Take a Hack To Lunch Day

carolinawildcat

New member
Much has been written lately about Hacks. You guys mock them, I defend them. It gets old, almost like recesstime in grade school. But I digress...

The tagline for PWI is "Improving the Industry Through Education".

Is it? Really?

Sometimes it seems it is "Improving my Feeling of Self-Worth by bashing guys that are not as fortunate, as I am."

Some on this board act as if they popped out of their momma with a nice rig, hot water and a book of business. You'd think they never had to offer services at a discount to make the rent (not payroll, not a mortgage, RENT), never had to learn by trying and never struggled. I have, and am not afraid to admit it.

A recent thread was mocking a guy who was offering his services at $15/hour. Fifteen bucks an hour isn't too bad for some, many in Michigan and California would be happy to be making $15/hr.

In fact, I was brought up to believe that anyone who tried to earn an honest living is to be applauded, not mocked. Would you rather this guy try to steal your pressure washer and hock it, or use his Home Depot washer ("ha-ha! he uses a Home Depot washer!! ha-ha, he's a loser Hack!") to make an honest living? I prefer the latter.
No one offered to show me the ropes -- check the logs, I spent hours and hours reading thousands of posts on this board in the archive sections. I learned by trying and screwing up and breaking stuff. The pump sprayer, lots of Clorox from Wal-Mart, and my first Troy-Bilt. It was badass for me, it had variable tips!
I rarely refer big jobs I can't handle to local pw contractors, because none of them have ever returned my goodwill. I honk and wave at the guy on my street working at my neighbor's, he growls at me when he sees I am a competitor. Funny thing is, I see some local guys with big trucks and tanks doing things I learned NOT to do -- things I learned on this board reading posts from you guys. So I contact guys in Beaufort or Savannah, an hour or so away, and they are happy to get the referrals.

So back to my question: Is this board really "Improving the Industry Through Education?" The thread I referred to earlier about the Hack on craigslist said, "Someone or something is gonna get broken" or something to that effect. If you truly believe that will happen, why not do something about it?
I'd like to put my money where my mouth is. I will give a $100 gift certificate from SunBrite for the winner of my Referral Program, "Take a Hack to Lunch Day".

Here are the rules:
You must introduce yourself to a Hack you do not know. You may contact him on craigslist and offer to buy the guy lunch or stop your truck and say hello when you see him washing a house. Photo documentation of you and the Hack together, preferably in front of his station wagon with the cheap pressurewashing machine clearly shown, would be great and kind of fun, too. Or maybe at the streetlight roll your window down and offer to talk to the guy with the bright red handle of the Troy-Bilt or the good ole blackandyellow electric Karchner in the bed of his pickup truck. Give him your cell # and offer to be a resource. Talk to him about how lowballing hurts BOTH of you. Offer to let him ride with you on a job. Don't be condescending, and you may accidentally meet a guy using a cheap pressurewashing machine on one of the 37 rental properties he owns, but this isn't the type of guy I am talking about.

The Hack must then become a member in good standing of PWI, ten posts minimum, with the Hack identifying himself on the board, who befriended him, and maybe Ron could speak to him personally via telephone to confirm the guy is who he says he is. No brothers-in-law or friends or anything like that.

Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to pressurewash, he eats for a lifetime.

The extra benefit to this is growing the membership of the board.

Hell, maybe the guy is an out-of-work carpenter that is a whiz at repairing the rotten siding on the last house you washed, or a laid-off mechanic who's really good at rebuilding Honda GXs. Or maybe he has a hot sister who's single...

Will you lose a little more business to this guy if you help him? Probably, but he's already beating you at a job here and there, anyway. Will he take your help and knowledge and grow faster than you and put you out of business, probably not. But you may keep someone from doing serious property damage, losing a finger or even help him pay his mortgage next month.

Now I'm sure many of you are reading this, thinking of something snarky or smarta** to say. Don't bother. There are hundreds of other posts on this board where you can chime in with something that YOU think is really funny.

Serious replies, only please.
Want to help someone out who may be down on their luck?
Want to really make a difference for people in this industry?
Put your money where your mouth is. I am.
 

The Cleaner

Vetran Washer 30 Years Plus
Well I have to tell you, I tried exactly what your talking about 15yrs ago when i first moved down to FL (Hack Central) I went thru the local paper and tried to get together with about 8 local lowballers. I invited them to lunch on me to discuss keeping the prices at a reasonable rate so that when customers go down the list for estimates we would all be at the same rate.

They all thought it was a great idea and we got together they ate my lunch and never once tried to put this network together, they thought I was out to steal their work or run them out of buisness. I think helping others starting out is a great thing, as you build a small network of guy's you can depend on to help you out when your busy.

