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Tired of using a push mower...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by TheOtherSideLL, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. LawnMowerMan2003

    LawnMowerMan2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 768

    I'm using a literal push mower; it doesn't even have self propel! lol I don't know what your area is like, but I've used self-propelled mowers for up to 30 customers. I don't think I would do that again, but right now the push mower is doing OK for most of my lawns. The biggest reason I haven't bought something bigger is I didn't start until May and I don't have very many customers. I don't know what your area is like but another thing to keep in mind is the lawn size. I only target small lawns because of my mower size. I would say it's pretty good on lots up to 9K SF, maybe even larger, but it will be most efficient on smaller ones, which also means your can price more competitively. You will have a hard time competing on larger lawns because it will take too long.
  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,377

    +1 ^^^

    Get the TimeMaster and be done with it already.

    If your FT has a benefit package mainly medical insurance...stick it out.

    You really....really....really need to have FULL spouse support to jump into this as your sole source of income.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. supperdude16

    supperdude16 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,162

    You know hey, it is irresponsible but if your making enough each month to get by doing it then you can get by. But as most people know working for yourself isn't always consistent.

    Also, not sure how your family is structured if you want your wife working but if she could work as well then you guys could be golden. Get an employee maybe in the future
  4. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,560

    Ok knowing your mowing St Augustine forget any kind of 21or 30. Find a used commercial belt drive walk behind and you will see what self propelled really means. Walk it if you like or get a sulky and watch your productivity soar and your fatigue level plummet. Do not buy a Cub Cadet or other 33 inch homeowner walk behind. As for insurance, with five kids I'm sure Obanacare will be almost free for you with all the credits
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
  5. LawnMowerMan2003

    LawnMowerMan2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 768

    We have St. Augustine here, and I'm skeptical of the horsepower on the 30" mowers. I'm probably going to have to go with a 32"-36" walk behind whenever I can afford it.
  6. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,253

    If you want an upgrade I would recommend a used 36" belt drive walk behind. Like an exmark metro. I bought mine for $1500 with 200-300 hours on it and it worked well. It saved me a TON of time over a 21" push mower. For about the same price or lower you could get a commercial 30" push mower- toro turfmaster or exmark commercial 30. But if you can get a bigger, better mower for a similar price I would go with the WB. If you have small gates under 36" or very steep slopes the commercial 30" would be better.
    I would not get the time master (residential version of turf master). I tried it and it was bogging down on a weekly lawn that we service normally. The exmark metro would trim it up no problem and leave a great cut. If you get the metro get one with ECS controls. Pistol grips are no fun. Good luck. There are about a million similar threads, so search.
  7. xstatikplus

    xstatikplus LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    As said before keep steady income but go with a WB 100% and see productivity increase substantially with no extra hours. With a quality WB you could pick up double what you are doing now with less fatigue especially with a sulky. You're a family man and just say your lawn care venture costs you 8hrs per week of "family" time with current equipment....just imagine you'll lose no less "family" time and gain 2hrs reasonably "beer/pub" time and the old lady would never know ;)

    Seriously tho when it comes time your budget warrants, get a used commercial WB and you will see the difference big time
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. TheOtherSideLL

    TheOtherSideLL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    To all of you who have insisted I keep my day job... thank you for your concerns, but no worries, I'm not going anywhere. Not yet. I have to be able to sustain an income equal to or greater than what I make now, plus the ablility to grow. I'm not going off to pursue some dream and leave my family hanging, that would be dumb and a recipe for disaster.

    My only goals for this year were to grab some customers, learn a little bit, and save to get some equipment I need. So far, I have accomplished what i set out to do. Granted I may not be as far as I wanted to, but I'm not that far behind the goal.

    I'm new and need your guys' advice. What mistakes you've made, what successes you've had, what you would or wouldn't do over... stuff like that. You have to learn from the ones who have been there and done it. Right?

    What other advice can you give me?
  9. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Messages: 3,253

    If I were you I would push hard in the spring, pass out 5k-30k flyers, get a website ($90/year with square space), get a couple of shirts with your logo, get the walk behind. You should be able to get flyers for $.03 - $.07 per from nextdayflyers.com or gotprint, etc... Keep checking your net vs gross income. Good luck

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