Start up New Equipment List....Recommendations

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SprinklerGuy, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. I am going to mow....and provide as much of a full service as I can this season,.

    I already have 2 accounts and more to come I'm sure as the accounts are the result of a "gatekeeper"..she tells everyone about me.

    I plan to mow mostly smallish yards 3-6k in size....I have decided to take it slow and use only a 21 inch mower for the time being.

    My plan is to decide by mid season wether or not I think i want a 36" walk behind....Probably the Quick 36....The $2300 model....single hydro....good starting mower in my opinion..hopefully by the time I purchase it, it will be available as a mulcher as I don't plan to bag at all.

    But....I need recommendations on brand and other isn't really an object but the cheaper the better.

    I think I am buying either a Honda Commercial mower or Toro commercial mower...please offer suggestions on model #'s...they need to mulch and have bagging option just in case.

    I also plan to purchase a used Blue Bird Aerator...I'm not sure of the model number..but a rental yard is going away from renting machinery and they have two of them for sale for around $700 each...

    Stick Edger for maintaining the edge along hard surfaces

    String Trimmer for obvious reasons

    Back pack or hand held blower for obvious reasons.

    Hand tools are not a problem and neither are pruners/shearers...

    Suggestions and opinions on all of the above are most welcome, thank you in advance.
  2. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    A 21 inch commercial mower is going to set you back enough money that you would be better off buying the 36 inch commercial to start with. The 36 will go through gates easily and increase your efficiency by 50% or more over the 21.
    As far as handhelds and blowers are concerned, any of the well known brands will perform very well as long as you get commercial grade equipment. Visit different dealers and demo their stuff before buying. Tell them you want a package deal on a trimmer, stick edger, and a couple of blowers. They will usually give a small discount if you buy all of your equipment at one time. If they won't give at least a 10% discount..tell them you're still in the market and want to look at the other brand. That usually produces a lower price quote or a few freebies like a spool of trimmer line, extra edger blades, 2 cycle oil, gas cans...etc. The point is shop and demo.

    Whatever you do don't buy homeowner grade will not last under commercial use conditions. Good luck.
  3. Legacy

    Legacy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    You might want to check out the Redhawk/Bradley mowers. They have been getting some decent reviews here on LS and they are very inexpensive. You can get a 36" mower for $1850 or a 32" mower for $1299.

    As far as trimmers/blowers etc. I have to agree with DennisF...get decent commercial grade stuff. If money is an issue, the cheaper stuff from Echo is decent and should give you good service.

    Again, as DennisF said, go to a good solid local dealer for advice and to demo stuff before you buy. It is very important to have a good solid servicing dealer to support you...

    Good luck!
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    I agree with DennisF. you need to try to make a deal with whatever dealer you choose. But if $$$ is not a problem then I would definetly buy a 36". However we used 21" Husquvarnia's last season and maintained them and we had no problems at all and we mow 6 days a week and use the 21" mowers on about 3 or 4 lawns a day and plan on using it again this year, again it runs like it was new. But a 36" would be like night and day compared to a 21".

    J and B Lawncare

    1994 Ford F-150 heavy 1/2 ton Meyers 7 1/2 w/wings
    Meyers salt spreader
    2005 Exmark 52" Truf Tracer w/pro slide
    48" Exmark Viking w/velkies
    21" Husquvarnia's
    Little Wonder HPV
    Echo blowers
    Echo trimmers
    6x12 open trailer w/landscape box
    and a whole bunch of other stuff
  5. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    if I was starting out all over again. this is what I would get.
    1. shindaiwa eb 630 or redmax ebz8000. (whichever is cheaper, they have the same engine you know).
    1. shindaiwa trimmer (highest hp you can afford)
    1. M2510 with edger attachment, trimmer attachment, hedge trimmer attachment, and pole saw.
    1. 21" honda commercial
    1. quick36 super duty
    1. 52 eXmark lazer Z.

    you probably won't need the Z for your size property's but for me, I would ride whenever I got the chance.
  6. Thank you guys
    I was interested in model #'s as well as brand names..only because i don't know my arse from a hole in the ground when it comes to this stuff..

