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tricitylawnenforcement
11-06-2011, 06:46 PM
Hi all,

I am starting out next season (virginia) in a new business. Have decent equipment except for my mower. It is a 2 year old Craftsman yts 3000 (same person makes as makes Husqvarna AVP) cuts good and is in good order. I can get a practically new Cub Cadet ltx1046 for $1000 (14 hours). Looking at it from image point of view I am thibnking the Cub sittn on the trailer will look a little more legit/professional than the craftsman. Any pointers will help

Hedgemaster
11-06-2011, 10:07 PM
If you think that image is more important, just get a can of paint so nobody knows it's a Craftsman.

;)


Use what you have until you can afford to upgrade. I started this season with all residential grade equipment - mostly Craftsman - and I now have a Stihl trimmer, Echo Handheld blower and Backpack unit that I purchased (all new) as replacements/upgrades to the original gear.

nickeckes
11-07-2011, 01:35 AM
I started out with a old MURRY rider that i bought off a guy on craigslist, i used that for a year. . . looked like a POS but did the job. . .start out with what you have and upgrade when you can afford too. .

Steve
11-07-2011, 03:58 AM
Looking at it from image point of view I am thibnking the Cub sittn on the trailer will look a little more legit/professional than the craftsman.

This is a very interesting question.

Looking at it from a consumer's point of view, what do you think they would see and why? How would that effect their interaction with you?

tricitylawnenforcement
11-07-2011, 09:30 AM
Well as a customer i can hire any kid with a mower to do it. but if i am looking at signing a contract i want the firm to look professional. when I look out on the trailer i wanna see equipment that looks like it will last the whole season of doing my lawn(and others). and from a business owner just starting out i wanna have any advantage I can over the 'fly-by-night' firms. I am also a police officer and in my experience when u look like u can do the job correctly and efficently .... it helps (think of the fat cop eating the donuts... perception IS reality to most people)

thanks

Mike

wandfsmall
11-07-2011, 11:30 AM
I would save your money for when you can afford to get a mower that is commercial grade. The Cub that your looking at is not really any better then the mower you have.

Hedgemaster
11-07-2011, 05:18 PM
A solid 80% of my clients are not home when I mow. They have no idea what equipment I use. The only people I'm going to impress with "good stuff" is the other landscapers who see me while I'm on the road and I'm not trying to impress any of them.

;)

wandfsmall
11-07-2011, 06:51 PM
A solid 80% of my clients are not home when I mow. They have no idea what equipment I use. The only people I'm going to impress with "good stuff" is the other landscapers who see me while I'm on the road and I'm not trying to impress any of them.

;)

I can see how running around with a nice truck and a commercial grade ztr would help you gain some customers. However a cub vs a craftsman is not going to make enough difference to warrant the money your talking about. Save your cash if you want to look like a pro and buy a good ztr or walk mower.

jasonw
11-07-2011, 08:07 PM
Why is a police officer running around mowing lawns? I am sorry you all were thinking it, I just said it. Ok that being said F all that. I use ALL MTD stuff, mostly TB and my push mower is Bolens, they are all made by MTD. My truck is a 1996 Dodge, nice truck but by no means new, my trailer is a 10yo converted boat trailer. Its not about the size or color, its how you use it. My tractor is a 2009 TB and still runs and looks like new, just take care of your crap and it will last forever, if you go out trying to look "Legit" you will be out of business in 3 years for spending all your money on shinny new needless equipment. Steve, Can you please link the article you wrote about the rig I started with? I think that can help greatly here.

Hedgemaster
11-07-2011, 09:09 PM
Why is a police officer running around mowing lawns? I am sorry you all were thinking it, I just said it. Ok that being said F all that. I use ALL MTD stuff, mostly TB and my push mower is Bolens, they are all made by MTD. My truck is a 1996 Dodge, nice truck but by no means new, my trailer is a 10yo converted boat trailer. Its not about the size or color, its how you use it. My tractor is a 2009 TB and still runs and looks like new, just take care of your crap and it will last forever, if you go out trying to look "Legit" you will be out of business in 3 years for spending all your money on shinny new needless equipment. Steve, Can you please link the article you wrote about the rig I started with? I think that can help greatly here.


Top of my head? Because it pays better?

May not be the case here, but have you ever seen what police officers get paid? It's insulting.



