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Old 02-24-2005, 03:09 PM
C&L C&L is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: mn
Posts: 11
Please help me

Wow, great web site!
I am looking for some advice. I have read most post here and havenít found the exact answer's I am looking for. I have run a successful landscape business for the last five years. I am in the process of entering the lawn care market. I will be taking my pesticide applicators license test in a few weeks. My plan (which could change after I hear some input) is to buy a used enclosed v-nose drive on, drive off trailer. I would have it professionally stickered up. The thought behind this is that the extra money spent on the trailer is good marketing? I already own Sthil power brooms, weed whackers, chain saw and a blower that see sporadic use in the landscape division. I thought I would buy the trailer, a larger mower (main question) and a trimmer mower (another question). I was thinking of keeping just one or two (any thoughts here) employees busy two to three days a week. I am planning on about 18-25 commercial accounts, maybe some residential.
What kind of mower should I start with? A new Kubota 60" zero turn, a used walk behind? There is such a huge difference here. I don't want the stuff breaking down all the time. I want to keep my overhead under control. I am looking at 9k to 40k sq ft size accounts. Also I figure our overhead based on gross volume. My early projections on this venture put my overhead around 29% of my gross volume leaving 70% for labor and profit. I figured my fertilizer into my overhead. Does this seem to be concurrent with your businesses? Where do you like to see your net profit? I am looking at bidding around $50. per man hr. I will bid contract, but figure my time do the job based the $50. mark. Sound right?
I will stop here for now.

I really hope to gain some insight here.

Thanks in advance.

Chad
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2005, 07:48 PM
plateau lawn care plateau lawn care is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: georgia
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If you have the money, cutting that size lawns get a rider and a walk behind and a 21 inch push. That should take care of any problem that should arise. Walk behind for any hills a rider couldn't hold. Also get hydro's not belt drives
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2005, 09:02 AM
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westwind westwind is offline
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Location: Minnesota, Zone 4
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you can charge more for mowing, depends on where the clients are in minnesota. as for machines that also depends on where you are located. i would choose whoever has the closest dealers. 52in. cut has got to be the minimum, for those type pf accounts. trim mower, do you mean 21in, or a larger commercial unit for gates like a 32 or 36. i am located in the west metro. and i seem to be able to get 1.00 to 1.75 dollars an hour. i am not the cheapest on the block. good luck!
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Old 02-25-2005, 11:16 AM
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TScapes TScapes is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 456
Quote:
I thought I would buy the trailer, a larger mower (main question) and a trimmer mower (another question). I was thinking of keeping just one or two (any thoughts here) employees busy two to three days a week. I am planning on about 18-25 commercial accounts, maybe some residential.
What kind of mower should I start with? A new Kubota 60" zero turn, a used walk behind? There is such a huge difference here. I don't want the stuff breaking down all the time. I want to keep my overhead under control. I am looking at 9k to 40k sq ft size accounts.
This is a big debate amongst landscape companies, including myself. (Riders vs. Walkbehinds) I personally feel that your clientele will determin your needs. I have 100% commercial and do anything from 10acres to 10,000 sq. ft. of turf. My one account that has 10 acres, is a mall. I can actually cut this property just as quickly using 2 48" walkbehinds on velkes than with one 61" ztr and a 48" w/ velke. Plus, on cost factor alone, you can purchase (2) walkbehinds for a little over the average price of a 60"+ ztr. Not to mention the versatility that it gives you. Several companies won't bid on a property unless they can get their large ztr on it. What they don't understand is that it costs them more to opperate that bigger mower per hour than it does a mid mower.
A two man crew should generate atleast $100k-200k in annual sales. That figures to be $50k per person. Whether that means you have one property or 25, it still should come out the same. Personally, I believe it takes just as much time and effort to sell the larger clients as it does the small residential, only with much less "hand-holding" during the year. Good Luck!
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  #5  
Old 02-25-2005, 12:16 PM
C&L C&L is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westwind
i seem to be able to get 1.00 to 1.75 dollars an hour. i am not the cheapest on the block.
did you mean per minute? or am i confused?
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  #6  
Old 02-25-2005, 12:21 PM
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westwind westwind is offline
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Location: Minnesota, Zone 4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C&L
did you mean per minute? or am i confused?
yes per minute.
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