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just getting started

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by dannymc, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. dannymc

    dannymc LawnSite Member
    from texas
    Posts: 2

    I am wanting to get things going in 2007. About 3 years ago me and my dad went in and bought a scag tiger cub 48", a 32" wb, sthil weedeater and a sthil stick edger. I also bought a 16' trailer with four foot sides and it has a front box that can be locked. My delima is that i have a full time job and have to be at work at 1:00 p.m. This means i will have to get started early and finish up around 11:00 a.m. to get cleaned up to go to work. I would like to eventually get into the landscaping side but now i would like to stick with mowing, edging, weedeating and blowing. i would like to include fertilizing in my contracts as a have to type deal. I live in southeast texas and some of the fly by night guys charge $25.00 a cut. i was thinking of having a minimum of $40.00. this would all go into a contract plus the fertilizer. my question is, is there a huge problem with cutting when the morning dew is still on the grass? and do you think with offering fertilizer which will make the yard look better than those who are cutting for $25.00. also how many yards do you think could be done in general in approx. 3 hours. Thanks for any help. anything extra input is welcome. also just to clarify i do have gen. liability insurance of 300k. thanks, danny
  2. Skimastr105

    Skimastr105 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 293

    Nothing too bad about mowing in dew. We do it all the time at my golf course. The grass clippings clump up more, unless you bag em though. IMO make sure you get accounts which are geographically close together, otherwise you will waste a lot of time traveling. I have 4 houses in the same subdivision and I can just drive my mower to all of them. Saves a ton of time... easier too.
  3. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    I would not include fertilizing as part of the agreement. If they want it, it's extra each time you fertilize.

    Keep in mind that you most likely need an applicator's license to apply any fertilizer with a pesticide in it.

    As far as wet grass, generally I need to slow down a bit to prevent excessive clumping. Usually I get some amount of clumping but I just rake them up.
  4. CutsForLess

    CutsForLess LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    A good mower will handle the dew fine except for a little clumping, just run over the clumps a time or two and they are gone. I also work a full time job and do this, I work 14 days a month 12 hrs. a day then mow everyday i am off, during the mowing season I work everyday. I can tell you from experience you have to be very dedicated because it will wear on your mind and your body. If you have a family prepare them for it because it is hard on them also. My problem I am to the point that I cant go any farther without more time to commit and with a family that security is hard to give up.
  5. Tapr Lawn Care

    Tapr Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    Hi guys, I am new to this business and have tons of questions. I figure you pros will have some good advice for me. I bought an existing lawn care business equipment customers and all.. for a relatively low price, I am currently getting a leaf bagger for my 345 54c" deck John Deere tractor, so I should be very busy with leaves this time of year. However winter is just around the corner and I would like to turn this business into a year round thing, but i don't know whether i should get a snow blower or plow for my tractor or get a heavy duty truck with a plow, I am in a rather small town but am about 30 minutes away from commercial businesses. Any ideas or tips on what im doing and what I can do for the winter?

    Thanx a lot,
    Tapr Lawn Care
  6. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,096

    How big are the lots you want to be plowing? Did the company you bought include the pllowing contracts or what? I would see if you can pick up some work before jumping into a brand new plow. What kinda truck do you have at the moment?
  7. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,096

    I would check with your local goverment about what if any licenses are required for peticide application. You say you want to have a $40 minimum, are the lots large enough for you to get that kind of money?
  8. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,157

    1ST how do you know their fly by nite guys. I'am pretty sure the competition is tight in texas,since you can cut grass pretty much all year round. What size lots are they doing for 25.00 bucks??? If there doing a great job,chances are you won't get them for 40.00. If there small lots and they have 4-5 on one block sounds to me like there right on. You will need a applicators license for fertalization. If you and your Dad will be mowing for the three hours i'd highly reccomend running a tight route close to home,GOOD LUCK
  9. dannymc

    dannymc LawnSite Member
    from texas
    Posts: 2

    Well the other day i was at my full time job which consists of alot of driving around and I saw that alot of the $25.00 guys had crappy looking yards. They had huge brown patches in them and I just couldn't see wht anyone would pay for that. I guess it goes back to you get what you pay for. My $40.00 minimum would include fertilization if my figures are right. I have checked them i can't county how many times to make sure. I guess on the how quick can the yards be done would be easier to answer if i had said the yard sizes are 8000-10000 sq ft. I know some in here don't like the part time guys. In my profession i usually work extra anyways. So the way i looked at it is i could build a business i like doing. And help my retirement and set me up for retirement work. Thanks for all the information. Any other suggestions such as extra's or anything else would be greatly appreciated. unfortunately down here we don't get much snow so there's not much need to go out and buy a plow. Thanks again, Danny
  10. Tapr Lawn Care

    Tapr Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    so far I only have about 3 residential driveways, not huge, rather small actually, but If I could get more lots and even some commercial lots I would be happy. Currently I have a 94 GMC sierra 2wd, which is probably not good enough to plow. I wouldn't mind maybe getting a jimmy or suburban to plow. But this is all kinda down the road since im just starting. Just looking to make some cash in the winter and maybe make this a year round business.. cause im not sure what else to do in the off season, probably will be using a shovel this winter lol

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