I need a LOT on input for a ballpark estimate

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mr Priceless, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 412

    :confused: I'm currently saving up for a big-time (at least what is a lot for a solo operator) lawn care that covers the most frequently sought after lawn care procedures (mowing, weedeating, cleanup, etc).

    At this point, I am not too sure as to what my costs add up to if i wanted:
    (Yes, i am very new to professional business-like lawn care)

    52-61" ZTR
    36-48" WB
    Echo Handheld
    Backpack Blower
    Pickup Vehicle
    Trailer
    Insurance
    All added costs for Advertising methods

    MUCH MUCH MORE if you can help me think....
     
  2. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 412

    I have a couple of reliable brand names in mind, but please give your thoughts on affordable rugged brands....whether i should get new/used

    YOUR HELP is greatly appreciated
     
  3. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Posts: 1,818

    If you do not have any yards lined up (or not very many), then there is absolutely no point in buying expensive new equipment. This is the problem that alot of people make is that they think they need new equipment right off the bat. You can always find that mower that just sat on the trailer or the old guy bought a commercial mower and never used it. About $300 for the good trimmers, $300-500 for backpack blowers, trailer could be $300 to $5,000 dependind on what you want, who knows about a truck, call your insurance agent, and advertising is hard to say without knowing your area, your response rate, current rates for yellow pages, etc.
     
  4. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 412

    Lets just say that i'm looking for a chevy silverado long/short bed in good running condition, and as my profile states, i'm merely 20 miles north from Oklahoma City, which, really is a joint connection of 5 different cities, such as OKC itself, Norman, Midwest City, Edmond, and Moore. Although i will be primarily be targeting Edmond which has mansions (2-3 story houses) popping up everyday expanding closer north to where i currently live (Crescent, you gan google map the area if you wish) so THAT's the info on residencies:cool2:

    There 2 major newpapers, THE OKLAHOMAN and The Edmond Sun, both of which i plan to call to add me in the classifieds for, AND unfortunately, i DON'T have an idea as to what the yellow pages charge for what size of my ad, etc.:hammerhead:

    I only ask for your opinion on equipment for the simple fact that I honestly,truely, deep down in my heart and soul, DO NOT want to get a very old, or new and abused lawn mower, much less generic.:cry:

    Last mowing season, i had a 36" 13.5 B&S Poulan Rider that had a few problems to it being 3-4 years SINCE my grandma had bought it from someone else who got rid of it for buying a ZTR. My grandma "maintained" it and allowed SOMEONE ELSE (teenage low baller, by what he looked like) to use the rider for his own business if he cut my grandma's yard in return:nono: . Now after i moved up here, that stopped and now I have been using the equipment, which also includes a Murray 22" 4.5 B&S self propelled (which i think is extremely bizzare for the HP) that has had a series of self prop belt problems that we try to fix each time. The dang pusher most recently broke at the end of the handle bars (near the rear wheel) for me last-minute winterizing my equipment a few days ago.

    ANYWAY, here is an official list of my equipment with details/history as best as i can give:

    Poulan Tractor 36'' 13.5 HP
    I really don't know how old it is or what it was used for since i moved here (a year ago), BUT since i've used it;
    1. I didn't change/inspect the blades until 3 months of use, and i ca gaurantee i left some PUUUURDY stripes when i mowed with it.
    2.The tires needed to be aired up (yes, THANK GOD they held air)
    3. The cutting deck floats....completely. There are no hard plastic wheels, discharge chute, or anything to protect the grass for the wrath of a sharp turn of the mower or a fairly abrupt elevation of the turf. So when i cut with the beast i use my feet for scalp-savers
    4. The list of repairs/services i have done for the mower since last mowing season were:
    Changing the battery (which i thouroghly tested the starter on)
    Changing Blades (stripes started to look better, since, well, you know)
    Replacing the Cutting Engage/Disengage cable, since it snapped in the middle of mowing a customer's yard)
    Replacing the oil (good lord, it was black as, well, black)

    and that's all i feel like listing for the mower. it basically ate 1/5 of our profits from mowing the whole summer.


    MTD 21" 6 HP B&S Self Propelled

    One of my customers gave me this mower, which ran very choppily at first, or wouldn't run at all, so me and my dad did a ful service on it, and it runs somewhat decently when it wants to. For example, i couldn't get it to run after letting the gas sit for 2 months in the tank, and i mixed in the fuel stabilizer really well winterizing it...maybe it'll start next season?:laugh::rolleyes: The main problems with it are that first, the engine isn't the most reliable in the world, and second, some genious molded plastic to hold the starting cable on the handlebar, so the plastic snapped, and now i have to do a special trick to pull the starting switch back.

    alright, i'll list the rest in the nest post, i need a break
     
  5. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 412

    Walmart Generic Weedeater

    To start off, i got it from one of my customers (the one when my rider cable snapped on).

    You'll get a kick outta this:
    NOW #1 problem, i don't know the age, and the throttle cable is SNAPPED, and i don't feel like replacing it, so when i use it, i weedeat cajun-style:p, putting my thumb very near to the engine and revving up when neccessary. The weedeater works, amazingly, and will weedeat decently, provided i'm not clearing a 1/4 acre at all with it.

    NOW THEN, my most favorite piece of equipment, bought and used solely by me, myself, and I....

    Echo SRM 210 Trimmer

    I bought it for $218 at my dealer, and have been thoroughly satistfied with it's performance on my applications. I plan to get another one, maybe a SRM 230 or better, as to help out in my ambition to become a pro. Echo has definately got me sold on their products, so i plan on getting my blower, edger, etc. from echo as well.

    As far as my situation, i have $800 saved up at the moment. It may not be nearly enough for all that needs to be done to get a business up and running next year, but i JUST got my second job today, and whatever i make off the mowing business this year will contribute to the cause:weightlifter:

    NOW you know my reasons for asking your opinions on the BIG matter, please feel free to give any input neccessary, and ask me other questions to help you find answers:)
     
  6. wowmowwow

    wowmowwow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 209

    u have a great weedeater to start out with, itll last for many years. we all want nice equip; it will at times make you either ill or jelious. at any rate i started without anything five years ago. bought a used 36" walk behind. $300. made money. blew motor, no oil! lesson learned. sold it for $300. my dad co signed a loan for 5k so i bought a 1984 dodge d50 for $1300 and a new walkbehind 36" for around 3k.the truck didnt last too long so i got a gift of a mid size truck and trailor from wife and father inlaw. i went through three yard sale weedeaters before the echo 260 was bought for 40 bucks,,,great find. it wasnt untill 06, my fifth year, i splurged and got the no bells or whistles longbed truck, big trailor, and big z mower. the z mower is the best mower. i am told i should have made the purchase years ago. i agree.

    you say you have $800. save it.
    use the equip u have. wait untill the end of the year and buy new z with a no interst finace plan. that way you still have enough $ for winter payments and all your other needs and wants.
    i say the sooner you get the z the sooner itll be paid for. why walk or bop around standing when you can ride?

    just my input

    thanks
     
  7. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 412

    for example, what if the Z rider doesn't fit through a...say 4 foot entrance leading into a full acre of backyard....yikes;)
     
  8. robbo521

    robbo521 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 601

    i know most i do have a 4' gate and my 48'' JD will fit good between them.most around here are not dead on 4 ft.
     
  9. wowmowwow

    wowmowwow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 209

    he already has the 36"
     
  10. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 412

    correction. i have a COMPLETELY (no turf saving plastic wheels) FREE floating cutting deck, which is sensitive to my tire pressure on all sides, and like i said, i must keep my feet on the &^$# deck to save grass on turns and such. It's irritating.
     

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