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lawncut
10-12-2008, 01:23 PM
hey fella's,
I have been reading through forums all day but can't seem to find info on what equipment i will need to start out mowing lawns. I know i need a mower but what brand would you recommend? also what other equipment will i need?
thanks

newz7151
10-12-2008, 01:41 PM
with the direction of the economy, triple think your decision to get into a "luxury service" business and if you still decide to risk it, start with whatever is the cheapest stuff you can find, so that if things get even worse, you're not out more than what you can afford to pay off by working at a minimum wage job.

djchiodo3
10-12-2008, 02:09 PM
What experience do you have working in the lawn maintenance field? What's your budget? Are you going to finance or lease the mower? Do you have a cash flow now. Recommend you start out small. When possible buy used equipment and replace with bigger and better as your business grows. Buy mid size truck ,trailer and walk behind. Visit all the local lawn shops, look around, and talk to the sales people.
While your driving around town, look at other lawn companies and see what they are using. Ask other lawn companies if they have small jobs that they don't want or will sub out to you.

freshprince94
10-12-2008, 02:17 PM
You'll need a commercial mower, a line trimmer, a stick edger, and a backpack blower. Handheld blowers are OK but I would rather start out with a backpack. You will also need a truck and trailer. Start out with commercial equipment and at least a 5x8 trailer, don't make the mistakes I did with starting out with a resi mower and 4x8 trailer.

As far as brands go, I use and love Stihl handheld products. I have 3 pieces of Stihl equipment and they are the bomb. I used to use Echo products, and I hated them.

For mowers, start out with a used 36 inch walkbehind. Get a cheap pushmower for the tight gates. eXmark, Toro, Scag, and Gravely are all good brands for walkbehinds.

Here is my recomendations to you:

MOWER-eXmark Metro, Viking, or TTHP 36 inch walkbehind (check for used)
TRIMMER-Stihl FS 90 R
EDGER-Stihl FC 90
BACKPACK BLOWER-Stihl BR 380

Hope this helps

lawncut
10-12-2008, 02:19 PM
I am looking to start out part time for now. I just want to buy the bear minimun in equipment but professional quality. I know not to just jump into this, that is why I only want to cut lawns. thanks for the help.

lawncut
10-12-2008, 02:26 PM
You'll need a commercial mower, a line trimmer, a stick edger, and a backpack blower. Handheld blowers are OK but I would rather start out with a backpack. You will also need a truck and trailer. Start out with commercial equipment and at least a 5x8 trailer, don't make the mistakes I did with starting out with a resi mower and 4x8 trailer.

As far as brands go, I use and love Stihl handheld products. I have 3 pieces of Stihl equipment and they are the bomb. I used to use Echo products, and I hated them.

For mowers, start out with a used 36 inch walkbehind. Get a cheap pushmower for the tight gates. eXmark, Toro, Scag, and Gravely are all good brands for walkbehinds.

Here is my recomendations to you:

MOWER-eXmark Metro, Viking, or TTHP 36 inch walkbehind (check for used)
TRIMMER-Stihl FS 90 R
EDGER-Stihl FC 90
BACKPACK BLOWER-Stihl BR 380

Hope this helps
I am going to look for this equipment you recommend. I have a little knowledge on exmark, echo, and red max(I heard they have really great backpack blowers). not too much on stihl equipment. thanks for the great information.

scagdude
10-12-2008, 04:53 PM
i recommend a 36" scag walk behind stihl fs80r trimmer stihl fc75 edger either red max 7001 or stihl br420 backpack blower and a honda push mower with a 5x8 trailer.

Icepuck72
10-12-2008, 05:06 PM
Like a previous poster stated, start out small, used equipment and build up your clients. When I started I had all used crappy equipment, but worked and built to what I have now.

If you decide to buy some new stuff, buy commercial and don't buy from the box stores. Listen to the guys on here with experience.

bigjvillelawn
10-12-2008, 08:59 PM
They way I started off was with some quality residential equipment like a riding lawn mower and push mower for ditches. And a decent trimmer and blower. All of these tools can be bought dirt cheap used. Be sure you have the quantity of yards you need to turn a profit before trying to buy expensive equipment. As far as the commercial equipment goes, don't buy your major stuff used. For me buying a zero turn mower can be a big expense with no warranty. Example, you get a zero turn and the wheel motors are shot- $3-400 bucks. Get my drift. Now belt driven walk behinds are a different story. They are cheap used and extremely valuable for small yards and are cheap and easy to maintain compared to anything that has hydraulics. I went Scag and Echo and have not had any problems that were not immediately taken care of by warranty. Get a good dealer and try to buy most of your equipment and supplies from them. Believe me they will cut prices and work on your stuff faster after you buy a $6000 plus mower from them.:laugh: And last but not least don't baby your equipment but don't abuse it either. I go through all of my equipment once a week with a checklist I made from my manuals. Sounds stupid but after being in the Marines it works. Just my 2 cents

stevenf
10-12-2008, 09:30 PM
I also recommend you get a commercial WB to start with. I spent $500.00 on my residential ZTR and cant wait to get rid of it!

