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Importance of Commercial Equipment

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Herrick, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    Trying to get some of your thoughts....

    First year starting up part time. Currently have 5 accounts ranging from 5000sq ft to 1 acre. I'm hoping to grow to 20 or so this year. Currently using a 2004 Deere L130 and a 15 year old Lawn-Boy (and a couple of new Stihl handhelds). I'm trying to figure out how soon I need to be looking seriously at a commercial z. It is so tempting to run out and buy one tomorrow, but I can't really justify it to myself (or my wife) for 5 yards, and we don't have the extra money to do so. I think the money and effort would be better spent on getting more accounts, but at the same time I don't want to get swamped and not be able to keep up. I'd like to set a 'trigger' that once I hit so many accounts (or so many hours per week or so much $$ per week) that I will go get my z.

    How many accounts do you think I can realistically do with my current equipment?

    Keep in mind, I'm solo and part-time...

    Eventually I'd like to get set up with a commercial 52-60" z, a 36" WB, and 21" WB to handle pretty much everything that comes my way.
  2. DaughtryLC

    DaughtryLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    Alot of people are all about the accounts accounts accounts but, in my opinion the size of the props play a big factor and the $ per prop. Someones 5 accounts could equal 1 of another's and pay the same. For the answer to your ?, Take it slow and don't jump out there to quick!! Trust me I know its hard when you see trailers up and down the highway with ZTRs hanging off the trailer. I would try to use your current equip. this year and look for Fall sales or be on the look out for a Used Z. Don't be a fatality because of equip. payments. Good luck!
  3. GreenN'Clean

    GreenN'Clean LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,512

    One thing to remember is to keep investing into your Business for it to grow and it will in time if you stick with it. Don't go out and spend money for a machine you don't really need at the moment. Use what you have and make due and invest the money you make back into the Business and over time you'll have plenty of accounts and you'll have the money to get the newer machines when you need them. As Daughtry says don't jump into it to quickly and have payments on equipment that you don't really need
  4. bigmudder77

    bigmudder77 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    ebay is a good place to get a cheap mower just watch out what you get and its best to go look at it before you bid/buy it some people try to dick you over on that kinda stuff but i got a gravely 50in walkbehind for $600 came with 2 sets of new blades i got a great deal i think. i got a speeding ticket on the way but i still got a good deal
  5. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    Take your time like everyone else said and buy the small stuff your going to need in the future now like commercial hedge trimmer, backpack blower, hand tools and so on. Unless you land some big residential lawns or commercial accounts your not going to need a big Z anytime soon. I would advertise right now and wait and see how it goes then in time if business grows go get a walkbehind either 48",44" I would go with the 48" but it really depends on how big the lawns your doing are and if there fenced in. Keep in mind the advertising you do today may not pay off right away but it will. I advertise on benches you see at shopping centers all over town, yellow pages, newspaper, internet and just about everywhere else. Sometimes I get calls and sometimes its weeks before I get a single call and then they come in all at once. I guess what I'm trying to say is be patient and don't buy what you don't need and advertise your services but realize that good things take time. Your wife, unless she is an exceptional woman will complain about your choice of employment, equipment, money, time and just about everything else. Its a bumpy road in this highly competative field and only the strong willed are going to make it in the long run.
  6. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    Thanks guys...

    It's hard to stay grounded when there is so much awesome equipment out there calling your name. Hard to keep a level head and do what needs done and not what you want done... I'm fortunate that my wife supports me in this venture for now(hopefully it means that she can stay home). If things go well, who knows, maybe I'll be turning in my 2 weeks notice a few years down the road.

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