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View Full Version : Lawn Enforcement Equipment 2011 Hartselle, AL


HartselleLawnEnforcement
05-17-2011, 10:40 PM
Hey guys, just got into the lawn care business this year with a handful of accounts. Any advice on getting started would be great! I love this line of work and hope to make a career out of it eventually! Here's some pictures of my equipment excluding my truck and trailer.

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bobcat48
05-18-2011, 09:08 PM
Looks nice,kool equipment!

HartselleLawnEnforcement
05-18-2011, 09:12 PM
Here's some pictures of my truck and trailer. The trailer is far from new.. :laugh:

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HartselleLawnEnforcement
05-19-2011, 12:05 AM
Thanks Bobcat! Looking forward to 4 jobs tomorrow to get done after 5pm, 2 of which are side by side, but take at least 3 hours, and then a good 15 minute drive to the next, and then another 20 minute drive to the next one. All pay VERY well, worth the long drives, haha.

moultonmulcher
05-19-2011, 01:47 AM
Good luck. I cut in Decatur, Trinity, and Lawrence County. Been at it 4 years. I am part time. I work a full time job. I have bought all my equipment from Garnetts In Hartselle. I don't know about Hartselle but Decatur is full of lawn care people. I have seen more and more new lawn care crews each year I have been in business. Some people care about Quality over price. Those are the accounts you want. Work hard and Do a quality job and the accounts will come. Good luck.

HartselleLawnEnforcement
05-19-2011, 01:55 AM
Moultonmulcher, glad to see some local business on this site! I actually went by Garnett's today looking at an edger.. (way too expensive for my budget right now, but maybe eventually) I agree on the number of lawn care people around, but there's so many more people a day that decide to have someone mow their grass, work is still somewhat plentiful.. God bless!

moultonmulcher
05-20-2011, 01:17 AM
Save some money and get the Stilh 90 edger. You want regret it. I have had mine for 4 years and it is great. Can edge faster than I can walk. Garnetts has great service. I have only had to leave equipment over night one time. They get on it and fix it and get me back to work. Good luck.

HartselleLawnEnforcement
06-08-2011, 02:52 AM
Have gotten a couple jobs lately...

One was a breeze - the yard was already in great shape and hadn't grown much at all since the last time it was mowed... :cool2:



The other was a mulch job that took literally all day and a bit of the next with two people - Went through 4 truck-loads of mulch.. didn't get pictures of the back because it got dark before I finished.... same reason I didn't get pics of after it got cleaned up. :cry:



Did a lot of work for this HO last year - laid the stone edging, extended a flowerbed, and planted some shrubs..



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McVey Landscape
06-08-2011, 04:03 AM
Hartselle looks nice. We run Exmark here, 3 60" machines and various other equipment. We take care of just over 80 acres a week. Keeps me and my small crew busy during the day, sleep in the evening protect the streets at night.

Mower, landscaper, snow removal by day, 11 years of Behavior Modification Specialist by night. 9 left to go!

HartselleLawnEnforcement
06-08-2011, 01:01 PM
Yeah, most of the bigger companies here use Exmark, but I can't afford the real nice stuff yet - just using our equipment we use at home - I waited too long this year to advertise.. had about 5 or 6 customers last year - half either moved or can't afford to pay - so started this year with 3 customers and one moved and now I'm down to only 2... It's definitely slow-go - Hartselle and Decatur have more lawn maintenance crews than they can support.. so whatever I guess. haha.

deere615
06-08-2011, 09:33 PM
Get yourself some timbrens on that halfton that sag is terrible!