    TCLawn..thank you..who makes the M2510? I'm assuming this is a versatile tool with these attachments eh? Blade edger and string trimmer all in changing the heads....I have seen this on Stihl equip at the dealer I bought my 20 inch Stihl chainsaw...same thing only different manuf?

    I am trying to avoid belt driven wb's as I have read they are tough to horse around..I am 5'8" and about 180...pretty strong guy but I have slight problem with one of my elbows....too much racquetball....tendonitis of some sort...and I don't want it to cause me trouble horseing around the belt driven models....

    Thanks guys..keep it coming?

    I guess I wanted a 21 as a mower because I am concerned about getting in and out of gates....

    Most gates I realize are 3 feet or larger...but i would hate to round up new accounts only to find out I couldn't get in the gates with my mower....I think it might be better to have the 21 to get in the gates, make some money on spring cleanups and aerations..then go to the larger mower and pay cash. Then the 21 would become a backup mower. But...then I will have spend pretty good chunk of cash for a mower I might not use much?

    As for blowers....
  7. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    As for blowers...I would get a good backpack. Handhelds just don't have the power to make them efficient for commercial use IMO. Some of the larger handheld blowers are OK, but nothing compares to a backpack for efficiency on clean-ups. I have a Stihl BR-400 that I've had for 6 years under heavy use and have never had a problem. I rebuild the carbs on all my equipment every year and rewind all the recoils with new rope at the start of the season. I also have an Echo PB-750T that is fantastic, but is a bit heavy for everyday use. I'm no Spring Chicken so tool weight is big factor for me. The BR-400 is lighter and does an excellent job on clean-ups after mowing. The Echo is used for heavy leaf and bed clean-ups in the Fall and Spring. Shindaiwa and Redmax also make excellent blowers as well as trimmers and stick edgers. Check them out too.
    If your set on a commercial 21 I would look at Exmark or Toro. Toro is the parent company of Exmark and they have been making commercial mowing equipment for a long time. But before you buy, make sure you compare prices on the 21 and a good 36 Hydro. Walking behind a 21 all day in the sun can wear you down big-time. A 36 Hydro and sulky will make you your day much more pleasant.
  8. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    Does Redhawk have actual dealers?

    If you're concerned about gates and don't want to spring for a 36" mower, you may want to consider one of the 26" mowers. eXmark makes one, but they're not the only company that does. However, you'll pay as much as $1,500 for this kind of unit for commercial quality.

    One of the problems with the incremental approach is that you're stuck with the purchasing thing while going nuts trying to keep your accounts happy. My experience with dealers is that they often cannot deliver when they say they can, which could leave you high and dry. Believe me when I say that getting a dealer to take you seriously when you're a new customer (and a small one at that) can be a lot tougher than you might think.

    If you're looking to branch out from sprinkler installation, it's for one of two reasons: you aren't busy enough with installs or your business model now calls for delivery of a more complete set of services. In either case, it may make more sense to put a complete business/marketing plan together for lawn care and go with a 21 and at least a 36" hydro walk-behind.

    Nothing against single-hydro walk-behinds, but I wonder whether they performing like a dual, especially if you have tendinitis. Might want to ask someone about that or better yet, demo one of each before plunking down your hard-earned cash. In the end, though, the difference in productivity between a 21 and a 36 hydro is at least 100%. Dennis is being nice when he says 50%.
  9. Legacy

    Legacy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    As far as blowers go.. Echo does make some very decent backpack blowers at reasonable prices...

    The PB-620 is a nice blower for around $370-$380 and a two year commercial warranty. RedMax makes awesome blowers as well...
  10. Legacy

    Legacy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    Mark McC Does Redhawk have actual dealers?

    Yes, Redhawk does have actual dealers..from what I understand they only sell through dealers under the Redhawk/Bradley names...

    I have 2 or 3 dealers in my area that have carried carried Bradley mowers for a couple of years now. 2 of the dealers are well known commercial dealers.

    I'm sure that you could find out info on Redhawk dealers on their web site by sending them an e-mail...

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