View Full Version : Just starting solo what equipment?

07-26-2001, 01:16 PM
I am looking to start out part time. I will be working solo and need advice on what type and make of equipment to purchase.
I live in SW FL so I can work just about year round. I am looking to buy a mower, trimmer/edger and a blower (if nessescary) to get myself started. Does any one have any advice on models and pricing? Thanks in advance.:confused:

07-26-2001, 01:39 PM
Well there are many variables to what equipment you need, and what you want to invest. I would suggest a 36 exmark wb, 21inc lawn boy, a Echo trimmer, and a Red Max blower. It would be wise to invest in a hedge trimmer, if you want to offer your clients another service. Well good luck on your new business!!

07-26-2001, 01:56 PM
take what dealers you have into consideration. You want a quick supply route for important parts and service you may need along the way. As far as brands, I won't give that advice because you have to decide for yourself what you want. Go to afew dealers and try a couple different brands and models, and you'll know which one to get!

Do a search on here my product name and you will have days of reading to do with all the reviews, etc that have been posted.

Good Luck!

07-26-2001, 02:43 PM
good used walkbehind,echo trimmer,poulan pro hand held blower,vac.
that gets you off the ground and then you decide where you want to go. check used mower for deck warp,and motor for
black or white smoke in excess.you may see smoke at first from any mower but after its running and choke is off. shouldnt be any.
of course hrs on meter if it has one, but these can be played with. next wiggle the blade up an down . shouldnt be much if
any play.laterTM

07-26-2001, 02:50 PM
Whatever equipment you buy.....make sure you get the SEARCH ENGINE.
You can try it by clicking the word "search" at the top of the page.


07-26-2001, 09:03 PM
30 days into my new business- all this is still fresh to me. Get a 36 inch WB. A back up push mower of some sort. If you can afford it get 2 trimmers, 1 edger, at least 1 blower. I also got a hedge trimmer used it several times. An F-150 with a good trailor- and thats about it!

Do some lawns for free! People drive by and see you and ask what your rares are.


07-26-2001, 09:05 PM
Originally posted by sheppard

Do some lawns for free! People drive by and see you and ask what your rares are.


Oh no ...don't sell yourself that short!!!

07-26-2001, 09:45 PM
I don't sell myself short- it's just that my competition does NOT offer free cuts. That's why I do.


CSRA Landscaping
07-26-2001, 10:32 PM
... on your circumstances. Are you in a relatively secure area, or are things likely to 'walk away?' If they are, get an enclosed trailer, I would go for a 7'x16' one.

Want dependable stuff? Go with commercial grade, don't save a buck. You'll make up for it in saved labor and results. For your trimmers and the like, I like Stihl right now, but I haven't gotten the chance to try the Shindaiwas that everyone has been raving about.

Blowers. Yes, it's necessary. Again, go commerical grade. Again, I like the Stihl BR400 but neither have I tried the Redmax that so many seem to enjoy on this site.

Mowers. Like to really, really, really, work? Get a walkbehind. Like to get good results as effortlessy as possible? (Lazy?) Get a zero turn rider. I would recommend at least 52" deck, it'll get too small soon enough. As far as the brand goes, sorta like Chevy and Ford, far as I can tell. I use a Scag. Other folks use Dixie Choppers, Exmarks, etc. Demo them and see which one you like the best. Just like buying a car.

07-26-2001, 11:11 PM
We have a condo down in Naples. Its a really nice area so I dont think he has anything to worry like his stuff walking away.

Eric ELM
07-26-2001, 11:34 PM
If a thief wants your equipment, he doesn't care where it's parked, he will get it. There have been members posting that their equipment was stolen when they were in a very nice area.

CSRA Landscaping
07-26-2001, 11:39 PM
I lost about $300 or more in equipment when I started out because we live on a short cut road right now, which includes a lot of foot traffic. Duh. :rolleyes: I just had everything sitting out on a regular, open, tandem-axle trailer. I'm amazed taht I didn't lose more than I did! The funniest part, though, is that I didn't even notice it until I needed it at a job!

07-26-2001, 11:59 PM
I 'second' what Eric said.

Another LCO in my neighborhood had ALL of his equipment ripped right out of his driveway. He usually chains the trailer to his steel carport support post with a BIG logging chain. This particular evening he had worked late and in a hurry to get his son to ball practice ("I'll only be gone a couple of minutes") so he did not chain it up and someone just backed into his driveway, hooked up the trailer to his truck...and drove away with a nice Bunton W/B and assorted trimmers, blowers, and gas cans, etc....all of his stuff. :( Too bad he was not insured. :eek:

We live in a relatively quiet middle class suburban neighborhood with little crime. Who woulda thunk????

A good trailer tongue lock (like a Master #34 or #36) would have saved the poor guy a lot of grief...if he took a few seconds to slap it on the trailer.

It only takes a second to snatch your trimmers and blowers, throw 'em in the back, and speed away. A different LCO in this same area has had his taken twice this season...while cutting BEHIND the house...could not see his rig while in the backyard. Needless to say-he now 'cables and locks' EVERYTHING.

Whatever you buy...LOCK IT UP!

