Just Getting Started, HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by BeeCreekLawns, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    [QUOTE=BeeCreekLawns; My plan for bidding is to guess amount of time and multiply by $25. I am sure I will misjudge and lose but I have to get started some how

    Rudy, I'm brand new to the biz like you, and to be honest, scared to death of over or under-bidding jobs! So what I did was, I went and bought a measuring wheel. I don't plan to use it on small yards where it will usually just be my minimum price, but for bigger areas I feel it will come in handy, at least untill I get into the swing of things and get better at estimating spaces and times. Right now, I'm terrible at estimating large spaces.
    The wheels can get expensive, but I found mine at a wholesale tool store for $10. Might be something to consider if you don't already have one.
  2. BeeCreekLawns

    BeeCreekLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    Alright, looks like I'll be getting a 36" wb belt drive. I am getting excited about this. Can't wait to see what that baby can do.

    So you get the sqr. footage, then what? I definetly think it would look more professional pulling out the wheel.

    Hey ShooterK2, just curious how your liking the 16' trailer with the amount of equip. you have. When I went and checked some out, I liked the 12' and thought the 16' seemed way too big for my one man show starting out. I'll be starting with a 36" wb, 21" mower, 2 trimmers, 2 blowers. After reading around, I have been reconsidering the 16' because I have seen how some have added a box on there for leaves and stuff. Plus I have read the room to grow argument. Let me know, thanks.
  3. stormwild

    stormwild LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Hey Rudy,

    Me and my partners are also new to the business. Like ourselves we were also downsized due to the economy. I would go with the 16 ft trailer. As you grow you will be glad you did. It also allows for jobs that come up that you have not yet considered. We landed a job by offering an aeration that turned into building a wall for the gentleman as well as other services. We have a 16ft tandom dovetail trailer. The dovetail keeps equip. from dragging and is a nice feature. We run eXmark mowers, redmax blowers and edgers. Even though there is more upkeep to the hydro drive mowers I would go with one if you can afford it.

    The Rezolve Team
  4. Stevegotcrabgrass

    Stevegotcrabgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    If you are pretty handy with tools and fixing things, I have heard that quick mowers are a good option. They are affordable and they seem to get good reviews. You can search the forum for threads related to them. Make sure you get all your legal stuff done asap. Keep detailed records of expenses and revenues and this will help during tax time.

    Our current setup includes a 48" Scag WB Beltdrive, a 33" Troy-bilt WB (alot of people on here do not like that mower, but if you take care of your equipment it works great for us) and a 21" push. We have Redmax blowers and a homelite and redmax trimmers..I don't really care for the homelite...it kinda sucks and is just too little for us. It works thought. We also have a bunch of other crap, chainsaws, bowsaws, shovels, rakes etc..We have all this on a 5x10 open with more than enough room. $0 overhead related to equipment. Only expense is maintenance and repairs, Fuel, insurance, licensing fees (every two years) and taxes all of which are unavoidable.

    Asking questions is a great way to learn. Keep doing what you are doing. We get work from word of mouth and we do a few flyer campaigns annually. Pricing is subjective depending on where you live. For instance we get about $35-40 for a 1/4-1/3 acre lawn which takes about 7-9 minutes with me and a partner. You might not get that in your area and your costs to do business maybe higher than ours.

    I think I answered most of your questions. Keep reading and educating yourself. The more KNOWLEDGE you have regarding the landscape/lawncare profession and proper business practices you can succeed and have a good time.

    Disregard any spelling errors please.
  5. BeeCreekLawns

    BeeCreekLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    I appreciate the responses. Trust me, I am reading like crazy. I have had to make myself log out of this site so I can get something done. I went to a dealer today and they have a used Toro 36" 30094 Belt-drive, floating deck for $3200. There was no hour meter, but the dealer says its got about 250 hrs (they are selling it on consignment for someone and the dealer sold and serviced it). It still has a 1 yr. warranty. The new ones are on sale for $4019. Anyone have any opinions on this unit. I don't plan on bagging so I would have to add a mulch kit for $250.
  6. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    I will recommend the biggest trailer you can afford. Sure it may look empty when you first start out (mine sure does!), but you have plenty of room to grow, equipment-wise. Plus, if I need to haul something bigger than mowers, I've got a trailer that can handle it. I'll never have to worry about selling it to get a bigger one. And, a tandem is much easier to sell (should I ever want to) than a single-axle.
    Now, if parking space is an issue, then you may have to consider something smaller (mine BARELY fits in my garage), but if not then I highly recommend a 16' tandem axle.
  7. HW345

    HW345 Banned
    Messages: 14


    If you'r serious about moving into heavier landscaping in the relatively near future, skip the bigger trailer for now, you'll be wanting a dump trailer (and a heavier truck to pull it) once you start needing to haul dirt, rock, trees, etc, and a compact tractor or skidloader.

    12' should be great plenty for a while, you could add a rider and still carry the walk behind on the trailer with it, and the rest of your stuff in the truck bed.

    Price per hour is pretty market specific, but I'd say you're working too cheap "here", deduct your costs and you can pretty easily find yourself working for free, especially if you have unplanned major repairs. I do some custom work with my farm equipment, and my rate is based on $20/hour for the operator plus machine cost (I usually go by or close to what it would cost to go to the local dealership and rent similar equipment.)

    Call around and get a few quotes for your yard, just to get a feel for what others in your area are charging.

    The best way to learn maintenance is by doing it. If you don't already have one, wander down to sears and get a decent tool set (figure on spending $150 or so on a reasonably complete set that will cover most small equipment work), then read your manuals and dig in. Most manufacturers have the manuals on their websites for download if you don't have them. There are lots of people on this board and others like it ready to help if you get stuck while wrenching.

    I'd be honest on your website, show some pics of your place to give an idea of the quality of your work, etc.

    Hope this helps.
  8. stotts1

    stotts1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    i think the toro sounds a little over priced. we can buy a new 36 wb scag for @3200. maybe it just the difference area though.
  9. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    With a 36 inch mower and a full sized pickup there's no need for a trailer. Just get a good set of ramps. Personally I'd spend the extra money and get a hydro mower. They're so much better than belt drive. Better outdoor products has a nice line of fairly inexpensive hydro mowers. You can get in single or doulbe hydro. Search on Quick 36 here and you will see a lot of guys running them. The only thing is they don't have a dealer network so you'd have to do any work yourself or find a shop that's willing to work on them.

    Good luck.
  10. stotts1

    stotts1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    what i meant was difference IN THE area (oh and thats a belt drive scag)

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