To buy or not to buy

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by DodgeTruckMan731, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. DodgeTruckMan731

    DodgeTruckMan731 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 414

    I was debating on buying a commercial walk behind lawn mower but then i started thinking about a residential rider tractor like a john Deere or a toro. I'm just starting in the business, last year was my first year of cutting and I'm only 15 and i was using a 21" craftsman. So what my question is would it be smarter to get a commercial wb or a residential riding mower? I understand that a residential rider is not built for the work contractors put them through, but there are so many attachments you can get for them and that would help me out with not having to buy aerators or power rakes so on. also i can get them at a lower price and being 15 that a big difference on my decision but then again i don't want to pay for a piece of junk thats just a waste of money, I'm looking for the quality. so any help or suggestions would be great
     
  2. wissel_landscaping

    wissel_landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 262

    you can get a quick 36 fox for $2,000 its still cheaper than a good riding tractor. or look for a used walk behind.
     
  3. Brendan Smith

    Brendan Smith LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,195

    i started with a troy-built p.o.s. that i already had for my own yard but if i realized how quickly my business would grow, and was starting with no equipment, i would have gone with commercial equipment. i makes a hell of a difference with less down time for repairs, quality of cut, etc. with 10-20 yards, i wouldn't expect more than a year out of a residential mower, anything more is a bonus. i now have a cub rzt 50, this is its second year, top of the line residential imo, but i'm still having to plan to buy another mower after this year, probably ex-mark or hustler due to local dealer support. if i wasn't part time, i would have had to do it already. point is, if you can save up or borrow from parents to get commercial equipment, i would. good luck and always remember that even though you're young, your time is worth as much as anyone else's so charge accordingly. especially if you're repaying equipment loans.:usflag:
     
  4. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    You are right, You can get them for a lower price, and you can sell lower price work that will take longer and you can make less money and than you can even have a hard time trying to find the money to replace the beat up mower next year.
    Think about what it is your saying. You are trying to convince yourself that it is OK to be cheap and cut corners.
    I realize that you are only 15 but what are your plans. If you want to be a LCO business, Start with a mind set of being a high quality business producing high quality work with high quality equipment designed to produce work at high profit.
     
  5. Signature Landscaping1

    Signature Landscaping1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,497

    I think a nice, used or even new 32'' or 36'' w/b should do you good. It will last alot longer than homeowner quality junk. If your 15, shouldnt you be in school?
     
  6. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,986

    If you are serious or want to be serious about this, get a commercial WB. Homeowner models are junk!!! I do nearly all my properties with a 36" walkbehind with a sulky. It can get nearly anywhere and it doesn't wear you out. If you just want to mow a few lawns and make a few extra dollars then I would stay with the 21" maybe upgrade to a 21" proline by Toro, but if you get up to 10-20 accounts, get a WB with a sulky.
     
  7. DodgeTruckMan731

    DodgeTruckMan731 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 414

    Thanks for all the input, i really appreciate it. I'm defiantly serious about the decision i make and like i said i was looking for the quality. I was in seminar in class when i wrote this so il probably end up going with the 36 " in turbo force deck.its a very nice Wb mower thanks for the help everyone:usflag:
     
  8. YotaNate

    YotaNate LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    See if any of your local dealers have any demo models. You can save 500-1000 or more, and still have the factory warranty with only a few hours on the machine.
     
  9. B&D Lawn Care

    B&D Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 342

    Defitnitly go w/ a walk behind.
     
  10. pennypincher

    pennypincher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    I am probably the worst one to give advice. I dont do lawn care but I do accounting and tax work for 7 lawn businesses. The startup phase is a struggle but spending too much for equipment that cant pay for itself will be the death of your business. I advise all my clients to check for used equipment suitable for the job. Then upgrade when necessary. This will cause some headbutting but I go through that with my clients all the time. Hope this helps.
     

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