Sometimes it can take one small event to really mess up your business. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one entrepreneur who was gone from his house for a short appointment only to return to find his landscape trailers and equipment stolen. This story should give us all pause to think about how quickly a theft can happen and how devastating it can be. Also, it opens your eyes as to what you need to do to prevent it and protect yourself.
One lawn care business owner wrote “So I went to the doctor earlier this week and came home and both of my enclosed landscape trailers were gone! Can you say wtf! I am so pissed and none of my neighbors saw anything. I filed a police report and began waiting for insurance company to call me back.
The police said they were going to let the pawn shops know and said it won’t be hard to find the trailers as long as they are not in the woods, the trailers were painted camouflage.
This theft set me back to where I started with two push mower, a backpack blower, and a straight line trimmer.
There must have been two trucks involved as both trailers were gone in a quick time. The thieves cut the locks off the trailers to hook up. It looks like they used a cutting torch from the evidence left behind.
The trailers contained 4 exmark walk behinds, 4 stihl backpack blowers, 4 stihl straight line trimmers, 8 stihl chain saws, two sets of climbing gear, all my climbing ropes, bull ropes, and limb ropes. I just can’t figure out why someone would steal two trailers full of lawn equipment. I use it to make money for my family and to give veterans jobs so they don’t go hungry and lose their homes. What dumb asses! I am so mad right now.
After waiting three days the police found my stuff at 2:30 in the morning. Torched! Someone cut ‘lowballer’ into the wall of trailer! When the police called me they told me they located my stuff and told me where to go. I went there and saw everything was burned. I just about cried. I busted my ass for all that lawn care equipment, working two jobs busting my butt for 18 to 19 hours a day, plus some of it was money I saved up from when I was deployed to Iraq.
This has set me back in a big way financially. What I’m trying to do at the moment to keep my business going is have my best friend cut grass using a push mower. I’m gonna have to try to find a lawn maintenance job working for someone else and work my night time job again, to make more money so I can get the equipment I need.
The police were asking me if I could think of anyone who might do this. The only thing I was able to come up with is a sod job I did two months ago. A guy had 9 bids and all were over $6 grand. I charged him $1,500 to do it.
The next day the police called to say they caught the guy that did it. He is claiming he was hired and that he worked alone. So now it’s time to take his ass to court, and hang him out to dry.
If there is a lesson to be learned, it’s to realize how vitally important your equipment is to your business and your income. Make sure you are insured and that your insurance covers theft. Also make sure to protect your equipment and do your best to defend it from would be vandals or thieves by locking trailers behind gates or in garages and using surveillance cameras to keep an eye on the area.”
A second lawn care business owner said “lawn equipment theft is up 100% all around everywhere. It’s like you have to have a fort knox to keep your crap from being stolen. Even if you put locks on everything, they still can get anything. Hell all they have to do is pull up to your trailer and wrap a rope around the tongue good enough and they don’t need to take a lock off. Sorry your stuff was stolen man.”
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