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New mower in April "08" - need advice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by CuttingEdgeOhio, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. CuttingEdgeOhio

    CuttingEdgeOhio LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I am planning to start a small mowing business starting this April "08". Currently i have:
    91 ford ranger
    5X6 utility trailer
    home lite backpack blower
    popular trimmer
    craftsman push mower (mulcher bagger)

    I was thinking that my first investment will be approx 2500 $ for either a 42" zero turn or a walk behind. Which is my first question. What is better long term? Should i hold out for a better rider and invest in a decent walk behind? Or should i buy a zero turn rider? I am currently looking at Toro, Arien and Kubota.
    I have looked into insurance, and definitely will be investing in that!!! In the next couple days i plan to look into a license. I have little to no information so far, or if i really need to be licensed my first year only mowing approximately 10 yards. This upcoming season I plan to do about 20 - 30 hrs a week, just mowing and maybe mulching. I have a full time job second shift and i plan to keep that job to see if this is an opportunity i want to pursue. If things go well i plan on investing in a new trimmer (after my initial investment) and then a Sthil blower. After that i was thinking of buying a snowblower (if business permits).
    I am curious to about leaf removal in the fall, not sure what to do there. Any advise on getting started, what my initial investment should be, or what to purchase first etc. would be very help full. This is a great site and i have learned SOOO much, i really thank everyone for posting, especially Eric, God bless him!

    - Another thought was to sell my ranger and utility trailer and buy a landscaping trailer and pull it with my Astro van..... Thanks again Lawnsite.com!!
  2. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    I also plan on mowing on the side next year through school and my internship. I can justify the cost of equipment, but I'm not sure if it's worth it, or illegal, to mow a dozen or so yards on the side without a license. I don't want to lowball the landscaper who lives across from me, but the people I'd mow for probably wouldn't hire a professional landscaper.
  3. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    I'd say it depends. I bought a walk behind for $1100 last year. I've only put 200 into repairs for it. It's made me around $3500. Now I'm looking at getting a Z to expand my business. So, a walkbehind will be cheaper off the bat, but in a few years, with enough accounts, your gonna want an upgrade to a Z. Most guys start out with a walkbehind. Do you have any accounts now, and what size are you planning on mowing?
  4. DillonsLawnCare

    DillonsLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,100

    if your gunna get a deck that small, get a walkbehind. you'll be able to do all lawns, instead of having to do flat lawns. JMO
  5. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    Your trailer may be a tad small for a 42 walk behind, JMO.
  6. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    I agree with the others for the money you have to spend go with a walk behind. A good zero turn rider will cost quite a bit more. If business picks up and it probably will get a ztr in a couple of years. Use this time to learn how to perfect your skills.
  7. SwihartServices

    SwihartServices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    Maybe get a used stander. There have been some cheep great danes on ebay lately.
  8. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    Great Dane has some nice mowers, I'm only worried about parts for used equipment.
  9. Even Cut Lawn Care

    Even Cut Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    I don't know if you are interested or not but i have a yazoo/kees 48" walkbehind that i have used aonly 4-5 times that i would sell at a good price. Once i bought it didn't like using it as well as a rider. Its a great machine just, still brand new.
  10. CuttingEdgeOhio

    CuttingEdgeOhio LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    First thing, I appreciate all the replies, seems very helpful. I hadn't priced walk behinds but it sounds like that is my best investment so i can free up some $$ for better trimmer/blower. Currently i don't have any accounts, but in the next couple weeks i will be handing out flyer's in mailboxes. Most of the soon-to-be customers have 3/4 - 1 acre lawns. I don't mind walking, so a stander isn't necessary, but i'll look into them as well. I believe prices/brand names are necessary though. The closest Grate Dane Dealer is 40miles away, so i may look into a different brand. Any suggestions? I'd have to get a new trailer to haul the yazoo and i am trying to keep my budget low my first year, but thanks for the offer Even Cut. And thanks again for all the helpful replies ... SOOO appreciated.

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