"tricitylawnenforcement"... That's awesome. Is that your business name too?

tricitylawnenforcement
11-07-2011, 09:21 PM
Yes that is my business name. Tri-City Lawn Enforcement LLC. The slogan is "In Pursuit of Your Lawn's Order"

@jason....because I have have 7 years to retire. And I am tired of cop work but have too much invested in the retirement system. and sometimes I just wanna get the heck away from the 'job'

@hedge..... u are part right. We dont make a fortune but this is for extra since with the budgets the state has we get 0% OT.... we get comp time. so when i have to take this 'comp' time off I can go out and make some cash.

@all others.... thanks for the advice, I will just keep my yts for the first year and if all goes well I will put the money into a zero turn next season


Mike

Steve
11-08-2011, 12:48 PM
Well as a customer i can hire any kid with a mower to do it. but if i am looking at signing a contract i want the firm to look professional. when I look out on the trailer i wanna see equipment that looks like it will last the whole season of doing my lawn(and others). and from a business owner just starting out i wanna have any advantage I can over the 'fly-by-night' firms. I am also a police officer and in my experience when u look like u can do the job correctly and efficently .... it helps (think of the fat cop eating the donuts... perception IS reality to most people)

Mike I agree with you that image is everything. However can the average home owner tell the difference between a consumer 21" mower and a commercial one?

For instance look at these two photos, would a home owner think one was better than the other?

http://www.mowerwizard.com/images/yardman-12avd39q701-self-propelled-21-mower-with-honda-engine-21565463.jpghttp://www.krigger.com/estore/images/catalog/HOV.SP21K.JPG

My view is no they wouldn't. The one on the right is a commercial unit, but how would they know?

Instead of spending money on the mowers, would it make a bigger impression to make sure you have some nice customized shirts, pants, and hat to create your own uniform?

Or make sure your truck and trailer look nice and clean and have signs on them?

wandfsmall
11-09-2011, 08:47 PM
Well I agree with you to a point but your customers can tell the diffrence between these two mowers.

http://www.lawn-mowers-review.com/images/craftsman-175-hp-42-in-deck-lawn-tractor-model-28803-21248380.jpg http://www.hustlerturf.com/images/AD_Materials_2011/Photos/SuperZ/SZ_thumbs/SZ_front_thumb.jpg


The problem is what can you afford starting out. It will likely take you a few years before you start doing well at any new business, debt will kill you.

Steve
11-10-2011, 02:40 PM
That is a good point, so maybe using lawn tractors should be avoided? I do wonder though what kind of thoughts a home owner would have on that.

Since there are commercial grade garden tractors such as this one:
http://landscaping.rfmorse.com/product_images/l/964/gr2010__02537_std.jpg

Is it possible that to home owners, the look of a ztr looks more professional than anything else?

SuperiorPower
11-10-2011, 02:52 PM
May not be the case here, but have you ever seen what police officers get paid? It's insulting.

I can attest to that. There is a reason I have a side business.

wandfsmall
11-10-2011, 09:02 PM
That is a good point, so maybe using lawn tractors should be avoided? I do wonder though what kind of thoughts a home owner would have on that.

Since there are commercial grade garden tractors such as this one:
http://landscaping.rfmorse.com/product_images/l/964/gr2010__02537_std.jpg

Is it possible that to home owners, the look of a ztr looks more professional than anything else?


I would not say using lawn tractors should be avoided but I do think that ztr mowers look more professional due to the time savings. I can also say from experience that most people can not tell what mower your using. A good percentage of customers that walk in my store for parts have no clue what brand of mower they even own.

Liberty Landscaping LLC
11-11-2011, 12:07 AM
I am also in Law Enforcement. Lawn Enforcement someone I work with was going to start a company with that name not he tri city part just shows great minds think alike. I started my business so my better half didnt have to work after the baby was born. She went back to work anyway "for the break" LOL. I think you are better off with commercial equipment I would go used just do your homework. For a few reasons its half the price of new normally. A few other reasons are image spray paint goes a long way to making it look new, they are built better to handle the commercial abuse, and time the ztr's save so much time its not even funny. I have customers that hear me pull up and see me close the door ten minutes later saying I will have the truck ready when your done. I say I am done they look around and say wow thats fast but they like it because of the look and they don't wanna waste the time it takes them with their equipment. All of my stuff was used and I have learned lessons here and their but its life lessons. I am young and can reqope from them and I will be 51 when I can retire so now this business keeps me busy and I don't have a boss over my shoulder at my second job. By the time I retire I want to be able to cover call-offs or just jump in a truck and help out....well that's my goal. Element that's going in my motivational thread LOL. Moral of the story I think commercial equipment is a good way to go look at replacing the warn out home owner equipment as is breaks save the money for the rainy/ SNOWY days....and towards newer commcial gear. Good Luck!

