View Full Version : Few questions for you guys ( Hello im new by the way )
05-06-2009, 01:59 PM
Hey guys I am looking into getting in the business and currently have a Craftsman lawn mower http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07137683000P?vName=Lawn+%26+Garden&cName=Walk-Behind+Lawn+Mowers&sName=Self-Propelled+Lawn+Mowers which I just purchased maybe last month ( had no intentions in starting a company then ) and a weed eater http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_07179117000P?vName=Lawn+%26+Garden&cName=Handheld+Power+Tools&sName=Line+Trimmers which is craftsman as well. I know I can get by with this for now but I do have some money and would like to know what can I get to upgrade my equipment? I have read some good reviews on the husqvarna leaf blowers (150-170) but what I really need help on is 1.) Do I get a gas edger? If so what kind do you guys use? Or is it best to get a edger attachment for my weed eater? 2.) Will my weed eater do the job & also which do you guys use / prefer? 3.) Is there a commercial grade weed eater which has detachable ends and can use hedge trimmer and a edger if so which do you guys know of. I thank you guys for any help given in advance and also would like to let you guys/gals? know that I can help anyone in need of designs, graphics, logos at no charge. I would like to contribute to the gopherhaul community as much as I can as it has done for me, thanks.
05-06-2009, 02:18 PM
Welcome to our forum!
First off, check out the outdoor power equipment review (http://www.gopherforum.com/index.php?pageid=Lawn-Care-Business-Product-Reviews) page here.
I think I would just experiment with the equipment I had now. As the equipment died I would replace it with commercial grade equipment.
There are a bunch of members who I am sure can jump in and offer their opinion on the different types of equipment they like.
What kinds of things are you doing to promote your business now?
05-08-2009, 03:00 PM
I will be starting up a website here in the next couple of days, also seeing how everyone uses myspace/twitter I think I will go ahead and open an account in each of those sites to promote my business. Currently I live in S.A. and I have a brother in law who does routes all over San Antonio and was thinking about asking him to put a magnet on his truck which im sure he wouldn't mind doing. I will also be looking into getting my truck wrapped but that probably wont be till a few months in.
Steve I had a question for you, is there a page on this site like the one you linked me to but that has the most used edgers..or other equipment?I saw the one on youtube where it had trimmers,mowers,and leaf blowers but I am looking into whether getting a edger attachment or a gas edger..anyone mind helping a bit?thank you.
05-08-2009, 11:12 PM
Craftsman is amazing, but only for snow blowers in my opinion.
I would have recommended purchasing a mower with rear wheel drive, but it's still a personal choice.
If your looking for commercial grade equipment, look for a STHIL dealership, & take a browse through their website.
There you can find your dream trimmer with several attachments!
I purchased my trimmer for $500.00 give or take, & I love it!
I also recommend purchasing a blower from Sthil, they aren't too expensive. You can even buy the easy2start one, just don't buy the easy2start trimmer, it's junk.
As for a mower, your craftsman will probably cause a few problems, depending on your clientele, wear & tear. You could probably purchase 5 of those mowers for a price of a commercial grade toro mower, & the toro will always come out first.
I used a craftsman mower like that a few times & it seemed to always create a smog cloud when used for more then 10 minutes, or angled slightly.
I believe you should start off with what you have, & only upgrade when it's the right time. You will know when that time is. GOOD LUCK!:D
05-09-2009, 04:03 AM
Currently I live in S.A. and I have a brother in law who does routes all over San Antonio
Does he do lawn care too?
Steve I had a question for you, is there a page on this site like the one you linked me to but that has the most used edgers..or other equipment?
Try this part of the forum.
Used string trimmers (http://www.gopherforum.com/index.php?pageid=lawn-care-business-product-results&CategoryID=5&CategoryName=String%20Trimmer&Submit=True).
05-09-2009, 10:44 AM
I am not a big Craftsman fan, seeing as I work on a lot of equipment, but this model seems to be decent for a homeowner model. I like the Honda engine, which, yes is only consumer grade, but it is near the top of the consumer grade. I don't think the Honda engine version has been out for long. I kinda like the front wheel drive in that you can take pressure off the front wheels if it "gets away from you".
Now regarding the trimmer, it is a very consumer grade unit. But both the trimmer and the mower ought to last you through at least one or two years depending on the amount of use they see and just as importantly, how it is maintained (including the level of abuse it gets).
Now, regarding equipment upgrades. From my perspective as a mechanic, Husqvarna is "ok" for a chain saw, but I am not a big fan of their other hand helds. Stihl is not much better (sorry guys, I say it as I see it). Some of Stihl's blowers are good, but others are not worth carrying home. But then I suppose most brands have one or two products that are not worth carrying home. If you choose to go with Stihl, be sure that you get their commercial version as they have many "consumer" versions mixed in with the commercial units.
My personal choice, for many reasons, is Shindaiwa. Redmax and Echo are viable options and close 2nd and 3rd choices, just not necessarily in that order of preference (Shindaiwa and Echo recently signed an agreement to work with each other and are very similar in quality). I would recommend doing some homework before buying any equipment (no impulse buying). Websites are a good place to do homework, but then for a final decision go look at the product in person if you can and see how it "feels".
All major brands now have the split boom model hand helds that allow you to transition from trimmer to edger to pole pruner to tiller to what ever. There tends to be some weakness in this type of equipment due to the mere design. Has more parts to wear out, etc.
