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New guy needs your knowledge

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ranger2000, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. ranger2000

    ranger2000 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Hello fellas, i just started cutting lawns in May, i have already built 8 residential accounts who call me almost every week and so forth,i currently have a Husqvarna 21" walk behind auto walk with a 8.75 engine.The other day a man called me and asked me how much would i charge to cut 2 acres with some slopes,then he asked me what i was going to cut with and i told him with a walk behind lawn mower,the man insisted i use a riding lawn mower because i was going to burn myself out.Now if i had a commercial walk behind with 30" + cut maybe he could of said cool.My question is what commercial walk behind machine can i upgrade to as a beginner.Any replies are appreciated, thank you.
  2. Grass Happens

    Grass Happens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    You should be able to pick-up an older bobcat/ransomes, scag or maybe exmark in the 500-800$ range. Get the 5 speed, as the variable drive isn't all that great. I would find out what brands are supported in your area, and try to shoot for one of those, so parts and service wont be a big problem. Just make sure it doesn't smoke, the belts and tires are in good shape and all the bearings are good. Avoid anything with electrical or intermittent problems, like "sometimes it doesn't start" or anything of that nature, the owner is trying to offload a jinx'd machine. Just approach it like a used car purchase. Or if your not comfortable and/or don't know anything about lawnmowers, go buy a new one from a dealer with a warranty.
  3. mowNblow

    mowNblow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    i got a used 2004 toro 36 inch walk behind LOW hrs... for $$1750 a month and a half ago and i have made that back already its worth the up front expense in the time it saves alone i hate to get out a 21inch mower now
  4. Kid With A Mower

    Kid With A Mower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    Haha, you're not far away from me, I'm in Newark De. I got a used Exmark metro 36''/12hp for $550, I found it in the classified adds.
  5. westwind

    westwind LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 444

    I would not walk onto 2 acres without at least a 52in. cut.
  6. Lovingreen

    Lovingreen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    Without the right equipment, you'll never stay competitive. I never have regretted purchasing good equipment. I have however regretted trying to save money and ending up with something I got rid of anyway. A good versatile hydro 48" will fit through most gates, is small enough to maintain those 1/4 acre lots and big enough for two acres. With a velke and a good quality machine you can in most cases mow at full speed with a good clean finish. You might have to get a few more accounts to justify the expense, but good equipment pays for itself.
  7. barefootlawnsandlandscape

    barefootlawnsandlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 296

    "i have already built 8 residential accounts who call me almost every week"

    Just a little advise. Don't let them dictate when you come out to take care of their property. Set them up on a schedule and do it every week. Tell them that if you see that the property doesn't need cutting then you will not service it. Don't let the customer dictate when they get mowed or you will never be able to properly schedule and route your business as you grow.
  8. Budget

    Budget LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 368

    Make sure you look at every property you price. This one might be out of reach for you until you get some equipment. Bigger isn't always better in some cases.Go with what you know for right now, and hit it hard next year.
    Oh and save your money for bigger and better equipment.
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Same here.

    Some jobs can be just too big for the equipment you've got.
  10. IHusky

    IHusky LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 478

    If your going to take on two aces, I would suggest going with at least a 48" walk behind, 52" or bigger would even be better. That 2 acres will get old real soon with a 36". 36" is mostly used for smaller residental accounts.

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