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176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
YES! It's scenario time!!!!

Your target market is heavy residential of 1/8 to just under 1/2 acre, so 1/4 or there abouts.
You service commercial here and there, but tend to stay on the light commercial size. i.e small to mid-size office building.

You have 200,000 capital.

Your goal:

1. Build the ULTIMATE crew...

2. Give a detailed(down to the blades and the type of discharge) description of what will be aboard this crew.

how many people would you run since you are HEAVY residential a 3 man crew may be pointless or is it?

How many mowers, remember you may have some tight spots on your small commercial properties, and may be even tighter in residential areas?

Because you work mainly in the residential field you will deal with LOTS of client as opposed to a smaller number when taking on larger commercial accounts. Because of this, you must consider everything.. Thingsa like bagging options mulching Side discharge....types of blades,,, OCDC? types of mowers, edgers...

After you have made decisions on the truck and trailer...mowers and all other options..

Decide in what order things wil be done...Crew member 1 will start oing X while crew member 2 does Y.....let people know what would be most eficent..

You can decide to cut costs by keeping yourself in the crew, or leave yourself completely out...remember this is the ULTIMATE CREW...maybe your not good enough....LOL..and have to draft purchase players from other teams...

Threads like this give us some kind of goal to aim for while introducing new comers that will be running a small crew or solo, what a great setup in everyones opinion could be like, and how it would function.

Thanks for your posts..
I'm excited to see the results!!!!

Remember you can't just mow the yard, it must look the BEST it possibly can, while appealing to neighbors to build your reputation, and making your client HAPPY....

Oh and the Walker mower.......can't have them but tell people if you would have them in the crew, and then just add your next most reputable maker....Hope Gravely Man doesn't hate me


2,849 Posts
I'll take a stab at this to get some conversation going.

Starting Capital: $200,000
Target Market: upscale residential & Small Commercial

Crew: Myself and a helper. Helper will be one that owns dirt bikes/quads/restored cars and has a welder/torch or fabrication skills. This isn't so much to build me stuff or repair stuff (i do all of the above), it just shows that (s)he's "well-rounded" I'll be payin this person $11+/hr depending on quality of their work and effeciency

Truck: Ford F250 Diesel with tow package and long bed. $40,000

Balance left: $160,000

Trailer: 7x16. $2,500

Balance left: $157,500

1 Gravely 260z w/ high lift and gator doubles and a master chute. i don't bag
anything. $9,000
2 exmark 48" walk behinds $5,000 ea? (not really sure on the price)
21" trimmer $200

2 48"'ers would allow the most flexibility, ie for small yards one guy mows and the other trims and blows, while the slightly larger yards one guy can zip around on the Z while the other uses the 48, then both trim/blow. Pick your lawns so you don't have to use the 21" hardly at all. No single gates, no landscape mazes.

Balance Left: $138,300

Trimmers & Blowers & other handtools

2 Shindaiwa T-230's $250 ea
1 Shindaiwa T-260 $300 (for thick stuff)

2 Echo PB-750T's $500ea

Balance Left: $136,500

Office stuff: PC w/ Gopher Software for billing/scheduling. $1,500

Balance Left: $135,000

The rest i'd put towards the following as necessary. (think landscaping)

hand tools, shovels, rakes, wheel barrows, etc.
hedge clippers, pole pruners, power brooms
property/shop/material dump site.
truck mount leaf sucker
dump trailer
enclosed trailer
dual/triaxle for material handling (pre-owned)
Gehl or Bobcat (think pre-owned to save some cash)
tampers (rental yards are great places to pick up one of these cheap.)
kubota tire machine loader/backhoe (again think pre-owned)
lazer level
CAT 310/311/312 excavator (again think pre-owned)

My goals would be to establish a customer base then start pushing landscaping. Patios, pavers, rock walls and ponds are really taking off now. for example, a $20k investment in a used bobcat can be paid off in 4 good-sized paver jobs.

I'd also look into excavation/grading work. Get the job from start to finish and then get the maintenance work.

Just my $.02

lemme know what you guys think of it.

776 Posts
What I would comprise the equipment of:

Truck: F350XL w/ A/C turbo diesel 4x4 w/ 9' dump bed, underbody tool box, blizzard plow, and electric sander. ~$45,000 - $50,000

Trailer: 16' enclosed w/ V nose with all racks required

Mowers: Walker Model T with various deck sizes (60" SD / 48" GHS / preferator / tine rake) ~$15,000

Great Dane 61" super surfer w/22HP Kohler engine ~$7,000

Great Dane Gateway ~$4,000????

