please help me decide

Perrone Enterprizes

LawnSite Member
Location
lake George,ny
im 16 and want to start lawncare next spring,my question is should i start with the 22 inch push mower i have or should i get this toro,i dont have a very big budget to work with and i still need an edger hedge trimmer and a trailer,
thanks nick
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Dr.NewEarth

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Vancouver Canada
I would Start with the mower you already own. Right now, pull off the wheels and grease it up. Change the oil and spark plug. Sharpen the blade.....get it ready for spring (if you haven't already.)

Keep your operation very very simple to start off with and only purchase what you really need!
You need to include safety equipment (eye and ear protection, gloves and steel toed boots and rain gear.)

As you grow, take the profit that you have set aside and buy new equipment. Try not to get into credit debt.

I suggest you buy a trimmer with a straight shaft. It will save your back if you are tall and it's easier to get under things to trim.

A trimmer with mult use attachment capabilities would be best to start off with. That's the type where you unlatch the trimmer attachment and put on the edger or a hedge saw attachment. If you're the only person doing the labor, why have a dedicated engine for every-thing you need to do the job right?

You could start out with a broom to clean the walkways or a handheld blower would be a good initial investment.

Don't buy a tool unless you can use it every day. Things like an aerator, an orchard ladder and bigger hedge saws can all be rented. Charge the cost of the rental, the pick-up and return time on the tools in your rate to the client.

The smaller 21/22 inch Toro's work fine. The transmission problem eluded to before could be because the gears and what not that turn the wheels dry out. That is, they need to be taken off and cleaned, greased and maintained regularly. I would check once a month. More often if you work in hot and dusty weather.

(edit: I see you meant a larger cutting deck.)

You need to change the oil at least once a week (every 25 hours) As well as sharpen your blades.

The transmission itself can be greased easily enough. You just have to undo four bolts and squirt in the grease.

For blade sharpening, it's cheapest to purchase a Bastard File instead of a grinder.

Expect that things will get broken. Carry a toolkit with spare parts. Buy a can of carburetor cleaner! You have to know how to fix 2 and 4 cycle engines on your tail gate.
Purchase an extra blade for your mower and carry it with you.

The biggest problem I have with two cycle equipment is that the gas filters can quickly get dirty. The engine doesn't work well at that point. Buy extra gas filters and learn how to replace them. (use a coat hanger) This will save you alot of money and frustration.
I also remove the spark arrestor in the muffler. If you cannot legally do this in your jurisdiction, know that the wire mess spark arrestor gets gummed up with black soot from the 2 cycle mix. You need to remove it and hold it with plyers while you burn off the soot with a lighter.

You need to decide what you are paying yourself an hour. Add to this hourly number to cover your overhead costs for the year (a percentage per hour) add money from every hour to cover the cost of new equipment (mower with transmission and rear bag)

Search on this site for more detailed information on what to charge. I know you don't want to be a lowballer. I hope this helps. Good luck.
 
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orangemower

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
pa
I'd say stick with school and get a good education. The rest will fall into place as you get older.
 

orangemower

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
pa
If you're set on doing this, use what you have now until you gain more customers. Save your money as you make it and when you have the "cash" on hand to buy a bigger mower, do so. Whatever you do, DON'T BUY THE TORO. It's a worn out piece of junk. Even if the guy said you could have it for FREE, it's not worth the time and money you'd spend to fix it up enough to even use. Good luck with it.
 

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