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Disgruntal Postal Carrier

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Hobby, Dec 28, 2000.

  1. Hobby

    Hobby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Happy Holidays Everyone,
    but being a mailman for the last 20 years, happy to see it
    go. During the last 3 years been cutting yards on the side
    for extra funds,(have Harley love to travel)and money made
    cutting grass is good. Anyways tired of the postal life,
    winters in OH suck and can't ride. So have decided to quit
    take my retirement money move to FL. and start a grass-cutting business. To some this may sound foolish,but a lady
    friend and myself both in our early 40,s think it,s worth a
    shot. So we're packing up and leaving in April 01. Have done
    alot of research, and talking to people down there and know
    we can make this work. But enough background some questions.
    1)Choice of Dixon or Ariens mower,like ZT,size,and price.
    2)Price of cutting average size yard in FL.(OH $20-35 with
    trimming and blowing clean.)
    3)Do I need any special kind of insurance?
    Have more questions, would like to ask later if thats OK.
    Any information would be helpful, thanks for again. Hobby.

  2. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    I can't answer your questions directly, but I believe many of your questions have been already answered here. If your check out the search option at the top right and the bottom of the page you can search the many questions that you may have. Good luck in your new business.
  3. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    I would not advise buying a Dixon or Ariens mower. I had a Dixon and they are a headache. They are not commercial grade. I would go with Exmark or Dixie Chopper.
  4. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    I agree with Lawnworks. If your going into this to make money, get a commercial mower. The small Dixon or Ariens are for homeowners. A friend of mine had both and he is a homeowner. Neither one of them held up very good and he ended up buying a used Dixie Chopper from me 3 seasons ago and it's still running great and it had 2,500 hours on it when I sold it to him.

    It sounds like your wanting a ZTR. Dixie Chopper makes a couple of small models, one is a 50" and one is a 42" that you can take part of the deck off real easy to get through a 36" gate and pop that part back on to mow. These small models have the quad loop hydro system just like the bigger models and I've had great luck with longevity of these bigger machines. This is the only commercial ZTR that I know of that will fit through a 36" gate and I've heard there are plenty of gates down there. I would check them out when you get there since I've never seen one up here where we have very few gates.
    Another option is get a bigger ZTR for the open areas and a walk behind for the gated areas. Another option is try to talk the customer into putting in a bigger gate.

    Yes, you need insurance to cover you in case of injuring someone. Good luck.
  5. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    Hobby, I am from Cincinnati,I know the weather sucks now I live in FL. If I can answer any questions, please let me know.
  6. Bassman

    Bassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    Come on down. I started in the biz July 2000. It is a slow but steady build as far as your yearly accounts go, (which you need so you have reliable income in the off season), however, you will have as much work as you can handle in the growing season,(April - October). Invest in a good, reliable commercial grade mower, Exmark or Dixie Chopper for instance. There are a lot of gated back yards so if you can afford one, get a reliable commercial grade walk behind, hydro if possible, around 36" max. I would also recommend Shindaiwa for your line trimmer and stick edger. You definately need liability insurance. Keep an accurate ledger and have a realistic business plan with set goals to shoot for. If I can be of any help in specific areas please let me know. Most of all, take advantage of the wealth of knowledge on this forum. Use the search feature extensively. There has been an unbelievable amount of working information posted to just about every question you may have previousley. A great many of the posters on this board that have many, many years experience in this biz have contributed their hard learned knowledge. I personally put together a binder with every thing I thought would help me be succesful from the get go 8 months before I actually took the plunge.
    Good luck and Happy New Year!

    [Edited by Bassman on 12-28-2000 at 09:28 PM]
  7. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    hobby--about the airens ZTR. what do you intend to pay for that thing?

    I was by my former home depot and they have a residential return on the lot for well under $1800. looks like new for almost half the price!

    BTW, I agree with the others, airens is not the way to go but I wanted you to know about this good deal.

    if you want to know more--email.

    good luck. I like your moxy. my pap was postmaster of a town for 20 years. I tip my hat to you guys.

  8. osc

    osc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 502

    I live 50 miles south of you. This winter is very bitter but consider this option: build a big lawn business and vacation in Florida in the winter. I mean usually you're only talking January and February that you need to get out of here. Last 3 winters were nothing much.
    But if you must go then sell your accounts to me and I'd be happy to visit the dealers with you and show you what we use.

  9. Schal15

    Schal15 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Florida is a great place to live. I was born and raised and still live in south Florida. I was in the service and have been around the world so I know. One piece of advice, get your customers under a yearly contract. I just had one of my customers who was under a verbal contract for $80.00 a month switch on me to a per cut basis when the cold finally hit us (we do have seasons here)and the grass stopped growing. A contract would have avoided this. I have certainly learned my lesson. She will learn hers when I start charging more for all the pruning and trimmimg and when summer gets here there will be no going back to the monthly or I loose her.
  10. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,490


    So you're gonna move to Fl. The biggest thing (other than the summer heat) that you'll have to contend with is that your paychecks will be cut almost in half. You get paid mostly in "sunshine" down here. While the national average is somewhere around $25 per cut, here in Central Fl the going rate is around $15. We've got tons of scrubs that'll do it for even less ($8-$10). Most of these scrubs are retirees that live off there pensions and just do some lawns for beer money. If you're gonna be one of those types please don't come here! However, if you intend to start an actual business please feel free to e-mail me for more info. I moved here from Pittsburgh in 1987 and never looked back. Been working full time (year round) in lawn maintenance since 1989 so there aren't many things that I haven't seen or done. I'll be glad to share my experience with you. Good Luck and have a safe move and a Happy New Year.

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