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I’ve followed some of your posts, let me weigh in as my other lawn site cohorts have.

by now, you understand a big box store mower simply is not a very long term option. They are made cheaper for a reason, made to mow once a week for 26-32 weeks. Therein is your problem, when it breaks. A servicing dealer will fix it, but your low on the priority list since guys like me are at the dealer regularly spending money. I’m sure a millennial will find that unfair, it is what it is. Irrespective of that, parts, like anything else today, seem to be in short supply. Now your either renting something to continue or simply not doing it. Not a good position to be in.

making some relationships with a dealer could pay dividends in finding a decent machine that may be close to your budget.. in my area of ok, used machines are at a premium.
 

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If YOU want a business, don't depend on your mother for it. Yes, honor your mother, but look for a way to be independent if you can. If you are a teenager today in 2022, and are ambitious to start your own business, then let me encourage you to not stifle that, feed it...

I'm 35 now, with two young kids of my own. I can promise that your parents will appreciate your drive & hunger for hard work. Be respectful of then, but be determined to work hard & pave your own way.



Also - If you have dealers that close by, ask for a job there. One of my first jobs out of high school was working at a dealer. Great job for a young man to learn about equipment & mechanic skills. You will learn to repair & maintain the equipment, which will make an even stronger case for buying good quality, used equipment.




Example 1 - (17ish) years ago, I bought a 48" Scag, belt-drive walk behind mower, for $475. It was probably close to (20) years old when I bought it. I used it for my own yard, plus a few neighbors on occasion, for 17 years, with only minimal maintenance. I sold it last summer for $400, only because I was running out of storage space. A $500-$1,000 walk behind, or almost any reputable brand will give you years of reliable service, and can still be sold for nearly what you paid for it.

Example 2 - Last spring, I bought a 60" eXmark X-series mower with 2,500 hours on it, for $2,000. It had a severe oil leak, but I knew what the cause was - a $4 crankshaft seal. 3 hours of labor later it was fixed. That mower paid for itself in a couple months. That mower sells new now for over $15,000! Used examples like mine can be found for $4,000 or less, with 1,500 hours on them, and will easily go 2,500+ hours with just basic maintenance.




I certainly don't want to be a wedge between you & your mother. I also don't want to see her waste her money on a mower that will have a short life span, and be difficult to get parts for when it does break. Would your parents co-sign on a $1,000-$2,000 loan for you, to get a good used mower? It would help establish credit for you as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Just tell her after you're established you can pay her back $3,000 and she can use that to buy a homeowner grade machine.
I have tried to sell her on that idea but she won't listen. My thinking is I will take her up on the free use of the HD or Lowe's mower then when things do break I will play the I told you so card and buy a used commercial rig. that way I have zero purchase costs for a mower but can make profit until I either have enough to out right buy a commercial rig, or something breaks and it is easier to buy a commercial rig to replace the residential one.



she has stated that she thinks it is stupid for someone as young as me to have money tied up in something stupid like a lawn mower. I see what she says, but I know comercial machines, even used will outlast the residential stuff, for example I have found a TT from exmark 100% will outlast a residential machine and there are a few near me in the 2500-3000 dollar range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
What would she think a smart investment for a young man would be?
I don't 100 percent know, I know school is among. I think school is important too.
also among them is getting a vehicle to drive, but talking about car shopping goes from one day her saying "wouldn't it be nice to have your own car" to " buying a car will double you insurance and you will be working strictly to pay for insurance so what is the point".

I think a big part of this also is she sees the job I have with my uncle , where I am getting payed 14 dollars an hour to work on a farm 60 hours a week and sees that I can make more doing that. I enjoy working on the farm don't get me wrong, but to deal with the circus for 60 hours a week with no over time for extra time doing manual labor and running heavy equipment like tractors skid steers and bulldozers. I already have been looking at leaving but it feels like every time I start actually figuring out how to sit down with my uncle, I learn to love it again. I want to get out of there and I am going to but my mom doesn't see that and see that I don't really want to go work for another person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I don't 100 percent know, I know school is among. I think school is important too.
also among them is getting a vehicle to drive, but talking about car shopping goes from one day her saying "wouldn't it be nice to have your own car" to " buying a car will double you insurance and you will be working strictly to pay for insurance so what is the point".

