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lawnboyCO
06-23-2007, 09:07 PM
Looking to start a part-time mowing biz, Ideally I want about 10-12 lawns at about 2000-3000 square feet a piece. My dealer has recommended I start with the 28" Worldlawn mower and a commercial Stihl trimmer and blower. I have a small pickup truck that I'm going to get ramps for to get my mower in and out. Got a few questions.

How tough is it going to be to pick up customers half way through the season?

Should I get a small trailer or should I just use the ramps to get my mower in and out of my truck?

I do trust my dealer but does anybody have additional info on the equipment I mentioned?

privatelawn
06-23-2007, 10:04 PM
Id get a big enough trailer, if money is the reason for the small trailer id get an echo trimmer instead ( cost less works great ) and use the saved money for the better trailer

lawnboyCO
06-24-2007, 10:00 AM
Id get a big enough trailer, if money is the reason for the small trailer id get an echo trimmer instead ( cost less works great ) and use the saved money for the better trailer

I'm trying to avoid getting a trailer because I don't want the hassle of getting it licensed and having to store it and all that, but if I find I truly need one, it will be put into next years budget.

Jay Ray
06-24-2007, 10:19 AM
I have witnessed one accident with ramps. When I saw it the mower and the guy was already on the ground writhing in pain. He had a bad abrasion on the leg but walked away with no permanent injury.

Think of ramps as about 20% of a drop gate that are less secure at both ends. You really need to focus your full attention on what you are doing. I think ramps are ok if you are constantly aware that safety is an issue and you don't get complacent.

I'm not saying a drop gate is fail-safe, but it is pretty close. I guess a back injury is more likely with a drop gate if you don't keep the back straight and lift with the legs.

echeandia
06-24-2007, 08:06 PM
Using a trailer will make things so much easier for you. You should be able to find one for a couple of hundred dollars. Registration and license plates are negligible.

lurch
06-25-2007, 12:42 AM
scour the internet for a used trailer...i bought mine for $400...liscened and lit...the deals are out there you just have to search

KTO Enterprises
06-25-2007, 01:33 AM
If only needing a small trailer Harbor Freight tools has those bolt together deals. But local papers sometimes have deals on trailers. Rule of thumb, Buy as much as you can afford/tow, not just what you need. You will outgrow it and see exactly what i mean. The smaller the trailer the harder it is to get your investment in it back out.

Allens LawnCare
06-25-2007, 09:40 AM
I'm trying to avoid getting a trailer because I don't want the hassle of getting it licensed and having to store it and all that, but if I find I truly need one, it will be put into next years budget.

Your worried about licensing the trailer.....do you plan of carring insurance etc.:nono: :hammerhead:

bohiaa
06-25-2007, 10:40 AM
Looking to start a part-time mowing biz, Ideally I want about 10-12 lawns at about 2000-3000 square feet a piece. My dealer has recommended I start with the 28" Worldlawn mower and a commercial Stihl trimmer and blower. I have a small pickup truck that I'm going to get ramps for to get my mower in and out. Got a few questions.

How tough is it going to be to pick up customers half way through the season?

Should I get a small trailer or should I just use the ramps to get my mower in and out of my truck?

I do trust my dealer but does anybody have additional info on the equipment I mentioned?


My friend:

It would be very nice if things went the way you want them too.
But It just doesnt, sorry.

most of the time your customer base will determain what type of equiptment you will purchase, It's very hard to go in to Business, saying this is waht I'm after, and nothing less or more. It just seldom happens. You may target family and friends, but other than that it will be almost impossable.

when customers contaic you, you have to JUMP. otherwise they will call someone else, they want it done and that's that.

