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Decisions Decisions...Seeking advice starting out

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by forgop, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. forgop

    forgop LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    I am looking to get started this spring in the biz and trying to figure out what equipment to get. I'm really torn between getting a Bob-cat ZT219 w/ a 19HP Kawasaki and 52" deck that only has 72 hours on it for $4k or getting a pair of Scag Walk Behinds(36" & 48" belt driven) locally that I might get both for $3k. I think the Bob-cat would be a steal for the money, but just don't know if I want to start off with that high of an expense for a single mower. Buying the 2 Scags would get me something more multipurpose, but looking at the Bob-cat, I know I'd be sure of getting something that will last as the Scags have been used for a couple of seasons at least. Also, buying the Bob-cat would require having to buy a trailer, whereas I think I could get a Scag in the back of my Envoy.

    I will primarily market to local homeowners this year as I could say there are easily over 1k homes within a 10 minute drive with almost all of them being in the 150k-300k range. I figure I might be in the market to pick up 15-20 yards max starting out. I know I could pick up a commercial account for 2006 at an apartment complex pretty easily and might focus on commercial accounts at that point. I thought I'd start off using door hangers for these homes at this point. I just wanna start off smart at this point, so giving what you know now, how would you start off if you were me?
  2. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    1) go get work, before you get equipment!

    2) start out with a used self propelled 21" lawn mower

    3) new line trimmer, new blower, hand trimmers

    as you add work and your week becomes full because you are using a 21" mower, then add the necessary mower needed to fullfill the new work added!

    only purchase what you need when you need it!

    WANTS=things you can live without but will cost you mucho denero!

    NEEDS=things you cant live without!
  3. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    and guess what,,,,,you will get a ton of work when people see you using a small mower!

    for some reason residential people love small mowers!
  4. ztoro

    ztoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    If you have another job as well(part timing). Spend the money if you can afford to.

    Z's are great, cuts down on time and energy, allowing you to do more.

    Walk behinds are fine, allow you to cut properties that are hilly and a Z couldnt do... (dentention ponds, etc...)

    I need to have both a Z and WB... If I dont have a WB it limits me to the lawns I can cut... and currently I am trying to except every customer I can..
  5. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    this is BAD advice!

    if you can afford it,,,,,buy what you need when you need it,,,,not one minute before!
  6. ztoro

    ztoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    If you can afford it you should buy it.......

    not sure how you find that bad advice.........????????????????????????

    I guess I should have said if you cant afford it buy it............!!!!!! ;)

    Keep in mind that not all people can afford good mowers.. But if 2 guys showed up to my door and one had 20 inch mower and the other had 48" mower. Guess who I would give the job to.....? These people dont know that some 21 inch mowers cost 900 dollars they just see bigger and assume more professional.. Looking professional helps business...
  7. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    if you can afford it=you can make the purchase at any time!

    you dont need it now if you dont have the work and i would bet you could get more work with a push mower than you could with a large one! residential work that is!

    if you get a big job,,,,go get what you need at that time!
  8. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    I'm inclined to agree. I like the fact you've said more or less buy as you go but you left out one thing. Invest the money and if need be borrow against it.(although you should try and avoid that if possible)GOAL= get $ to work for you instead of you working for the $.jm.02
  9. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    now thats some good advice,,,,out4now!
  10. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    having a bunch of money invested in equipment without work will leave a guy feeling like this.....:)

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