I think a big part of this also is she sees the job I have with my uncle , where I am getting payed 14 dollars an hour to work on a farm 60 hours a week and sees that I can make more doing that. I enjoy working on the farm don't get me wrong, but to deal with the circus for 60 hours a week with no over time for extra time doing manual labor and running heavy equipment like tractors skid steers and bulldozers. I already have been looking at leaving but it feels like every time I start actually figuring out how to sit down with my uncle, I learn to love it again. I want to get out of there and I am going to but my mom doesn't see that and see that I don't really want to go work for another person.

I feel that for me doing the 60 hours a week speaking a foreign language while trying to produce and care for a crop is not something that is good for me mentally or physically because of the physical labor. I am still a kid at the end of the day and I should get vacation time rather than spending 9 weeks of my summer working like i did last year..... though on the bright side i did make 4000 dollars. that is why I want to get into lawn care and landscaping is because I can have control over jobs i take vs jobs I turn down. Yes at the end of the day I still need to make money, but I don't need to take every single job I am offered as a kid, because I don't have all the same costs as a fully independent adult.
 

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Generations of kids younger than you worked the farm, without pay, but merely to earn their keep among the house hold. Nothing wrong with physical labor at a young age. That said, there's certainly nothing wrong with wanting to improve your situation, and seek self employment.

Don't pay $3,000 for a walk behind, unless it's a hydro.

And plan on leaves this fall. It doesn't require you to invest tons in equipment. Rakes, bags, a leaf blower, and heck, rent a truck if you have to.

Mulch in the summer too. Tell your mom that you can bill $100-125 an hour for putting down a cubic yard of mulch (15-16 bags), and see what she has to say about that. (There's a really good discussion going on about this very topic right now.) We're talking a wheelbarrow or two, some rakes & scoop shovels mainly. Skip the shovels if you're using bag mulch.

Shrub trimming too. No shame at in buying an electric shrub trimmer & extension cord to get started. (Just remember that you have to clean up the clippings.)

Don't obsess over a lawn mower. At your age, focus on simple OPPORTUNITIES to make money, and put some imagination into HOW you'll do it with what you have, or not much more than that. That mental agility will serve you in far greater ways than just a teenage side-hustle, trust me....
 

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I have tried to sell her on that idea but she won't listen. My thinking is I will take her up on the free use of the HD or Lowe's mower then when things do break I will play the I told you so card and buy a used commercial rig. that way I have zero purchase costs for a mower but can make profit until I either have enough to out right buy a commercial rig, or something breaks and it is easier to buy a commercial rig to replace the residential one.
Play the I told you so card? That is super childish.

If you want to be taken seriously and treated like an adult, then act like an adult.

Be fully self supporting from day one. Forget going in on anything with Mommy. Instead take your own money, buy something you can afford on your own, grow your business and upgrade when neccessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Play the I told you so card? That is super childish.

If you want to be taken seriously and treated like an adult, then act like an adult.

Be fully self supporting from day one. Forget going in on anything with Mommy. Instead take your own money, buy something you can afford on your own, grow your business and upgrade when neccessary.
I see what you see of the be fully independent. I thought it would have been a better idea to pool money and buy a better brand new machine then to buy some used thing for half the price that could be tired and worn out. I have my eyes on an exmark Turf Tracer for 2500 dollars, I have my eyes on a hustler mini z for like 3500 dollars, I also have my eyes on a scag vride for like 3000 dollars . I don't have my eyes on the listings currently to be able to say hours on each piece of equipment . I figured rather than buy something without a warranty at that 3000 dollar range with 700 plus hour range, I would buy something like a ferris 400s or comparable machine at the 5-6 grand range. this machine would have a warranty, be new so it would need less maintenance, and be bought at a dealer so the dealer would have it higher on the list to be fixed then some big box junk.
 

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I see what you see of the be fully independent. I thought it would have been a better idea to pool money and buy a better brand new machine then to buy some used thing for half the price that could be tired and worn out. I have my eyes on an exmark Turf Tracer for 2500 dollars, I have my eyes on a hustler mini z for like 3500 dollars, I also have my eyes on a scag vride for like 3000 dollars . I don't have my eyes on the listings currently to be able to say hours on each piece of equipment . I figured rather than buy something without a warranty at that 3000 dollar range with 700 plus hour range, I would buy something like a ferris 400s or comparable machine at the 5-6 grand range. this machine would have a warranty, be new so it would need less maintenance, and be bought at a dealer so the dealer would have it higher on the list to be fixed then some big box junk.
Being fully self supporting and beholden to nobody is more important. Buy it on your own, then no matter what happens good or bad its all yours, no strings attached to anyone else.