HartselleLawnEnforcement
06-09-2011, 12:13 AM
You're telling me! I have to drive the dang thing! hahahaha... As soon as my budget allows, that half-ton will be sitting in the garage - complete POS. But yeah, I'll look into it.. its some kind of annoying. lol. :laugh:

HartselleLawnEnforcement
06-09-2011, 12:17 AM
BTW, deere, stayed up til 2am looking at your pics thread last night.. very nice work. I'd like to be in your shoes in about 4 years. <-- like thats gonna happen... lol!

deere615
06-09-2011, 07:51 PM
BTW, deere, stayed up til 2am looking at your pics thread last night.. very nice work. I'd like to be in your shoes in about 4 years. <-- like thats gonna happen... lol!

Why thank you, btw I am not raggin on the half ton my first truck was and i still have it with 161k on her and still going! Ya I wouldn't say I do the best work but I try and I have built the company pretty good over the past few years and have showed basically every aspect of it on here from the beginning

HartselleLawnEnforcement
06-09-2011, 11:46 PM
Yeah, my halfton does its job.. it sags but it doesn't hesitate to haul anything.. Been noticing the instrument cluster acting up since about 75000 miles... gas hand and speedo don't work half the time, and that gets annoying -- but on the other hand, you got any advertising advice? I've put up ads on craigslist, have a facebook page, yellowpage listing on their website, and all kinds of online stuff - we have a couple shirts, but I'm getting new ones made next week and selling them to some friends.. I have seen 0 results from what I'm doing... does going door to door actually work??

moultonmulcher
06-10-2011, 05:20 AM
I seen your add on craigslist. That is your best bet. I have been running add on there for two years and had more calls from it than any thing I have done. Decatur Daily adds cost a ton. I ran one for 3 months and got two calls. Ran the add from Late march till June. Next year I went totally craigslist. Got At least 10 call. Its bad time of the year right now. I have had two calls in the last month. One I got and one I didn't. Decatur is full of lawn care companys. I advertise for Decatur, Trinity, and Lawrence County. Hang in there they will come. If you are dependable and do a good job you will get the accounts. Good Luck. Long's Lawn Service

HartselleLawnEnforcement
06-10-2011, 01:35 PM
I'm just gonna take a shot in the dark and say that not being licensed nor insured...exactly help my case. lol! How much does liability run for around here?

STIHL GUY
06-10-2011, 02:08 PM
looks great. you might wanna look into some helper springs or airbags for the back of your truck

HartselleLawnEnforcement
06-10-2011, 02:17 PM
Thanks Stihl Guy! Yeah, I'm actually looking at them right now, haha. I knew I wasn't the only one that thought it didn't look right..

moultonmulcher
06-11-2011, 03:05 AM
My insurance runs over 600 dollars a year. That includes 300,000 Thousand for liability and covers my equipment. I have two Zero turns, a push more and several hand helds, and two trailers all covered with this insurance. Decatur licensed runs 85 dollars a year. I work some in the county so I do not buy a license but you may have to have one. I don't know about that. Most residential are not worried if you have insurance. The insurance is to cover you if you accidentally hurt someone or tear up someones property and your equipment if stolen or wrecked. Good luck.

HartselleLawnEnforcement
06-11-2011, 03:16 AM
Don't plan on going into any kind of commercial accounts anytime soon, so thats good that I don't necessarily need insurance.. As far as license goes, I might get one in Hartselle later on, right now I just need to work on the whole actually getting customers part. lol! Thanks for the advice, really helps!

HartselleLawnEnforcement
06-11-2011, 03:27 AM
Had an idea. I have a JD Gator - 1999 model - fits on the trailer with the lawn-mower... I guess I could put slats on the bed and use it as a mulch-carrying gator. hah. beats using a wheelbarrow... thing's not in the best shape - been abused to say the least.. will post a picture tomorrow.

