View Full Version : Do you purchase equipment to do the job?

02-26-2008, 03:19 PM
I know how I am and want to know what other people actually do when looking to buy equipment.

Do you purchase equipment to take care of the job then begin filling in the use the machine to its full use? I have heard some people talk about haggling around with what you have and when your business justifies buying a new mower or a bed edger or something like that make the buy.

I personally prefer if it is a field I am in to buy the equipment I need and then make the work be there. I might be 1 out of 1000000 that works this way but I feel it keeps everyone working for you/with you as well as customers happier than not having the things to do the job right at first.

How do you guys feel?

02-26-2008, 03:32 PM
this is just my opinion,but if it is something you want need all the time,i would rent it.for example,i rent sod cutters b/c i don't lay alot of sod&it is an exspensive tool but as i get more jobs i will look into buying one.

Sunstate Lawn
02-26-2008, 03:43 PM
I like to buy the equipment I need too, but I am an equipment junkie. Usually someone has to remind me to look at the bottom line and and make an appropriate decision

02-26-2008, 03:51 PM
I am in your same boat most of the time. I enjoy having equipment to tinker with, so I will buy something and then just sell that to my customers. It has worked so far, and actually opened up some doors for additional business by doing this.

02-26-2008, 04:03 PM
I use the rule of thirds/repeats to answer this question.
Once I have to rent for the third time in one year with obvious repeat requests, I will research acquiring the needed equipment.
The one piece of equipment I absolutely will not buy is a sod cutter. The walk behind/mini skid steer power box rakes are much, much, much more efficient in prepping an area for re-sodding than carving out the old sod, not to mention the disposal issues.
The PBR will vastly decrease the organic matter removal volume as the implement leaves the soil, separates the grass from the soil, and preps for the new sod much faster than physically removing the old sod.

02-26-2008, 04:07 PM
Yeah I usually rent one the first time, just so I can be sure if this is something I want to get into.

Even then I make mistakes, I've got 1 or 2 machines that need oil changes between every use lol that's how long they sit in between the oil goes bad just from sitting. So one thing I consider is can I really afford it, can I pay for this machine and be done with it? It makes little sense to buy one and then have to try and justify it, for myself I pay for it and it's over.

But I think over the years, if you develop 1 or 2 machines that almost never gets used, that's all right.
So long half your inventory doesn't consist of that :laugh:
Most of mine get used at least once a season, and then more than one job.
But I do have 1 or 2, the tiller is one of them, I can count the times I've used it in 6 years on one hand.

02-26-2008, 04:11 PM
If you use it more than once a week you better of buying.

02-26-2008, 04:55 PM
For me as a partimer, I cannot justify any equipment purchase unless I already have a use for it. I am struggling right now with an equipment purchase to make or not to. I have a potential customer down the road with 4acres that need cut. She wants me to do it, but with my WB mower it will take to long to be profitable. So should I buy a 50 ZT and hope for more use out of it or just tell her no.

02-26-2008, 06:30 PM
Me.... i pay cash for it. If i can't pay cash then i rent it. no credit here!!! if you spend your money wisly in the profession then you can make alot of money. even at 25.00 a yard

Big C
02-26-2008, 07:00 PM
I am debating on weather or not to buy a backpack blower.....as it stands now my handheld blower is doing fine but, I have a few potential customers with large parking lots .....do I wait and be "behind the 8-ball" if I get the accts or do I buy now and be ready at a moments notice to service their property??????...cash is not the issue I have the $$$$ to purchase it....it is the fear of investing money in the wrong area.......it is a catch-22.:confused:

02-26-2008, 10:51 PM
What i've seen over the years, when guys start out, they all want a nice ride and give the appearance of success. Unfortunately, when you tie up all your money in a pretty truck and your using mowers that are 10 years old, you've kind of got it ass backwards. Invest in what will make you money. If you mow for a living, then buy the best mowers you can. Once you establish yourself over time, then you buy a nice truck/toy. Stay focused on what's important and you'll do fine.

02-26-2008, 11:04 PM
I live by the "build it and they will come" theory.

I have never rented a piece of equipement in my life to do a job and don't plan to.

If you know your stuff and buy a piece of equipment and market you will make good money (if there is a demand).

It might not be the best "business decision" at the beginning, but again if you know what your are doing, work hard, and do good work you will be fine.

If you have to rent...you may give up some work and also you wont' be able to pick up jobs here and there. You will have to line up a bunch of work at once and that isn't all good necessarily!

Both ways work, but I guess I am also an equipement junky!

Good Luck!