Just starting... do I really need a truck?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by JonM, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. JonM

    JonM LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47

    I've been cutting a 5 or 6 lawns for people in my area the past few years, and have decided that I want to become a legitimate company this coming season. This past summer I purchased a 5x8 trailer, Exmark metro 36, an echo bp blower, and an echo trimmer... now here is my question. This past season I towed the trailer behind my mother's volvo cross country station wagon... everybodies gotta start somewhere, right? What I'm wondering is if I go legit., will people take me seriously even if I dont have a truck? What would you recommend? Can anyone speak from experience? Im planning on getting 20 or so decent sized mowing accounts, and the ones I have so far all want me to bag the clippings. I have a fairly limited budget, but if I need a truck, then I would try to find the funds... Thanks.

    Jon
     
  2. i_plant_art

    i_plant_art LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 558

    the way i see it is the vehicle you drive doesnt have anything to do with the quality or performance of your work. how you get there should not be the issue its whether or not you show when you say you will. now if someone doesnt want you to work for them b/c they dont take you seriously b/c of the type of vehicle you drive then they are not the people that you want to work for in the first place b/c they are missing the big picture. (your quality and performance) thats how i see it. like you said we al have to start somewhere and that is the hostest straigh up truth. now after you mow for a while and put back some $ then look into getting a tyruck b/c eventually you will come to find that you will need and want one for ther jobs such as mulching, carrying rock, sod etc etc. good luck to ya man and dont worry about what people think everyone always has their own opinion.
     
  3. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    Double post, sorry.
     
  4. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    I think first impressions is very important when it comes to landing jobs. So yes, I think you need a truck. Rich people don't want the neighbors seeing a station wagon pulling a trailer in front of their house.

    Do you absolutely need a truck? No, but you will lose jobs using the station wagon. It sucks, but it is the truth.
     
  5. earthwerks unlimited

    earthwerks unlimited LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    I'll take it one step further than "just needing a truck". I showed up in new, fairly expensive truck and the first thing my potential client says is," Oh boy a new truck---now I know you're gonna charge me too much". So I asked him, " Would you rather I pulled up in a smoke-belching station wagon dripping oil on your driveway?" "Well, no", he says. "'K, then", I said. Gave him his quote and he was happy and I got the work. Some people don't care what you drive--most do as they want to see that you aren't pocketing the (their??) money (as if!). I get a lot of blue-collar autoworkers for the Big Three who I hate working for. They feel they have the right to know how much exactly you are pocketing. Once I break the costs down that they are "making more than me" (they're not) they feel like they have one up on you. Go figure.
     
  6. Smitty58

    Smitty58 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

    I would say if you are going "legit" you need a truck. It does'nt have to be a $40,000 decked out model ,just clean and dependable. I have got jobs solely on my equipment appearance (truck/trailer). Someone wrote here that your truck is your most important tool ,and I would agree. Then for a small investment you can add vinyl lettering or magnetic signs ,you'll be surprised how much business you will get from that alone.
     
  7. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,487

    First impressions are very important. Just have something that looks clean and professional. That doesn't necessarily mean new and expensive. Most of the time a person's work quality is reflected in how one presents oneself.
     
  8. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Hi JonM,

    Make the best of what you have now. Keep your expenses low. As you grow you can upgrade your equipment.
     
  9. John P.

    John P. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 279

    GET THE TRUCK!!!!!!! thats all i can say if you are just getting into the business full time or just more serilously getting into it, you start mowing lanws then you will be asked to mulch properties, then they want trees and it goes on and on you need the truck to do jobs like that. yeah you could put materail in your tailer but i can tell you right now your not going to be able to pull enough materails with a staion wagon to make any sense. get a truck
     
  10. hockeygoalie

    hockeygoalie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    I started out pulling my trailer with a jeep cherokee. I could not afford to have a truck yet. I did need one. Customers wanted mulch, cut up and haul off fallen trees, ect... I got one when I could afford it. I grew the business and now I bought another, a 2005 chevy 2500hd. I think each piece of potential equipment needs to be evaluated on what you need to make more money vs. what can you afford. I have added more equipment and now I am getting an enclosed trailer. I think you will know the time when you really "need" a truck.
     

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