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fireguyva
03-07-2006, 11:44 PM
I am a full time firefighter in VA. Looking to start cutting grass on my days off. How should i do it? Buy equipment then get jobs or get jobs then buy equipment?

CutInEdge Lawn Care
03-08-2006, 12:14 AM
Do you get a call for a fire and then buy the equipment? J/K What type of lawns are you trying to go after. Postage Stamp, 1/4 acre, 1,5,10 acres? Do the yards around your neighborhoods have wide gate fences or the ones from the 70's (small gates)What does your business model say?

fireguyva
03-08-2006, 12:19 AM
I am looking to do like 1/4 acre lots. Something i can do on my own in about half hour to an hour or so. Cut trim edge air sweep and remove debris. then when i build my confidence back up try mulching and fert programs again...

29 Palms Property Management
03-08-2006, 12:21 AM
I am a full time firefighter in VA. Looking to start cutting grass on my days off. How should i do it? Buy equipment then get jobs or get jobs then buy equipment?
First off, welcome to LawnSite.
Secondly, your profile says you've been in this business for 7 years, give or take. If this is true, should this really be a question you should be asking?
I had to ask that before anyone else did!
Joking aside, have you done this in the past and you're looking at getting back in again?

fireguyva
03-08-2006, 12:26 AM
i went to school for 2 years studying horticulture 1990-1992. Quit that cause i was broke. Then i got a job with a pretty large co. cutting grass. Worked my way through the weedeater and all that to be foreman on a crew. I was also a volunteer f/f at the time. worked for them for about 5 years full time them got hired as a carreer f/f. continued part time with landscape company in lawn maintenance and installation for 2 more years. that's where 7 +/- come from

JKOOPERS
03-08-2006, 12:33 AM
buy equipment first but dont go broke doing it.

fireguyva
03-08-2006, 12:36 AM
That's what i am worried about. I am used to the toro w/b. Don't know if it is best or worst in the field. I think i can get started with about $4,000. But don't want to buy this stuff and cut 2 yards...My wife would kill me

HOOLIE
03-08-2006, 12:53 AM
The grass isn't growing yet for another few weeks. See how many customers you can line up first.

fireguyva
03-08-2006, 12:55 AM
I just would hate to get beat out of the gate. Since i am new i want to be fresh in the mind but not too early that they forget me by the time they need there lawn serviced.

JKOOPERS
03-08-2006, 12:55 AM
lol i went through the same thing with mine, the problem with mine is she doesnt understand business , it takes money to make money. If i were i would talk to her and just ask for her support and to believe in you . theres nothing worse then someone telling you youre gonna fail . just my .02

fireguyva
03-08-2006, 12:58 AM
Do you guys think a 44 toro w/b belt drive floater is o.k. to start with. Also will probably be buying echo weed eater and stihl blower.

HOOLIE
03-08-2006, 01:05 AM
You probably need something smaller to fit thru gates. You could always buy a 21" for that or go with a 36". I'd check with the Toro dealer to see if they'll have the 44" in-stock when you need it, or if you need to order one. Either way I don't see why you'd need to buy one right now.

fireguyva
03-08-2006, 01:08 AM
Is there a market ya think for just lawn mowing right now or should i offer mulch and stuff this spring? Not really interested in getting certs for lawn treatments so that is out for now.

JKOOPERS
03-08-2006, 01:19 AM
i sub out all of my ferts. i got enough to worry about.

HOOLIE
03-08-2006, 01:20 AM
I've got quite a few clients that only want mowing. Just depends on the customer. You might want to consider doing mulch and hedge trimming, leaf cleanups at least at first until you build up a steady mowing base.

fireguyva
03-08-2006, 01:22 AM
Is just cutting grass right now worth it?

HOOLIE
03-08-2006, 01:30 AM
Well sure, not sure how many customers you are looking to pick up this spring, but you could stick just to mowing and do alright. You might lose a potential customer that wants more done, but there are plenty of people that just don't like cutting grass and want to hire someone to do it. Maybe 25% of my customers always want mulch or hedge trimming in the spring, the rest either do some of that themselves or just don't care much beyond not having to mow it themselves :laugh:

fireguyva
03-08-2006, 01:33 AM
i was thinking of getting around 10-15 yards a week. Since i work 3 total days a week @ fire house but only 2 during the work week (Mon-Fri) at the most

HOOLIE
03-08-2006, 01:43 AM
10-15 lawns is very do-able, a little advertising and word of mouth should get you there pretty quickly.

