Need some expert advice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by spat, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. spat

    spat LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I was thinking along those lines too. There is one between 2 accounts I got today and I did not talk to them yet. On that lot I will have a scalping issue due to little pointless ridges 2' high all along the back yard . Prob for drainage
  2. Awilkinson

    Awilkinson LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 96

    What about the new Greatdane with the flip up? I hear it is a 52" that flips to 36". and there is always the flex-deck! LOL:angel:
  3. spat

    spat LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Might be a option but there are little peninsulas of turf 3 to 4 feet wide and 8 to 10 foot deep going into the beds. so a little ztr I think is the key, This gear t bar does not like going backwards.
  4. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    First is your 36" a hydro? That would speed things up. Next get a sulky. If length is a consider the velkie x2 would probably be best because it can be tied up out of the way easily and swings under neath the arm when backing up.

    Next you might try a 48" hydro, unless your dealing with gates on all of them. I say this because the size of yard you mentioned is about normal here. A few smaller ones a few larger. I use to do 2500 sq ft yard with grapevines and trees and landscaping with a 48" hydro ok. I took a bit of creative handling but it fit. It is amazing the tight spots you can do with a hydro that a belt drive just can't get to productively.

    You could also consider a 26" walkbind like the kees or johson or encore. you give up some size but you might gain maneuverability.

    Well that's just a couple ideas, but i agree you did under bid a bit. That size of yard takes me about 30 to 35 minutes with my 36" with trimming and blowing, and sometimes bagging.

    Well that's just a couple idea FWIW
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,062

    Belt WB? Husqvarna 36" fixed w/ETS = 66" long
    Hydro WB? Great Dane Scamper 36" = 63"
    Stander? Great Dane Super Surfer 36" = 55"
    (don't know Wright Stander deminsions)

    Lenght has been one of my considerations. These are the shortest I know of. I'd get a Stander or a Hydro WB & caster sulky or Pro-Slide.

    It's a shame you can't get atleast a 48" in the lawns. The Husqvarna 48" fixed hydro w/ETS is shorter at 64". The Scamper stays at 63" and the Super Surfer just increases to 59" long.

    Also remember Wright has a 42" Stander if you can squeeze that one in.

    I hope that info helps!
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    You just bid 7200 sf property for $12.50 per cut. You now will have 20 customers for only $1000 per month. At 30 minutes each you will spend 10 hours per week there. That is 40 hours per month for $1000. Not to mention, but your having to drive to the neighborhood 4 times also. This stuff adds up. Your not making enough off them to pay for another mower. Hell, your hardly making enough to bother with cutting them. Florida heat, gas prices up, mower prices up, insurance up, parts up, etc, you are killing yourself for nothing. Oh, did I mention taxes too.

    Don't give me the "my market" stuff. If you actually believe that is the market in your area, you need to sell the equipment and do something else. Why work for free?
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,062


    I agree the price is too low for 1/2 hrs work. I don't think anyone would argue that. But as you can see, he "thought" he could knock them out in 10 minutes each. Plus he feels he has a very good chance to get the entire subdivision at that price. No travel except to and from the area for 100 cuts.

    100x$50=$5,000 divided by 67-70 hrs a month = $70-$74 an hour based on the time he "thought" it would take per lawn. Now of course he could have made these small lawns a lot more profitable. But that's not bad!

    But, he's not asking for a criticism on his pricing. He realizes he's getting his butt kicked here and admits it. However he is asking for suggestions on how to go about speeding things up so he can make money here.

    Since most of us "mortals" have made a pricing mistake or mis-judged a property at some point in our business lives, I suggest this to you, how about saying something constructive to help him out of this bind?

    Your post was rude and uncalled for!

    Taking this into account, you might want to invest in one of those short hydro walks, castor sulky/Proslide and a Flex-Deck, seriously! Where you at Brad? Usually you are all over posts like this!!! You are slipping on us when you are needed most!

  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    It sounds like a stander or super surfer in the 36"range would help, mulch the grass only, and get a good weed trimmer guy. truth be told, we have alot of accounts at $90 per month, but then up here we only mow 26-34 times per year.

    If I was just starting out, and mow 15 a day by myself, with a good 36"setup, and you go 5 days a week, you could still only do 75 houses. at 45 grand per year, You'd probably cover the over head of the equipment and gas and truck, given that you could use the truck for personal use, One neighborhood, and you get off for 12 weks, you could eke out a living at 25-30 grand per year. probably more than you'd make at mcDonalds, no a/c outside, but then you get off for 12 weeks to. Not alot of future in it, but not bankrupcy either.

    dave g
  9. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Envy, this is called a learning experience. Everyone else considering these "maybe more accounts" tactics will learn from this. Don't suggest anything to me. Until you have helped even 1/2 the people I have on here you can shut the hell up. My post was NOT RUDE. It was very factual. Reread it!!! I broke it out into detail. Its called reality.

    Something else that is needed to be considered is opportunity cost. You could do 1/2 the number of lawns for twice the price had this been done correctly. 100 7k lawns per week is rediculous for $5000 per month. That is a phenominal amount of work for only $5000. That is 100 break your neck jobs per week for $1250. I can tell you, ITS NOT WORTH IT. The cost involved in that many 7000sf lawns is more than you think. The number of lawns a person does is irrelavant. Its profit. Some people base off of numbers of lawns, but that will get you out of biz faster than anything else.

    My suggestion now is that everyone else that you deal with raise the price. Don't get suckered into "well your doing her's for $50 a month." Price it right. If they walk, let them. If you don't you will wish you had. Do it right and survive. Also, don't think you will raise them next year. Most will leave you. Someone else will come in and say I'll do them cheaper to get my foot in the door. You will work all year for them to leave next season. If you decide to get 100 of them you will be spending at least 50 hrs per week there. You will need a stander. But remember you need to pay for that machine. They are not cheap. With 100 7k lawns per week you will put lots of hours on it. You are not going to make enough not only to recover the cost of the machine then, but you will need to allocate money to buy another one later because of the extreme wear on 1 mower doing 100 lawns each week. Work smarter not harder.
  10. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Great strategy there. Lowballing 10 properties is just as bad as lowballing one property. Oh wait, it's worse, now you have 10 properties you are losing money on, or barely making money on. Not good planning there. I guess chalk it up as a learning experience. I would say a small Stander would be good, if not, it's looking like 21 inch pushers. Have fun.

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