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nickslawn
11-30-2006, 08:43 AM
I'm starting out in 2007, I have been on lawnsite for about 2yrs. I have worked for the largest lawn service in my area. It will be tight money wise so buying a mower, I will have to buy a residental push mower for the first year. I the average size yard I will be going for will be 20,000-25,000 sq. ft. Can you all direct me a to good push mower, perferably self propelled, and give me and ideal on how much I can get done with a small mower on yards size list above or smaller. I will need to make $500 weekly to be able to make it on my own. I this possible. Thanks in advanced.
I have been pushing yards for 4 yrs with a 20" murray 8 accounts.

DBL
11-30-2006, 09:23 AM
anything possible with money you will need to average atleast 20 customers with about a $30 avereage on price to cover fuel and other expences such as maintence to make the 500 also you seem like you have expirience so run with what youve learned and make the best of it on the push mower i dont know sorry

HOOLIE
11-30-2006, 03:24 PM
You can certainly make $500 a week with some advertising. Should not be a huge problem to reach that mark.

As for a mower...well I started the same way really. The problem is a homeowner-grade 21" will not hold up all season. You would need a real commericial 21" model, and for what they sell for, honestly I would look around first for a used walk-behind. Especially if your average lawn is half an acre or so.

nickslawn
11-30-2006, 04:05 PM
I would like a nice commercial grade mower but money will be tight till about mid yr then I can upgrade. As for having any real big equipment I can have a trailer were I live. I live in downtown apartments above commerical business. I will get a small storage building to store the mower and equipment when not in use. But not big enough for a trailer. Thanks for you encouragment and replies.

BUCKEYE MOWING
11-30-2006, 04:12 PM
If you can strech the money I would get a Quick 36..but if not and all you can do is homeowner.....Get a Toro....IMO

abcfamily
11-30-2006, 05:26 PM
I have been using a Toro Super Recycler Model 20056 Personal Pace ( $500.00) for 2 years now and am very happy with it. However I mulch 95% of the time and when the grass is growing fast and your only mowing it once a week you're walking at a snails pace to give the mower time to get it mulched.
Currently I am dilligently looking for a 36-48" w.b. to save time and get more h.p. to mulch faster.
7 mows a week 45-60 minutes a mow!!

crzymow
11-30-2006, 05:54 PM
"7 mows a week 45-60 minutes a mow!!" How large are the lawns you are mowing? I couldnt see mowing 20-25,000 sqft lawns with a 21" mower and make any money without charging yourself out of getting them.

saw man
11-30-2006, 07:19 PM
The largest LCO in your area uses Murray or you have been doing it on the side for 4 years using a Murray?

If you have been doing this for 4 years plus you should know what a decent mower looks like.

If the mower you buy is junk and does not do a good job then you may find yourself mowing twice to get a decent cut. With that you will be money ahead to put a nice mower on credit and do a good job.

You could loose accounts because the lawn doesnt look good, is that a chance you want to take?

Jpocket
11-30-2006, 07:47 PM
Question...Do you have decent credit? If so I would advise you to secure a small loan from your bank and gt yourself a decent mower, buy some nice marketing materials.

Take it from someone who started the way you are talking about...That equipment is only going to hinder your growth. by mid season you won't be able to take anymore customers b/c you won't be able to handle them with the equip. you have.

If you buy decent equipment from the get go and market your self correctly, you pay for the mower and turn a profit by mid season. I don't know if your planning on doing it full time but It's def. doable if you spend the $$$ on Advertising and equip. Also if you live at home it will be much easier.

Jpocket
11-30-2006, 07:51 PM
Also i might add...my above post is only if you are serious about building a business.

When i started i was a kid looking to make a few hundred a week for spending money, so equipment wasn't a big deal. But somewhere along the lines I grew up and wanted to make a living/lifestyle out of it.

K c m
11-30-2006, 08:09 PM
I'm starting out in 2007, I have been on lawnsite for about 2yrs. I have worked for the largest lawn service in my area. It will be tight money wise so buying a mower, I will have to buy a residental push mower for the first year. I the average size yard I will be going for will be 20,000-25,000 sq. ft. Can you all direct me a to good push mower, perferably self propelled, and give me and ideal on how much I can get done with a small mower on yards size list above or smaller. I will need to make $500 weekly to be able to make it on my own. I this possible. Thanks in advanced.
I have been pushing yards for 4 yrs with a 20" murray 8 accounts.

keep it small. Get a few 21" mowers and go for it. No maintenence. Should have kept mowing with my 21.

justmowit on this site is making a million net gross im not sure but still a million anything is a lot. good luck.

