Question about blowers

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by A&JLawn, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. A&JLawn

    A&JLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Ok, this may sound bad.

    My business is only about two months old. I'm 24, have a wife and young daughter, and live in an apartment (my dad lives right down the road, and has a two car garage that he let's me store my equipment in).

    It sort of started out as just helping family and friends, when I realized how much I enjoy working outside, on my own terms (basically), and making more than 8.00 an hour. ;) Well, I've managed to scare up about 10 customers thus far.

    Today, I was called out to estimate a job at a house with a BIG lawn (well, big when you're used to doing 5k sq. as this is about 18k). This is my FIRST customer that I didn't have a prior informal relationship with. Needless to say, I'm a little nervous and intimidated. I have decent equipment (not really, but I like to tell myself that), except for one thing.

    I haven't been able to save the 200-300 dollars I would need for a nice gas powered blower (young baby=no extra money, which is why I'm doing this in the first place...more money for my family).

    The one I've been using is electric. All of my other customers say they understand that it's a young business, and they don't mind if I have to plug in an extension cord for 15 minutes to blow off they're driveway and walkways.

    So, my problem is this...

    What do I do with this new customer?

    Do I simply state that I'm a young business owner, just starting out, and I don't have the fanciest equipment yet, so may I please use an outlet for a few moments?

    Do I say that I don't have a blower, so I'll use a broom? ;)

    Or, do I pass up the job completely, and say I can't do it?

    I really, really hate the idea of turning down work, especially when it's in a new area, and could be good exposure for my business, plus I'm always broke.:D

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for your time.

    JV
     
  2. TURF DOCTOR

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,138

    Try big lots they sell homelite.
     
  3. Zach76

    Zach76 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    Why not use a broom the first couple of times? If you do good work, and the end result is the same, who cares. Then save the $$ you get from doing the account and buy a blower. Then your on your way to bigger and better things.
     
  4. TURF DOCTOR

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,138

    There is some in my country that cuts and trims, blows not,you do not have to blow clippings off.
     
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Check pawn shops, they usually run but little compression but give the illusion of blowing will get you by for a while usually $$100.00 and rental stores, they maintain them well and are fine if you can find them. That or garage sales and 2nd hand stores. Also charge more money and you wont be broke. payup Good luck PS everybody started somewhere. My first work truck was a pontiac 6000.
     
  6. Martee

    Martee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    You might go check with some of the dealers who sell blowers ask if they have a model you could demo for a day. Dont tell them why but the dealers around here will let you demo alot of equipment so they can sell it.
    Or check with a rental place to see what that might cost.
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    There is truth to the statement you don't need a blower (except for the inevitable leaves but for that you'll need POWER anyway so)...

    First off, learn to cut grass so NO clippings end up on the paved surfaces. Even with a blower, this is a real time-saver. The trick is where the chute is aimed so use a pattern on the lawn that prevents the chute from being aimed OUT at the paved surfaces. On that note, with certain lawn-mowers you can run over clippings on paved surfaces and the wind from the blade is enough to clear the clippings, thou I suspect a side-discharge would be better than a rear or NO chute, heh...

    If you have a powerful weed-eater, most of them the head rotates counter-clockwise. This means if you go wide-open and skim a paved surface with it, dropping the right-hand side slightly usually provides enough of a breeze to clear clippings. Sometimes when all I have is a sidewalk with a few clippings, I skim the weedtrimmer straight down the center wide open and never even start my blower. By skimming I mean you run the head as close to the surface as you can, you lean it one way or the other to get directional wind.

    For a broom, I might skip that and get a rake at Home Depot for 10 bucks and at least you can get the worst off plus the rake comes in handy for other things but that's just me.

    Good luck lol, my first truck was a 1974 27-year old Ford, 400,000+ miles on the odometer so you ain't the first one started a bit rough.
    Even now in my 4th year all I got is a 19-year old Dodge but it's MUCH better than the Ford. Well, it IS!
    Keep your nose up in the air but not TOO high :)
     
  8. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Posts: 2,419

  9. westwind

    westwind LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 444

    I picked up 2 echo backpacks for 100.00 from another LCO. Used but reliable, i think they lasted me 2 seasons. Call some of your local LCO's and ask them if they have 1 to get rid of. The smaller companies might be a better bet. Plus this gives you an oppurtunity to network with other services in your area.
     
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Used handheld will get you started. less than 100$.
    But it is Nov. The season is almost over. Do you really want to invest at this time of year. The few cuts that you do this year may not even cover the cost. And if you get this job do they want you to do leaves. Than you WILL need a big blower.
    I would think hard about making an investment at this time. Maybe pass on this and tell them you can not take on any more till next year.
    Many jobs will come your way.
     

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