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Old 01-25-2012, 11:14 AM
dpld dpld is offline
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as far as the insurance goes you will have to call your agent and find out what the additional cost would be.

i know in my state if you go deeper then 12 inches into the ground you have to have insurance that is rated for excavating.
when i bought a stump grinder they were trying to push that on me and eventually i got them to realize that the maximum depth the machine could go was 12 inches and our frost line in nj is 3 feet so whether it be a gas line, electrical line or water line and even the footings for a structure have to be a minimum of 3 feet below the ground.

when it comes to that it is like apples and oranges from state to state.

you are smart for being debt free and do yourself a favor and keep it that way.
i myself am debt free and i never borrowed a dime for my business and i always lived my life in the manner of if i can not afford to pay for it i live without it until i can.

like i said i have been at it a while and when i started out things were different, they were not better and they were not worse, it was just a different time.
landscapers get today what we got 25 years ago to do a job but our equipment cost 4 to 5 times today compared to what it did when i started and that is a major difference.
for example, i like to use walker mowers for the most part but i also have a couple exmark ztr's as well, i like the walkers because they are lighter then the exmarks and they bag and pick up the debris far better then anything i have ever used.
when i bought my first walker mower it was like 4,800.00 and the same mower today is like 14,000.00 and the newer one are obviously better and have more power and added features as well as are still worth buying but the difference is i got to cut a lot more grass to get that money back and considering on average we get about the same money today it definitly makes you think long and hard when buying one.

insurance is another biggie, when i started out my general liability was like 400.00 per year and today it is like 6,000.00 and workers comp is completly insane.
with that said there is still money to be made today but younger guys like yourself definitly have larger mountains to conquer today then when i was younger.
there is also far more competition today then when i started out and in my county back in 1990 there were about 300 registered landscape businesses and today it is close to 2,300.
living where i do is helpfull because i live in one of the most densely populated states in the union and my town alone has close to 10,000 homes so even with the large amount of landscapers there are plenty of properties to service and there is still enough work to support that amount of landscapers county wide.

i will say truthfully that if i were starting out today i would probably have to borrow some money to get it going because everything cost so much money today.
back in 1990 you could get yourself a real nice used truck for a couple thousand dollars and today that same money will get you a peice of crap that needs a ton of money.

you seem as if you got things figured out pretty good and you got your priorities straight so just stay the course and don't get discouraged because if i let everything that overwhelmed me get the best of me over the years i would have folded up years ago.

best of luck to you.
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