I have personally done just that over the years and it has worked out for me. But my experiance latley has been that we are being infested with companies that are running around and stealing buisness from us who are uninsured not licensed and have little to no experiance in this buisness. This type of company does not want your help they dont want to advertise or go the legit route as we do.

The customers and the P/M companies are all price driven in this economy right now and I have lost large job's to these type of companies, why am I paying all this money every month to be a legit professional company and go to find out I am being out bid by half. I cannot compete with this as most here cant, I beleive what we do here on these BB is to educate and network with professional people who want to do the right thing.

The Hack's your talking about are not intrested in these BB or what we have to say, you cannot expect me to beleive that the guy with a electric P/W and 50ft of hose is going to want to listen to anything I have to say, if he wanted to become a real contractor he would work along side a pro or come here and ask for help and more than likely would get it. No doubt we all had to start somewhere, but we learned our profession first then went out and applied it, we didnt practice on peoples houses until we got it right.

So if you want me to take you out to lunch well come on down!!
 

Tony Shelton

BS Detector, Esquire
There's so much BS in what you posted It's not worth addressing line by line.

Have you volunteered to do demos of what you do at a roundtable to help others learn how to work faster and smarter?

You don't know anything about the men and women on this board who spend days and nights helping "hacks" like yourself.

Even your signature mocks the wise advice of those with more experience and MORE CUSTOMERS than you have.

THAT mocking is the mark of a TRUE HACK.

If you were really here to learn you'd listen and put into practice proven techniques, or, at the very least, experiment with techniques before making derogatory remarks about them.

But just like any hack you think you know it all already.

Try the painter boards, I heard they love hacks.
 

Carolina Prowash

Exterior Surface Pros
Mister - you're offending quite a few Carolinas contractors here. NC & SC have some of the absolute STRONGEST networking in this country. Look at the numbers or I can start listing the pros on this and other forums who bend over backwards to help.

At the end of the day it's not about working harder ---- it's about working SMARTER. Not that hard.

Oh, and would you care to see just my phone records for the past 6 years where guys have called just because I offered to help? I have hundreds of pages. You're just being rude :(
 

Tomdurbin

New member
Wow sir I think you have completely missed the boat. I read the other post and people seemed to be more upset with the effect 15.00 per hour has on the industry. By the time he paid taxes or insurance there would be nothing left. Pricing has already gotten so low we have to find new ways to earn money everyday. I think another point you are missing is we were all trained by someone. Its not so much were making fun as we are apalled. We know that he cannot stay in business at this pricing. He can't grow a business with that kind of pricing. He is probably on unemployment and looking for some under the table cash. I have seen numerous people give free advice at this forum. Why can't we have a frank discussion without being ridiculed. Like the spin of the nozzle so are the days of our lives....
 

offdutyfireman

Active member
Much has been written lately about Hacks. You guys mock them, I defend them. It gets old, almost like recesstime in grade school. But I digress...

The tagline for PWI is "Improving the Industry Through Education".

Is it? Really?

Sometimes it seems it is "Improving my Feeling of Self-Worth by bashing guys that are not as fortunate, as I am."

Some on this board act as if they popped out of their momma with a nice rig, hot water and a book of business. You'd think they never had to offer services at a discount to make the rent (not payroll, not a mortgage, RENT), never had to learn by trying and never struggled. I have, and am not afraid to admit it.

A recent thread was mocking a guy who was offering his services at $15/hour. Fifteen bucks an hour isn't too bad for some, many in Michigan and California would be happy to be making $15/hr.

In fact, I was brought up to believe that anyone who tried to earn an honest living is to be applauded, not mocked. Would you rather this guy try to steal your pressure washer and hock it, or use his Home Depot washer ("ha-ha! he uses a Home Depot washer!! ha-ha, he's a loser Hack!") to make an honest living? I prefer the latter.
No one offered to show me the ropes -- check the logs, I spent hours and hours reading thousands of posts on this board in the archive sections. I learned by trying and screwing up and breaking stuff. The pump sprayer, lots of Clorox from Wal-Mart, and my first Troy-Bilt. It was badass for me, it had variable tips!
I rarely refer big jobs I can't handle to local pw contractors, because none of them have ever returned my goodwill. I honk and wave at the guy on my street working at my neighbor's, he growls at me when he sees I am a competitor. Funny thing is, I see some local guys with big trucks and tanks doing things I learned NOT to do -- things I learned on this board reading posts from you guys. So I contact guys in Beaufort or Savannah, an hour or so away, and they are happy to get the referrals.

