Another Newb Starting Up

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Martin Lawn & Landscape, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. Martin Lawn & Landscape

    Martin Lawn & Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Hi, wanted to say hello to everyone here and thank them for all the great information on the site. After considering this for quite some time I have decided to take the plunge into the green business. I've been out of this industry for roughly 8 years but prior to that I worked in residential and commercial landscaping for about 5 years. Unfortunately since I don't have a bobcat and a crew of guys working for me I'm going to have to start out small with myself and a mower and go from there. I work full time at a power plant 3-11 shift and I won't be relying on this business to bring in any income for a year or two, however it would be nice just to break even and pay myself back for the equipment I will be purchasing, now on to the questions.
    I currently have a pickup, 5 by 8 trailer, echo commercial trimmer, commercial grade 21" walk behind and I'm in the process of looking for a good commercial grade 36" walk behind. I've got around $5000 startup capital from my savings that I can use to get this going and I'm unsure which 36" walk behind to go with. I've been shopping around and so far the used market hasn't been very kind to me so I wanted to get some opinions on the options I'm currently looking at.

    Year Old Dane 36" WB Hydro $3200
    New Scag 36" WB Belt $2999
    New Hustler Trimstar 36" WB Belt $2399

    Now I do have enough capital to buy anyone of these but that doesn't mean I want to spend it all still gotta get insurance and some other items, for the money is there really a huge difference in the list above. All I have ever run is belt drive so as far as Hydro I don't have any idea of what I'm missing. Please keep in mind that I'm only targeting roughly 15-20 residential clients per week on 1/4 to 1/2 acre lots. Thanks for any help:)
  2. ribbie78

    ribbie78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    If your area is pretty flat the belt driven wb's should be fine. If you've got hills or plan on working much in the rain then a hydro is worth the extra price. Dumb question; but did you try ebay for used walkbehinds? The 2005 48" exmark hydro I picked up this winter on ebay for $2200 works great and has about 700 hours on it. A little service from my local exmark dealer and it runs like brand new; for a lot less $$$$.

    I've run belt driven pistol grip wb's in the past and the carpel tunnel in my wrists is still there at times. I just could never go back to pistol grips or belt in my region. Hilly and wet a lot. It's one of those "if i knew back then what i know now....." type things.

    It sounds like you've got a good plan at this stage of the game. Good luck.
  3. Martin Lawn & Landscape

    Martin Lawn & Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for the tips Ribbie, sounds like a belt drive will suit me just fine for now at least for this stage of the game. I did find a 36" or 34" Exmark can't remember which (like new according to the small engine shop that's selling it) for $1500, might go down tomorrow and take a look. He said it's hardly been used because the outfit that owned it does larger properties with larger mowers. Is there really any difference when looking at the commercial grade wb's in the 36" class either all belt driven or hydros? Seems the prices I've seen for them new are anywhere from $2399 to $3000 and I was wondering if the $600 difference really gained you that much between the brands.

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