Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by FFMED74, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. FFMED74

    FFMED74 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 242

    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:
  2. cklands

    cklands LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 360

    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.
  3. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Hi FFMED74,

    I think that's very smart and resourceful. Slow and steady wins the race.
  4. juicelee

    juicelee LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I'm one of the new kids on the block & that's how I plan on starting out also.
  5. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Messages: 587

    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.
  6. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    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.
  7. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 932

    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!
  8. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,388

    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.
  9. captaingreen

    captaingreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 471

    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.
  10. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    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.

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