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  #1  
Old 06-20-2003, 09:53 AM
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oleduke113 oleduke113 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Mid Mi.
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New of the nwest

I just discovered this site after midnight last night and couldn't leave it for about the next 3 hrs. So of course after checking out some of the post or threads as you call 'em here ,I just had to join. This SITE is truly a gift from the Great Grass God from up above. My name is John, I'm from the Frankenmuth-Sag. area here in mid Michigan. and want to get started in the mowing business. Brief history:Born and raised on a farm from the Thumb area of Mi. worked pretty hard most all my life and definitely not afraid of more. After the service, drove Michigan gravel trains for about 20 yrs. off and on. Being 54 found it to be a job better done by the younger gen. too much mental stress. Back in the early 70's it was a lot of fun to drive those big rigs, but now with all the regs. and rules and not that much pay for the responsibility that went with the job, the fun went out of it. Also had my own farm tiling and drainage business for 10 years, from 1976-1986. Did fairly well 'till the floods of 1985 came along, you'd think with all the rain we had in the fall of 85 there would have been a lot of work the following season, but it hurt my customers the- american farmer- the hardest and of course many couldn't afford to tile the next season. that's when that great outdoor occupation ended for me. So it was back to trucking. Till now and am willing able to start again. Can't keep a good man down. Have most all good equipment to start business, need help and info on billing and charging rates for the mid Mi. area. Thank you all for having me aboard and hope I can assist you good people with anything that might be of interest to you's. The oleduke fo Sag.
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Old 06-20-2003, 04:14 PM
Randy J Randy J is offline
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Location: Richmond, KY
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Hey good luck to you in starting up. As for charging, I'd recommend knowing what your costs are and basing your charges off that. I created an Excel sheet that added what my equipment costs, fuel & maintenance costs, depreciation costs (so I'd be able to replace the equipment as it wore out), and misc., all up. I divided it by the expected number of hours I'd be working throughout the year, and added my desired labor value. It's always good to be close to what your competitors are charging, but it won't do you any good if you're losing money.

Randy
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Old 06-20-2003, 04:56 PM
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oleduke113 oleduke113 is offline
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operating expences

Dear Randy thanks for the helpful reply. But I'm wondering for examle I bought a new Stihl FS-85 for 300.00 last year Would you know offhand how long it will last roughly with reasonable care, They don't take a lot of fuel but I know if you use it very much it could still add up. I never tried to wear one out LOL seems like it would outlast me. Thanks
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Old 06-20-2003, 05:09 PM
Randy J Randy J is offline
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I'm really not sure either, but I think I figured about 2 years? I actually built my spreadsheet based on a business I was contracted to buy. Because he already had equipment, my spread sheet was slightly different than what yours would be. It didn't work out, and purchasing the business is on hold for now. But I had built the business plan, my costs/hour spreadsheet, financial plans for 5 years, marketing plans including a flyer, etc. If there's anything I can send you an example of to help you get started, just let me know.

Randy
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  #5  
Old 06-20-2003, 09:39 PM
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Grassmechanic Grassmechanic is offline
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welcome oleduke - with reasonable care, that FS-85 will last many years. I had kids who worked for me in the past, beat the hell out of them and I still got at least 5 years out of them.

Mike
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Old 06-22-2003, 10:13 AM
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65hoss 65hoss is offline
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I have one Stihl FS85 with around 3000 hours on it. It gets used a lot and hard. Its on its 4th season and still as good as new. Another one has 3 seasons on it with hard employee use. Its still running great also.
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Old 06-22-2003, 10:38 PM
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oleduke113 oleduke113 is offline
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Location: Mid Mi.
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Stihl vs. Echo

I was just curious how you fella's rate the Echo to the Stihl? I have a friend with a mower, tiller, business etc. and about any other type of outdoors equipment a person would need, and he sells the Echo brand and swears by it as being the best. Just was wondering how the two compare?
Thanks, the oleduke of Sag.
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Old 06-23-2003, 07:46 AM
Randy J Randy J is offline
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I think it comes down to personal preference more than anything else. They're both top notch products. I have a Stihl FS85 that I love, but I don't know that it's any better than an Echo. I also have a Husqvarna chainsaw that is top notch, but I'm not sure it's better than Stihl either.

Randy
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Old 06-23-2003, 07:59 AM
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Grassmechanic Grassmechanic is offline
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I agree with Randy J - I don't think you could go wrong with either. I have an Echo and Stihl and they are both good, dependable machines.

Mike
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  #10  
Old 06-23-2003, 10:46 AM
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oleduke113 oleduke113 is offline
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Location: Mid Mi.
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saw competition

We use to put on wood cutting contest And all we ever used were the Husky's, They seemed to have a little better engine. Yea my buddies ran alcohol carbs. and tuned exhaust on them saws and would they scream!!! they would turn up about 15,000 R.P.M.s Ya had to have that power to make three cuts thru an 8" beam in about 5 seconds that included starting and picking the saw up from the ground. I know it sounds almost impossible but it could be done. There were a few little tricks to doing it. We sure had a good time all summer going to festivals and cutting contest. Well I'm giad to hear that trimmers are competitive with each other, they have to be in order to have a good product. But I just wondered if one had something over the other. Thanks for the positive input.
The oleduke of Sag.
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