tricitylawnenforcement
02-12-2012, 06:31 PM
Well thanks to all the reply's to my thread. We had some unexpected PAID overtime here thanks to Mr. Steven Spielberg filming his lincoln movie. I worked my butt off and cleared about 2800 overtime $$ in 2 months. I followed everyones advice and went used. Got a Lesco 48" belt drive WB for $800 from a guy that has moved up to all 0-turns, 12' trailer with a 3 x 3 split rear gate for $900 a BRAND NEW in the box Snapper 22" 3-n-1 push mower for $200 and a new Echo PAS 215 trimmer for lil less than $300. Picked up the edger attachment used for $40. That left me with enough for most of my X-mas. This gives me my craftsman rider, Stihl trimmer, my toro push and my poulan pro blower as back-ups. Only thing left is a new blower which i may or may not buy until i need it. Trailer got a new coat of black farm/implament paint and new PM to everything. Got a few customers lined up and advertising for more! Thanks to all the help. I will keep ya updated.

Mike

willshome
02-12-2012, 07:21 PM
just having the 48" wb on the trailer will make you feel like a pro. You may want to use the rider on the very hot days. and the fresh coat of paint is all ways good

dpld
02-12-2012, 07:26 PM
Why is a police officer running around mowing lawns? I am sorry you all were thinking it, I just said it. Ok that being said F all that. I use ALL MTD stuff, mostly TB and my push mower is Bolens, they are all made by MTD. My truck is a 1996 Dodge, nice truck but by no means new, my trailer is a 10yo converted boat trailer. Its not about the size or color, its how you use it. My tractor is a 2009 TB and still runs and looks like new, just take care of your crap and it will last forever, if you go out trying to look "Legit" you will be out of business in 3 years for spending all your money on shinny new needless equipment. Steve, Can you please link the article you wrote about the rig I started with? I think that can help greatly here.

i know plenty of cops who have side businesses because their hours with the cop job gives them the time to do so.

you got to make it while you can in life, you only get one go around.

if you get a job as a cop at a early age and put your 25 years in you can be retired from that when you are 45 to 50 years old and go full time with the business after doing it part time for all those years.

it's pretty amazeing in that the cops i know who have side businesses are making and saving money hand over fist and by the time they are in their mid 40's they are set and the cops who just go do their job and go home and then retire live pretty good lives but nowhere close then the dudes who work double time.

Steve
02-13-2012, 03:12 PM
We had some unexpected PAID overtime here thanks to Mr. Steven Spielberg filming his lincoln movie. I worked my butt off and cleared about 2800 overtime $$ in 2 months.

That must have been exciting! Any interesting stories from being involved with that?

tricitylawnenforcement
02-13-2012, 04:48 PM
My thinking too on that. I have 6 years to go and will be 51. Starting this now so maybe i can be established by then. And yes the movie was great. Got to see Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Spielberg and Wife, David Spader(the Office), and Others. The production and work is 1st Class and the impact on the economy was in the millions. Lots of locals put to work, tradesmen, cops, firefighters, Landscape techs and more. They feed us well when they were here also.

Mike

Steve
02-14-2012, 04:16 PM
Too bad you didn't get one of those stars on video to endorse your lawn care company :) That would have been great!

BigBoyYardCare
06-05-2012, 08:25 PM
I to am a full time Police Officer in Canada. We do get well paid and compinsated here however I needed some extra income when the kids came along so started a part time Renovation business four years ago and I have not been without a job since. I am starting a Lawn Care business for my 65 year old father and 60 year old father in law who are both retired but are bored silly. I was looking at going commercial, however we are just trying to keep the old guys busy and out of their wives hair, but make some extra cash. So we went mostly new Craftsman that were all on a great sale. We start up in a month. Wish them luck.

Steve
06-06-2012, 11:39 AM
Wish them luck.

I am sure they will do fine! Keep us posted on how it all goes and grows :)