Comercial VS NON-Comercial

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Green-Cuts, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. Green-Cuts

    Green-Cuts LawnSite Member
    Posts: 154

    Hi

    I am looking at starting mowing lawns next summer and am not sure if I am going to have the money to by comercial grade equipment. Was wondering what the thought were about using non-comercial equipment for the first year?

    Thanks
    Brandon
     
  2. Pro-lawns

    Pro-lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    thast how i first started
    just rember to save your money and get comercial Equitment as you go
     
  3. DaveRave07

    DaveRave07 LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 69

    If you can even find a older used walkbehind that fits in your budget it will make your life so much easier. That being said it can be done without, its how I was for my first half season. After doing that half season and upgrading its a big difference. Just save your money and upgrade as soon as possible.

     
  4. S man

    S man LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,562

    Commercial equipment makes a difference with bigger equipment like riders and ztrs. I use residential push mowers and are fine for a small operation. But I like my commercial grade handhelds like my redmax trimmer and echo blower and saw. I'm going to get a echo hedge trimmer soon.
     
  5. Hard Worker

    Hard Worker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    The first couple of years we used all non-commercial mowers until we could justify spending the money on commercial grade mowers. Boy, you really do appreciate those commercial mowers once your able to justify using them.

    Remember not to get the "cart before the horse".
     
  6. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    the homeowner stuff will breakdown alot.... if you can fix stuff yourself, you can get buy for the first year or at least mostly through it.....you will have alot of stuff break......sve and get a commercial mower and all asap....it will make you more money in the long run, just use what you have and pay cash for some new commercial equipment into the season
     
  7. JCinTx

    JCinTx LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 30

    When I first started in this business I didn’t have much money to invest, so I bought a Murray 21” mower from Walmart!! lol …but, I did buy a new commercial trimmer, first one I started with was the Green Machine split boom trimmer/edger and an Echo blower,…figured if I went with crappy residential hand tools I’d be spending more time pulling ropes and cleaning spark plugs than making money! I believe I spent about $700 on all the equipment!! After about 4 months I was able to buy a used toro 36” walk behind and it made all the difference in speed and efficiency on my jobs, and I ran that used mower for about 5 more years until I started having problems with it, and once you have to continually run back and forth during the work day to your local repair shop for different problems, in my opinion, it’s not worth the headache, loss of time, and employee cost. My recommendation, if it works into your budget, would be to buy a good used 36” walk behind, you can put it on front yards and the majority of the backs(you’ll learn little tricks to get that 36 in a back yard if you run into gate that is a little too tight, there are ways around it!) get in and get out (w/o sacrificing quality), and maybe a lower end echo commercial trimmer and blower. I’d think you could do it for around $1500. I think one of the biggest mistakes that I see in this business is individuals running out to buy/finance $10k of brand new equipment and don’t even have their first yard yet, or just a few yards. Get a little experience and get a good solid footing in the business first with minimal expense, then all the new goodies will come. The attrition rate is very high in this business(really in any business!), so run lean and don’t bury yourself before you get started, and have a plan with a solid budget. It can be a very rewarding business, so good luck!!….you’re already ahead in the game, you found this site, there is so much invaluable information here!! I found it several years ago, but didn’t pay much mind to it, and just started reading it about two months ago, what a great collective of knowledge and shared experiences! glty
    JC
     
  8. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    i started with residential grade stuff, still use some of it now. But, i use mostly commercial stuff now, its a HUGE difference over the residential stuff, but, i think it would be fine to start with the residential grade stuff for your first year (or more if you wanted to just keep saving your money)
     
  9. jbell113

    jbell113 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 654

    To be honest ..if I did it over again I would atleast get a commercial mower. Exmark has a payment plan ....no payments for 12 mnths or $79 a month for 24 mnths. Either one requires no money down.
     
  10. BCFLawnLandscape

    BCFLawnLandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 333

    I started with residential stuff, bought the commercial stuff as the accounts added up, made it through half a year before I upgraded. Don't wanna buy all the stuff and not get any work for it. Fixed costs bury alot of people. It is inexpensive to buy commercial though with some decent credit. I mow with Cub Cadet. They have a plan where its no interest for 3 years. An excellent buy! Hope this little bit of info helped!
     

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