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Not in the biz yet, but have questions

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by eruuska, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. eruuska

    eruuska LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 454

    Hello everyone,

    I'm not in the business yet, but I'm seriously considering starting up in the spring for some additional income, and potentially a full-time gig.

    I don't have a lot of cash to lay out for new equipment. Right now I have an MTD 18hp 46" lawn tractor and a 21" mower. I've got a POS gas trimmer but I don't plan on using that one. I'm going to pick up a Husqvarna trimmer and probably a backpack blower.

    Couple of questions. I have to confess I haven't paid much attention to the local LCO's, so maybe this is a no-brainer, but when you're doing a small residential lot, do you go in with a big mower, like a tractor or a ZTR? What if you can't fit a big mower into the back yard? Do you just take the 21" and do the best you can?

    Forgive my ignorance. I do plan to keep reading this site, and I figure I'll be a lawn genius by springtime. :D

    Thanks in advance, I'm sure you'll hear from me again.

  2. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    Eric, smart plan to research before you jump in. In answer to your question, a lot of people starting out buy a smaller commercial walk behind, 36" or so. That'll cover much more ground than a 21", and yet will still fit in most backyard gates. I'm not sure on pricing, but you could probably buy a used one for $1500 or so.
  3. stizostedion_vitreum

    stizostedion_vitreum LawnSite Member
    from ND
    Posts: 51


    I'm by no means the expert, but you didn't mention what you have for a trailer or tow vehicle?

    How many accounts your planning to manage/service? I would suggest you perform a complete business plan with reasonable figures, this will answer the majority of the questions for yourself and will also provide a game plan to follow once started.

    Good luck in your new adventure,
  4. eruuska

    eruuska LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 454

    I've got a 8x5 trailer that will do for the time being, I'll pull it with my trusty minivan.

    I'd like to start with at least 10 clients. I plan to send out a mailing in February or March (in NW Indiana we don't start mowing until at least April), and hope I'll pick up a few that way.

    The plan (in my head at least) is to pick up some commercial equipment after a couple months of mowing, probably a used ZTR and maybe a bigger trailer and/or pickup truck.

    If next year is successful, I'd like to get a license the following year to spray pesticides and fertilizers to round out the package. Maybe also pick up a DR lawn vac for fall cleanups.

    I know, it's a lot to plan for, but I will not bite off more than I can chew. Even if my mailing falls on its face, the most I'm going to be out is a couple hundred bucks.

    Any other comments?


    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    You'll get all kinds of different opinions on types of equipment to use. What you have now will work to get started. I just use a 36" walk-behind on everything, fits thru all my gates. But I don't really have any large properties. If I did, I would definitely buy a larger mower and relegate the 36" for backyard duty.

    Definitely buy good commercial trimmer/edger/blower. They will save you a lot of time versus the Harry Homeowner crap.

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