Which equipment should I buy?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by riley1374, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. riley1374

    riley1374 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Hey guys, new guy going into business this year. I have about 6k that i am starting with, but would like to only spend 5k on equipment and a trailer. I already have a truck so that is not an issue, but i would really like to get an enclosed trailer. Most of the lawns i will be doing will be 80 X 100 small residentials so not really that big, but i have two scenarios below for equipment, so please let me know what you think:

    Scenario A
    Honda 21" Commercial mower top model $1,000
    6 X 10 Haulmark Enclosed Trailer $2,500
    Stihl Edger, Trimmer, and backpack blower $1,500
    Save up for Quick 36 Super Duty

    Scenario B
    Quick 36 Super Duty 2,300
    6 x 10 open trailer 1,200
    Stihl Edger, Trimmer, and backpack blower $1,500
    Use 21" Homeowner mower i currently have
    Save up for 21" Honda Commercial

    I think i like scenario A better because being solo i can keep my equipment safe from theft and also keep it out of the weather. I have already gotten about 15 customers via friends and family so i think this should take off after a little bit of advertising and door hangers. Thanks for all your help, so far this site has been a wealth of information.
    Endless Summer Lawncare
  2. green814

    green814 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    I like B better myself. Trust me, an enclosed trailer would be nice, but to start you might look for a used open trailer for now to save money, then upgrade after a year or two. Depending on the model stihl handhelds, you maybe estimating a little high, better safe though. Another idea, could you use the truck to haul the equipment for now, save, then get the enclosed trailer? Do you think a handheld blower would work for now? Just another thought to save money. I myself started w/ a homeowner blower & trimmer, already had them so they saved me money. I did start w/ a new Toro Proline 15/52 2 years ago, but I had a trailer so I was set there. Wish it was bigger now though. Good luck & keep us posted.
  3. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,433

    Buy a WB, forget the push mower, you'll get more done quicker with a WB then some little pushmower and your yards will look 100X better.
  4. married2dalawnman

    married2dalawnman LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 13

    I would mix the 2 together and maybe add a 32-36 inch walk behind in there. a used wb mower may be purchased for a little more than the Honda push mower and you have stated that you have a push mower all ready in case you had to have one. Maybe go with a hand held blower to clean drives and walk ways, make some $$$$ and purchase a Back pack in the fall for leaf season.
    I could be wrong on my prices, but go with the open trailer and take the money from the honda mower and thoose 2 combined would almost purchase the top of the line Better 36. From what I have seen you can always sell a trailer, not that often you see a used one sitting for very long .That is my 2 cents worth
  5. riley1374

    riley1374 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Thanks for the replies so far guys! I was contemplating the same thing with the walk behind and the open trailer, but theft and keeping the equipment dry and rust free was a major concern. Maybe I will try and swing the Quick 36 and the enclosed, but definetely keep the ideas flowing. The more i come on this site the more i keep learning from you guys.
  6. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    Everything you described will fit in a regular full size cargo van.

    You can buy a used Chevy van cheaper than a new trailer. I have seen good running used Chevy vans for $800-$1200 everywhere. Get one with the 350 V8 and non-overdrive transmission and you're golden. 1-ton 3500 vans are just as cheap and have a serious full-floating rear axle and 8-lug wheels, plus big brakes and HD transmission, etc.

    Since you're in Jersey, get a van with no windows, and partition off the cargo area. Put serious locks on it, and a club on the steering wheel. Park it right up close to your house at night. Better yet pull it in your garage or carport if you got one.

    Plus with a van you can keep tools, etc secure and out of sight without having to unload at night.

    A trailer is more likely to get burglarized or stolen because a shiny new trailer says "I'm easy to break into and there is probably neat stuff in here"

    An old Chevy van says "mess with me and you'll get stung and come down with lead poisoning" :gunsfirin

    A used "baby" u-haul (single rear wheel) cutaway van would serve you well.
  7. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,266

    I would go with B because of the bigger mower and the fact that you said you already have a 21 inch mower (all though you did not say what kind or how dependable it is).I like the fact that the main mower is larger and can get the work done quicker allowing more time for extra lawns or additional service's.
  8. riley1374

    riley1374 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Well the 21" i have is an old TORO mulching mower! It runs fairly well, but has to be at least 10 years old. I dont see it standing up to being used every day, but you never know.
  9. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,266

    I would still go with "B".
  10. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I also like "B" but I'd ditch the bp bower and go with a sthil handheld, if all you are doing is blowing grass off of drives and walks that will be plenty. And a used trailer, steel prices this year are nuts so try to find a used one, even enclosed, i see them on e-bay sometimes. But like another person said, you do live in jersey so I'd like any idea (like the van) to keep my stuff totally locked up. The quick 36" you will use probably 90% of the time over the 21" if you got it so an older 21" should survive just fine.

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