I'll check in here tomorrow Fireguy, gotta go to sleep now...:laugh:

PMLAWN
03-08-2006, 03:39 AM
13 yards at 30$ each will net (33 weeks cutting) $12,870 for the year, Your first year you will spend about 75% of that to be in business and about 60% of that after.-just rounding-. ( do you have truck and trailer or do you need that too) so your 1st year should bring home about $3200 and about $5150 after that,
The job will take about 15 hours a week with cutting -driving- maintenance- paperwork- education on lawnsite:) - or 495 hours a year.
3200 / 495=$6.46 an hour
5150 / 495= $10.40 an hour

this is just a rough guess but close.

This is what you need to do to decide if it is worth it.

fireguyva
03-08-2006, 04:03 AM
yes i have a '97 F-150(No Payments) And yes Trailer.(Same)
All i need is mower weed eater and blower. Local license is $30.(Do I need State License) Liability ins will be about $800 a year. What else do you guys think I will need for starters?

StBalor
03-08-2006, 09:34 AM
Sounds like you are well on your way.

sbc1971
03-08-2006, 07:47 PM
Thats what I did.Just today,I purchased a 2006 Toro w/b 36" "T-Bar" and a
6x10 H/D open trailer.Both for just under $4,000.I already own an edger,trimmers,leaf blowers ect...I have the same concerns as you.My wife has the gun loaded and pointed at directly at me.Actually,she understands it will take a couple of years of networking and good hard work.

sbc1971
03-08-2006, 07:49 PM
That's what i am worried about. I am used to the toro w/b. Don't know if it is best or worst in the field. I think i can get started with about $4,000. But don't want to buy this stuff and cut 2 yards...My wife would kill me

Thats what I did.Just today,I purchased a 2006 Toro w/b 36" "T-Bar" and a
6x10 H/D open trailer.Both for just under $4,000.I already own an edger,trimmers,leaf blowers ect...I have the same concerns as you.My wife has the gun loaded and pointed at directly at me.Actually,she understands it will take a couple of years of networking and good hard work

sbc1971
03-08-2006, 07:50 PM
O.K. Now I see how it works.

grassman1
03-08-2006, 09:33 PM
That's what i am worried about. I am used to the toro w/b. Don't know if it is best or worst in the field. I think i can get started with about $4,000. But don't want to buy this stuff and cut 2 yards...My wife would kill me

fireguyva: Thanks for looking out for us "Fireman" I appreciate all you guys do. I would wait to see what kind of accounts you get before buying equipment. Any dealer will be able to get what you want in a day or 2. If you only have 2 small res accounts, then your 21" push would do. Don't think you have to have the equipment everyone on this site advertises they have. Remember you're in this to make money! So match the equipment to the job. Why make $5000 with a $7000 peice of equipment , when a good $3500 peice will do?? I say put the extra $ in your pocket. I use the motto "let the equipment pay for itself". If you can't make the equipment pay for itself in 1 season , then I say it's not worth the risk! What do you all think???
Good Luck!

grassman1
03-08-2006, 09:39 PM
That's what i am worried about. I am used to the toro w/b. Don't know if it is best or worst in the field. I think i can get started with about $4,000. But don't want to buy this stuff and cut 2 yards...My wife would kill me

fireguyva: Thanks for looking out for us "Fireman" I appreciate all you guys do. I would wait to see what kind of accounts you get before buying equipment. Any dealer will be able to get what you want in a day or 2. If you only have 2 small res accounts, then your 21" push would do. Don't think you have to have the equipment everyone on this site advertises they have. Remember you're in this to make money! So match the equipment to the job. Why make $5000 with a $7000 peice of equipment , when a good $3500 peice will do?? I say put the extra $ in your pocket. I use the motto "let the equipment pay for itself". If you can't make the equipment pay for itself in 1 season , then I say it's not worth the risk! What do you all think???
Good Luck!

ICE
03-09-2006, 12:25 PM
Fireguy, check your PM

fireguyva
03-09-2006, 09:54 PM
weathers looking good. thinking of putting out flyers... Too soon, too late, or just the right time???

fireguyva
03-09-2006, 11:21 PM
weathers looking good. thinking of putting out flyers... Too soon, too late, or just the right time???