startup equipment advice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by kubotacut, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. kubotacut

    kubotacut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Hey guys,
    I am starting a lawn care and (hopefully someday) landscape business this
    spring. After years of golf maintenance, I am ready to leave that field and dive into L and L. I have a degree in turf management and am looking for some honest advice as far as startup equipment. My budget, fortunately is fairly high.
    I want to spend my $$$ on mowers/trimmers/blowers instead of fancy trucks and trailers. Here is what I have my eye on. Please let me know if this is a
    good startup package.

    scag 36" 26141 Walk Behind

    Kubota 54" diesel 26hp zturn

    stihl 600 br backpack blower

    stihl fs110 trimmer

    trimmer ???

    toro push mower

    Do you colleagues in the green industry agree with this as a good startup
    package? Let me know your opinions or advice. Any recommendations?
    I am in North Carolina.

  2. Phytosect

    Phytosect LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    What sort of mix of customers are you going to go after? How many of them? Will you be solo or have labor working with you?

    I tend to think that with this list below you could cover most of the bases:
    48" hydro walk behind
    60" rider
    1 string trimmer
    1 backpack blower

    I would skip a 36 unless the majority of your prospective customers have gates that require it. Why let one or 2 force you to use a smaller machine everywhere when you might be better off not doing those few but being able to be more efficient all day long? Same goes for the 60 over the 54, it will give a good cut and cover more ground than the 54 and if you get some gnarly hills or rough areas then mow those spots with the 48 and get the big mower out in the open elsewhere. You may need a push mower for some tight spots, but don't buy any piece of equipment just for one house or one job, unless there is good revenue to support it. If you feel like you have to, then go out and track down more of those sorts of areas and sell some more so that you can make use of it as much as you can.
  3. kubotacut

    kubotacut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I am in a really rich area actually. Lake norman, NC. Many of the race drivers
    and their crews are millionaireres. I need a great cut (striping kit?). It is
    mostly fescue for residential. I am getting nervous about not choosing the right Z. I would love to do commercial also, possibly some design. appreciate the feedback. Any advice on trucks? thanks,bro
  4. kubotacut

    kubotacut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    i have the 36" paranoia because of backyard fence clearance.
  5. THC

    THC LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,020

    Well if there is one thing I wish I would have done differently is to buy an enclosed trailer instead of an open.
  6. kubotacut

    kubotacut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    enclosed is what I am quoting.why enclosed?
  7. S&S Outdoor Services

    S&S Outdoor Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    A lot of people like the image of a company (the biggest most profitable company around here is the one that has about 25 trucks less than 3 years old, always uniform and clean). I personally like the toro mowers, if you want one hell of a stripe check out scag (you will pay for it, also don't know if scag is popular in other parts of the country). I say pick a brand you like and stick with it so your not dealing with multiple dealers and repair shops. We do mostly residential but want to get into about 50% commercial and 50% high end homes. I only have 2 44" walk behinds but plan to eventually own one 60" ZTR, 2 52" stand ons and one 40" walk behind for a 3 man crew. I also plan to have 3 string trimmers, and 2 blowers. We like the Husqvarna stuff but find what you like, stihl and echo are good brands too.
    I like our open trailer but there is chance of theft and it keeps the equipment open to the elements. An enclosed will cost more initially, cost you more on gas and the wind will take you where it wants to. It's pretty much personal preferance, I think it's haulmark that makes a new trailer that's got 16' of open space and a 3 or 4 foot enclosed section for blowers, trimmers and other crap.
    We like our Dodge trucks, but everyone drives GM and Ford around here. I would recommend a 3/4 ton just in case you ever find yourself towing a bobcat, dump trailer etc. You can either pay more up front for a nicer truck, or pay the same or more down the road on repairs; if you're just starting out you may be forced to get the cheap one at first. I haven't been in business very long but these are the things that work for us. I am anal about having good loooking trucks, trailers, mowers and so on, if you look professional, people will treat you like it.

    Just my two cents - Sam
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010

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