HartselleLawnEnforcement
06-12-2011, 12:02 AM
Here's the JD Gator that I'll probably put to work for mulch jobs. It looks terrible, I know, but it still runs like a champ! Probably put boards up on the bed to haul more mulch - put a "push-button" start on it today (the key broke off in the ignition) and this seemed the easier solution.. definitely not worried about anyone stealing it. :laugh: :laugh:

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HartselleLawnEnforcement
06-15-2011, 01:52 AM
First off, the hood was something that needed to be done, and I did it for $1.09. Already had the sheet metal and just bolted it in where the hood used to bolt in at.. this thing got RAGGED all its life.. so the hood is justified - just not that great.. but WHO LET ME GET WILD WITH THE SPRAY PAINT?!?! :nono:

The bed rails were perfectly fine green, but I think the paint fumes were getting to me and so I decided to tape it off and paint those black. That was probably a mistake.. :dizzy:

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Tharrell
06-16-2011, 04:08 PM
I wouldn't use that Gator for mulch jobs, not necessary.
A good 2 wheeled wheel barrow is just fine.
You gotta think about it, unless your drop point is in a remote location, using that Gator would be silly.
You got a trailer load of mulch, where you gonna put that Gator?
A wheelbarrow you can throw on top of the mulch.
My advice to you just starting out, listen to the old timers.
I bought a bunch of stuff I "thought" I needed when I started.
Also, after you know what you're looking at, check out the pawn shops for handheld stuff.
I've made over $5000 so far off a little Echo top handle chainsaw, bought for $112 at the pawn shop.
Also, don't pay what they ask, negotiate with them.
Don't get sucked into the brand thing either.
Most commercial mowers are pretty much equal.
Just some unsolicited advice for you.
I know Decatur and the area very well.
I went to Austin and Decatur HS, long story.

HartselleLawnEnforcement
06-16-2011, 04:50 PM
Lol, I knew somebody would say that about the gator..

After I posted that and thought about it, I asked myself the same questions you did - so yeah, I won't be using the gator for mulch.

As far as the "don't buy what you don't need" thing, I haven't bought any new equipment for the business - parents were always sticklers for brand-name, so yeah, I guess I'm lucky that my parents bought the equipment, but hey, keeps overhead down. :laugh:

HartselleLawnEnforcement
07-05-2011, 07:51 PM
Needed a new trimmer for my helper - was using that crappy homelite trimmer. So for my birthday, I went and bought myself another Echo SRM-225. It's got a neat new head on it. Still haven't figured it out, but the idea is really neat. Will explain later and get pics up.

bobcat48
07-05-2011, 09:21 PM
Sounds good,the srm 225 is a great trimmer 3 years old here and runs like the day i got it,very awesome trimmer love my echos!

HartselleLawnEnforcement
07-05-2011, 09:34 PM
Sounds good,the srm 225 is a great trimmer 3 years old here and runs like the day i got it,very awesome trimmer love my echos!

The other 225 I have is 3 years old too! The new head is called a "speed feed" head. I think the shinindawai (sp?) had them earlier.. but after Echo bought them out, they put them on the echos too.

Apparently, you run a piece of string straight through the holes that the string comes out of and just twist the head and it spools the string on the head without taking the spool out. I have a feeling this is going to save me a LOT of time :cool2:
.. It also has the bump feed too (I guess all commercial trimmers do now?)

Who knows, maybe I learned about the speedfeed late? haha. whatever, I'm happy.

Next on my list = new diesel engine for the dump truck (pics up soon)

bobcat48
07-05-2011, 09:47 PM
The other 225 I have is 3 years old too! The new head is called a "speed feed" head. I think the shinindawai (sp?) had them earlier.. but after Echo bought them out, they put them on the echos too.

Apparently, you run a piece of string straight through the holes that the string comes out of and just twist the head and it spools the string on the head without taking the spool out. I have a feeling this is going to save me a LOT of time :cool2:
.. It also has the bump feed too (I guess all commercial trimmers do now?)

Who knows, maybe I learned about the speedfeed late? haha. whatever, I'm happy.

