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crazyskier537
01-27-2011, 11:57 PM
(Flame suit on)

Hi all,

I'm new to the forum, and am about to post a very stupid question that I will get yelled at for, but here it goes anyway...

I'm in high school, and have a small snow removal buisness going (going strong for that matter) and need to expand for next year. I'm hoping to get a nice atv with a plow, salter, and a couple tons of salt. I need the money for this:rolleyes:. Last season I mowed one account, that paid me $10 per mow, per week (small property). I used my old bolens for this. It has a side bag type of thing going if that helps:cool2:.I would like to get a new mower to do around 5-10 resi's this summer (the old one is gunna crap out any day). What do you guys think I could get for under $300 that would last a season doing like 10 accounts? I was thinking of this (http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=202558332) but I have absoluletely no idea about any models or anything of that sort. I have contracts, flyers (I own a printing company), and everything but a mower.

I NEED HELP! probably in both senses of that expression:laugh:

TopNotchLawnCare
01-28-2011, 12:10 AM
You aren't going to find a commercial mower for under $300 But, you could probably a residential mower.

Good luck.

LawnEnforcement25
01-28-2011, 12:28 AM
i think that mower would probably do what you need to do. you just need to take care of it as best as possible to make it last. i think the kohler engine is the best part. just save up enough money to buy another one and put that aside incase the mower goes out, and just hope that it doesnt. if it doesnt, you can put that 300 with the rest of your savings, if it does, well, you took a slight gamble and just get another one to finish out the season but im pretty confident it will last you.

Greyst1
01-28-2011, 01:43 AM
300 is a tough budget. You need to plan ahead here. 5-10 resi's with that mower would last probably one year at best but would be very inefficient. If you could scrape up a 1000, you could find a used 36 or 48 walk behind.

My brother started off with a similar mower and got 2 years. So it can be done and if it has to be done i say go for it or anything similar. I'd probably try sears as well.

Georgia Lawn Works LLC
01-28-2011, 01:45 AM
Buy used. Look on craigs list in your area for an older Toro or lawnboy 2 cycle. This is probably something that your not going to be using a lot if any after you get started because you will likley move to something bigger like a walk behind with a sulky or a rider. If you could come up with 300 more you coauld get a decent comercial walk behind (Exmark, scag or whatever) if you look for long enough. There was someone on here that just bought a lesco 32'' walk behind that was in perfect condition for 600 I think. They dorve near me from another state to get it.

That's what I would do.

ALC-GregH
01-28-2011, 08:27 AM
I was wondering how one can own a "printing company" and not have more then $300?

crazyskier537
01-28-2011, 08:47 AM
Wow! Thanks for all the reply's.

Yeah, a commercial would be the best (obviously) but I can't seem to justify the expense. I'm only doing the lawn thing this summer, and maybe next, to get a little cash in my pocket for a used truck (1500 or f-150) which will cost me around $5k. Then, and atv, tow behind spreader and all that for maybe $2-3k. I need to make around $5k min, and I don't need more than $8k.

So this is just a one year mower, plus I have my old bolens which would still mow for a while, but I need a backup. The parents are going to keep it when I go off to college (I doubt it will last), so they will pay half. They aren't really prepared to dish out $300 for a commercial though.

http://www.lawnmowersworld.com/honda/hrs216sda.html

MOHUSTLER
01-28-2011, 09:07 AM
I dont want to burst your bubble, But mabey you would be better off getting a part time job with a mowing crew. And seeing if the guy will let you get 10 accounts and use his equipment and split the proffit.

Its going to be a hard uphill climb with a $300 push mower. Not saying that u cant do it. Its just going to be hard and say your mower blows up half way into the year which is a likley a strong possibility and your out another $300 to buy another new one.

But if you dead set on doing it with a push mower id try and grab up a nice honda/toro/snapper. They are in the top of the quality of push equipment.

