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Help me choose which blower and trimmer to buy(long)

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by VMcNeill, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. VMcNeill

    VMcNeill LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    Hi all,
    Long time lurker and first time poster.
    I'm planning on starting in the spring so I'm barely at the point of putting my business plan on paper.
    For tax purposes I won't buy anything until after January, but I feel that it doesn't hurt to research a bit.

    As far a lawn mowers go I plan on using my 21" Toro until I build up enough business to drop $2,700.00 on a new Quick 36. However I need to get a blower, edger and trimmer, and this is where my dilemma comes from. I have to list the brands with some of my comments and see if you guys can help me choose the best brand for my situation.

    These are the following brands available in my area:

    Pros: My dad had a solo operation for 17 years until his retirement back in 2002. Echo was the brand that he always used and lived by. The prices are reasonable as far commercial quality equipment goes.
    Cons: Can only get them at my local Home Depot and at a feed store (authorized dealer) in my town. If they break down I will have to go to a small engine repair shop to do the repairs.

    Pros: I've never used them, but I've heard many good things about them in this site and in other places.
    Cons: Here in my hometown I can only buy them at the feed store I mentioned above. Essentially the same issues I would have with Echo, but with slightly higher prices.

    Pros: again never used them, but heard some good things about them. They have a good replacement warranty at my local Tractor Supply which is where I would have to buy them. Pretty decent prices when compared to Stihl or Echo.
    Cons: Can only get them at Tractor Supply, the warranty is only for homeowners. I didn't notice an edger which would be a requirement since I rather get the same brand if possible.

    Cub Cadet Commercial
    Pros: Very inexpensive. I could probably get everything I need for less than $500.00
    Cons: I don't know if they are truly commercial quality. I've never heard anyone talk about them either here or anywhere else. I can only get them at Tractor Supply with the same warranty as the Husqvarnas.

    Pros: don’t laugh, I can get a decent powered straight shaft trimmer for cheap(around 100.00) at Sam's Club. In fact I can get everything I need for less than $350.00. They also come with a one year commercial warranty. I actually own one for use around my house. In some ways they compare well with echos I've used in the past.
    Cons: Blower is hand held, I'm not sure if they have an edger or not and truth be told they are a pain to start. Also after using the trimmer about 20 times I had to put it in the shop. The spring in the starting cord went out of commission.

    RedMax and Shindaiwa: Putting them together because they are both sold at same dealership which I've yet to visit. This dealership sells only Stihl chainsaws.
    Pros: I've read many good things about both brands with Redmax being the more popular brand around these parts. The dealership is actually a small engine repair shop, so would probably only deal with them as far as repair issues goes.
    Cons: I get the feeling that both Redmax and Shindaiwa are more expensive than the other brands I've mentioned above.

    Thats about it for name brands close to my area. If anyone has any other sugestions for any other name brand I didn't mention please feel free to let me know.
  2. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 631

    Echo in my opinion good for starters,last long time, good prices,
    easy to work on.

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,223

    blower- shini eb8510, or the eb630

    string trimmer- stihl fs100
  4. rocksrscott

    rocksrscott LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    We have a Echo $200.00 SRM210 and its OK a little on the underpower side.
    we also have a Red Max $300.00 GZ25N. and would I would go with the Red Max again over the Echo. If you want to save some money check out an Edgit to mount on your line trimmer instead of a Stick Edger it will do both duties edge and trim. I like mine. Some people love them some people hate them. We also have a Red Max Back Pack Blower Model # EB7001 and would go with it again.

    Good Luck in the business.
  5. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,246

    I'm going with the RedMax and Shindaiwa. redmax blower and shin trimmer!!!!:cool2:
  6. VMcNeill

    VMcNeill LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    I was thinking about using the Edgit, does it really work as well as advertized?
  7. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    I did the same as you when I was ready to upgrade some of my equipment from my residental stuffin my garage to Commercial. First, if it is not Commercial with a Commercial warranty, I would stay away from it.

    I looked at the Echo, Stihl, and Redmax. I decided on Stihl, mainly due to Brand Quality and Dealer support. I have the BR600 Blower, FS90 Trimmer and FC100 Edger. They are great tools and I love them. I thought that the Redmax tools were underpowered due to the smaller engines (except for the blowers) and I wanted to keep all my tools in the same brand and with the same dealer.

    Whatever you do, stay out of Home Depot when it comes to getting commercial equipment for this type of work. Buyign is fine, any followup service is terrible. Also, the "Commercial" stuff at Home Depot is actually Mid-range stuff, not real commercial quality.
  8. lisam

    lisam LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Speaking from many years of experience. You should buy the equipment, that is going to make a difference in your business, from reputable dealers who have parts and service for what they sell. Don't forget, you are going to be making money with this stuff, and if it breaks you can't make money! You should be able to locate a good Stihl dealer near to you. It's not like you're going to be running there alot, because they usually don't break! Please always remember you are buying a piece of hard working equipment that is, at some point, bound to break. Wouldn't you like to establish a good working relationship with a reputable dealer in your area so you can get the parts and service you need asap?!?! Good Luck, make a good investment! STAY OUT OF THE BIG BOXES, THEY DON'T FIX ANYTHING!!!!!
  9. VMcNeill

    VMcNeill LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    I was out riding around today, and decided to stop by the Stihl, Shindaiwa and redmax dealer. The manager there told me that Stihl is their biggest seller and such they are more likely to have parts on hand for Stihl equipment. As such they are probably Stihl is the front runner at this time.
  10. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 843

    I have a Stihl BR-400 & Echo SRM-210 & Echo HC-1500. I'll sell it all for $500. PM if you're interested. jazak

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