Next on my list = new diesel engine for the dump truck (pics up soon)

Ok nice,ok yes i know what you are talkin about i picked up a echo trimmer at hd the 225 looked at the head and im like wow thats really nice,yeah thats real kool they did that..yes it is great few seconds and your done i use the .95 line always as of now im runnin arnold maxi edge commerical and usually switch echo cross fire and rhino tuff just wanted to tr the maxi edge since i had that left over from last season.haha yeah and nice i caint wait to see it:usflag:

HartselleLawnEnforcement
07-05-2011, 09:57 PM
A rental company here in Hartselle just became an Echo dealer last year. I figured I would probably end up renting some kind of equipment from them and it's the closest place to my house, so I thought why not? Got it for $210. Great deal if you ask me.

Another question; is that name-brand trimmer line really any better than the stuff I pick up from home depot? lol.

HartselleLawnEnforcement
07-05-2011, 10:05 PM
Pics of the truck are at: http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=355391

Will try to add one of the dump bed raised.

havenlax18
07-06-2011, 07:07 AM
Nice truck give it a little spray paint and make some stake body gates. On my oldest f350 its an early 92 I have the same dump bed. Only difference is I dont have the peice that is overhanding the top of the cab on mine it just cuts straight up with no overhang.

HartselleLawnEnforcement
07-08-2011, 06:23 PM
Hey guys, just throwing out an update today.

Went to get a business license this afternoon; then stopped in and got an account with a local mulch company to get mulch for $16/yard. And now I just got home from getting a quote for liability!

I'm hoping the liability will be cheap, as I don't have a huge yearly income. Haha.

So yeah, for what its worth, it's been a productive day!

HartselleLawnEnforcement
07-15-2011, 05:16 PM
The rain has been crazy lately! I came home this afternoon to mow my own yard (3 acres) which hadn't been mowed in... wait for it.... over a month. It's been raining like crazy the last couple weeks and when its not raining, its sunny and hot. The grass was about knee high.

And of course, as I get about an hour into it, the rain starts pouring!

Got a pic of right in front of the house.. had to go back over it 4 times to get it even. lol!


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WPS85
07-16-2011, 09:33 AM
Pics of the truck are at: http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=355391

Will try to add one of the dump bed raised.
Nice truck!. . With a little work you can make that a nice truck! It should help you a lot with your business, because you could offer so much more!

WPS85
07-16-2011, 11:09 AM
but on the other hand, you got any advertising advice? I've put up ads on craigslist, have a facebook page, yellowpage listing on their website, and all kinds of online stuff - we have a couple shirts, but I'm getting new ones made next week and selling them to some friends.. I have seen 0 results from what I'm doing... does going door to door actually work??
Craigslist should help. . If you can put an ad in a local paper that will help too.


Other ways that help.

"Word of mouth" is the best!

Print some flyers with your business name at the top, and at the bottom fix it so a person can "tear off tabs" with your business name and phone number.

Ask around at different places that would let you put them up. .Its best if you know someone who works at the places too.
(etc, hardware stores, small grocery stores, restaurant's, fuel stations, auto repair shops, etc.) . Try to put them where they would stay dry, and be prepared for people that are in the same business to tear them down.

Print your own business cards. . Put them at hardware stores and some of the other places I mentioned. .Keep some in your truck so you can hand some out if you see someone that you know.

Have some graphics made with your business name & phone number, and put them on the rear windows of your truck. . Also put a sign or something on your trailer. . Have a sign made to put in your front yard where it can be seen from the road!

Hope that helps and good luck!

HartselleLawnEnforcement
09-27-2011, 06:08 PM
Finally got around to putting pictures on my computer from this summer..



These are from a small mulch job I did one day during the summer..

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HartselleLawnEnforcement
10-11-2011, 07:58 PM
So I snapped some shots of the truck today after it rained, check them out and tell me what you think!

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rcslawncare
10-12-2011, 10:59 PM
Really like the truck!

HartselleLawnEnforcement
10-16-2011, 05:17 PM
Thought these stripes were pretty cool, even though they're not as great as most. Haha!

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HartselleLawnEnforcement
10-23-2011, 11:00 PM
Just an update for those who care, haha.

