Equipment when YOU first started out?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by osmann_lawn, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,869

    This is a humbling thread.

    I started off with my Toro SR4 21", Weed Eater trimmer, and blower in the back of a Ford Escape. Mowed a set of 4 townhomes and a resi with a 21! Didn't care, worked my butt off, name got around, and there she goes........

    (still use the Toro 21 and occassionally the Weed Eater by the way)
     
  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Loan?

    What's a loan?

    Don't need no stinkin' loans!

    It's called use what you have, buy what you can afford, set aside % of profits so the money will grow then you buy.
     
  3. Hawkeslandscaping

    Hawkeslandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 62

    Where I live the properties are half acre at least so the 21in mowers would never work lol I started with a commercial Ferris 36in mower, and a 5x8 trailer and a shidawa trimmer. Since have grown when needed, loans aren't always bad especially when dealers offer 0% financing on new mowers if you can afford the payment go ahead.
     
  4. clydebusa

    clydebusa LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,660

    Started in 1982 with 3 lawnboys. Had to have 3 because 1 to 2 wouldn't start after they got warm. 5x8 trailer, ryan weedeater and mcclain edger. At the end of the day had to leave the lawnbabys running from yard to yard while on the trailer. 2nd year graduated to GTS 21" suzuki toro. Now too much to list.
     
  5. Scagboy715

    Scagboy715 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 109

    I can remember wanting to cut grass since i was around 7 haha. I used to sit on my dads lap and mow the backyard. From there i got a little lawn trailer to pull behind our lawn tractor and did a few yards in our neighborhood when i was around 12 to 13. I had a lawn boy push mower, craftsman 42" garden tractor, sthil weedeater, mcLane edger, and a stihl handheld blower (all "daddys" of course). i did that till i was 15 and i got a Chevy silverado z71 for my 16th birthday. I started getting bigger from there and i am now 18 and have a 5' x 8' trailer, br600, scag hydro 36", echo edger, echo hedge trimmer, stihl ms 310 and a few more things and i bought the lawn boy and stihl edger from my dad haha. I love those two pieces and i dont think ill ever part with them. You guys cant say it enough...hard work truly does pay off and man is it rewarding!!!
    :drinkup:
     
  6. Jhartman

    Jhartman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    I have a "first zero turn thread" in the commercial and residential lawn mowing section.... HOWEVER, this is my first year starting. and as awesome as a 60" zero turn that mows an astonishing 15 mph sounds. ( not to mention fun ) I decide to go with a 48" walk behind. Picked up a new lesco hydro 48" wb w/ electric start. Is it was i really wanted? No, I wanted the 10k mower, But the 2k Wb seemed to fit what I needed so much better. Not to mention there was no debt involved to get the WB. so In that perspective i think i made a wise choice. I know lesco is gone now. But i feel i can still get this machine serviced for awhile if need be, and i'll run it til the wheels fall off.

    I guess i figure i can mow everything with the WB, side hills, under low hanging shrubs / trees etc. and with the ZT i wouldn't be able to. So I decided based on being able to mow in more conditions, and staying out of debt.

    And when starting a business, isn't staying out of debt the name of the game?

    ( I feel confident in my choice, but let me know how ya'll think )
     
  7. precision8m

    precision8m LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 349

    I started out in 2008 with a walk behind dixon ztr 42" that i paid $700 for. It's ancient but the thing still runs. Has anyone else used or owned one of these? Anyway, in 2012, I'll be running two crews, with 4 commercial mowers and more small equipment than I can name. Don't do loans, and don't work for cheap.
     
  8. watsmi57

    watsmi57 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 329

    went to lowes with a lowes card and financed $600. got a troy bilt push, poulan pro hand held blower, troy bilt trimmer and an edger attachment. went to work (and to walkin) out of the trunk of our OLD Buick century. HAH!

    next big investment was a used 42" yard machines tractor...lol i was so happy to get a rider. my feet were done.

    had to start somewhere :)
     
  9. vw_driver8542

    vw_driver8542 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    I started with an old Gravely 5665('86) walk behind with a 40" pro deck(still works, tough as hell), a craftsman blower, a cheap Ryobi trimmer(absolute junk) I picked up for $30 at Big Lots, an old Snapper (bagger only) that was given to me and a harbor freight trailer. Had lots of trimming and soon switched to Stihl trimmers; best decision ever. I just recently purchased one of the Rich Convertible mowers from Landscaper Pro. This thing is amazing. Anyone who reads this must check them out. Search for "Bank Mowers" on YouTube. I was gonna go for a "Z" mower and a walk behind so I could ride most of what I mow and use the WB for the larger areas I couldn't ride(that's what the other pro guys in my area do) but the Convertible mower took care of all that with one machine. Very heavy built also. As time goes on I continue to upgrade my equipment when needed. Found out the old saying is true "You get what you pay for." That's true for equipment and also true for my customers :)

    P.S. I also purchased a large enclosed trailer; second best decision ever. I got so tired of unstrapping everything and putting into garage just to load it all back up the next time I mowed. Keeping everything on my trailer in one place makes it so much easier and time efficient.
     
  10. TruSomethingOrOther

    TruSomethingOrOther LawnSite Member
    Posts: 171

    lol this thread brings back memories. I started mowing when I was tall enough to barely push a Murray side bagger on the old neighbor ladies lawn next door. Most of my neighbors at the time were older so I gained a clientele pretty quick, actually. Couple years later when I was old enough to drive, a buddy of mine already had a decent lawn care thing goin, but was going to school for a masters and couldn't keep it up all year round. Ended up working for him taking care of everything but billing. Worked out great. I have used 21" Snappers for a long time and swear by them. (commercial of course). Never even had a rider.

    Been out of the gig for five some years. This year I am making a come back. Still have all my equipment from last time. 3 21" snappers, two Tanaka trimmers, Stihl stick edger, Stihl chainsaw, countless hand tools (rakes, pruners, loppers, shears, shovels, lawn measuring device, etc), Billy Goat lawn vacuum, wheel barrow, etc. It's all housed in a 7x16 enclosed landscaping trailer. Made the jump and have a 48" Scag Wildcat on order. And on the way to purchase a nicer ground edger and a couple more hand tools to replace the worn out ones. Now all I need is customers and no more of this white stuff!
     

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