Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Property Management Forums > Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation

Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation
A great way to talk about all things lawn care related. Grass, turf, shrubs, trees, aeration, fertilization, reseeding, hydro-seeding, mowing, grub control, chemicals and pesticides. Ask questions, give answers. Grow!

What works and what doesn't!


Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation

A great way to talk about all things lawn care related. Grass, turf, shrubs, trees, aeration, fertilization, reseeding, hydro-seeding, mowing, grub control, chemicals and pesticides. Ask questions, give answers. Grow!
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 06-26-2008, 04:33 AM
hotwired hotwired is offline
Lawn Care Business Consultant - Ken
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: winslow maine
Age: 48
Posts: 53
Rep Power: 0
hotwired is an unknown quantity at this point
Default What works and what doesn't!

What works and what doesn't

I read an AMAZING article by Steve Pavlina recently (www.StevePavlina.com ) where he talked about a successful friend of his and this friend's secret to successes. I'm paraphrasing, but basically he said "keep track of what works and what doesn't and learn from it". What philosophies or ways do you have that repeatedly lead to victories? What habits do you repeat that seem to get in your way, time after time? I had a pretty good example recently with a piece of equipment purchase, and I wanted to share it with you. The "mistake" cost me around $1,200, some wasted time, and a bruised ego so I want to at least get the pleasure of writing and article about it ... and maybe saving someone else the trouble!

Year after year, we've put off buying a dump trailer. My reasoning was simple: 1. they're 4 times more expensive than the $1,000 - $2,000 single and double axle landscape trailers we use now, 2. They're heavy and have more "parts" and will be more expensive to register, inspect and maintain, and most importantly, the part that ties the other 2 together, we only dump an estimated 30-40 loads per year (and this is being generous, it could very well be half that.) Often times, we have a couple wheelbarrow loads, or a full load of brush that will easily slide off a regular trailer anyway.

So, this analysis being neat, complete and closed, what did your truly do this year? I bought a $5,800 dump trailer to replace my $900 single axle beaver tail 12' landscape trailer which I'd been using for 4 years and not put a DIME into except 1 tire. I sold the trailer for $700 to boot, meaning it only cost me $200 to use it over 5 years! So we bought it in April. My reasoning was the following; 1. We don't need any large equipment purchases this year, and I've budgeted 10k for purchases, so now we can have our dump trailer which will make life easier with those early spring cleanups as well as our larger jobs where we have to haul away large amounts of dirt and sod. 2. Where we have NOT had a dump trailer in the past, we probably will now use this trailer for a lot of things we haven't even thought of, maybe taking on some deliveries, hauling more loam, etc.

Now do you see a difference between the logic of NOT getting the trailer and GETTING the trailer? I do! The logic of not getting it is clear, concise, and very little vagueness or uncertainty. We know how often we would use it, and therefore, the expense is not justified. Simple, clear, concise. The logic in getting it is a different story. Kind of muddy, isn't it? We 'might' do a couple of things we didn't' before. Like what? How often? When I re read it, it actually looks like a different person made the first decision than the second.

Also, I didn't do much research as to what I'd need to do D.O.T. wise with the higher weight limit, etc. but soon found out. I had to INSPECT the trailer, first of all, because it was over a certain weight limit ($70) - I had to boost the weight rating of BOTH trucks (we use both trucks to haul the trailer at different times) which cost $200 give or take. The insurance was $60 per year which wasn't too much over the $30 a year for the old one, dollar wise. I spent at least 3 hours getting the shop to get the brakes working right (bad plug) and used WAY more gas than the old trailer.

So that being said, so what? Did you get use of it? Did it make your job easier? Not really. We used it to dump 6 loads in the spring, then I had to haul it around empty every day just to haul a ladder and wheel barrow because they wouldn't QUITE fit into my truck bed. So I have made arrangements to sell it. I put it in the local "Uncle Henry's" for $1,000 less than I sold it FIRM and I have a buyer. I will then get a USED 10-12 foot trailer with ramp OR tilt bed even. Single axle, enough to haul a yard of loam, but nothing more.