Knight511
01-28-2011, 12:22 PM
Don't listen to people telling you that you can't do this. But the best mower you can get right now (I would recommend looking to a Honda powered unit from Sears or the like). I started with a 22" push mower (not propelled) when I was 13 and have steadily upgraded. I finally got to buy mu first real commercial mower this year (a Honda) and love it.

I would say that you are screwing yourself charging only $10... I mow what I consider small yards and started out mowing at $25 a yard 18 years ago. Make more per a yard and you could afford your equipment much sooner.

StanWilhite
01-28-2011, 04:11 PM
Don't listen to people telling you that you can't do this. But the best mower you can get right now (I would recommend looking to a Honda powered unit from Sears or the like). I started with a 22" push mower (not propelled) when I was 13 and have steadily upgraded. I finally got to buy mu first real commercial mower this year (a Honda) and love it.

I would say that you are screwing yourself charging only $10... I mow what I consider small yards and started out mowing at $25 a yard 18 years ago. Make more per a yard and you could afford your equipment much sooner.

I agree. If you actually could figure your true cost (gas, oil, wear and tear on mower and transportation vehicle, etc.) not counting your time, I'm sure you'd find you're losing money at 10.00 a pop. Good luck!

StihlMechanic
01-28-2011, 04:16 PM
you can prob get a used toro commercial 21 for 300. I wouldnt waste 300 on a new resi pos mower.

djagusch
01-28-2011, 04:26 PM
Find a used snapper self propelled mower (disc drive) on craigslist for $50 or less. Good engine or bad doesn't matter. Now go buy a new briggs engine for $180 and install it yourself. It will basically be a new mower.
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BigGreen1
01-28-2011, 04:39 PM
I'd grab a Toro Super Recycler off of Craigslist. I bought one for $75. It has an aluminum deck and it outcuts a Snapper that I own.

Tim

travski
01-28-2011, 06:07 PM
The only problem with the Lawnboy mower, is that it only has one speed. That means its gonna be SLOW. Try to find something with a variable speed so you can get the properties done in a timely and efficient manner.

crazyskier537
01-28-2011, 08:43 PM
Ok, thanks for the replies guys.

Quick question...

Would it be best if I went door to door to talk to homeowners, or should I send out flyers? I have had experience that most people just toss the flyers.

BigGreen1
01-28-2011, 10:34 PM
Crazy,

You need to use the search function for some answers. But, advertising in the local paper in Spring is best. The ad needs to be there on that first warm day in March or whenever it warms up where you are. Yard signs were a distant second. Fliers third.

Tim

crazyskier537
01-29-2011, 12:05 AM
Thanks. Yeah, the amount of info here is quite overwhelming, and I couldn't find a concise answer on whether or not it's a good idea to talk to people in person.

Thanks Tim!

Tim

BINKY1902
01-29-2011, 01:14 AM
To be honest, if I were you I'd just buy a simple 20" push from Walmart. They may be $130 bucks, and it will get you started. A push is low maintenance, simple, and cheap. If you only have one yard right now, I'd go the cheapest route and see how it goes. If later on you start pulling in accounts, you'll have the cash coming in to get the mower you really want, and then you will have a cheap backup mower ready. There's just no guarantee of how many yards you will be able to get, and if you only get one or two more this year you aren't out much money on the mower. Plus with the other $170 you have left you can get other things you might need, like gas cans, extra blade, etc. That would be the cheapest way to start bringing money in I think. Good luck!

StanWilhite
01-29-2011, 01:39 AM
To be honest, if I were you I'd just buy a simple 20" push from Walmart. They may be $130 bucks, and it will get you started. A push is low maintenance, simple, and cheap. If you only have one yard right now, I'd go the cheapest route and see how it goes. If later on you start pulling in accounts, you'll have the cash coming in to get the mower you really want, and then you will have a cheap backup mower ready. There's just no guarantee of how many yards you will be able to get, and if you only get one or two more this year you aren't out much money on the mower. Plus with the other $170 you have left you can get other things you might need, like gas cans, extra blade, etc. That would be the cheapest way to start bringing money in I think. Good luck!