An important matter to consider when buying equipment is whether service is easy to obtain or not and do you trust the servicer. This includes mowers, trimmers, blowers, whatever. Sure, you can get your Craftsman serviced at their shop. But can you get it done today if it needs something simple? Very likely not. When you go to upgrade, DO NOT buy from a box store (Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, or what ever). They do not service the equipment themselves most of the time and if they do, they want to sell you new equipment more than they want to service your equipment.
Buy your equipment from a servicing dealer. Almost invariably the equipment you can buy at box stores are of a much lessor quality than you could buy from a servicing dealer. Example, you can buy John Deere from Home Depot but it is not the same quality that you would buy from a servicing John Deere dealer. After all, there is a reason why they can sell it cheaper than the John Deere dealer. Many times they cut the cost by using a cheaper grade motor, blades, deck, transmission, etc.
When it comes to getting your equipment serviced or repaired, most times servicing dealers will put commercial users (someone who makes money with their mower, blower, trimmer, etc) ahead of their consumer customers, if you bought the equipment from them that is. Many Servicing dealers will not even service or repair box store products because they are, uh, well, uh, junk.
The box store has ZERO commitment to you as a customer even after you have spent your money there (I can prove this to anyone who disputes this). The servicing dealer has total commitment to you if you purchased your equipment from them. The box store is only interested in you when you are buying equipment from them. A servicing dealer knows that if they treat you right and sell you the machine you need (not necessarily the one they want to sell or that makes them the most money) you will probably be back to have it serviced or repaired when it breaks. A good servicing dealer does not build his reputation selling equipment that is of poor quality. I could go on and on and on and on about the benefits of buy from a servicing dealer but I think you get the idea.
If you have any questions post it here or feel free to send me a PM about it.
05-09-2009, 11:37 AM
"From my perspective as a mechanic". Eli
Once again Eli you are worth your salt in Gold.
Steve maybe we can designate Eli as our "Gopher Technician Advisor”
Time to hand out Titles in your Company. LOL :D
I have had my Echo Trimmer and Edger for over 3 years and with proper service they have held up very nice. For the price, not bad at all. I also have a Stihl multi-use all in one - trimmer, pole saw, hedger. I use it as a back up and sparingly. Works great, but costly. Like Eli stated, many small parts to replace if used for everyday. My mowers are Dixie Chopper and Walker. I love them both. Do your homework and stay with in your budget. Only spend what you can afford when you are just starting out. Like everyone else’s said upgrade when you replace or can afford it.
Just my two cents.
05-09-2009, 05:08 PM
Personally not a Craftsman fan, I was many years ago when they sold quality equipment, I stopped following their products years ago.
For Mowers (have 2 JS35's with Gator blades), Tractor Mowers (have two X500's with Gator blades) and ZTR's I only buy John Deere (One 997 with gator blades), I also have 5 of their tractors with loaders and backhoe's and every attachment John Deere sells, never had an issue with any of their equipment or products yet. The 997 ZTR, at full throttle with the 6 foot deck going it is quieter than my buddy's Gravely and the quality of cut is every bit as good, I spoke to him this morning and he is going to make a trade.
For trimmers, chain saws and back pack blowers I only run Stihl. I have been running chainsaws for over 30 years, I live in the heart of forrestry which is our number one resource, both Hard and Softwood, Husky, Stihl and Jonsered are the only saws considered a saw around here. I have both the Jonsered and Stihl's, never had an issue yet and we cut a lot of wood, both hard and soft.
Sprayers would be Brinly or Fimco for pull units, I am really taken with the Gilmour sprayers, we have a number of the backpack units and the smaller spot sprayers, no issues with any of it.
Good luck, it can have it's moments but it is a lot of fun.
05-10-2009, 04:00 AM
Hi Guy, and welcome to the forum!
I thought I'd chime in with a quick summary of what's worked for me, what hasn't and why.
1. Trimmers: Used to use Shindaiwa, had questionable luck with the new c4, then bought T272x and they are great but pretty heavy. did some forum research, found the "common denominator winner" to be the Stihl FS90R so I just bought one and so FAR, I love it. (it is a .. 4 cycle type) It has all the power of the old shindaiwa T260s and less weight. AND ... you can quickly remove the head and put other attachments on. It's not QUITE a split shaft, but to be able to swap out heads on a $300 weedwacker is quite a benefit.
2. Blowers: For backpack, I use the Echo PB755 - heard SOME good things about Stihl's new backpack blower, but also have uncovered enough negatives to avoid it for now. The Echo is quite powerful, enough to pull pine needles and helicopters out of tall grass effortlessly. For hand helds, we use Echos and have been happy with them. Well balanced.
3. Hedge trimmers: We've only used one for the last ten years, the echo HC1500 - they're cheap, last 3-4 years or more, and seem to do a fine job.
4. We also use Echo split boom: we use them for sweeping sand, edging, long handled hedge trimming and pole pruning. They're pretty good, but frankly I'm not thrilled with the quality. The grommets and shafts usually begin to slip out after a few weeks use **** as with most Echo, they're just a little lighter duty, but all in all, I would recommend them. I may switch to Stihl's version next year IF my FS90R proves to be as awesome as my first impression.
5. Mowers: I like Toro Z and toro commercial walk behinds. I have 2 older style walk behinds, new engines, new trannies, - had them and used them since 2001 and 2002. Belt drive. Same with our Zs. We have one of the older SFS deck (which we feel is superior, as usual, to the newer decks with the baffle)
That's it! We've had NO major complaints or surprises with this lineup - only great uninterupted service punctuated by mild annoyances from time to time
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