Bringing back old methods.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jknowles, May 31, 2010.

  1. jknowles

    jknowles LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    So, I have been kicking around an idea for starting a lawncare service in my area. Just for a background, I won't lie I don't know much about the business. I currently work as an EMT. I have a friend at work that use to have a small lawncare service that is willing to help me. Here's the part that is a little different. I'm thinking of going completely motorless(reel mowers, hand powered tool, you know the old schoolway, etc...), or at least electric. Why would someone be crazy enough to do this? I do have a reason. I my area are multiple gated communities, and other high class communities, that all require that the property owners have a lawncare service. Most of these homeowners either are homemakers or they work from home. The number one complaint that they all have is that it is hard to do anything with all the noise of their current lawncare service providers. This is what I think i can capitalize on. I also think that with the current "Go Green" kick that I can use that to help with marketing too. Thought I would throw this idea out to some pros and see what you think.
  2. Ron's TLL

    Ron's TLL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    Hustlers electric mower will run for about 90 minutes before needing recharged. I have no idea how long that takes. The mower is about 20% quieter, but you still have blade noise. There are a few electric mowers out there, some battery, some corded. Same with blowers and trimmers. I would say that if the yards are small enough, you have access to electricity, and the homeowners are willing to pay, go for it. I would not use a reel mower, as it would just be too much work to be practical.
  3. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    one thing is you will be in good shape then.
  4. whosedog

    whosedog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 730

    Good thing he's an EMT so when he's passing out from heat stroke after pushing the reel mower,he'll know how to revive himself!
  5. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    Personally, I don't think there's much of a market for that type of service ... yet !!
  6. Wayne's Lawn Service

    Wayne's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    Have you decided how much you want to make? Is it possible in one community? Costs per hour of operation will be pretty high.

    Not a bad idea maybe, but I would certainly think it through.
  7. SLGLawnServer

    SLGLawnServer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Going the old school way is partly what I do, but I don't have a crap load of business to worry about like some of these guys. If you are doing it just in that community and not having to full time it with lots of yards, the old school way takes much longer and is a whole lot more muscle work. Like I said, it depends on what you are willing to go through. As far as electric, I had a brief eurika moment about that, but decided it isn't practicle at the moment. There are limited machines from what I see to choose from, running times are limited - like you need to invest in numerous batteries. That in itself will drag down your productivity if you have to wait to recharge them. Perfect yards with only nice grass may work, but if you have tough yards with lots of stringy weed type grass and so on, that would only consume more power and drain faster and also make your motor wear faster. Not to mention, electric motors in these things won't last in a commercial use. All in all, the manual way will be very tedious, take too long per yard, and the electric way will cost you more in the end and won't be all that practical with current technology even though it's improving. Hope that gives you some food for thought.
  8. Flatop

    Flatop LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    The only thing I can see with going green in time management. For those that have issues with the noise, may I recommend you inquire the individual as to the best time to mow and make your list. The only electric equipment I have is a hedger due to my disability; I can not carry a gas powered hedger because of the weight issue. Time management is the best tool to have which will save you $ is gas and time.
  9. 2low4NH

    2low4NH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NH
    Messages: 1,890

    Well if yo can get the customers you will make more then you do as an EMT. I believe we have the lowest paying job possible. I think we cold make more at McD's then saving lives
  10. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    how many heart attacks have you been to that have been caused by McD's :)

    emt's, firefighters, police, all low paying jobs, nothing you'll get rich at, but the satisfaction of saving peoples lives and knowing that you've made a difference is not something you can put a price on.....You won't get rich cutting grass either...

    fwiw I had a 20" mclean reel mower that was human powered. and I used it for my own yard...It lasted a season until I sold it..... the lawns have to be PERFECT to get an acceptable cut. I'd opt for the plug in electric and use the homeowners outlets...
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010

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