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36" walk-behind in a shortbed Dakota?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Camaro99SS, May 24, 2006.

  1. Camaro99SS

    Camaro99SS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Hey, I'm new to this site and am looking at getting back into this business as a side job. I found a 2003 Snapper 36" walk-behind with low hours for a great price ($700) that I'm looking at buying. I don't have room to store a trailer and will be operating out of the pickup bed.

    My question to you all is will this 36" Snapper along with a handheld blower and trimmer (folding ramps too) fit in a 95 Dakota shortbed without having to spend alot of time loading and unloading? I'm not looking to get a fullsize truck, but I will if I have too. I found a good deal on a 95 Dakota, and considering it'll be a second vehicle, I can't afford to spend alot of money at this point. Selling the Camaro is just not an option as it's paid for. Thanks in advance. :)


    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Will it fit???---- Yes--- Is it worth it???---You have to ask yourself why you are getting into this business, all you have to sell is time. This is a low profit business to start with. you would be good at 10 - 15% running at max efficiency. so if your 30 min job becomes 35 because of the load time- you are losing money. You have to ask yourself if you really want this business and if so than buy the right equipment. OR-

    I want to cut grass for extra money. Maybe 3-4K a year spending money. I can get all the stuff for around 5K including the truck. because of the fact that I don't want to spend much I will buy stuff that takes a little extra time to use. I will spend 20 hours a week making 300 dollars a week- 250 of which will go to pay for everything it takes to run the business of which around 100 goes to pay off stuff and 150 goes to lic. insurance, gas, and all the other day to day stuff to run it. It will only take about a year and a half to pay off all the stuff (but the used stuff may need replacing in a year and a half also) during which time I will be working 20 hours a week and making about 5 dollars an hour before taxes. ????why do I want to fight putting a mower in the back of a truck so I can go work my butt off for $3.50 an hour??? Got to love this gig.
  3. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    It should fit without any problem.
  4. fulano

    fulano LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    That was a bitter reponse. The guy just asked if a 36" mower will fit and the answer is yes. $3.50 net is not an industry average.
  5. man of stihl

    man of stihl LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    hey there is some guy around here with a 95-96 dodge dakota 2wd . its got the long bed but he puts a husky 36 wb, stihl trimmer and blower, honda harmony mower. and tarps.. gas cans.. and trash cans. it looks like crap but it gets the job done. he has a ramp that is as wide as his bed and sense his truck is low it isnt to steep. it works for him. if you want to keep your overhead down ,, whatever works for you man:weightlifter:
  6. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    Not all the time. This is my first year and in the past two weeks I have picked up 10 residentials, 3 APARTMENT complexes, and potentially 40 front yards for a HOA.:weightlifter:

    I paid cash for everything. I actually had a 99 Camaro too, which was totaled in an accident (not my fault) so I spent all of that money on the business. :) :usflag:

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Nothing Bitter about it, just the truth, and if you would read all of what someone writes he adds "if it will not take too much time loading or unloading" So I told him what I thought about his plan.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    "previous sig removed because moderator said I was pushing your buttons. "

    Now that sounds bitter.
  9. fulano

    fulano LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    Yeah better get out while you still can.:rolleyes:
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    "$3.50 net is not an industry average."

    No that is not average-- but nor is putting mowers in the back of trucks. If you look at what he wants to do and what he will spend to do it and only part time, After real accounting I believe he will be close to those numbers.

    As far as profit, The question has to be asked if you know what the real profit is. I guess the 1st part is if you have a real business or a hobby (not at you cess) and than if you do proper accounting. A business has to profit. IRS says so ( well I guess funalo does not care about the IRS as he will not pay taxes) What you put into your pocket is not profit, That is labor. Profit is what is left after labor and all other bills are paid. And the # of jobs you have or how big has nothing to do with that.
    Also the finance method of your equipment also has nothing to do with pricing. There is no such thing as "paid for " equipment. You always have to pay for your equipment from the income off your work. If you do not cover equipment you will lose money.
    Added time on a job eats at nothing but profit.
    Say what you want but I still say maintenance has close margins to work in. You have to be very efficient to profit. Mowers in pick-ups, belt drive mowers, wrong equipment size on the lot, all hurt time in the field. Just as a 486 computer from the 90's will hurt the performance in the office, which by the way is non billable time so it too has to be figured in the cost of the job.
    Sorry if I do not share the same enthusiasm as most about the becoming of millionaires within a week or two of starting. Just giving my opinion.

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