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20 and owning my own lawn business

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by hdhsrebel, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. hdhsrebel

    hdhsrebel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Ive been mowing grass for a landscape company since i was 14 however this summer i finally got tired of his cheap pay rate and quit lol i found out that the 10 bucks an hour i was getting paid to weedeat 3 days a week just wasnt making ends meet. So a couple of months ago my dad decided to help me start my own lawn care business. i will not begin actually mowin till atleast april, but the winter time seems to be the best time to start putting my business together. Ive got a long time friend that owns a garden center just down the road from me, and he has since given me all of his non year round accounts to mow for next year. The customers are thrilled for me to start as i beat his price by a measly 5 bucks just to make sure they dnt look elsewhere:). so i went to my buddys garden center and just picked out my new mower i just gotta purchase it by january first for the special its got all of the goodies its the hustler super z with the 60 and the 31 kawie its perfect, i just bought a 88 f250 4x4 and a 16 ft tandem axle trailer, i got a cheapo backpack blower, a shindaiwa t242 trimmer, and of course all the little things like hand tools and sprayers and such. as things sit now ive got 18 accounts and i havent even advertised yet. But however here in murphy there is a lot of steep yards and i need a good walk behind bad! any ideas? im lookin at used ones just to get me by till i can afford a good one i really liked the husky hydro my boss had but it was very unreliable, every one ive looked at around here used is gear driven. Are the gear drives reliable? will they climb as good as the hydros? what should i do? Thanks in advance,
  2. Yater

    Yater LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    Since you live in a hilly area and are just starting out, I'd ditch the ztr idea and spend 1/2 that on a nice dual hydro walk behind and a trim mower (if you don't already have a good one).
  3. hdhsrebel

    hdhsrebel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    whats a trim mower? btw thanks for the info
  4. I.M. Green

    I.M. Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    I agree, ditch the ZTR and get a good hydro walk behind.
  5. Lazer Cut

    Lazer Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    I'd say a toro walk with the t2 controls, they are really easy to use and big companies use those unless you like the ECS controls offered by exmark (turf tracer) then majority are usually split between the two companies, just whatever you prefer. I would not go bigger than a 52". No big companies example brickman uses bigger than that and hardly any other companies will use bigger than a 52" unless you have a lot of big lots, then companies jump to the 60" or bigger. I wouldnt get a big ztr i'd stick with a walk or get a stander. I use both stander and walk. had ztr just didnt like it as much except on big lots. Stick with walk or stander just my 2 cents.
  6. Krafty

    Krafty LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from St. Louis MO
    Messages: 704

    Sounds like your off to a good start and have a ton of ambition. I am sort close to your same boat. I have worked for another company since I was 14 and just got out of college and started my own business last year. I am with the other guys though. Personally I would get a very solid walk behind first. My walkbehind I can use on all of my accounts. My ztr I use alot now but still can't use it on every lot. Especially when it is really wet out. Start out small and when you make a few bucks invest it back into the business for some new equipment.

    The charging 5 bucks less just too keep the customers. I understand where you are coming from but please don't get in the habit of doing that, it is a recipe for failure. Spend a bunch of time this winter do some number crunching and figure out exactly how much it cost for you to do business, and charge accordingly. It get easier the more you do it. You will get alot better at it and it becomes less stressful.

    That garden center is a huge asset to you. I also have a Friend that owns one just a mile up the road from me. They trow me a ton of business, and in turn I but a lot of plant material from them.

    Hope my rambling helps!!!
  7. Yater

    Yater LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    A trim mower is a 21" (or 26") mower for the areas where you can't take your walk behind. I'd go with a 36" walk behind with a step saver. You'll make a killing if you keep your initial costs down. Don't be tempted by the new ztr and expensive crap until you can pay cash for it.
  8. hdhsrebel

    hdhsrebel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    thanks guys
  9. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,133

    I would suggest that you get a good flier made and deliver it door to door in the same area as the 18 lawns that you got from your friend. You will find that you can make more money by mowing several properties that are next door to each other or at least near by.
  10. hdhsrebel

    hdhsrebel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    im up to 21 lawns im havin great luck in the same subdivision, does anyone have any objections to the hustler name? i mentioned a walkbehind and my buddy suggested the trimstar has anyone had any luck with hustler?

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