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Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

New guy, sort of, from Maine


Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
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  #1  
Old 02-09-2007, 09:23 PM
S.P.Martin Lawn Care
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S.P.Martin Lawn Care And Caretaker Service

Greetings from Maine,

After nearly 30 years of law enforcement, time for a change. *I did have a lawn care/landscaping business from 1987 to 1990 with a good friend of mine, but it took too much time away from my family. *Made obscene money with it though. *So now that I am retired, I decided to give it another go, solo this time except for family members.

Got a late start so my customer base was a bit thin, but I have doubled it already in anticipation of the upcoming season. *Also have some solid leads on some good paying commercial accounts. *Even managed some mutal aid gentlemen agreements with three of my competition, most of whom I have been friendly with for years.

Currently negotiating to buy an existing business with over 30 accounts and a nice Walker mower. *Hope to have that by April at the latest.

Equipment consists of 2004 F-150 crew cab w/tow package, 12 ft single axle trailer, 2006 Ferris 3100 w/water cooled Kawasaki engine, 61 in deck and bagging system, Echo trimmer, and a Toro Mulcher 22 inch walk behind.

I anticipate purchasing another Ferris 3100 like I have now, a 22 ft custom tandem axle trailer, two more trimmers and two edgers, 2 more Toros, and a pair of Echo back pack blowers.

I have a couple of contracts I will be posting in the near future for examples. *

Other interests of mine are building my replica 66 Cobra, general construction, volunteer work, Harley Davidson, and too many other things...

I look forward to being in touch with everybody out there!

Steve Martin



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  #2  
Old 02-09-2007, 09:45 PM
tiedeman
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
WoW Steve! *That is a great intro! *Welcome to the site.

Are you planning on doing the business long term or short term? *By that I mean, you said that you retired, so are you going to just do it kind of part time for extra cash, or are you going to build it to run itself? *

What type of services will you be offering?



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Old 02-09-2007, 11:06 PM
S.P.Martin Lawn Care
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I have every intention of growing the business for the long term. Retirement money is good, but its a pay cut just the same. I have college tuition to cough up for the next five years or so, a great incentive....

Right now I'm keeping my services simple, mowing and cleanups. Did plowing before and its a pain in the rear, but I'm considering it for next year. This winter would have been a bust.

Additionally I offer off season caretaker/keyholder service as there are quite a few seasonal properties in these parts the owners wish to have an eye kept on. I also offer the same service short term for anybody that wants it. For example you are gone for a few weeks on a vacation in January and want to make sure the heat is on, plants watered, and the mail picked up.

Part of my 5 year plan is to branch out into largescale landscaping. One of my daughters will be going to Penn State for Architecture and Landscape Design. Hopefully I can turn the business over to her with residual income so I can spend more time on the HD.
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Old 02-10-2007, 11:13 AM
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Hi Steve,

Welcome to our forum!

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I have a couple of contracts I will be posting in the near future for examples.

Other interests of mine are building my replica 66 Cobra, general construction, volunteer work, Harley Davidson, and too many other things...
We do thank you for posting contracts and allowing us to share them with others.

Do you have any pictures of your car That you could post so we could see?
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:28 PM
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I was talking with Steve and he sent me some links to the site with pictures of the replicas.

http://www.factoryfive.com/table/ffr...adsterkit.html

Awesome Stuff!
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:48 PM
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One of the things I find fascinating about this kit is that you use a donor car for certain parts. I bet that keeps the cost of the project way down too.

Steve can you tell us a little how you got started in this project? What made this company the one to go with? How long has the project taken so far and how much longer until its completed?
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Old 02-11-2007, 02:21 PM
S.P.Martin Lawn Care
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Cars and hot rods have been a serious interest of mine for years. *I've owned a '71 Corvette, '89 Mustang GT, '68 Cuda fastback, and an '82 Trans Am. *I have also worked on plenty more.

About 20 years ago I read an article in a car magazine that followed along for a build of a Cobra kit car. *It seemed so easy and I decided I would own one and build it some day.

I researched several manufacturers over the years and settled on two, ERA out of Conn. and Factory Five in Mass. *I visited the companies to get a feel for quality, attititude, and so forth. *I chose Factory 5 only because I was intrigued by the way they did it. *Seemed so logical to me. *The frame they use is race quality and far advanced over the original style. *If I had a larger budget and wanted a more authentic replica, I would have gone with ERA, the generally accepted leader in quality.

Bought the kit about 5 years ago. *Went down and picked it up with my trailer. *I had made a deal with the local vocational school to do the body work at cost. *The kids loved it and did a pretty good job. *Not museum quality, but so what, I intend the drive this thing and I expect some minor dings. *It cost less then $450 for paint and material. *Body shops wanted over $2500 to do it.

Located an 88 Mustang GT, not my first choice as I wanted an 89 up for its mass air flow engine, not the speed density. *But the price is right, it ran great, was a 5 spd, and since I was going to leave it stock anyway, I bought it for $1500 and stripped everything out that I needed. *Had the carcass hauled off for $50.

So for the past couple of years I have been working on putting the thing together when the mood strikes me. *I have about 300 man hours in it. *There is lots more in the work I farmed out. I figure it will take about the same to finish it. *Lots of the work is not really necessary, but I chose to upgrade some parts, like suspension pieces, rear end gears and axles, wheels and tires, exhaust system, and steering. *Lots of detail stuff that eat up time quickly.

If this were a straight swap and installation w/o any upgrading or refinishing, the car can be done in about 400 hrs. *When its done it will look like the one on the web site, except for the color. *I went with the Dodge truck bright blue w/white stripes.



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Old 02-11-2007, 02:37 PM
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Great stuff!

You know I was looking at some of the videos and at least one of them seems to shoe horn in a big block engine? Is that right? Or did it just seem huge compared to the size of the car? What size engines do these cars use?
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:46 PM
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The most common setup is for Ford Windsor blocks, the 5.0 and 5.8. I also know that some use the FE blocks, like the original 427 side oilers($$$), 390s, 428s. The 385 series, 429 and 460, are also used. Quite a few builders put in stroker 460s and push well over 500 inches and 500 hp. In fact I have a 429 I was going to rebuild and put into the car, but the rest of the deal was a budget buster. Rebuild w/aluminum heads, pistons, bell housing, transmission, clutch, etc. came close to $6K alone.

Newer cars can swallow the SOHc and DOHC modular motors. Just tell them what you want to drop in between the frame rails. Supercharged Cobra motors are used frequently, sound real nasty when pushing the loud pedal. Dimension wise, these are very large motors, mostly due to the width across the OHC valve covers.

And then there a few more that prefer big and small block Chevy and Chrysler power, even the new and old HEMI. To each his own. Not all makes are supported by the factory due to difficulty in the manufacture/set up for all the differing motor mounts and so on.

I have my doubts as to street time and and reliability for those high power cars, never mind trying to insure them. You can insure them through specialty companies, but the mileage restrictions and so on can be very restrictive. I'm a firm believer in the KISS Principle, Keep It Simple Stupid.
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:31 PM
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Those engines are super huge! That car must really haul.

How do they register such cars? Are they classics or just regular vehicles? Do they have any problems getting past emission inspections?
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