So back to my question: Is this board really "Improving the Industry Through Education?" The thread I referred to earlier about the Hack on craigslist said, "Someone or something is gonna get broken" or something to that effect. If you truly believe that will happen, why not do something about it?
I'd like to put my money where my mouth is. I will give a $100 gift certificate from SunBrite for the winner of my Referral Program, "Take a Hack to Lunch Day".

Here are the rules:
You must introduce yourself to a Hack you do not know. You may contact him on craigslist and offer to buy the guy lunch or stop your truck and say hello when you see him washing a house. Photo documentation of you and the Hack together, preferably in front of his station wagon with the cheap pressurewashing machine clearly shown, would be great and kind of fun, too. Or maybe at the streetlight roll your window down and offer to talk to the guy with the bright red handle of the Troy-Bilt or the good ole blackandyellow electric Karchner in the bed of his pickup truck. Give him your cell # and offer to be a resource. Talk to him about how lowballing hurts BOTH of you. Offer to let him ride with you on a job. Don't be condescending, and you may accidentally meet a guy using a cheap pressurewashing machine on one of the 37 rental properties he owns, but this isn't the type of guy I am talking about.

The Hack must then become a member in good standing of PWI, ten posts minimum, with the Hack identifying himself on the board, who befriended him, and maybe Ron could speak to him personally via telephone to confirm the guy is who he says he is. No brothers-in-law or friends or anything like that.

Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to pressurewash, he eats for a lifetime.

The extra benefit to this is growing the membership of the board.

Hell, maybe the guy is an out-of-work carpenter that is a whiz at repairing the rotten siding on the last house you washed, or a laid-off mechanic who's really good at rebuilding Honda GXs. Or maybe he has a hot sister who's single...

Will you lose a little more business to this guy if you help him? Probably, but he's already beating you at a job here and there, anyway. Will he take your help and knowledge and grow faster than you and put you out of business, probably not. But you may keep someone from doing serious property damage, losing a finger or even help him pay his mortgage next month.

Now I'm sure many of you are reading this, thinking of something snarky or smarta** to say. Don't bother. There are hundreds of other posts on this board where you can chime in with something that YOU think is really funny.

Serious replies, only please.
Want to help someone out who may be down on their luck?
Want to really make a difference for people in this industry?
Put your money where your mouth is. I am.

I see where you are going and I understand what you are trying to do. Everyone didn't start out with everything. I started with that same 50 feet of hose, cheap machine and messed up houses as I went. There were no BBS to help out. On the other hand, I am a firm believer in hoping the other guy goes out of business and screw the industry. The last thing I want is for my cometition to be sucessful or assist in helping his business grow. Having said that, I won't be helping someone just starting out and learning the ropes(as I once was) unless he lives a 100 miles away or so. I don't fault the guy washing for beer money as long as he does a good job. Same guy has washed my house for the last 6 or 7 years for $75. He does a great job, has insurance, it would cost me $30 in payroll to have my guys do it or I could let the weekend warrior do it and make some money.
 

beastud

New member
AT Horton is sure getting lots of mileage out of his comment about stencils, LOL!
I like a guy that stirs the pot!
 

Russ Spence

Commercial Pressure Wash Expert and PWI Admin
wow ! I have stencils? Does that mean I am afraid to sell? What a bunch of garbage! Dont group people by what you think. Thats simply prejudice, thats like saying all white people have bald heads, just not factual.

I use stencils for demo's ....... while I am selling!
 

El Flojo

New member
Thats some bullSh!t ! you are WRONG!! and prob. are the guy with the HD PW. We all started with crap PWs but have worked are way up to what we now have. but "most" guys making $15 PER HR. will take your work and dont take pride in the work they do ,nor will they spend time reading on a board to better their bizz. They are a "spray n go" type co. they do the job you lost(spray), and the cust. isnt happy then you get the call again.they r gone(go).
 

Lou hoods&more

New member
wow ! I have stencils? Does that mean I am afraid to sell? What a bunch of garbage! Dont group people by what you think. Thats simply prejudice, thats like saying all white people have bald heads, just not factual.

I use stencils for demo's ....... while I am selling!

White guys with bald heads use stencils!!



and can't jump......:thank_you2:
 

lonnie greenwood

New member
Well I have to tell you, I tried exactly what your talking about 15yrs ago when i first moved down to FL (Hack Central) I went thru the local paper and tried to get together with about 8 local lowballers. I invited them to lunch on me to discuss keeping the prices at a reasonable rate so that when customers go down the list for estimates we would all be at the same rate.

They all thought it was a great idea and we got together they ate my lunch and never once tried to put this network together, they thought I was out to steal their work or run them out of buisness. I think helping others starting out is a great thing, as you build a small network of guy's you can depend on to help you out when your busy.

