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Getting Started

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Blade1963, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Blade1963

    Blade1963 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Hi guy's.
    I have been trying for a couple years now to get started. It looks like I may get out of the gate this time around. Even though its late in the season. I will be starting with a family member so not just me. I know a lot of you guys don't like partnerships, but it is family. We will be starting with what I have already. Craftsman 42" with a 22hp b/s, 22" push mower. I have a weedeater but it takes a long time to start. I've tried talking nice to it, talking mean to it, I've even taken it out to dinner (eating a snack), it just takes too long to start. So I will be looking for a plan B. I also need a blower. We are thinking cheap. I know the com ones are the way to go but I don't want to spend too much money on what I should have and run out of money before good money starts coming in.
    You can read some of my older post to get an idea more about me.
    Now for a question. As I sit here thinking of things we can be doing, I thought of this and was wondering what anyone else thought. What makes a com mower last so much longer than a res mower? Short answer is, it was made to. But why? If my 22 hp res mower is made to mow my yard once a week. Why can't it do more and still last? If I run the engine at a lower RPM and say I am only using 12 hp of the 22 hp, woudn't it last longer? So anyway thats what I think about. Just so we're clear, we do plan to upgrade. The question is when to upgrade?
    So thats it. Wish us luck. :usflag:
  2. Puddle of Oil

    Puddle of Oil LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    you will never understand the need for a commercial mower, until your homeowner grade mower just wont cut it (no punt intended). Good Luck!
  3. aarons lawn

    aarons lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    I agree it sounds like u should stop before u get started and waste money!!
  4. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,510

    I would not mow at half throttle.... It would probably actually shorten the life of the mower. Try running some seafoam through your string trimmer and see if that helps clean it up.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Blade1963

    Blade1963 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Puddle, I know your right and one day I will have a commercial mower. Just not yet. All in good time. The question for us, is when. One account, five accounts, ten….

    Aarons, if you are saying I should not start which is what it sounds like you are saying. That’s not very helpful. Perhaps you could re-read all that I have posted as you may have missed something.

    Jdiepstra, I thank you for the seafoam advice. It will be tried and I’ll see how that works. I tried it in my outboard motor earlier this year and it worked very well. I should have thought of trying it in the trimmer. I don’t think you and I are on the same page as to half throttle though. My half throttle is only a guess. It may be a little more. It just depends on the grass to be cut. Very short thin grass needs not much power. Thick grass may be using all the power I can get. A lower power setting will extend the life of the engine provided it is a good power setting for the grass to be cut, not the other way around. Sorry, we just have the right to disagree on this one.
  6. Puddle of Oil

    Puddle of Oil LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    Whenever you find yourself replacing a part every month. Also, running a tractor will slow you down so when time gets tighter you will need a faster/ more productive mower.
  7. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    might want to look for a clue.
  8. grincon

    grincon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    Upgrade when your budget allows now by number of accounts. At first most of my income went to buying used and some new equipment. I think you should maybe get your trimmer looked at and see if its worth saving. If it were me, I would first check for spark then if thats good clean the carb. As far as a blower, a bottom end hand held blower will save u from using a push broom at this point so get what you can afford on that. Work hard. have a business plan and set goals.

    Partnerships are fine as long as you have some sort of aggreement.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Blade1963

    Blade1963 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Puddle, I think I will have a com unit long before I get to fixing the one I have now often. It run very well now. It has a lot of power when its needed and it starts right up. I am looking now for a used one. I'm just not finding any takers on trading for something else. When looking for a used one, what defines one as a com unit? I called about a zero turn 52" with a kohler engine. I know kohler are good engines as I have used them in the past for other things, but what else defines a unit as com that I can look for on a used one?

    JB1, I have a board game called "clue". I looked in the box, but I could not find the answer. I may not have all the answers to anything, but I dout I am clueless. Please only reply if you can offer something positive.

    grincon, I thank you for all of your advice. This will start as part time so all income will be reinvested. The trimmer is as bad as I said and not as bad at the same time.
    I know, that didn't make since. It never has ever started on the first pull and probablly my best is a minute and a half.
    The worst is two guys tag team 15 - 20 minutes later. Once started and warmed up, it will start again if killed on the first pull. It has a lot of power and has never not started, it just takes a while.
    It has spark, and now I will try the seafoam. We will see how that goes. A blower is on the list. What kind do you think would be a good place to start? For just starting out and only Res at this point, I don't think I need a several hundred of dollar back pack. I do like the hand held. I've had those before. I do have goals and I know about hard work. Now I just need some work.
  10. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,133

    You have to operate a lawn mower at a high enough speed for the engine to turn the blade fast enough to get a good cut. Also, you need to be able to get a lawn mowed in reasonable time. You can get started with cheap equipment it works well enough, if you take good care of it.

    Here are tips for getting maximum life out of your mower. When you are done mowing turn the throttle down to a low idle for a couple seconds before you shut it off. Use synthetic oil and change it regularly. Keep the engine clean. Keep the controls clean and oiled. Get books and read lawnsite about maintenance and repair.

    Quit thinking about things to do, and start doing the things you been thinking about.
    Best luck!

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