is it worth it to buy used equipment?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by GreenerSolution, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. GreenerSolution

    GreenerSolution LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 84

    I am looking to start up this spring (along with every one else, original, I know). Obviously, I want to be as lean as possible. As I am working through the planning and strategy of my company I'm wondering if I should invest into my company with new or used equipment.

    The easily seen pros and cons: used equipment is cheaper than new. con: major to minor problems could evolve.

    New equipment can be significantly more in price. if it can't be paid for in full, one would have to finance. pro: you shouldn't have the headache the first couple years of use. it should last you longer.

    The equipment I am contemplating would be work truck, skid sprayer, z spray or similar.

    feel free to share any on the field experiences and advice. Thanks in advance
  2. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Those guys riding around in their shiny new outfits don't usually last the year, how they even get the credit is beyond me because usually before the first month is over they have to dodge the bank, deal with telephone and other forms of debt collection harrasment, have their credit ruined and ultimately either work with stolen equipment or go out of business, them's the kind you can't trust their word when it comes to money.
  3. kebrowns

    kebrowns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    Don't finance. Buy used if you can from a trusted source. Try to own all your stuff from the get go.

    NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,271

    Or why not start with a good quality NEW homeowner model mower like a Honda from Home depot until you can afford a nicer Commercial mower.....
  5. Boaz

    Boaz LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 86

    I saved enough to purchase a small commercial walk behind (36" Exmark Turf Tracer) new as my first mower. Its under warranty for 2 years so it makes it pretty easy to estimate my operating costs.
  6. Boaz

    Boaz LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 86

    This is also a good idea. Local hustler dealer has a new homeowner grade Hustler Sportster 36" zero turn mower (i think that is the model) for around $3k brand new.
  7. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    I think used EQ is Ok but I often buy new.
    I say it depends on how good a deal you can find and if the EQ is good.

    Messages: 1,343

    I would prefer to buy good used commercial equipment.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    For mowers, trailers, trucks used is fine. As far mowers etc, simple is better... The less to go wrong the better for you. In gained relibality and ability to make your own repairs.

    For handheld gas equipment like trimmers blowers etc... Buy new with a warranty.
  10. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    I buy used stuff all the time. Let somebody else take the hit on value, and swing in afterwards and buy something for a much better price. Just make an informed decision and if you're not mechanically inclined, do some homework and take a buddy with you who knows something about the machine. I started up in 2011 and of course had ZERO work. I was able to obtain about 10 or 12 accounts and did fairly good doing it part time. I bought two used Scags. I got a 52" Wildcat and a 36" belt drive WB. neither have given me an ounce of trouble except for reg maintenance and a dead battery. Scoure C-List and find a GOOD used commercial machine. It's much easier to pay yourself back $3000 than it to pay a dealership $10,000. It'll also help you get some cash flow when you need it most, which is when you're starting out. I'm actually ready to sell my Wildcat. Nothing was wrong with it but I found a used Turf Tiger with a 61" deck. ll of my accounts are 1.5+ acres so a bigger machine makes sense. My Wildcat's available for $2800 if you're interested in it. I'm not far from Philly. PM me if you're interested or have any Scag specific questions I can answer.

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