I would never put a larger mower like that in a small truck, the liabilites are too great, your already thinking wrong, I have heck sometimes getting my
52" loaded after mowing, the wheels get wet and dont want to go up the trailer ramp,
With ramps on a truck it would be much higher incline, with that goes a greater chance of an accident, one slip, and there goes a leg or foot.

dont do dangerious things, life's too short to hobble.
get a few family and friends as customers, use what you can get your hands on, "Equiptment wise" and go from there, trailers are cheep. mowers are all over G-sales. GEt a cheep lone trimmer, and a hand held blower.

after you see if it works for you, and you it. then upgrade as customer demand does. If customer demand doesn't then you can recover your captial rather nicely,

lawnboyCO
06-25-2007, 11:11 PM
My friend:

It would be very nice if things went the way you want them too.
But It just doesnt, sorry.

most of the time your customer base will determain what type of equiptment you will purchase, It's very hard to go in to Business, saying this is waht I'm after, and nothing less or more. It just seldom happens. You may target family and friends, but other than that it will be almost impossable.

when customers contaic you, you have to JUMP. otherwise they will call someone else, they want it done and that's that.

I would never put a larger mower like that in a small truck, the liabilites are too great, your already thinking wrong, I have heck sometimes getting my
52" loaded after mowing, the wheels get wet and dont want to go up the trailer ramp,
With ramps on a truck it would be much higher incline, with that goes a greater chance of an accident, one slip, and there goes a leg or foot.

dont do dangerious things, life's too short to hobble.
get a few family and friends as customers, use what you can get your hands on, "Equiptment wise" and go from there, trailers are cheep. mowers are all over G-sales. GEt a cheep lone trimmer, and a hand held blower.

after you see if it works for you, and you it. then upgrade as customer demand does. If customer demand doesn't then you can recover your captial rather nicely,

I feel I have a decent idea of what I'm getting myself into being that my full-time job is also in the Green industry. The area I'm going to do this in is primo for this kind of work, lots of retirees, average price of home in this town is $240,000+, and not a whole of competition as I'm aware of, etc,etc.
The mower I want is only 28" not 52" and weighs 230lbs. I also just hooked up with a property manager that is interested in me doing some things for him, don't know if I wanna go that route or not.

Grits
06-26-2007, 02:29 AM
I feel I have a decent idea of what I'm getting myself into being that my full-time job is also in the Green industry. The area I'm going to do this in is primo for this kind of work, lots of retirees, average price of home in this town is $240,000+, and not a whole of competition as I'm aware of, etc,etc.
The mower I want is only 28" not 52" and weighs 230lbs. I also just hooked up with a property manager that is interested in me doing some things for him, don't know if I wanna go that route or not.

Ah yes! Yet another that wants only the advice he wants to hear. Why bother asking for advice if you aren't going to listen and at least think over what has been suggested to you. Go ahead and get your World Lawn 28" mower, go get your boards and make some ramps, and then partner up with Green-Pa. You guys can take turns dropping the mower on each other. What do these guys know that you don't? I mean you are already in the "green industry".:cool2:

KTO Enterprises
06-26-2007, 08:59 AM
Ah yes! Yet another that wants only the advice he wants to hear. Why bother asking for advice if you aren't going to listen and at least think over what has been suggested to you. Go ahead and get your World Lawn 28" mower, go get your boards and make some ramps, and then partner up with Green-Pa. You guys can take turns dropping the mower on each other. What do these guys know that you don't? I mean you are already in the "green industry".:cool2:

I just posted to that thread. You have a major point grits. I seem to have gotten my self ina little quandry on the better oil thread. People ask advise and when you tell them something and why it is better, and even show that a lot of well respected people use it they talk bad about it.

lawnboyCO
06-26-2007, 08:47 PM
Ah yes! Yet another that wants only the advice he wants to hear. Why bother asking for advice if you aren't going to listen and at least think over what has been suggested to you. Go ahead and get your World Lawn 28" mower, go get your boards and make some ramps, and then partner up with Green-Pa. You guys can take turns dropping the mower on each other. What do these guys know that you don't? I mean you are already in the "green industry".:cool2:

Thanks for the positive reply Supaman, I already said I will have money in next years budget for a trailer if I find I truly do need one. But I am hard-headed and have to learn things the hard way so right now I feel I can load this mower in and out of my pickup with ramps until I learn otherwise. But Thanks for being such a cool guy you A#@$%#@!!!

KTO Enterprises
06-26-2007, 09:02 PM
Thanks for the positive reply Supaman, I already said I will have money in next years budget for a trailer if I find I truly do need one. But I am hard-headed and have to learn things the hard way so right now I feel I can load this mower in and out of my pickup with ramps until I learn otherwise. But Thanks for being such a cool guy you A#@$%#@!!!

