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kinks711
02-15-2004, 01:58 PM
I'm starting my son in his own business and have about $9,500 more to spend. I already bought him a 1979 International 1700 with 30,000 original miles on it for $10,500. It has a snow plow and sander. I want to get a trailer and all new equipment for him. I am going to get an enclosed trailer- maybe a Haulmark. I have no idea what kind of accounts he'll get and want to know what kinds of mowers to get as he will be starting this year.:blob3: Maybe he'll earn enough to move out:blob4:

precisioncut
02-15-2004, 02:24 PM
Well best of luck to him. Spend time on this site and you will find a wealth of info to help. Good Luck and Welcome.

TURF DOCTOR
02-15-2004, 02:37 PM
I love my haulmarks wise move.

Mac V2.0
02-15-2004, 03:36 PM
what he needs is tough love, not daddy's money. Just cus you buy him equipment doesnt mean hes gona work... and if he does i can only imagine the quality once the temps and humidity rise :) If you want him to leave the house, kick him out... you are the parent right???

DUSTYCEDAR
02-15-2004, 04:17 PM
r u going to focus on mowing , installs, trees, hardscaping?
r u going to advertise or just hope he will get work with his good looks?
did he do a business plan or uall just going wing it?

GTLC
02-15-2004, 05:02 PM
Wait a second..how old is your son?

1MajorTom
02-15-2004, 06:39 PM
Kinks:
You wouldn't have by chance been at Allegheny Lawn & Golf Products in Coraopolis on Thursday?

Just curious, how did you find Lawnsite.com?

Has your son shown any interest in lawn care? How do you know he is going to like this type of work?

Kelly's Landscaping
02-15-2004, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by Mac V2.0
what he needs is tough love, not daddy's money. Just cus you buy him equipment doesnt mean hes gona work...

I think what heís doing is giving his kid a fighting chance which I cant see attacking the 20 k he helps his kid with can help him get started and I never see parents get criticized for pissing away 100k on a worthless degree. Business owners have a much better chance at making a real living then a collage grad working for someone else plus his profile said heís been in business for 24 years so my guess is his kid has been there working with him since he could walk. The kid will need some direction and his father will need to let him fail a little but throwing a kid out is a recipe for failer.

It would have been nice to have had some help myself but my father died from cancer when I was 6. Kinks is doing exactly what I would do if I had a son teaching him to be a businessman one thing I would change the 20 k would be a loan not a gift he wont want to pay it back but he will be a prouder more confident man if he does and can say he did it him self with just a little help.

Kelly's Landscaping
02-15-2004, 07:04 PM
Kink as for your truck choice it makes a great landscaping truck but a poor lawn mowing truck what I have found is pickups are much easier to back in drive ways when you have dead end streets and parking nightmares in fact it is very nice to be able to see out your back window and see what your about to hit. Mirrors work but never as well I like the big trucks for landscaping projects when I need 12 yards of mulch or 4 yards of top soil that is a must but a decent pick up is worth is weight in gold much more fuel efficient then the big trucks better top speeds as well.

Trouble I see is you are gona blow your 20 k budget real fast probably before you even get to the mowers. And you need to set aside 2-5 k for advertising since this is his first year he needs all he can get or he will just be sitting home waiting for the phone to ring.

Mac V2.0
02-15-2004, 08:21 PM
Originally posted by Kelly's Landscaping
I never see parents get criticized for pissing away 100k on a worthless degree.

I never said that was a smart move either. Parents with too much money and not enough brains is partly ruining this society.

kinks711
02-15-2004, 09:00 PM
Originally posted by 1MajorTom
Kinks:
You wouldn't have by chance been at Allegheny Lawn & Golf Products in Coraopolis on Thursday?

Just curious, how did you find Lawnsite.com?

Has your son shown any interest in lawn care? How do you know he is going to like this type of work?

Yes I was there and I found Lawnsite from a Google search. He has shown interest in lawn care.

kinks711
02-15-2004, 09:02 PM
Originally posted by n1alx
Wait a second..how old is your son?

21

kinks711
02-15-2004, 09:07 PM
Originally posted by DUSTYCEDAR
r u going to focus on mowing , installs, trees, hardscaping?
r u going to advertise or just hope he will get work with his good looks?
did he do a business plan or uall just going wing it?