I'm praying and trusting that this error in judgment helps me avoid more in the future and you too! I think the key is putting the ego aside and allowing yourself the "pain" of your "dumb moves" so you can analyze them and not repeat them. Here's what I learned from this process. 1. Trust myself. When you have a good clear reason for doing or not doing something, stick with it. When tempted to go the other way, revisit that logic. 2. Don't spend money just because you've budgeted to do so. Save it until you really need something.
__________________
Kenneth LaVoie III
LaVoie's Landscape Mgmt. Inc. - Winslow, Maine

Author of - How to start a lawn care business a whole new way.
Get your copy now at LawnGuru.net - A guide to creating a fun, profitable lawn care business, and becoming a
better human being in the process
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 06-26-2008, 10:17 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,307
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Hi Ken,

That was really insightful! It makes me think back to the book you wrote and the podcast we had together. In them you talked about "iron addiction." How we all want to buy more and more equipment. Maybe this is just a guy thing and we all very much enjoy playing in the sandbox with toys. Small toys when we are little, but as we grow, our desire for larger and larger toys grows as well.

Do you think this dump trailer purchase falls into that category? Are you still glad you bought it to try it out and see how it fit into your toolbox?

Is it possible that you could have found more services to offer that would have utilized the dump trailer better but ultimately that wasn't a direction you wanted to go?

Sometimes I wonder if such purchases can actually help us grow because it then gives us a new tool to experiment with that we didn't have to experiment with previously.
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-27-2008, 04:38 AM
hotwired hotwired is offline
Lawn Care Business Consultant - Ken
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: winslow maine
Age: 48
Posts: 53
Rep Power: 0
hotwired is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Iron

With this particular purchase, it was more of a luxury purchase when it comes down to it. My employee and I were both dreading another spring cleanup season pulling tarps full of leaves, sticks and sod off our trailer. But all in all I am glad that I had the experience. I got the following benefits and lessons:

1. I got one more 2 x 4 in the head that says "hey, trust yourself!" - I knew my logic was sound for NOT getting it, but I got it anyway. So this lesson stung enough so that hopefully it will stick when a BIGGER choice comes along! (like my recent thoughts about investing in rental real estate!!)

2. I got to test out the benefits of the dump trailer for the future.
3. I got a valuable lesson to share with others. Not so much the specific issue, but more the lesson of self trust and listening to good logic!

Thanks Steve, hope all is well with you and yours!
Ken
__________________
Kenneth LaVoie III
LaVoie's Landscape Mgmt. Inc. - Winslow, Maine

Author of - How to start a lawn care business a whole new way.
Get your copy now at LawnGuru.net - A guide to creating a fun, profitable lawn care business, and becoming a
better human being in the process
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-27-2008, 10:50 AM
Little's's Avatar
Little's Little's is offline
Brandon
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Shasta Lake CA.
Posts: 814
Rep Power: 8
Little's is on a distinguished road
Default

Ken, thanks for the insightful look into a dump trailer purchase. I have been looking at them (not shopping for them) because they would make some thinks easier. I haul a lot of brush, but I usually tie and pull my loads out without any trouble. Also if I got one, it wouldn't replace my existing trailer, it would be in addition to.

Also, I am the type of person that waits and waits and when I come across a GREAT deal, jump on it. Like buying one from a friend, or someone dies (I know that sounds bad, but someone has to buy the dead persons stuff right!) haha.