abcfamily
11-30-2006, 10:27 PM
However I mulch 95% of the time and when the grass is growing fast and your only mowing it once a week you're walking at a snails pace to give the mower time to get it mulched. Currently I am dilligently looking for a 36-48" w.b. to save time and get more h.p. to mulch faster.
10-15000 Sq. Ft.

nickslawn
11-30-2006, 11:00 PM
Thanks for your post. I am using a murray the company I work for use exmark, scag, and toro. But working were Im at I will never be able to afford them. I am hoping to go full time. I will have to draw some unemployment, which I hate to, to make sure I would be able to get by. If I could make $500 a week I would not have any problems. And thats before taking out gas. Gas want be $60 a week. I have debated on getting a cub cadet src621. I believe that would do me well. There calling for snow here tonight and tomorrow morning.

:usflag:

fiveoboy01
11-30-2006, 11:13 PM
I'd advise you to get a larger mower for 20-25K square feet. That's a half acre you're talking, and if you're mowing it with a 21" AND trimming/blowing off, you're investing a TON of time, and in order to make decent money you'll have to charge higher than averege prices.

Beg, borrow or steal(kidding about the stealing part) and get yourself a used WB.

Josh.S
11-30-2006, 11:16 PM
Question...Do you have decent credit? If so I would advise you to secure a small loan from your bank and gt yourself a decent mower, buy some nice marketing materials.

Take it from someone who started the way you are talking about...That equipment is only going to hinder your growth. by mid season you won't be able to take anymore customers b/c you won't be able to handle them with the equip. you have.

If you buy decent equipment from the get go and market your self correctly, you pay for the mower and turn a profit by mid season. I don't know if your planning on doing it full time but It's def. doable if you spend the $$$ on Advertising and equip. Also if you live at home it will be much easier.

110% agree with what he says assuming you are serious about starting a business and not a 12 year old trying to get money to buy a dirtbike like I was when I started...

If you are really 26 years old you should have some type of credit estabilshed....

You could just buy an old ranger for a few hundred bucks to put a 36" WB (a freind of mine bought a Simplicity dual hydro WB for $1800 new) ...

So say you spend $1800 to get a 36" WB, $300 to get a stihl FS80 (good string trimmer), $235 to get a stihl BG85 (good handheld blower), and $2000 to get a ford ranger (or something comparable w/ cheap insurance and great gas mileage), and just say $1000 for business cards, flyers, and however else you plan to get your initial advertising in.... you just spent $5500 (actually $5335 but there will always be misc. expences) to get a decent start (small none the less, but WAY bigger than you were planning) into the business..

On a 5 year loan $5500 would only be a little over $120 monthly payment or so depending on your interest rate... and you should easily pay that off in the first summer... and I would still get a full time job (or at least parttime) somewhere to make sure that you can make it ok, initial startup is hard in most businesses, but in lawncare its very easy (thus abundance of low ballers, ect)...

Will you outgrow the setup I just layed out? If you do a good job and have a little people skills in 2-3 years you will laugh at your original setup....

I am sorry for the ramble, but I would hate to see somebody make a mistake that could and would set them back... and for your pushmower question I would go with a Toro personal pace, or a used 36" WB you could prolly get for around the same price...

MattsMowing3535
11-30-2006, 11:18 PM
Your already renting somewhere downtown correct? A half acre with a 21" is going to take you almost an hour a lawn to cut/trim/blow! If you can swing it and I think you should really try to! Get a little bit bigger place to store your equipment buy a little tiny 4X6 trailer and put a quick 36 on it! You could eisaly have 3-4 times the accounts when you take the speed, width, and power gains of the quick 36! Like stated above, get a loan, borrow from a ritch freind, do anything but buy atleast a 36"!

MTR
12-01-2006, 03:08 AM
Anyone who can do it with 21" is my idol. period. I don't know how you guys do it like year in year out but in FL here, the weather is #1 enemy when it comes to mowing with 21". I lasted only 2-3 months when I started back in '02 using 21", after that my then 36"/sulky took over. The heat is worst enemy. So anyone who can make great living operating with 21" is, to me, miracle man.

best of luck to you.

turfsolutions
12-02-2006, 07:48 PM
Do you notice that when you try to answer advice questions for young guys starting out so they can avoid all the mistakes you made starting out they don't listen. It took me 11 seasons to get where I am but if I would have known then what I know now I could have done it in half the years. Too bad it took me 8 years to find lawnsite. When I did find lawnsite and seeked good advice and got good advice, my business grew and I saved myself a lot of wasted time. So you young guys starting out listen to those who have been there and done that.