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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mikemat31, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. mikemat31

    mikemat31 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    Hi all a little intro I am 16 and am getting my license in november. I am in a tough situation and can use some help. I currently cut a few lawns but I am not built for the landscaping industry its just not my gig. However I love snow removal I live for the winter, between the cold, waking up before friends to get out to the accounts, and the money is fantastic. Regardless as approach my 17 birthday I have to figure out what where my endeavors are going to take me. I can go one of 3 ways.
    1. ditch the snow removal and do what I am currently doing now in the winter. Currently we are lifting the snowblower in the back of a friends explorer and driving from account to account which has worked better than walking it from account to account. (the kid whos explorer it is going to college and wont be home during the winter)

    2. purchase an old plow truck for less than 4k and park it in my grandparents vacant garage. This option will allow me to purchase my vehicle of choice. I currently have just under 10 thousand saved. Before I start getting the comments I have saved every nickel I have. (Matter of fact I deposited my left over change today lol) This option would allow me to get my desired car a BMW 328xi coupe (with a little help from mommy and daddy). my family isn't extremely wealthy however i am fortunate enough that they will help me with a car. I can honestly say regardless of my parents financial situation I have learned the value of a dollar.

    3. Ditch everything and just buy the car of choice

    -I am not sure what to do. My mom isn't fond of me getting a pick. However if I am going to take plowing serious I need the equipment to do so. Its just a matter of should I do it now or wait 6 years until after college. I feel like i have an opportunity to do something great and waiting 6 years is time I could use to help further establish a real company. I am up at 2:15am because I was dreaming of snow and decided to post this. Please take into account I am going to be leaving for college so anyone who has managed a company while in college if you have any advice please feel free. I am a noob and if anyone has any type of advice I am open to all suggestions.

  2. mikemat31

    mikemat31 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    One additional note. I currently work for a prodessional landscaper who does snow removal. I have the option of subbing a good amount of my work to him which could be my best option. This will allow me to have the accounts so when I do decide to get my truck I don't have to sub it to him.
  3. havenlax18

    havenlax18 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 217

    I would just buy a nice truck for like 6-7 grand
  4. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    You need to communicate with your parents more. I wish mine were here to ask those questions. I can tell you, it would be very foolish of you to go dump a large amount of money on a BMW. For one, 10K isn't going to get you much and a 328 isn't really nothing but a fancy Honda, Nissan or other small car. They're not worth the money. You'll go broke maintaining the thing.
    Get a small truck that a 4x4. Good gas mileage, room to haul stuff (including a snow blower) and will get you around in the snow. You won't have to blow all the money you have so you have some left over after buying a truck. Then you should still have enough cash to buy a snow plow for the given truck.
  5. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,780

    Good advice here. What we want, and what we need are often two different things. A pickup would allow you to keep your snow removal customers, without the expense of a heavy duty plow truck. Just keep using the snowblower. There is always time in the future to go big. Remember that at your age, one of the biggest factors is going to be insurance. Good luck, and kudos for saving that much money. Remember, just because you have it, doesn't meed you HAVE to spend it. :)
  6. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    If you buy a BMW and a truck, you will have two vehicles to maintain, two vehicles to pay for gas, two vehicles to pay for insurance...it'll get very expensive and quick.

    I'm a little older than you but am going to college. I don't have the money to own two vehicles, at least vehicles that I would be happy with and trust to do what I want. So I only have one truck, a 2500HD. It does everything I need it to and works great as a work and personal truck. I would suggest finding a decent truck, that you like and purchase it. You can probably find a decent truck for $8k then get a plow if you want after that. Or you could just get a car of your choice and give up plowing in the winter.

    Going to college does take up a lot of your time. For the past two years, I went to paramedic school so it didn't take up as much of my time as university studies. However this fall I'm starting as a freshman at a fairly large university about 25 minutes from home. I will have class 3 days a week, my first class is at 8am and I end my day at about 5pm...get to go home then. That's 4 classes in a day and I will not be leaving campus all day.

    I work as a paid on call fire fighter for the township that I live in. So my pager could go off at 3pm or 3am. There's times were you may have a big test the next day or had a very long day the day before and you just want to get some sleep, but you can't because there's a fire or a medical emergency. Its not all nights, but they happen. Getting up at 2 or 3am for a fire, working for 4 hours, then immediately going to school after...that is tough (I haven't had to do that yet, but its only a matter of time). So I may be going my whole day on 4 hours of sleep. Getting up to plow is going to be the same thing, except you can plan ahead. You will work for several hours and then be up all day going to class.

    If you really like getting up and 3am and running all day on little sleep, then plowing may be right for you. If that's the case, then invest your money in a decent truck and buy a plow for it.

    Just remember that if you plow, things are more likely to break/wear out faster on your truck than if you were not plowing.
  7. mikemat31

    mikemat31 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    Brad funny thing is I am also a firefighter in my town. Its a super small town and the amount of calls we get you wouldn't imagine. Most or nothing but you still have to go because the one serious one they need all the firefighters they can get. I know the insurance will be through the roof. I know I will get ridiculed for this but I just don't think it will look right pulling up to pick my girlfriend in an f250. However one thing she will like is the money I get from plowing. lol Whenever I try to speak with my parents about plowing they just disregard what I say. My dad says "where are we going to put a plow" and my mom says "I didn't raise my son to be a red neck." I can't say my parents aren't supportive of what I do but they aren't fond of the whole idea. Doesn't make much sense because I am a "go getter" and I am trying to earn money an honest way. Keep the replies coming
  8. ecurbthims

    ecurbthims LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 491

    if your girlfriend doesnt like a truck,get a new girlfriend ! lifes too short to worry about what some girl thinks of what your driving ,especially at 16 .
  9. TNGrassCutter

    TNGrassCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,321

    What do you mean! Real girls loved trucks when I was your age.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,511

    Dang right.

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