Lawn Care Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have something that is sort of eating at me. I hear all the posters on lawn care saying go with this mower or that mower, which I completely understand product loyalty. Here is my question, for those persons just starting out, I either hear it said to go for the brand X 3500 mower with all these bells and a few whistles for $3000-$4000+ a mower, plus the $300+ trimmer, the $1000 plus trailer and so on. Don't get me wrong, if I had the money to buy those items, I am sure I would, I am figuring on another mower and for sure a new trailer this season. I went a bit of a different route, overhead was an issue when I started out. So I bought a 48" Landscaper supply w/b belt drive w/15hp Kohler(was to be a kawi, but long story and another post LOL) for $2399.99 I spent about $200 for a Echo trimmer and $100 on a ryobi blower. The trailer is a used trailer I got for free from my pastor and I put about $150 or so to make it safe and usable. Am I the only one who started like this? Did anyone else use the same equiptment I have? If so any luck with it and at what point do you think it is time to move to the big name mowers blowers trimmers and egders. I think it made smart biz sense to do things my way and would reccomend to newer guys/gals to try my path to save, but not get so far in if you don't like it you just blew lots of money. Your thoughts anyone?:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
360 Posts
Same here. $900 first Bunton 36" belt drive, $250 echo weedwacker, $150 Homelite backpack blower, $900 trailer. 8 years later don't have any of it but the trailer. You know what though, most of those that go out and spend 5-6k on new equipment don't last but a season. They work for their payments. If that's what they want to do and go out of business be my guest. Unless it's a really good friend I wouldn't tell them at all the best way to get started and stay in business. I dn't know about where you are but there is enough competition around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
587 Posts
we are thriving now. lots of nice equipment to go along with nice profit margin.

when we started we had a well used truck, the aluminum truck ramps, a cub cadet riding mower, an echo trimmer (homeowner model) and a sears blower/vac.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,170 Posts
I have all commercial equipment now, but I still refuse to pay over $250 or so for a trimmer and edger. I am a big echo fan so I by echos, but I usually dont get the latest greatest commercial series. I get straight shaft echos that are durable but much less expensive. The way I look at it, I can usually keep a trimmer/blower/edger for about 2 years before it is worn out (sometimes less, sometimes longer) but I would rather have a new one in 2 years then to try to keep a better more expensive one going 4 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
932 Posts
Well,
I'd say you started out ahead of me.
I started out last year with a craftsman 21" mower, trimmer, and blower.
This year, taking earned money from last year, moved to a toro 21" mower, stihl hedge trimmers, and getting a pickup truck.
plan is to get better equipment as I can afford to, and consistently get more and more customers each year.
may sound very small compared to a lot of companies on here, but I plan to grow as I can handle, and give myself enough time to learn to do things the right way.
Working well thus far.
I say, determination is the best piece of equipment. It HAS to last forever, otherwise the rest of the equipment is useless!

Good luck with the business!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,388 Posts
I stated out will all commercial grade equipment. But I had already been in the design/install business for awhile so I had some working capital and credit lines to finance my purchases.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
470 Posts
I started out with ramps and a 36" belt drive wb, stihl trimmer, and craftsman blower. That work for 3 part time years. My first full time year I spent $3000 on a 48" belt drive wb. This being my second full time year I'm srarting off with a 52" 24hp Scag tiger cub, lots of Stihl equip. and Shindaiwa trimmer. What I'm getting at is grow slow and as you can afford it. Always maintain the best equip. you can but don't run yourself in the ground buying it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,578 Posts
What you will find is that it will cost you the SAME to run a piece of used junk as it will a new piece of equipment.
I'm not telling everyone to go out and buy new equipment, obviously you start out the best you can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,156 Posts
Wow, you are "starting out" with a heck of alot more than I did. My very first paid lawn mowing was with a borrowed Honda 21 self propelled mower (which immediately broke), and a borrowed Echo trimmer (which weighed around 200lbs).

I decided to immediately "upgrade" to a "Lawn Chief" $50.00 hardware store special 21" mower, and a Poulan "weedeater" homeowner special, which was probably around $40.00. After a year of breakdowns, I realized that you really do need commercial equipment, and started to buy real equipment. Thank god for John Deere financing! Because no one else would even talk to me!

