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New rider for small mowing business

Tim wrote:<p>&gt;I've learned a lot from this forum, and there are plenty of nice, helpful folks in here. But I will tell you one thing, I don't come in here to get insulted, and I don't take too kindly to some of the remarks that were made above. <p>&quot;A man should not mince words<br>just to spare the sensibilities<br>of the thin-skinned or the ignorant.&quot;
 

FIREMAN

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
n.j.
TIM....I HAD A TROT-BUILT WALKBEHIND WHEN I STARTED...A NEIGHBOR GAVE IT TO ME, AND I FIGURED IT WOULD BE A GOOD START, BAD MOVE....SLOW,SLOW,SLOW IS THE BEST WAY TO DECRIBE IT...FIND A GOOD QUALITY USED OR NEW COMMERCIAL WALKBEHIND...YOU'LL SAVE TIME AND HEADACHES WITH A GOOD MACHINE..CHECK OUT TURFQUIP.COM.....REALLY GOOD STUFF THERE..HOWEVER YOU DECIDE TO GO GOOD LUCK....
 

Eric ELM

Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
Location
Chicago, IL USA
Tim, I agree with Lazer. You asked for advice and we are trying to give you advice. We have learned from mistakes, you have a forum to find out how to do this, most of us didn't. A home owner mower will get some grass mowed til it falls apart and it doesn't take long for that to happen. If you get a commercial mower, you may spend more, but you will get more done and it will hold up lots longer thus make you more money with less headaches. <p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/&quot;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>The Grass is always Greener on the other side of my competitors fence
 
S

snow

Guest
pottstim- if you are cutting only 5 yards, you don't need a rider or a 48&quot;wb unless they are very big.I cut 8 mid-size lawns usually by myself with a 21&quot; snapper. riding mowers scalp and do not work the best. my mower is very fast and has never stalled out on my even cutting 8&quot; grass in the fastest speed. snapper and other companies also make 26&quot; mowers. look in your paper and see what's for sale. check with local power equipment stores and see what they have in stock.<p><br>Bryan<p>----------<br><br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.snowplow.web.com&quot;&gt;The Snowplow Homepage&lt;/a&gt;
 

accuratelawn

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
SW Missouri
It sounds like you have made up your mind to purchase a piece of junk. Quit responding to the opinions of those that are trying to help and get to mowing! <br>P.S. I started on limited budget. I bought a new 36 gear drive $2250. I still use it 4 four years later. Repairs = replacing a fuel filter and starter cord.
 

1MajorTom

Former Moderator
Location
Pennsylvania
Hiya Tim,<p><br>I understand where you are coming from.<br>Not everyone has the money to start out with the best and most expensive equipment. (And that is nothing to be ashamed of.)<p>I know that there are a lot of people on this forum that have been in the business for a long time, and have made mistakes in the begininng.<p>If you were to ask 95% of those people if they, when starting out, had bought expensive large pieces of equipment, they would have to answer no. And why would their answer be no? Would it be because they didn't have the luxury of a nice informative forum to tell them to buy the best? OR, would it be because they too didn't have the capital when starting out to buy dixie choppers, etc..???<p>It doesn't take much logic or common sense to know that the more money you invest in your equipment, the more productive you will become. Bigger equipment means more potential income, plain and simple. Bottom line.<p>But starting out isn't easy. You spend what you can afford. <br>Should you go into over $20,000 debt easy to buy top notch equipment, if you are not sure if you will succeed in this business? Are you confident that you can get enough accounts to cover the cost of the new fabulous equipment?<p><br>Everyone has different priorities. And you make it clear that you have other bills, commitments to handle. So I say, start small. Be sure that you like this type of work. Get your feet wet before getting yourself strapped to a bunch of large expensive equipment.<p>And don't let Lawrence Stone offend you. If you can get past how he comes across, you will find he does know his stuff. He seems pretty savvy when it comes to equipment, although I don't reckon he always buys new. I'm sure he buys what HE can afford while still making a profit.<p>You do the same. Buy what YOU can afford.<p>P.S. After two years of being laughed at by &quot;the professionals&quot;, we, at the end of this season, will be buying ourselves some bigger and better equipment.<br>What were our other priorities these last two years? Buying a house, and paying off over $20,000 in furnishings, renovations, and appliances. We did this with small equipment all the while learning the business and gaining new customers.<p><br>Hope I've been able to offer some insight.<p><br>Major Tom<p><br>
 

