Walk Behinds and Employees?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by roberthathaway7, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Can't believe you've never used or seen someone use a walk behind mower...what planet are you from?
     
  2. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,712

    toro t bar is easy to learn on and the best wb $ can buy
     
  3. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    How can you hire someone to do a job for your company when you don't know how to do it yourself? How will you train someone to use it if you can't?
     
  4. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    Is there really enough money coming in for this plan? truck, mower, hand helds and an employee? +insurance for all.
     
  5. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    A funny thought I had was the next post- "How do you turn with ripping the grass up?"
     
  6. orangemower

    orangemower LawnSite Silver Member
    from pa
    Posts: 2,773

    Or, should I use a file to sharpen my mower blades? Or, how do you bid on a 1 acre yard? It's a never ending list. :hammerhead:

    The words "common sense" come to mind.
     
  7. roberthathaway7

    roberthathaway7 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    haha, yeah I hear ya. I assumed I would get that sort of reaction, even if someone didn't say it out loud. Here's the deal... you come to my little 9,000 person town (which is the biggest town in a 5 county area), find more than 2 WB's, and I'll get out of the game. It's just a demographical thing. Low SES around here, so it's either a $100 push mower or a $2000 craftsman for residential folks, or a few of us commercial guys who all use zero turns. There are hardly any fenced/gates yards here compared to what you probably mow, so the Z goes everywhere I need, and I just throw on a regular old push mower on for the three yards out of 50 that have with 5 min worth of push mowing inside a dog fence. If anyone offered WB's around here, some commercial guys would probably use them for smaller yards. Hence why I'm looking into it since we're getting a new Ferris dealer. Of course right now I'm trying to glean info on the concept/feasibility of even having one. I honestly don't see any advantage for my business, unless my idea of sending a guy out with one would be a go, but it's not looking good and I appreciate the info

    Thoroughly read previous posts

    As far as cashflow/profitablility goes, here's how I'm looking at it... or let me ask you this way.. Do you think that if I was just getting into the biz, I myself bought a walk-behind, small dependable truck (3-4k around here,), hand helds and insured myself properly, and magically had 20-30 clients to begin with, that I could have positive cashflow off the bat and be profitable within 2 years? I think it's pretty possible. Now put an employee in my shoes, best case scenerio that I have trained and trust them as I would myself, could I still make money? Yeah, it's pretty possible. There would be a lot more number crunching looking at total employment costs like payroll taxes and such, but it could happen. Then later he could get a trainee and they would be a whole new crew. How else do businesses grow?

    BTW a big factor in this is that I do/turn away tons of landscaping which would fill the gaps between setting a rig up with 20-30 of my yards until more lawns come along. Also- I have never really advertised, and am turning people down for lawns all the time. In the spring I usually just cut a few that are a pain, and take on a few new buttery lawns. So I would like to expand because it seems like it would be no problem, just trying to figure out the best way to go about it. Thank you for the comments and questions though, keeps me exercising the idea

    Neh. I just do a walk around and figure how long it will take me, and make sure I am making enough $ based on time/overhead. Sharpening: I made my own setup with an adjustable drop-through deck to keep my angle, and an 8" Oregon "Red" wheel, with a pedal. I DO, however, use a file to knock the bur off of my blades after I'm done grinding. Not because it makes a difference, but because it takes me 20 seconds, and it just feels good :). Actually I think that it helps to get a clean/non-ripping cut on the first lawn or 2 they hit. I need to look into a better balancer though... I just have one of those little plastic cone jobs. Luckily my dog chewed it up this winter so that will have me shopping at least.
     
  8. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    And what do you do behind the push mower, walk? LOL. I get what you mean though.
     
  9. roberthathaway7

    roberthathaway7 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    Touche! Guess I'm out...lol.
     

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