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How Did You Guys Start Out As a LCO?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Hometown Lawn Care, Aug 14, 2003.

  1. Hometown Lawn Care

    Hometown Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    did you guys start off with the most expensive equipment you could get? or did you start off with Homeowners stuff and build your way up, please tell me your story....and share it with the rest of us.
  2. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    I bought an older guy out. He had a 36" kubota walk behind and a 60" gravely walk behind and 12 customers. After about 2 yrs I traded the walks for front deck machines. Then up to the zero turns.
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I started out with a 21" mower in the back of the trunk of my car.

    I actually used the customers mowers. (this was all when I was 15 and 16)

    Then at age 18 I went out and bought 2 commerical mowers, and found out that I got in way over my head. Ended up selling off the mowers and started all over again.

    It was one of the most important learning lessons that I ever went through with my business buying and selling those mowers. "If you can't afford it, don't buy it just for show and looks."
  4. chipk1

    chipk1 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 398

    Started out 1 1/2 years ago out of the back up my pickup with:

    Toro 21" push mower
    Ryobi Weed Eater
    Ryobi Stick Edger
    Weed Eater Featherlite Blower

    Kept looking for good deals on used mowers.
    1 used 36" Dynamark Rider 150.00 Lasted 3 months
    Bartered 4 hours cleanup for a 42" Craftsman Rider - Used it 5 months, Still runs good.

    Currently Using a Gravely Pro 36" w/b that I traded the Dynamark and 100.00 for. Put about 150.00 into it. Been a great machine ever since.

    Kept trading up blower at Lowes. Just got a Husky 145BT.

    Found a 5X12 Trailer for 350.00
    Still Have Ryobi Edger and Trimmer.

    Paid cash for all equipment. Been thinking about Financing a ZTR. I need to pick about 5 more accounts First.

    Been a up-hill climb but is now starting to get profitable.
  5. lightninglawncare

    lightninglawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    i started with a craftsman push mower and weed eater
  6. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 932

    Well, we are just starting out, but never going to give up.
    Right now, we had to start with what we could

    Craftsman 21" push mower 6.5 hp
    Craftsman Line Trimmer with edger attachment
    Craftsman Blower
    2 Craftsman 22" Hedge Trimmers
    1981 Chevy G10 Van

    Looking back on our first year, we have learned more valuable lessons than I could have imagined. I am glad we started with what we did, we have learned why you need to buy commercial grade stuff.
    We're saving enough up this year to buy the right stuff next year though. The only way to learn is to go out and do it.

    Gotta love working for yourself though, no matter what you use!

    TWINS Lawn Care
  7. turkp15

    turkp15 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    Started out May 27 2003 using my friends truck
    21" Craftsman
    Ryobi weed wacker,edger,shrub trimmer,and blower attachments
    2 gas cans

    Then my friend got tired of letting me use his truck after a week downgraded to my mom's van. I took out the middle seat to fit everything.

    A month later my older bro. bought a 93 F-150 that he's letting me use.

    2 weeks later I landed a clean up job for some apartments and I worked 15 hours on that and got paid $812.50.

    After that I went out looking for a commercial mower. I ended up getting lucky and finding a 4 year old Ex mark 48" hydro viking w/ a 16 hp Vanguard for $950.

    Since then I have 15 Account including the apartment I did the clean up for and the ower of the apts. house and her neighbors.
    It's been hard w/ the heat and not having a trailer, but I love the work. Now I'm planning on getting 15 more account by the end of the season and having my own truck and enclosed trailer.
    ~ Jeff
  8. ffemt1271

    ffemt1271 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,285

    started out may 1st 2003 with a new 48" metro hp, new shindaiwa stick edger, trimmer, blower, hedge trimmer, cheapo trim mower and numerous hand tools--in the process of shopping for a ztr now.
  9. maple city

    maple city LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    We started in June 2000 with a 21" Commercial Honda, Weedeater brand trimmer and blower, and a 1990 F-250. Worked out of the bed of the truck the 1st yr. Truck came with an older snow plow.

    Year 2 - bought 18' trailer, Echo trimmer, Husqvarna Blower, Sthil Hedge trimmers, 1998 3/4 ton GMC truck with a brand new Western Pro Plow.

    This year we got our 48" Scag ZTR, a dethatcher, and an aerator. We'll be buying the bagging system for the Scag in a couple of weeks.

    We have been very careful to only buy what we need and pay cash whenever possible. The only things ever financed - The GMC truck and the Scag. We only owe a couple grand on the Scag which will be paid off within a month or so. I've noticed that the companies that bite the dust in our area are the ones who start up year one with a new truck, new trailer, 2 Exmarks, and tons of other equipment.
  10. mrbenfer

    mrbenfer LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 136

    This is my first year in the business and its been all up hill.

    I started out in the trunk of my car ( 94 ford taurus )-
    Then I put a hitch on it and bought a 5x11 trailer.

    3 months and 4 new accounts later I Financed a 36'' Toro Belt mower and its just about paid for.

    I've found that if I leave a yard looking top notch you can easily pick up there neighbors and end up taking over the whole neighbor hood.

    My equipment :

    36'' Toro
    21" YardMan
    Echo 2 cycle.
    Rakes and other clean up accessories


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