Probably start small with mowing, mulch, etc. He will advertise in Pennysaver and local papers.

youngdude
02-15-2004, 09:20 PM
found out what kind of accounts he has before going out and buying mowers, and then when you are ready to buy, buy all bobcat mowers. they will last you forever, they are built like a tank.

oleo
02-15-2004, 09:21 PM
Does he have any accounts set up. Whats the competition like there? Is he doing this full time?

This just sounds like a spoiled little 21 year old!

GTLC
02-15-2004, 09:21 PM
Well, I don't seem to realize why he doesn't start his business with his own money. Has he gone to college yet? If I had the chance I would send him on his way to get a business degree so he can achieve much higher goals instead of just giving him some money to go out on his own w/o any experience in business. I wish my parents would give me 20k to put into business equipment, but I think they would rather use it to send me to school, first.

GTLC
02-15-2004, 09:24 PM
Bobcat, you've got to be kidding me.

Nobody does it better than eXmark!

oh, one last word of advice. Don't try to start out by buying residential grade equipment. You will badly regret it. I made that unfortunate mistake and am still suffering from it today.

j fisher
02-15-2004, 09:36 PM
Give the guy a break. He's trying to help his kid. He comes to this forum for advise and just gets bashed!

Kinks,
I agree with Kellys Landing about the truck. If he's starting with mowing and general lawn care, a good used 3/4 ton would be a better choice. As far as the trailer and mowers with your remaining funds, I would suggest starting with an open trailer, a smaller ZRT (44" or 48") and a walk behind. Look for deals on some good used mowers. If he's succesful, he can always up grade.

pajohn
02-15-2004, 09:57 PM
Funny how I just joined today and find this thread. Kinks, I'm here investigating the same thing, but my son is only 16. He has had a passion for landscaping for 3-4 years now. We live in a small development and he has 5-6 lawn jobs every year, 10-12 snow removal jobs, and probably spreads about 60 yds of mulch a year. Last year I bought a Kubota BX22 TLB, partly for myself, but also to encourage him somewhat. He really hasn't advertised, just word of mouth around the development. Thinking of getting a ZTR next, the JD tarctor takes too long to mow.
Not sure what I'm going to with him for college, he wants to go to a landscape school. Any suggestions out there? No sense wasting money on sending him to get a normal business degree when I know he wouldn't like working a 9-5 job in a corpoarte environment.
BTW, great forum, glad I stumbled across it.

GTLC
02-15-2004, 10:08 PM
Hey pajohn, coincidentally also I am 16 and am in the same exact situation as youur son. I am in a medium-sized devolopment, had about 5-6 accounts last year, and I started out w/ a 18 HP 43" Noma tractor but then earlier this year upgraded to a Toro Timecutter ZX ZTR mower, but it was a big mistake. i should have gotten a commercial mower. i don't do any snow removal, though. I am in the same situation and want to go to school for a business and/or degree in like landscaping or turfgrass management or something like that. PM me.

Let it Grow
02-15-2004, 11:19 PM
pajohn
If his passion is for landscaping as you say, then let him go to landscaping school.
If a guy knows what his passion is then he is ahead of 3/4 of the population. That is what most people are looking for these days...something to be passionate about. If this is what he loves, then let him do it, and ENCOURAGE him to do it. You both won't regret it.
A man without passion is dead!

BrianK10
02-16-2004, 01:58 AM
Sad. Enough said.

Brian

MR. Nomo
02-16-2004, 09:06 AM
"buy all bobcat mowers. they will last you forever, they are built like a tank."

Bobcat mowers are nice as most zt's are but to say they are built like a tank?
My friend has one and when part beside my hustler theres really no comparision!!

qualitylandscaping
02-16-2004, 09:23 AM
For colleges, take a look at:

Cornell
SUNY Delhi

They are two of the best landscaping schools in the country!

I think buying your 21 year old $20,000 in equipment is a really dumb idea. I think it's a great way of helping him out, but you should let him earn the money to buy his own equipment. Most of us started out with a 21" push mower and worked and worked and worked, until we could buy something bigger. I'm 17 and own about $22,000-$25,000 in equipment (not including trucks), and I would pass out if someone offered to buy it for me.

