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New to the Business...will a 20" do?

clutchcity34

LawnSite Member
Location
Midland, TX
Excuse me for being new to the business and I hope i dont get laughed at but I see all the threads on equipment and everyone has these big fancy machines. I have a brand new 20" lawnmower...my question is...am I way out of my league using this mower and should i upgrade? I plan on having 10-15 lawns to start and it wont be anything fancy...no landscaping; just mowing and edging (I have a manual edger) So tell me honestly what you guys think? hope you arent too harsh LOL.
 

goodbeus

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Jax., Fl.
If that's all you can afford, go with it...Rome wasn't built in a day...I started out with a 20 year-old worn-out truck, push mower(that was also my blower)worn out push edger, and an old trimmer...spent about $200.00 bucks at a flea-market for this stuff...right now, my set-up is worth $50,000.00...save your money and upgrade as you go...find out if this is really what you want to do...I see to many people get themselves into debt buying new equipment(not really knowing what they need) only to decide a month later this isn't for them....
 

grass_cuttin_fool

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Virginia
I agree start with goodbeus, if you like it maybe look into getting a walkbehind mower, Try to keep debt down, but invest some of your money back in the buisness to keep it growing. When you invest in a string trimmer you might think about getting one that has inter- changeable heads so that 1 tool you will be able to multi - task with it ( edger- trimmer- blower) hope this helps out some
 

Zach76

LawnSite Member
Location
Omaha, NE
First of all, welcome to Lawnsite. You will find this site to be extremely helpful. I started out with a 10 year old Lawn Boy push mower (that's right, it wasn't even self propelled) and a $50 weedeater. After a couple months of doing about 10 lawns a week, I realized that I had to get a w/b, so I called a friend and got a deal on a Scag 36". I love it, and this year I'll be adding a 52" Exmark. I still have the Lawn Boy, and use it quite a bit, but I'd never go back to using it alone. Save up some cash you make with the 20", and finance the difference when you get to that point. That's what I did, no regrets. Hope this helps. Good luck to you.
 

Wells

LawnSite Member
Location
SLC UT
clutchcity34,

Welcome:
Everyone has to start somewhere, my first year in business I started out with one 21" mower, a cheap trimmer from Wal-mart and a push broom. Had about 7 clients.

I've come along way after 5 years in business, but I didn't get there overnight. Took alot of hard work and dedication to build up the business.

The best advice I can give you is let your work speak for itself, If you provide the best service out there, then it doesn't really matter what type of equipment your using.

The equipment only helps you do the job faster, not necessarily better. Take your time, focus on customer service and being the best provider out there. Soon you'll be the guy with the big fancy machines.

Good Luck.
 

goodbeus

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Jax., Fl.
When you invest in a string trimmer you might think about getting one that has inter- changeable heads so that 1 tool you will be able to multi - task with it ( edger- trimmer- blower) hope this helps out some

I personally would not do this...equipment like this can't be locked, a theif can disconnect the split boom and it's gone...YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR EQUIPMENT SECURE...

Don't go into debt buying equipment...it's not a good idea, especially when the slow season starts...

If you provide the best service out there, then it doesn't really matter what type of equipment your using...The equipment only helps you do the job faster, not necessarily better.

I personally don't agree...I've run Exmarks and Encores...the Exmarks do a better job, do it more efficiently with less down time...that's what it's all about, thus the saying, "You get what you pay for."..
 

Wells

LawnSite Member
Location
SLC UT
goodbeus,

So what your saying is if I trim with a $40.00 trimmer versus someone that uses a $600.00 trimmer, the homeowner is going to be able to tell the difference in the trim?

Or say I blow off the walks and driveway with a $60.00 blower versus a $400.00 blower they will notice that as well?

A $200.00 Craftsman is going to cut the same 1" off the lawn the same as the $1000.00 Honda.

