Stupid mistakes to avoid

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by B_gerrits, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. B_gerrits

    B_gerrits LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 297

    When I first started My buisness. I made a few really dumb mistakes. I really didn't know if the bus would well so I scrimped on equipment. I bought a few cheap hand held blowers a homelite 32cc pos that lasted 6 months a mcullough that lasted about the same. A poulan chainsaw pos was crap from the day I bought it. A poulan hedge trimmer pos replaced in about 6 months, a sears hedge trimmer pos, and the worst one yet a Cub Cadet hedge trimmer. Save yourself some time and money in the long run don't buy cheap equip. Stay away from Poulan, Sears, and Cub Cadet. The cheapest equip that works that I have found is echo definetly not the best but last awhile.
     
  2. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    i feel your pain i did the same type ofthings when i started.... are you staying busy this time of year ? i'm right by you in Dixon and i don't have a lot of customers but we have not slowed down at all.... nice to live here were we work all year long.......
     
  3. B_gerrits

    B_gerrits LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 297

    Bus is a roller coaster lot of ups and downs. I do alot of different things besides lawn care. There is so many illegals here and they all think they are landscapers. It would be extremely tough to make a living just doing lawns.
     
  4. MJS

    MJS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,316

    I started out with Homelite and Craftsman junk, and it worked just fine for the first year or two, until I could afford some real stuff. BTW I run only Echo power equip, have had some pieces for years and never any problems with them. Maybe you just got a lemon.
     
  5. B_gerrits

    B_gerrits LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 297

    Echo is the cheapest equip that actually works, I don't really have a problem with echo except it seems underpowered to me. A stihl chainsaw is much better than echo but echo costs less. I think the echo weedwacker is underpowered but seems to be reliable. The 44cc echo backpack blower I am happy with. You actually got a year out of Homelite and Crapsman. It must have been a while back. Sears actually had good equipment but Kmart bought out Sears and since then all their stuff is major crapola. How do you like the Snapper lawnmower?
     
  6. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    same hear i'm only probably 75 miles from you and it is the same ...
     
  7. MJS

    MJS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,316

    It's been great so far - I've had it about 3yrs. It mulches better than any other 21'' I have ever used.
     
  8. B_gerrits

    B_gerrits LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 297

    So do you do this full time or as side work? For the last 5 years I've been worrking for myself doing lCO. landscaping. hauling, painting, decks, home repairs, fencing but between the economy and the Illegals I'm thinking of trying to get at least a part time job.
     
  9. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    i have a full time union warehousemen job loading trucks for raphs , foods co. , and save maxx. on the graveyard shift and then i do this p/t. if i'm able to do this full time i will. but it;s slow here and hard to get yearly contracts with everybody moveing back and fourth to the bay area..
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    That's funny you say that but I think we all do it...
    I did find an easy solution:

    Take about 700-1000 dollars and DO buy the absolute cheapest garbage pieces of crap out there. Hell why not, why settle for a new homeowner riding mower when you can get a really used one for like $200, a cheapo new trimmer for like $80 and a crappy but new backpack for $100, yes sir, Homelites or Craftsmans. You can fix it up some if it needs it, right?
    Get a 4x8 used homemade trailer made of wood (well basically) for 1-200 and what else you need? 200 + 100 + 100 + 200 = 600.
    Then get a class-ii hitch put on your car, that'll run you 200.
    Yes, DO get class-II !!!
    It's bad enough if you ruin the tranny but with a class-I you can tear up the frame, so get a class-II so if all else fails at least you still have your car which you will need lol.

    That's what I did, took but one maybe two jobs and I was convinced.
    Why do they do things this way, I had to know.
    In the end it was small money to invest.

    After that I saved 5g, I never really regretted that initial thousand dollar loss, I called it gaining experience.

    .......
    btw I've ALWAYS driven 3/4 ton trucks for this business, mostly basic work trucks (no radio, no a/c, etc), but 3/4 ton.
     

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