View Full Version : Need Advice on Equipment
03-05-2009, 11:10 PM
Just starting out and will be purchasing equipment this month. I just have two clients now without advertising and will be advertising and marketing very hard in the next few weeks. Lots of demand for lawncare in my area and should get clients in spring. Lots of cottages etc.
When starting out, what equipment do you suggest?
Both these properties can be done with a walk behind mower, I would like to get a riding mower but may hold off till I get more clients.
I need a trailer, what is best size? I know I would grow out of an 8ft easy, I am thinking of a 10 - 12 foot trailer.
Is there any brands that I should stay away from?
Any suggestions in Ontario, Canada to purchase good used equipment? I check Craigslist and Kijiji daily, some equipment available there.
Any suggestions is great.
03-05-2009, 11:33 PM
It's important to get a mower that fits your business.
I've always found that a walkbehind mower is the best all around mower that will handle the widest range of jobs.
If you can afford it, go for a commercial mower and stay away from residential equipment. Residential just won't withstand the pressures of lawn business applications.
03-06-2009, 12:24 AM
Thanks Keith, I was thinking the same way, I would rather spend the extra dollars and get a new commercial and maybe a good used residential for back up or if I need a hand one day. If I need to aquire a riding mower for a new client I will get one.
My truck is paid for etc... I am trying to pick everything up without using credit etc, I should be able to grab good equipment and trailer to start. I hear to many guys going to big to fast, I will grow my equipment with the business.
All suggestions are great, thanks.
03-06-2009, 01:51 AM
Now is a good time to check craigslist or go to your local dealer and check out some used commercial equipment. The homeowner stuff just won't hold up and is just to slow. If you look hard enough there are deals out there. I just picked up a brand new 2008 Everide stander with a 23h Kawi and 52 inch deck for $4000.00. This mower normally retails well over $6000.00. I know $4000.00 is a lot of money for a young guy starting out. Last season I picked up a used Lesco
36inch walk behind with 500 hrs for $1000.00 from a local dealer. Excellent deal
considering you can't even touch a Sears tractor for that. Keep lookin.
03-06-2009, 04:11 AM
When you pick a brand or piece of equipment, IMHO it's critical you have a good dealer, stuff happens and you need to know they will have your back.
As for a trailer to start, a 6 X 12 is a good all around trailer, not too expensive and will get you going, I just finished buying a cargo trailer as I want to leave the equipment in it but that can get expensive starting out.
My chainsaws are Stihl as is the edger, blower and line trimmer, John Deere sells these locally (I have an amazing dealer) and Stihl has a super name in the business.
My brush saw is a John Deere as are all the mowers, I don't have much of a selection here in Halifax, I know in ZTR's there are probably better models however if I can't get it serviced locally, I don't purchase it.
03-06-2009, 08:00 AM
Yes, having a good dealer is vital. One day's worth of downtime can cost you a hundreds of dollars. Being loyal to a local dealer means he values your business enough to get you up and running ASAP if something goes wrong.
I think every piece of equipment has to be looked at from a cost/benefit view point. When I first started, I tried to save money by purchasing a cheap weedeater string trimmers. They only lasted a couple months before giving me trouble. After that, it was endless frustration. The cost of the extra minute or two at each yard trying to get them started is not worth the benefit of the lower price. After that first year I decided never to buy cheap trimmers again.
You may still have breakdowns but you are definately hedging you bet buying quality commercial equipment.
03-06-2009, 08:57 AM
Excellent feedback and truly appreciated. I have a small dealer in town and will visit this weekend. I believe in having a good dealer and you both take care of each other. Like you say, they can help you out incase of downtime and you build a great relationship.
I have that kind of relationship with a tackle store as I fish bass tournaments, if I break a rod or reel on a friday it is only a phone call away and usually one dropped off at my house and good to go for Saturday morning.
I am not going to buy one peice, over time he will get alot of my money purchasing numerous peices of equipment throughout the years.
03-06-2009, 10:48 AM
Do you recommend a walk behind mower better then a regular riding mower? I was always thinking of a riding mower but now thinking to go with a walk behind... Any thoughts?
I found this used one at a dealer within 45 mins of my house... any thoughts or should I go newer, asking price was $750... Toro 44".
03-06-2009, 11:18 AM
I recommend a walk behind over a rider for your first mower. For one, the are more durable. For two, you can get into tighter spaces, such as fences and between trees and what not.
I would probably not purchase the mower you have shown here. Mainly because it looks like it has been used a ton. Probably got close to 2000 hours on it or more. Don't get me wrong Toro is a great mower. I own one my self. But keep looking for one that is in a little bit better shape. Remember you want it to last you untill you can buy some new equipment.
03-06-2009, 04:40 PM
Thank you, I will keep looking for a bit. All info is appreciated.
03-06-2009, 04:53 PM
That mower does not seem like a bad deal. I do not know if you will be doing residential or not but I would recommend looking at getting a 36 inch walk behind, most gates are around this size so with like that 44" you would not be able to get into most gates. just my suggestion
03-07-2009, 09:20 AM
Good suggestion, I will be doing residential. Makes sense to me.
03-07-2009, 11:21 AM
I think a walkbehind will make you sore, weak, and tired. The best mower I have ever used was an exmark 52".. I own a toro 60".. but the toro and exmark 52's and 48's are extremyl versitile.. I can mow gullys out by the street where drains are.. I lterally can get the 52's everywhere.. they can fit thru standard gates if u remove the ultra vac.. Walk behind are horrible for bagging. If you want to be effiicient and have energy all day, get an exmark or toro Z. Mid mount.
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