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Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by FFMED74, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,157

    Wow, you are "starting out" with a heck of alot more than I did. My very first paid lawn mowing was with a borrowed Honda 21 self propelled mower (which immediately broke), and a borrowed Echo trimmer (which weighed around 200lbs).

    I decided to immediately "upgrade" to a "Lawn Chief" $50.00 hardware store special 21" mower, and a Poulan "weedeater" homeowner special, which was probably around $40.00. After a year of breakdowns, I realized that you really do need commercial equipment, and started to buy real equipment. Thank god for John Deere financing! Because no one else would even talk to me!

    So, you are ahead of the game already.
  2. pushmower

    pushmower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    I started with all non commercial equipment 21" mower, weed eater edger and blower, worked fine. I gained a few accounts during the season and realized that my equipment was not efficient enough to handle numerous accounts. I finally had to buy commercial equipment when one day everything broke down.....I guess thats a good sign to move up.
  3. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Posts: 1,405

    When I started I had a 3.5hp Murray and a sears weed eater. I also walked several miles a day to all of my yards.
  4. FFMED74

    FFMED74 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 242

    Sounds like a lot of you started the way I did or even below. I commend you for your drive to succeed. I have an advantage to the fact that I have a full-time job, firefighter/medic, so I could aford a bit better, but I still didn't want to pour in 10K on something I wasn't sure I would like doing. As I grow I will buy better equiptment. The main point is that I dont hear the "start with the GOOD ENOUGH stuff first instead of jumping in full bore and buying the best/most expensive products". I think that is better advise to those starting out and not knowing where to begin. I love all the stories of how each of you began, thank you for the insight on your lives and keep up the great green work!
  5. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I'm not one to criticize others decisions but I would like to point out something.


    You said you started with a 21" and upgraded to a 21". I started with a 22" Murray.........upgraded to an Ariens riding mower..........upgraded to a Scag Super Z...........upgraded to a 50" Dixie Chopper...........and upgraded again to a 72" Chopper.

    I'm not about tootin' my horn but what I am about is telling those that will listen.............a 21" commercial mower ain't gonna mow too many more yards than a 21" homeowner version.

    At some point........in order to expand and grow.........you have to invest in faster, more productive equipment. I went out on a limb and took on some debt...........they're finally paid for........but having that equpment allowed me to go after business I couldn't have even thought of with my riding mower.

    Maybe a 21" mower is all you need. Again, I'm not here to criticize anyone.......and God knows I didn't do everything right and still don't, but sometimes you have to take that debt on in order to see the bigger returns.
  6. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 916

    When i incorporated my business i started with a 32 scag belt then added a 44 toro proline with a 5x10 trailer and a new nissan truck. This was aug 1st by that april i bought and added to my list of large items was, 2 48 ferris hydro's 52 ferris z 16x7 trailler, ford ranger 4x4 6.5' plow, ford f250 dump insert 4x4 8' plow, ford f350 dualley dump, 3k in stihl power equipment. And this was last april. Iam not sure if that is head in but i dont have a payment on any of the stuff and i didnt sell any of my inital equipment. But i dont fell as if iam growing to fast just keeping up with the demand.

    Thanks, Jason (iam also 21 years old, and no my parents didnt buy my sh#t)
  7. celltech

    celltech LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    This thread is awesome and uplifting. I keep/kept reading threads about big bad A@$ equipment and how it is needed to get the job done. I am gald to hear how others started off like I plan to. I am starting this year with new equipment, but nothing special. Self propelled mower, blower, trimmer, edger, trailer. I will also probalby buy a truck. But, the real beauty of it is that if I absolutley end up hating it, I can use everything at home (and I have always needed/wanted a truck). I currently have electric blower, trimmer at home, and those have needed to be replaced for a long time--although the blower is actually pretty good. BUT, I know I will love this and am starting SMALL. I have a full time job and go to school as well (the GI BILL is financing my lawn care motivation HEHE).
    Anyway, glad to know after reading many threads that a lot of people have started off the same and planned on expanding slowly like I do.


    PS this site in general is fantastic and very informative!!!!
  8. biglou

    biglou LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    Its nice to hear about all the nice new equipment some have. I started with an old snapper yard cruiser and a ransome bobcat 48in walk behind.5x8 trailer and john deere trimmer and echo hand held blower.We now have an exmark lazer z liquid cooled,18ft trailer,2 echo backpak blowers,2 echo trimmers, echo edger and the old ransome 48 with jungle wheels,21in lawnboy push mower. new f250 supper duty and 8ft western pro plow.
    took 3 years though and a lot of hard work.
    Just set your goals and go after them. Try to pay cash when you can. It puts you a step ahead of your competition.Lowers your overhead.:)
  9. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    And how do you figure that? Overhead needs to be recovered.
  10. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Posts: 587

    that depends on what he means by 'pay cash'. if he means pay for the equipment from the company's cash fund, then you are right.

    but, if he means pay cash out of pocket, then he is right about lowering overhead.

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