Just Starting Out

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bjeffery, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. bjeffery

    bjeffery LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    hey im just out of high school and i'm starting a lawncare buisness(or want to) I was wondering when i should upgrade to a zero turn radius mower. I have a 48" John deere right now and im getting about 3-4 big jobs done a week. Also if and when i may get one i was wanting to know whether to go with a snapper or a john deere? I'd really just appreciate any kind of advice anyone could offer.

    Thanks, Brandon
  2. charmill26

    charmill26 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    i'd wait until you can pay for it in full and have a use for it on the majority of your lawns. it's not making you money if it's sitting on the trailer
  3. bjeffery

    bjeffery LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Is there anymore advice anyone can spare? what is the best way to get clients? I have been trying to go door to door in brand new neighborhoods in my area to get more clients.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I wouldn't get a Z unless you have a slew of yards in the acre+ range, my 60" warrior sits idle most of the time, my 48" prolines take care of most anything below an acre in the same or less time, the Z is a BIG machine, a luxury really.

    But my 48's are toros (tbar heheh), I'd say they cover 80% of my lots, I only have 5 or 6 acre+ lots (1 acre = 43,560 sq.ft.).
    If I were to do it all over again, I wouldn't buy the Z, but I got it now, what can you do...
    Had someone ask me the other day what I planned on doing with it...
    I said I'm keeping it LOL what am I supposed to do with it?

    An absolute waste of money it isn't, but to me it's not all it's cracked up to be, the thing eats 2 gallons of fuel per hour, it weighs a ton and has 12 gallon fuel tanks, it's almost like a dang car in fuel consumption (the truck doesn't care for the weight that much, either). But it is nice on big lots, I whoop out an acre in 30 minutes double cut (yes, twice over the whole thing).

    On a small 1/4 acre thou, I can't maneuver the machine fast enough, the smaller and lighter 48" is done faster. By the time we get to 3/4's of an acre we can argue about it, but remember the only time saved is cutting, it doesn't save time string trimming or whatever... And if it doesn't shave at least 10-15 minutes off, who cares? It's such a big, powerful machine, it needs a LOT of straight distances, 100 feet or more of full stick, then it makes out like a bandit. But short stretches it can't build speed, it's like trying to get a Nascar stock car around a gokart track, you're still backing up to maneuver around the first turn on such a narrow track by the time the gokart is halfway around the first lap.

    And I also agree, have the money in the bank first (at least this I did), I can feel the payments (0% loan) but I can also pay it off, I am not dependent on the machine to earn my money, I keep the money in my bank because I get 5% interest for the time being.
  5. Jake's Lawn Service

    Jake's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Posts: 127

    Hey I am in high school too:waving: Anyway, I would wait on getting a ztr until you have atleast 10 or 15 yards wear it would fit at. As for advertising, keep going door to door until you get the amount of customers you want. What I did two years ago in my subdivision (since I can't drive yet) was I put a price on the flyer to get the customers attention
  6. bigmudder77

    bigmudder77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 297

    all you highschool bitches need to get a real job and not take it from companys that have to pay for licenses and gas and wear and tear and all the other money it takes to run a REAL business. your just doing it to make a quick buck get a paper route take the crap jobs that no one wants stop undercutting companys to get a little extra money and making people yards look like crap leave it to other people until you can afford all the stuff that it takes to run a business.
  7. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,281

    Bigmudder77, What does being in highschool have to do with running your own lco?? I did it when I was in high school and even in junior high. I did just as nice of work as the bigger lco's, and I wasnt lowballing everything. Not everyone in highschool has to take the crap jobs and work at the mcd's if they dont have too. What are you scared that a 16 year old junior in high school could do twice as nice of work as you and his prices may be the same?? Scared of a lil future competition or somehting?? Dont be a troll, the kid was just asking a simple question.

    bjeffery, wait until you have the funds and the properties allocated to get the Z. topsites is very right, they are gas hogs and require a larger size property to make it worth while. All you really need for now is a good 48 and 52 walkbehind, or possibly look into a Wright Stander. They are like riders, just dont need the large areas and arent gas hogs. Good luck!!
  8. bigmudder77

    bigmudder77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 297

    no i dont mind it if they can keep there prices with in reason but come on half an acre for $20 get real wheres the money with gas almost 3 a gallon and its gonna be close to 4 this summer be real how is any one gonna go that low when they have ins. to pay for mine is $500 a year and thats at 2 million and $20,000 worth of stuff on my trailer with $0 deducible. if you want to get in to the biz do it right or get the F-U-C-K OUT.

    if you dont get it he is charging $20 for 1/2 acre takes about 40-60 mins have to pick up sticks every time cause theres trees. and have about a 50ft long drive way to edge. now gas to get there for me a get around 7-8 miles to the gallon with a trailer with my 2 mowers on it. they live about 15 miles away one way.

    so thats 30 miles round trip. if gas is at $3.00 a gallon i have already spend $22.50 on just gas plus the id say about $6-$8 in the mower PLUS about $1-$2 for the trimmer and blower

    $22.50+$7+$1.50=$31.00 around that id be $11 in the hole each week. and thats not how you run a biz. understand that or are you running your biz in the ground? cause you cant do the math.
  9. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,281

    Dont get me wrong, I in no way support the lowballers. In all actuality, at least around here, most of the lowballers are guys in there 30's and 40's who do it part time for beer money or got the boot from their 9-5 job and looking to make quick cash for themselves and not caring about tax, insurance, etc. Beleive me I know, I did the math on one account I bid on and lost to a lowballer. It was a big apartment complex, 174000 sq.ft and I shot him 250 a cut due to the wet spots, trash and the high amount of trimming. If you figure that and roughly 8 months of cutting, that is 8 grand for the season. The lowball guy, he is 43 mind you, came in and said I will do it for 90 bucks a cut. And he included the cleanups for free!!!! With that same math, he undercut my bid by $5120!!! There is no way in hell he is making money or will even last. But give the kid a chance, he should go take some night time college classes if he is out of high school, to learn business and what he is in for. Who knows, that may scare him out of it with the taxes, insurance and such. Or he will learn from it and be a very good businessman. I pay my taxes, pay insurance, which is 300 for the year on a million gl policy, and my commerical auto is 3600 for the year because of my age so far.
  10. bigmudder77

    bigmudder77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 297

    i dont even want to get in to auto i am 19 and for my truck it is $1000 a year with just liability. talk about shitty if i cause an accident the only thing that will be paid for would be the stuff on my trailer. my truck would not get paid for at all i would have to come up with that cash. ins. sucks big time but you do need it just in case i got in to a bad accident in augest and couldnt go back to work for like a month by that time i had lost my job cause it was seasonial. but the other guy had to pay my medical bills, car, work, pain and suffering, but in wayne county ohio i got $2500 for my pain and suffering which it **** but w/e and i got $1600 for the car (paid $500 for it had it for 3 months was paying $25 a month ins.) medical bills were over $10,000 and work was around $2000 for the month. if i had to pay that id be filing for bankrucpity or w/e. thats why i made it at 2 million and $10,000 for every thing on the trailer i need my stuff paid for cause i can afford to replace it. I think i am gonna get in to auto sales. Cause every one needs a vechical right. not every one needs a lawn mowed. i have made more money selling cars than i did working full time. only problim only aloud to sell 6 a year. with out a vendors licenses. but i get cars for $100-$5000 and i at lease double my money. sorry this is so long i kinda keep talking about nothing

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