Is my equipment good enough to start

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mmrunyan1, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. mmrunyan1

    mmrunyan1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    I realize that this sounds like a silly question. Honestly though, I don't have the thousands upon thousands of dollars for new equipment. I have used Craftsman brand equipment around my home for years and never had a problem. I realize that is a far cry from every day all day use that I hope will happen. Will Craftsman cut the mustard until higher end equipment can be purchased?
     
  2. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    Yes if you customers are ok with it.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Just make sure that you have enough cash on hand so that if a piece of equipment fails and can't be repaired right away you can pick up a replacement so that you can be dependable. Then you can repair your Craftsman stuff and use it as backup equipment. Your mower needs to provide a good cut in a variety of conditions as well. Will you be able to cut long lush spring grass without making a clumpy mess out of the lawn? Will you be able to take on a new customer with an overgrown yard. It can be challenging to provide professional quality results with homeowner grade equipment.

    Exactly what do you have? Riding mower? Push mower? Bagger? String trimmer and blower?
     
  4. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    Plan on double cutting every lawn with a Craftsman Zero-Turn mower. Invest in a nice Walk-behind for a couple thousand dollars. All suppliers have some sort of financing.
    You can use whatever push mower you want because you should only use a push mower(22" or smaller) when you can't get through a gate.
    Otherwise, you should be using a 36" walk behind mower. You can get a 36" World Lawn mower for $2000 and a Toro/Exmark for $3000-$3500.
    Look for a used 5x10 trailer on craigslist or eBay.
    Invest a COMMERCIAL weedwacker and a cheap backpack blower. A Husqvarna 130BT is a $200 Backpack blower at Lowe's. All of my other equipment is Echo.

    -Michael
     
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I don't concur about the World Lawn mower, a 5 x 10 trailer or a cheap blower, but that is one way to go.

    But the bottom line is that you can "go as you grow". Just don't expect to be putting much if anything in your pocket at first. I started out with a $10k investment in my business and didn't take anything out of it for the first year. There are lots of little things that eat through cash too.
     
  6. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Posts: 1,053

    Yep, you can do it. Just be ready for some down time. But you can definitely do it.
     
  7. mmrunyan1

    mmrunyan1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Hey everybody. Thanks for the info and advice. Yeah, I'm looking for some quality used equipment as well. I just don't have the cash to buy top grade new equipment all up front, and I really don't want to get into financing at the moment either. Yet, I don't want to use equipment that is going to give a less than quality job. A careful balance to be sure. I am only doing smaller lawns to start, and only part time. Maybe 4 or 5 regular customers. Just enough to get my feet wet in the business and start a small customer base. Any recommendations on where to get quality used equipment in the St. Louis area. And now for the most disputed questions.....
    What equipment would you recommend?
     
  8. NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC

    NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,268

    I remember when I first started years ago, I used a walmart mower, bought a used shindaiwa blower off ebay, bought a weedeater from a local pawn shop and that all got me by with the few customers I had, but I also worked a regular full time job as well until I got enough customers to go full time, but in the mean time I upgraded and bought a new honda mower from home depot and then later on bought a commerical Honda mower and built my own trailer and purchased other better equipment as time went on, etc...
     
  9. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    If your only planning on cutting 5 lawns, then just use your 22" mower. Get a good quality weedwacker and blower, you don't want stuff breaking down.

    -Michael
     
  10. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    What was your advice, to use the Craftsman?

    -Michael
     

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