Been reading on this site for well over a month trying to find out everything I possibly can to start a Lawn Service. This is what I have come up with. **Please throw out any suggestions and/or questions Plan (2 man crew/Oklahoma/Already have 2 16 Trailers available) - Have about 20k in startup Capital and Looking to purchase the following 1.) 48 52 ZTR After looking at Toro, Scag, Hustler, Dixie Chopper, Ferris, Deere, Land Pride I have figured out its all a bunch of crap. The way these dealers are able to switch up the engines, decks, and accessories it is really hard to make a choice. I am leaning towards the Toro 52 Z400. (Will be primarily used for larger residential/small commercial). Want to stay at around 7k 2.) 36 Walk Behind Still have not decided here (There is a Ferris Walk-Behind for sale at one of the local shops for $2,600.00 which seems to be a good deal, but the local dealers do not have many Walk-Behinds of this size to look at. Want to stay around 3k 3.) 32 Walk Behind Looked at a Toro for about $3,500.00. Want to stay around 3k The primary idea IMO is to get in and out of the job as quickly as possible. On smaller yards, we will use the 32/36 Walk behinds to get in and out quick. Larger Yards either the 32 or 36 depending on gate size and the ZTR. The reason I am leaning towards Toro is I personally talked to the owner of one of the local shops who was a mechanic that worked on commercial mowers for 20 years. Had a lot of good input and I believe he will treat me right (service etc..), though it seems there is not a single local dealer willing to budge on price. We have a local Real Estate company that will be turning over property to us to mow prior to the listing and throughout the sale. The grass on these properties will need to be bagged initially (Long). After the first cut mulching will be acceptable. So I am trying to figure out the best option for mixing bagging options with the equipment I am looking to purchase. I have found this link on this site http://www.acceleratorindustries.com to the Accelerator baggers and really liked the options available there. Since we will be using the Walk Behinds most of the time, bagging with these must be an option. Of the 2 Trailers we have available, one is setup for Hauling Equipment, the other for Clippings/Tree Limbs etc 4.) Stick Edgers/Trimmers I like the Shindaiwa products so far 5.) Blower Undecided 6.) Trim Mower Probably Toro 21 Com 7.) Chain-saw just because OK so I want to get all the ******** crap out of the way now so I dont blow my darn mower up the first week and be set back for a month. Here are my questions 1.) Decks - If I go Toro the main difference in price is based on the 7 gauge Deck vs. the Turbo Force. Worth getting the Turbo Force for an extra 1k to price? Do all commercial mowers have the same options when selling decks? 2.) Blades The standard blades that come with these mowers decent? Or should I go ahead and buy better blades the day I make the purchase. How hard is it to change blades? How often do you sharpen and do you sharpen them or let the dealer? If you sharpen them what do you use? 3.) Mulching Kit? Yes/No? Matter? 4.) When Bagging do you use a tarp and blow/dump all the crap on the tarp and throw that in the back of your trailer? If so.. special type of Tarp? Do you buy large Trash-Bags and use those? If so.. special type of Bags? Is it worth investing in a Vacuum to handle this instead of using a bagging mower? If so.. best type of Vacuum? 5.) Where do you dump your clippings? Do you go to the local Landfill or a local Compost service? Other Suggestions? 6.) Accessories Gas Cans, Fix-a-Flat, Edger Cord, Oil, Grease, Cooler, Rakes, Brooms, Shovels, Trash Cans, Tie Downs for equipment, Power Washer, Air Compressor, Primary tools What am I missing? Any other suggestions? 7.) Clothing - It gets to be 100+ here, is there any recommendations for clothing. Do you wear long-pants/shirts (thin material that breathes)? Or shorts, wife-beater =) , and flip flops. Recommended shoes? Tennis shoes or ? 8.) Water or Energy Drinks to keep going on those really hot days? 9.) Mowing a yard with weeds then mowing a lawn w/out Do you wash the mower prior to mowing the next yard so you dont have to worry about depositing seed? 10,) Trailer setup any creative items you guys have created that save time? Storage on your trailer where do you keep all the misc. stuff? 11. ) When determining routes what is priority? What do you use to determine this priority? 12.) Do you accept Credit Card Payments? Cash-only? Monthly-billing? What do you prefer and how do you go about getting what you want? 13.) What time do you guys start mowing in the morning? Sun-up? When do you quit? 14.) Anyone have bad allergies/sinus issues that mow? How do you deal with it? 15.) Poison Ivy/Oak or any other of that nasty crap out there Stories? What do you do if you see it (or think you see it)? 16.) Do you ever pull out grass killer/weed killer? I have many more questions, but this has already become a book.. should be a good start though.