New Lawn Man

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by PB Landscaping, Aug 21, 2000.

  1. PB Landscaping

    PB Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from utah
    Posts: 18

    I am starting my commercial lawn care business in the spring. Used to do it as a kid in my hometown but I am moving on to bigger and better. I've got all the financial backing and have been doing local research on dealers. What I need is a good list of equipment. I am strongly looking at a big tex trailer 6*16 with gate, and front axle brakes. Leaning towards all Toro mowers (like the look of the new Z masters and their walk behinds. Looks like a good warranty to me) . Shindawa trimmmers and stick edgers seem the way to go. I will have between 40 and 112 commercial lawns by March (depending on who picks up my bids). May run two crews of two or three guys when i pick up more than 80 lawns.
    I'm trying to break into the busines and could use all the advice you've got!!!
    Oh ya I'll be going to college full time and working a part time accounting job too. I know my days will be long and distinguised:)
     
  2. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    First off, congrats on your decision of starting up in the spring. Its good to see that your doing your research early and getting your plan out of the way so you can have a track to stay on. Your starting off in the right direction!

    Seems like your taking on quite a bit, but if you think you can handle it, more praise to you!

    I wish you the best of luck this spring, and I wanted to let you know that you've come to the right place to get opinions on different equipment, procedures, and to get your questions answered in more ways than you can imagine!

    Good Luck and Welcome to Lawnsite!

     
  3. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    Good luck! If you have any questions, this is the place for answers. One comment, why don't you get 4 wheel brakes on your trailer? 4 has to be better than 2, right?
     
  4. greenflag

    greenflag LawnSite Member
    Posts: 92

    Good Grief!
    I hope you have lots of energy! Best of luck, though, and more power to you.
    Free advice, you judge its value. Consider getting backup equipment asap. I am by no means an expert, but my Father-in-law owns a fairly large commercial only service, and he sends his crews out with two of everything in case something breaks. Of course, he isn't mowing with the crews, but he feels that this policy is good insurance in case something breaks. I would like to see what the more experienced guys think about this.
    BTW- have installed trailer hitches and brake controls for the last eight years, and yes, get a four brake system. It will be worth the extra money in the long run on tire wear alone, not to mention safety. I would also recommend a digital brake control for ease of use. Big Tex makes a good trailer.

    David Burrow
     
  5. TurfMaster

    TurfMaster LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 17

    I would highly recommend looking into a wider trailer than the big tex trailer that you mentioned. I have ran into many situations over the last two years where that extra width is a savior with some of the extra "stuff" you begin hauling around, not so mention some 61" or 72" mowers that you may have to get to become competitive in the commercial market if you decide to get into it.

    Make sure that your cash flow is steady enough during those winter months to take care of the equipment and maintenance costs. This is the number #1 thing that guys always misjudge on, then their scrambling in the winter time to dump equipment. Play it smart, less is better, you can always add more if the work becomes too much. Same goes for starting off small with fewer amount of people than adding as the season goes on. Don't know yet, but next year could be a drought year, have to plan for the unplanned!

    Good Luck in your edeavors. Don't let the grades slide!
     
  6. PB Landscaping

    PB Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from utah
    Posts: 18

    Thanks for the tips guys:))
    Don't be bashfull to unload your years of worthy experience on my feeble mind:)
    One more thing do any of you base what you charge by seeing what the competition charges first, if not how do you set your standard for your services?
     
  7. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Good question! I recommend doing some type of survey on local pricing if possible. Try to talk to some companies close by, but not in you direct area. If you just take a guess you could easily be lowballing the other services and cheating yourself also. Have a good idea what the local market is bringing.
     
  8. Cutter1

    Cutter1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,251

    WOW!!!!

    More power too you!! Too me that seems like a extremly big debt to put on yourself right of the bat. Maybe you should look into used equipment, its not the best, but it will save you a lot of money. If things go well, you can get new equipment, or trade your used stuff in. I also agree that you shoud talk to people around you about pricing, if you bid low, that brings everybody's prices down and creates less profit for everyone. Equipment is expensive, keep the prices up!!
     
  9. PB Landscaping

    PB Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from utah
    Posts: 18

    I am going to start asking around about pricing.
    Thanks for the tips.
    I am not worried about the expense for equipment becuase i am going new just for the fact that the used equipment around here that i've seen is shabby at best. (From what i know of Lawn equipment anyway) The only things that concern me is the lawn care part. I want to do a top quality job for my clients. The problem is i need to learn basic principals like fertilization, Taking care of brown spots, Sprinkler repare when to aerate when not to do it, how to bulk up a lawn to make it healthier. How to keep it healthy. what equipment to use to seed, how to seed, blah blah blah blah blah. Does anyone see my point. I Read everything i can and talk to who ever will listen.
     
  10. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,866

    Are you crazy??!! After reading all these post about how we not making beans you still want to get into this business? Soon you will be talking to yourself and trying to figure out how you got yourself into such a mess of debt. You will be like Kramer and NNNNewman on Sienfield. Trying to figure out how they can get drink cans to michigan in a profitable way. You will be comparing that to how you can cut enough corners in the lawncare business to make ends meet. Maybe if you eat just banana samwiches every day for lunch you can make a profit. man, there are alot more profitable businesses out there where you can make alot more money than this. That are alot less labor intensive. Where you get find good employees and get more respect than a 9 year old kid with a pushmower..................................................
    I havent been negative in a while. Whew! I feel better.
     

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