21" Mower------> Unprofessional?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by XOFMOT, Jun 15, 2001.


    XOFMOT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    Ok everyone----I'm going to be making out my flyers this weekend to distribute this MONDAY!!!!
    I'll let everyone know the responce when I get some. I KNOW this week I WILL be getting my FIRST CUSTOMER!!!

    My question is......Are the residential customers that are out there expecting to see a 60" hyro mowing there lawn or a 21" push? Like I said in another post, I'm just starting out with this career on a PART-TIME basis until it gets off the ground. I'm Starting off with all my "HOMEOWNER" equipment that I already own (21" Craftsman, Trimmer, Gas hedge trimmer, bacpack blower and so on...) I'm just wondering if this even makes a differance at all to the home owner.I bought a new truck last year, so I know I got that part covered for a while. Thanks in advance:D

  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    To answer your question, yes and no. Yes, in a way they ARE expecting good service and what kind of equipment you have might reflect what kind of service. No, in a sense that most people DON'T like the look of a huge mower going across their lawn, at least that's what I've heard from some of the guys here. I think the deal there is they want you to take the most time you possibly can instead of coming in with big mowers, mowing it quick (but doing a good job) and leaving. In other terms, more time on the job for their $$$. Don't ever let anybody tell you off just because of what equipment you have. If the customer starts complaining about what equipment you have, leave. Drop the account and tell them that you can't and won't service a lawn that won't let you use your equipment the way you want. It's that simple. I hope this helped and good luck!
  3. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    okay you ready to go. hate to say it but its hard to understand why u want to work so hard.if you are school age or just dont have any credit then you set to go. good luck
  4. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,253

    It depends on the size of the lawns that you mow. I wouldn't necessarly mow a football field with a push mower. If you get enough push mower customers then you may move upto a 48". Or just invest in one now and start builing on your investment.
  5. Your Crapsman mower will be dead in a month.

    Here is the hard truth. You need two of everything and you have to bring it to the dance in case you break.

    Just to make my point when I left the house today to do a large suburban route I took two 52", one 44" and a 21" mower and I
    work SOLO.

    I also was able to finsh the day with the same machine I started with,
    but it's not like that everyday. Stuff breaks all the time if it is used daily and hard. You need to have a back up plan for every situation or you better stay with your working for wages job.

    XOFMOT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161


    I'm not school age (33) and I have plenty of credit and avail. cash to go out and purchase pretty much any type of "professional equipment" that would be needed. I am also employed full time as an eletronic technician. I just want a change. Tired of punching the clock making Mr. Big...BIGGER IN THE WALLET, It's my turn.

    As for why shouldn't I just go out and buy all professional equipment from the get go, because I hate to be all dressed up with no place to go.
  7. To make any money in your area you are going to need at least a
    44" walkbehind and a stand on sulky. About $1000-1500 used or
    $2500 to 3000 new.

    Any thing less and you will be too slow and won't be even able to compete with the present contractors in your area.

    In order to get new customers you will have to show them that you are better than thier present contractor.

    So why would a customer change using a LCO with commercial deck mowers for your 21" crapsman?
  8. jones

    jones Banned
    from Ontario
    Messages: 69

    Nice Truck,
    If you can afford that ride spend some $$$ and get commercial grade equip.
  9. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    If you dont have any customers right now...a $8000 mower isnt going to do a thing for you. Your homeowner equipment will get you by up to around 7 customers. Then you will want to upgrade to a WB, and more commercial equipment.

    I started cheap, and at about 31 years of age., a $100 Target mower that lasted three months, bought a crapsman mower that lasted 2 months, then pushed a commercial lawn boy a year before seeing the light.

    As far as appearance is concerned, your customers are interested in getting the grass cut. Mow in straight lines, keep you blade sharp, and leave the site looking nice.

    Save your money and upgrade.
  10. yardmonkey

    yardmonkey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    I too was an electronics technician and was getting tired of computers and working for someone else. I have been self-employed and loving it for over a year now. There is nothing unprofessional about a 21" mower. You will find that you will be needing a commercial grade mower though. I trashed 2 Sears mowers in my first month and then bought a Honda which has proven to be indestructible so far. A good commerical 21" mower will cost $800 - $1200. I got the Honda HRC512SXA, which was about $850. Honda has a full line of commercial 21" mowers as well as residential 21" mowers. Toro makes good ones too. You should check out some mower shops and see what they have. You will also want a commercial grade trimmer (weedeater). I have an Echo 2100 ($200), Shindaiwa T230 ($250) and a Robin BH2500 ($350). All are great machines. I got the Robin because it is a 4-cycle and causes less problems for my hands and arms (less vibration). Also quieter and better for the environment.

    If you do a lot of reading here you may get the impression that you aren't really a pro unless you have a larger mower. This is an illusion. The big mower scene is a whole different deal. There are some large lawns that could (and maybe should) be mowed with large mowers, but the vast majority of residential lawn mowing is done with 21" mowers. The big mowers are more appropriate for other types of accounts. If a 21" mower was unprofessional, there wouldn't be dozens of expensive high-quality commercial models availabe. Since I have been in the business, I have noticed things I did not notice before. Like the hundred or so pickups driving alll over my town pulling trailers full of commercial 21" mowers. (I don't use a trailer either) I have only once seen a large mower on a residential lawn. It was a small lawn and it looked ridiculous (though I admit, it didn't take long). I see the big machines mowing the college campus and the grass next to roads and highways. Many people make all the money they need with 21" mowers.

    Someone here once gave some advice to a new guy - don't let anyone tell you you have do things a certain way. That's one of the great things about this business - you can do whatever you want to. My best advice would be to not limit yourself to mowing. Trim hedges, do some light tree trimming, weed garden beds, learn about gardening, learn about landscaping, haul junk to the dump, whatever comes up. I get a lot of business from people who tell me that they can't get their mowers to trim a hedge or do anything but mow.

    Always get the best equipment you can afford and yes you should have 2 of everything. I'll get another mower as soon as this one needs some major work. When you use the good stuff it is less risky not to have a backup, but still a good idea.

    Good luck!

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