But you are going to pass along a bad impression. This industry is as physically demanding as firefighting and other jobs. It takes alot of hard work to be successful.. The hardest part is finances, and by you just giving it to him, he is less likely to take care of it and do good work, because everything has come so easy before.

jeffex
02-16-2004, 09:37 AM
He'll need some business training if he wants to last. DEpending on the length of the cutting season in your area and the availability of off season work it takes financial decipline to spread your income over the whole year. I.ve seen many guys buy equipment based on want and "look at what I have" and not good sound business decisions.

R&K Ent.
02-16-2004, 09:41 AM
I ditto jfisher in commending you for helping your son. I would suggest a top notch hydro WB in 48"-52". This is not going into the small gates but it will be a very effective mower as far as time, ease of operation and quality of cut. You will have enuogh left for a real good, big wheel push mower(much easier to use).

He is a young man and should be able to make it through two years of walking(or sul;ky if you must,I prefer to straight walk) and at that point he will have a good appreciation of the work end of the buisness, then HE can decide where to spend HIS money on his next piece of equipment. If he can't handle the work end of it then YOU haven't spent 15K on ZTR's and the kid can't stand to do the work. He will probably have a real good feel for being a worker, which is important in knowing how to treat his future hired guys.

I think overall that is probably best for everybody.

Dave655
02-16-2004, 10:43 AM
Hey pajohn,your son reminds me of me. I am also sixteen and started my small business about three years ago. I went out and bought a brand new commercial snapper 48' w/b two years ago. Doing seven accounts last year, I am so glad I went with commercial equipment. I havent had a problem yet, and with the w/b I can get any where I need to. I hope this helps.

Dave

pcnservices
02-16-2004, 12:54 PM
I agree with Jeffex. It's all good and well to invest money to get your child up and running with a small business BUT also invest some of that money in education. Let him go to a business school and do a business admin degree of some sort and help him get the neccesary KNOWLEDGE to set up a firm business infrastructure and SKILLS to manage it. Most of the sucessfull lco pro's here at Lawnsite have a post school degree in business.

IMO $20 000 investment to start up a lawn care business is a bit over doing it. How are you going to get a return on that investment in the first couple of years of business and still make money or a living?

Good luck
PC

kinks711
02-16-2004, 02:31 PM
To all repliers my son is going to business college now and would like to start his own lawn business. He is not spoiled nor is he afraid to work hard as he has been doing so since he was 14. I have the money to give my son a gift and this is what I'm doing and the only advice I needed from you was should I get him a wb or ztr. I don't care if anybody thinks this is a bad idea. And I really don't need advice on how to raise my son from any teenagers or anybody for that matter. Thanks for your info if it was relevant to the question.

pcnservices
02-16-2004, 02:52 PM
apologies - finger problems.
See next post

pcnservices
02-16-2004, 02:54 PM
Kinks, okay we did'nt know your son was going to business college. So for me to advise him to do so was'nt such a bad idea right? You are doing what every father would do if it is in their financial capability to do so. Good for you!

To answer your questionon w/b or ztr: any of the two is recommendable. Get a good all rounder size 48"-52" to do the average size lawn. I use a 52" ztr and there is no place I cannot get into with it. I know the mower's capabilities and trim the areas where I know the mower won't reach. The same goes for a w/b. A hydro drive is easy to operate and manuevre and the average size the most guys use on the w/b is the 42"- 48". The most common engine size used on these are a 17-18 hp. To go wider swaths on them they tend to get a little underpowered - specially if you are thinking of towing a sulky as well.

So my recommendation:
ZTR: 52" - 23 - 27 hp (Kawasaki)
w/b: 48" 18 hp floating deck

Good luck and best wishes to your son.
PC

kinks711
02-16-2004, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by pcnservices
Kinks, okay we did'nt know your son was going to business college. So for me to advise him to do so was'nt such a bad idea right? You are doing what every father would do if it is in their financial capability to do so. Good for you!

