How a driveway regrading job led to a lot more work.

There is work out there if you want it. Here is a great example on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum of how one landscaper who was called to regrade a driveway ended up signing 6 more customers on, just by talking to people who were passing by. Imagine how many more new customers you could get by doing the same thing! Let’s take a look at his story and see what we can all learn from it.

He wrote “on Fridays I tend to like to do jobs that I can do by myself so today was a driveway resurface using compact utility tractor and a box blade. This property is within a private community located next to an amazing golf course. The driveway was only three years old, however the 6” surge rock was coming through to the surface as were granite boulders, so I used one of my small excavators to remove the rock, then I did a light pass with the box blade teeth down but had to be careful as I didn’t want to disturb the surge too much.

Driveway regrading

Driveway regrading

For residential driveways, a layer of 6″ surge rock around here can be necessary as we have so much bedrock which is covered in a layer quite often of what we call black bog. The surge provides for drainage. On new driveway installations I prefer to use road construction fabric rather than surge rock as the long term results are far better. At the same time we do not do a lot of new construction. 90 percent of our excavator work and tractor work is fixing other companies mistakes either recent or years ago.

Driveway regrading

Driveway regrading

The kind of material I use on the driveways here is 1/2″ Crusher Run. It’s one level above class A and one below crushed granite. It compacts like pavement and lasts a very long time. Funny thing is, I was told today by the quarry I am one of the few contractors around here that use it. The main reason is it’s about $5.00 a yard more than class A, but the quality job you get from it’s use is well worth it to me. There is nothing else added to the stone as it has about 30 - 40% crusher dust in it which is why it compacts so fast and so hard.

On such projects I have to regrade and add material to the driveway. This project is about 600 feet long. It took me two and a half hours and I charge $2,200. The material cost is close to $500.00. The going rate around here for such a job is $2,500. I know what the competition is charging to ensure I get the job.

My landscape company is a one stop shop for a homeowner. No matter what they need done to their property, I have the equipment and staff with experience to do the job. By offering small excavation services, I am in a position to take on some of the bigger guys and I can beat them on services and pricing as I don’t have the overhead.

While working on this job, I picked up 6 more driveways from neighbors driving by. I gave out over 30 business cards to people driving to the golf course but the best part is the manager of the golf course stopped as I was doing the driveway, long story short, he hired me to come in and regrade all the walkways and golf cart paths! So all in all it was a fun day. I really love using the box blade and seeing the results it creates.

When you are out working on different lawns, whether it’s mowing yards or landscaping properties, do your best to be friendly and presentable. Smile and wave at people driving by. By doing this, you will be able to engage a lot more local home owners and potentially sell more services!”

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