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Basic tools to start

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by muddy00, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. muddy00

    muddy00 LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Posts: 68

    What does everyone think is needed to start a residential mowing busineess and aprox cost of each?
  2. Zach76

    Zach76 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    A lot of variables there buddy. Do you have a truck? trailer? any homeowner grade equip that you can start with? What size yards will you be doing? I'll offer you any help that I can as I am still new at this and am doing the purchasing routine right now myself, but I think any member of this site could spend hours if they tried to answer your question and cover all the bases.
  3. muddy00

    muddy00 LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Posts: 68

    I have a truck and trailer, so that's covered,

    Most 1/4 -1/2 acre lot 's pretty flat around here. I'm thinking some sort of o-turn radius and some sort of push mower to get inside yards w/ fences. Trimmer is just basic I guess. What am I missing?
  4. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,939

    1) Mower- $100- $5,000
    2) Trimmer-$40- $400
    3) Blower $60-$500 or, use mower as blower
    4) Liability Insurance- (of course you planned to get it, you can put an eye out with that thing)talk to your local agent, or two..
    5) Business Liscence-they'll call you as soon as you advertise..
    6).......there's more, stick around.......
    Welcome to Lawnsite :D
  5. Zach76

    Zach76 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    How much are you looking at spending? That could have an effect on the mower mostly. Get the best trimmer you can afford (approx $350-$400), a good backpack blower ($300-$350), a stick edger ($300-$400). A ZTR is gonna cost you a bundle, but you may be able to get a wb with sulky for about half the cost and have the same size cut. Just something to consider when you're starting out since money can be tight. I opted for a wb and no sulky since I'm not doing this full time yet. I need the exercise according to my wife. 2004 is my year to upgrade a lot of my stuff, so we're in similar boats, and I know I can run very efficiently with this setup at an approximate total of $10K including a new trailer and existing wb mower. Hope this helps.

    Oh yeah, and don't forget the little stuff like oil, filters, replacement blades, spark plugs, trimmer line, etc etc etc.

    Good luck to you my friend.
  6. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,338

    Your main mower prices can vary what are you in the market for
    Cheap too expensive
    Walk Behind belt driven 2-3 k new good ballpark
    Walk behind hydro {floating deck optional} 4.5-6.5 k new
    3 wheeler this is old school stuff 6-9 k
    ZTR zero turn riders turf tigers lazers depending on size and power you can have 18hp or as much as 33, 5-14k most are around 8 k new.

    Next you need a good trimmer 275-350. I like shindawas your choice of course.

    Your gona want a decent backpack 400-600. I like the stihl br420s because of the triger finger but you have to make your own choice there.

    Edging isn’t that important to start you can simply hold your trimmer on end and cut 90 degree edges like that your get better with time.

    Your probably want a bagger for your mower walk behinds you can get nice side baggers for around 300 but ZTRs are powered the trac vac I use cost 2 k bringing the lazer to 10 k

    You may want to own a 2nd push type of mower. Commercial grade are around 600-800 but you can go home owner for a few hundred something to consider don’t buy one till you are faced with a lawn that you cant do with out one. Why buy what you don’t need.

    Your other 2 concerns will be clean ups and trimming shrubs and bushes.

    Clean ups are first to worry about you will already have a backpack but you will probably want a push blower and possibly a dethatcher.

    The blowers run 700-3k depending what you want a good 8-10 hp will probably be fine for now

    Dethatchers don’t buy one unless you really have some work lined up for this or intend to use it as part of all your spring clean ups.

    Then there’s trimming equipment hedge trimmers hand held are 300 or so and extension are around 600 plus you’d need a ladder as well you can hold off on this till june or july.

    That should get you though till fall other items are rakes shovels brooms tarps large trash cans gas cans perhaps a compressor to change mower blades. Well I think I'm done with my list hope it helps.
  7. MikesLS

    MikesLS LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 35

    Hey Guys :
    Well I guess I am also a newbee also I`ve been doing this for 2
    years full time last summer. I love my job!:rolleyes:
    What I want to know is it possible to make a living doing this without hiring help ?
    I have tried to do everything without a helper ,is this feasable?

    P.S. thanx enjoy I enjoy the forum!
  8. mow2nd

    mow2nd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 603

    $400 for a new weedeater? I hope you guys are using K.Y
  9. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,503

    If most of your yards are less than 1/2 acre i would consider a 36 inch walk behind, most gates are 36 inch and that way you would have 1 mower to do both with. Im not sure of the price of them, then a good string trimmer they vary from 200 dollars and up. I know this will stir up a debate but if you need a blower just for cleaning a sidewalk or small drive way a smaller hand held will work price 50 dollars and up, keep in mind they are not very good for large leaf clean ups though, hope this helps some
  10. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    A lot depends on how much you have to work with. You can start bare bones as I did, and slowly save up until you can get better equipment. I started with craftsman 21" mower, blower, and line trimmer. I know, it's junk, but it got me started. I learned a heck of a lot during the first year, and a lot to do with quality products. This year was able to move up to some toro, and Stihl equipment, and a full size truck. Plan is every year, to keep improving, but never spending more than I have.
    A key is to know how much you can afford, and work at it with what you have. In time, this way, if you decide to continue with it, you will not be out as much. If you have the money up front, and are dedicated to working in the industry, then I say get the best you can afford now, but as I mentioned, it depends on how much you have to work with.

    Maybe let us know how much you have to start, like is it $500, or $5000, and you might get some better advice.

    I think we started spending about $500. Slowly as the year went on, we learned, and bought more things as we needed them.

    Good luck with the business!

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