We decided to change the name of the business from Lawn Enforcement to North Alabama Lawn Care... so now to get new shirts, business cards, blah blah blah.

Check out the new logo and tell me what you think!
I figured it was an improvement from the old name/logo... looks more professional to me.


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srl28
10-23-2011, 11:15 PM
Logo looks good but let me say this,

a while back I was looking to redo our logo and a friend had turned me onto an online logo design site where numerous designers "compete" to win your approval of a logo they designed. I got about 200 different logos back from various different designers and about 20 or so at least looked just like that with the same leaf and all in it. Maybe wise to pick something else that is 100% custom and not a "template" so to speak so that no one else has the same or similar logo as you. Just saying. Does look good though.

HartselleLawnEnforcement
10-24-2011, 12:03 AM
Well darn, I was afraid of that. Hmm, I may just keep it and deal with it. The other guys around here are either huge companies with a nice custom logo or don't have a logo at all. Its simple but professional. I hate logos anyway, so I REALLY don't want to go back and try to make another! :)

Thanks for the input! It's great to have a place to get critiqued.

Aaronnc
10-24-2011, 12:45 AM
Similar to what srl28 is saying, there is www.freelance.com
Great site. It is free to post what you want, and how much your willing to pay (if any) and the kids or whoever will come to you with designs. Great site for artwork, creative stuff etc.......

Also, just adding some blocks or a leveling kit could help your truck if you don't want to invest a ton of coin into it. Airbags and/or a weight distribution hitch with the torsion bars would be the ultimate way to go, but that will set you back. You could look into something like readylift blocks for around a buck fifty http://www.autoanything.com/suspension-systems/61A4141A0A0.aspx

And about a edger, while your saving up for a dedicated one, I would look into something like the edgit to help you now. http://www.edgit.com/ While you'll definitely want to score a dedicated edger eventually, this could help you out for the time being. http://www.amazon.com/Edgit-String-Trimmer-Attachment-Trimmers/dp/B0056A68I2 (Try to get a large engine trimmer for your next one, something like the Stihl FS90R and you can just add a edger attachment. Also, with the trenchblade, you'll have a great bed redefiner. 3 machines in one.

DEFINITELY get insurance. I always tell people, instead of can you afford it, can you NOT afford it? One errant rock, and your out some serious coin, sitting in front judge. While local will probably be best, also check out http://www.hortica-insurance.com/ They specialize in the green industry.

Also, you could aim for an enclosed trailer at some point. Once I wrapped mine to look like a billboard, my business tripled. All my new customers say they saw my trailer somewhere. Plus they offer security. I now have 3. Don't laugh, but I've found that Fridge magnets shaped like a lawnmower work surprisingly well. It keeps your name in front of customers, and reminds them how good and fair you are when 30 other LCO's plaster hangers and cards all over their front porch in the spring.

Also I'm in love with http://www.lawnservicesoftware.com/ You may not be big enough to need it now, but when you do, it's almost priceless. Runs around $30 a month but I use the $50 one. Has totally replaced my bookkeeper and simplifies my life 20 fold. I'd pay $200 a month for it. I swear. I can email estimates from my I-phone, accept credit cards on my website, have it tell me how to route my properties, take a pic a clients property and attach it to their file, employess can clock in/out with their phones, etc,etc....... It's the greatest thing since the wheel.

In the end, just remember to Work hard, quality Work, and be Fair and Friendly. Or WWFF as I like to call it. When the dust clears, it's all a numbers game.

Good Luck and here's hoping for a huge success! :drinkup:

HartselleLawnEnforcement
01-05-2012, 06:52 PM
So I picked up a "new" trailer the other day! I bought it off a family friend for $350. It's a 5x10... Probably the best $350 investment I've made! I couldn't pass up the great deal, although I would really like a 6x12, and may get one in the spring.

Here's some pics I got earlier!

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mowing4rlife
01-05-2012, 07:06 PM
:clapping:So I picked up a "new" trailer the other day! I bought it off a family friend for $350. It's a 5x10... Probably the best $350 investment I've made! I couldn't pass up the great deal, although I would really like a 6x12, and may get one in the spring.

Here's some pics I got earlier!



That little trailer is going to come in handy when you only have to do mulching jobs. What are your plans on getting more equipment?

weeze
01-05-2012, 08:13 PM
hey man i live in boaz which is about an hour or so away from you :laugh: good luck on the upcoming year. i started out with 2 customers last year and by the end of the season i had 15. i hope to add to that this coming year. there's also alot of lawncare people around here. just hang in there and they will come.

HartselleLawnEnforcement
01-05-2012, 08:19 PM
:clapping:

That little trailer is going to come in handy when you only have to do mulching jobs. What are your plans on getting more equipment?


Yeah I may keep it, but at the same time I think I could make some money off of it since I only paid $350 and not getting some huge, inconvenient trailer to replace it.... I think I could get $500 in my market.

But that's neither here nor there at this moment... haha.

Looking forward to this season and my main goal is to get a pole saw, maybe a smaller 36" walk behind or something with a bagger and probably a new blower if possible.

My truck is also going to receive some TLC this year with a new toolbox, grill guard, and some other things..

HartselleLawnEnforcement
01-05-2012, 08:23 PM
hey man i live in boaz which is about an hour or so away from you :laugh: good luck on the upcoming year. i started out with 2 customers last year and by the end of the season i had 15. i hope to add to that this coming year. there's also alot of lawncare people around here. just hang in there and they will come.

Hey! I'm glad to see someone from Alabama around here, especially someone so close. I started out last year with about 4-5 and lost a few due to money and then got a few more, so I still have 4-5.. :laugh: :laugh:

The market is definitely saturated with lawn care guys, so I definitely try to do good, honest work.

Hey, I'm looking for a 6x12 trailer this spring... If you come across one, let me know! Craigslist is pretty stale; the same 5 trailers re-listed over and over again... haha. Wanting to spend $800-$950..

LawnMan19
01-05-2012, 08:40 PM
If you hit that trailer with a coat of paint you could easily get $500 or even $600.Or even if your keeping it a quick coat of paint will make look real good but I'm anal about my stuff LOL. But you got a real good deal on it.

HartselleLawnEnforcement
01-05-2012, 08:47 PM
If you hit that trailer with a coat of paint you could easily get $500 or even $600.Or even if your keeping it a quick coat of paint will make look real good but I'm anal about my stuff LOL. But you got a real good deal on it.

Couldn't agree more! This trailer is a huge difference from the other trailer I was using.. It was a 7x18 tandem axle car hauler.. That thing was heavy as mess empty. The truck looked so redneck because it sagged a couple inches.

This thing will eventually get a coat of paint when I get the time to do it right.

I guess all that's necessary is a good sanding and a nice coat of paint from a rattlecan? I've never painted anything that major and not sure if there's a better way to do it.. I know that if I sand it, I'll sand it with a wire wheel sander.

Any suggestions? :clapping:

weeze
01-05-2012, 08:53 PM
Hey! I'm glad to see someone from Alabama around here, especially someone so close. I started out last year with about 4-5 and lost a few due to money and then got a few more, so I still have 4-5.. :laugh: :laugh:

The market is definitely saturated with lawn care guys, so I definitely try to do good, honest work.

Hey, I'm looking for a 6x12 trailer this spring... If you come across one, let me know! Craigslist is pretty stale; the same 5 trailers re-listed over and over again... haha. Wanting to spend $800-$950..

yeah i'll keep an eye out and let you know if i see one. :weightlifter:

LawnMan19
01-05-2012, 08:56 PM
Yeah, I would sand it down real good like you said. I would just use rustoleum or something like that if you want to pire it aswell it never hurts to but it seems like you know what you need to do.:)