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Tough decision

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by brentsawyer, Oct 13, 2002.

  1. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    I have been contemplating buying a bed edger for most of the season and still have not found the answer. So far for the season, I have rented one 7 times for a half day and it has cost me $40/ea. So for the season I have shelled out approz $280 for the little machine and made a little over $1000. This has left me a profit $720 for a few hours work and is usually priced much higher than anything else. I believe one mulch job that I did I ran it for about an hour and made over $200, would have to open Quickbooks to get exact amount. Now, If I were to own one, I would of course have $2100 or so dollars out of pocket but I would of course never have to rent again thus a time or money savings factor is added in and next year I will probably use it an estimated 12-18 times is my guess. Now, usually equipment purchases are a no brainer, but this one I just can't make sense out of one way or the other.
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I usually buy it. First reason is I'm usually looking for a tax write-off. Then, even if I don't use it much that same year, every year following I seem to use it more and more. If its something that produces higher margins you will recover your expenses quickly, and then make long-term revenue and profits off of it. Since it will not be used everyday, all day, it will last many many years.

    Well, that is my thoughts.
  3. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    I agree with hoss. Go for it.
  4. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Realistically, you've probably burned an hour every time you've rented it also. Between calling and scheduling the rental and then picking up and dropping off, it will be about an hour. So whatever you are worth per hour, hopefully anywhere between $40 and $60, that's another $350 or so of your time and money that could be spent on the job. Also, if you have a worker with you, that is down time and money wasted also. On a small ticket item like a bed edger, I would say just buy it. Your work will flow so much smoother just rolling it off the trailer when you need it versus renting it. Also, when it comes to smaller jobs of edging, you won't get them if you have to figure in rental and trip time. I do $80 to $100 edging jobs all the time that I spend less than an hour going to, doing the work, and leaving. You will miss out on those if you can't spread the cost of the machine out over time. Customers are happy as pigs in slop at how well it works and nicely, and have no problem paying you $100 an hour for this work. You can pound through so many feet in so little time they are amazed and thrilled at the results. Boom, you have a check and are on your way. Lot more money and profit for a small investment compared to that 8 or 10 grand mower that can barely gross you $40 an hour.
  5. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    I know what you are talking about as far as time wasted, but for some reason I'm having trouble justifying buying a machine that I may break even on the first year of ownership, as compared to a mower where I bill twice its cost per month. Just a mentality thing that I guess that I'll to accept that every piece of equipment won't bring as much as a mower, you must be in a tough market if $40/hr is all you get. I always get $60+/hr. while on site or around $55hr with drive time factored in. Thing is I'm usually a couple dollars lower than most but I have a super tight route with most stops with 2+ yards and since I have been doing this 8 years solo, I'm super efficient. Looking to raise prices 6-10% next season. But I definitely have to agree that a bed edger is a definite plus that can rake in on average of well $100/hr in use.

    I'll probably buy one at the end of the year just in time to make that extra deduction, thinking Brown steerable, any positives/negatives on the machine?
  6. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    Great Machine!!!

    I have so many other tools that I need to purchase.. hydro WB for one.. that I will wait a yr or two unless I can get that right deal. I could easily sell in more edging if I had one "on the truck".

    good luck..

  7. Ryan Lightning

    Ryan Lightning LawnSite Senior Member
    from CA
    Messages: 554

    OK, dont laugh, Whats a bed edger?:dizzy:
  8. Hoosier Mower

    Hoosier Mower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    I think it would be well worth you buying it.
  9. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,071

    I am with Ryan. Heard about them but have never seen one:)
  10. williamslawn

    williamslawn LawnSite Member
    from SC
    Messages: 202

    A bed edger is well worth the money spent. It will generate many $$. Check out this link for more info.... http://oedinc.com/oueqdi/trenchmaster/htm/trenchmaster.htm

    We charge between .75-1.00 per foot. to do the bed edging with the trench master. I would suggest getting the steerable one. We have also done small irrigation installs with ours. I would not reccomend placing no more than one- 1" pipe in the trench. If you have anymore question please feel free to contact me.

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