Tell me whatcha think.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MuskTurfKing, Sep 2, 2001.

  1. MuskTurfKing

    MuskTurfKing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 338

    Well, I think I've decided to mow as a career. This is my 3rd year to mow for other people in the neighborhood, I get my license soon and I'm starting to mow professionally. My first year I just had 2 yards, with an old Craftsman 20" push that sucked, no weedeater, and a Craftsman handheld blower (still got the sucky thing). The next year I moved on up and got a Toro Personal Pace 21" cut and I thought it was the greatest thing, we finally got a weedeater, my parents got a Craftsman (why must they torture me?), and the still ghetto blower. I had 5 lawns, not bad. This year I went and bought a YardMachines 16.5 HP 42" cut lawn tractor and it's the greatest, still use the Toro, and the Craftsman trimmer and blower. I've got 9 lawns, making good money. There, now you have my background, here's what I plan on doing next year. Tell me whatcha think.

    I am in the process of buying a trailer. In the process of buying a commercial duty 21" cut (haven't decided what kind, any suggestions? We have a lot of hill so I'm thinking 2 cycle possibly.), getting an Echo comm. trimmer, and an Echo comm. BP blower. I know the tractor is going to be heck next year if I get any comm. accounts, so I'm thinking, should I go with a 36" WB, gear is much cheaper but I know hydro would be well worth it in the long run, but since hydro's run close to 4k, why not save a couple more thousand and buy a decent ZTR? I dunno. I don't have the money right now for the fancy stuff right away. Tell me whatcha think, I also would like to get into residential fertilizing, anyone got suggestions how to start?

    And before I forget, is adverstising in the yellow pages worth it, I know its expensive, but could someone help me out?

    Thanks a bunch,

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 665

    You need to concentrate on mowing first. Lawncare is more than weed and feed. You need to spend a year studying and checkin' out the pest forum. All it takes is a misdiagnosed insect or disease problem and the lawn is dead and its your fault. Also, you need to set a business plan. You need to get legit with business insurance, licences,comm. plates,ect. You really need better equipment. You will destroy homeowner stuff in no time. You will get MUCH more production with a commercial walkbehind. As far as income, you may think that the money is great. But when you get things going with all of your expenses(don't forget health insurance) you may be spending the first $1,000 just to keep the boat afloat. I know what you're thinking, but before you know it, things start to really add up.
  3. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    Hank--I assume you are only 15 and at that age I don't know if you have enough life experience to decide on a career path at this time.

    but you seem to enjoy cutting grass, just as I do, so I say go for it.

    good advice, however, is to complete your primary education and go for you srcondary education while doing lawn care as a side line. then you will have two things no one can take away from you regardless whether you stay in the green industry. good luck.

  4. MuskTurfKing

    MuskTurfKing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 338

    Yeah, I know I'm just 15, but I truly enjoy it. Every since I was 5 years old I was obsessed with lawn mowers. I am definately finishing high school and will probably attend a local college to get a degree in business.

    It's what I enjoy doing and you get paid great. That's all that matters to me.

    I think for next year I'm either going to purchase an Exmark 32" or a Toro 32" W/B, with a sulky, this is all that money allows for the time being.

    Thanks ya for your advice,

  5. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    hank--sounds like you got your head on straight. but hold off on that 32". you'll need a 48, minimum! if you are not currently needing a 48 because you can't drive yet, you will soon need one as soon as you are able to get to a broader customer base.

    just hang tight for a while. many things will be revealed to you shortly (grasshopper!).

  6. fivestarlawnken

    fivestarlawnken LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 438

    Just my thoughts:Dont even worry about yellow pages it is outrageous(SP?) to advertise.Secondly, how about a used 36 or 48 since your starting out so your initial investment is so large.Keep your grades up in school.Get business insurance.I would go with a hydro if you can.The nice toys will come later, don't worry.Take one day at a time.See if santa can bring something you need for next year:D .If you have to advertise a good place is the local paper its cheap and usually efective.Good luck.:rolleyes:
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Depending on you local dealers and distributors, some still have the 36" eXmark Metro for $1999. Buy a mower that you can get many years out of. Stop wasting money on mowers that always need to be replaced. At your age and the type properties you use the 36" will be plenty. It will also be faster than your 42" rider. As geo said, a 48" would be good also. But only if you can get it into the back yards of your properties. I always carry the 36" on the trailer. A 21" is a thing of the past. I use the Lazer whenever possible, but for gated areas it gets the 36". If the 36" don't fit, I don't need it. I do have a 48" w/b that is now only a backup and I also us it to mulch leaves in the fall.

    BTW, get the education. I got a bba in accounting and its the best thing I did. Some people question my sanity, but the business knowledge gained has helped more than people know.

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