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  #1  
Old 05-18-2013, 08:24 PM
rkvantiflin rkvantiflin is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 26
N00B with a few questions

Hey this is my first time posting here

I don't have any professional lawn care experience, I do mow a few of my family's yards and enjoy doing that. I also do pro carpet cleaning and pressure washing and am doing research to start mowing next season. I would like to offer my current clients in Raleigh NC basic lawn care to start out with. I have a 2003 Ram 1500 with 7500 pound towing. My entry budget will be around 10k. That 10k needs to pay for a trailer (enclosed because I run enclosed already and love them) 1-2 walk behind mower(s) trimmer, blower and edger to start. While I am only 23 I have learned first hand in buying quality equipment the first time around. I was thinking about a 7X16 duel axle to start with. I am torn between Stihl and Echo for the small stuff. I would like to stick with one brand for the small stuff. I was looking at some zero turns but after reading up on them here it seems like walk behinds would be great to start out with. Any tips on buying a used walk behind? How many hours do they take till they die and what gauge should a good deck be? I was looking at this WB.

http://fayetteville.craigslist.org/grd/3762287623.html

I was thinking a big WB and a smaller one like a 42 would be a great match for most areas. I already know I love working hard for my money and enjoy the constant money lawn care brings in. I know my area is saturated with lawn care guys but you can't have enough quality businesses like the one I currently run.

ANY opinions or tips will be well appreciated

Thanks

Rob
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2013, 08:52 PM
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Four_Seasons Four_Seasons is offline
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Location: Lexington, NC
Posts: 179
Rob, I have run Husqvarna equipment similar to the posting you mentioned and they run great. My LZ6127 that I started out with stripes great without a striping kit. But I would watch out with the bigger WB's. One big reason is because the WB's have smaller engines (23) and bog down easier when loaded with larger decks. My Kohler 27 can plow through thick two foot grass and hardly bog down.As far as handhelds I have used both Stihl and Echo and by far prefer Stihl. Their trimmers feel better to me and the power of the 4-Mix engines is amazing. My advice is to go a dealer to get a better idea of what suits you. Overall its like picking between Ford, Chevy and Dodge...Everyone here has a favorite.
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  #3  
Old 05-18-2013, 09:14 PM
rkvantiflin rkvantiflin is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Raleigh NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Four_Seasons View Post
Rob, I have run Husqvarna equipment similar to the posting you mentioned and they run great. My LZ6127 that I started out with stripes great without a striping kit. But I would watch out with the bigger WB's. One big reason is because the WB's have smaller engines (23) and bog down easier when loaded with larger decks. My Kohler 27 can plow through thick two foot grass and hardly bog down.As far as handhelds I have used both Stihl and Echo and by far prefer Stihl. Their trimmers feel better to me and the power of the 4-Mix engines is amazing. My advice is to go a dealer to get a better idea of what suits you. Overall its like picking between Ford, Chevy and Dodge...Everyone here has a favorite.
thanks for the reply. I do agree it seems like Stihl is #1. How big is your WB with the 27hp? I do agree now thinking about it the bigger WB isnt always better. If the grass is a little longer could I just take shorter cuts? Or does it not work like that? Also from your experience, is buying used worth it vs buying new?

Thanks

Rob
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  #4  
Old 05-18-2013, 09:25 PM
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Four_Seasons Four_Seasons is offline
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Location: Lexington, NC
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Actually my 27 Kohler is a ZTR. I mainly do larger lots and it's more beneficial for me to have the extra size and power. If your doing country club type lawns, then definitely go WB. If your doing "Country Lawns" then ZTR would be better for you. And with taking shorter cuts, you do what the customer wants. So if you mean going over it twice, then that can cost you time and money. But like I said, if your doing smaller lawns, you don't have much to worry about. Starting off, used is probably better so you have little/no debt. You really have to be careful though because your sellers are not always 100% honest. After buying my first machine a valve blew on my engine, and then my hydros went out. Needless to say, it ended up costing me about the same as if I would have bough new. And there were still some issues. If you can find a decent machine, then go used. Make sure you check EVERYTHING and don't be afraid to ask questions about anything. Do your research on the equipment online so you know what to look for and what the main issues are with them.
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  #5  
Old 05-18-2013, 09:41 PM
rkvantiflin rkvantiflin is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Raleigh NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Four_Seasons View Post
Actually my 27 Kohler is a ZTR. I mainly do larger lots and it's more beneficial for me to have the extra size and power. If your doing country club type lawns, then definitely go WB. If your doing "Country Lawns" then ZTR would be better for you. And with taking shorter cuts, you do what the customer wants. So if you mean going over it twice, then that can cost you time and money. But like I said, if your doing smaller lawns, you don't have much to worry about. Starting off, used is probably better so you have little/no debt. You really have to be careful though because your sellers are not always 100% honest. After buying my first machine a valve blew on my engine, and then my hydros went out. Needless to say, it ended up costing me about the same as if I would have bough new. And there were still some issues. If you can find a decent machine, then go used. Make sure you check EVERYTHING and don't be afraid to ask questions about anything. Do your research on the equipment online so you know what to look for and what the main issues are with them.
I ment instead of taking full 60 inch cuts couldn't I just take 50 inch cuts if the grass was longer? That's true, used machines are always a gamble. I think I will be doing some mix of country lawn and country club if that describes how even the land is. I was looking at some diesel zero turns and like the power and fuel economy but a decent used one goes for 5k+

thanks

Rob
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  #6  
Old 05-18-2013, 09:55 PM
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Four_Seasons Four_Seasons is offline
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Location: Lexington, NC
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Diesels are great for large fields and lawns but they are really heavy and are known to tear up the turf...Especially when it's wet. You could do the smaller cuts but also have to realize the slower blade tip speed. I'm sure it won't affect you that much though. If you do go with the WB's take a look at the Pro-Slide XP. A lot better than a sulky.
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  #7  
Old 05-28-2013, 11:13 PM
Victorsaur Victorsaur is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 78
Shindaiwa

As far as power equipment is concerned, Stihl, Echo, etc. are consistently the most popular. I've only run Shindaiwa equipment personally, but based on all that I've read on this site, they really cannot be beat... The only time that I've ever taken a Shindaiwa piece of equipment into the shop for repair was when i accidentally ran it over with my car (string trimmer). I'm still using it today, thing is a beast. There are stories of Shindaiwa equipment lasting 10 years plus with NO maintenance but perhaps a replaced spark plug. Japanese are master craftsmen that take pride in their work and it is reflected in this product line.
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  #8  
Old 05-31-2013, 05:22 PM
JohnnyRocker JohnnyRocker is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 683
Is Raleigh littered with government dependent laid off bums and mexicans mowing lawns under the table like Charlotte? If so....RUN!!! Too bad they dont have a burning american flag icon for this one.
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