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View Full Version : Too much equipment will sink you


Steve
10-09-2008, 07:47 PM
Here is an image to print out and tape to your monitor. Look at it whenever you are considering buying a piece of equipment you don't need.

Too much lawn care equipment will sink you.

http://www.gopherforum.com/uploaded-files/images/learn-to-swim.jpg

musician/lawnman
10-09-2008, 07:56 PM
I agree. I hated that first period of time when I was using junk equipment though. So I worked hard to grow it fast so I could upgrade.
But still, it's sound advice. Most start-ups don't make it for very long. So why get stuck with $20,000+ in gear just to realize this isn't for you?
Start small, Baby steps....

Steve
10-09-2008, 07:58 PM
Chuck,

Another post made me think of this. Tell me, what is your view on aerators? Do you own one or rent one or not perform this service at all.

At what point would you suggest a lawn care business owner purchase one?

Little's
10-09-2008, 11:51 PM
I never have even had a request for aerating. I think if I was going to do something like that, I would plan in advance and schedule a day where I could set up 20 or so jobs to do and rent one. I think that is the only way you can make it profitable.

justin_time
10-10-2008, 10:34 AM
Here is an image to print out and tape to your monitor. Look at it whenever you are considering buying a piece of equipment you don't need.

Too much lawn care equipment will sink you.

http://www.gopherforum.com/uploaded-files/images/learn-to-swim.jpg

First of all I don't feel like swimming, the water is getting very cold

Second of all this is all true, look at me now. I almost have myself set and it's only my 2nd year of business and I am just getting settled in with my payments and equipment.

musician/lawnman
10-10-2008, 11:04 PM
Steve,

I do not own an aerator, I think to the right clients it's a valuable service but to most down here they don't care. Our soil here is mostly sand with high acidity... the ground doesn't really "pack" like it does up north. The only people with nice lawns here spend an average $100/month on lawn cutting + $60/month on fertilizer & pest control services + the water bill for properly irrigating..... Most are not spending in the $200/month range on lawn care alone right now. I haven't pushed aerating & really haven't done much fertilizer either... alot of em don't care as long as the **** in the yard is green (lot of weeds instead of grass....) & cut to look pretty good.

VPS Lawn Care
10-11-2008, 09:48 AM
Well this was my first season and have done really well . When i was putting everything in place to get going i had to make a decision on what type of equipment to start with and how much i was going to spend. At this time i was doing handyman work and was wanting to switch to lawn care because housing took such a dive, and so did the work. So after all the research i did this is what i went with: A new resd. Toro zero turn 42" with a 21hp Kohler ( $2400.00) A new Echo trimmer ($199.00) A used Echo back pack blower ($100.00) A used echo edger ( $75.00) A new Anderson 8x10 trailer ($1050.00) Trimmer racks ($69.00) Racks welded on ($35.00) 2 5gal gas cans and 2 2.5gal can ($ 54.00) rakes and ext.. i had, truck i had, Insurance ($159.00) down $69.00 a month lic ( county & city $45.00 & $34.00

Now i Spent $4220.00 on getting equiped. Now I ran an add in the penny saver that cost me $97.89 for 8 runs (1 month) Web site (www.volusialawncare.com ) Built and hosted ($99.00) built it myself with some help from Gopher And some help with content from a gopher member (thank you again) Then i had 5000 door hangers printed ($173.50)

So to get started i have a total of ($4590.39) invested.

I got started the first of july, well really mid june with 3 of my handy man accts i cut with a push mower. Any way All this equipment has done very well, even cut 5 ac with the toro the grass was 2 ft tall held up great.
Well , I now have 58 accts, 6 annual accts made all my start up money back and have $3692 saved towards a new commercial mower that i should have enough for if as planed by mid July next year.
Hope this gives some insight to those thinking of starting up. And again thank you Steve for all your help, and Thank you Chuck for all your help when i was getting started, your insight was what got me going in the right direction.

Steve
10-11-2008, 07:33 PM
Sherman, you are very welcome.

Looking back now, if you could have done some things differently in your start up phase, what would they be?

musician/lawnman
10-13-2008, 10:47 PM
Sherman,

No problem at all brother! Glad the advice helped get you going & off on the right foot. Glad I could help. You need to give me a call before you buy that new mower.... I've found a machine I am really impressed with that you should check out.

VPS Lawn Care
10-13-2008, 11:47 PM
Sherman,

No problem at all brother! Glad the advice helped get you going & off on the right foot. Glad I could help. You need to give me a call before you buy that new mower.... I've found a machine I am really impressed with that you should check out.

Chuck I will, I have been looking at so many options, still have not figured out what would work, and handle the job best.
Look forward to your input, thanks.

VPS Lawn Care
10-14-2008, 12:11 AM
Sherman, you are very welcome.

Looking back now, if you could have done some things differently in your start up phase, what would they be?

Well Steve to tell the truth I cant think of anything i would have done diffrent. I spent alot of time doing looking into all aspects of running an LCO, and talked to all you guys on here. I set my start up budget from what i learned ( stayed under budget) put to paper a plan, followed it to the letter, adjusted it when needed, and took my time to learn the operations end first.
I started slow to learn what i could handle, and how fast i could handle growth.
As much as i wanted to just jump in with both feet in march, i waited based on info i gained on here, and i did not get going really till 1st week of july. i was doing 3 yards from march till July and did not try to take on more until I learned the operations side, and knew how to run an lco, from what i gathered on here, this is one of the biggest reason an lco fails in the first year.
So looking back I cant say i would change a thing. Thanks to this site for the information needed, not only how to get started but how to keep going!