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picframer
08-09-2009, 08:03 PM
Arrived back home yesterday after being away for 10 days and lined up 7 appointments for today.

Where I live hardwood trees are everywhere meaning a lot of leaves in the fall and you are not allowed to place them in your garbage. Two of the calls were to clients wanting tree thinning, I found it interesting that both asked if we offer leaf clean up in the fall, I said yes we do using a lawn sweeper, what I do is mulch the leaves with the tractor then the pull sweeper picks up the lulched leaves, it takes two to three pass's to get everything, I quoted $50.00 an hour as it's very easy work.

I now have 8 places who want their yards done, this is a service I haven't advertised as I want to wind the business down for the year by the first week of September as I start my woodworking back up and almost all my staff are going back to University.

So I was thinking driving home, I wonder if I should buy either a Dr. Lan unit
http://www.drpower.com/TwoStepModelDetail.aspx?Name=LLVCommercial7HP&p1Name=leaflawnvac2step&Page=llvmodels or I found another one that doesn't appear to be made quite as well called the Cyclone Rake XL http://www.cyclonerake.com/xl.htm

This set up will run me about three grand, my only concern is how well I will be able to get around on smaller properties although I can get a 20 foot hose, what I like is how well they mulch.

Anyhow my question is, do any of you use this type of set up? I could add a bagger to the tractors however they don't hold enough.

Thanks
Andy

Steve
08-09-2009, 09:46 PM
Welcome back Andy.

I look forwards to hearing about your trip.

I hope others can jump in here and offer their advice on this.

picframer
08-10-2009, 04:35 AM
Welcome back Andy.

I look forwards to hearing about your trip.

I hope others can jump in here and offer their advice on this.

Thanks buddy, I am looking forward to getting back at it today, I wrote a what I did and what I am doing in Costa Rica section under the Canadian Health Insurance, at this point I am about 70% sure I will work in excavation down there from January to April, only allowed to stay four months at a time anyhow.

I am still torn a bit over this unit, no one has one that I have seen, my number one concern is the size, I have quite a few lawns I would be able to do however it would not be a good option for the city, two issues.

First is parking, I would have to use the 16 foot trailer on the truck, that is longer than the space along the street between two driveways, I have a 12 foor trailer also but it's won't fit, this is the reason I do not work in the city.

Now I have the area we have done over 100 jobs in but I am not sure if customers are going to be willing to pay what I am going to have to ask, I guess I should send out my email survey, the majority of people just blow the leavees into the woods, it looks terrible and this spring we did quite a few clean up's, man it was a lot of work cleaning leaves and twigs that were either wet or had built up, I underbid almost every job as I had no idea it would be as hard as it was.

Another issue is driveways, I would guess 70% of my clients outside the city have gravel driveways, this would not work so I am wondering what you guys even do or offer? Is it all manual? I have two shredders on tractors that can be fed manually and they are very fast but there is still this manual pickup I want to avoid and looking for an option or solution.

I think in the back of my head I am concerned I will get a bunch of requests and won't be able to get my woodworking done, what I do in woodworking would take months even years to train someone, I have done it twice but as soon as they are trained up they get a loan and start business themselves, I know both I tought are doing very well.

Anyhow I wanted some feedback from users, there must be someone on here that offers this service especially with pine needles as this thing will even pick up branches up to 2" and shred them.

Steve
08-10-2009, 05:32 AM
I wrote a what I did and what I am doing in Costa Rica section under the Canadian Health Insurance, at this point I am about 70% sure I will work in excavation down there from January to April, only allowed to stay four months at a time anyhow.

That was a fantastic story.

And what an adventure you would be on down there wow! Can you tell us the area you were at again so I can use google maps to check it out?

How do you think it would be to operate such a business down there? You are so adventurous!

picframer
08-10-2009, 05:26 PM
That was a fantastic story.

And what an adventure you would be on down there wow! Can you tell us the area you were at again so I can use google maps to check it out?

How do you think it would be to operate such a business down there? You are so adventurous!

My daughter is going to school in Tamarindo however the resort I stayed at is in Playa Gradne, it's about 25 to 30 min on the ATV, I stayed there as the resorts were cheaper, both these locations are on amazing beaches.

