Getting back in...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by JFF, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. JFF

    JFF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Hello everyone. New to the site. Very nice source of information. this modern age....

    Anyway, I was in the business years back. I did pathology, chemical application, installation/design and of course maintenance when I was younger. Made enough money I bought a self storage facility. The problem is, the storage is full, the bills are paid and I am bored.

    I live in a resort/retirement community. There are quite a few lawn services in the area, but most of them do shabby work and there is the inevitable flash in the pan guys with the beat up 1970 Chevy and the MTD push mowers. Lots of grass and shrubs being neglected around these parts, and we have an outrageously long growing season.

    So, anyway, gonna fill up my time and get some exercise by maintaining some properties. Not that worried about how long it takes me to make back the money I spend on initial investment, because this is not my primary source of income. I have experience in estimating and since I am not counting on this for my retirement, I can be very selective about the properties I take on. I won't take on any more than I can handle in a 4 day week.

    I've already got a New Titan pickup. Been out networking with the local shops to find out what kind of equipment is available. Pretty much the standard fare. Stihl, Shin, Toro, Exmark, Echo, Snapper.

    We have a free recycling facility in town so no debris issues. In fact I can drop off debris and pick up mulch and compost no charge. I have seen plenty of thugs getting paid to install this stuff.

    My First purchases will be a trailer, a T-272, and an echo blower. I am looking at an Exmark for my primary mower, probably a 36 inch Viking. I am all about the hydrostatic. I think a gear drive would be defeatist. This will be my largest investment. Once I get rolling, I might consider a larger deck model.

    I have accepted that i will have to purchase a couple bagging push mowers. My knee jerk reaction is that I need a couple snapper or toro commercials. Might start with one, cause if I get into a pinch I can just go buy another and drop the other off for repairs.

    But I see a lot of people talking about JD on here. Surely not the home center stuff? Is there a high end commercial line?

    Anyway, just getting (back) off of the ground and wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts.

    Again, great site. Love it, look forward to speaking to you all.
  2. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,586

    you might want to consider a bigger walk behind at least a 36 inch... and do your really need to bag grass, thats kind of outdated thinking, (i know some old folks just cant change)... try and keep the bagging to a minimum... its not very profitable..

    good luck
  3. JFF

    JFF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Yeah, I will certainly only bag for those who insist. I can give anybody who will listen the recycling speech.

    I listed the 36 inch mower cause we have lots of patio homes etc with narrow gates. If I land some big lots I will consider going with a larger deck.

    Thanks for the response.
  4. wowmowwow

    wowmowwow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

    i say go ahead and get a zero turn

  5. wowmowwow

    wowmowwow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

    even if it is 36"...thanks
  6. bigcountry01

    bigcountry01 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    You might want to look into some other trimmers, most guys that have a t272 will agree with me, they are overpriced and underpowered. Its still a good trimmer but im going to steer away from shindiawa for now on. I just as good or better equipment or less $$. Look at the red max trimmers..thats what i plan on buying this year. All i hear is good things about them. Just my .02....oh and good luck and hope u enjoy getting back in the game!
  7. JFF

    JFF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Can't find a local red max dealer. Just decided on the T-270 cause I had experience with them and know they run forever.

    Beyond that, pretty much all there is locally is stihl, and I had issues with the trimmers and blowers before.

    Maybe I won't notice them being underpowered, since I won't really have anything to compare them with? LOL

    Wowmowwow, will I really need a zero turn? What is the cost difference? They were just becoming popular when I got out. How are they on hills compared to walk behinds. This town is on the side of a mountain.
    Thanks for the replies guys.
  8. JFF

    JFF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Also Big Country, that reminds me, my hedge trimmers will also be shindaiwa or stihl.
  9. Frosty03

    Frosty03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    I would go with the TTHP with the hydros and floating deck rather than the Viking. I have the TTHP mower and I don't care what others say about a 36", it will work hard and on small yards, you can't beat it, on medium yards, it will do fine. You can get the sulky and ride or on the really small stuff, just walk it. I find when it's a tight yard, I do better and faster by walking it.

    The Exmark is a superb mower, I would go with the Turf Tracer HP. Just my $.02.
  10. JFF

    JFF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Well, I have collected all of my equipment.

    Ended up getting a Snapper 36 inch hydro new for $3500. They threw in the mulching kit for free.

    Also got a snapper commercial trim mower with a 5.5 honda for $850.

    Went with the shindiawa eb630 blower, paid $421.

    Also ended up with a t-270 trimmer, paid $400.

    Been a long time since i had to buy any of this stuff. Did I get robbed or make any tragic mistakes?

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