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Old 05-26-2010, 09:12 AM
batchley batchley is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 6
Need Some Advice from the Pros Please

Hey Guys-I'm seriously considering starting a lawn maintenance company and have a couple of questions. I'm 26 and in the commercial insurance business with a large company and want to get away from the corporate bull so I'm thinking about doing what I like best which is being outside and mowing/ landscaping.

My first question is on buying a good zero turn mower: Should I make the investment and go ahead and buy a good one right off the bat? I already have a small Kubota riding mower and a couple of push mowers, trimmers, etc. So I'm debating on whether I should just start off with what I have or make an initial investment on some nice equipment?

If I buy a ZT mower what should I get to start off with? I don't really want to break the bank but I also know you get what you pay for with stuff like this. I would like to hear your opinions on the best ZT mowers. I really need something that is pretty simple to work on for general maintenance purposes, i.e. changing belts, removing deck, changing blades, oil, etc. - I'm not the greatest mechanic in the world but know I will be learning this if I get into this industry.

Any other advice would also be appreciated.

Thanks for your advice. God Bless
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:34 AM
Trevor8's Avatar
Trevor8 Trevor8 is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: IA
Posts: 750
I would start off with a 36 or 48 inch walk behind mower unless you know your going to start off mowing big areas. If you have a 21 inch WB then go with the 48. I would go with an exmark turf tracer hp.
36" Exmark TTHP with bull rider sulky
21" Toro personal pace
Stihl KM 55 with weed eater and edger
stihl HH blower
Homelite BB blower
5X8 trailer
Toyota Tundra
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:00 AM
bohiaa's Avatar
bohiaa bohiaa is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Bellville Texas, near Houston
Posts: 5,223
No, Dont purchase anything.

wait untill your company can support it.

when you land a larger contract that will support this ZTR then go shopping
Dont even talk to people who cant purchase your product or service.........Dave Thomas.
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:48 AM
batchley batchley is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 6
That is what I was thinking. I have about $5K in savings to get started with and need a good idea on "must haves" to get started with.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:03 PM
360ci 360ci is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 989
Clients first, then equipment you'll need to handle the properties, get a trailer that can carry the equipment with perhaps a bit of room for growth, and a vehicle that can easily pull it all to where you need it to go.

As mentioned, don't buy anything big until you get set up for larger lots. If you use your savings, and end up financing equipment without the work then it'll all be over before it starts.
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Old 05-28-2010, 03:46 PM
Wayne's Lawn Service's Avatar
Wayne's Lawn Service Wayne's Lawn Service is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 184
Do you know what you are going to charge for your services?

Equipment is important and a very important part of your success. Decide on your equipment that you have now and also the equipment that you plan to buy in the near future. Not enough consideration is given to the goal setting and planning part of our businesses in most cases.

I started my business in 1979 and had no idea why I was doing what I was doing other than I was doing a lot of it. My biggest mistake was that I had no idea what it was costing me to mow a lawn. I was letting my competitors set the price that I was charging for my services. The main question that you need to ask yourself before beginning this or any business is WHAT IS IT COSTING ME PER HOUR to operate.

Sounds simple, but as an industry this is a common question that goes unanswered. That's why so many contractors (not just on this site) ask someone what they should charge for a specific job. What your competition is charging is important, and does require consideration, but more importantly, do you know why you charge what you charge. Because without knowing that, your company has a greater chance of failure than success. That's why the failure rates are so high for this industry.

I am not trying to be a know it all, but any successful company regardless of the industry knows what it costs them per hour to operate. Don't cut yourself short. Start out on the right side and have a complete understanding of your costs. This was the biggest mistake we made in our business.

If you want to take the guesswork out of your bidding process, check out our bidding package at Being a full service lawn and landscaping business since 1979, we know what a lawn guy is looking for. Our information is applicable to a one truck operation or a multi-crew company. Check out our website for testimonials from companies of many different sizes.

Good luck!
Wayne's Lawn Service
Profits Unlimited
How to bid mowing and landscaping jobs
Manuals & CDs Available to help you make your Business more PROFITABLE & PROFESSIONAL
Louisville, KY
Since 1979
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