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Need equipment advice


LawnSite Member
Birmingham, AL
I'm a community college landscape student looking for equipment research help from some of you professionals out there.

My assignment is to draw up a proposal for a lawn/garden business, include what equipment (including safety) I would buy, what equipment I would rent, and whether I would lease, finance or rent the equipment. With me so far?

Business proposal: One person specializing in designing/maintaining small lawns and gardens for elderly, including simple garden installations, mowing, pruning and generalized cleanup, mulching. Nothing fancy.

What power equipment would you recommend and what would your hourly rates be? I live in the south and propose this job as 20 hours a week to supplement my current income, going full time when I retire early.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Vicki


LawnSite Bronze Member
Hi Vicki,
I'll try to help.
Equipment for your needs.....
1.Commercial mower(walk behind,since the lawns are small)
2.Commercial trimmers,edgers,blowers,hedge trimmer,extended articulating hedge trimmer,hand held pruners,scissor type pruners and lopers.ladder,and large garbage can.
3.Full size truck.
4.Two trailers.One for hauling your mower(s),trimmers,blowers,etc.,, and one with a solid floor and sides for hauling mulch.Preferably a dump trailer.
5.Safety equipment:Safety glasses,gloves,hearing protection,steel toe boots,knee pads,back support brace,plenty of common sense.:)


LawnSite Member
Dont forget insurance, permits, licsences.
A truck with a hoist, like a 1 ton dump truck works really well, you can have your equiptment with you and be able to haul supplies to the job site, such as mulch, dirt,ect and haul debris away, like clippings brush,ect.
Rent things that are high $ that you will not use often, aerator, dethatcher, tiller, sod cutter,ect
You will need software for bookkeeping and billing.
Your hourly rate all depends on the market in the area you live in.
I use the $1 a minute rule for mowing and trimming, but that is with a 36" walk behind or 52" rider, if your using a 22" you could price yourself out of the market. Get the biggest mower that will fit on the propeties you might be doing and a catcher to go will it, some cutomers want it bagged and you can add a small fee for that.
Dont forget a few $ for an advetising budget.
Also you will need to budget for equiptment maint. and repairs.
And dont be too disappointed if you dont net a lot of money in the first couple years, your looking at a lot of up front costs and investments

good luck

The Hokie Okie

LawnSite Member
Well I agree with NickN except I might get a little bigger mower than a 21'' and instead of getting two trailers. I would also just get a pickup and a little bigger trailer. Because two trailers is hard to handle buy yourself. Maybe a chainsaw too.I know if the storms were half as bad there as they are here I would get one.
Just yesterday a tornado came through town and got me some business.