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View Full Version : Snow/Lawn Equipment - Need Help


Mike1977
10-25-2011, 12:06 AM
Hey there, I just got into the lawn business this year as a part time gig. Been many many years of dreaming about this and Im finally here. Wife said "just do it" so I sold the KTM dirt bike, TJ Jeep Wrangler, and bought a new (er) trailer, couple of mowers, blowers, weed whips, edger, hedge trimmer, truck, etc etc etc. Im a part timer though. Everything I have is paid for because I work hard on the weekends doing lawns and side jobs. In a year or two I will be able to leave the cubicle that is my current life and do this full time. Cant wait. I do have a plan though, get everything I need, and money in the bank... and of course... customers!

I think this next year my money is going to prepare myself the the winter seasons. My buddies that do lawns, as many of you probably do... take the winter off and relax. Not me though, I want to work every day I can because there will be a drought or something that will slow my summer down one year and I want to have the money to get me through this time. I will not fail.

What I will be buying is a plow for my truck.

FINALLY!!! my question..
I am thinking I want a Yamaha Grizzly to plow sidewalks, but what else can I use it for besides fun? that would be nice, but not wise.

What tool can I get that I can use the summer and winter? Small Bobcat? Kubota Loader (small), my budget next year will be 7k for a used quad (yama grizz) or 9k for tractor.

What else do you do w/ your machine? mulch? landscape? would be nice to get a 4x4 tractor that I can mow with on my bigger properties (2.5 acre church I mow)
Right now Im just mowing, hedge trimming, cleanups, mulch, but I plan to grow and I plan to use what I buy to help me do that.

I dont need a quad, I can pick up another KTM the following summer and get my dirtbike life back.

Thanks,

Mike1977
10-25-2011, 10:29 PM
bump this one up. need advice.

johnyredd99
10-25-2011, 11:03 PM
I curaintly use a 4wheeler to help out w/ landscaping, aerating, debris cleanup jobs.
I refuse to use my mower to pull around an aerator, branches, and other debris. W/ mowing being my main income I dont want to put my mower thru that stress.
Having a 4wheeler is nice to use for jobs. when I do large prop. cleanup/prunning jobs I unhook my 6x12 open trailer and hook it to wheeler then pull around the properties loading w/ debris. ride back to the rd unhook wheeler, load in truck, then just hook up to trailer.
I would never think to use it for plowing tho. IMO if your going to plow w/ your truck unless its a shopping center just use a shovel or snowblower. Personally, spoiled and I dont/wont get out of truck from the time I start plowing till finished.

having a 4x4 tractor would be nice. Father has one and I use it to move stone and mulch on larger jobs

Best of luck

Mikegyver
10-25-2011, 11:42 PM
Get a honda rancher...had a polaris before the it and I will never look back! You can get them used for not a whole lot. They are great for pulling carts...pulling out stuck mowers, weekend fun...
MIke

White Gardens
10-25-2011, 11:46 PM
Single stage TORO snowblower works just fine for about 85% of the snowfalls we have here. Just drop it off the truck, do the driveways and sidewalks and call it good on small to medium residentials.

I have a plow on my C3500HD for the bigger stuff. Then my Mini Skid gets used when we get that once every 10 year blizzard, which has been one time since I've owned it.

Though the mini skid is cold, it's no colder than a 4wheeler and has much more uses over an ATV, UTV, or utility tractor. Eventually I'd like to get another beater truck and plow, or possibly an enclosed skid steer.

...

Jimslawncareservice
10-26-2011, 12:28 AM
I use deere x585 and a 1445 for snow on drives, sides walks , and hoas. They have a lot of attachments. The x series now the 700s you can get a loader,blade,belly blade, 3 point hitch for even more options. It's almost endless as what they can do. Plus you can put a nice cab with heat in it. Last winter I had to up grade to those two because I was tired of hearing guys complain about the cold.
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mtmower
10-26-2011, 01:02 AM
If you are buying a plow for your truck I would recommend a single stage honda snow blower for the sidewalks at the most. you can lift it in and out of the truck. Iwould try and get accounts that only require you plow truck. Winter work is fun for a while but about the sixth week of getting up a 2:30 and spending 10-12 hrs in your truck the last thing you want to be doing is pulling out a ramp or dragging a trailer with equipment. Just getting out the snow blower becomes a pain short of waking you up. More equipment means more maintenance, more storage, more money, more depreciation, etc. I learned the hard way. I also purchased a commercial walk behind 36" ariens snow blower for almost 3k. Plus a super nice ramp for almost $500. Then I had to build a platform in the bed to stow the ramp. Now I feel that I have to use it. You'll make less money per hr with snow blower, atv, etc. then you will a truck and plow. A nice little 4x4 tractor would be handy and in a heavy snow year you could bucket piles with the tractor to haul off. I know hear guys get $100+ @ hr. to haul off snow. But again you'd need to have the right truck, trailer, and tractor and then be willing to drag that stuff all around in the salt. You may consider a spreader for salt/sand instead of blowers. If I were to do it again I think this is the way I'd go. Good luck.

