starting a lawn buisness

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rcracer, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. rcracer

    rcracer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    Ok so I have been getting alot of good info from this site about starting a buisness so thank you to everybody. I have a 2007 chevrolet short wide bed with a v-6 and I have a new 6 by 12 drop gate trailer. I am in the process of selling one of my dirt bikes which I should get about 1,000 from. I price 2 commercial stilh weedeaters. One a weedeater and one an edger. I can get both of those and a stihl blower and maybe a decent toro self propelled push mower. I am thinking of getting the exmark wb 42 or 48 I cant remember which one it was. So basically my question is the only thing I am going to have to finance is the wb which is 2800 brand new. Does this sound like a responsible way of starting out. I am thinking of starting residential for the first yearand then if I need to get a ZT later I can. I am trying to keep my cost down. Any opinion from a seasoned veteran would be greatly appreciated:usflag:
     
  2. advantage landscaping

    advantage landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 215

    Okay so you are looking at a 48" Exmark Metro I assume, that is what is available around here. Thats a good mower, but your costs are not going to be $2800, first off. It's not a huge deal but you probably want a bagger and a velke/ride-on, then with tax.... Anyways its more trust me.

    Yes it sound very responsible. You can probably pick up some very good used equipment, mainly your mowers, because at this state you may not really need new machinery. If you can grab a used machine for say 1000 or 1500 $$ off, then it may suit you better.

    Stay with that equipment until you NEED more, that is you have more business than what you can handle. Keep excellent care of your things and you will be all set.

    It will take a few years to get established. Don't rush it and work on establishing an excellent customer base, it will help you in the future.

    Any other questions I might have missed?
     
  3. rcracer

    rcracer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    Yeah I believe it is a 48 I looked at it today. I was just wondering I trying to keep the cost to a minimum. The sticker said like 2800 or something but your right there is the mulch kit and bag and sulky and taxes, theres always something right. The only good thing is I could get it on a 12 month finance no interest if I pay it off in a year. What do you think. I probalby should just get a used one though like you said. Do you think my v-6 will be plenty of truck or should I get a v-8. thanks for all the help
     
  4. advantage landscaping

    advantage landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 215

    It will be enough for now. When you have too much equipment to pull you move up, but not yet.

    My advise is if you are conscious of price go used and start looking. You can always get a personal loan at the bank, or maybe off a relative for nothing to low APR (Especially for a year or two only) You have the winter to find something good so get to it.
     
  5. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,515

    There is something to be said for new equipment. It is a little less likely to break, so you can focus your energy on getting new accounts, and doing a really good job for the customers. If you were planning to buy a $10K ZTR I would try to steer you away. But $3K on a WB is reasonable and prudent.

    You will have no problem with the v6, but check the truck's manual for towing capacity. If your trailer is 1000 lbs, the mower and trimmers are maybe 700 lbs, you should be fine. You could pull that with a 4 cyl.
     
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    No it doesn't because your truck isn't paid off either so the insurance is sky high, I am sure you have full coverage because no bank will write a vehicle loan without this requirement. So there's the payment on the truck and probably several hundred a year or more on insurance you're paying, we haven't even started on the mower, but this is no way to start a business because you are spreading yourself too thin.

    Selling the bike is a good start thou, sell that.

    Then...
    Sell the truck and get like a 92 - 98 model 4 cylinder economy car.
    Or trade it in, something that cuts the cost of the vehicle at least in half, and I did say at least.
    And start working or keep working on a perfect driving record, absolutely no citations or violations or accidents, ever.
    > If this is already so, get on with Nationwide / Geico / Allstate / State Farm.
    Then pay it off and put it on minimum liability.
    Then save your money.
    Now pay your insurance premiums in one lump sum, and keep saving.
    Get all your crap paid off and keep saving.
    This alone probably take at least a year.

    Once you have this going on save enough so you can buy everything without borrowing.
    Another year, probably longer.

    You will need a 92-98 model 3/4 ton (at least 10-12 years old in decent shape, not much over 14-15 thou), and a 6x12 trailer.

    Because a decent trailer will run you 1500 too...
    On that note get the Toro so your wrists and forearms don't kill you.
    Never mind the pain, the problem is it will reduce your production.
    And these run at least 3000, you might want to think of getting a float deck if you're just starting, these are 4g.
    And you need a velke, you don't want to walk these mowers, much less a gear drive.
     
  7. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 987

    I would rather have hurt wrist and forarms than a toro. they bounce all over the place. the deck does not stay down unless you go 2 miles an hour and you get a choppy cut. Unless toto fixed this problem I don't know.
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    You don't want to jump on a fixed deck Toro just to save money, not unless you got at least 1,000 cuts under your belt, I did say get a floater. The reason it jumps is because it has fingertip controls and a TON of power, it's not lame and weak and takes a gorilla to operate like all the rest of them, the 48" fixed deck Toro is the true razor's edge of lawn mowers.

    That thing will squeal tires and get on its side in turns, you lose control of one of these and you might not live to tell about it.
    That is, if you're like me and you get tired of the engine cutting out so you disable the safety switch, now the blades don't stop.

    Temperamental and capricious is the best way I can describe it.
    Way I see things, if a mower can't show me who is master then I need a better mower.
    Yes sir, I've been over those handlebars a dozen times by now, that thing is bad to the bone.

    So folks miss-understand, they see razor's edge and they think that it's the best.
    But just because someone says Mt. Everest is the tallest peak on earth nobody said you can just go climb it either.

    The toro 48" fixed deck needs mastering, this takes time, more than a few weeks.
    But if you ever get one, you'll likely never look back.

    There's another miss-understanding:
    By getting one I don't mean buying it, that too, but I mean 'get' it.
     
  9. advantage landscaping

    advantage landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 215

    With all that said topsites, if you are looking 4k now then you may as well go hydro. You can get a quick 44 for way under 4k and they are nice nice machines. Or you can pick up an almost new used machine for 4k w/out sales tax, so you get more machine for less.
     
  10. Willofalltrades

    Willofalltrades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,000

    I see where Topsites is going... oh so true. I couldn't agree more. Lets focus on the part where he suggests selling the New truck. I don't agree with that. I know everybodies policy is different but I actually saved money when I made my vehicle's insurance policy commercial. Everybodies is different. Anyway, he has the truck, he has the trailer, all he needs is a mower and experience. I say get the mower and your equipment and get 15 yards on the side to make it by and pay stuff off. Next get a job with a local established company and learn how to operate... 3-4 years from now get a strong client base and quit the other company... by then you should have low operating costs and you won't have to worry about the long term upkeeps on a 10-12 year old truck... especially a 3/4 ton with all that gas. THe older the truck gets the more you are going to be nickled and dimed to death. KEEP THAT NEW CHEVY NEW... it will save you $$$ in the long run.
     

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