New to Business (soon to be)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Randy J, Aug 22, 2001.

  1. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Me & my wife have been wanting to own our own business for some time. After a couple of failed attempts to buy automotive salvage yards (too much money and hassle from the EPA), we've decided on a lawn care business. I've located one for sale in an area where we would like to live. It's a nice business, has 2 Grasshopper mowers, one a 721D, with one bagger, several push mowers, and various hand held equipment. The truck is kind of old, but works, and the trailer is a nice 24' enclosed one. We intend to purchase this business in May of next year, after our daughter graduates H.S. The gas Grasshopper is kind of old, some I'm thinking I might get rid of it, and buy some equipment for my JD GT225 instead (such as bagger, snow blower, tiller), to make it more versatile since it's primarily a backup mower. Hopefully to add another 721D later. Also, I'm thinking about adding snow removal equipment - plow and salt spreader to my 98 Dodge 4X4 diesel. I would like to concentrate any lawn treatments with organic materials. One more idea I had was to buy a driveway (street) sweeper and try to get complete accounts for cleaning, mowing and snow removal. Of course I would need a hired hand to run the sweeper. Any advice? I am fairly knowledgable about lawn care, and learning more every day thanks to this site and others like it. Any and all input welcome.
  2. Nick

    Nick Banned
    Posts: 180

    Buy a dixie chopper and your set for awhile. I couldn't do it with out there quility of cut and overall performance.
  3. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    Good move on passing on that salvage yard. I work full time as a bodyshop manager, and the automotive businesses (service anyway) require high investments and provide low returns.

    BTW does your '98 have the 24 valve diesel?

    I have a '00 sport, and I love mine.
  4. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    I don't know Billy, I love cars and have had the dream of owning a salvage yard for a long time. It's taking a while for that one to die. By the way, I'm an auto physical damage instructor for a large insurance company.
    Yeah, my dodge is the 24 valve, quad cab 4X4. I'd like to have the Sport option, and a 5 speed, but mine's doing awful good. I have 101,500 miles on it now, and it purrs like a kitten.
  5. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    Welcome to LawnSite Randy.

    I wouldn't put to much into that JD as far as extra things. It will not put out to much production as a mower compared to a ZTR. I have a 430 diesel JD that is just sitting. It only gets used for snow removal and some small landscaping jobs now. I have a 60" deck for it, but it will only cut about 1/2 of what a ZTR will in an hour.
  6. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962


    A while back I worked in a large Body Shop ( as a tech). We had several entry level adjusters come in to "observe" during their training. It's a shame the collision industry is in the shape its in now, I don't think most adjusters are concerned with writing a sheet to put a car back to "preaccident condition", but to build stats with their company by writing low repair times, panel blending (killing material allowances for the job), aftermarket, and LKQ parts. Oh well enough about that.
    I got 43,000 miles on my diesel and like it more than anything else I've ever owned (except maybe a '72 Nova about 15 years ago)
    You may already have it but here is a great site for Turbo Diesel owners:
  7. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,045

    Before you buy any business find out why are they selling it, 2 old grass hopper and lots of push mower doesn't sound too good to me, if you can afford to buy all that stuff that you want just make sure you have customers to use it, I'm not sure but I think even if you appy organic fertilizer you still need to be a certified applicator to do so.

    Good luck!
  8. dhicks

    dhicks Member
    Posts: 771

    I'd get new Hustler equipment for my main mowers and such. The one thing that confuses me is why invest in snow equipment if you are in San Antonio? I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer but you really got me on that one!
  9. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    There's a good chance it was our appraiser trainee's that came into your shop. As I recall we had some out there in Virginia after their formal training in our home office. Although I do like my job, as an instructor, one of the reasons we're looking to get into the lawn care business is that I don't like the way the insurance industry is going. I'm a firm believer that the insurance companies and body shops spend too much time arguring and the customer loses.
    Already a member on the TDR site, but thanks for thinking of it.

    Thanks for the advice on the JD. I know it's not a commerical mower, and would use it primarily as a back up and for tilling and snow removal. The gas Grasshopper is fairly old, although seems mechanically sound. I would like to get the JD accessories, and then add another diesel Grasshopper soon after.

    Thanks for the input all.

  10. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Good question on the snow equipment, sure don't need it much down here. The business we're planning on buying is in Southern Missouri. Won't need much snow equipment there either, but, there's usually 1 or 2 good snow storms and a couple of ice storms a year.
    We did consider starting our own business in central Missouri where we have more family & friends, but decided against it for 2 reasons; 1) already established customers - the current owner has supplied me with a complete list of customers and prices he charges them, 2) we like south Missouri better.


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