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How much can one man profit?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lawn guy 300, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,978


    Don't shoot for 50 solo. You won't have a tight route starting out (for at least several years), which means lots of driving, and 50 is not possible in a week otherwise.
    Some of the guys on here just like to embellish what they do OR toot their own horn, it doesn't necessarily mean its good for you.
  2. lawn guy 300

    lawn guy 300 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    In your opinion, how many could I handle solo starting out? If I hired one or two employees starting out, how many could I handle?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    i do 52 now. Down from my high of 62. I mow 10 a day. All in my town or just over the border. Most lawns take 20 min. I am done with 10 in about 6 hours. Its good money. But i am burnt out and looking to drop the business. It can be done but it gets old.
  4. rwaters

    rwaters LawnSite Senior Member
    from Online
    Messages: 731

    Get what you can, I doubt you will get 50 yards right out of the gate. So this is not a problem yet. You will be lucky to survive this year if you do not start part time. Lots of people getting into the business lowballing and lowering rates across the nation. Add this to the amount of customers doing it themselves you have a tough market. You will find money it this industry again when some of the bad businesses fall away(and some good ones as well) but now it is tough.
  5. OrganicsMaine

    OrganicsMaine LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    A 2 man crew on a tight route could easily do 80/week with the right equipment. Add a 3rd guy and you get to 100, but that 3rd guy is only worth about 20 more lawns, so probably not worth it.

    You will only want to do 50/week solo for a year or two or you will get burnt out.
  6. lawn guy 300

    lawn guy 300 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    Everyone keeps stressing that I have the right equipment. I think I'm on the same page as them, but I'd appreciate your opinion.
    For a one man op: $5000 truck. $1000 trailer, 48" xmark walk behind, commercial trimmer, edger, blower, 21" toro, bush trimmer, tarp, locks, wheel barrel, gas cans, extra belts & blades. Does that sound like it would cover it?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    a ztr is a must for that kind of productivity. There are people who will argue against that. That will be a long day with a 48 WB
  8. GravyTrain

    GravyTrain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I'll argue against it. I've used them both. Granted, the Z was only on loan for a weekend while my WB (48" TTHP) was in the shop. Around here, lawns are two hilly and bumpy to typically use my WB. On top of that, with lots of trees and obstacles, I can get a lot of places that the mid-mound Z's could never imagine getting to. This saves a ton of time on trimming which counters the time gained with the larger deck/faster speed.

    Especially getting started, I'd say a WB will get the job done. As for the numbers, I spent less on my truck and more on my trailer, but those numbers are pretty close to what I started with, and don't forget to take into account marketing. Without any marketing, there is no way you can make money.
  9. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    see............ haha 1 weekend with a z ha?
  10. GravyTrain

    GravyTrain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I'm glad you focused on the part you wanted to. I specifically said that I can barely use my 48" walk behind on most of my lots, much less a 54" monster of a Z. I might be able to use a 36" Z, but then you lost 25% of your cutting deck, which you would then make up for in speed, but then lose again in getting into tight spots.

    Until someone can make a mower that conforms to every curve of the land or I start picking up acre lots that are primarily flat, I'll probably never own a Z.

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