Hi, I'm new to the forum

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by FERRISBUEHLER, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. FERRISBUEHLER

    FERRISBUEHLER LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    Hi, I'm John, and with the purchase last week of a Ferris IS 5100Z, 72" cut, I realize I'm in the perfect position for some part/fulltime landscaping work. Ok, you ask why partime? Well, I'm a HS teacher with a lot of time on my hands in the summer, I live in the Shenandoah Valley in central VA, where that "Mountain Dew" creates, thick, heavy, and nearly Weed free lawns, and a long growing season, it's not uncommon to see green grass in December, and cutting beginning as early as March 1st.
    Basically, I bought the Ferris to take care of my property, I have twelve grass filled acres. Prior to the Ferris, I used a Kubota 2350 Diesel 4X4 tractor with a 60" PTO driven finish mower. It took me 12 butt pounding, spine crushing hours to cut my property! OH-MY-GOD the Ferris is so Comfortable!

    Here's why I was considering doing some landscaping, I currently own a '97 Ford F-250 4X4 with a flush mount fifth wheel and class 3 hitch, I have a 3000lb cap lowboy deck trailer with a 7.5' X 10.5' deck and expanded metal ramp, the above named Kubota with loader, a '90 GT14D (diesel) Ford hydrostatic garden tractor, 48" cut, Echo straight shaft trimmer, and a Giant 11hp Blower. I'm going to purchase a 36-50 gallon diesel drop in tank for my pickup bed, I need it anyway. I can pick up off road non taxed diesel for $2.25. Oh, and I'm a full mechanic and welder, equipment repairs and maintenance not a problem. I've rebuilt two hydrostatic drives on my brother-in-law's Bobcats in CT. He's at a loss since I moved to VA, I've rebuilt his truck front end, re-wired his mowers. I love working on equipment, I'm just a machine guy! Any thoughts on getting started, l'm looking for a small client base, maybe 10-20 customers to start.

    John
     
  2. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    Welcome, Sounds like your well set up and have a good plan of attack,

    One good thing you will never have a lack of enployees, Being a HS teacher.
    I wish I was set up this well...
     
  3. ptlawnguy

    ptlawnguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    As long as you have the other necessary equipment such as trailer, trimmer, blower, and push mower, you can do it. Don't listen to those that say you cant cut because they assume that you will not start cutting until work ends in June. I am also a teacher. I cut right after work 3 out of 5 days. plus I work at a hardware store and sell Husqvarna's 2 days a week.

    My advise is make sure you not working too hard for your money. You got a brand new Z and should not be beating it up on a yard that is under priced. Keep your prices fair but don't lowball. The only way I will negotiate a price is if I get the neighbors yard as well
     
  4. ptlawnguy

    ptlawnguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    Sorry Ferris. I didnt see all the toys that you listed. I saw that you were a teacher and started my reply. Good luck and have fun!
     
  5. FERRISBUEHLER

    FERRISBUEHLER LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    Thanks fellas for the encouragement! What's a ball park $ figure to charge. I don't know why, but does $50/HR sound reasonable? I know a lot depends on lawns in the same neighborhood too, I can cut that figure down once I figure out my fuel costs towing to the job. My F-250 delivers about 12-14 mpg, so that figures in heavy too!

    John
     
  6. ptlawnguy

    ptlawnguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    yea that sounds good. In my area I try for 40 to 50 bucks/hour when I am on my Z
     
  7. ptlawnguy

    ptlawnguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    By the looks of your toys and skills I bet you a metal shop teacher?
     
  8. TwinKatDaddy

    TwinKatDaddy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    Hey I am a teacher as well and I got in the business this spring. I have 6 accounts with 3 more about to sign contracts and right now it's a weekend business becuase I have 11 month old twins at home. It can be tough to get it all done with school not out but you can do it, plus you have more flexibility in the summer with your scedule so you can spread your work out during the week. 20 accounts might be tough to manage when school starts back in August because you still have a month to two months left in the season. I have learned that 35-40 dollars is a minimum for an average residential. 35-40 and hour is what I charge and I work by myself. Good luck to you!:waving:
     
  9. TwinKatDaddy

    TwinKatDaddy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    Hey I am a teacher as well and I got in the business this spring. I have 6 accounts with 3 more about to sign contracts and right now it's a weekend business becuase I have 11 month old twins at home. It can be tough to get it all done with school not out but you can do it, plus you have more flexibility in the summer with your scedule so you can spread your work out during the week. 20 accounts might be tough to manage when school starts back in August because you still have a month to two months left in the season. I have learned that 35-40 dollars is a minimum for an average residential. 35-40 and hour is what I charge and I work by myself. Good luck to you!:waving:
     
  10. FERRISBUEHLER

    FERRISBUEHLER LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    Yes, I'm a Tech Ed teacher, I started off teaching automotive in the late '70's, I taught in Community College as well, training new GM techs. Now I teach primarily CAD, and some general Tech Ed classes. I'll see how it goes for lawn work, I'm going to try to solicit work in the town I teach.

    Why is it as Teachers, we are always looking for ways to shake down a couple extra bucks? Anyhow, that Ferris cost me a few bucks, but As my wife said to me, "when you are 80 are you going to be cutting grass on that KUBOTA Tractor"? I said to the tractor salesman "where do I sign"!

    John
     

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