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RANGER99
02-15-2011, 08:33 PM
Hi folks - I just came on the forum yesterday. I'm looking for any and all suggestions. I am twice retired (US Army) and business. After 8 months of retirement, I cannot handle it. I have decided to jump in lawn care and minor landscaping. Why? Because of all the work-related things I have done in my life, I enjoy these tasks most. I live on 45 acres surrounded by a town and maintain about 4 acres here. I have been studying all I can find on the subject and will "begin" next week. Any thoughts on the right initial equipment and how to get my name out there would be greatly appreciated.

LawnMoore
02-15-2011, 10:42 PM
Greetings.

I would like to throw out a little test run you could start with!

Im sure you have an F150 or the like..

First question, What do you have now(mower/eq)?

Regardless of that, since your retired USA, i know if you don't have one, you could get a push mower.

Second Question, Are you licensed and insured?

If not, square that away also..

Go down to a local or best known printing/advertising shop and have yourself some stick on magnets made for your truck.

And some business cards and maybe have a few shirts made, be professional! But you should already know the creed.

Then once you ahve your uniform on, your truck labeled, and your business cards handy..

Round up your push mower and a weedeater, plus any other basic tools you might need on a fast easy job!

Then head off into the immediate neighborhood, going door to door, explaining that you are a retired army and business man who has to be productive!

Comence by handing them a business card and asking if they might be in need of a new or additional Yard man!


now to the part where your thinking, heh, bud i have a rider/zero..

So what, you first task should be accomplishing a datbase and network of clients, and only use the push mower as a prop! (Hauling around all your equipment might make it harder to get away from the angry 50/50 haha.
and also wastes more gas, when looking for clients, you want to travel swiftly)

If its a small yard and you want to knock it out and make 20+ bucks, do it too it! If not, or its bigger, then schedule them in!

Come back later and knock out the yards you have aquired.

********************************************************-

And if you need help on initial equipment seriously, im here to help you again.

Best in my experience, is a professional grade stihl weedeater! (However note, some of those will knock the paint right off a building!) So dont use the high hp ones close to homes, use them for brush clearing with a sawblade if needed.

and use a entry level stihl chainsaw for trimming. or you can go down to wally world and buy a 20$ weedeater that might last 2 weeks ;)

Before i start advising out more equipment, can you also inform us what kind of budget you want to start with!

minimal 500$ or less, or average 1k$, or elaborate 10k$

hope to be able to help you again soon.

Growing Green
02-15-2011, 11:22 PM
Greetings.

I would like to throw out a little test run you could start with!

Im sure you have an F150 or the like..

First question, What do you have now(mower/eq)?

Regardless of that, since your retired USA, i know if you don't have one, you could get a push mower.

Second Question, Are you licensed and insured?

If not, square that away also..

Go down to a local or best known printing/advertising shop and have yourself some stick on magnets made for your truck.

And some business cards and maybe have a few shirts made, be professional! But you should already know the creed.

Then once you ahve your uniform on, your truck labeled, and your business cards handy..

Round up your push mower and a weedeater, plus any other basic tools you might need on a fast easy job!

Then head off into the immediate neighborhood, going door to door, explaining that you are a retired army and business man who has to be productive!

Comence by handing them a business card and asking if they might be in need of a new or additional Yard man!


now to the part where your thinking, heh, bud i have a rider/zero..

So what, you first task should be accomplishing a datbase and network of clients, and only use the push mower as a prop! (Hauling around all your equipment might make it harder to get away from the angry 50/50 haha.
and also wastes more gas, when looking for clients, you want to travel swiftly)

If its a small yard and you want to knock it out and make 20+ bucks, do it too it! If not, or its bigger, then schedule them in!

Come back later and knock out the yards you have aquired.

********************************************************-

And if you need help on initial equipment seriously, im here to help you again.

Best in my experience, is a professional grade stihl weedeater! (However note, some of those will knock the paint right off a building!) So dont use the high hp ones close to homes, use them for brush clearing with a sawblade if needed.

and use a entry level stihl chainsaw for trimming. or you can go down to wally world and buy a 20$ weedeater that might last 2 weeks ;)

Before i start advising out more equipment, can you also inform us what kind of budget you want to start with!

minimal 500$ or less, or average 1k$, or elaborate 10k$

hope to be able to help you again soon.

