Need some help on this..

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bdlawncare, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. bdlawncare

    bdlawncare LawnSite Member
    from nj
    Posts: 49

    Okay, im just going to give you a little headsup this post may be a little long. I am also new here so looking for constructive critisism. I have an oppurtunity to start up a small landscaping business in my area due to snow removal customers inquiring about lawn services. I have about 40-50 btw. Anyway I am looking to get into the business and I obviously am insured and the company is set up because of the snow removal side of things. However I am a little confused on how to approach this.. Basically my area has a mix between small and large lawns by small i mean 1/4 acre to 1/2 acre and large from 1-5.5 give ot take a little bit. I have saved up enough money to buy a mower but they are still very expensive $8000 for a new stander. Do you guys think I would be better of spending more money upfront and buying the 8000$ mower or investing say 5-6 and get a smaller mower and new trailer and cut just the small lawns. I have the oppurtunity to do the larger lawns like i said but this will require much more money on my part to "start up"

    Trailer - 1000$

    Stander 52" - 8000$

    Little Wonder 13hp - 1200$

    New Backpack - 500$

    New line trimmer - 350$

    so this is what i would need to be able to handle larger lawns like the ones i mentioned above. however if i decide to just cut the smaller lawns i only need

    Trailer -1000$

    Mower - 2-3 G

    and i have the rest:

    1 line trimmer - Kawasaki

    1 backpack -

    2 little wonders 5hp and 8hp

    21" mower

    Edger

    and a few other things..

    Basically what im asking is do you think it would be worth it for me to spend a little more and do the larger lawns and in turn make more money... I know it depends on the numbers alot.... But im just wondering if i should dive in this deep the first year out.. like i said looking for constructive critisism not just useless garbage that sometimes gets thrown around these sites. Not saying thats what the story is on here but i have seen it happen a number of times. So anyway i appreciate the help and thanks in advance looking foward to hearing your responses
     
  2. stockie

    stockie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I would say its hard to buy a mower for a specific lawn. If you are starting up, you want to take any customer or job you can get. Are you going to say to a potential customer "Sorry, cant mow your lawn, my mower is too small/big"? That isnt a professional way to go. I think a 52" mower will fit most lawns. Now to the money. I think you should be looking used. You can get some good deals out there if you look around. I just bought a 52" bobcat fast cat pro for 4500. My budget was about 4k (which is low for a rider) I looked at so many exmarks for 4k, that had 2000+ hrs. I gave up, they were trash. Then I found this one with 50 hrs. For 8k, you could get a used 52" and 36". With a 52 and 36 you can do any lawn. Also, if you go small, doesnt mean you cant do a big lawn. Do it this year to land the customer, then upgrade next year to be more efficient
     
  3. Five Points

    Five Points LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    I started seven yrs ago with a 52 inch toro walk behind. awesome mower. still have it. as well as others now. first yr I had 12 lawns all sizes up to three acres plus. icould do them all. Bought a sulky for i tpart way through. Little lawns are ok but get old easy. A few big ones in the mix are kinda of nice.

    The previous post about not turning any lawns away is a good point. especially if close to an exsiting property.

    I have three main mowers now 52 -56 inches I cut properties from pretty small to my biggest eight acres. only use a 21 inch on a handful of them.

    Good luck
     
  4. bdlawncare

    bdlawncare LawnSite Member
    from nj
    Posts: 49

    I found a good deal on an exmark metro, and looking to maybe pick up a used stander... the metro has 15 hrs sulkey and grass catcher 1300$
     
  5. stockie

    stockie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    What size is the metro? 36"? Just make sure you check it out and feel comfortable. Im not a mechanice but the 3 or 4 mowers i looked at, just didnt seem right. One, the owner couldnt tell me if the hydro pumps had been replaced. Thats a 1000 dollar job, I think he would remember. The other, I was told had 680 hours on it. When I got there it looked like ****, and the hour meter cover was popped off. They guy just rolled back the hrs. There are deals out there, just look around so you know if your getting a good deal.

    I dont know much about sulkeys, never used one. But I have heard people say they can wear on the motor alot, pulling your weight. Depending on the engine size of the metro, I wonder if its big enough for a sulkey. May want to ask others on here.
     
  6. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,804

    8000 for a 52" standon mower sounds really high. i paid 8000 for my 54" ztr. i think you could find a better price than that on a standon even if you have to get a 48" or something.
     
  7. DIXIECONTRACTING

    DIXIECONTRACTING LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 283

    Maybe start out with a used 48" walk behind and used blower and trimmer ( approx. 2k-3k ) until the money starts to roll in and then if things are still looking good buy some new equipment.
     
  8. ralph02813

    ralph02813 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,041



    Ok, I promised myself I would respond, because I am confused. What confuses me is it seems like you are ready to put an $8000. mower on a piece of sh$$$$ trailer I am not sure where you get a trailer for 1k but anyway.
    If you really have 40 - 50 lawns, I would take a day or two right now and walk them all. Can you use a standup? Are there gates/what size? Are there hills/how steep? How hard/soft is the ground? How man in each size category?

    If I was going to spend $8k on a mower it better by cutting around 48 a minimum maybe 60. But again you need to look at the properties.

    If 40-50 customers is what you think you can get, go for a descent trailer $1500. - $2000, new 36 walk behind $3500. Blower $500.00 Trimmer $250.00, Hedger $350.00 total investment $6,700 use the other $1,300 for gas, oil, blades and hand tools.
     
  9. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    Get a good used 60" ztr and a 36" walk behind and the other small handhelds you memtioned. You can find a trailer for the 1k just go over it good before you tag it. I put my 60" mower on 1/4 acre lots all the time and it looks great. Good luck.
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  10. stockie

    stockie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46


    I agree with going with used equipment and a good trailer. But if this is a solo operation, I question if you can do 60 lawns a week with a 36". Of course it all depends on the route, and how far apart they are from each other.
     

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