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What Do I Need To Know In a Nut Shell?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by A Hero Lawn Care, Apr 4, 2016.

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  1. A Hero Lawn Care

    A Hero Lawn Care Member
    from Denver
    Messages: 33

    OK so some of you guys may remember me from a little back and forth on a different thread. If not, here is a little bit about my company. I am a lawn care and landscaping company with a small employee base (laborers only) I am still heavily involved in the operations of my business.

    However, I have been in business for two years and I never anticipated getting into the plowing side of the business. That being said, some of my clients expected me to offer this service so I was kind of thrown into the snow season without a lick of an idea what I was getting myself into. I only had 9 residential drives and patios and 2 relatively small parking lots (7500-10000 sq ft). I learned the hard way, that you will fatigue FAST. I had a couple of guys helping me but did not have a very profitable snow season because of the time it took to get these properties done.

    I know that investing into the right equipment will help me get started. A couple of other guys balked at me in a different thread because they thought I wanted to do commercial accounts with an ATV Plow. These are fairly smaller lots and decent sized drives for residential clients.

    Would I be making a mistake by investing into an ATV? I could get a used ATV with a plow for probably right around what truck mounted plow would cost new. I just do not know if investing in a 7.5' plow would be worth it seeing the size of commercial accounts I will be dealing with.

    Also, what is some of the lingo I will need to be fluent with in discussing service with potential clients. I see everyone using Trigger as a point in time when the plows will hit the pavement. What other types of things should I know when discussing things with clients?

    When it snows and you go out and the snow continues are you responsible for clearing those lots at a fixed price or do you service on a per occurrence basis? I know that you all are charging for different amounts of accumulation, what is the Rhythm behind that music? I get that more snow equals higher service cost, but how can I go about figuring a number out for my own company?

    I notice that a lot of the big companies will leave plow trucks in the parking lots right before a storm. What would be the benefit of doing things that way??


    I know my truck is light duty compared to what a lot of plow trucks are 1500, but I see the guys with little plows on their trail blazers, what would be the ideal vehicle for snow removal? I would assume not to put anything nice out there in fear of destroying the front end of a nice vehicle.

    Does anyone have an elevator pitch for a novice preparing for the next snow season?

    I am all ears....:help:
     
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,583

    Your not going to dominate the snow industery with a ATV .

    2500 or 3500 4x4 gas or diesel, auto , maybe a manual and a Vee or a expandable plow.
    A 2 :nod: stage snow blower.
    And a swing away salter.

    Maybe even a single stage snow blower.
    A few shovels,

    Why trailer a ATV all over town?

    Think time, there is only so much, what is proven to be more efficient?


    Maybe someday you can add a atv if the situation calls for it.


    But why not get a job if your field of training?
    Ps
    The search function is your friend,
    All of your questions have been answered and more.
    From insurance to zoning.also
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  3. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,299

    Hero I like beer and be willing to let you by me a couple pints.......
     
  4. A Hero Lawn Care

    A Hero Lawn Care Member
    from Denver
    Messages: 33

    Hey SnoFarmer!

    I was going to try and respond do your question last Saturday but by the time we had finished up Micheal had already shut down the thread.

    So I will do my best to try and explain. So I do not have 2 degrees right now. I only have an Associates of General Studies from the local community college. I planned on transferring to MSU Denver to get a Degree in Human Performance and Sport with a Concentration in Sport Industry Operations.

    Tuition was out of control

    You had mentioned that you assumed I was in a boat load of debt. Well kind of right with that assumption. I am not really in debt because of business overhead. I try and keep expenses minimal. However, you are 100% correct. I am in a debt because of student loans. I was making less than $10k a year and A single semester in school costs bare minimum $4500. So you can see where I was running into issues. So I started this my business to fill that financial gap.

    I have been in this industry for my entire life and I am pretty good with what I do. Then I started falling in love with running my business.

    I saw a lot of kids in my program spending all of this money on school just to get out and sell tickets for the broncos making a $30K salary.

    Not the best option in my eyes.

    So I am still in school and have been taking online classes for a Degree In Project Management. This degree can be applied to all fields. Basically this degree teaches us how to get into an organization, find the issue, cut the fat and solve a problem through lengthy project process. I figure that learning how to master this will give me a chance to apply this to the everyday operations in my business. While I am doing that my 2nd degree at CSU is in Landscape Contract and Design. So there is a direct link between my school and work.

    I know it seems crazy, but I am really trying to structure everything around building the business into a powerhouse.

    I know I probably wont dominate the market, but I want to have that attitude.

    Expect the worst and hope for the best.

    Anyhow, me and my fiance live in a studio apartment together as we try and build our life. We don't have much right now, but I am working hard to build us a future.

    I know it sounds messy, but I have really come a long way. I came off wrong the other day and you all made some really good points about having the right attitude. I am here to learn and appreciate all the help that you guys are sharing for us younger guys.

