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WEEDEATER
08-13-2002, 01:39 PM
I'm looking to start my own lawn care service. If any of you would have it to start over, what equipment would you purchase by brand name and models. Do you think your better off commerical or residential customers?

Thanks:)

stslawncare
08-13-2002, 03:11 PM
welcome to lawnsite, you have for sure come to the right place to learn. try doing a search for the various questions you have. for some people a mixture of residentual and commercial is good, some not.

summitgroundskeeping
08-13-2002, 07:04 PM
Ah, if I had the "happy" "joy" to be able to start again. Well I would either go w/comm. or w/res.
Residentials will keep your time full of complaints, questions, and late payers.
Commercial will usually give you more to mow per stop, pay sooner, and complain less.
But you can do well doing res... I do, but that is b/c I take over whole neighborhoods. Try a mix and see where you stand.
Equipment list for full grounds management company...
(1) GMC 3500 4X4 w/ durmax
(1) 16' trailer - heavy duty
(1)Isuzu - dump truck
(1)Isuzu - landscape bed
(1)Great Dane Scamper 48" or 52" w/17hp kaw or Super sufer
(2)Gravely 272 w/27hp kaw.
(1)Kubota 4X4 tractor high hp
(1)skid steer... not sure model, depends
and other stuff
all depends on your application, different strokes for different folks.

Scag48
08-13-2002, 09:08 PM
Well, if you want to get into commercial, now is a good time to start figuring out which ones you might want to bid on. Then, when January comes along, start going around to these businesses and talking with the managers. Let them know what you're up to, and give them a bid. I wouldn't invest in equipment right now, wait 'til spring, unless you want to do leaves this fall. I wouldn't even start a business this year, wait 'til next year. But I suppose you could get your name out a little and establish a customer base so you'll be ready to go big time in the spring. Equipment is a big part of the biz. Try to buy Exmark, Toro, Great Dane, or something along those lines. Just keep checking around here, you'll learn the favoritess. You need a decent truck, a fairly good sized trailer probably 16 ft. If you really want to get into the biz big time, I'd say a 52 ZTR and about a 36" w/b will work good. Various hand held stuff applies as well. If you want to get into installation and all that, get ready to pay some $$$. Skidsteers are $25,00 and if you buy the right trailer, you might be able to use the same trailer that you use to haul the mowers. You could be easily looking at $50,000 or more if you buy everything new. Good luck to you!

walker-talker
08-13-2002, 09:44 PM
Hit the real estate management firm. They will give you list of rental housing, apartment and shopping malls. Here the deadlines in some are in October, so the sooner the better. You better be expected to have a least $1,000,000 in insurance. Don't let that large figure scare you. Should cost you around $300 a year. Use the search feature and you won't be getting to bed until late.

MATT

Floridalandcare
08-13-2002, 10:26 PM
O.K first of all .lets say your starting out with 0 accounts ,if thats the case then who the hell cares about equipment.Your main goal right now is to start a good firm customer base.you do that by advertising your butt off ,flyers , community papers ,friends and relitives .When you get a good base then lets look at equipment .You dont need to go spend $9,000.00 on a brand new ZTR mower.I would get a good used "36 or "48 and use the hell out of it till the time comes when that machine just dosent (CUT IT). Then go get yourself a nice ZTR.For 2cycle get the best right off the bat ("If you take care of it it will last"). I What you need is an LE230 Shindawa or Redmaxx Line trimmer .A LE260 Shindawa or Redmaxx Edger ,from my experiance these 2 names are the best in the turf care industry .(Ill probably catch some heat for that ,but thats my opionion).Blower doesnt have to be the 201mph one, but make sure its good : it needs to last .Good hedge trimmers are a must Redmaxx makes an extended hadge trimmer that is awsome at a price of about $650.00 Shindawa alson makes one but the Shindawa are about 3lbs heavier. Get yourself a good trailer and truck and go to work. P.S Make sure your prices stay in the boundries .No low Ballers.

Scag48
08-13-2002, 11:41 PM
I will agree with floridalandcare, you really should get a good customer base before you buy expensive equipment. But, when you have enough accounts and the funds to support the decision, go out and buy what equipment is best suited for your needs. I also agree with getting the best 2-cycle equipment. They get used alot and make a big difference on how the lawn looks after. Any joe-blow can mow the lawn, but can he trim it, edge it, and blow it all off? That makes all the difference. Okay, I'm done. :)

MPhillips
08-14-2002, 08:29 AM
I agree...when starting a new business, I think it's best to view it as a process...start small, maybe PT with a few residential accounts you get by posting flyers, and understand you'll get burned a little, and that's ok because it's the price you pay to learn...take on almost any job you can get...if you don't know how to do something hire a sub, or read up...when you get money rolling in, start buying more and better quality equipment...

I don't think it's wise to try and start this kind of enterprise with "all the goodies". I think the financial burden can become too great initially...I mean there's always good used equipment on sale here every fall, hardly used, from folks who thought they'd be able to make it work, but couldn't.

good luck

65hoss
08-14-2002, 08:58 AM
I bought a new entry level 36" belt drive w/b, used 48" hydro, used 14' trailer, 1 new Stihl trimmer, 1 stihl blower and already had a truck. Don't spend a ton of money at the beginning without work. I agree with the above about that. At this point you don't know what your properties will be like. So you don't know if a shinny new Z will work. You don't need flashy new high dollar equipment. You need work. The best way to get work is to know your stuff. Educate yourself so when you talk with customers they feel comfortable that you can handle them. I once started over in this business with zero equipment, but sold my services to 30 customers before the season started.