Anyways most of the stuff I own I have purchased at unbelievable deals. I guess thats just the way I was raised. But I really appreciated your post Ken, it made a lot of sense.
__________________
Northern California
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-27-2008, 10:34 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 36,307
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Brandon,

Whats on your list of things you would like to get but are waiting on for a better deal?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
dump trailer, iron addiction

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need customers ! What works? jdc21320 General Talk 22 02-09-2011 08:27 AM
works on asp also pnplawn Lawn Care Marketing & Post your marketing material for review! 6 12-17-2007 11:46 PM
Networking Really Works tiedeman General Business Discussions 5 03-30-2006 01:29 AM
Not everything works all the time Steve General Business Discussions 1 03-17-2006 02:51 PM
What marketing works the best? tiedeman General Business Discussions 7 09-15-2005 05:42 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Hello! New here and...
CaliforniaFriendly
Yesterday 11:30 AM
Yesterday 05:39 PM
by jrs.landscaping
1 80
Exmark Lazer Z S-Series...
BLC7
08-22-2014 10:18 AM
Yesterday 08:03 AM
by Greg'slawnandlandscape
8 269
Stihl engine isn't...
Marcintosh
08-12-2014 08:30 PM
08-28-2014 09:28 PM
by Marcintosh
12 463
Hello
jawnebgoode
08-28-2014 08:37 PM
08-28-2014 08:37 PM
by jawnebgoode
0 37
Hello from Ohio
kurtwin
08-28-2014 05:06 PM
08-28-2014 05:06 PM
by kurtwin
0 48
Softball field
kslawn
08-15-2014 09:28 AM
08-28-2014 12:01 PM
by Steve
16 559
Lawn needs top soil What...
jymie
08-26-2014 11:01 AM
08-28-2014 11:58 AM
by Steve
5 169
Sod
RosalesLawnCare
08-27-2014 03:47 PM
08-28-2014 11:55 AM
by Steve
1 91
Help pricing cut down 7...
Bradcook21
08-26-2014 11:17 PM
08-28-2014 11:47 AM
by Steve
5 156
Walk Behinds and Texas...
SGL1
08-26-2014 03:53 PM
08-27-2014 10:38 PM
by SGL1
5 161
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
08-27-2014 08:33 PM
by kurtwin
1,187 331,141
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-22-2014 09:12 AM
08-26-2014 04:21 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
110 6,554
How do I approach...
Bradcook21
08-21-2014 01:48 AM
08-26-2014 05:08 AM
by Billy Goat
12 452
Tender Process
M2Dave
08-24-2014 12:31 PM
08-25-2014 04:14 PM
by Steve
2 149
Grass hopper mower
ExtremeLawncareServices
12-05-2013 08:51 AM
08-25-2014 04:02 PM
by Steve
26 3,799
Need help pricing basic...
Bradcook21
08-22-2014 01:21 AM
08-22-2014 01:05 PM
by Steve
2 237
Yearly contract Pricing
jrob0691
08-21-2014 08:57 AM
08-22-2014 01:01 PM
by Steve
6 306
yearly contract help...
jrob0691
08-21-2014 04:09 PM
08-22-2014 12:48 PM
by Steve
1 187
Pampas bushes
Bradcook21
08-22-2014 01:30 AM
08-22-2014 07:17 AM
by grassdoctore
1 167
2014 Gie-expo
ExtremeLawncareServices
08-19-2014 11:22 PM
08-21-2014 08:50 PM
by phlawncare
2 204
Fuel Can Spouts
Shark1611
08-16-2014 09:09 AM
08-21-2014 08:23 PM
by SGL1
11 436
Have you ever had to...
SouthernRootsLawnCare
07-26-2014 02:41 PM
08-21-2014 05:03 PM
by stevef1201
6 702
Hello
M2Dave
08-21-2014 12:32 AM
08-21-2014 01:38 PM
by Steve
1 170
New Landscaping Business
rekon32
08-16-2014 02:26 PM
08-21-2014 12:33 PM
by SouthallMowing
8 495
Downed Tree Chop Bid
WesleySnips
08-16-2014 03:47 PM
08-20-2014 01:44 PM
by SGL1
10 472
60 inch honda/bunton...
pblawncare