I think Grits is really wise. You are only going to get one chance to drop that mower on yourself. After that you will be enjoying christmas dinner through a straw, or wors yet on the bottom pushing grass up instead of on the top pushing grass down.

lawnboyCO
06-26-2007, 09:09 PM
I think Grits is really wise. You are only going to get one chance to drop that mower on yourself. After that you will be enjoying christmas dinner through a straw, or wors yet on the bottom pushing grass up instead of on the top pushing grass down.

To be honest, 230lbs of metal does not pump any fear in my heart, now if it were 500lbs, that would be a different story.

privatelawn
06-26-2007, 10:08 PM
This was one of your questions though, I guess if you didnt want anyone recommending a trailer you should have never asked the question.



Should I get a small trailer or should I just use the ramps to get my mower in and out of my truck?

wooley99
06-26-2007, 10:22 PM
LawnboyCO,

Do what privatelawn said. Get an Echo trimmer from Home Depot and an edger too. Then as long as you have at least 8" of lift on the truck you'll be good to go.

lawnboyCO
06-26-2007, 10:39 PM
LawnboyCO,

Do what privatelawn said. Get an Echo trimmer from Home Depot and an edger too. Then as long as you have at least 8" of lift on the truck you'll be good to go.

So stick with the 28" Worldlawn mower idea or not? I refuse to start out with a 21".

lawnboyCO
06-26-2007, 10:43 PM
This was one of your questions though, I guess if you didnt want anyone recommending a trailer you should have never asked the question.

And yet nobody has really given me a really good reason to get a trailer, other than these guys that are scared of dropping the mower going up and down the ramp. I've loaded 200lbs aerators in and out of pickup beds with wooden ramps for years.

Grits
06-26-2007, 11:58 PM
Don't get a trailer. You don't need one. Load your mower in the bed of your truck with wooden ramps. When you do clean-ups, just throw all the debris in the back of your truck......you can make a bunch of trips to the dumpsite. Get the WorldLawn 28" mower, it is perfect for what you will be using it for. You have the best ideas, you don't need the help of the members of this site. From now on, you shouldn't ask questions, just lend advice.
Are you happy now?

In my previous posts, yes, I was trying to be a jerk. Why? Because people like you REFUSE to listen. If you know that wooden ramps will be fine for loading/unloading, then why did you bring it up. In this type of business you NEDD a trailer because you will always be hauling something.....equipment, debris, mulch, plants, whatever. But do what you want because I'm sure nobody really cares what you do. Besides, you refuse to listen to suggestions that don't coincide with what you think is the cheapest and easiest way to get by. You are but one of many who thinks that you just need to buy a mower and then you will have a business. Well junior, it ain't that easy. You will not last 2 seasons with your thinking and your refusal to take advice from people that have been there and done that. There is noone that can help you unless you put your man-pride aside and listen to what others have to say. If you want help there is a lot of very experienced people on this site that will help you....you just have to be willing to listen.

lawnboyCO
06-27-2007, 12:09 AM
Don't get a trailer. You don't need one. Load your mower in the bed of your truck with wooden ramps. When you do clean-ups, just throw all the debris in the back of your truck......you can make a bunch of trips to the dumpsite. Get the WorldLawn 28" mower, it is perfect for what you will be using it for. You have the best ideas, you don't need the help of the members of this site. From now on, you shouldn't ask questions, just lend advice.
Are you happy now?

In my previous posts, yes, I was trying to be a jerk. Why? Because people like you REFUSE to listen. If you know that wooden ramps will be fine for loading/unloading, then why did you bring it up. In this type of business you NEDD a trailer because you will always be hauling something.....equipment, debris, mulch, plants, whatever. But do what you want because I'm sure nobody really cares what you do. Besides, you refuse to listen to suggestions that don't coincide with what you think is the cheapest and easiest way to get by. You are but one of many who thinks that you just need to buy a mower and then you will have a business. Well junior, it ain't that easy. You will not last 2 seasons with your thinking and your refusal to take advice from people that have been there and done that. There is noone that can help you unless you put your man-pride aside and listen to what others have to say. If you want help there is a lot of very experienced people on this site that will help you....you just have to be willing to listen.