So, you are ahead of the game already.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I started with all non commercial equipment 21" mower, weed eater edger and blower, worked fine. I gained a few accounts during the season and realized that my equipment was not efficient enough to handle numerous accounts. I finally had to buy commercial equipment when one day everything broke down.....I guess thats a good sign to move up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sounds like a lot of you started the way I did or even below. I commend you for your drive to succeed. I have an advantage to the fact that I have a full-time job, firefighter/medic, so I could aford a bit better, but I still didn't want to pour in 10K on something I wasn't sure I would like doing. As I grow I will buy better equiptment. The main point is that I dont hear the "start with the GOOD ENOUGH stuff first instead of jumping in full bore and buying the best/most expensive products". I think that is better advise to those starting out and not knowing where to begin. I love all the stories of how each of you began, thank you for the insight on your lives and keep up the great green work!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,178 Posts
I'm not one to criticize others decisions but I would like to point out something.

Twins,

You said you started with a 21" and upgraded to a 21". I started with a 22" Murray.........upgraded to an Ariens riding mower..........upgraded to a Scag Super Z...........upgraded to a 50" Dixie Chopper...........and upgraded again to a 72" Chopper.

I'm not about tootin' my horn but what I am about is telling those that will listen.............a 21" commercial mower ain't gonna mow too many more yards than a 21" homeowner version.

At some point........in order to expand and grow.........you have to invest in faster, more productive equipment. I went out on a limb and took on some debt...........they're finally paid for........but having that equpment allowed me to go after business I couldn't have even thought of with my riding mower.

Maybe a 21" mower is all you need. Again, I'm not here to criticize anyone.......and God knows I didn't do everything right and still don't, but sometimes you have to take that debt on in order to see the bigger returns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
When i incorporated my business i started with a 32 scag belt then added a 44 toro proline with a 5x10 trailer and a new nissan truck. This was aug 1st by that april i bought and added to my list of large items was, 2 48 ferris hydro's 52 ferris z 16x7 trailler, ford ranger 4x4 6.5' plow, ford f250 dump insert 4x4 8' plow, ford f350 dualley dump, 3k in stihl power equipment. And this was last april. Iam not sure if that is head in but i dont have a payment on any of the stuff and i didnt sell any of my inital equipment. But i dont fell as if iam growing to fast just keeping up with the demand.

Thanks, Jason (iam also 21 years old, and no my parents didnt buy my sh#t)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
This thread is awesome and uplifting. I keep/kept reading threads about big bad [email protected]$ equipment and how it is needed to get the job done. I am gald to hear how others started off like I plan to. I am starting this year with new equipment, but nothing special. Self propelled mower, blower, trimmer, edger, trailer. I will also probalby buy a truck. But, the real beauty of it is that if I absolutley end up hating it, I can use everything at home (and I have always needed/wanted a truck). I currently have electric blower, trimmer at home, and those have needed to be replaced for a long time--although the blower is actually pretty good. BUT, I know I will love this and am starting SMALL. I have a full time job and go to school as well (the GI BILL is financing my lawn care motivation HEHE).
Anyway, glad to know after reading many threads that a lot of people have started off the same and planned on expanding slowly like I do.

Thanks,
MIKE

PS this site in general is fantastic and very informative!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Its nice to hear about all the nice new equipment some have. I started with an old snapper yard cruiser and a ransome bobcat 48in walk behind.5x8 trailer and john deere trimmer and echo hand held blower.We now have an exmark lazer z liquid cooled,18ft trailer,2 echo backpak blowers,2 echo trimmers, echo edger and the old ransome 48 with jungle wheels,21in lawnboy push mower. new f250 supper duty and 8ft western pro plow.
took 3 years though and a lot of hard work.
Just set your goals and go after them. Try to pay cash when you can. It puts you a step ahead of your competition.Lowers your overhead.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
587 Posts
that depends on what he means by 'pay cash'. if he means pay for the equipment from the company's cash fund, then you are right.

but, if he means pay cash out of pocket, then he is right about lowering overhead.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top