Starting part-time

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lawnboyCO, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. lawnboyCO

    lawnboyCO LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67

    Looking to start a part-time mowing biz, Ideally I want about 10-12 lawns at about 2000-3000 square feet a piece. My dealer has recommended I start with the 28" Worldlawn mower and a commercial Stihl trimmer and blower. I have a small pickup truck that I'm going to get ramps for to get my mower in and out. Got a few questions.

    How tough is it going to be to pick up customers half way through the season?

    Should I get a small trailer or should I just use the ramps to get my mower in and out of my truck?

    I do trust my dealer but does anybody have additional info on the equipment I mentioned?
     
  2. privatelawn

    privatelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    Id get a big enough trailer, if money is the reason for the small trailer id get an echo trimmer instead ( cost less works great ) and use the saved money for the better trailer
     
  3. lawnboyCO

    lawnboyCO LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67

    I'm trying to avoid getting a trailer because I don't want the hassle of getting it licensed and having to store it and all that, but if I find I truly need one, it will be put into next years budget.
     
  4. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,510

    I have witnessed one accident with ramps. When I saw it the mower and the guy was already on the ground writhing in pain. He had a bad abrasion on the leg but walked away with no permanent injury.

    Think of ramps as about 20% of a drop gate that are less secure at both ends. You really need to focus your full attention on what you are doing. I think ramps are ok if you are constantly aware that safety is an issue and you don't get complacent.

    I'm not saying a drop gate is fail-safe, but it is pretty close. I guess a back injury is more likely with a drop gate if you don't keep the back straight and lift with the legs.
     
  5. echeandia

    echeandia LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,131

    Using a trailer will make things so much easier for you. You should be able to find one for a couple of hundred dollars. Registration and license plates are negligible.
     
  6. lurch

    lurch LawnSite Member
    Posts: 221

    scour the internet for a used trailer...i bought mine for $400...liscened and lit...the deals are out there you just have to search
     
  7. KTO Enterprises

    KTO Enterprises LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,286

    If only needing a small trailer Harbor Freight tools has those bolt together deals. But local papers sometimes have deals on trailers. Rule of thumb, Buy as much as you can afford/tow, not just what you need. You will outgrow it and see exactly what i mean. The smaller the trailer the harder it is to get your investment in it back out.
     
  8. Allens LawnCare

    Allens LawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 926

    Your worried about licensing the trailer.....do you plan of carring insurance etc.:nono: :hammerhead:
     
  9. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220


    My friend:

    It would be very nice if things went the way you want them too.
    But It just doesnt, sorry.

    most of the time your customer base will determain what type of equiptment you will purchase, It's very hard to go in to Business, saying this is waht I'm after, and nothing less or more. It just seldom happens. You may target family and friends, but other than that it will be almost impossable.

    when customers contaic you, you have to JUMP. otherwise they will call someone else, they want it done and that's that.

    I would never put a larger mower like that in a small truck, the liabilites are too great, your already thinking wrong, I have heck sometimes getting my
    52" loaded after mowing, the wheels get wet and dont want to go up the trailer ramp,
    With ramps on a truck it would be much higher incline, with that goes a greater chance of an accident, one slip, and there goes a leg or foot.

    dont do dangerious things, life's too short to hobble.
    get a few family and friends as customers, use what you can get your hands on, "Equiptment wise" and go from there, trailers are cheep. mowers are all over G-sales. GEt a cheep lone trimmer, and a hand held blower.

    after you see if it works for you, and you it. then upgrade as customer demand does. If customer demand doesn't then you can recover your captial rather nicely,
     
  10. lawnboyCO

    lawnboyCO LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67

    I feel I have a decent idea of what I'm getting myself into being that my full-time job is also in the Green industry. The area I'm going to do this in is primo for this kind of work, lots of retirees, average price of home in this town is $240,000+, and not a whole of competition as I'm aware of, etc,etc.
    The mower I want is only 28" not 52" and weighs 230lbs. I also just hooked up with a property manager that is interested in me doing some things for him, don't know if I wanna go that route or not.
     

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