Honda 21" commercial self propelled w/ hydrostatic tranny

Little Wonder blower w/ 9HP Honda
(2) T260 trimmers
(1) stick edger
(2) Shindiawa PB630 blowers
(1) Stihl MS260 PRO
Various rakes / shovels / etc.
Tool box with basic tools
Replacement parts for things that break on a regular basis (belts / blades / tire tubes)
(1) chain 20'
Cell phone for crew
Cooler for food / drinks
First aid kit
Small amount of money for any emergencies
Gas cans

I would send that out as a 2 or 3 man crew depending on the work load for the day.
1 guy mows, 2nd guy trims / blows 3rd guy mows a small part and then trims / blows.

I would keep myself out of the crew and concentrate on selling. The rest of the money would go in to the bank and be kept there for break downs / future purchases when warranted / to cover costs during slow times / expansion / etc.

176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No enclosed trailers yet...well, 1 said he would purchase one, but many for landscaping material... Thats interesting, how to lock up all your equipment,, and rain is another issue...

I like your ideas so far.. To much time on our hands... I think it may be a slightly longer post,,but its interesting to see everyones view on the subject,,,take a couple minutes and post.......the skies the limit with 200,000.00...........

10,160 Posts
well, ive thought about it, and think u guys are a bit crazy with your money. $200, 000? lets see, 50 grand on truck and equipment, 100 grand to pay off the mortgage, 6 grand for a plane ticket to send my toothless mother in law to the other side of the planet, 17 bucks for a new bong, 18 bucks for a 30 pack, and that leaves....43, 965 beans for a rainy day.

305 Posts
I'd consider a 3-person crew if the props were really close together.

I'd get a nice used 3/4 ton 4X4 truck (no dump bed), with a Pro Plow for the winter. 18' non-enclosed trailer.

I'd run a 48" ZTR Scag with a bagging system (some props may need bagged).

A 32" walk behind (for the gated back yards).

A 21" commercial Honda.

2 Husqvarna trimmers

2 backpack blowers

1 stick edger

1 Hedge trimmer

All the misc. items everyone else mentioned, rakes, tarps, first aid kit, etc.

Start 1 on the Z, one on the walk-behind, and 1 trimming. Whenever each person gets done with their task, they pitch in to help the others.

I think that on these type of props, anything over a 48" deck is overkill. And with the walk behind, you don't have to eliminate gated props.

I'm under 50,000.00 with my set up which leaves plenty of room for me to add on as needed. Just because you have access to 200,000.00 doesn't mean you NEED to spend every penny of it for a great set-up.

726 Posts
I would keep my 94 Chevy 2500 and move up to a 14 ft tandom axel trailer and add a 52 Husler mini Z , a few more 2 cycle toys, 15 more full service year round accounts and a full time helper. BTW that would leave me alot of money left over

176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
To the man trying to purchase a bong....Man I hope lawnsite bans you for the rest of your life. People like you are what is wrong with this industry, world and this site.

We trade information about things to better our industry as well as use this site for sort of recreational entertainment. If you don't want to participate in this, and just want to add the comments like
17 bucks for a new bong
Then please refrain from posting....atleast on the threads I start....cause I don't don't want to hear your sh**!!!

2,849 Posts
Originally posted by Husky
To the man trying to purchase a bong....Man I hope lawnsite bans you for the rest of your life. People like you are what is wrong with this industry, world and this site.

We trade information about things to better our industry as well as use this site for sort of recreational entertainment. If you don't want to participate in this, and just want to add the comments like Then please refrain from posting....atleast on the threads I start....cause I don't don't want to hear your sh**!!!
hahahaha, i bet you don't like it when guys say bad words that aren't allowed in church either. I don't "smoke" but there's nothing wrong with owning some paraphanalia (sp?).

damn old people!! :D

edit, i just read your profile and you're only 21... guess i gotta change that to ....

damn young people!! :D

1,847 Posts
I would run (2) one man crews. Each would have:

(1) 2000 GMC 1500 v6 2wd
(1) 52" Turftracer w/ masterchute
(1) 36" TThp w/ masterchute
(1) 12x6 open trailer painted and lettered to match trucks
(2) T260 trimmers with edgits
(1) EB630
(1) cloth bag unit

cost per crew: $25k or so

put the other $150k in the bank

I want to bet that no one can put together a more productive crew for the cost.

176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
No, I don't care either, I was just trying to see if he would get, by a bong I don't care....just no smoking on the job pleeeeeeease.....

218 Posts
It sure would be nice to have all of that brand new equipment, but where are you guys going to keep all of this stuff and who's lawns are you going to mow without advertising?:D
That's the first two things I would take care of. A centrally located office warehouse and lots of advertising.:cool:

How about this question and I'm not talking about having $200,000.00 dropped in your lap either. What are you going to do to make your existing buisness better with the resources you have now?
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