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New Mower or New Truck...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by PicturePerfectLawns, May 7, 2014.

  1. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,740

    Going into my first year in business, I managed to pick up 60 customers, did several sod installs, few landscaping jobs, quite a bit of tree trimming, and much more. I managed to save up a good bit of money. (I paid off my house long ago), work truck is paid off, and all the equipment is paid off.) Now I'm in a fumble. Do I want to expand the business and buy a bigger mower although I'm getting the jobs done with what I have or invest in a new truck? Anyone had to make this decision before? My work truck is getting to 150,000+ miles and is starting to burn about a half a quart between changes, but running strong, my equipment is brand new. Should I buy a new truck and sell this one before it gives me any trouble? Or pick up a bigger mower so I can do more work. Decisions decisions. :weightlifter:
  2. crusty_crab80

    crusty_crab80 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 418

    Truck hands down. Truck can run a plow and sander. Truck tows the mower. Truck hauls brush from tree trimming. Truck brings sod to sod job.

    Truck also brings your kid or wife to e.r. when the car is brokedown faster than a mower.
  3. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,792

    Note posters location.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,792

    Bank the money. Soon you will see where the need is.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,595

    LOL the guys in Texas I doubt plowing is really much of an issue for him.

    Now this early in the season I would consider the New Mower it should cut your times down and allow you to get even more work thus paying for it's self quickly. Then you can take that money and go truck shopping.
  6. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,984

    The truck runs well. Buying a new truck is a waste of income. A new truck will not enable him to mow more lawns.

    A bigger mower will increase his production thus allow him to take on more work increasing his income.

    More mowers is the first step to becoming a two truck route business. Even if he wants to stay at one truck he should be replacing all his key equipment before they die this way he has back ups.

    Customer's do not want to come home and see that their edging was half done or the driveway was not blown off because equipment died that day.

    His truck should hit 200,000 miles. So he has time before he needs to buy a truck. Then he should keep that truck as a back up. New trucks can and do break down. Again customers do not want to hear that your truck broke down when they were counting on getting their work done.
  7. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,377

    Congrats on such rapid growth in year one...and a paid off house.

    A used presentable back up truck is what I'd do.

    I will always lean towards newer equipment and older work trucks.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Service.com

    Service.com Sponsor
    Messages: 775

    ^^ Stay the course with the current equipment until something goes and bank the money. No need to spend the money when nothing is broke. **insert old saying here** Build up a good base in the bank and then make a push next season, it will be much less of a hit if you save up first! Your truck only has 150k? you are good for another 100k easy. Your equipment is new and solid as well, keep it all going.
  9. shane-pa

    shane-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    I am in the same situation. I just ordered my new mower and the truck has 287K on it. yes it has a couple leaks and some bumps and bruises but it gets me down the road to the next job. what I make on the speed of the new mower will buy me a newer truck at the end of the season. I have money to buy a truck now though. I just don't want to spend it until I have to.
  10. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,493

    It's called a savings account.

    Just because you have/are making money doesn't mean "it's time to spend it"

    If you are making profit, good… keep collecting it.

    If the truck breaks, buy a replacement, you're in the process of collecting a down payment.

    Never buy new trucks, let someone else take the depreciation, ESPECIALLY if we are talking about pick up trucks.

    Wife/kid can get to the ER in an ambulance, IF they need to REALLY go to the ER, they SHOULD be going in an ambulance. IF they are just sick, that's what a walk in clinic is for, and the taxi can take them there just as easily.

    If you are big, running multiple crews… leasing trucks and not having repair bills makes good sense.
    Other than that, buy used, run them into the dirt, buy a used replacement.

    More money fast… SPEND it Slowly.

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