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Using what you have (free stuff) in business

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Smalltimer1, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    2 years ago I was given a Simplicity 4211H tractor for free. I spent $75 to rebuild the carburetor and put a new battery in it. I sharpened the blades and I used it over the summer until last fall and I decided to sell it for $200. Not to mention I made about $1500 with it over the summer.

    I also bought a Ryobi trimmer at a yard sale for $5 and used it for 2 seasons until my father diluted my gas and burned it up, that was a strong unit to be an el-cheapo.

    I was given a Craftsman blower that was written off as dead. I changed the spark plug and it runs fine now. I still have it and use it everytime I mow.

    I also was given 2 Homelite XL-12 chainsaws, one that runs and the other for parts. That is one of the toughest saws I've ever used. I don't use it very often though, it needs some carb work, but it is a beast!

    So what I'm asking is, how many of you got a great deal on something (either given to you or picked up dirt cheap) and use it regularly?
  2. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I have never gotten any free equipment but it sounds like it has worked out for you. That XL-12 is one heavy beast! I really hope you aren’t using that saw much as it doesn’t have any real user comfort items such as anti-vibe mounts on the handles. It will wear you out in a hurry and get you well on your way to carpel tunnel syndrome. You have to love the manual oilier. Yes I have used one for many years….long ago. You can switch over the ignition system to a more modern type if it ever goes south.

  3. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    Bobbygedd gave me a free walk behind edger, and an echo hedge trimmer... haven't used the edger yet, it will be my back up, or second truck equipment, and the trimmer was just tuned up and running top notch.. will be used alot defintely cut my trimming times by alot.
    thanks again BG.

    i also had an uncle who passed away in August. He had bought me a Husquvarna back pack blower for this upcoming christmas... i found it when we went to his house after his funeral. I use it everyday and it means alot to me. i was debating waiting until christmas, but i looked up and said, "uncle dennis, i sure could use this today..." there was no thunder immediately after so i took it as a thumbs up.
  4. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Half of my stuff i got dirt cheap or swapped some stuff with buddies to get it. I won't list prices i paid for my stuff in case i decide to sell it at a profit later to one of you guys :p
  5. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    I find this to be one of the most satisfying parts of the business. I am frequently rescuing stuff from the trash heap that others have given up on, then I clean it up, fix it up. Then I use it for a while and either give it away or sell it when I am done with it.

    Even though some of my stuff is old, it was built to last when it was built and with a little TLC, I can extend the life of these units.
  6. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    Exactly the way I think too!

    In fact I've got a line on a Ford LGT-165 Garden Tractor for $200 that I think may have potential in my little fleet of mowers.
  7. A Leaf Above

    A Leaf Above LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223

    Found a Stihl 420 BP blower in the trash ...Put 50 bux into
    it ..Carb problems. Been workin for the past 3 months no problems at all :)
  8. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,487

    I went to buy a trailer from a guy. The trailer ia a 5'x10' in excellent con- dition. He was asking only $750.00 for it. When I got there, I saw he had a John Deere lawn tractor in the back yard under a tarp. I asked if he was interested in selling it. He said sure, but the blades won't engage, I'll sell it to you for $200.00 and it comes with the rear bagger set up. So I said I'll give you $900.00 for both, and he said " you got a deal". I took it home and discovered that the wiring from the electronic PTO had come lose from where it connects to the engine pulley. Plugged it in and pulled the PTO and the blades started spinning. It's been working great ever since.
  9. chipk1

    chipk1 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 398

    Got a Yardman 42" lawn tractor with a hydrostatic trans from a customer that only used it 1/2 summer then let it sit for 2 years. Said he just wanted to get it out of the garage and sold it to me for 100.00 because it wouldn't start. Cleaned out the carb because it was gummed up from sitting and put a new battery in it. USed it to maintain about 30 accounts for a year. Then sold it 2 days ago for 350.00! payup
  10. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    That's good to hear. I like trying to make something from nothing--I've gotten really good at it over the past couple of years.

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