What Stihl would you suggest with their Kombi system?

Matt

RANGER99
02-16-2011, 10:25 AM
Thanks Lawnmore - great advice.

I have some equipment now, with the exception of a good Z-turn small enough to do residential (I have a 60" I use on my mini-farm) and a push mower. When you say push mower, what size are you talking about? Any brands you would recommend? I would rather buy one I could use for a long time.

As I am just starting out, how do I respond to or overcome the questions about references I expect to get?

wandfsmall
02-16-2011, 11:11 AM
Thanks Lawnmore - great advice.

I have some equipment now, with the exception of a good Z-turn small enough to do residential (I have a 60" I use on my mini-farm) and a push mower. When you say push mower, what size are you talking about? Any brands you would recommend? I would rather buy one I could use for a long time.

As I am just starting out, how do I respond to or overcome the questions about references I expect to get?

As a dealer I can tell you push mower quality is the pitts right now. Hustler makes a really good one but still not worth the money. Toro makes a decent one but also overpriced. I honestly see more craftsman push mowers then anything else with my commercial cutters. As for equipment everyone has a personal preference and you will find people that will disagree with all of them with good reason. Are you able to work on your own equipment?

If not do you know of a really good dealer and what does he carry.

RANGER99
02-16-2011, 11:14 AM
I can tinker with equipment but prefer to let dealers handle the big stuff. What would be a standard commercial push mower - one that a lot of folks use?

Steve
02-16-2011, 01:37 PM
Welcome to our forum!

I live on 45 acres surrounded by a town and maintain about 4 acres here.

I would guess you have some equipment now that you could use to get started. Do you have friends or family in town that you could offer your service to and get started? Then start spreading out to their neighbors etc?

RANGER99
02-16-2011, 06:01 PM
Hi Steve - I do have equipment, but most is too big for most residential properties. I know I will need a decent mower (smaller than my 60" Kubota) to use and want to buy one (or 2) that will still be fast and yet fit inside most backyards. Any thought?

I don't have family around. I plan on mailing introductory pieces to the nicer subdivisions introducing the company. My wife runs a small printing company and mailing service, so this is an easy route for us. Thoughts on this?

Gary

950thomas
02-16-2011, 08:29 PM
My crews use sixtys on most residential I try not to bid on yards that I can't fit my equipment on

RANGER99
02-16-2011, 08:55 PM
Thanks 950Thomas - Do you handle any with fences? That is my primary concern with using the sixty; navigating into and around backyards.

wandfsmall
02-16-2011, 09:28 PM
Thanks 950Thomas - Do you handle any with fences? That is my primary concern with using the sixty; navigating into and around backyards.

most gates are at least 36" wide so you can either get a walk behind or a cheaper push mower for gated yards. A 32" gear drive bobcat would be less then $3000 a standard push around $300 for a decent one. but you could most likely find enough work to start out without taking gated yards.

950thomas
02-16-2011, 10:41 PM
All the time most of my yards have double gates and the ones that don't we have smaller mowers I tell customers if they put I'm bigger gates the cost will go down

LawnMoore
02-17-2011, 12:57 AM
I have a gravely pro60 also, and i dont like i cant get in back yards either.

However Gravely has been around a long time and is imo pretty reputable.

They have a 32inch zero thats commercial and one thats residential, im thinking about getting the residential one to accompany my 60inch commercial mower.

I dont see myself buying a push or walkbehind unless its a good deal.

for your references, you will have to give them some professional references or something, untill u can get some yard references.

RANGER99
02-17-2011, 09:37 AM
Thanks all! Some great feedback.

LawnMoore
02-18-2011, 05:05 AM
Thanks all! Some great feedback.

Well how's it going so far?

RANGER99
02-19-2011, 08:39 AM
I have everything in place except the jurisdiction license which I pick up next Tuesday. I'll hit the neighborhoods then.

I'll post in a couple of weeks to update all.
'
Thanks

Steve
02-20-2011, 01:18 PM
the jurisdiction license

What is that?

RANGER99
02-21-2011, 04:37 PM
Business license - city, State and County