07-27-2001, 01:15 AM
Buy what you can afford now and then invest as much money possible into better equipment as you grow. Equipment and tools are the lifeblood of all our businesses. I don't think too many of us started out with extra cab trucks and Z mowers. ;)

Got Grass?
07-27-2001, 01:19 AM
Well I havent had anything stolen. Most of my cutting is in the safest city in the country (Amherst). Yeah people have had things stolen but thoes are only the idiots who leave the trailer in the road when thay go for lunch. Well DUH thievs know your not there if thay cant here equip. or see anyone and no truck. Working for other LCO's Ive gone into the city (buffalo) and had my lunch bag stolen outta the truck along with my cell that was init. But thay didnt take the 2way that was on the seat next to it. or any equip. Figured it was a hungry bum who hangs out arround there.

Deffiantly keep everything enclosed weather it be a open trailer in a garage (dont forget to unload the truck), or an anclosed trailler with a tongue lock and locked doors. Lock the back when you go for lunch etc.
I keep my gas cans locked to the trailer with a bike cable and key lock. People will take them first round here. I've had people come up to me and ask if I could give them some gas for thier Lexus another for a BMW that was almost out. Thay figure I have extra to I charged them $5a gal for it.
Possibly will lock the rest down soon if I can find a way to quickly lock and unlock everything.

But back to the origional topic.
Starting out get hte best that you can possibly afford and more.
Buy ONLY commercial grade equipment and tools. anything less and you will be back to the store in a month.

As for mowers how large will the propertys your cutting be? Get the largest deck you can to take less time. But remember if you will have any gates or small areas. Dont buy a homeowner rider.

You will need a blower, for clippings, dibres, trimmings, leaves?, etc.

Do you have a trailer yet? or some other way to haul the equip arround? Remember you need space for clippings, trash, branches, etc. so dont skimp out on space.

Whatever you buy remember that it WILL break down at the worst possible time. So you need to have a good, quickl, repair shop/ parts dealer nearby. That has your brands, parts in stock. and possibly has a loaner. Home Depot/Loes do not stock needed parts.

07-27-2001, 01:43 PM
I started part-time last year in my neighboorhood of 225 homes with a Snapper rider (38in) that my mother-in-law let me keep as long as I did her yard every Saturday, Ryobi w/edger & trimmer attachments and a Ryobi blower. I wanted to keep my overhead low so I bought a ramp kit and put it all in the back of my 88 Ford Ranger x-cab. That lasted me all last year (600+ cuts) except for the blower. Now I'm maxed out with over 40 regular customers in only my own neighboorhood and that 7 year old "Blackhawk Edition" Snapper is still going stong. I did upgrade at the first of the year to Sthil's homeowner equpiment and it works great (over 700+ cuts since Feb.) You can get Sthil's homeowners blower, edger and trimmer for under $800. I was in the "black" for the year after the second month. I have yet to have anything "walk off" but I always keep a watchfull eye on my stuff, even in my neighboorhood where the house range from $175k to 240k. When something breaks replace it with the money you made, don't go into a lot of debt before you do your first yard. I will upgrade my mower at the first of the year not because I need to but because I'm quitting my full-time job as a Sr. Systems Analyst and going full-time using only the money I made. Keep it with cash. Debt is dumb.

07-27-2001, 02:14 PM
I mowed back when I was 17(34 now - starting LCO back up bext spring - tired of workin for the man), and started with a 48"WB, and outgrew it half way through my first season. My yards were growing too big, and I got tired of walking REAL QUICK.

Get a rider if you can, even used. You won't regret it.. Also, know your limits. If a job is too big, don't bid on it.. I personally think a 36" WB is much too small to use as a solo mower when just starting out - unless you are doing small lots, and not alot each day.


07-27-2001, 04:32 PM
I would Get a used 36 wb, I new trimmer and edger, echo or shindiawa. Last a Blower (Stihl makes a good one).

I would look in your local paper and the end of the summer for guys selling equipment. Try all used equipment before buying!

07-27-2001, 04:43 PM
you might want to look o ebay . there is a 52 lazer with 1200 hrs
for 2250 or somthing like that as a buy out. i cant vouch for that particular machine but the 52 lazer w kohler command motor
can put some work out.

J. Bret Holder
08-01-2001, 05:49 PM
(1) Exmark Turf Tracer HP 36" [HYDRO] WB Mower
Toro ProLine 36" [HYDRO] WB Mower

(1) Toro 22040 Commercial 21" Mower w/5.5 Suzi 2-cycle
LawnBoy Commercial 21" Mower w/6.5 DuraForce 2-cycle

(1) Maruyama BC-3200 Line Trimmer(s). [You might want to purchase a second trimmer for backup as soon as finances permit.] LCOs should always have a backup trimmer, I believe most of the people here would agree. Stihl, Shindawa, etc. are also great choices; Down here in "The Big Easy", Maruyama works well for us under the extreme climatic conditions, especially the heat. Maruyama is light and has kicked butt for us for 7 years.


(1) RedMax EB-7000 Backpack Blower. [You should do well with one of these for a while before deciding to purchase another one. RedMax Blowers have also proven extremely reliable! They also kick serious butt!

:blob4: Good Luck!