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Equipment costs and questions

cameron.denton

LawnSite Member
Hey there im new to the site. I have been thinking and mentally planning to start a small part time lawn maitainence, landscape and eventually hardscape buisness. Im only 20 but i have been doing this type of work since i was old enough to work. I know this question in general has probably been asked a million times but i had some specifics i wanted to ad.
1st. I was thinking of starting with cheap hand held equpiment and used mowers say ryobi trimmers and blowers and going to the local pawn shop for the mowers which i was looking into a self-propelled mower and possibly a walk behind if i can find a good one for the right price.
2nd. i was thinking of a trailer and how large it may need to be. I have a 1985 ford ranger with a v6 so it will pull moderate loads and i have a camper shell for the hand held equip. to be secured. But i was thinking i will probably be doing alot of clearing and dont know how to get around the camper shell??
3rd. and hopefully final is clients. I was planning on going small-moderate sized residential at first but was just wondering how to target neighborhoods, as far as income level and yard size, starting bids and approaching them. also to do with clients... i live in a semi-rural area and was wodering if traveling out of my way (say 20+ miles) is worth it for 1 lawn?

many thanks.
 

KingImprovements

LawnSite Member
STAY AWAY FROM CHEAP EQUIPMENT. unless of course you like buying it, because you will be doing it often. you would be surprised how cheap good equip actually is. the trimmer i bought today was only $329 and it was a commercial redmax. Personally i pull a 6x12 open trailer and think it is just the right size for me. it will easily hold a 36, 21 and my ZTR. trimmers mount on the side so they don't take up much space. check craigslist for a mower and trailer, i paid $900 for my trailer with a new paint job, new lights, tires and new gorilla gate lifts. it pulls really easily behind my tundra and is easy to maneuver around town. personally i wouldn't drive 20+ miles for just one yard but i would if it was 4 yards. that is just me and it all depends on how desperate you are for work and what you think your time is worth! remember, people don't cut there own yard because its not worth there time so why should you cut it if its not worth your time. :usflag:
 

DJJS

LawnSite Member
Location
North NJ
stay away from the cheap stuff like he said, look for a used mower on craigslist a 36" or 48" walkbehind should be a good starter for you and you can probably get one for around 1000-1500 get your handheld equipment new i use redmax & echo but stihl & shindy are solid also, all you need is a blower and a trimmer to start, along with the walkbehind then you can just get a cheap 21" push mower for those hard to reach places. As far as the camper shell, I wouldnt use that, get some racks for your trailer so you can lock your equipment up, then you have the bed of the truck to throw clippings/brush or whatever else you need to haul.

As far as clients, 20 miles is a long drive but if your just starting up and dont have clients yet, i wouldnt turn it down, one lawn can turn into two quickly, word of mouth is the best advertisement in this business. For start up clients, look into how much a small add in the classifieds of your local news paper would run. Door hangers and flyers are the best and cheapest advertising though if you dont mind hittin' the pavement
 

AbbottCon.

LawnSite Member
Location
Boxford, MA
I would have to agree with everything said i wouldnt buy any used hand held stuff the money your gonna save isnt worth the headaches. get a redmax blower best things every and you wont have to worry. as for a mower id get a 36 to start especially since your trying do residential. you dont want to get stuck mowing a big backyard with a push cause you cant get threw the gate. if your gonna buy used dont spend to much remember you can get a brand new scag 36 belt for like 3600 so dont spend to much on a used mower i always find people want to much for their junk. DJJS is dead on with the door hangers this is going to be the best way and cheapest for you to advertise plus you can target the areas you want. We do advertising on google, yellowpages, direct mail and newspapers but in everyone of my trucks theres a stack of door hangers and we blanket neighborhood all the time works get.
 

Blade1963

LawnSite Member
Hi Scott,
I am new to this site, but as we both have the same last name I thought I would just say hi. Good to here someone in the family (at least last name) is doing well.

David Abbott
 

AbbottCon.

LawnSite Member
Location
Boxford, MA
haha small world ya great placement in advertising listings for once is paid of to be in the front of the line
 
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