Best Equipment to start with?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lot0210, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. lot0210

    lot0210 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Hay guys in the next 2 months I will be starting a lawn care company in FL. Some of the people I talk to have told me that the best way to go is to buy used homeowner grade equipment and after a year go for used commercial equipment.

    I however am not a fan of this advice and want to go for used commercial equipment for the better quality and durability. was wondering if you guys had any pearls of wisdom on this thanks.
  2. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 993

    what size lawns are you looking at?
  3. lot0210

    lot0210 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    to begin with residential suburbs of Orlando to Lakeland FL. Wold also try to pursue so commercial biz
  4. Lawn Care Expert

    Lawn Care Expert LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    If I had to do it all over, I would apply for loans and build start-up capital any way I could - borrowing from friends, family, whatever, to buy used late-model commercial grade. The extra bucks you spend (depending on your scale) will pay off by saving on repair bills and saving you frustration.

    In many cases, home-grade equipment simply can't handle the work a business can pile on it. I wish I had someone to tell me that starting out when 3 of my 5 mowers literally broke the same day after taking the cheap classifieds route.

    Do it right once, not OK twice, and watch your budget. Just my 2 cents!
  5. freshprince94

    freshprince94 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,449

    Go with the lower end Stihl stuff. Once your business grows, you can buy the more high powered stuff and keep your old stuff as backup.

    Stihl FS 90 R-$329
    Stihl FC 75-$329
    Stihl BR-380-$329

    Or, if you're doing hedge trimming, get a KM 90 R with the edger and articulating hedge trimmer attachment.

    I am currently using Echo but slowly converting to Stihl. I love my KM 90 R so far.

    As for mowers, go with a used commercial mower to start with. Out of all mowers I've used, imo eXmark is the best, but I also have used and liked Gravely and Toro. I have heard good things about Dixie Chopper, and Wright.

    Good Luck.
  6. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Try and stay away from financing when purchasing mowers. You are just starting out so you have no idea if you will succeed or not this year. If you start financing all these pieces of equipment you will be owing thousands of dollars to the bank. And if your business doesn't succeed then you are left to pay the rest of the loan off with no job.

    You don't need to start with the best equipment, build your business as you go. Start with a used commercial walk-behind (like a 36"-48"). If you find a used piece of equipment at a dealer, make sure the dealer is a good one. For your trimmers and blowers I would buy the lower end commercial models. Try to stay with just one brand, I really like stihl and have used them for years.

    Build your business as you go. No business started out huge, they all started small and worked their way up. Look at the John Deere company. That starting with just John Deere working as a blacksmith making plows. As the years progressed, Deere became more of a company and manufacturing tractors. It too the Deere co. many many years to get to where they are today. So just start small and work your way up. If you have enough motivation you should have no problem being successful in this business. Best of luck to you.
  7. Greg78

    Greg78 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,010

    We have just started out 2 months ago. We started with our troy-bilt lawn tractor and trimmers. We didn't have the money for a good used commercial equipment.

    We are saving for a good used commercial mower. As of now the equipment we have is getting the job done.

    If you go with with non commercial mowers to start you need to realize that it will take you 2 to 3 times longer per yard.

    Our goal is to fill up our schedule with what our current equipment can handle. Once that happens we will have saved up enough for a decent commercial mower and can then work on getting the rest of our schedule full.

    If you have the funds I would definitely go with a used commercial grade mower.

    We did not want to finance anything or borrow any money from friends or family. You never know what can happen and maybe this wouldn't be for us.
  8. Puddle of Oil

    Puddle of Oil LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,203

    36'' wb and a push mower, thatll last u a couple years.
  9. Jaysondavislawnservice

    Jaysondavislawnservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    i started just a couple months ago with everything in my sig except for the eXmark, 5x10trailer and blower. everything worked fine but but it takes a little longer to cut a yard. I do it partime right now so growing is in the future just not in a big hurry for me. slowly making my way to the Top!
  10. dura to the max

    dura to the max LawnSite Silver Member
    from georgia
    Messages: 2,246

    all this is great advice. however noone mentioned the better outdoor products quick mowers. these are some great commercial grade machines w/ a decent price tag. great start-up mower. i like the advice on the stihl, and staying w/ the same brand. look at the km series and buy the attachments you need as you go. i like having dedicated pieces of equipment, and i run multiple peices at one time, so i need this, but for startup the km series should be great. also look at some used commercial w/b. i personally have had great success w/ these. you could get along fine w/ a used 36" or 48" depemding on the sive yards you will be doing. i usually can find a used w/b for about the same as a "high-end" residential mower from the chain stores. stay away from debt especially as you start out for the reasons mentioned above. i have multiple trucks, mowers and all and am and always have been debt free. it is possible. also look professional and know your stuff, goes a long way w/ potential customers.

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