Paging all Firemen!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by abates, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. abates

    abates LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    It's looking pretty good for my chances to become a Firefighter. The past 3 summers I have worked as a helper to a friend cutting grass and I have learned a lot.

    I was just wondering how many yards you guys keep? Do you have a helper? Multiple employees? Or operate as a solo?

  2. bel-nor

    bel-nor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    Good luck on the new career. Lawenforcement with 25 customers solo. Network with other FF to get an idea how to schedule around those odd hours they work. Again good luck
  3. fireman gus

    fireman gus LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 517

    Lifelong fireman. Started my lawn business in 1980 and had my son help through high school then I have worked solo until 2010 when my son quit the coporate world and it's pressure to help me full time. I have always had 30-35 yards to mow weekly and also had my weed control spray license and had around 200 clients for that service. With my son working fulltime in this business and me still a fireman we have around 100 clients we mow weekly and our weed control clientele is up to around 450. So we stay busy but it is good to work with my son.
  4. abates

    abates LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for the tips and encouragement guys.

    I'm thinking of starting off solo with the following equipment

    1) I already have a 2wd Chevy Avalanche that is paid for

    2) a custon built 16x8 landscape open trailer with tandem axles ($2800ish)

    3) Echo handhelds (I'm not opposed to Redmax or Stihl, I'm just more familiar with Echo)

    a) PE-280 edger

    b) SRM-280 trimmer

    c) PB-770H/T backpack blower

    d) PAS-225 combo edger/trimmer as a backup

    e) PB-255 handheld blower as a backup

    f) and maybe a small chainsaw

    4) a Toro 22198 Heavy Duty Recycler push mower

    5) a 36" Toro Grandstand

    6) a 61" Ferris IS5100Z

    What do you guys think?
  5. FDJ

    FDJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    It's a good starter, when I and my dad started we had a mini van :)

    If you can afford try and get a dump trailer, you WILL thank me.
    It is a time saver + back saver, that is if you are doing more than just mowing lawns.

    Echos are great, I have a bunch of them and they have always been the most reliable ones of the bunch, Although they might not perform as well as other brands.
    For Blowers on a start up, really you only need one (to save you money) the PB-770H/T will do fine, handhelds are a waste of money. But I really like the BR 600 (stihl) even though they break every year, all the time they save me are worth it plus they are light, if you have lots of leaves ask the dealer for the strap belt... it works great.

    As for the trimmer/hedger, get the PAS-265 and the 3 attachments heads, it will be a multi use tool with professional quality, will save you money and space. I rarely use the metal head trimmer, the line is what I use.
    In my opinion your backup will only frustrate you, that is if you ever get to use them. If you are buying equipment new, and just starting... trust me you won't need a backup.

    As for a chainsaw, go Sthil... MS261 or MS362 (whichever your budget allows)

    My opinion:
    Sthil BR600
    Echo PAS-265 + 99944200470 + 99944200545 + 99944200485
    Sthil MS261 or MS362

    Depending on the use of your mower you might not need a professional one... out of 50 lawns I have 2 or 3 that need the use of it (maybe 40 minutes/week of use) I bought a GCV190 this year to replace my old mower, and I am very satisfied. but if you are using it a lot more than, that is a good entry choice

    I am an eXmark fan, (toro owns it now) so I think you are good with it.

    Unless if you are planning of using it for commercial sites (with LOTS of open spaces) I'd not use a 61".
    A 48" or 52" will do a better job on tighter spaces. If you are planning on using on lot sizes up to 1/2 acre (if not even 3/4 acre), a 61" will just be too big and hard to do damage to the lawn/plants/everything.

    Don't forget to allow for your budget for a trimmer (HCA-265), wheel barrows, tarps, shovels.... and so on if you are going to provide with more than just mowing services, which in my opinion is where you make your money.
  6. figaroo

    figaroo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    I have 15 acct. and work solo for the most part, I get some of the guys on shift to help on big yards.

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