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Greetings to all, new member here

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by CBJ, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. CBJ

    CBJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    There is so much great info here.. And I was pretty lost when was making the decision to start my business. Thanks to all you professionals who share your advice with others... To me that is a true professional, sharing trade secrets and advice even when the advisee could be a competitor. Very classy sight.

    As for me, I lost my local tuck driving job when my boss went under. Unfortunately, my wife was 8 months pregnant at the time. This was last september. Odd jobs, savings, and a nice tax return, and God's grace if you believe, and we are fine. More than fine, actually. We have no debt, about 5k in cash, and enough part time tree work for a friend's business to stretch that money out for many months yet.

    But, obviously something has to be done financially.

    I could go out on the road, but promised my wife I wouldn't do that unless it came to starving, plus it would kill my soul to go there again.

    So, I picked up a few small yards this past month, using just a craftsman 17 hp 42, a used push mower, wal-mart weed eater brand blower and weed eater. A 350 dollar 4x8 trailer. about 50 bucks a week in income.

    Then I realized how much I enjoyed this kind of work, and started thinkin bigger. I worked as a groundskeeper at a golf course one summer and learned much about this kind of work. I loved that job.

    So now, I'm thinking... Given my situation... Why not just go for this? Sure it might take a while to go full time, but a part-time "real job" wouldn't be bad while I grew my business. The alternative, it seems, is working in a factory when they start hiring again:dizzy:or waiting for another trucking job:dizzy: OR... doing something I enjoy (outdoor stuff with cool machines) and working the part time gig at lowes or home depot or someplace like that. It sounded so good, I now have my license and insurance (insurance also covers some handyman type stuff) and an add in the upcoming local paper. Business cards and some post cards for advertising are on the way. I'm going for it. :clapping:

    But, looking at my equipment, you see I have a problem. The push mower, trimmer, blower, trailer... They'll work fine for this season. But the rider? I don't think so. It's not even in the best shape. However, if I buy even a low-end commercial mower, savings are gone. With some handyman work coming up (about 1k's worth), I can spend about $2800 on a mower.... Without going into debt, and without too big a bite on savings.

    Now, I used a very cool Skag mower at that golf course and I understand it is night and day from what I can get at Lowe's. But is a top-end residential mower like the Cub Cadet RZT 50 (22 hp Kaw, 50" deck) such a bad choice for the first season or two?? Given my circumstances, that's about all I can afford. I drove one today, went all throught the thing, and it looked damn solid... For a residential. With proper care, mowing maybe 12 yards... Is this really a bad choice till I can afford commercial grade? Any advice appreciated.

    Good meeting you all
  2. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    I started out with a craftsman, then eventually to a Scag - which I ended up regretting. Anyhow, if you can get your dealer support, that is what is going to be key. Get a reliable mower, then reliable hand helds, I started with home light trimmer, weed eater blower and hedge trimmers. The hedge trimmers lasted for years, and even after I had my Stihl's I still had the weed eater ones, they were great for carving. Just get what you can afford and expand when necessary, rent if needed once in a while, buy when needed regularly - this one was a big mistake I made years ago, I figured if I needed it once I would need it again, ended up with a lot of bigger equipment that way, like an excavator, skid steer etc. In the long run, God aimed me in the right directions and I kept them all, but not without a struggle here and there. Needless to say I am stepping much more cautiously now. I have opted to go back to maintenance again this year, and I do believe, I have run into many obstacles along the way, nothing significant to over come. All has been dropping into place, and just found out this past week I am also looking at losing my job as well. So with that said, I believe everything happens for a reason. As one of my customers says quite regularly, "why worry, God is in control." Just remember when you ask for the help and you recieve it, all you have to do is acknowledge it and say Thank You.
  3. Ben's Landscape

    Ben's Landscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,438

    Good job!! This is what america needs is people that work hard!! I hope your baby is well and that this season is great for you!!! If your equipment is working for you and you like it don't worry about what other people think!! (just my phylosophy)
  4. CBJ

    CBJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    Thanks for the welcome guys. Getting new work.... Slowly.

    Taking the advice of running my current equipment till I can buy a commercial unit.... But it's tough. I'm not worried about what people think, it's the anxiety of knowing I don't have the right tool for the job. I cringe going over rough or hilly terrain or doing a job that I know the craftsman wasn't built to endure on a regular basis. Maybe if I hadn't used the Scag when I worked at that golf course I wouldn't be so painfully aware of how inadequate a cheap used residential mower is!

    Hard for me to dig into my savings though during these tough times, and I hate, hate, hate debt. Cross your fingers for me guys while I save up for the good stuff.
  5. Ben's Landscape

    Ben's Landscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,438

    I think that we are all in the same boat with the debt thought!!! But anyways just keep running your equipment and save!! maybe next year you can buy that scag you want!!!

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