seem to want to make any changes, just keep doing what he was doing and let the customer worry about the tops, wasn't interested in offering my card to do it for them, this is fine, can't win them all. We won't make a lot of money doing the tops, $50.00 per dig, 6 a day on average and no float fee however the goal here was to get the contact and I know most people will have other chores that need done so I consider it a marketing expense/cost of doing business.

For some of the others, I would hit up sprinkler installation companies, companies that install low voltage lighting, garden stores that sell trees etc. Push the fact you are a value added resource for their company.