08-17-2014 11:30 AM
08-18-2014 03:19 PM
by Steve
2 220
Replacement Parts -...
nicholas-KC
08-16-2014 08:40 AM
08-18-2014 03:16 PM
by Steve
4 327
Preparing the soil
Billy Goat
08-16-2014 06:18 PM
08-18-2014 03:01 PM
by Steve
1 237
What to pay help
phlawncare
08-04-2014 08:33 PM
08-18-2014 10:33 AM
by jrs.landscaping
29 1,059
Hello
Jeff1
08-07-2014 11:18 PM
08-15-2014 11:53 PM
by Jeff1
11 531
Lie #2 RESIDENTIAL...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-06-2014 05:02 AM
08-15-2014 01:46 PM
by mattthelawnguy
54 6,613
Need help 30 HP koler...
Shady Grady
08-01-2014 03:31 PM
08-15-2014 08:46 AM
by kslawn
18 707
New Boomless Sprayer!
BlackRain75
01-03-2014 01:01 PM
08-14-2014 02:37 AM
by BlackRain75
12 1,887
first year update
cmdlawncare
08-12-2014 05:41 PM
08-13-2014 03:29 PM
by Steve
1 332
Hello from Jacksonville,...
JM Lawn Care
08-10-2014 07:15 AM
08-13-2014 07:04 AM
by Sprinkler Buddy
9 439
Hello everyone new to...
maddyandrays
08-11-2014 04:51 PM
08-12-2014 08:58 PM
by Shark1611
2 281
Walk behinds
hpruitcei
08-07-2014 06:28 PM
08-12-2014 02:35 PM
by mattthelawnguy
7 549
New name help
stevef1201
08-10-2014 04:27 PM
08-12-2014 12:03 PM
by Steve
6 436
my little green dilemmas
Lawn Techie
08-03-2014 11:47 AM
08-11-2014 01:20 PM
by Steve
7 539
what the best...
CleanCutsLLC
08-02-2014 01:02 AM
08-11-2014 01:16 PM
by Steve
6 575
Texas lawn care company...
Livingston Lawn Care
07-25-2014 11:29 AM
08-11-2014 01:19 AM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
13 841
Covering all the bases
janslawncare
08-08-2014 10:11 AM
08-08-2014 01:41 PM
by Steve
1 376
New from Florida
ADE
08-06-2014 08:40 PM
08-08-2014 01:32 PM
by Steve
4 443
JOB - Landscape Install...
janslawncare
08-08-2014 10:06 AM
08-08-2014 10:06 AM
by janslawncare
0 334
Battery power tools or...
Steve
08-07-2014 12:24 PM
08-07-2014 05:18 PM
by mattthelawnguy
2 342
My client just told me...
Greg'slawnandlandscape
08-04-2014 08:39 AM
08-06-2014 11:14 PM
by grassdoctore
12 683
Illegal spraying
GoGreenerKS
07-04-2014 09:11 AM
08-06-2014 02:03 PM
by Steve
13 1,313
Mowing the hills
EyeCatchersNow
07-08-2014 12:22 PM
08-06-2014 01:40 PM
by Steve
20 1,543
Crop Rotation Techniques...
eastsidelandcare
07-17-2014 03:47 PM
08-06-2014 10:29 AM
by eastsidelandcare
5 725
Late charge
Simon Abousaada
07-30-2014 07:23 PM
08-05-2014 06:46 PM
by TheBeast
12 945
» Popular Tags
2wd advertisement apartment complex article marketing bid blades charge christmas lighting courtesy call credit card processing customers decorating ditches employee problems escrow exmark ferris foreman fundraiser georgia gopherhaul grass gravely gravely 34" zero turn growing a lawn care business holiday lighting how much to charge installation landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care business book lawn care business podcast lawn care business seo lawn care business show lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo leaf leaf removal lighting brass outdoor lights marketing native plants new buisness online classifieds outdoor environments payment podcast property management company redmax running a business savannah scag seo snow snow plowing sprayer starting a business steep lawns stihl sulky toro trimmer rack truck new used landscape turfgrass consulting walk behind walker zero turn
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:51 AM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:51 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy