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Blade1963
07-23-2011, 11:34 AM
Hi guy's.
I have been trying for a couple years now to get started. It looks like I may get out of the gate this time around. Even though its late in the season. I will be starting with a family member so not just me. I know a lot of you guys don't like partnerships, but it is family. We will be starting with what I have already. Craftsman 42" with a 22hp b/s, 22" push mower. I have a weedeater but it takes a long time to start. I've tried talking nice to it, talking mean to it, I've even taken it out to dinner (eating a snack), it just takes too long to start. So I will be looking for a plan B. I also need a blower. We are thinking cheap. I know the com ones are the way to go but I don't want to spend too much money on what I should have and run out of money before good money starts coming in.
You can read some of my older post to get an idea more about me.
Now for a question. As I sit here thinking of things we can be doing, I thought of this and was wondering what anyone else thought. What makes a com mower last so much longer than a res mower? Short answer is, it was made to. But why? If my 22 hp res mower is made to mow my yard once a week. Why can't it do more and still last? If I run the engine at a lower RPM and say I am only using 12 hp of the 22 hp, woudn't it last longer? So anyway thats what I think about. Just so we're clear, we do plan to upgrade. The question is when to upgrade?
So thats it. Wish us luck. :usflag:
David

Puddle of Oil
07-23-2011, 12:58 PM
you will never understand the need for a commercial mower, until your homeowner grade mower just wont cut it (no punt intended). Good Luck!

aarons lawn
07-23-2011, 01:49 PM
you will never understand the need for a commercial mower, until your homeowner grade mower just wont cut it (no punt intended). Good Luck!

I agree it sounds like u should stop before u get started and waste money!!

JDiepstra
07-23-2011, 02:02 PM
I would not mow at half throttle.... It would probably actually shorten the life of the mower. Try running some seafoam through your string trimmer and see if that helps clean it up.
Posted via Mobile Device

Blade1963
07-24-2011, 10:51 AM
Puddle, I know your right and one day I will have a commercial mower. Just not yet. All in good time. The question for us, is when. One account, five accounts, ten….

Aarons, if you are saying I should not start which is what it sounds like you are saying. That’s not very helpful. Perhaps you could re-read all that I have posted as you may have missed something.

Jdiepstra, I thank you for the seafoam advice. It will be tried and I’ll see how that works. I tried it in my outboard motor earlier this year and it worked very well. I should have thought of trying it in the trimmer. I don’t think you and I are on the same page as to half throttle though. My half throttle is only a guess. It may be a little more. It just depends on the grass to be cut. Very short thin grass needs not much power. Thick grass may be using all the power I can get. A lower power setting will extend the life of the engine provided it is a good power setting for the grass to be cut, not the other way around. Sorry, we just have the right to disagree on this one.

Puddle of Oil
07-24-2011, 11:14 AM
Whenever you find yourself replacing a part every month. Also, running a tractor will slow you down so when time gets tighter you will need a faster/ more productive mower.

JB1
07-24-2011, 11:15 AM
might want to look for a clue.

grincon
07-24-2011, 11:43 AM
Upgrade when your budget allows now by number of accounts. At first most of my income went to buying used and some new equipment. I think you should maybe get your trimmer looked at and see if its worth saving. If it were me, I would first check for spark then if thats good clean the carb. As far as a blower, a bottom end hand held blower will save u from using a push broom at this point so get what you can afford on that. Work hard. have a business plan and set goals.

Partnerships are fine as long as you have some sort of aggreement.
Posted via Mobile Device

Blade1963
07-24-2011, 06:01 PM
Puddle, I think I will have a com unit long before I get to fixing the one I have now often. It run very well now. It has a lot of power when its needed and it starts right up. I am looking now for a used one. I'm just not finding any takers on trading for something else. When looking for a used one, what defines one as a com unit? I called about a zero turn 52" with a kohler engine. I know kohler are good engines as I have used them in the past for other things, but what else defines a unit as com that I can look for on a used one?

JB1, I have a board game called "clue". I looked in the box, but I could not find the answer. I may not have all the answers to anything, but I dout I am clueless. Please only reply if you can offer something positive.

grincon, I thank you for all of your advice. This will start as part time so all income will be reinvested. The trimmer is as bad as I said and not as bad at the same time.
I know, that didn't make since. It never has ever started on the first pull and probablly my best is a minute and a half.
The worst is two guys tag team 15 - 20 minutes later. Once started and warmed up, it will start again if killed on the first pull. It has a lot of power and has never not started, it just takes a while.
It has spark, and now I will try the seafoam. We will see how that goes. A blower is on the list. What kind do you think would be a good place to start? For just starting out and only Res at this point, I don't think I need a several hundred of dollar back pack. I do like the hand held. I've had those before. I do have goals and I know about hard work. Now I just need some work.

MarkintheGarden
07-24-2011, 07:16 PM
You have to operate a lawn mower at a high enough speed for the engine to turn the blade fast enough to get a good cut. Also, you need to be able to get a lawn mowed in reasonable time. You can get started with cheap equipment it works well enough, if you take good care of it.

Here are tips for getting maximum life out of your mower. When you are done mowing turn the throttle down to a low idle for a couple seconds before you shut it off. Use synthetic oil and change it regularly. Keep the engine clean. Keep the controls clean and oiled. Get books and read lawnsite about maintenance and repair.

Quit thinking about things to do, and start doing the things you been thinking about.
Best luck!

XLS
07-24-2011, 07:39 PM
if a AIR COOLED engine is run slower then the maximum speed to the point you suggested your killing it fast ....... 300 RPMs below opperational normal is about all it will handle .

I agree if you ar on a budget get a commercail hand held .

your homeowner unit as new as it currently is be prepaired to buy a new one next spring i will not take long on a tractor .
I have a commercial walker mower we have for sell over there 2200 bucks no BS have a complete service record , proof its our not stolen and it will mow today . i will unload it and you can cut . new blades and serviced last week . i may come off harsh on you but i am trying to help you out just like many on here.
If you dont consider the things we say as valuable then it does you no good to ask , we call those type people know it alls and they dont last long here.
you will be good to get 500 total hours on your current mower not 500 more then it currently has . what makes a commercial mower better then a homeowner unit is nothing you can put your finger on because it is different for everyone.
1 thicker metal so less deck breakage
2 better parts so less breakage
3 bigger better belts less breakage
reguardless of the engine and transmissions this does not matter outside of when they tare up becasue they will .
and then sir it goes back to a dealer and this is really what makes a commercial mower better then residential . the amount of down time associated with a mower .

we replace a mower when 1/4 of the purchase price is reached in parts replacment or when ever major mechanical damage occures over 400.00 to repair.
hope it helps you out

Blade1963
07-25-2011, 11:48 AM
Mark, Thanks for the advice. I agree with running the engine at a high enough speed to turn the blades fast enough to get a good cut. Some how earlier we got stuck on this which was not what I was shooting for. I am planing only to start with what I have. I will be upgrading at some point. I need to show money coming in first. I realy like all the tips on getting max life out of my mower. I don't use synthetic oil so that may need to be ajusted, but I do the others already. I will get more into the books. What would be good books to start with? I like books with pictures. LoL.

XLS, Thank you for your advice. We may not be as far off as it appears on engine speed. I was not able to get across what I was really trying to say. BTW, your 300 RPM's, are you saying that for the engine speed or the blade speed?
I thank you for your offer on your walk behind but I am wanting to have incoming money first. It doesn't help for me to have equipment with monthly payments and no work. So I am just starting slow. I am no where close to knowing everything, and there are so many more with greater knowledge than me. So I will try to tone down what I think a little. The mower that I am starting with is only to get us going. If we were to have enough work as to wear out the mower by spring that would be great.
That means we have work. Therefore incoming money that will be reinvested for used com equipment.

This discussion did not go in the direction I thought it would go. I was hopeing for heres step one, and step two is identified as this...whatever that is and here is how to get there. Then step three. Let me ask this question. I have an ad on craigs list. Here's the link. Tell me what you guys think.
http://knoxville.craigslist.org/fgs/2510438317.html
Another question. How can I edit the ad each day so it can be seen on that days page? It says my phone number can only be used once ever 90 days. Am I doing something wrong? Is this an ok way to advertise?

Blade1963
07-25-2011, 04:31 PM
I think I figured out craig's list, at least I think.
Posted via Mobile Device

MarkintheGarden
07-27-2011, 10:38 AM
Mark, Thanks for the advice. I agree with running the engine at a high enough speed to turn the blades fast enough to get a good cut. Some how earlier we got stuck on this which was not what I was shooting for. I am planing only to start with what I have. I will be upgrading at some point. I need to show money coming in first. I realy like all the tips on getting max life out of my mower. I don't use synthetic oil so that may need to be ajusted, but I do the others already. I will get more into the books. What would be good books to start with? I like books with pictures. LoL.

XLS, Thank you for your advice. We may not be as far off as it appears on engine speed. I was not able to get across what I was really trying to say. BTW, your 300 RPM's, are you saying that for the engine speed or the blade speed?
I thank you for your offer on your walk behind but I am wanting to have incoming money first. It doesn't help for me to have equipment with monthly payments and no work. So I am just starting slow. I am no where close to knowing everything, and there are so many more with greater knowledge than me. So I will try to tone down what I think a little. The mower that I am starting with is only to get us going. If we were to have enough work as to wear out the mower by spring that would be great.
That means we have work. Therefore incoming money that will be reinvested for used com equipment.

