Loading and unloading your lawn care equipment onto your landscape trailer or into your truck can take a large bite out of your day. The more time it takes to perform this function, the less money you will be making. One lawn care business owner figured out a way to improve his equipment load and unload times and he shared it with us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.
He wrote “The spring season seems to be starting off with a bang and business is going great. I just wrapped up my first full week of the season. The only thing is, my load and unload times are slowing me down. I still haven’t figured out a way to make things easy to get all my equipment in and out of my truck.
Each job is taking a lot longer than it should. Things are just not with the setup I am using in the truck right so I can easily grab what I need. The way it is now, I have to take one thing out to get to another. I need to get a new system down.
I thought using a truck alone would make things really efficient since there is no trailer to haul and the mowers are easily and simply accessible. You would also not need extra space to park the trailer at home. If you were really short on space, you could put the mowers in the back of your truck at the end of the day and put a tarp over it for cover. But now I find this set up is driving me crazy.
So because just using a truck was not working for me. I decided to do something different. I was tired of the cramped space and no room for extras. I had been looking on craigslist and other places for inexpensive trailers to use with no luck. Most that were in my price range were in bad shape and not very safe. So I built one myself. Yeah it’s kind of ghetto looking but it works for me now. I am going to paint it and make it look better. I made it out of an old Model A frame I found doing a yard cleanup in a customers back yard that he gave to me.
It took me a week to fabricate between jobs. I could have done it in one day if I didn’t have to work also. Because of the old time springs it gets bouncy on bad stretches of the highway but I got some parts on order that will help with that. My level of productiveness has increased tremendously. Everything is within easy reach and I don’t have to take other things out to get what I need. It has cut my loading/unloading times down at jobs which means more money for me.
I have a ramp that goes on the back of it. The reason the board is there right now is because the ramp is getting my logo and other info painted on it. Soon I will paint the sides and wood blue to match the truck so it all looks the same.
I thought the trailer looked pretty ghetto right now. However, I just got back from a new clients house. I was at Home Depot picking up supplies for a job tomorrow. As I pulled in, I passed a truck that was pulling out. The truck turned around and followed me. As I parked, the guy got out and said ‘I like a guy that’s organized and knows what he wants. That trailer is great and look productive.’
I said, ‘Thanks, are you looking for someone to maintain your lawn.’
He said, ‘Yes. That’s why I turned around. I figured anyone who was that well organized had to be good at mowing.’
I gave him my card and told him I had time today. Just went out to his place and he is signed up for a monthly now. So I guess your vehicles can help you sell too.
If you find your business is slowed by difficulty gaining access to the tools you need when you need them and it is taking you forever to load and unload your equipment, you may want to consider fabricating your perfect solution. Don’t be afraid to sit down and draw out your ideal set up. A little time spent planning now can save you a lot of time over the year. That lost time means lost profits. You need to be as efficient as possible in this business. So get started designing your perfect setup today.”