Keep in mind that I'm going into this part-time. 10-12 lawns max @ 2-3000 sq ft max. I'm just gonna do my thing and let yall know how it turned out in Nov.

wooley99
06-27-2007, 12:43 AM
Pop back in November and tell us how it worked out. Best of Luck!

MeadowsLawnCare
06-27-2007, 01:12 AM
I agree with the not listening to the advice. Sometimes I post on here about what I think is right and hope everyone agrees with me, but thats not always the case. Sometimes I listen to them and go that way, sometimes i stick with my plan. I'm sure 230lbs of metal doesnt scare you, but what happens to the mower when you drop it? You dont think it might bend/brake? What happens then? I paid $100 for my trailer that I got from a friend. Works awsome. Thats double the price of ramps but it sure beats fixing a damaged mower due to dropping it. Its also a convienece to just pop it up the trailer ramp than trying to load it in the truck. Also you can do cleanups and haul grass in the back of your truck as well without worrying about the mower and equip. Good luck!

zz4guy
06-27-2007, 10:24 AM
IMO this is a GREAT time to get into the market. This is the time of year when it really heats up outside and people are getting sick and tired of mowing their lawn every week. Also you won't have the advertising competition like you do in the Spring. I say advertise hard and go for it. You should have no problem picking up 10 customers.




Looking to start a part-time mowing biz, Ideally I want about 10-12 lawns at about 2000-3000 square feet a piece. My dealer has recommended I start with the 28" Worldlawn mower and a commercial Stihl trimmer and blower. I have a small pickup truck that I'm going to get ramps for to get my mower in and out. Got a few questions.

How tough is it going to be to pick up customers half way through the season?

Should I get a small trailer or should I just use the ramps to get my mower in and out of my truck?

I do trust my dealer but does anybody have additional info on the equipment I mentioned?

zz4guy
06-27-2007, 10:35 AM
PS why dont all you guys with the inflated egos and extra time on your hands shut up and go cut some grass!

privatelawn
06-27-2007, 04:54 PM
A few reasons I can think of for getting a trailer

#1 = time is money, even part time, if you have 8 hours a week to dedicate to lawn mowing and can cut 10 lawns in that time for $35 each putting everything in the back of the truck. with those 8 hours and a trailer you may save enough time to cut 12 lawns instead in those 8 hours and make an extra $75 a week

#2 = you may grow faster then you expect and need more space

#3 = you pull up to the house your going to cut and another lco is right in front of you cutting another lawn, you may get embaressed unloading everything out of the back of your pick up, your customer might just also see the other lco and decide your nowere near as professional.

#4 = Image alone can get you more per cut

And yet nobody has really given me a really good reason to get a trailer, other than these guys that are scared of dropping the mower going up and down the ramp. I've loaded 200lbs aerators in and out of pickup beds with wooden ramps for years.

Jay Ray
06-27-2007, 06:56 PM
To be honest, 230lbs of metal does not pump any fear in my heart, now if it were 500lbs, that would be a different story.

As they say in the shipyard down here, steel, even a little bit, is still tougher than meat.

Jay Ray
06-27-2007, 07:18 PM
A few reasons I can think of for getting a trailer

#1 = time is money, even part time, if you have 8 hours a week to dedicate to lawn mowing and can cut 10 lawns in that time for $35 each putting everything in the back of the truck. with those 8 hours and a trailer you may save enough time to cut 12 lawns instead in those 8 hours and make an extra $75 a week

Yup. When I went from a 10' to a 12', there is more room to work and situate the same amount of stuff, and it is much faster. Just 2' really made a difference. Sure, I should have went 14' or 16', but it was a great deal on the 12' and I had enough cash.

Also, started with the cheap $60 racks from Lowes and they helped with keeping stuff off the trailer floor, but good racks make a big difference also.

If you ever worked a job where the stuff the company provided made the job much more of a hassle than it needed to be, you don't want to do that when you have control, unless you just have to for awhile.