This discussion did not go in the direction I thought it would go. I was hopeing for heres step one, and step two is identified as this...whatever that is and here is how to get there. Then step three. Let me ask this question. I have an ad on craigs list. Here's the link. Tell me what you guys think.
http://knoxville.craigslist.org/fgs/2510438317.html
Another question. How can I edit the ad each day so it can be seen on that days page? It says my phone number can only be used once ever 90 days. Am I doing something wrong? Is this an ok way to advertise?

Hey Blade,
Some guys say good things about advertising on Craigslist, but many others have said it draws in the wrong kind of customers. I have always found that flyers or doorhangers taken and placed door to door is the best. First, it gets customers where you want customers, no driving across town just to find out that some lady wants to have her huge lawn mowed for ten bucks, and wants to talk to nine other guys before she decides to have her lawn mowed for the first time this year.

Briggs and Stratton publish a good repair manual with lots of good photos and easy to read.

Best luck to you!

Blade1963
07-27-2011, 11:11 AM
Mark, I thought that c/l would reach out to many more people and that still may be true, but I see your ponit. With gas as high as it is, I can see a lot of money being spent in your example. I asked a year or two ago (when I was trying then to get going)
and it seemed everyone frowned on door to door. I have mixed feelings in what I think if someone comes to my door. But I think that might be the way to get going. I will check out the repair maual by b/s. Wouldn't it be great if I never needed it. Yes I know, that will be the day world peace breaks out. Anyway, thanks for your help.

MarkintheGarden
07-27-2011, 06:17 PM
Do not knock on doors, just put a flyer or doorhanger on the door. The trick is getting something printed that is catchy. My first flyer was simple, but had some attractive one color art work. It was pretty cheap to get five hundred of them printed, I rolled them up with rubber bands and hung them on the screen door knobs. It only took me about three hours to pass out 250 of them and I got six calls. And all six were in easy to get to areas, and two on the same block.

That is the best when you get customers next door, so I always put flyers on the houses where I am already mowing. It is so much easier to make money when you do a couple lawns at one stop. I had one stop about a month ago where I did six lawns at one stop. I wish I did that every week, but three of them were the one time only go on vacation.

And that is another good tip, when I talk to people who mow there own, I tell them how much it would be if they wanted me to mow it when they go on vacation. A lot of people take me up on that, and many of them end up starting the service when they see how sweat it is to have the lawn mowed.

If you are not good with language, layout, and stuff, just go to a copy store, they can hook you up pretty cheap. I was lucky and knew a couple people who were good with that stuff.

MarkintheGarden
07-27-2011, 06:19 PM
In my area craigslist does not reach the people that I want.

The smart operator follows the money, and they are not on craigslist.

Williams Lawnscape
07-27-2011, 08:16 PM
Where do you leave the doorhanger/flyers? Are you just saying not to actually knock on doors and talk to people because it takes to much time?

I cant really see how talking to people is really bad, other then if your interrupting them in the middle of dinner and that it takes more time.


Do not knock on doors, just put a flyer or doorhanger on the door. The trick is getting something printed that is catchy. My first flyer was simple, but had some attractive one color art work. It was pretty cheap to get five hundred of them printed, I rolled them up with rubber bands and hung them on the screen door knobs. It only took me about three hours to pass out 250 of them and I got six calls. And all six were in easy to get to areas, and two on the same block.

That is the best when you get customers next door, so I always put flyers on the houses where I am already mowing. It is so much easier to make money when you do a couple lawns at one stop. I had one stop about a month ago where I did six lawns at one stop. I wish I did that every week, but three of them were the one time only go on vacation.

And that is another good tip, when I talk to people who mow there own, I tell them how much it would be if they wanted me to mow it when they go on vacation. A lot of people take me up on that, and many of them end up starting the service when they see how sweat it is to have the lawn mowed.

If you are not good with language, layout, and stuff, just go to a copy store, they can hook you up pretty cheap. I was lucky and knew a couple people who were good with that stuff.

MarkintheGarden
07-28-2011, 01:07 AM
People enjoy their privacy and resent being interrupted, and it would take a lot of time. Just hang the flyer on the the screen door knob. Then they will have your info and reach out to you. If you knock it is an interruption and puts them at an advantage if they are interested in your services. Deliver lots of flyers, and when they call you it will be a level playing field.

If you see people coming and going be cheerful, and always say hello. If they look at you awkwardly, cause you are walking up to their door (and it happens), just say "I have a free flyer for you".

Some areas are hard to get door to door, I have used a bicycle and even my scooter.

The trick is a simple attractive flyer. It should have some personality. I use bright green paper, simple graphics, and straight forward wording.

bc3xx0
07-28-2011, 02:35 AM
Running the motor at half throttle to extend motor life????