I think you got some very good advice here. Like the old saying, "you gotta crawl before you walk". It's by far the cheapest way to find out if you made a mistake in thinking you want to try this (or any) business. Good luck!

Knight511
01-29-2011, 06:42 AM
Kid is young. Kid is stout. Kid can PUSH the damn mower until he has money to buy something nicer. I am 31 and can still push faster than my older mower can self-propel. Back when I was in HS, I could out push any lawn guy using a Toro Commercial's propel. At this level, he will be better served by starting with something that isn't going to break on him and will be as simple as possible. It doesn't sound like this is going to be a long term deal (he is going OFF to college and leaving the mower behind)... :)

Richard Martin
01-29-2011, 09:46 AM
This is the push mower I use. I know it's a Craftsman but it is two years old now. It replaced a 20 year old version of the exact same mower that had a Techumseh engine. This one has a Honda engine. I've had no problems and it does get a little bit of a workout at times. I have worn 2 drive tires out on it so it must be seeing some hours. It has a single speed drive that is just about perfect for me. Sometimes it's too fast and other times it's too slow. I'm getting pretty crippled up from too many years of being the young tough guy and I don't get around as quickly as I used to. They tell me back surgery is the only permanent fix. Anyway... The Honda engine is perfect except it seeps oil from the governor shaft seal. No biggie and I'm not worried about it. It has a a choke and starts on the first, very easy to do, pull every time.

Users that are hard on mowers need not bother. They will probably destroy this mower in short order. But if you take just a little care of it and don't beat it to death it should serve you well. They have been discontinued (they call it a limited edition and I guess they meant it) but there are a few left in stock. The price is right too, at $289.

http://s.shld.net/is/image/Sears/07137683000?hei=400&wid=400&op_sharpen=1&qlt=90,0&resMode=sharp&op_usm=0.9,0.5,0,0

http://www.craftsman.com/shc/s/p_10155_12602_07137683000P

StanWilhite
01-29-2011, 09:54 AM
Kid is young. Kid is stout. Kid can PUSH the damn mower until he has money to buy something nicer. I am 31 and can still push faster than my older mower can self-propel.



Uh oh....you're not but 31 and already sounding like an "ol' timer"!! :-)

Speakin' of ol' timers.....

Reminds me of a conversation my daddy had with me when I was very young. (I could never please him). He was sittin' there drinkin' on a bottle of whiskey one day when he turned to me and said, "boy, how damn old are you"?

In a little boy voice I said, "5". He sat there and thought a minute, then turned to me and said, "boy......when I was your age I was 7" !! :laugh:

toros'r'us
01-29-2011, 11:38 AM
I'm newer(this is my first post, but I usually lurk around here), so do whatever with my advice. I'm 15 and the Craigslist idea is a good one. Alot of people don't know what they have. Or you could go behind a dealer and pull a mower from the pile of trade-ins that they will fix and sell. I got a JD14SB from a pile like this for $75 and it needed fresh gas. That's it.

Knight511
01-29-2011, 02:24 PM
Uh oh....you're not but 31 and already sounding like an "ol' timer"!! :-)

:laugh: I know, I know... :laugh:

As for Richard's post, I ran two separate Techumseh powered mowers for the first 15 years of my mowing. The first was a 21" then a 22". The 21" served me well for 12 years of part time work and the other about 10 before I replaced it with my second Honda powered mower. I loved the Eager 1 engines. They would run forever and could take a beating. When I finally replaced one of my push mowers with a propelled, I found that they were no longer made :( jumped over to Honda because I wasn't impressed with the Kohler offerings for residential mowers. Now I run 1 Craftsman Honda powered unit as my back up and a Honda commercial as primary. :) Taking time to grow and pay cash for mowers isn't a bad thing, a single man outfit can operate just fine on residential units because they take care of them... they don't have employees abusing the mowers.

bobcat48
01-30-2011, 12:26 PM
Yeah,i agree^^.u can get something like that,that will work for you,craftsman at sears they make some nice mowers.My equipment is pretty simple too,nothing too big and gets the job done.But best of luck to you my friend.