Equipment for very small scale operation

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by aggie20, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. aggie20

    aggie20 LawnSite Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 2

    I'm a student who would like to make a little money this year cutting grass. It would be a one man operation with at most 10 or 12 yards; probably like most of you guys were doing when you were 14 years old. I have very little money for the initial equipment investment ($500-$600) and would like to know the best route to start up with. Should I buy a brand new bottom of the line non-comercial mower, a used commercial grade mower, or a few used garage sale hunks of junk. Should I have the option of bagging and mulching? Is a blower neccesary? Also should i worry about taxes and licensing? Thanks for any info, this is a great site.
  2. A pushmower, stick it in the trunk of your car.

    Umm Taxes and INS. yes. Uncle Sam will gladly take your pushmower and car away for failure to pay.

    Oooooops wait your 14.

    Pull the pushmower behind your bike.
  3. scagman

    scagman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    I would buy with a $600 limit. Yard machines 21" at the home depot runs around $200, Homelite straight shaft trimmer $100, Homelight Quicktatch with add on edger $100 for the trimmer and $59 for the edger, Homelite backpack blower. I know this all sounds like a real crappy setup, but for only having 10- 15 lawns it will get you through a summer or until you can afford better. Remember when you buy homeowner equip just take extra good care of it. Should you get licensed and insured? Well Ill tell you that around my area a 14 year old with a pushmower trying to make a buck will never be likely to be licensed or insured. What they dont know is that if they are mowing maybe a new customers lawn that they dont know well and they throw a rock through their bay window " ILL MOW YOUR LAWN 10 TIMES WITHOUT CHARGE" will not cover this. If I were you I would fill out the app. for a license its like $15 bucks and put down the $300 for basic insurance. Best of luck to you.
  4. He is 14 can't get licensed or ins. for anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. scagman

    scagman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    Hmmmmmmm!! I wasnt aware of that, hey just dont charge sales tax.
  6. But it really doesn't make a difference, either you or your parents are liable. If you damage something or injure someone, you could literally be paying the rest of your life.

    As far as equipment, see a dealer for dealer financing.
    You'll make more profit with good commercial equipment. Even if you turn around and sell it in the fall.

  7. aggie20

    aggie20 LawnSite Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 2

    I am 21, I was saying that the operation I'd like to get going would be similar to that of a 14 year old (except i can drive) due to my limited funds and time. For my situation as a college student, mowing a few lawns two days a week will produce far better income than fitting an hourly job in-between classes in a college town notorious for min wage. I'd rather not finance anyting and add to my $25,000 student loan debt. I'm just looking to start up at very low risk with low profit as compared to what most in the industry would expect. I'd still make out better than working 16 hour weekends for $5.50 hour. I'll go check out Home Depot, thanks for serious info Scragman. As far as license and insurance, who might I contact for that info? What type of insurance would it be? Do I need a special license to pull the mower behind my bicycle Lawngodfather?
  8. Highpoint

    Highpoint LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153


    Contact the your city business license branch. They can tell you the info. Personally, I'd just go out and hussle up some yards in your neighborhood. If your from that area, it ought to be easy. Naturally it would be nice on your part to try and not steal away clients from other lawncare companies in the area. A 21" self propelled mower from Home Depot would work great for this year. Get a straight shaft trimmer and definatly get a gas powered blower. Don't bag anything if you can help it. Just mow and go!:) Good luck

    PS: the insurance you will need is called: Bipedal Communal Liability Insurance. Should only cost around $2.00 a year.:D
  9. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Spend as little as possible. Probably buy new homeowner stuff, they probably have a 2 year warranty for homeowner use, check that out. Sounds like you just want to make quick cash. Realisticly, all people like you do is screw up the market, but what I say won't stop you. So spend as little as possible and just take care of the equipment. Get a mower, blower, and trimmer. Insurance is your call, of course it's necessary but doesn't mean you'll get it. That's why kids your age only get minimum wage. The owners of the business pay insurance and taxes and workmans comp. If they didn't pay those they could give you more than minimum wage, that's the difference in doing it right or not.
  10. summitgroundskeeping

    summitgroundskeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    $600 and buy an Ariens 21" mower.
    You'll make more net. but if you live in TX, I would pay taxxes and lin. so probably being a waiter or work at the Depot would be better.

    My brother worked at the Depot and went to school majoing in civil engineering, but now his but belong to me and SGK.

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