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New to the Buisness

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Central Jersey Lawn Care, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. Central Jersey Lawn Care

    Central Jersey Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Hey guys, new to the forums, and I can personally say, WOW, there has been so much that I’ve learned since I have joined. I am sort of new to the Business, I have been around to other sites, and this is by far the best. Now to what I’m here for, what to do now, that I’m serious about becoming bigger and more widespread. I currently have the following used (none is new some is fairly new though):

    1 Toro Super Recycler 21”
    1 Craftsmen Straight Shaft Weedeater
    1 Craftsmen Blower (Handheld)
    1 HS 75 Stihl Hedge Trimmer

    That’s it for the Equipment, what do you guys think? I currently mow 13 residential lawns. All of them are under ½ acre. There is one that is a little more than a ½ acre. My cheapest lawn takes me, about 25-30 mins. I get 30$ for that, and my largest takes me a little more that an hour and I charge 55$. Are these prices right for the sizes? They all have some trees not many. Looking into expanding to around 20-25 accounts for next year. What’s your input on what I should do to expand more? I love mowing lawns and being out doors. This is what I really this is my goal in life, to own my own lawn care and or landscape business. I am also looking into buying a used 36” or larger walk-behind lawn mower for next year. What’s your input on that? This is a great site and I have learned a lot already and I’m looking to learn more. Thanks in advance for all the input.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Personally I think you're doing great with the prices and with your equipment. Far as recommendations, it will take some time to do it but save your money and consider buying a used wb sometime (at least a 44", maybe a 48"). A wb will greatly increase your production as a wb (even a used one) is capable of cutting 4 - 6 times the grass of a pushmower. Then you keep doing that and later you can buy a new wb which will increase your production another 20% or so. Also, once you get a wb you can get into larger lots without killing yourself, you can start cutting lots up to an acre in size.
    At the same rate, keep working on increasing your customer base and also see about buying some commercial-grade equipment far as the trimmer and the blower, I think you're fine on the hedge trimmer, I have an HS-55 and that's technically a home-owner's, so...
    If you like stihl, see about a straight-shaft weed-eater thou I forget their models because I have an echo (the srm-260s). Cost on these is 300-400 if you consider a backpack blower, you can then get into leaves as well (which may NOT be your cup of tea, these are only suggestions).
    So, keep building your base and save your money to upgrade equipment.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Oh, the reason I recommend the larger Wb's is because of path width - 3 passes with a 48" cuts as much grass as 4 passes with a 36": I love that wide path my 48" leaves behind and would never own anything smaller than a 44" (actually today I will stick with the 48 for a long time because it is the only size comes as a fixed deck). Has to do with production, it takes AS long to make each pass with any size mower, thus the 48" technically cuts 25 percent more grass.
  4. Central Jersey Lawn Care

    Central Jersey Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3


    All of your input sounds great, I only have one concern. I was thinking like a 36" or maby a 32" walk-behind. Not a 42" possibly 48", they seem a bit large and wouldn't fit though the gates. Im not saying its a bad idea for somone else. I just don't think its the right size for me. Any other input guys?
  5. roushjh

    roushjh LawnSite Member
    from KS
    Posts: 85

    Looks like you really have been doing your reading!

    I agree about the 36". If you can't fit a 44/48 through a gate it's of no use to you.

    You're doing quite a few lawns for the homeowner equipment that you're using. I don't know if your full or part time at this point, but decide what you goals are and how quickly you'd like to reach them. I'd suggest putting back a certain percentage of your gross or net (your choice) for commercial equipment.

    You have to determine which equipment you'll need first, but a mower will give you the most productivty gains probably.

    Good Luck
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    The wider, the better, I like the 52" thou that thing is a beast, the 48" doesn't feel that way. Still I hear you, you decide for yourself. In my case, I find not too many yards have gates around here while the 48" and certainly the 44" will fit through MOST 4-foot gates but no, neither fits through the 3-footer.
  7. Central Jersey Lawn Care

    Central Jersey Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Hey Guys,

    These are all great suggestions. Are there any more? I don't seem to have gotten what I would have though.
  8. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,164

    Stihl FS85 trimmer, great purchse. Had it for 3 years now. Worth every penny. Anything bigger isn't neccesry unless you plan to put a blade on the thing. But a wb would really help you expand. eXmark!!
  9. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    You have been researching. Do you have a lot of props with gates? If you can affoard this try this, get a Quick36 (advertisement link is at top of page) and maybe a larger used WB with a FLex Deck to boost productivity on the larger areas where gates aren't a problem. More you can cut at one pass like already said is more $ in your pocket. http://www.turfmagazine.com/linkstoadv.html
    Flex Deck is an advertiser in that magazine and a memebr of the site. He should be in the list there somewhere. Good idea on the Sthil. May want to look at a better blower if you'll be doing leaf clean ups come Fall though. Might be able to get a little more on the hour long job. A dollar a minute is a rough estimate point that is pretty popular but it may be a little high for your area. There are several members here fom NJ that could tell you though. Good luck and welcome :waving:

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