True cost to own my LCO...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Willofalltrades, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. Willofalltrades

    Willofalltrades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,000

    I had some thinking time on my hands so I figured I would come up with what would be my EXPENSES if I go the route I want to this spring. Here are the following: (monthly costs)
    Truck true cost to own/work:
    Monthly payment: $700 (new F350)
    Fuel: $770 monthly (2 fill ups a week with diesel, 35 gal. tank, $2.75 a gal, 4 weeks in a month)
    Oil change: 100? (I don't know I haven't owned a diesel truck yet)
    Wear and tear: $230 (yearly or maintenance issues: tires-$1200, Air filter- $50, Brakes-$500, Front end- $1000 all divided by 12 to equal monthly fee)
    Liscenceing: I donno
    Total: $1800 a month (This is worst case, but feasable?)

    Commercial mower true cost to own/work: Mowing 3 days a week
    Walker MTLGHS, 26hp EFI- $400 (payment)
    Fuel: $150
    Blades sharpened: $60 (change blades daily, 3 sets of blades, $2.50 a blade to be sharpened, 2 blades on Walker GHS deck)
    Oil change: $20
    Grease: $10
    Wear and tear:$105 ($2500 divided by 24 months)

    Wright Stander payment: $215
    Fuel: $240 (8 Gal. a day, $2.50 a gal., 3 days a week, 4 weeks a month)
    Blades sharpened: $90 (same formula used with the Walker only with 3 blades instead of 2 on the deck)
    Oil Change: $20
    Grease: $5
    Wear and Tear: $65 ($1500/24 months)

    Trailer:(12x6 utility, single axle)
    Wear and tear: $65 ($1500/24 months)

    I haven't had time to figure the rest, I thought I would give you a head start on what I have. This set up is for small-med residentials. I want to think of every cost that piece of machinery may require with in the next 2 years and spread it out over 24 months so that when the time comes to replace a Pump, tie rod, engine, or tires I am not shocked and I have the $ ready. Not a bad thing to be prepaired I always thought. Would you say this is decient as a worst case senario or am I just dumb?
  2. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 943

    To be honest, all you need is a good pro forma Profit and Loss Spread sheet....I do a Cash Flow Projection and a Projected Cash Flow and Expense Pro Forma Profit and Loss Spread Sheet....Then I keep track of all my expenses on a daily basis, and update my Pro Forma Profit and Loss Spread Sheet every night before bed. It saves so much time in Jan when trying to do taxes.....and helps to give a pretty good projection of the following season......This is an example of what I am talking about. This is one of my spread sheets from 2004....

  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Please don't make the mistake of assuming you'll earn enough in your first year to make your monthly payments. Otherwise you'll most likely end up defaulting on those loans and end up somewhere down in the Fico 550 range with an HR credit rating wondering how you'll ever pull yourself back up out of the mess you done got yourself into.

    I grossed 10,000 my first year.
    There's no way I could've made payments, good thing all my stuff was paid for.

    So, keep working your full-time job for a few years while you save your money.
    Once you have 5 or 10 thousand cash, you'll be way better off paying for everything outright.

    Think small, and you won't fall so far :)

    Peace out.

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    A new truck shouldn't have too much in the way of replacement or repair for the first few years. Front end depends on what you run over at the dump or slide into in the snow. Oil change will cost you $45 to do it yourself. Air filters aren't meant to be replaced for quite some time.
  5. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Start off with a F-150 but book on a 250 or 350 if you must. By used Eq if needed to help you get started.

    I like to break my cost into an hourly figure so I can include the expenses in my estimate.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    That's what I was thinking...really do you NEED a brand new F-350 to tow a 6x12???? Don't believe anyone that tells you a half-ton won't pull a trailer. $700 is a big payment to make.
  7. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    What about insurance? Labor? Fuel for 2mix? Workers Comp?
  8. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    AHH........The common problem with young guys in this industry they "think" they "need" a brand new F350 w brand new equipment to start cuttin grass. Nothing is father from the truth. If your serious about this industry listen to topsites post start small, think small and youll make it with discipline and hard work.
  9. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    I would advise that you get a used truck, in the neightborhood of no more than 5 years old. That will save you at least $300 a month. You have not even factored in the cost of your handtools and expenses for them. You also need business license, Insurance, Phone and advertising expenses factored in.

    I will tell you though that I started in July '06 and have grossed $15K in the first 5 months. I plan on going full time this year. I have alot to do to get that kind of business, but I have the equipment I need to be able to handle the growth to go full time.

    Good Luck.
  10. gary6768

    gary6768 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Yeah but think how much more fun it is to be tooling around in a nice New truck..

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