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Western PA Landscapers!

Discussion in 'Network: North' started by 93Chevy, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. cmos123

    cmos123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    According to city-data the mean household income is only $35,000 a year. So I wonder how many of these people could afford lawn service?
  2. cmos123

    cmos123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    A more updated census I found claims the average household income of Altoona is $52,000.
    Turflawn, where I used to mow $30 a lawn was average, so I am used to that. Does anyone here know anyone from the Altoona area.
    Thanks again.
  3. JimsLocalLawn

    JimsLocalLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 848

    I live in one of the poorest area's of Pennsylvania - yet I'm doing it. I have a full schedule and can make $300+ a day with a 21" mower! City-Data claims that in my area, 40% of the residents are collecting government assistance. All that means to me is that 40% of the people who live here don't work - GREAT news for me! To be honest I find that true because there are few LCO's out here. The ones there are are priced too high for most of the common people to hire them. I have lawns that range from $25 - $150 weekly. I guess the average lawn here pays $40 weekly.

    Point is... you have peaks and valleys of any business. The advantage of that situation is your close enough that if you wanted to travel to a nicer area to work you could. Which means that "lower income area" that you would live in probably has a very low cost of living. Grocery stores market off prices, rent is cheaper, etc.

    I think the median household income in my area is around $40,000 per year. That doesn't mean people can't afford a lawn service. If your "just mowing" you will find more success than "full service". Elderly, widow / single women, etc still need someone to mow the lawn for them :)

    Why Altoona though? I'm guessing your wife is moving there for work or you have family here? Maybe you already said so - but I didn't catch it. So why are you moving here? Also whats your starting capital and business goals?
  4. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    NOW I see them after I specify "radial 12 inch trailer tire" in my search.

    I dunno... do you really think it will make THAT much of a difference on such a cheap trailer without decent springs and such a small tire?

    Right now the trailer bounces around like mad unless I have my 500 lb walk behind in it. No real issue when that's in there - it only bounces with a HUGE bump/dip in the road, otherwise it's just fine.
  5. cmos123

    cmos123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    Jimslocallawn, My starting capital as far as cash is very limited. I already own a 1/2 ton truck, 5x10 trailer with 3' expanded metal sides, echo blower, echo climbing saw and brand new echo weed eater. I have a 21" Snapper I bought at Sears, but when the engine blew I replaced it with a semi/commercial (thats what I call it anyways) 8.5 torque B&S engine. I also have a Toro multi tool that is about 3' long, and it has the hedge trimmer attachment.
    I am eyeing the Timemaster from Toro, but the engine seems too small and it is out of my budget with all my money tied up in moving.
    I have family in the Pitt area, and visited Washington/Canonsburg every summer when I was younger. Altoona seems to have a cheaper cost of living than being too close to Pitt, and much nicer scenery.
    Thanks for the response, what part of town are you in?
  6. TuffTurfLawnCare

    TuffTurfLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 667

    I am close to where you used to go. Finleyville is a small town just across the Allegheny county line into Washington county. Home are cheaper here right now, but I'm a 3 min drive to my clients new 400k homes. Literally across the tracks. There is a good market here for lawn care, houses can be found in the area under 100k, and if you can pass a drug test, you could get in with one of the many drilling companies to get a steady income to fund your start up.

    If you have no real reason for moving to altoona, then look into areas that will offer more of what you want. Seeing quads on the roads around here is quite common and there are plenty of places to ride. Its not over developed, or in some cases, not developed are all. Plus your within an hour of a major city, and complete forest and mountains.
  7. Bumpmaster

    Bumpmaster LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,092

    Would think you could start a lawn mowing business in Altoona. Just have to price right. Like make the lawns affordable so with the convenience of not having to mow your yard out ways the price you have to pay to get it cut. I like mowing low income homes, no mulch to have to worry about blowing grass into. An these people are satisfied with a clean cut!
  8. cmos123

    cmos123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    I am trying to research the Toro Timemaster and I remember Oaknut having a link somewhere in this thread. Can anyone help me find it? I am really wondering how it is on hills, and how the transmission holds up.
  9. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    I finally found the "Made in China" mark on the tires I just got.
    No surprise considering the low price - I figured as much from the start.

    I'm sticking them on anyway. Not sure how long I'm keeping this 5x8 - I may upgrade next sping if things go well.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. JimsLocalLawn

    JimsLocalLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 848

    Came home dead tired today and wife slow cooked me some BBQ pork sandwich's... cooked for 9 hours! Wow is all I can say - unbelievable.... I wish I could share!

    I don't know how some of you guys do it. I'm at like 32 weekly accounts and It's difficult finishing a work week solo. The larger lawns really put a cork in my production. I don't mind walking but paired with humidity after a rain and I feel like I'm the one being slow cooked! :laugh:

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