Mike1977
10-26-2011, 11:06 AM
I like the idea of hooking up a trailer to cleanup the debris w/ a quad. didnt think of that. the more I look, these smaller tractors are nice but not nice enough to buy. would rather get a skid steer and quad now. now, yamaha grizzly or can-am

johnyredd99
10-27-2011, 12:43 AM
would think it all depends on what kind of work you do.
I do pruning mulching light tree work.
Im not cutting those branches up small enough to carry or hauling a tarp a thousand times back and forth to the truck.
.....Its just not happening.......
trailer is 6x12 just pull it around like a giant yard cart on the back of homeowner tractors.
I could not use a skid steer to do this.

Took down 3 trees in customers back yard... needed to be chipped.... truck wouldnt fit. Customer thinks that I am going to walk back and forth a thousand times carrying each branch to the road
.....Its just not happening....
Hooked that heavy ss chipper up to the wheeler and went right on back
I couldnt do that w/ a skid steer

wheeler fits in back of truck...
skid steer is almost the size of truck

I can not dump stone into the back of my truck w/ a wheeler
so I dont do stone work.

In the end it depends what fits best for your application

White Gardens
10-27-2011, 09:14 AM
Hooked that heavy ss chipper up to the wheeler and went right on back
I couldnt do that w/ a skid steer

wheeler fits in back of truck...
skid steer is almost the size of truck

I can not dump stone into the back of my truck w/ a wheeler
so I dont do stone work.

In the end it depends what fits best for your application

A mini skid would have worked. I use mine all the time for brush work. I just use the forks on the machine and can put a yard or better of larger brush on it and then take it to my dump truck.

..

Patriot Services
10-27-2011, 09:30 AM
I see more guys using quads as fert/pest spray rigs if that's in your plans. Northern tools has mounted and tow behind setups.
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johnyredd99
10-27-2011, 09:48 AM
mini skid works..... alot of things work.
depends on situation. whats the weight on the skid? would think that it would leave ruts in the lawn.
If I had a dump then my situation would be diff. and I would say 4x4 tractor or skid.

TNGrassCutter
10-27-2011, 09:58 AM
I see more guys using quads as fert/pest spray rigs if that's in your plans. Northern tools has mounted and tow behind setups.
Posted via Mobile Device

I have seen this too around here. I already have a Polaris so I may do the same when I get my pesticide license because who wants to spend thousands on a spray machine when you can buy a good sprayer for $300-400.
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Darryl G
10-27-2011, 10:01 AM
I wouldn't think a quad would be the thing for sidewalks unless you're doing shopping centers and apartment/condo complexes and that type of thing. As mentioned by others, a single stage snowblower is great for walks. They do amazingly well and get right down to the walk surface and don't damage pavers and bluestone etc. I know you get a lot of snow out your way...it's not gonna do much for a 3 foot snowfall but then again neither is a quad with plow.

Mike1977
10-27-2011, 11:15 AM
I wouldn't think a quad would be the thing for sidewalks unless you're doing shopping centers and apartment/condo complexes and that type of thing. As mentioned by others, a single stage snowblower is great for walks. They do amazingly well and get right down to the walk surface and don't damage pavers and bluestone etc. I know you get a lot of snow out your way...it's not gonna do much for a 3 foot snowfall but then again neither is a quad with plow.

yeah, then a dual stage blower would be the unit to own. I dont think the mini tractors can handle 3'+ of snow either... but thats a guess.

lol, youll think Im crazy but this morning I was measuring the suburb sidewalks (about 2.5 feet) and city (about 4-5' wide) and thinking hmm, if I had my jeep back I could....

I have a commercial acct, 2.5 acres, its a church, alot of concrete and sidewalks. I think the quad this next year. a tractor or toro grounds master w/ attachments the following. as you can see below in my signature line the equipment I run. I would/could use a larger mower for the bigger accts I anticipate I will get. I have a lady who wants me to do 5 different commercial accts (if my bid works out)... trying to grow this business, with the right equipment, not the mediocre all I can afford now equipment. I think the quad is a good idea. I like the chipper and trailer idea. I dont have a dump, but I will do a mulch job this weekend. wheel barrows til I get a quad and trailer I think.

Darryl G
10-27-2011, 12:16 PM
My town has a mini skidder they use for walks. They have a plow on it and it does a great job. Way better than just having a bucket. For some of the big storms they have a backhoe working with it in the downtown area to relocate piles.

I have a front-end loader on my JD855 CUT that I use for detail work at my place and a couple of neighbors. I added chains to the front last winter but it's still not up getting through deeps snow with turf tires on the back and 4wd.

arbor pro
11-04-2011, 03:52 PM
mini skid with blower, broom or plow - even a bulk bucket - makes more sense than a quad. At least during the summer months you can use the mini skid to move dirt and do other things. quad just not as universally useful.

I am biased towards mini skids as I own and use several in my business. don't own or use any atvs as I don't see the value in them outside of recreation or hunting.

for $7k, you can buy a used gas mini skid with bucket. for a bit more, you can buy a diesel unit. Broom or plow will run a grand or two.

AP

Mike1977
11-04-2011, 05:54 PM
mini skid with blower, broom or plow - even a bulk bucket - makes more sense than a quad. At least during the summer months you can use the mini skid to move dirt and do other things. quad just not as universally useful.

I am biased towards mini skids as I own and use several in my business. don't own or use any atvs as I don't see the value in them outside of recreation or hunting.

for $7k, you can buy a used gas mini skid with bucket. for a bit more, you can buy a diesel unit. Broom or plow will run a grand or two.

AP

thanks for the input

arbor pro
11-07-2011, 04:40 PM
thanks for the input

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