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Allow me to introduce myself and ask a few questions.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Firefighter337, May 6, 2008.

  1. Firefighter337

    Firefighter337 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 373

    Hello, I am a FF/EMT-I working 24 hrs on/ 48 hrs off shifts. Which gives me plenty of extra time to acquire some extra income. I am not here to step on any toes and "steal" anyone business. I am here looking for guidance and knowledge from the industry's finest.

    I have had the opportunity this past fall to work with a friend until March of this year doing lawncare. I saved every penny, which allowed me to buy this:

    Snapper 21" hi vac
    Stihl FS80R
    Stihl FC75
    Stihl HS45
    Stihl BR550
    Stihl backpack sprayer
    All of my shovels, rakes, buckets, tarps.
    Spare parts - Air filters and covers, spark plugs, trimmer string, edger blades, etc.

    I chose Stihl equipment since they are down the street and the owner has treated my family well in the past.

    I currently have 20 accounts, all residential. Mostly small to average size yards. I have them on a bi-monthly - every 2 week routine. 10 yards each week.

    My question, seeking advice rather. My next purchases I have lined up are:

    1. 6x12' Enclosed trailer
    2. Larger mower - I have about 5 years experience with Walker, plus the Stihl dealer is also a Walker dealer and I trust him. So I am thinking of getting a 23hp 42" GHS.
    3. Extended hedge trimmer
    4. Chainsaw
    5. Extended Chainsaw
    6. I am not sure, suggestions.

    Again, I thank everyone for an informative site, and look forward to the education and suggestions.


    PS - I have a 2004 dodge dakota V6 single cab 4x4. So 6x12 should be perfect. It has towed a 7x14 with no problems what so ever.
  2. Sweet Tater

    Sweet Tater LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,123

    Welcome to LS.
    The only comment I can think of right now is about the trailer.
    I considered an enclosed, but operating solo if I had a job that needed something (mulch, clippings,ect) hauled, and only one way to haul your mower too. I went with a 14' open with a side gate. haul stuff on the back and the mower from the side. jmo
  3. kartracer2000

    kartracer2000 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    Welcome to LS. Paramedic here and LCO. Only thing I saw is the trailer too. An open one is nice for hauling mulch and clippings, but, I like to keep my stuff enclosed. I'd get the 7x14, I already had a 10x6 and it's already full and cramped. So, if you have to have an enclosed trailer go with as big as you can. Next year I'm getting a 7x16 with a v-nose.:)
  4. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    I bought a 6x12 open trailer. After today, I wish it was 4 times as big. I did 2 clean-ups that needed major work and hauled out 4 loads of debris. LOL I'm beat down like a wet dog but a whole lot richer, or should I say closer to paying off my bills. LOL I averaged $90+ an hour with time spent working by myself and it cost me 5 bucks (chump change) a load (piled as high as I could possibly get it) to dump it. 10hrs total, including drive time and off loading time.
  5. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    oh yeah, my point....

    get a open trailer....
  6. Firefighter337

    Firefighter337 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 373

    Thanks for the replys guys. I have not ruled out an open trailer at this time. At the moment, I do not have anywhere to store my equipment other than my storage room in the back yard. I have watch dogs (Catahoula Bulldogs) and it is locked up, so it is fairly protected. The storage room is about 4x5'. I really need an enclosed trailer, so I can back it behind my privacy gate after working. An open trailer just does not meet my needs at the moment and plus later on I can get an open trailer, its a write off plus I plan on getting 4-wheelers with in 2 years. So I will need something to haul them around.

    Also, I do not see renting a storage building @ $150 plus for something to allow me to back in an open trailer for storage. 150 x 12 months is 1800 bucks. Enough to buy an enclosed trailer for the year plus I'll own it.
  7. Firefighter337

    Firefighter337 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 373

    I am considering a V-Nose, use the walls of the V- to hang hand equipement vertically. Along the walls add, storage baskets on the upper 1/3 walls. Then park the mower in the middle and the walk behind perpendicular in the side door.
  8. Paulup

    Paulup LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    If your buying an enclosed trailer, try and put some sort of work counter space in it. I notice lots of people do it, and if the need arises for you to do some equipment work having the place to do it is nice compared to ripping equipment apart on the sidewalk. That V-Nose is a good place for such a counter.
  9. KGR landscapeing

    KGR landscapeing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    i have a 6x12 enclosed there like put a counter in but with 2 mowers an ender tiller blower theres no room with tarps garbage cans. the bigger the better
  10. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,612

    If you are considering a Walker, you may want to consider an EFI model. Fuel injection is supposed to be way better on gas. Fuel savings may offset the extra cost over time.

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