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  #1  
Old 09-12-2013, 04:18 PM
WillieRod WillieRod is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Douglasville, GA
Posts: 3
ARMY retiree to Lawn Service

Hi everyone,
after 32 years serving I have about 40 days left in the military, I just moved to our retirement home with 10 acres (5 to be mowed), I only had a 42" riding mower. It was taking us a few days to do the mowing, so I decided to go and get me a Beginner's Lawn Service Husqvarna package with a 50" ZTR, Trailer, blower, hedger, and weed eater with edger attachment. I have always love to work outside, so I decided to go into lawn service business....I am not looking to make my self rich, just to make up for my paycut....maybe a few properties a day, maybe commercial later. Since I already have the equipment and some basic knowledge about cutting, edging, weed eat, and blowing, I would like to hear from the veterans on this site on any tips on how to go about starting my business...ie, how I go about pricing, scheduling, advertising, contracts, and equipment tips....anything that could make me successful in the business and making the customer happy....thanks to everyone in advance.

p.s. I am in Douglasville, GA (West of Atlanta)

Willie

Last edited by WillieRod; 09-12-2013 at 04:21 PM. Reason: misspelling
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2013, 06:02 PM
Vecchio Lawn Care's Avatar
Vecchio Lawn Care Vecchio Lawn Care is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bel Air, MD
Posts: 559
ARMY retiree to Lawn Service

Thanks for your service to start it off. Take it from me, when it comes to buying a ztr, do not buy residential models. Buy commercial only. The quality and reliability is 100% better. Pricing: figure out what your hourly rate is and estimate how long it will take you to do the property and charge accordingly. My hourly charge and most others is around $60. $1 a minute. Sometime you bid higher and get it and somethimes your accidentally underbid and don't make as much. Usually averages out.
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  #3  
Old 09-18-2013, 12:29 PM
WillieRod WillieRod is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Douglasville, GA
Posts: 3
Thanks Vecchio, what I got is the Husqv M-ZT 52, is not top of the line commercial, but it is commercial quality (Not residential)....I just don't want to get too much into debt just starting the business, specially since I won't be able to get in fully until next spring....I already done a few buildings, but I cannot use the ZTR, I had to rent a walk behind bush hog, not the kind of accounts I want...
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  #4  
Old 09-18-2013, 01:10 PM
ncpete ncpete is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Hope Mills, NC
Posts: 280
As a veteran also, thank you for your service.

a bush hog? must have been fun /dirty/ work. Sounds like ideal opportunities to get into maintaining those properties now. It seems many of my first calls have been for cleanups, especially here around the Fort Bragg area. Soldiers deploy, families go home, return 12 months later to massively overgrown lawns. some of those jobs I get to maintain afterwards, sometimes the soldier and family just don't want to mess with cutting everything down with their push mower, and intend to keep up on it themselves aftewards.
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TroyBilt 21"
Ryobi 720r
Husqvarna 350bt
Gravely ST622
Poulan Pro PP5020AV
and other stuff I forget now!

currently shopping:
ExMark Metro 48
ExMark Commercial 30
Ford F250
Ariens edger.

the bottom list should maybe get shorter, while the top gets longer, but I know there will always be more stuff!
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  #5  
Old 09-18-2013, 01:17 PM
WillieRod WillieRod is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Douglasville, GA
Posts: 3
these were four different buildings in the same area, but all had old railroad tracks logs...trust me not fun, I can get about $1200 for all four, but not sure if I want to keep doing them or not...weeds were sometimes about 5' tall and 1' thicks...with a walk behind bush hog...I am not as young anymore.;o) talking about some Ben gay the next day....
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2013, 01:35 PM
ncpete ncpete is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Hope Mills, NC
Posts: 280
an old cold war warrior myself, I completely understand.
__________________
TroyBilt 21"
Ryobi 720r
Husqvarna 350bt
Gravely ST622
Poulan Pro PP5020AV
and other stuff I forget now!

currently shopping:
ExMark Metro 48
ExMark Commercial 30
Ford F250
Ariens edger.

the bottom list should maybe get shorter, while the top gets longer, but I know there will always be more stuff!
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  #7  
Old 09-18-2013, 01:42 PM
Sprinkler Buddy's Avatar
Sprinkler Buddy Sprinkler Buddy is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 988
Welcome to the forum, Semper Fi
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  #8  
Old 09-18-2013, 02:52 PM
Blade Runners's Avatar
Blade Runners Blade Runners is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Woodlawn, TN
Posts: 912
32 years, now that's dedication. I called it quits after 20. It was time to move on and do other things besides kill people

I know what you mean about the Ben Gay. My first few trips out I hit muscle failure with a string trimmer. By the time I got home I was exhausted. 5 years of no PT didn't help.

A 50" is a good size to start out with. We run 2-52" and can cut the smallest properties on up to 2+ acres pretty quickly. Another good mower to have is a 32-36" walk behind with sulky. They are very versatile and will fit throught the smallest gates and are good for mowing out ditches or steep areas that you dont want to put your ZTR on.

Good luck to you and welcome to LS. As you see, cutting grass for a living is no joke.
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  #9  
Old 09-18-2013, 03:31 PM
Patriot Services's Avatar
Patriot Services Patriot Services is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tampa FL
Posts: 8,542
32 years! I thought I overstayed at 22. One moe deployment and the wife would jave said, just have your mail forwarded to Kabul permanently.
Posted via Mobile Device
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  #10  
Old 09-18-2013, 04:50 PM
ncpete ncpete is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Hope Mills, NC
Posts: 280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patriot Services View Post
32 years! I thought I overstayed at 22. One moe deployment and the wife would jave said, just have your mail forwarded to Kabul permanently.
Posted via Mobile Device
Thank you both for your lengthy service. I got out at little over 10, in 98. As an Arabic linguist, my timing was in some ways quite fortuitous. My old 1SG, retired as a SGM, mentioned the last time he and I spoke, that I got out at just the right time. Perhaps, though sometimes I still wonder. Fort Bragg just opened its own Air Assault school, and I half want to put my boots on and go.
__________________
TroyBilt 21"
Ryobi 720r
Husqvarna 350bt
Gravely ST622
Poulan Pro PP5020AV
and other stuff I forget now!

currently shopping:
ExMark Metro 48
ExMark Commercial 30
Ford F250
Ariens edger.

the bottom list should maybe get shorter, while the top gets longer, but I know there will always be more stuff!
Reply With Quote
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