I would have went with ramps if I had to, but would have been scared spitless every time I used them. A healthy fear can keep you from getting hurt.

lawnboyCO
06-27-2007, 07:36 PM
A few reasons I can think of for getting a trailer

#1 = time is money, even part time, if you have 8 hours a week to dedicate to lawn mowing and can cut 10 lawns in that time for $35 each putting everything in the back of the truck. with those 8 hours and a trailer you may save enough time to cut 12 lawns instead in those 8 hours and make an extra $75 a week

#2 = you may grow faster then you expect and need more space

#3 = you pull up to the house your going to cut and another lco is right in front of you cutting another lawn, you may get embaressed unloading everything out of the back of your pick up, your customer might just also see the other lco and decide your nowere near as professional.

#4 = Image alone can get you more per cut

Ok, I like #1, that makes sense to me, but what about this idea http://www.permagreen.com/magnum/default.aspx?id=3&aid=2&index=1

YARDCARVER
06-27-2007, 07:54 PM
Hey Lawnboy,
I can speak from experience, Two years ago I was loading a walk behind in the bed of a truck with wooden ramps. First mistake, second mistake was being in a hurry. Bottom line is halfway up the ramps they slippped and the mower went to one side and then down on my left leg. Broke it in three places and was out for the season. Do yourself a favor, buy a trailer. Well worth the money and will save you a trip to the emergencey room.

JCA1
06-28-2007, 08:45 PM
I have a question in line with this(not to hi-jack), but what recommendations to you all have have about starting a business like this(part-time) in general, omitting equipment. Regarding taxes, business name, insurance, etc. Can apart-time business like this when done legally even be profitable with income, social security, medicare tax etc., insurance premiums, estimated tax payments, etc.etc.etc. Is it legal to just go out and "cut grass"( no offense, I know you guys do much,much, more than this, but I would not in my situation)for people without any of this?

KTO Enterprises
06-28-2007, 08:49 PM
You can take a chance without insurance, but all it will take is one rock to ruin your life. If you kick up a rock and hit a kid you will be sued for everything you have.

Harshman
07-01-2007, 07:04 AM
Here is a good reason to get a trailer. You look more professional, maybe like you know what your doing, otherwise your just another guy in a truck with a mower.

When you have to fill your equipment. Are you going to do it in the street or on your customers property? Both of these are bad ideas. It looks unprofessional and kills the grass. Sure would suck to have to load the mower everytime it needs filled. I dont know about you, but I'm tired enough without having to lift my equipment.

lawnboyCO
07-01-2007, 07:53 AM
Here is a good reason to get a trailer. You look more professional, maybe like you know what your doing, otherwise your just another guy in a truck with a mower.


I saw a guy yesterday with a brand new Walker mower in a piece of crap trailer. The guy had like 5 ft plywood walls on this thing. That didn't look professional to me.

Harshman
07-01-2007, 08:36 AM
I saw a guy yesterday with a brand new Walker mower in a piece of crap trailer. The guy had like 5 ft plywood walls on this thing. That didn't look professional to me.

Your right. Thats not very professional. Its also only one guy and we dont know his circumstances either.

The question, I believe was whether you should have a trailer.

This is a very competitive business. You either eat or be eaten. There is always another LCO out there who is smarter, faster, cheaper, and better. Which means if you want to make this into more than a hobby, you need to start thinking productivity through efficiency. Safe, Smart, Fast! The back of your truck is neither.

prizeprop
07-01-2007, 02:38 PM
I would go with this if I were in your situation.Your right the problem with a trailer is a place to store it,plus if your just doing it part-time keep it simple.

lawnboyCO
07-01-2007, 03:58 PM
I would go with this if I were in your situation.Your right the problem with a trailer is a place to store it,plus if your just doing it part-time keep it simple.

Cool, where do I get one?

prizeprop
07-01-2007, 06:50 PM
Search under tailgate ramps,several different companies.

Grits
07-01-2007, 10:29 PM
I would go with this if I were in your situation.Your right the problem with a trailer is a place to store it,plus if your just doing it part-time keep it simple.

That ramp for a truck isn't too bad. But let me know how much it costs. The specialty ramps I have seen that are similar to that one cost as much as a small trailer.