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  #21  
Old 09-01-2011, 01:31 AM
johnny_boy02 johnny_boy02 is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Yuba City, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawnguy48 View Post
Thanks alot i guess its time to start looking to see what i can find!!

Watch craigslist everyday. Good deals pop up often.

I started with a 21" commercial mower, commercial trimmer, commercial edger, and homeowners blower. I do mostly small to medium yards so I dont need much else. You can get all of this for under 3k dont buy cheap crap. I had a truck already though.

I didnt buy things till I needed them, for example a hedge trimmer. I had a customer ask how much to trim her hedges, gave her a price she agreed and off I wen to the store. That job paid for half of the hedge trimmer so I didnt have a tool sitting around unused for months. Same deal with my pole saw and trailer. I worked out of the back of my truck till I needed the trailer to complete a job. But I could have rented one.

I started in April and all my stuff is paid off and mostly new. This type of plan doesnt really work for the guys that have to buy big zero turns, trailers, etc.
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  #22  
Old 09-02-2011, 12:28 AM
chapandrew6 chapandrew6 is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 35
I have been cutting a few yards the last 2 years. This year at one point I had 8 yards. That was while I worked a full time 8-5 day job (it sucked in the spring with all the rain we had). I got fired from that job and HATE the new job so if I havent found anything by spring I am going into lawncare.

I currently have:
(1) Chevy Silverado 1500
(1) 6' x 10' trailer (it has a tall gate in the back and cuts my fuel mileage down to 13mpg once I hook up to it)
(1) Cub Cadet 50" Zero Turn (its a residential but it works just fine for right now)
(1) 21" push mower
(1) Echo trimmer (not sure of model)
(1) Echo blower (not sure of model)

If i go full time on this in the spring I am going to try and find a 36" - 42" walk behind so I can get into some of the gates and would work if the Cub died in the middle of a job. Also want to get a Stihl trimmer that I can also put the bush trimmer attachment onto so I would have a backup trimmer. Not as worried about a backup blower as I can always use a broom / mower to blow it off.

I think that is my biggest fear is that right now I dont have any kind of backup equipment and if something break I am not sure what I will do but take it to the shop and hope it doesnt take very long. If I go into this in the spring I will be solo and want to get about 30 yards or so. I will end up putting an add in the church paper as well as getting some magents for the truck. I got 5 of my yards by posting ad's on craigslist.

Once winter would hit I can sit back and drink some beer because I wont put a plow on my truck.
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  #23  
Old 09-02-2011, 11:29 AM
GlynnC GlynnC is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Nashville Tennessee
Posts: 469
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny_boy02 View Post
Watch craigslist everyday. Good deals pop up often.

I started with a 21" commercial mower, commercial trimmer, commercial edger, and homeowners blower. I do mostly small to medium yards so I dont need much else. You can get all of this for under 3k dont buy cheap crap. I had a truck already though.

I didnt buy things till I needed them, for example a hedge trimmer. I had a customer ask how much to trim her hedges, gave her a price she agreed and off I wen to the store. That job paid for half of the hedge trimmer so I didnt have a tool sitting around unused for months. Same deal with my pole saw and trailer. I worked out of the back of my truck till I needed the trailer to complete a job. But I could have rented one.

I started in April and all my stuff is paid off and mostly new. This type of plan doesnt really work for the guys that have to buy big zero turns, trailers, etc.
I like this answer--list of starting equip and method of adding additional equip.
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  #24  
Old 09-04-2011, 01:12 AM
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yardude yardude is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Orange Co, CA
Posts: 24
It has been mentioned but since you are not starting up right away, check out Craigslist daily & you can get some killer deals. Don't buy someone's junk. Be selective. I found a Husky 326 used for $100. This trimmer was used maybe 5 times from a homeowner. I also found a used Echo PS255 hand held blower for $100 at a local lawnmower shop used. Again this was in very good condition & he gave me a 90 warranty on it. Get the items you need to get you going & then buy other items as you need them as you grow. Chances are, you are not going to have 40-50 weekly accounts from the beginning unless you buy a business full of customers. Therefore, you are not going to need as much gear when you first start, but again can grow the business & purchase as you go. I see deals on trailers all the time used, an item you can get away buying used.
Best of luck with your endeavor & keep your eyes open for deals!
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  #25  
Old 09-04-2011, 07:46 AM
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ALC-GregH ALC-GregH is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 7,053
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexschultz1 View Post
good luck with the start up, remember this is your future, your life. Dont take shortcuts on anything as it will only come to bite you in the as$. Whats your company name, wheres the website? any flyers? its fun to talk about starting a business but how serious are you if you havent even put the effort into the small stuff yet. Being a professional is easy, but its a lot of work at first. Dont undersell yourself, you have the balls to stand up and create a company from nothing, that says a lot about who you are. this is only the beginning of a long journey for you, and might i say, you will enjoy every minute of it. Now go buy your set-up load it up, look at it, take a deep breath and realize that you have made the best decision of your life. NOW GET TO WORK, you have a legacy to create
Lets not make it sound like a trip to paradise. He will have times when he wished he was still working a blue collar job, or even working for Ronald McDonald.
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  #26  
Old 09-04-2011, 08:34 AM
yardguy28 yardguy28 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,465
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALC-GregH View Post
Lets not make it sound like a trip to paradise. He will have times when he wished he was still working a blue collar job, or even working for Ronald McDonald.
if that isn't the truth i don't know what is.

