types of equiptment for Ist year

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CHINES60, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. CHINES60

    CHINES60 LawnSite Member
    from 38017
    Messages: 19

    I would like to know from some of you, what type of equiptment to get started again. Not much money but desire and hard work don't scare me. I need to keep busy but to kill myself. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Good luck to all:blob2:
  2. Swampbeast

    Swampbeast LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 463

    How much money are you willing to spend for equipment?

    If you have lets say $2000 you are willing to spend,
    1.) 21 inch commercial mower, Toro preferably
    2.) Echo 260 Weedeater
    3.) Echo back pack blower
    4.) Echo PE-210 edger

    Thats a real basic setup you can buy for around $2000, and haul around in the back end of your truck. Thats what I started out with.

    Now! If you have some real money to spend, like $20,000

    1.) 6X14 trailer
    2.) SCAG 48 inch WB or SCAG 61 inch Turf Tiger ZTR
    3.) SCAG 36 inch WB
    4.) Toro 21 inch
    5.) Echo 310 weedeater
    6.) Echo back pack blower
    7.) Echo PE-2400 edger
    8.) Plugr 30 aerator
    9.) Smallish tractor with sprayer/spreader booms (I got a John Deere, customers seem to like it more and its a good tractor)

    And of course, you have to have a good truck. Like a F-350 or F-250. Diesel.

    You can go anywhere inbetween those two extremes, one is the smallest setup possible, the other is a good sized setup. The biggest thing is you should never scrimp on getting high quality equipment. Never.
    Good luck!
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Get a good or new Walk-behind or ZTR mower, a good trimmer and back-pack blower.

    And spend as much as you can on a pick-up truck (diesel) as you can. Why?

    Cause you can have the best mowing stuff in the world, but it won't make any difference if you can't get to your customers on a regular basis with some pice of junk that's keeps leaving ya by the side of the road!
  4. MPhillips

    MPhillips LawnSite Member
    from zone 7
    Messages: 94

    Charles the answer to this one really depends on your budget, how much money you're looking to make, and how much time you're willing to spend. The good news is that now is a good time to pick up used equipment. Bare minimum for residential lawn maintenance is a mower, blower, string trimmer, and a way to cart the stuff around. If you only have enough for one mower I think it best to get a 36 inch walk behind...it'll fit through gates, it's small enough to do yards without scalping hills...if you have more money then that makes it a little easier...

    look at what other guys are using in your area, check out their set-ups.
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I agree. It would help to know your budget. Also, will you be mowing smaller or larger size lawns? Makes a dif. as to which size mower to buy.

    I'll tell you the way I did it - I didn't have a damn bit of money when I started. I was at a dead end job and flat broke. I used a credit card and took my final paycheck from my job and bought myself a $100 MTD 21" push mower (which, remarkably lasted 1.5 years before I sold it), a cheap stick edger, a broom (couldn't afford a blower) and a few garbage bags. I borrowed a few shovels, rakes, etc. as needed. I also got my hands on a $50 old rusty truck-bed trailer. Then, I went to work!

    Within a few weeks I had 21 accounts lined up and was making more per month than my job. Within a few months, I was starting to make decent $. Within a year, I began to buy nicer equipment and paint my crappy trailer. Within 2 years I bought a truck (Oh, did I mention I had been using a car to tow my trailer this whole time?) and some Honda Commercial mowers. And it's just been up from there.

    Point being, I wasn't going to let the lack of $ get in the way of my dream. I got laughed at every time I pulled up to a stop light. Especially from other LCOs. But I never let it stop me. Endurance, hard work, smarts, and dream are all you need.

    Course it wouldn't hurt to have $5K handy and start out at least looking professional. But my point is, if you don't have that, just do the best you can. But keep in mind your goals and try not to look like a scrub for too long.

  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Good reply Jim..as usual...I enjoy reading what you have you to say.
  7. CHINES60

    CHINES60 LawnSite Member
    from 38017
    Messages: 19

    :D Now I thank all of you for your input and hope I make us proud and rich(ha ha)

    Good luck everyone
  8. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 542

    Dear Charles,

    Got some good advice from people already. Here is what I began with: 36" Snapper WB (belt driven), Husq/ edger & trimmer & blower; 6X12 trailer; various 'yard equipment' gear- hedge clippers, rake, gardner's rake blah, blah...;

    Got an 95 F-150 in line 6, should have picked a diesel F-250 (more room to grow).

    After 6 months I added a Wright Stander 52". Picked a 52" because it carries the same blade size as a 36".

    Last August maked a full year on my own. Now I have hit most of my goals- I'm now at 50% commercial and residential. It is clear to me that I need to stay with small to mid size commercial. I no longer prospect for residential. Only take them if they are very big and come by referals.

    My monthly revenue is around $4,500.00. By this time I wanted to be at $10,000.00 a month. If I get all the things I'm bidding on I'll be close to that .

    Oh, I'm still solo. I get to keep most of what I make. I incorporated my business as well.

    Life is gooooooood.


  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    It's not just a matter of what you have to spend, but what else was touched on; What type of jobs will you be doing as far as size is considered? Also, more importantly, what do you have already? It doesn't matter if you have just the bare essentials, aLOT of us started out that way. The main thing is, is that I (we) can help you by showing you how to make the most of the equipment you DO have. Oh, and SURELY don't be embarrased about only having a pushmower, or something of the sort. Many have started with a bit more, and many have started with less. When I started, I started with a pushmower and an old van. That was about twenty years ago. There are 3 types of people in this world. There are those that make it happen, those that sit back and WATCH it happen, and those that wonder - what the heck happened. Good luck to you, and welcome to Lawnsite.;)
  10. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,068

    hehe great posts i think alot of us started this because we hated working for the man .
    I myself worked for other LCO'ers for more then 12 years and was tired of living check to check and watching these guys sit in the air conditioned office's and new ford trucks . did like the other guys did got an old truck a toro push mower and its been all up hill from there . plus dosent hurt that my wife makes the big bucks so i dont have to work too hard :D

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