My new company registration will be finished by the end of the week, with legal fees it cost about $500.00, my first goal is to buy a piece of land about 25 to 30 min inland, I have a few parcels of land that I looked at while I was there, I will probably build what we would call strip duplex's and rent them out, except for food, this is a very cheap place to vacation and live, the majority of people in this area are Americans, Canadian's and British, many of which operate places to eat, nothing is fancy, I will post some images later.

January to April are slow months, I decided I want to drop snow plowing, insurance is high, you can't predict income, I have lived here 19 years, I have seen years I never dropped a plow on my own driveway, others you would be plowing twice a week and to be honest plowing snow in the bitter cold doesn't interest me any more.

I could and have built furniture during this time and done very well but I seem to be hooked on excavation, landscaping etc. so I would work there from the latter part of December to April, I doubt very much I would operate the company down there year around unless I found an American or canadian living there that wanted something to do with some experience.

Theft is not an issue, I was there for 10 days, travelled everywhere, never seen one police officer, they have no military, I wasked people about this and they said everyone knows everyone, there is no crime so why do we need police? I suspect they are around should you need them.

This is just an idea but when I see an opportunity I generally go after it and I see a small gold mine here, the Americans and Canadians that live there and operate their retirement business's agreed but no one could tell me why someone else hasen't thought of this.

Anyhow I am flying back down in a few weeks as I want to close a deal on land then the rest can just unfold as it does, I am in no major rush, I will cut enough wood from the land and have it milled to basically pay for it, I will have the wood shipped back to North America, there is a fairly big demand for these woods and a very high profit, only high end woodworkers work with the wood as it requires a substantial investment is very high end tools and it is extremly difficult to work with, the up side is there is big demand for products in these woods due to this fact.

picframer
08-10-2009, 05:32 PM
Here is the ATV I rented for the 10 days and the place very close by where I ate, it is owned by a fellow from Chicago, Dave, super guy a little older than me, I couldn't handle the food at the resort even though it was a five star location, Dave's food catered to tourists and his food was simply amazing and dirt cheap. A typical full course meal would cost you about $12.00 and that would include two beer.

picframer
08-10-2009, 05:35 PM
I ordered the Commercial Dr. unit this afternoon as I feel there will be more than enough demand and after researching, it is in my opinion the best made product, shipping is way to high so I am going to drive down to Maine and pick it up at a shipping depot.

picframer
08-10-2009, 05:48 PM
Here is my daughter and I, we had a blast each day when she was out of school, paid these guys to sing to us while we ate, it was a lot of fun

Steve
08-10-2009, 09:49 PM
You got so many great things going on! Very adventurous! I loved seeing all the pictures too!

I was looking the area up on google and found Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

And then I found some video of the area here.

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All these wonderful places out there in the world I never would have known about!

picframer
08-11-2009, 05:05 AM
This whole area is basically untouched from development, my working with people in Africa for two years came in big time, many of us here in North America are in a rush, these people are not and it can be very fustrating however it teaches us a very good lesson, they do not have a lot but their attitude it don't worry be happy, tomorrow is another day, lets look at it when it arrives, live in the moment.

Tamarindo is a young people town, I would guess there are around 2,500 people here, one nice hotel, the average age would be around 22 or so, it has many private and international schools and an amazing night life, actually the night life is 24/7.

I spoke with my daughter last night MSN, the internet is simply amazing at times to me, almost no lag at all on voice and video, she really loves it there, I just hope she doesn't want to stay......at least yet.

Anyhow if you are looking for a really cheap holiday, fly to Florida then catch an airline called Sprint to Liberia, I only found this out this past Sunday talking to a client here that has a place in the area, it would have saved me 9 hours of travel and over $600.00 in air fare.

As for where to stay, just book one night then get a place when you are there or I have the email address's of two Americans I made friends with that now live there are rent places for about $300.00 a week, they are clean, not on the beach but a 5 min walk, kitchen etc as you want to cook your own food for the most part anyhow, do not take any type of food with you, even canned or jerky, they will sceize it at the airport.

If you want perfect beaches, not a lot of people, very little to no shopping, very cheep booze and you like to party and unwind, this is the place to go, but keep in mind this is not a commercial area, in many respects it would be like stepping back 60+ years in time with the exception of the internet and electricity, forget credit cards, everything is cash, there are a few ATM's, I may have seen three in all my travels.

Don't worry if you can't speak Spanish, there is always someone around that understands at least some english or simply use your hands to explain things, you will pick up basic words in no time.