    You are right about the older posts. There is a ton of great info.

    As far as plow goes, the cousin I talked about earlier told me he will sell me one of his old 7.5 Western V Plows for $3000. He also warned me that it might be too heavy for a 1/2 ton.

    I know it is important to keep cheap when getting into a new venture but part of me is determined that a Used Plow might be a bad investment. I know when I bought used commercial landscape equipment I would always be kicking myself later down the road.

    I think you are right though, it would be hard to make a mark in this industry using a little ATV. Again, it would limit me to another season of small lots and drives too so I think you are right...

    Thanks for the reply, I hope there are no hard feelings!
     
  5. A Hero Lawn Care

    A Hero Lawn Care Member
    from Denver
    Messages: 33

    You got it Buff. I would love to pick at your brain!
     
  6. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,299

    I'm currently at Oksar blues in Longmont and will be till aboot 6:30p
     
  7. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,538

    Buff's a good guy, can't miss him, 6'8" 320 and wears a white dress with a deep V cut to air out his burly chest.


    OK, I'm kidding, it's blue.


    What ever you do, when you buy equipment, buy it once. Don't buy what you need today, buy what you need down the road. Something that will last you more then a couple of season. Weather that's a ½ton with a 7½ or a ¾ton with 8ft. I wouldn't waste my time with a ATV.
     
  8. A Hero Lawn Care

    A Hero Lawn Care Member
    from Denver
    Messages: 33

    Awesome you are in Colorado! I am in Northglenn right now So I dont think I can shoot out there today.

    I have a pretty decent sized landscape job this weekend but we are forecasted for rain? So maybe this gets pushed out a weekend and I may be able to swing up north to meet you.

    Your thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  9. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,216

    Hero: If you need to keep your 1500 series truck >>> Go to any snow plow mfg website. The website will ask you about your truck and give you an answer about what fits on your truck. 1500 series trucks are usually not used for commercial snow plowing. Forget the ATV, go snow blower as was suggested above. Good luck / Rick
     
  10. A Hero Lawn Care

    A Hero Lawn Care Member
    from Denver
    Messages: 33

    You can't miss me either. I'll be the only kid who doesn't look old enough to be in the bar ahaha

    That is my thought exactly. Don't want to finance anything so I will be pinching pennies until September and If I have made some dough I want to splurge on something that will make life a lot easier for the next wet and heavy spring storms.:salute:
     
  11. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,887

    Grabbing a bucket 'o popcorn.
     
  12. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,237

    I never read much of your first post, It was going in a direction that could possibly make me rude and then was closed. What are you planing on investing for your snow end of your biz. No you don't want new at this point. You need a basic heavy duty plow truck. If you don't give us some kind of investment value it's all conjecture.

    Lots of us are pretty good buyers and know where to find good used equipment with records and possibly inspection reports. All set up ready to plow when purchased.

    How far do you want to take it, Driveways, Small or large commercial, Factories? Lots of sidewalk? I'm sure you did get pushed into it. Snow & ice go hand and hand with Landscaping. As far as the lingo keep reading, If you don't know what they are referring to ask.

    You have to be serious and have some monies to invest or it's just a waste of time and your post will turn to a joke, Good Luck
     
  13. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,299


    I'm 290.....
     
  14. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,299

    A location that says FR NoCo should be a give away to natives.....
    I heading to Wyoming on Wednesday and won't be back till Sunday.
    Tomorrow I'm shooting trap.
     
  15. A Hero Lawn Care

    A Hero Lawn Care Member
    from Denver
    Messages: 33

    I am most likely going to keep the truck for a while just because I love it, but I know that with all the volume of work we have been getting that I might be getting ready to set up another. So I will consider that when I am ready to buy.

    You guys make a good point though, it might be better to get the snowblower and stick with shovels one more season.

    IDK though because that last storm beat the brakes off of me.
     
  16. jonniesmooth

    jonniesmooth Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    take 30 minutes to watch the video in my signature. It's got everything you need for a good foundation in life, not just business.
     
  17. A Hero Lawn Care

    A Hero Lawn Care Member
    from Denver
    Messages: 33


    Oh you lucky duck!

    have fun and enjoy the beautiful weather to go shoot some skeets!

    I did not even see the location. I am still a newb to the whole concept of forums, but duly noted.

    Buff, I will definitely take you up on the offer when you have some time though. :drinkup:
     
  18. A Hero Lawn Care

    A Hero Lawn Care Member
    from Denver
    Messages: 33

    Will do. It's nice to see another man of faith on here!

    Thanks for the insight!
     
  19. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,237

    :laughing: :laughing: I'm 255,,,,,,,,,,,,
     
  20. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,887

    The camera adds 10 (30) pounds.
     
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