geogunn

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
TN
well...I suppose it's time to weigh in on this discussion. seems like everyone has a good point so far...I think.<p>pottstim--the way I see it it doesn't matter if you cut commercial grass or not. a man needs a good lawn machine just because he's a man. women don't understand this but swat 'em on the rump and send them upstairs. we love 'em any way!<p>obviously, you need a good used commercial mower. it will work within your budget and provide room for growth when you expand. lesco makes a NEW belt drive for $2200, on promotional sales. check it out. not bad with a two year warranty.<p>1majortom wrote:<p>&quot;And don't let Lawrence Stone offend you. If you can get past how he comes across, you will find he does know his stuff. He seems pretty savvy when it comes to equipment, although, I'm sure he buys what HE can afford while still making a profit.&quot;<p>this too is good advice. HELL, stone is the king of used equipment (as long ass it's toro and kohler). nothing wrong with that!<p>I'll tell a funny one on myself. coming home from the lake today, I saw a truck pulling a trailer with a red ZTR on it. I quickly caught up and said &quot;look honey...that's what I want to pick up soon!&quot; you know, I was kinda gettin' her used to the idea.... WELL, upon closer inspection, it was an MTD PRO! I had to back pedal real quick cause she saw the name. I don't have a problem with MTD PRO but I'm not looking at them. I thought it was an EXMARK LAZER Z!<p>good luck to all,<p>GEO
 
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pottstim

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Tennessee
Major Tom,<br>Thanks very much for your post. Yes, you provided a lot of insight, and you seem to really understand my situation.<br>You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned &quot;getting your feet wet&quot;. That's exactly what i'm trying to do. I want to start out small and slow. I've thought to myself, &quot;Hey what if this doesn't work out and I have all this equipment that costs mega bucks sitting around.&quot; I don't want to be stuck with a huge loan and have no way to pay for it, or not be making enough $ starting out and not being able to pay for it.<br>Ever since I was a young boy, I have loved to mow and work out in the yard. I used to mow a few yards for neighbors, and a few times I mowed a couple rental houses for the local Century 21 office. I was always taught by my parents to take pride in my work, and I get a lot of self satisfaction from a job well done. Everyone that knows me in this town i live in knows that I am this type of person. So I think that will give me some pretty good referrals and references. <br>But I just don't want to get into the business too big too quick, because of my budget, and the obvious risks of operating a business. Therefore, I am gonna start small and get my feet wet, and buy what I can afford and take on jobs that I can handle and what my equipment can handle.<br>Thanks very much for your understanding, Tom. It is greatly appreciated!<p>Tim :)
 

kutnkev

LawnSite Member
hi pottstim,<br> i'm looking to get started also on a very tight budget. i can tell you if you think as did i that you cant afford commercial you can! you can lease what you need for in many cases zero down, no pay for 90 days wi/one dollar buyout.the money that you would spend on sears type stuff, you could have a BASIC setup w/ commercial equipment. finally if you think you cant afford it try to eat the cost of lost business for the week that sears says it will take to send you &quot;afordable&quot; mower out for repairs. go commercial lease and grow at your own pace with no breakdowns while you are doing so.<p>kevin
 

little green guy

LawnSite Senior Member
pottstim-<p>don't get all offended because you asked for advice and i gave you my opinion. The reason i made that comment was because you seemed open to what we said so when all the sudden you asked about something else that was the opposite of what we where talking about it made it seem like a waste of time replying to your post. Also you siad it was near your buget and then when stone made is comment you claimed you don't have the money.??? <p>By the way i did read your post. <p>Anyway i still think your better off getting a used walkbehind for around 1000.00 than a piece of crap residential mower that's going fall apart with no parts avialable in 6 months. But hey, do whatever you want.
 
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