Do you talk to LCOs in your area for info.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by WHIPPLE5.7, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 958

    I've been part time at this for 2 years but next year I'm going all out and I've been talking LCOs in my area because I know they have been around for awhile and know the business pretty well. So far I'm trying to pick up on the mistakes that they made early on so I don't have to. So far I've learned really expensive ZTRs are a waist of money in my area. This may not be the case where you are but these guys have quite a few Walkers that just sit most of the time because poeple would rather have 21" mowers rolling over their turf. Also when they do need a ZTR they have managed to talk most people into mulching because dealing with the clippings is a hassle. With that being said why pay $13,000 for a Walker when you are not going to need the rear cllection anyway. A $6,000 Hustler would be more than sufficiant and less than half the cost. I see some things I don't understand like how on 1/4 acre lot with a house and garage(not much yard)LCOs will roll over it with a ZTR and then hit the complete yard with a 21" after, why not just leave the ZTR on the trailer and use 21" only.
  2. Lohse's Lawn Service

    Lohse's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    from US
    Messages: 213

    Is this thread intended to be a question?
  3. clallen03

    clallen03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 514

    I do talk to several LCOs in my area and I have found that most have different opinions on mowers as you can expect. Being in the business for a couple of years I have formed my own opinions as you will too.

    Most 1/4 acre lots in my area are landscaped with a flower bed of about 6-8 shrubs and 2 trees some where in the lawn. Mostly flat some on slight inclines. Now my 46" Exmark Z breezes through these lawns with a great cut. This mower cuts my time significantly and I would recommend this mower to anyone that ask for advice on these size lots.

    I started with a 21" Craftsman then a 36" Exmark Metro so I do have experience using smaller mowers. True enough, on some lawns my 36" is used because its maneuvers a lot better then my Z. My 21" is only used for hard to reach places and most times my trimmer guys gets to it before I get to my smaller mower, so its rarely used.

    Again you will get different opinions from different LCOs so just keep mowing and you will find out what works best for you. I know I wont use a 21" on 1/4 unless my other mowers downs. If I was asked to only use a 21" then I would turn the job down because it takes me too long and most wont pay what I have to charge to make a profit.

    One more time, you will get different opinions from different LCOs. I just wanted to give you mine.

    Hope this helps
  4. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    I would tend to think that the types of accounts : residential, commercial etc will dictate your equipment purchases. Whatever saves you time= money should be your choice. When I think about buying something I try to figure how much I will I use it. I just bought my first Z. Im now thinking of getting a blade grinder. I figure it will save me time and money on sharpening blades.So in all I guess Im saying is think about all your purchases , dont buy stuff just to have big equipment that will look good on your trailer!!
  5. prizeprop

    prizeprop LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    I do talk to other lco,s whenever the situations presented.(mower shop,deli,etc.) Try to get an idea of others pricing and additude on different situations.How busy they are,get a feel for the overall picture in the area, etc.
  6. GreenS14

    GreenS14 LawnSite Member
    from Ca
    Messages: 10

    HOw do you guys feel when other LCO are trying to pick your brain? I am kind of hessitant to ask others due to being thier competition.
  7. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    I really do not talk to the other companies in my area.
    It isn't like I am trying to be a hard on yet I do not feel I need to pass on any tidbits of info to these other companies.
    Pay attention to your cost structure, deal fairly with your customers and you will make money.
    How much depends upon your imagination and efficacy towards streamlining your business to produce more work with less effort = more money.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I don't particularly care for it, either.
    Strange, but the longer I do this, the less I care for it.

    Better be careful with the advice, thou most is likely well intended, and they are right about the Z, I've been preaching that for a while now. It's a status symbol thou on acre+ lots it comes out ahead, you need a slew of super large lots to justify the purchase... Most Lco's who are around for some time don't get one until later, like 5-8 years into it, some later than that, some never.

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