commercial vs. sub commercial equip.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fga, May 21, 2004.

  1. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    Like every product out there from cars to couches, about 5 - 6 years of service, and its time to think about buying new equipment.
    The thing is, originally, i bought the best that was available, and still have all that equipment in use today. But I continuously see other, much larger companies with less then commercial equipment. It's got me thinking, maybe I don't need the absolute best there is out there. If i can buy a push mower for $300 rather then $700. If it breaks 3 years later, i'm still ahead. I just bought an SRM 210, for $189. Now I know its not as powerful as a larger model, but this is my second one, and its light and easy to use. Not to mention a hundred something dollars cheaper then a higher model.
    This is the last year of the of the lawnboy 2 stroke, staggered wheel. I love that machine and was planning on buying another one this year, but have been debating buying a lower model do to the costs and my overall goal of keeping overhead down and profits up.
    I personally don't care anymore if the guy in the truck next to me looks over and giggles at my craftsman chainsaw. As long as I'm making money, i just don't care.
    Downtime on a sub par machine is not good either, i know.

    Especially now as I have an employee or 2, and more down the line. Do you think they care if you spent a fortune on you machines? The other day, i got lucky right before I realized my guy put the straight fuel in a 2stroke trimmer. Where do you draw the line? I'm not being cheap, just trying to look at the bottom line more then used to when I was younger.
  2. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,266

    You're not going to get many people on this forum to pat you on the back for thinking that cheaping out on your equipment is some sort of virtue. I draw the line at obvious homeowner types of equipment. I might be willing to bend that rule a bit if it were something that I would be maybe using once a year or so.
  3. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    Not my goal buddy. What you call cheaping out, I call cost effective.
    i probably, with alittle belt tightenong bought a new truck this year, but went with an older one, $3000 vs. $34,000. didn't want the overhead. Not cheaping out.
    I think its foolish to spend money excessively if totally not warranted.
  4. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    I wouldn't pat someone on the back either for buying $20,000 worth of equipment if the profits weren't absolutely noteworthy. New guys don't have to kill them selves in the red buying the best to not be rediculed by others.
  5. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,266

    fga, I am not totally averse to cost affectiveness. This is why I stated in my reply that I was willing to bend a little on equipment that would only see occasional use. For everyday use, in this business, you cant beat quality.
  6. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    I think you edited your post:eek: , cuz i read up to virtue.......... then hit the quote button, and that stops at virtue.

    Either way, quality is the way to go I know. But I feel like an idiot when i have better equipment then a LCO 10 times bigger and more profitable. Makes me rethink my spending decisions.
  7. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    I think I see where you are comming from. For instance I just talked with my Exmark and Stihl dealer the other day. We were talking about handheld equipment. He told me that he had a lot of landscapers buying the Fs55 as opposed to the Fs85 and that he has found the Fs55 to be every bit as reliable as the 85. Eventhough the 55 has a little less power than the 85, people are getting at least 5 to 7 years out of them. He said most of the time when people replace them, it is just to upgrade their equip, not because of problems. I might be in the market for another trimmer soon, and at $100 less than the Fs85, I will give it consideration. Funny though, he sure did not rave about the 55 when he sold me my Fs85. I broke his balls about that a little bit.

    I also have a Echo SRM2100 I have owned for many years now. I own a SRM2400, and there is very little difference in power. Actually in my opinion there is none at all.

    As long as you stick with major commercial makes I feel you will be satisfied. If you start going with junk like weed eater and homelite you will be sorry. Just my 2 cents.
  8. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Over a six year period, does it matter if you spent $300 or $150 on a line trimmer? If it does, you're not making enough money to substantiate the business model. The business isn't worth being in if saving $150 over a six year period is worth you studying it.

    As for quality, I say spend the money now on quality gear. My Simplicity chipper/shredder is the only chipper/shredder my dealer carries. Absolute junk. I've used it less than 50 hours and it's broken down three times now. The POS belongs on the shelves of Walmart. It's clearly not a commercial piece of equipment, though it was priced that way. Those two breakdowns have cost me $$$. Time is money in any business.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  9. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702

    Although the "little" things can add up, I think DFW has said it best.

    Unless, you're spending $100-$150 more for a handheld piece for features/power you're not using. Then, you're just wasting money.
  10. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,454

    Buy commercial if for no other reason than the ease of use and productivity. Why kill yourself for nothing? If your in the business, you're going to be stuck with this stuff all day every day. It's up to you whether that equipment is a blessing or a punishment.

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