Is this a joke thread??

cpllawncare
07-28-2011, 02:09 PM
Hi guy's.
I have been trying for a couple years now to get started. It looks like I may get out of the gate this time around. Even though its late in the season. I will be starting with a family member so not just me. I know a lot of you guys don't like partnerships, but it is family. We will be starting with what I have already. Craftsman 42" with a 22hp b/s, 22" push mower. I have a weedeater but it takes a long time to start. I've tried talking nice to it, talking mean to it, I've even taken it out to dinner (eating a snack), it just takes too long to start. So I will be looking for a plan B. I also need a blower. We are thinking cheap. I know the com ones are the way to go but I don't want to spend too much money on what I should have and run out of money before good money starts coming in.
You can read some of my older post to get an idea more about me.
Now for a question. As I sit here thinking of things we can be doing, I thought of this and was wondering what anyone else thought. What makes a com mower last so much longer than a res mower? Short answer is, it was made to. But why? If my 22 hp res mower is made to mow my yard once a week. Why can't it do more and still last? If I run the engine at a lower RPM and say I am only using 12 hp of the 22 hp, woudn't it last longer? So anyway thats what I think about. Just so we're clear, we do plan to upgrade. The question is when to upgrade?
So thats it. Wish us luck. :usflag:
David


You're going to regret all those decisions! Honestly I started out the exact same way your talking about, all my residential stuff is now either in the trash or sitting there as back up stuff, I use my residential rider to pull the thatcher and aerater, that's about all it good for, my hand held blower lasted about six months it's in the trash now I went and bought a stihl, same for my trimmer, I just resigned it to a full time hedge trimmer/back up trimmer, I've since bought a stihl trimmer, I would say that you need to go ahead and get a new stihl trimmer just get a fs90 and be done with it, it's a huge difference. It's hard in the beginning to see why you need commercial grade stuff but the fact is YOU DO. When you use this stuff everyday the residential stuff just won't last or give the quality results you will need to build a reputation. Listen to these guys on here they know what there talking about! Use this site often! I read here everyday and learn something!

XLS
07-28-2011, 03:31 PM
you can get good quality entry level trimmer and blower for 500$$ that will last you along time ....i still have a crew running a 125.00 blower after 7 years and have not spent a dime on it except a new set of fuel lines
Posted via Mobile Device

Williams Lawnscape
07-29-2011, 01:52 AM
Thanks for the great information. One more quick question, do you make your own flyers or buy them? and do you use door hangers specifically or just jerry rig something with rubber bands?

If you buy them where from?

People enjoy their privacy and resent being interrupted, and it would take a lot of time. Just hang the flyer on the the screen door knob. Then they will have your info and reach out to you. If you knock it is an interruption and puts them at an advantage if they are interested in your services. Deliver lots of flyers, and when they call you it will be a level playing field.

If you see people coming and going be cheerful, and always say hello. If they look at you awkwardly, cause you are walking up to their door (and it happens), just say "I have a free flyer for you".

Some areas are hard to get door to door, I have used a bicycle and even my scooter.

The trick is a simple attractive flyer. It should have some personality. I use bright green paper, simple graphics, and straight forward wording.

MR-G
07-29-2011, 03:05 AM
Puddle, I know your right and one day I will have a commercial mower. Just not yet. All in good time. The question for us, is when. One account, five accounts, ten….

Aarons, if you are saying I should not start which is what it sounds like you are saying. That’s not very helpful. Perhaps you could re-read all that I have posted as you may have missed something.

Jdiepstra, I thank you for the seafoam advice. It will be tried and I’ll see how that works. I tried it in my outboard motor earlier this year and it worked very well. I should have thought of trying it in the trimmer. I don’t think you and I are on the same page as to half throttle though. My half throttle is only a guess. It may be a little more. It just depends on the grass to be cut. Very short thin grass needs not much power. Thick grass may be using all the power I can get. A lower power setting will extend the life of the engine provided it is a good power setting for the grass to be cut, not the other way around. Sorry, we just have the right to disagree on this one.running half throttle will slow down the cooling fan, thus actually overheating or will at least make it run hotter than it should...if it was liguid cooled you may be correct...

MarkintheGarden
07-29-2011, 09:40 AM
Thanks for the great information. One more quick question, do you make your own flyers or buy them? and do you use door hangers specifically or just jerry rig something with rubber bands?

If you buy them where from?

I create the original copy on my computer, and if I need just a few, I print them on my printer, if I need a lot (over 100), I take the original to office depot and get them printed.

There are online companies that can help you with the layout and design and sell large amounts for cheaper than a local copy store. Search for threads here on lawn site and you will see some good suggestions.

My flyers are a full page and I roll them up and rubber band them, then when I deliver I just hook the rubber band on a door knob.

TheBetterDoorhanger
08-01-2011, 04:19 PM
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