The biggest difference between the equipment available is the quality and the speed of the machinery. For someone just starting out in business I would not recommend going into $20,000 of debt just to claim they have the best. Grow as you can and replace equipment as you go. If your budget can't afford you the biggest and best equipment out there then go with what works for the time.

The quality of any job is in the craftsmanship of the user. The equipment is merly a tool to get the job done.

I look at the founder of West Coast Choppers, Jesse James. That guy builds his bikes from scratch and uses some of the oldest tools around and some of the oldest methods known. But the quality of the bike he produces is unmatched by his competitors who are using state of the art equipment.
 

goodbeus

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Jax., Fl.
Originally posted by Wells
goodbeus,

So what your saying is if I trim with a $40.00 trimmer versus someone that uses a $600.00 trimmer, the homeowner is going to be able to tell the difference in the trim?


First, A commercial trimmer runs around $300 tops...and yes...I started out with a homeowner trimmer...the trim looked better, productivity was up and hardly any down time...a homeowner's trimmer, you'd be lucky to get through the season with it, not counting the downtime until it was completely wore out...

Or say I blow off the walks and driveway with a $60.00 blower versus a $400.00 blower they will notice that as well?

A strong blower is one of the most important purchases to raise productivity...it's all over this website how important a strong blower is...the stonger the blower, the faster you get done...example, I started with a homelite hand-held $40.00 blower...bought a Stihl BR400, no comparison...later when I started working a second employee, I grabbed the Homelite and couldn't believe I actually used this before...it took longer and still had to go back over with the Stihl...

A $200.00 Craftsman is going to cut the same 1" off the lawn the same as the $1000.00 Honda.

I'm not familiar with the Honda, I use Exmark...go back and read what most people here say about Craftsman...THET ARE JUNK...it may cut same 1" of lawn, but it won't while it's in the shop, which is often, and they too have a short life-span...

The biggest difference between the equipment available is the quality and the speed of the machinery. For someone just starting out in business I would not recommend going into $20,000 of debt just to claim they have the best. Grow as you can and replace equipment as you go. If your budget can't afford you the biggest and best equipment out there then go with what works for the time.

I agree, don't go into debt buying equipment...

The quality of any job is in the craftsmanship of the user. The equipment is merly a tool to get the job done.

Some tools are better than others..example, a wood-handled shovel versus a fiberglass shovel...

I look at the founder of West Coast Choppers, Jesse James. That guy builds his bikes from scratch and uses some of the oldest tools around and some of the oldest methods known. But the quality of the bike he produces is unmatched by his competitors who are using state of the art equipment.

That's a different type of business all-together, but let's put it into a lawn maintenance form...A guy cut's a lawn with a push-style non-gasoline engine, trims the grass by hand, uses the wood-handled push edger, and sweeps with a broom....he charges $65.00 for a lawn when the going rate is $25.00...how long do you think he'll be business...not long...
 

Wells

LawnSite Member
Location
SLC UT
goodbeus,

I'm getting the impression that you just want to argue here. You even argued the point that I over priced the trimmer.

The whole point of this thread is does Clutchcity34, need expensive equipment or can he get by with the less expensive stuff for a while until he builds up his equity.

I'll be the first to agree that there's nothing quite like good commercial equipment. Having started out with the low end stuff and worked my way up to the commercial equipment, I understand the difference in quality. I also understand the difference in price. Not everyone can afford the quality equipment when just starting out.

Thanks for making my point that the stronger and more expensive blower will speed up productivity. Thats been my point in this thread all along.

Price = Productivity, Price does not = Quality of job performed.

I've seen plenty of pics on this site of peoples equipment and alot of times there an old craftsman or murray just chillin in the back of the photo, partially hidden by the new Exmark. What that tells me is not everyone was born with a silver spoon in their mouth.

The point I was trying to make about West Coast Choppers is that even though they use old equipment they still get the job done ever bit as well as the state of the art stuff. A try craftman can do the job no matter what the tools.
 
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