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  #1  
Old 05-24-2012, 09:23 PM
brlally brlally is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 6
17 year old starting with bare-minimum

I'm 17 years old and I'm from Massachusetts. I just recently started mowing my mom's friend's lawn every week for some spare money. I got 2 walk-ups my first day mowing the grass. One was for a spring clean up and the other just for a cut. One week later I have acquired 2 more biweekly contracts. None of these lawns are very large. At the moment I have my 1995 f250 8ft bed, a shitty wooden trailer, a 21" toro push mower, a kombi weed whacker that my grandpa gave me, an old stihl handheld blower, and some tools (shovels, rakes, etc.) I am making some money now but using this push mower takes some serious time. I can't fit these into a day after school. I have been trying to do them all on Saturday but have been doing mulching and other odd jobs for family for some spare cash. My question is when would buying a walk behind mower such as a scag be justifiable. I want to buy used because there is no way I can afford a new one. I also want a 36" because gates are an issue. I have made a little over a $1000 total so far. Also is there any brands that are cheaper than a scag but will still offer better cutting than my push mower. Also how much should I spend on one? I plan to try and grow this business. I am getting business cards made and made my own t-shirt with an iron on transfer at home. Any other tips on just starting out will be much appreciated!!! Also, down the road I would like to buy a ploy for my f250, do you think it is worth it? I have heard mixed answers.
Thanks
Brett
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2012, 09:33 PM
Hansen's Lawn Care Hansen's Lawn Care is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Woodbury, MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brlally View Post
I'm 17 years old and I'm from Massachusetts. I just recently started mowing my mom's friend's lawn every week for some spare money. I got 2 walk-ups my first day mowing the grass. One was for a spring clean up and the other just for a cut. One week later I have acquired 2 more biweekly contracts. None of these lawns are very large. At the moment I have my 1995 f250 8ft bed, a shitty wooden trailer, a 21" toro push mower, a kombi weed whacker that my grandpa gave me, an old stihl handheld blower, and some tools (shovels, rakes, etc.) I am making some money now but using this push mower takes some serious time. I can't fit these into a day after school. I have been trying to do them all on Saturday but have been doing mulching and other odd jobs for family for some spare cash. My question is when would buying a walk behind mower such as a scag be justifiable. I want to buy used because there is no way I can afford a new one. I also want a 36" because gates are an issue. I have made a little over a $1000 total so far. Also is there any brands that are cheaper than a scag but will still offer better cutting than my push mower. Also how much should I spend on one? I plan to try and grow this business. I am getting business cards made and made my own t-shirt with an iron on transfer at home. Any other tips on just starting out will be much appreciated!!! Also, down the road I would like to buy a ploy for my f250, do you think it is worth it? I have heard mixed answers.
Thanks
Brett
Good for you Brett. Stay with it and by the time you're in your mid 20's you'll be able to run the business instead of mowing every day, if that's your goal...both are good depending on what you want.

I would wait until you have at least 10 weekly accounts. Reason being is by then you'll be making decent money especially being only 17 years old. But I would wait until you had 10 weekly's and then buy a 36" belt driven walk behind. Check craigslist...a decent, used 36", I wouldn't pay more than $1200, that's pushing it. You'll find a good deal just be patient and don't buy the first thing you see until you look at a couple more too.

The plow question...I think it's a good idea, but again, I would wait until you have more like 15-20 snow customers. If you have any less than 15 I would buy a single stage snowblower. Single stages have rubber paddles instead of the 2-stage augers...and the rubber actually sweeps the ground so you get a cleaner look. Plus a single stage is so light you can pick up and throw in the back of your truck. An average driveway with an average storm, 4-6 inches, wouldn't take you more than 30 minutes and if you charge them around $30 per snow event, you're making a decent hourly wage there.

Any other questions just ask...welcome to the industry buddy.
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  #3  
Old 05-24-2012, 09:39 PM
brlally brlally is offline
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Thanks a ton man! Very informative! I'll postpone that for now then.
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  #4  
Old 05-25-2012, 11:30 AM
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Ethan51 Ethan51 is offline
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Location: Roeland Park, Kansas
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hey brett! I'm a huge fan of Craigslist for getting yourself a walk behind. I picked up my first walk behind last season for $500, and they help. But don't get rid for your little one when you upgrade, because there is landscaping (atleast around here) that I can't fit my 36 inch by.
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  #5  
Old 05-25-2012, 10:46 PM
brlally brlally is offline
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What are brands that you would recommend? I have heard good things of scag and exmark. Also what are some you would steer clear of?
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  #6  
Old 05-25-2012, 11:47 PM
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Ethan51 Ethan51 is offline
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I very strongly recommend exmark and scag, I have run both of those and I own an exmark metro 36 inch that I have fully redone. But for smaller mowers, I would say look into a bravo 25 inch and an exmark metro 21 or 28 inch. I would stay away from buton, that's about it. I really just don't like them at all, they don't seem to work well for me, the hydros go out, the controls are slow to responding, they just don't work for me. And for zero turns go with scag.
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  #7  
Old 05-25-2012, 11:56 PM
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willretire@40 willretire@40 is offline
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Get a timemaster for now. I have cut 40 lawns with mine in the last two weeks with no problems.
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  #8  
Old 05-28-2012, 09:30 PM
CozyHollow CozyHollow is offline
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Location: Hamilton Square, NJ
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Welcome to the industry Brett! You're young and it sounds like you are a serious worker cause you didn't complain about "the work" at all...as the one guy told you, when you're in your mid 20's you can literally be running the show and making some REAL NICE cash!

There's NOTHING that YOU CAN NOT do...just BELIEVE that!

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  #9  
Old 06-14-2012, 09:08 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willretire@40 View Post
Get a timemaster for now. I have cut 40 lawns with mine in the last two weeks with no problems.
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I have heard lots of complaints about the cut quality of the Timemasters and someone put up some pictures and it was clear what they were talking about...the cut quality was horrible with their machine. Are you having trouble with your cut quality? What kind of grass are you cutting with it and at what height?
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  #10  
Old 05-30-2012, 08:24 AM
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Kartanimal29 Kartanimal29 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Ct.
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Brett , Keep picking at it. One of my buddy's that I went I school with started out the same way and now has one of the largest Co. in CT. ,that was over 20 years ago. He started out just like yourself.
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