What is needed to be prepared?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Howie's Lawn Care, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    If I get a trailer, 21" Exmark, 36" Hydro Fixed Deck WB, 48" Gear Floating Deck WB, 2 Stroke Trimmer, 2 Stroke Edger, 2 Stroke Backpack Blower, and 2 Stroke Hedge Trimmer for next year, what all should I have in order to prevent downtime and run affectively? What should I have on my trailer as far as tires, parts, compressor? What should I keep extras of as far as belts, blades? What kind of oil shoud I use on those mowers if they have 6HP Kaw, and 2 15HP Kaw engines? Why is it so much cheaper to use synthetic? I'm just trying to absorb as much info as possible. Thanks for any help you can give me.
     
  2. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 394

    Howie,
    Do you have employees? If not why would you need a 36 and a 48 WB? For the price of those two you could get one ZTR and the Exmark would do the trim work.

    Is this a joke post or am I out of the loop?

    Get two backup blades for each. Run regular or synth. oil. Don't stress it dude your just mowing lawns.
     
  3. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    he is a kid.......
    :waving:
     
  4. prostriper

    prostriper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 336

    YUou wan't a backup set of blades for each mower, belts, a well stocked tool box,extra motor oil, extra 2-stroke oil (at least a 2 weeks supply) and an assortment of bolts. The bolts are very critical, I had a bolt fall out of the control damper on my exmark and was unable to find it in the grass and had to pack up for the time being until I got a replacement. This cost me almost 2 hrs of downtime, a $5 assortment of bolts would have saved me alot. A tire patch kit and a set of tubes is a good thing too.

    Exmark recomends Mobil 1 for all there mowers so I'd stick with it. The synthetic will allow you to go alot longer between oil changes because it has alot better viscosity (protecting characteristics).
     
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I run synth.blend in all my machines as well not only because of the above but also it protects the engine against seizure / lock-up. I went with it because bmw recommends it so if it's good enough for the beemer, then it's good enough for the mower. Oh, synth.blend is a LOT less money (I pay around 2.09/quart average and NO it is not standard, I wait for a nice sale).
     
  6. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    Why do you have to be such a pain in the ass. You always come up with something stupid to say whenever I ask for help, on 2 or 3 other posts atleast! Don't even respond if your going to say I'm a kid and a scrub. I guess you had insurance and licenses your very first year mowing lawns. You probably knew everything and never asked any questions on here. Am I right?
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Learn to save your money. :)

    But ok from what I learned, check this out here is what I carry today after 4 years and I also base this on my 1st year:
    - At least ONE wheel-belt (for the belt-drives), one transmission belt (for the engine-to-trans on the mower), at least one can of fix-a-flat and a cheap 15-20 dollar 12-volt compressor. I have a blade-belt as well but they almost never break on my toro, dunno about other brands, it doesn't hurt to have it.
    - A tow rope at least 50-75 feet, 100-200 feet is better. I inherited an old but good tree rope from a friend so it was free: It has to be a tough, sturdy rope so when you ditch the mower, you can use the rope to tie it to the truck and pull it out (trust me, wb's in the ditch are tough to get out without some help).
    - A toolbox with as many essential tools as you own that you can fit.
    - Jumper cables.
    - A breaker bar or a nice piece of pipe case you need some leverage.
    - NO gas-cans but: Make sure the WB has a FULL tank of gas and yes you might want to carry a can of mix and I carry a 1-gallon can empty plus a syphon kit (so I can syphon gas from the truck if need be).
    - At least one spare bottle of 2-cycle mix-oil so you can mix it with gas should you run out. You might have to run to the gas station, but not back home.
    - Spare tie-down straps (2 or 3, but half a dozen don't hurt).
    - Spare oil (like 10w-40 or whatever you use in the truck and the wb's).
    - Weed-eater string.
    - A spare set of blades don't hurt but 1 spare is all u really need (in 4 years I've only bent one on a root, I don't carry spare blades but is optional).
    - A gallon of antifreeze, already mixed 50/50 with water.
    - One bottle each of power steering fluid, and brake fluid.
    - A sprayer of wd-40.
    - A can (or three) of starting fluid.
    - A first-aid kit and buy extra band-aids for it.
    - Some extra starter-rope (the string you use when pull-starting). Have one for the mower, and usually you need one only for the 2-cycle stuff (they're all about the same length so compromise if you need to).
    - A pocket knife (mostly, to cut the weed-eater string). I carry scissors :)
    - Some extra hair-clips (those clips used on the mower like on the front casters, also on the velke you need these clips).
    - Assortment of Fuses and bulbs, nuts and bolts (any kind, used is fine).
    - Some pens! Yes, ink-driven writing sticks. Notebook.
    - If your mower needs a KEY to operate, you can pick up 2 or 3 extra at the dealer: The keys are universal, stick one or two in your truck's ashtray or someplace for when your mower's key disappears (trust me, they do that).

    Also, buy some extra *pre-cleaner* filter elements for your mower.

    Help me out guys, I'm all out of memory here...
    Good luck.
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I would highly recommend a really nice map!
    I buy ADC's Street Map book, costs around 40 dollars and covers ALL of Richmond and every surrounding county in about 100 pages of great mappage.

    - A cellular phone I find is the most awesome business phone for small business.

    Another note on the gas-cans:
    You MIGHT carry some with you at first, but I find having fuel sitting around losely on the truck or trailer is a big safety hazard - That, and my WB runs ALL day on one tank. With the 2-cycle equipment, I do carry a quart (32 oz.) of mix fuel inside the WHITE truckbox:
    Octane is to fuel what carbonation is to soda: When fuel heats up (such as when a RED can is sitting in 100-degree sun), the octane evaporates and creates pressure inside the can (safety issue), so not only do you risk an explosion but in this heat, your fuel is losing its potency.
    I've learned to run my equipment only as hard and as long as I need to: Almost never does any of my stuff run full throttle: The weed-eater trims 8-10 yards while the blower lasts 3-4 days on a tank of mix. Additionally, I can always use a little fuel from one 2-cycler (like the hedge trimmer) and pour it in another carefully... It's not a ton of fuel but 2-3 ounces is usually enough to get me through.
     
  9. nhlakes

    nhlakes LawnSite Member
    from nh
    Posts: 23

    Maybe I mis-read your post, but plastic gas containers will not explode from the heat of the sun. True, pressure will increase, and potentially cause some gas to spray out when opened, which could cause a problem. but they will not explode from being left out in the sun all day.... :D
     

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