To answer your questionon w/b or ztr: any of the two is recommendable. Get a good all rounder size 48"-52" to do the average size lawn. I use a 52" ztr and there is no place I cannot get into with it. I know the mower's capabilities and trim the areas where I know the mower won't reach. The same goes for a w/b. A hydro drive is easy to operate and manuevre and the average size the most guys use on the w/b is the 42"- 48". The most common engine size used on these are a 17-18 hp. To go wider swaths on them they tend to get a little underpowered - specially if you are thinking of towing a sulky as well.

So my recommendation:
ZTR: 52" - 23 - 27 hp (Kawasaki)
w/b: 48" 18 hp floating deck

Good luck and best wishes to your son.



PC Thanks for the info

hole in one lco
02-16-2004, 04:27 PM
Man kinks you sure are getting killed on this thread. I wish my dad would have lent me a couple of bucks. I was lucky to get shoes from k mart. Iv worked sins i was 10 every thing i got i provided for my self. good luck to you and your son with 20,000. backing you you should have no problem doing well in this field.

TheKingNJ
02-16-2004, 06:24 PM
Wow 20k, I wish my parents gave me 20k. i'm 19 and i felt like a grub when my parents paid for my truck insurance when I was 17 and 18.

But anyway, I would go with a walk behind. ZTR's are very nice to have and I wish my dad would buy me one but, if he is going to be in smaller yards, ZTR may not work out as well as a walk behind.

Walk behinds will be able to cut closer (less weed whacking )squeeze through smaller area's, and easier to maintain.
Makes sure to go with a hydro if you got cash to burn.

ZTR mowers are more productive and easier on your back.

good luck and don't let him be like this one LCO by me.

His daddy bought him his trucks (yes his truckS more then one) his equipment (lawn tractors) and does all his book work. Make a long story short he beat me two one of our new neighbors lawns and this year my neighbor called me and told me to mow his lawn because the guy i have is a "F***ing Clown."

I swear this guy just drove in circles with the mowing deck engaged on their lawn.

TheKingNJ
02-16-2004, 06:31 PM
by the way,
you seem like your doing all of his homework, shouldn't your son be on website like this finding out what kind of mowers you should buy for him?

kelly Lawn
02-16-2004, 07:16 PM
Always get the jobs and then buy the equipment. If you buy all the equipment and the jobs dont come ,you are looking at a pile of debt.

kinks711
02-16-2004, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by TheKingNJ
by the way,
you seem like your doing all of his homework, shouldn't your son be on website like this finding out what kind of mowers you should buy for him?

He's going to college and I graduated in 1976. But thanks for your concern.

qualitylandscaping
02-16-2004, 11:07 PM
Originally posted by TheKingNJ
But anyway, I would go with a walk behind. ZTR's are very nice to have and I wish my dad would buy me one but, if he is going to be in smaller yards, ZTR may not work out as well as a walk behind.

Walk behinds will be able to cut closer (less weed whacking )squeeze through smaller area's, and easier to maintain.
Makes sure to go with a hydro if you got cash to burn.


I sit on the other side of this.. I have only owned ZTR's for alittle over a year but I believe that they are more productive and easier to use compared to a walk behind, even in small yards. The reason I say that is, there is no need to walk backwards, and no sulky to jacknife..

I guess it all depends on the size of the deck.. But if you choose a walk behind, definiently go with a hyrdo.. I have several belt drive mowers and don't really like them (especially backing up and going up hills)..

But good luck to both of you!:)

spin2098
02-16-2004, 11:38 PM
Kinks I am from your area as and alot depends on the kind of yards your son is looking at cutting. I will send you a pm and if you would like you can write me back.

promower
02-17-2004, 03:41 AM
If you have the money to give him thats great, if my parents had the money they would have done the same and I could have started 2 years earlier. Good luck to your son. As far as mowers, like others said get the jobs first and buy as needed. My first mower was 36" since I was only going to have one I wanted to make sure I could fit through gates and not lose out on any possible jobs. As far as type of mower you will get several different opions on this forum but it is safe to say all the top brands are good mowers. Do some research on what will fit your goals the best, look at different machines and just weigh out the pros and cons. For me I went with a mower that a local dealer sold so that I could get repairs and parts quickly without having to drive 30 miles. And as far as needing a buisness degree, I'm sure it would help especially getting started but not needed, I would say most LCO dont have one.