How much time do you plan on recovery

Discussion in 'Lawn Care Business Management' started by Smallaxe, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    ... for a new piece of equipment that you purchase for under $1000.00???

    How much time do you plan to pay for a new piece of equipment up to $2000.00???

    Often times I do not buy any new equipment if it isn't going to pay for itself in a short period of time...
    What are everyone else's thoughts on the matter???
  2. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,650

    Its real hard to say, Ive got stuff that Ive never made enought to "pay" for it and some stuff pays for itself in one use.

    One thing I do with small tools, insted of renting them I check to see if Harbor Freight has it, its generally about the same cost has a rental
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The reason I thought this might be a good subject to think about is becuz there are so many people buying cheap garbage to do a business with... I see LCOs cutting corners with tools and machines becuz they think 'A dollar save, is a dollar earned'...
    That may have work for Ben Franklin in his private life, but it is cheesy in the business world...

    Of course I don't have employees to wreck the stuff either, so I wondered if those that have employees,,, buy quality or buy cheap... :)
  4. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    I try to buy quality whenever possible BC down time is a killer especially if you have two employees or more on the clock and the trimmer, blower, sprayer, ect... Is broke down and you are 30-45 minutes from the shop in the middle of a job
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  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    That is the main point for sure...

    The financial aspect of it is always recuperating the cost...

    Lowballers will go with the first thing they grab and figure they're making money because it is twice the hourly wage they get at a factory job... the professional buys better equipment and doesn't charge extra, would be just as niaive as the novice...

    My cheapest machine/tool earns $5.00/hr... Is that cheap???
    This Spring I want a lawnmower for the woods, but I'm not going to be able to charge more for it... Is that a stupid mistake???
  6. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    Don't believe you have this right. Some of the Lowballers in my area have very nice equipment.
  7. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    Well if you buy a nice piece of equipment it should last a long time if you take care of it. So, take a good piece and compare it to junk and figure out how junk pieces you'll go through compared to the good one. Like a trimmer I bought 10 yrs ago a Stihl .300 bucks ,so now it stands at 30 bucks a year and every yr it goes down.How many cheap ones would I've used during the same time?
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,808

    Small equipment--say less than $1000--I think should pay for itself in about a year. Say you buy a spreader for $400. For using it you pay yourself $20 per hour, plus 50 cents per hour equipment charge, (plus various charges for profit, overhead, fert and cost of driving to the site). If you did 5 lawns per day at one hour each--you would have charged $2.50 for the spreader per day. It would be paid off in 160 days. And...the charge compensates you for the upfront cost and the risk of buying it before you had the work in hand. theory...allows you to buy a new spreader when it wears out. It also compensates your for maintenance cost for the spreader--grease, oil, new impeller and the labor time to apply these.
    Of course, with a bit of luck, in year 2, 3, and 4, you will have a paid-for spreader...and can charge the customer for the time, and pocket the $2.50 per day cash.

    As for the price vs quality--that is a judgement call. You want professional equipment--3/4 ton truck--not an S-10. Lighweight equipmnet doesn't cut it. And you want to look professional in the customer's eyes.

    I once lost a customer, because I did an insect job for leaf-hoppers with a hand sprayer instead of my skid sprayer. Didn't look professional. Naturally, I would have had to use up the product in the tank, and go back to the shop with the truckfor a refill with insecticide.
  9. Brucelawns

    Brucelawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    Buy the best commercial equipment. I always buy new mowers, and blowers. You can pick up some good used weed wackers. A Used mower or blower is not a smart idea. You don't know if they changed the oil regularly on that used mower (maint. tracking). Blowers can get beat to hell especially during cleanup times.

    I say pay more for the quality and reliability a new mower and blower provide. Don't go cheap on your tools. If this is your business invest in it and it will pay you back.
  10. Brucelawns

    Brucelawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    Often times I do not buy any new equipment if it isn't going to pay for itself in a short period of time...
    What are everyone else's thoughts on the matter???

    If the equipment isn't paying for itself in a short time would mean that you aren't charging enough when you use it or you aren't using it enough to justify the purchase. That would be your thoughts. Right?

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