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Old 03-11-2005, 10:39 PM
The LawnSmith The LawnSmith is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Phenix City, Alabama
Posts: 67
I am a solo part timer (Weekends/evenings). I started 3 years ago and made a deal with a customer who had a Murray 38" Rider to cut his yard for the rest of the season for the mower. I bought a cheap Weedeater brand trimmer, a Murray 3 wheeled edger, and a cheap Ryobi blower, and hauled everything in the back of my pickup. I thought I was set out to make a killing. All of the equipment died out before the fall of that first year. It was embarrasing to show up to a property and something wouldn't start or crapped out in the middle of the job. I was making some decent money, but didn't quite see the big picture of what it takes to sustain my business venture. My lesson learned was that homeowner equipment won't cut it.
I am still very far away from owning the stuff I want, but I'm buying better equipment as I can. I read all the posts here from the folks who have been there and done that, and except for an occasional smart#$% comment or two, they know what they are talking about. Everyones situation is a bit different, especially for the solo guys. I have a couple John Deere Riders that I have maintained religously and thay run like they did when I bought them. You have got to upgrade as much as you can, keep your blades sharp, oil changed regularly, and put aside money for the unexpected. I would love to do this type of work full time, and maybe one day I will. Just realize that it takes time not only to have the equipment you want, but as you upgrade your equipment, you are also upgrading your knowledge base of what it takes to be a professional in this trade. I learn all the time about this business through my own mistakes, and from the real pros who do this everyday.

Good Luck
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Old 03-11-2005, 11:09 PM
SoloMow SoloMow is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Texas
Posts: 172
Originally Posted by twins_lawn_care
here's what I would do...

considering what you have to work with, and your short term goals...

buy a brand new homeowner model toro mower, say $300-$400
this should last you a year no problem, and if not, they should still warranty it.

get a hand held blower, maybe $100 or so range.

get a commercial grade trimmer.

I am saying this as it is exactly how I started, with the exception I went cheap on a trimmer the first year, then got one the second year. the time I saved by not reloading line, and easier trimming, and less back fatigue was well worth it, plus, it will last years! so about $250-$300 there.

so you're in the $650-$800 range with those items. you'll need some others, but buy as you need them, and as you grow.

by all means, if you can afford sommercial grade off the bat, it is a much wiser thing to do (as I have learned) but you have to start somewhere.

Good luck with it, and remember to reinvest in your business if you are serious about it. it's very hard to do once you get those paychecks coming in, but where the business grows to is all up to how you handle it.

Yes! Sometimes good advice is simple.
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