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To start in Spring Or Summer is the ...?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Turf Commando, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,186

    I will be getting into lawn service this spring, possibly summer....
    Here's the problem. I'll only have 4K saved by spring, that's usually when lawn crews try to get new accounts. Springtime I could buy a decent ZTR hence the word (residential mower.)
    Or wait till Summer and buy Commercial mower and not have as good of luck getting accounts. After all many people have asked if I can start in spring. Cleaning up remaining leaves (YES) leaves a lot of trees around here never drop fully till next year when new buds push them off..

    Why ZTR instead of WB's you're thinking..? well the baggers on ZTR's hold much more leaves especially BIG yards and makes disposal easier...

    Any advice is always welcomed ....Joe
  2. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,335

    I am sure you could find MANY good used ZTRs in the $3k-$4k range...no reason you have to buy new.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Doesn't matter because you need at least 5 thousand saved, 8 is better.
    Because you still need a trimmer, blower, tarps, tools, maybe a chainsaw and a wheel barrow and a pitchfork and some shovels...
    Don't forget jumper cables and a tow rope, blades, oil, gas cans, rakes, maybe some hedge trimmers or an edger.
    I'm telling you if you only spend a grand on 2-cyclers and all the extra stuff you're still short more than a few things.
    I'd have to guess you have a truck, now is it a 3/4 ton?
    What about a trailer? Think 1500.
    License, registration, fees, a business checking account, more fees, pens and paper and receipts and maybe software, then a fine.
    So there's no ZTR, you'd need closer to 15g for that.

    Let me ask you something...
    Assume you wanted to start racing cars.
    Now, would you start at the local track or at the big nascar oval?
    Because I can tell you they'll eat you alive at the big track.
    Right, so why buy a 200mph stock car for the local track?

    Same thing with a Z, new guys always think that's the first thing they need.
    I didn't get mine until my 5th year.
    A year later I've put 90 hours on it.
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I think we went through this once before with Turf Commando. It was explained that a used or new walk behind as a REAL piece of commercial machinery is better and more important than ANY home owner Z. Bagging capacity or no bagging capacity...there are ways. I can guarantee you that a person can windrow, gather and pick up debris faster with one of these machines than with a cost equivalent new homeowners machine. Remember...a homeowner machine is much smaller and is not going to have the capacity of a full sized machine.
  5. Nosmo

    Nosmo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,216

    Another idea for you if you want to get started in the spring is applying for credit on a commercial mower. Then use your saved up cash for the items you will need such as the ones Topsites mentioned.
  6. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    I 2nd the motion!
    You've got at least 4 months , maybe longer, to find a mower before things start to grow up there.

    Why would you put so much pressure on yourself with getting new key equipment right off the bat.

    Find a reliable ally in the biz in your area who can help you trouble-shoot, test drive, crawl under and pick over some used commercial ZTR setups pretty soon.
    Pick one out soon.
    That will give you time to go over it (or maybe have it gone over if you're not so mechanically inclined) before things roll.
  7. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,186

    True, true I do put a lot of PRESSURE on myself. Trying to gather as many things as possible in four months:dizzy:...

    I just want to show up at site being prepared for ''WHATEVER'' comes my way ...!
    I have a hand held MTD Blower, strait shaft 26 cc WeedEater trimmer. Also shovels, rakes, all the other things to start off with already have...

    If I did buy ZTR I still need trailer. WB would fit in back of my 91 RANGER No problem..

    I don't know if any of you have seen ariens Zoom ZTR but it's built like TANK... It's so close to commercial it should be commercial....

    Anyways, thanks to all who give advice from knowledge in the GREEN ...Joe
  8. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Trailers, and the 'Reese' hitch hookups to them are relatively cheap stuff in relationship to the mower!

    Maybe ask for that as your Christmas present, and focus on finding, with some reliable help, a nice used ZTR.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653


    If you can save another g in this 4 months time, that would help.
  10. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I started with a 36" walk-behind. At least in my area, unless your some stupid low baller whose gonna go outta business, you just can't compete with the companies who have Z's. They do it so ridiculously faster. Fortunately I offer more than just lawncare so I've gotten through this season but I will have a Z before next season or I won't offer lawncare

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