Green Team Landscaping
10-12-2008, 09:43 PM
It depends on the size lawns you have. You're definately going to want to get lawns before you get your mower(assuming the client doesnt want their lawn mowed right then and there) just so you'll have some income to oay for it if you dont already. If you have smaller yards in where ever New York you are, when look at the 36"-48" especially if there are lots of gates. And for equipment, start of small and keep it affordable because you dont want to find yourself in over your head with bills that can't be paid. All you really need is a mower(push or bigger), weed whacker, and a mower with a good sized deck(if needed). Oh, and a good work ethic helps out a lot too, especially when you take your time with the job and make sure everything is up to your highest standards.

Green Team Landscaping
10-12-2008, 09:46 PM
I also recommend you get a commercial WB to start with. I spent $500.00 on my residential ZTR and cant wait to get rid of it!
I'm in the same boat as you! Looking to get rid of mine at the start of next season for more than I paid for it($700). Not that it's a bad mower, but it's time for something a little more reliable and newer(TURF TIGER!!!!!! or Ferris).

lawncut
10-12-2008, 10:14 PM
I have been looking in my area at walk behind mowers and they are about $3500 new. the brands are exmark and scag. I don't really like to buy used, you never know what the equipment went through with the previous owner.
anyway i really gathered a lot of information from this thread.

hockeypro1411
10-12-2008, 10:21 PM
If you're really looking to save some money you can probably skip the edger. I'm probably gonna start a fight in here, but using a string trimmer is just as good. If this does flop, you won't be out the few hundred bucks for something you could've done without.

Kennedy Landscaping
10-12-2008, 10:26 PM
I just bought a commercial walk behind almost a month ago now and I won't go back already. Its a Gravely. I run Husqvarna trimmer though. So those two have my vote

Micheal2008
10-12-2008, 11:12 PM
We are starting up in 09 And looking to buy used wb right now, And buying two fs90 trimmers, br600 blower, and edger/trimmer and pushmower.. We are trying to get all this for around $3000

DuallyVette
10-13-2008, 01:22 AM
I would get a 23/52 Wright Stander. RedMax 8001 Back Pack blower, RedMax 26cc trimmer & edger.
Buying cheap homeowner stuff costs more in the long term...unless you just plan to fail.
I hope you have some experience. all my new employees (with previous experience) don't know the difference in "that'll do", and "professional".
Look like a loser, and you'll lose. "Self Fulfilling Prophecy"

The economy never affected my business very much. This time I think we're all in trouble. I'd like to buy about $40,000 worth of new stuff...but I don't want to wind up homeless.

George Mason
10-13-2008, 11:12 PM
I started out this year with a new 48" Ferris WB and it paid the bills. I pick up my new Gravely 60" Z on wednesday, but I am mowing large properties with that where the 48" just doesn't cut it on a 3 acre job with daylight fading fast and beating me all to pieces. I do fine on time and comfort with the regular 4,000 foot lots I do with the WB and it was a bit expensive compared to the belt driven WB it's like a Ferrari with the hydro. I use the Stihl FS90 and like it better than the Echo trimmer, and I use the edgit and love it and never get my edger attachment out of the toolbox now that I have it (a simple search on this site will inform you, its a love/hate product but I give it two thumbs up as it is easy, quick, and makes the property look really nice!) I have an old Echo blower, I don't even know the model number to tell the truth, but it runs like a champ after about 12 years of heavy use in the fall leaf season so I am unbiased with Stihl and Echo, though my new blower will likely be Stihl for one my friend is a dealer and two, they are made in VA and I rep VA!

My advice, and by no means am I the experienced vet here, but as someone who was in your shoes not too long ago I'd go with a commercial WB (48" or 36" depending upon your target market) and the edgit on the trimmer for sure instead of a edger or a $150 attachment. My Ferris WB puts down a real nice cut and I can strongly recommend it, though their Z models don't appeal to me for larger jobs.

Good luck,