I have personally done just that over the years and it has worked out for me. But my experiance latley has been that we are being infested with companies that are running around and stealing buisness from us who are uninsured not licensed and have little to no experiance in this buisness. This type of company does not want your help they dont want to advertise or go the legit route as we do.

The customers and the P/M companies are all price driven in this economy right now and I have lost large job's to these type of companies, why am I paying all this money every month to be a legit professional company and go to find out I am being out bid by half. I cannot compete with this as most here cant, I beleive what we do here on these BB is to educate and network with professional people who want to do the right thing.

The Hack's your talking about are not intrested in these BB or what we have to say, you cannot expect me to beleive that the guy with a electric P/W and 50ft of hose is going to want to listen to anything I have to say, if he wanted to become a real contractor he would work along side a pro or come here and ask for help and more than likely would get it. No doubt we all had to start somewhere, but we learned our profession first then went out and applied it, we didnt practice on peoples houses until we got it right.

So if you want me to take you out to lunch well come on down!!



Hey ill buy you lunch Nick i just saw that in his signature he better hope my wife dont see it because we are hiring someone just to do stenciling in 2010 they will be doing 5 nights a week coming to an erea near you try it you might be able to go from $15.00 and to $150.an hour going to have sergery in two weeks on the right kidney to remove the stone it is in a difficult spot.:frown::frown::frown:
 
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MHasterok

New member
WOW!!!

Wow!! That's crazy what one post about a craigslist ad offering cheap services has turned into!!! :speechless:

I will be the first to admit(for those who didn't read that post), it was me that posted it.

Now, carolinawildcat, after reading your long post, I have to say I agree with most of it. You have alot of great points. I feel the same way you do on most of it. I shouldn't have posted it in the first place, because I'm usually not one to bash others, and didn't mean for it to come accross that way.

Now, to everyone elses responses, Nick, Celeste, Tom, etc., etc., I agree with you also. Very good points. I guess what it comes down to is a 50/50 split decision. I feel the way both sides do. I was once "that guy" (barely came out of it recently), but I took it upon myself to do research and make sure I did things right and had a LEGIT business.

PWI has definately lived up to it's tagline, or whatever you want to call it. TONS of people learn and network here every day. We also get on to BS, share family things, and even just vent sometimes (which is probably why I posted that in the first place, not sure now, was too tired). My point is, PWI has never shyed away from what the tagline says. PWI helps people AND the industry better themselves everyday. *Thanks again Celeste for making me aware of PWI!!!:eek:k:

carolinawildcat, thanks for your enlightening letter. I mean that, you definately said some things I agree with, BUT.......I still think you need to remove the stencil thing from your signature!!!:dance3:
 

Jonathan Ellis

moderator
Wildcat, why get so offended. I know this (and all bbs) board can get brutal, specially when Tony "Bad Boy" Shelton (who my nearly 3 year old daughter was deathly afraid of LOL) gets involved. Personally I have no issue with people using a hd pressure washer. Cars need to be done, toilet paper needs to be sprayed out of trees when you, or someone you know gets rolled, and sometimes a regular bath just will not work for some people. There is also nothing wrong with using a hd pressure washer on a house. Having that type of machine alone does not make you a hack. Having that type of machine, no insurance, no know how, no proper training makes someone a hack. I do 2-3 houese per year, sometimes more, sometimes not even that many. I do not use hot water on the house. Fact of the matter is, a hd pressure washer at 3000 psi and a hot water skid at 3000 psi are the same, outside of the hot water, unless you will be running it more than a few hours per week. Then you would want to have a professional machine, and just because hd advertizes "professional grade" does not mean it is.

IMHO there is nothing wrong with someone with a hd pw that does houses, or cars (not fleets), and it properly insured and is looking to better their situation. The issue of being a hack comes in when you dont have / do what was mentioned earlier.
 

The Cleaner

Vetran Washer 30 Years Plus
Hey ill buy you lunch Nick i just saw that in his signature he better hope my wife dont see it because we are hiring someone just to do stenciling in 2010 they will be doing 5 nights a week coming to an erea near you try it you might be able to go from $15.00 and to $150.an hour going to have sergery in two weeks on the right kidney to remove the stone it is in a difficult spot.:frown::frown::frown:

Sorry to hear that Lonnie, call me and let me know how it goes, feel better.:wave2:
 

Jonathan Ellis

moderator
ok ok you win

I decided to take you up on your offer. Attached you will find me and the hack I took to lunch. I decided to take him to the nastiest, greasiest place I could think of, you know since he is taking care of the health care part of it.
 

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The Cleaner

Vetran Washer 30 Years Plus
I decided to take you up on your offer. Attached you will find me and the hack I took to lunch. I decided to take him to the nastiest, greasiest place I could think of, you know since he is taking care of the health care part of it.

Which one is you? :D
 
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