New to the Business...will a 20" do?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by clutchcity34, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. clutchcity34

    clutchcity34 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Excuse me for being new to the business and I hope i dont get laughed at but I see all the threads on equipment and everyone has these big fancy machines. I have a brand new 20" lawnmower...my question is...am I way out of my league using this mower and should i upgrade? I plan on having 10-15 lawns to start and it wont be anything fancy...no landscaping; just mowing and edging (I have a manual edger) So tell me honestly what you guys think? hope you arent too harsh LOL.
     
  2. goodbeus

    goodbeus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 392

    If that's all you can afford, go with it...Rome wasn't built in a day...I started out with a 20 year-old worn-out truck, push mower(that was also my blower)worn out push edger, and an old trimmer...spent about $200.00 bucks at a flea-market for this stuff...right now, my set-up is worth $50,000.00...save your money and upgrade as you go...find out if this is really what you want to do...I see to many people get themselves into debt buying new equipment(not really knowing what they need) only to decide a month later this isn't for them....
     
  3. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,504

    I agree start with goodbeus, if you like it maybe look into getting a walkbehind mower, Try to keep debt down, but invest some of your money back in the buisness to keep it growing. When you invest in a string trimmer you might think about getting one that has inter- changeable heads so that 1 tool you will be able to multi - task with it ( edger- trimmer- blower) hope this helps out some
     
  4. Zach76

    Zach76 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    First of all, welcome to Lawnsite. You will find this site to be extremely helpful. I started out with a 10 year old Lawn Boy push mower (that's right, it wasn't even self propelled) and a $50 weedeater. After a couple months of doing about 10 lawns a week, I realized that I had to get a w/b, so I called a friend and got a deal on a Scag 36". I love it, and this year I'll be adding a 52" Exmark. I still have the Lawn Boy, and use it quite a bit, but I'd never go back to using it alone. Save up some cash you make with the 20", and finance the difference when you get to that point. That's what I did, no regrets. Hope this helps. Good luck to you.
     
  5. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    clutchcity34,

    Welcome:
    Everyone has to start somewhere, my first year in business I started out with one 21" mower, a cheap trimmer from Wal-mart and a push broom. Had about 7 clients.

    I've come along way after 5 years in business, but I didn't get there overnight. Took alot of hard work and dedication to build up the business.

    The best advice I can give you is let your work speak for itself, If you provide the best service out there, then it doesn't really matter what type of equipment your using.

    The equipment only helps you do the job faster, not necessarily better. Take your time, focus on customer service and being the best provider out there. Soon you'll be the guy with the big fancy machines.

    Good Luck.
     
  6. goodbeus

    goodbeus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 392

    When you invest in a string trimmer you might think about getting one that has inter- changeable heads so that 1 tool you will be able to multi - task with it ( edger- trimmer- blower) hope this helps out some

    I personally would not do this...equipment like this can't be locked, a theif can disconnect the split boom and it's gone...YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR EQUIPMENT SECURE...

    Don't go into debt buying equipment...it's not a good idea, especially when the slow season starts...

    If you provide the best service out there, then it doesn't really matter what type of equipment your using...The equipment only helps you do the job faster, not necessarily better.

    I personally don't agree...I've run Exmarks and Encores...the Exmarks do a better job, do it more efficiently with less down time...that's what it's all about, thus the saying, "You get what you pay for."..
     
  7. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,502

    Ya, good advice goodbeus.

    My equipment's are bought used, in good conditions and prices were more then half off.
     
  8. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    goodbeus,

    So what your saying is if I trim with a $40.00 trimmer versus someone that uses a $600.00 trimmer, the homeowner is going to be able to tell the difference in the trim?

    Or say I blow off the walks and driveway with a $60.00 blower versus a $400.00 blower they will notice that as well?

    A $200.00 Craftsman is going to cut the same 1" off the lawn the same as the $1000.00 Honda.

    The biggest difference between the equipment available is the quality and the speed of the machinery. For someone just starting out in business I would not recommend going into $20,000 of debt just to claim they have the best. Grow as you can and replace equipment as you go. If your budget can't afford you the biggest and best equipment out there then go with what works for the time.

    The quality of any job is in the craftsmanship of the user. The equipment is merly a tool to get the job done.

    I look at the founder of West Coast Choppers, Jesse James. That guy builds his bikes from scratch and uses some of the oldest tools around and some of the oldest methods known. But the quality of the bike he produces is unmatched by his competitors who are using state of the art equipment.
     
  9. goodbeus

    goodbeus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 392

     
  10. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    goodbeus,

    I'm getting the impression that you just want to argue here. You even argued the point that I over priced the trimmer.

    The whole point of this thread is does Clutchcity34, need expensive equipment or can he get by with the less expensive stuff for a while until he builds up his equity.

    I'll be the first to agree that there's nothing quite like good commercial equipment. Having started out with the low end stuff and worked my way up to the commercial equipment, I understand the difference in quality. I also understand the difference in price. Not everyone can afford the quality equipment when just starting out.

    Thanks for making my point that the stronger and more expensive blower will speed up productivity. Thats been my point in this thread all along.

    Price = Productivity, Price does not = Quality of job performed.

    I've seen plenty of pics on this site of peoples equipment and alot of times there an old craftsman or murray just chillin in the back of the photo, partially hidden by the new Exmark. What that tells me is not everyone was born with a silver spoon in their mouth.

    The point I was trying to make about West Coast Choppers is that even though they use old equipment they still get the job done ever bit as well as the state of the art stuff. A try craftman can do the job no matter what the tools.
     

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