Side note- you keep bringing up the ferris 400s. No offense but you really don't want that machine either for commercial use. Go to the ferris dealer, look at a 400s side by side with an isx800 or 2200. The 400s will look like a toy in comparison. If you actually want a legit heavy duty commercial machine new, you are spending more like $10k.

Stick with your budget of what you can afford on your own. There is a huge sense of pride, accomplishment and ownership in doing this. Work hard and you will go far. You seem like a very eager and teachable young man. There are others on this site just like you. Others who started as teens, worked hard and succeeded. No matter how far we go, If we remain teachable we can always learn something new and do even better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Generations of kids younger than you worked the farm, without pay, but merely to earn their keep among the house hold. Nothing wrong with physical labor at a young age. That said, there's certainly nothing wrong with wanting to improve your situation, and seek self employment.

Don't pay $3,000 for a walk behind, unless it's a hydro.

And plan on leaves this fall. It doesn't require you to invest tons in equipment. Rakes, bags, a leaf blower, and heck, rent a truck if you have to.

Mulch in the summer too. Tell your mom that you can bill $100-125 an hour for putting down a cubic yard of mulch (15-16 bags), and see what she has to say about that. (Thteres a really good discussion going on about this very topic right now.) We're talking a wheelbarrow or two, some rakes & scoop shovels mainly. Skip the shovels if you're using bag mulch.

Shrub trimming too. No shame at in buying an electric shrub trimmer & extension cord to get started. (Just remember that you have to clean up the clippings.)

Don't obsess over a lawn mower. At your age, focus on simple OPPORTUNITIES to make money, and put some imagination into HOW you'll do it with what you have, or not much more than that. That mental agility will serve you in far greater ways than just a teenage side-hustle, trust me....
I never said there was anything wrong with it. I really really enjoyed it, but I feel that it is time for me to venture out form working for family and doing that sort of stuff. Tobacco farming is a tough industry, I look on to the people that do it and understand the hard labor that goes into it. I want to try something new out and have been mowing the lawn at now my moms (used to be my parents before they divorced) for a few years and I enjoy it. I also mowed my grandparents house for a few years for college money.
 

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I'm not reading all the posts, but if she can afford $3,000 for a mower, she can afford to pay someone to mow her lawn for her INSTEAD of wasting money on something from a big box store that will only be used "when you can't do it for her".
And if you are using it for work, it's probably going to be broken down when she needs it. :confused:

I tried to play that game. Bought a Husqvarna ZTR from a Sears Outlet for a great, discounted price.
It was giving me problems before I ever got a chance to mow a lawn.
I realized how THAT would affect me if I was mid-season and had the thing break down.
I decided to return it for a refund and go get a 36" Ferris walk behind. It was a smaller mower, but it was a much better choice. I was able to get it with 0% financing so that was nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Being fully self supporting and beholden to nobody is more important. Buy it on your own, then no matter what happens good or bad its all yours, no strings attached to anyone else.

Side note- you keep bringing up the ferris 400s. No offense but you really don't want that machine either for commercial use. Go to the ferris dealer, look at a 400s side by side with an isx800 or 2200. The 400s will look like a toy in comparison. If you actually want a legit heavy duty commercial machine new, you are spending more like $10k.

Stick with your budget of what you can afford on your own. There is a huge sense of pride, accomplishment and ownership in doing this. Work hard and you will go far. You seem like a very eager and teachable young man. There are others on this site just like you. Others who started as teens, worked hard and succeeded. No matter how far we go, If we remain teachable we can always learn something new and do even better.
@Crazy 4 grass Thanks for your insight and advice I was leaning towards wanting to buy something on my own that is more to my liking. I still need to convince my parents that it is a wise investment and not me tying my money up in a machine. I can see the return on investment but I don't think my parents don't. my parents are both the type that say stuff like " start with what you have then worry about purchasing something once you have a base" ( I don't think that I could get far with a lawnflite mower). They seem very opposed to me going out and buying some used commercial machine and I get that, but I also see that if something happens and I loose interest or something I can turn around and sell it, and in some cases there will be deprecation.

I more was using the ferris 400s as a benchmark even in my opinion with a exmark radius or a high end home owner or very very beginner commercial for someone that doesn't really know what they are buying.
 
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