How many of you started with...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by iheartJMS, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. iheartJMS

    iheartJMS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    How many of you guys started your lawn business with a regular self propelled mower before eventually saving up to buy your current walk-behind or zero turn?

    I feel like walk-behinds and riding mowers are too big for the residental accounts I'm looking to acquire. Pretty much standard sized lawns although I see every lawn service around here using the bigger equipment. Walk behinds do cut down the time but I feel a self propelled push mower would be sufficient until I'm looking to expand...
  2. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    theres a reason they are using what they use.
  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Being you are so willing to use a small mower makes it sound as if you're young, with not much money behind you.

    What I have learned it's best to use the largest mower you can because time is money. Why use a 20" mower and take 1 hour to mow a lawn when you can use a 60" and be done in 20 minutes.

    An over simplification.

    Also why walk when you can sit. Again you must be young, my 57 year old legs want to sit.

    I started off with a 42" JD and a 20" sears pusher because this is what I happened to already own. Many have started off with less and many with more.

    Thing is you make sure you don't work to cheap. Or you will never be able to afford to improve on the equipment you have.
  4. FoghornLeghorn

    FoghornLeghorn LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 753

    I started out with a honda civic, a cub cadet self propelled mower, and a crappy ryobi trimmer.

    But from day one I had $1,000,000 liability insurance.

    Start small, grow slow, etc...
  5. jay albers

    jay albers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    gotta start somewhere, If thats all you can afford and you want to try it out, go for it!
  6. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,348

    If the lots you service ar 10k sq ft or less why have anything more that a 21". I ran my business in So California for 4 years with a Snapper 21
  7. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,676

    Because a 2 man crew with a 60 inch ztr and a smaller one 36-48 can knock out 4 of those accounts an hour. The only thing any one here is really selling is their time but lawns are a fixed price so the faster you finish them the more an hour you make. The other point few make is durability my personal Exmark lazer has 4660 hours on it and its running strong so 6000 hours is very likely. It will do in 1 hour what a snapper 21 will do in 5 hours. So how many snapper 21s would you need to buy to hit 30000 hours and ill be nice and say they hit 500 each so 60 small mowers for the cost of one big one. (ps I own 2 snapper 21s and know first hand what pieces of crap they are) So upfront costs are smaller but long term cost are significantly higher hence they say being cheap is expensive.
  8. Hoss4x4

    Hoss4x4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I started with a 21in. When I bought a used 32in ZTWB I saved 12 minutes per job site. Ad that up over a day or even a year and the profits add up. The ZTis bigger cut and faster. I am looking for a 48in now. You can find ZTWB's for $500 to $1000 used to get you started..
  9. WenzelOSLLC

    WenzelOSLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 709

    Depending on the size of the property and what obstacles are in the way a 21" is faster than a wider, longer, heavier mower. No reason why it wouldn't work; just get out there and start mowing, that's the first step.
  10. magicmike

    magicmike LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    Im actually starting out as a business owner (so I'm not very knowledgeable on this subject) but I guess Im lucky because my dad is the owner of a landscaping company and I will be taking over in the next few years but I read your post and I figured I would reply, if you can't afford to finance or purchase a larger mower than DON'T just in case your company doesn't do well as you think and you need to find a new career. Cause you'll be making payments on a mower you might not need, than your credit will get affected, you'll have to go through a lot of work trying to sell it and get the price you want. As long as your customers are happy thats all the matter. Good Luck

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