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Expanding my mowing business

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Universal man, Sep 7, 2002.

  1. Universal man

    Universal man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Hey I have just recently started my mowing serivice at the age of 16. My boss decided it was not for him anymore and offered it to me. I was wodering if i could get some tips from any experienced people out there.
    Well right now i have a 91' F 250 2 wheel drive truck and it eats gas like no other so i was wondering if it would be better to go with a newer F150 or even an F250, if you think its worth it let me now... Also if you have any other tips to give me i would greatly appreciate it.. to give you some backround i have a 72' Exmark,a 61' gravely, a 52' toro all which are zero turn and then also an encore 32' and 2 21' toros with stihl 85, and 120 timmers and i have have stihl blowers too. My boss also told me to make it through a full year of mowing before i start up a second mowing crew but i think i could handle it and i could afford it also... so just let me know what you think! thanks alot!
    ~Universal man
  2. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Posts: 1,540

    Universal man:

    Welcome to LawnSite!

    It is my belief that a person can do just about anything they set their mind to. It sounds like you have a good start and the best advice I can give you is to cruise through LawnSite and read, read, read. Also, the "search" feature here is priceless! It has saved me much time, aggravation,...and money. :)

    Best of luck to you!
  3. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 739

    Are you sure it's a 1972 eXmark? I thought they were started in 1980?
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Tony are you yanking his crank, I think he means a 72" deck on the Exmark.

    If the truck is paid for and is a good runner, consider keeping it for the first year at least. Unless of course you are going to have to plow also. It may eat gas but a newer one will probably more expensive in terms of insurance and monthly payment. A 250 is a heavier duty vehicle and if it has a couple of dings you wont feel so bad if you add one or two more.
    You sound like you are getting to know the ropes a little but I would listen to your boss and give it a little time before you jump into another crew unless you are going to be part of the crew. Your expenses will go up quite a bit. Good Luck. I wish I had that ambition and money at 16.
  5. steve122

    steve122 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 208

    2 things:
    1. I agree 100% with your old boss, don't go for employees too soon. You need to know your business inside and out before you trust your customers to someone else.
    2. If you think the payment for the gas you use is high in that old truck, think of how high the payment will be, plus the cost of whatever gas you use in it, on a new truck. That payment goes on all year, your gas usage drops off after the busy season. Wait until you are better established and have a bank account built up before you buy. I'd rather have a new mower behind an old truck rather than a new truck pulling an old mower.
  6. lawnkid

    lawnkid LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 935

    I'm also expandind my business next year with some newer equipment. I decided that i'm gonna go with the rider becaue I need one for the lawns i'm getting next year so.. I'm also purchasing some a new Stihl Br-420 Magnum, and 2 Stihl FS-85's. Now the truck that i would probably get would be my grandfather's Ford 89 F-150 4x2 until I can find a nice Dodge. Can't wait to get started! Hey Steve 122, get what you need for your business. If you need an F-250, and have the money for one, I'd but it. Or if you're gonna hold off, the F-150 I'm sure will do just fine. Can I ask how muuch you paid for all of that equipment?
  7. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 749

    You dont explain much, but heres my advice from what I gather. Keep the truck if it runs well and is reliable. Reliability is key, when it starts breaking down, sell it. A 250 will be much better because you can actually haul materials in it, put a dump insert in and you are all set. If you arent plowing dont worry about the 4X2. I think you should hold off expanding until next year at least.
  8. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    You don't say how long you been mowing before you bought the business. Have you been through a full mowing season yet? How many hours do you put in per week? Where does high school fit in all this. I know your excited but finishing school should be top priority and have time for homework. What happens if you get a girl friend (assuming you don't have one now). Your priorities will change with a girl friend. You might want to hold off getting another crew since alot can happen in one year for a 16 year old. You might not likng owning a business since there is alot more responsibilities than working for someone else.

    This will be a great experience as owner for you. This may set the course for the rest of your life (not necessary always as LCO but as a self employed business owner and will give you more confidence with dealing with ups and downs in life).
  9. Universal man

    Universal man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Thanks alot for all the replys.. some more information if you looking for it is the F-250 runs great and i've decided to keep it but i'm also going to play in the winter so im planning on getting a 4x4 truck anyways and i work about 6 hours after school everyday and then what i dont get done in the weekdays i get done on saturday. I have been mowing now for over 4 months and learned alot from my old boss and i still ask for advice and i admit i am still learning alot and need to learn more. So if you have any tips at all on keeping everything running smooth that would be great! thanks again for all your help so far!
    ~Universal man
  10. Universal man

    Universal man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    plow in the winter* sorry bout that

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