Register free!
Search
 
     

The Green Industry's Resource Center


Click for Weather
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-06-2013, 03:58 PM
stom1204 stom1204 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 3
Maintenance in the field?

I'm helping my brothers put together a lawn maintenance company. I have the money to help them and more business sense, but I had a question about the equipment. A friend of mine has did everything besides picket in my front lawn to tell me its not a good idea. He says the reason is that my brothers can't fix equipment. So what happens if the mower or weed eater or anything stops in the middle of the job?

From reading posts, I don't thing everyone that owns a company knows how to repair on the spot, but is it enough of a deterrent to not do this? How do you handle when its a problem like this? do you double up on equipment to be on the safe side?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-06-2013, 04:48 PM
Patriot Services's Avatar
Patriot Services Patriot Services is online now
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tampa FL
Posts: 8,207
Its always easier to do in a shop. If you're not mechanically gifted you need options. Good eqipment to start with. Buy backups when you can. Find rental places that lawn gear. Starting with good stuff dramatically improves your odds. If you buy new don't hold it past the warranty period. Sometimes a piece is just too broke to field fix or I need parts. If you have to end the day short, oh well that's what spare days are for. On that note never guarantee a specific time or day to customers and you won't watse time giving explanations that they care about anyways.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-06-2013, 04:50 PM
dllawson dllawson is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Southeast, GA
Posts: 172
The first thing I would advise is to make sure you can stand to lose the money you give your brothers. Most owners succeed because they wonít eat if they fail. When something breaks, the owner still has to figure out how to get the job done. This business is tough and it will be hard for your brothers to make it if they are expecting you to bail them out of trouble. I would be much more concerned with their commitment level than their ability to fix equipment.

Sorry to get into your personal business....now to answer your questions.

1. If they have the desire and commitment to be successful, then they will figure out how to get equipment fixed. I doubt many new owners start out knowing how to repair all of their equipment in the field, but they quickly learn to repair what they can.
2. Find a good shop that can make repairs and return their equipment in a timely manner.
3. Don't worry about doubling up on equipment. Most new businesses do not have enough work to worry about a little down time from a broken piece of equipment, plus you can always rent in a pinch.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-06-2013, 04:56 PM
peeklandscaping's Avatar
peeklandscaping peeklandscaping is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Fairfield County CT
Posts: 244
I agree w PatriotServices -buy the best you can afford. I run solo but still carry 2 weedwackers (expensive ones too!) and 2 hedgetrimmers everywhere I go. I have no mechanical experience at all, but it's not so bad. Have a good relationship with your dealers, rental places, etc... if they like you and understand how you run things they are more likely to help out. Any yeah there are days where something will break or go wrong, and you have to truck equipment to the shop, and then your lawns will get backed up... but it happens. It hasn't affected me that much to not be in the business. number one thing though: get the best equipment out there and then look after it. Regular servicing, cleaning, greasing, and such.
Good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-06-2013, 05:09 PM
Patriot Services's Avatar
Patriot Services Patriot Services is online now
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tampa FL
Posts: 8,207
I'm not saying duplicates of all the expensive gear necessarily. But with two guys ,each having their own piece has its benefits on large jobs. A backup set could be a Ryobi split shaft combi setup. It would let you finish doing the job in a pinch for little cash outlay. Being unable to fish the current job would be your biggest concern.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-06-2013, 05:34 PM
peeklandscaping's Avatar
peeklandscaping peeklandscaping is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Fairfield County CT
Posts: 244
best system you can get is the stihl kombi-system. motor is like $300, and then you can just add stuff as you need to.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-06-2013, 05:53 PM
Patriot Services's Avatar
Patriot Services Patriot Services is online now
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tampa FL
Posts: 8,207
Quote:
Originally Posted by peeklandscaping View Post
best system you can get is the stihl kombi-system. motor is like $300, and then you can just add stuff as you need to.
It still is only one powerhead and if that breaks you have a bunch of useless attatchments. I assume he isn't spending his life savings to finance his brothers.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-06-2013, 06:01 PM
peeklandscaping's Avatar
peeklandscaping peeklandscaping is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Fairfield County CT
Posts: 244
ok you're right. just my .02, that's all
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-06-2013, 06:31 PM
stom1204 stom1204 is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patriot Services View Post
It still is only one powerhead and if that breaks you have a bunch of useless attatchments. I assume he isn't spending his life savings to finance his brothers.
No SHE is not! I want to help them to do better. I own a couple other businesses. In stead of giving them money all the time, I told them I'd help them create a path for themselves. (Younger brothers/Older more beautiful and motivated sister )This is what they came up with. I've been reading a lot on here and learned a lot even myself.

I think, if they start small it would be fine with just the mowing services, but my friend kinda of scared me with the equipment thing. He was adamant that it was dumb to help them when I physically would not be doing the work and they couldn't repair equipment. But I can nag them to death to make sure they do it as I always do.

There plan is to do what I pay someone to do. A guy comes around to do my lawn for $50 bi weekly. He's usually done withing 20 minutes. My yard is over 5K sqft but less than 10K sqft according to his pricing. Where his money comes in is when I needed fertilizer, and weed control, and to cut the hedges back, reestablish beds. That $50 job landed him $240 with the upgrades and it was still just one guy that did all the work within an hour. From what I saw, he did it faster having that zero turn mower instead of the push mowers so I told them they have to have that to move faster.

Either way, they decided to do this since they already do it for a lot of people on our parents street for years since they were early teens.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-06-2013, 07:14 PM
Patriot Services's Avatar
Patriot Services Patriot Services is online now
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tampa FL
Posts: 8,207
My apologies for assuming. If they stick to mowing its less problems. When you get into expensive hedge trimmer, edgers and pole saws the outlay and repairs can add up quick. If a ZTR goes down you can always use the push mowers as back up. Do they have a marketing plan? They are going to need more than a few family and friends. They have to pay overhead and you before they can pay themselves. I hope they understand that and don't have delusions of grandeur. Companies spend years before they turn real profits and can pay themselves a real salary. Its mid season and new customers are hard to come by.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
costs , equipment , startup

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:15 AM.

Page generated in 0.08037 seconds with 7 queries