these "times" can last for days, weeks, months, hell even whole seasons.

i'm in one right now. the season started off with more work than i could handle and so much rain i could barely get the work done.

since june we've had very little rain and i've gotten comfortable with short work days and even short work weeks. finding it very hard to get motivated to do any work when i do have it. right now getting out of the industry sounds pretty good to me.

but i do know once i work through it, it'll be good again. always has been.
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  #27  
Old 09-04-2011, 10:51 AM
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bobcat48 bobcat48 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Lansing IL
Posts: 3,180
Used walk behind
21'' mower
Blower
Trimmer
Echo and stihl,redmax,husqvarna,kawaski are all good for handhelds that is pretty much some the basic pieces of equipment you will need and walk behind scag,bobcat and exmark and 21'' honda or toro,craftsman.
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2011 Ford f450 Dump
Haulmark enclosed 16'
2 Wright stander 48" x
Wright 36" RH 07"
Redmax trimmer
Echo srm 225
Stihl fs90
Redmax hb28
Redmax eb7500 backpack blower
Rubbermaid cans 32gal
Solo backpack sprayer
A few more things..
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  #28  
Old 09-04-2011, 12:02 PM
plc87 plc87 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 119
My best advice is to stay away from debt completely. I saved and had the luxury to be able to save up 15k to start my business so i pretty much bought whatever I wanted (within reason) and boy am I glad I did! Better equipment makes a big difference.

Work your regular job and figure out how much money you want to save. Keep working your regular job and save DOUBLE that amount and you should be good to go. It takes a lot of money, you think oh this is all i'll need then something breaks or you realize you "need" this and "need" that!
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  #29  
Old 09-05-2011, 12:15 PM
GrassGuerilla GrassGuerilla is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: St. Louis Missouri
Posts: 1,418
My best advice is to start looking for a good used walk behind now. Off season bargains are available. Something between 32-44 inches ideally (or whatever is best suited to your target market.) Dont buy a 33" (Troybilt, cub cadet etc) those machines aren't commercial, and cannot pull a sulkey. Your best bet is to find somebody selling their "gate" or "backup mower". $1000-$1500 should buy a decent gear drive (I prefer Toro T-bars). If you live (and plan to work) in an older neighborhood, don't buy a 60" mower that won't fit through all the old small gates. Know your target area, buy appropriately. A sulky or velkey, would be a huge benefit. But not essential (you can always buy one later). Same goes for the basic handhelds, (trimmer and blower). End of season, with new models coming means bargains are out there now.

I agree with not buying all the specialty tools until you need them. Just budget and save for appropriate commercial tools as needed.

For your first season, residential customers should be your target (IMHO). With a bit of experience under your belt, you will be better equipped to bid and acquire commercial, and or brokerage accounts. Learn the basics before you try to swim with the "sharks".

Finally, since nobody else has said it. Don't blow your whole life savings counting on making money in your first weeks or months. Keep enough in the bank to pay your bills on time. Just because you "got the work" doesn't mean they will pay when you'd like them to. It's tough to know when the money will come in. Don't count on it. It would be good if you could keep working another reg job as long as possible. Regular income early on will be an advantage.

Good luck,
GG
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  #30  
Old 09-05-2011, 01:07 PM
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Richard Martin Richard Martin is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Greenville, NC
Posts: 14,550
I started with one of these and it looked just like this one except mine didn't have the collection unit. I also had a broom and a Craftsman $100 special trimmer. I used to load this stuff into the back of my Chevy S-10 and go to work, I started upgrading in my second year.
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