Newbie need guidance!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Captain Brendan, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. Captain Brendan

    Captain Brendan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    This is my first post on the forum. I am looking to open a small lawn and landscape company this upcoming spring. At first it will only be part time for myself and brother until we are able to gather a good amount of accounts. That we could part from our current jobs. I have been doing my research about just about everything. But when it comes down to mower selection everyone seems to go in different directions. We were planning on getting the following kawi 750 backpack blower and kawi string trimmer and a small open trailer for starters we already have a 21" push. As for our main mower we are not sure which way to go. put out less money and get a 36" walk behind used. Figuring we will need it in the future anyway to get threw those 39-42" gates. Or just bit the bullet and get a ZTR right off the bat. :confused:. Any help full suggestions would be really appreciated.
     
  2. FYS777

    FYS777 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,305

    ????
    do you have accounts now?
    what is your start up budget?

    get some accounts first!!
    If it was me I'd go with the w/b first, then build up!!
     
  3. Captain Brendan

    Captain Brendan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    As of right now we do not have accounts. We have just been trying to plan out our budget. We are trying to keep it as low as possible yet being realistic about looking semi-professional (not pushing some rusty antique around there property). We have been building our business plan and the only 2 things we have left is deciding upon an accurate amount of capital to get the ball rolling. As well as the best area in which we would focus most of our advertising. Also is there any formula or suggestion upon how big of a deck size to get? The area in which we will be mowing a large variations in lot sizes. The smallest would be like 100x100 up to lots of 2 acres or so. I had plans of a 36wb or 36ztr and then a 60ztr in the future depending upon customer response.
     
  4. LouisianaLawnboy

    LouisianaLawnboy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,199

    If you plan on getting smaller subdivision lots, then I would spring for a 36" ZTR, two trimmers, and a bp blower all on a 5x8 trailer with racks and a toolbox. If you go used you could proly get all of that for under 5000.00.
     
  5. Allens LawnCare

    Allens LawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 926

    If your cutting lots and only need a 36" don't pay the extra for a ZTR, stick with a walk behind and save the extra dough. I'd start with this:
    6.5x10 open trailer (so if you get a ZTR at some point you have some room)
    1 36" walkbehind
    1 21" push
    2 Trimmers
    1 or 2 Blowers (Mainly for fall clean ups)
    Hedge trimmers (If your gonna cut)
     
  6. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    I second this setup - it is what I started with - ZTR fits anywhere you need it but adds the speed you will want. Saves on operator fatigue so it is a wise investment.
    Of course with Zero Customers it is overkill, however if you do good work you will grow rapidly enough that it will come in handy.

    Many will come on here and suggest that a WB is the way to go as compared to ZTR. I am telling you that a ZTR can be used in place of WB without any issues as I have done it. Many will tell you that a ZTR is too big to fit in many areas - Not true if you start out with small ZTR because it is actually smaller in length than some WB with Sulky.
    Best thing about this is not only will you not fatigue as quickly, later if you grow and your main Zero Turn has to go to the shop, you can still use it to keep on track, you can still use it to get in your gated properties. Ask anyone that owns a small zero turn like myself - you can get them to work anywhere a WB can, you just are not as warn out at the end of the day!:weightlifter:

    If you are positive this is what you guys want to do - go with small ZT and I can tell you that you will be happy in the long run.
     
  7. Captain Brendan

    Captain Brendan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    Thanks guys I am going to start researching some 36" ztr's. Any suggestions on make and what I should look to pay. For a fairly used machine. Thanks again guys get help. :clapping:
     
  8. LouisianaLawnboy

    LouisianaLawnboy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,199

    Under 3000.00 for a good commercial unit with relatively low hours.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    On the make - find a good dealer in your area - one that can service your needs - ask them how long parts take on average to get parts etc. This will be critical for you. Down time when you have a full book is not a good thing. Other than that - it is up to your personal preference just as long as it is commercial grade. If possible ask for demo time. This is the only way you will really know how well it will handle out in the field.
     
  10. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    Although the person did not do a good job of cleaning up the mower before pictures - and the price is a little high - this is an example of what is out there if you do some looking around. 200 something hours is not a lot of hours for a commercial mower just in case you do not know.
    Good luck and do lots of looking and find what will work for you. Go with you instinct and not JUST what people here tell you.
     

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