New kid on the block

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Zach76, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. Zach76

    Zach76 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    Hello All, First of all, much respect to all of you who have been at this for a while. Its a tough business. I see LCOs go by the wayside all the time here in Omaha. I'm basically just starting out. I've run on a really small scale for about 2 years now doing mostly friends and family. My only really nice equip is a Scag 36" belt drive. All the rest is pretty much junk that I got because it was cheap. 2004 is the year I decided to go at this with a little more force, and I know that to succeed I won't be able to afford the down time we all experience with broken down equipment. I'll be doing mostly residential lots about 5000 to 10,000 sqft, and am looking for recommendations for new equip from seasoned professionals. Thanks for your help, and good luck to all in 2004 and beyond.
     
  2. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    Hey Zach, nice to see a new member post a good post like this one and believe me, we all started somewhere like yourself asking the same questions. As far as future posts like this, it is best to put as much info as you can for others to respond to. For example when you stated that you are looking for new equipment, I certainly would like to help but it would be nice to know what your looking for, mower, trimmer, blower, trailer, truck, etc. and once you get that, specify what kind of mower, blower,etc. Like are you looking for a push mower, walk-behind, ZTR, reel mower, etc. and then how about price range. I'm sure once you post all the information that you can think of that would be helpful to us we would be more than glad to help you and perhaps later on you could retur the favor.
     
  3. Zach76

    Zach76 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    Well, a new trimmer is a definite, but every dealer obviously has tried to tell me their's is the best without giving me much in the way of hands-on experience, so I'm trying to figure out which brand to go with. I think I'm down to Shindaiwa or Echo based on a lot of the posts I've read here over the last couple weeks, but open to suggestions. My push mower is an old lawn boy 21" that is not self propelled, and I'd like to replace that just to get a self propelled one. Also thinking of getting another large mower, but not right away. For the 5-10,000 sqft yards would you guys recommend another walk behind or a ZTR. I'm pretty sure I'll go with an EXmark either way, and will most likely add larger accounts in the next few years. My truck is a 95 chevy 1500 4x4 ext cab with a brand new motor, so that's cool, but right now I load all the other stuff into its bed. A trailer's a must, but how big? Do I need trimmer racks? Should I get a basket on the front or just use the truck bed? Any other suggestions?
     
  4. Cutters Lawn Care

    Cutters Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 314

    Either a wb or ztr would be fine. You can get a exmark 48" metro belt drive with velkie for about $3200 new. A 6x12 trailer will do fine. Definately go with weedeater racks. Loading and unloading in the back of your truck is a pain in the rear. And it looks much more professional if all your equiment is neat and organized. I bought a weedeater rack, water cooler rack, backpack blower rack, rack to hold 6 tools, and a hedge trimmer rack for about $350. The website where I got this is trailerpartsforless.com.
     
  5. Zach76

    Zach76 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    I'll have to check out the website. That sounds like a great price compared to some of the prices I've seen at shops around town. I notice you run a lot of echo equip. Have you used anything else for comparison, or is that what you've always run? I've seen quite a few posts that talk about the Shindaiwas and I want to get something that won't need replaced after 2 seasons. Thanks for all the info.
     
  6. MIMAINTAINCE

    MIMAINTAINCE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    I agree w/ cutters. Definetly get a like a 6.5x12. I also think you should definetly get trimmer and blower racks. They are much easier to use that the back of your truck. I bought mine, Jungle Jim's Gear Caddy, at www.power41.com. I paid like $280 w/ shipping. It holds 3 trimmers, 2 blowers and a water cooler. If you have the money, try and get a hydro w/b. They are more productive than a belt drive. As for trimmer, the shindaiwa are excellent machines. I have 3 trimmer by shin., 2 edgers
     
  7. Zach76

    Zach76 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    Okay, I think I've decided to go with a Shindaiwa trimmer, but I have a small dilemma. The only dealer within about 20 miles has provided poor customer service to another LCO in my area. Good quality of work, done in a timely fashion, but the employees are a real pain in the a**. Should I take a chance on having a little pain in my a** to go with the Shin, drive farther when I need work done, or use another brand of trimmer.
     
  8. Green Gopher

    Green Gopher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    I use the Shindaiwa t-260 trimmer and the 2500 multi-tool for edger and hedge trimmer. I love them they're great. I should have gone with the 2500 for trimmer also, but live and learn.

    Good luck!
     
  9. TXLAWNBOY

    TXLAWNBOY LawnSite Member
    Posts: 220

    Zach76,
    I run all ECHO 2-cycle equip. except a Shin. EB240. I love both brands the main thing in buying equiptment in this buiss. is dealer support. If you don't have that it dosen't matter what brand you buy. As for a trailer a 6x12 is a good size to start with. I would go with racks and a basket in the front for gas cans, etc. As for racks I built my own and they came out great. If I can ever figure out how to post dig. pics I will. If you build your own racks you can save vauble start-up money. Hope the info helps.

    Josh
     
  10. Zach76

    Zach76 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    Just got word from a fellow LCO in the area of a Shindy dealer that I wasn't aware of. Great service, reasonable prices, and closer than the guy I was leary of. Looks like I'll be getting a new Shindy trimmer in the next few weeks. YIPPEE. Finally the WeedEater can go in the garbage.
     

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