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Interested in the business...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by brjohnso, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. brjohnso

    brjohnso LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    Was just trying to put together numbers on equipment... but I want to make sure I get something top of the line that will not lag me behind in order to maximize the amount of yards I can cut in a day. As far as mowers go... what is the best as far as making the yard looked as if it was bagged? What brand is the most durable in terms of edgers and weedeaters? Any type of equipment advice would be appreciated... thanks!
  2. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,707

    well, you're going to get mixed revies on all mowers. as far as edgers go, redmax seems to be the favorite, they are really good, but expensive, i use echo, and they are great. there is also stihl. making the grass look like it was bagged? well the best way is to bag it :). but seriously, mulching is a good way, it's what i do. also, for leaf cleanup, you might want to see if you can get baggers for your products.
  3. rfed32

    rfed32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Hatboro
    Messages: 680

    mikes right ur gonna get mix reveiws and people will tell you whats best to use...a lot of guys run red max hand helds, i will be up for a new blower this year and i will prob give in lol...but i go with echo most of the time...for a mower u want to get something commercial grade with a good dealer...if the dealer is good than its all good...ive run toro, scag gravely, exmark and feris, i like the gravel and feris walkbehind, and i like the exmark ztr...i went with gravely b.c my dealer is a family friend and is a great guy who lives next to the shop, he has opened it up on sundays and got me what i needed...so i say dealer is one of the key factors
  4. wski4fun

    wski4fun LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    How much money you got? How many lawns you have? If you are just starting out then a scag 36" w/b is great if you do stuff under an acre. Need a leaf vac. Get atleast a 16 hp and a dump. If you don't have the money then it doesn't matter anyway. I think we may need more info. How much money you have and the market share you are trying to attract and how big of a business.
  5. brjohnso

    brjohnso LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    I was just running numbers... I more than likely wouldn't start this year, but would work on buying equipment towards next year.... maybe start off late and small this year to get used to the routine. The reason I like the idea is because I live in the Memphis area which has 5 major suburban areas: Arlington, Bartlett, Cordova, Germantown, and Collierville. Lots of business out there to be tapped into. I would probably go all out on the mower... I saw an Exmark 60" with UltraVac that sounds like it would do what I need with the 3 bag system. Very expensive though it seems... about $9500 right?
  6. exmark1

    exmark1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    $9500 with the bagger :laugh: ya right at least around here your lucky to touch just the mower for that! The bagger is another $2100 or so, I know my 31 HP XS was $12,600 with the bagger installed!
  7. brjohnso

    brjohnso LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    I had looked on EBAY... it was a 2004 model and he said he had paid $9500... didn't know they would've increased that much over 2 years. In my area, most have a hatch compartment that is a white square in the back that looks to be some sort of bagging system. What kind of bagging system is that?
  8. lawnsplus

    lawnsplus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 107

    Starting out, buy used...

    You are going to beat the crap out of your mower till you know how to use it.

    This is not your run of the mill lawn mower you are talking about, you are buying an expensive piece of equipment that is intended to cut for thousands of hours.

    We put on our mowers in one week more hours than the average homeowner does in a year. (25-30 hours)

    And get two because you will need a backup for "WHEN" something goes wrong.

    Start with walk behinds and get stand on sulkies for the bigger properties.

    A 36" and a 48" should work fine.

    I use Toro but that is because I like there control system.

    You need to do your homework and demo many different styles until you choose the ones you like. (Its a long summer to be running mowers you hate)

    And as far as the large ZTR's what about the yard with a fence and gates you cannot get through?

    Do your homework and if you are gonna buy new or used plan on spending at least $10,000 on new equip or $5,000 on relatively new used equipment. Not including a truck / dump for startup.

    Walk Before You Run. Or you will be out of business before you start.

    Just my .02
  9. brjohnso

    brjohnso LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    Thanks for the advice. I hate seeing a yard with shavings in it after it's been mowed. I'm sure customers will feel the same. What used models should I look at that will do what I want it to do? That's my main goal... making the yard looking as close to bagged as possible. I would bag it with that Exmark given the 3 bag system, but thanks to your advice... I won't go all out on a mower until the business is thriving. I have a simple F-150 heritage as a truck and it's relatively new. My dad has a Deere 48" riding with 2 bag system. I love the way that cuts and only had to rebag a couple times on a 1 acre lot with zoysia. That would be great for the typical .25 and .5 acre lots. Of course, a deal must be worked on the wear and tear of the mower. Would that be the smartest move? Or buying used equipment? Also, since I will be starting small at first and testing the waters... would insurance and business license be necessary right now or until the business is thriving? Thanks in advance.
  10. NEPSJay

    NEPSJay LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    dont buy all top of the line equipment, buy decent COMMERCIAL used stuff. the trick is to keep your overhead low, especially when just starting out

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