The problem with lending landscaping equipment to friends.

The more landscaping equipment you collect, the more of a target you become to those around you when it comes to requests to borrow. How you handle borrowing requests is up to you but here is a great learning lesson from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, on how lending landscape equipment can go wrong and leave you wishing you never got yourself involved.

One lawn care business owner wrote “to make a long story short, I had lent my pressure washer to a guy that does snowplowing for me, a few months back. After a few days of having it, he mentioned buying it. We then agreed on a price about week later.

After that, he begin to stall on paying for it. At one point he told me he lost his job and started a new one. So I knew there were gaps in income. I gave him the benefit of the doubt after hearing his job story. For a while he would tell me he would pay me next pay day. Then he calls to tell me the pressure washer broke. I told him to give it back to me or pay for it. He then made excuses about it being at a family members house, being out of town, and now he’s just flat out ignoring me. As of now he only paid me 1/3 of the agreed upon price and I’m beyond frustrated with the games.

I am not sure what to do here. I don’t really want to call the cops but I don’t see this being resolved short of me showing up and forcefully taking it and risk being arrested myself.

I gotta say that I learned my lesson when it comes to lending out landscape equipment. That won’t happen again. But with that said, what the heck should I do?

I do have the text going back in forth from him promising to pay and making excuses. I never delete a text or email that involves money.

I might have to go rent a power washer this week as I have an up coming job where I will need it. If I do I will certainly be billing him for it along with the rest of the money he owes me. This evidence I hope will cover me if I have to deal with small claims court. I read up that I can also send him a debt letter that goes on your credit report, for a few dollars.”

A second lawn care business owner responded “being you made a deal with a friend and you have nothing to document the transaction it is hard to say what you can and can not do and get desired end result.

If it were me, I would spend the rest of my life haunting him about the money and never let him forget he owes you until he gets so sick that he eventually pays you.

Or if you have proof that you bought and own the machine, call the police and tell them that you rented it to your friend and he has yet to return it as well as claims to have lent it out himself against you wishes.

The bottom line, you just gotta chock it up as an experience that you never let friends borrow equipment. Never sell equipment to friends. And never hire friends.

It never works out and only complicates things when it goes sour and if what you sold them breaks shortly after they think you ripped them off.

When I started out in the landscape business two decades ago I made mistakes like that and learned the hard way and everyone older always told me don’t do it and I said ‘oh, he is my friend and it is not like that.’ They always told me, ‘you will see, and you can not say you were not warned.’ Now they seem like prophets with words of wisdom.

As the old saying from Shakespeare’s Hamlet goes ‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be, For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.’

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

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