Buy new equipment - Help me decide!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Prestige-Lawncare, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    The time is getting close to go full time, after 31 years on the old job! Over the winter months I will be making the swing to go full time next spring with my LCO. If things go the way they are looking, I will have about $25,000. from stock options to bank roll my investment in my new equipment, therefore avoiding any payments on equipment while growing my business to a limited customer base (looking to schedule myself to only 4 days a week ... with the 5th day open for extra jobs, catch up, or just a 4 day week) While I will be on the downside of my working career (another 10 years to work at the most) ... my now 16 year old son can be on the upside of his if he so chooses.


    Anyway ... the topic of this discussion is for equipment manufacturers. I've really considered Exmark (3 local dealers - good service) ... but am wondering about others like Scag, Gravely and Dixie Chopper (manufactured just west of me here in Indy) ... or maybe others. Also, what about trimmers and blowers? I've read so much about so many now the numbers are just a blur!

    I'm kinda looking at a WB, maybe a 60" ZTR, a 16' enclosed trailer, and new trimmers and blower.

    Throw me some ideas here guys.

    Dave
    .
     
  2. qualitylawnmanagement

    qualitylawnmanagement LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,001

    Get your self a Dixie Chopper SP2800-60in. I love this mower so much that I am ordering another one in the spring. Don't get me wrong Ex mark is a good mower and all, but try and push the control levers after driving a Dixie Chopper. It's almost like doing bench presses lol. And as far as enclosed trailers, I like Pace Summit's.
     
  3. Jaeger

    Jaeger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    Not that knowledgeable on the large mowing machines, although Ferris is a unique and rugged machine with high end mechanics all over it. Give it a look.

    Trimmers and Blowers: The Honda trimmers 4 cycle is a great big powerful machine and very capable. Very heavy, but built rugged in every way.
    Redmax and Tanaka I like in both blowers and trimmers. Shindaiwa is equally excellent and make well built lasting machines.
    Good Luck!
     
  4. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    Well, first is your market evaluation. What are your target properties? 1/4 acre? 5 acres? That is your first decision and the equipment will follow what properties you plan to service.

    Depending on the lawn sizes in indy, I would look into a mini Z if you have smaller accnts or a mid size walk. I run a gravely 44z and it has done very well for me, they are getting expensive now so I see, but worth a look. Exmark is a good name as well.

    Trimmers, edgers, all I use is stihl aside from my blower which is a redmax8000.

    I currently have a fs130r trimer, HS80 hedge trimmer, FC100 edger, MS361 saw and a few other handhelds, only problem in the flock was my stolen FS100RX which had a bad coil about 6 months after I bought it, replaced under warranty and it ran like a champ till some jackass stole it.

    As for trailers, I myself am going to get a 7X16 enclosed in the spring, that seems the ideal size IMO. 25K is a good amount to get going, hope you already have a truck right? Good luck.
     
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,307

    I would suggest you consider getting an account before making decisions on using stock options to purchase equipment. The Scag equipment line is very solid I wouldn't blink on buying some of those units used. The highest risk item is usually the engine and they don't cost that much. The Echo line of trimmers/blowers is solid and easy to service if you plan on working on them.
     
  6. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,335

    If I was starting out full time right now, I would run a 50in ZTR (Dixon or Dixie Chopper) a 36in Walker, and a Exmark or Toro Proline 21". The big ZTR would be able to quickly do larger areas, and the Walker would be good for the gated backyards and smaller lawns. For trimmers, I have had real good luck with Stihl stuff.
     
  7. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,246

    Redmax ebz8000 is a good blower but is falling a part. Going with the shin 8510:waving:
     
  8. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    This is a good reply ... and one that I feel I should answer the questions so others will know more about where I stand.

    ......................................


    "What are your target properties? 1/4 acre? 5 acres? That is your first decision and the equipment will follow what properties you plan to service."

    On the residential side ... most of the lawns in this area (west of Indy) are ½ to 1 acre in the subdivisions. Outside the subdivisions are anywhere from 2 - 5 acres. The commercial stuff is mostly strip malls, and smaller, free standing businesses.​


    "As for trailers, I myself am going to get a 7X16 enclosed in the spring, that seems the ideal size IMO. 25K is a good amount to get going, hope you already have a truck right?"


    Yes .... I have an '05 F-350 4x4 Super Duty, 6.0 Powerstroke. So far ... as for the trailers I've looked at ... the Haulmarks look the best. I looked at some Cargo Mates today ... and I can't say I was overly impressed with them (at least not the ones this guy had in stock anyway. And where most of these trailers are made is only 2½ - 3 hours north of me, so picking one up at the manufacturer is an option too. Many people are selling trailers this way now-a-days. Order from them ... save $300. by picking it up.​
     
  9. 4curbappeal

    4curbappeal LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 761

    Sounds like every thing is very well thougt out! Check out Hustler. Good luck!!!
     
  10. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    Ok well in that case I would recommend a 60''ZTR as your main mower, do the subdivisions have gated backyards? If so, what is the size? If 90% of the gates you see are 38'' or larger go with a 36'' as your smaller mower, if they are 32'' wide then get a 21'' proline or honda. Base your equipment on your needs. If you feel you need two large mowers then a 60'' ZTR with a 48''WB is a good combination.

    Haulmark is a good brand when it comes to trailers as well as Wells Cargo.
     

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