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Trying to decide on initial equipment.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by C&K, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. C&K

    C&K LawnSite Senior Member
    from East TN
    Posts: 295

    :dizzy: I've been researching mowers etc. before I make my decision. Today I learned that Hustler is not making Hydro walk behinds any more....I was leaning that way but not if they are discontinuing the mower. I liked the H bar, it seemed that it would be easier on the wrists than the others I've seen. By the way I'm starting a new business and can't decide on equip. W/B or Ride, or BOTH. trimmers, edgers, blowers trailors etc. Could I get some input Please!

    Thanks, Chris
  2. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 753

    This is a very difficult question to answer ... and one that really you can only guess on. When it comes to picking equipment, you really need to take into consideration the accounts you have, or hope to have ... and purchase your equipment around that.

    If you have gated back yards, you will be limited on the size of mower you can get through those gates. If you have large properties (1+ acres) ... do you really want to mow them with a 44" WB? Hills, slopes, thin turf where the weight of the mower will be an issue, etc. are all things to take into consideration.

    If you don't have your accounts yet ... then you can guess and hope you hit it pretty close. If you want both a Z and a WB ... maybe a 52" Z and a 42" or 44" WB. Or ... your Z, and something like a little less expensive Quick 36.

    Let us know what you decide ... it may help others with the same question.

  3. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    I agree with Prestige. I have a 54" Z and a 36" WB. Gotta consider your terrain and you potential hazzards on the properties that you plan on targeting.
  4. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    If your just starting out before you dicide on a mower you first need to decide on where you want to go with the business. You need to figure out how much money you have to start out with and what you will be your primary focus for the first couple of years, residential or commercial. I would suggest that you start out small and go after residential yards and purchase a good commercial walkbehind like Toro's T-Bar 44" and a good 21" proline model both together would run you around $4,000 and give you a good reliable start. What about a trailer and truck? When you start out everyone sais go out and buy a ztr that would be fine if you have money to burn but not recommended if you dont. Starting a lawn service business is alot more than just going out and buying that new ztr use your money wisely, buy only what you need to start with. You will need a good reliable truck, trailer, insurance and money to live on. I would suggest to you for success go with what is mentioned above and when business grows in a couple years and you are making good money and want bigger lawn or commercial account then look at a ztr.
  5. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    Remember that mowers are not the only thing you will need either what about good commercial trimmers, blowers, edgers and the list goes on. Spend your money wisely.
  6. Matts lawn care

    Matts lawn care LawnSite Senior Member
    from MD
    Posts: 829

    I also agree with Prestige. You will need a 36" walk behind to get into the gates and tight spaces. On the other hand you need something bigger to knock out the 1 to 2 acer properties. Then a trimmer and blower for starters. save you money because before you know it you will want a leaf loader ect.
  7. Grass-Masters

    Grass-Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 424

    I agree with prestige, I have my 36 for backyards, and I have a 48" Ztr for lots without gates. I don't have any accounts were a 60" is needed. And my 48" can get into alot of yard with slightly larger gates. But in the end it will depend on what you need, and how many of the lazy man luxuries you will want to pay for.
  8. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Listen to that man!

    If you plan to do this properly and be legit, you're going to have a ton of expenses.

    Sit down and plan for what you'll need, and how much it will cost.

    Not just mowers, but trimmers, etc. Then you've got the cost of insurance, office supplies, name registration with the state, etc, etc, etc. The list goes on and on.
  9. Lawnboy85

    Lawnboy85 LawnSite Member
    from South
    Posts: 62

    As others have mentioned, it is important to decide on how much you want your business to grow. It would not be worth going to buy a brand new 60" Exmark zero-turn radius (about $10,000 if purchased brand new) if you plan on mowing 5 yards. However, with the right mindset and determination, your business can grow. As of January, 2007, I have 41 customers and one cemetery. My equipment is as follows: 2 used 60" Exmark zero-turn radius mowers, 1 new 50" Cub Cadet zero-turn radius, 2 used 32" walk behind Toro mowers, and 1 21" personal pace walk behind Toro push mower. In comparison to a regular John Deere 48" mower, I can now mow the $200 cemetery in an hour with both of my Exmark's going; as opposed to about 2 1/2 - 3 hours with two 48" riding mowers. For weed-eaters, I use nothing else but Echo. Same goes for the two blowers I have, one a back-pack, the other a handheld, both Echo. If you have a mower, weed-eater and blower, you should be able to find dozens of people, at least elderly people, who would want you to do nothing more but to mow, weed-eat, and clean up. Hope I have been of some help to you and your soon-to-be prospering business!
  10. C&K

    C&K LawnSite Senior Member
    from East TN
    Posts: 295

    Thanks for all your input.
    Next question. Can anyone give me any feedback on their experience with 27 hp air cooled kohler vs. 27 hp liquid cooled kawasaki. I went to two different SCAG dealers today and got conflicting advice. The price diff. between the two turf tiger mowers was $200.00.(air cooled was cheaper)
    I don't have any experience with liquid cooled engines on mowers.

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