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harmon10123
06-12-2009, 08:34 AM
Hello guys,

First let me introduce myself. My name is Matt Harmon, I'm 22 years young, and currently attending Marshall University. I've worked for a local lawn care business since I was 15 years old, I first started as just weekend/summer help and when I graduated high school I was promoted to field manager. I worked there till I was 20 years old and then started college. After sitting down with my old boss/friend and talking about the "bizz" and how much potential there truely is in this area i got to thinking that i might start my own busness.

I currently have almost all the equipment I need to get started, stihl fs120, stihl backpack blower, toro 21" push mower, 2008 ford 150, 8ft trailer...the only thing that im lacking is either a walk-behind or a riding mower. I've got about 3000 dollars saved up and I'm going to jump in next season.

So, I guess, what i'm seeking is the advice of some of you as to which type of mower I should purchase. I've ran both types and I personally think both have pros and cons. Where I live alot of the locals use riding mowers because (this is what i've heard) they give you a more precise cut because they don't move as fast...but when you're not getting paid by the hour time isn't something to be wasted lol. I was debating on a husqvarna 42" v-twin tractor or a Lesco 36" walkbehind.

So if anyone would like to shed some light and share some wisdom, please feel free. Thanks in advance.

StartALawnCareBusiness
06-12-2009, 10:41 AM
Hello:

Welcome to the forum.

The Walkbehind vs. Z is a popular subject on this board.

I believe a walkbehind is a must have as a first mower for most lawn care businesses. Walkbehinds offer great capabilities in the types of lawns they will mow. If all your lawns are wide open areas, then yes, stick with a Z. However, if even only a small percentage of your lawns have slopes, tight spaces, or technical areas, a walkbehind will offer the maneuverability to handle these areas.

Walkbehinds also give a "feel" for the work you are doing. You can sense bumps and dramatic undulations allowing you to stop or lift the deck before scalping the turf.

Keith

Steve
06-12-2009, 12:54 PM
Hi Matt,

Welcome to our forum! What kind of mowers did you use at your job? Which did you like?

Also why are you waiting to start your lawn care business when you can get started today?

jasonw
06-12-2009, 01:21 PM
Steve that was my first thought, why wait until next year. Get a walk behind and get r done. Get your name out there this year and next year you will be turning away work.

turfmaster
06-12-2009, 04:06 PM
Forget that Husqvarna tractor. That is throwing money away unless your getting it for free. Get a walk behind to start out with for sure. I have got a lesco and it is a great machine. You can alway's add a sulky for larger open lawns till you can aford a ZTR or Stander. Good Luck ! :D

harmon10123
06-12-2009, 11:35 PM
First off, thanks for welcoming me to the site!

Second, at my last job I used a 48" exmark turf tracer, great mower! I used a Z and didnt' really like it (most ppl do, i just didn't get that much time on it to get a feel for it).

I'm looking at getting the husqvarna tracter b/c the price is good and for what I'm trying to cut would be okay. I've got about $6,000 that I'll get between now and next season, the first 3k in august and the other 3k in march (gotta love student loans :P). That has to get me a hitch for my truck, new trailor (maybe), MOWER, and I would like to have some left over for bizcards, invoice templates, shirts, etc.

Do you guys think I'm heading in the right direction? I want to set myself apart from other local lawn guys by having a professional appearance along with offering extras with a basic mowing. For example, the guy that i worked for a basic mowing was that....basic mow, trim, blow and go. I want to be able to charge say 5 or 10 dollars more and take the time to weed out mulch beds and spray driveways and what not. So a yard that he would charge $30 for i could charge $35 or $40 and really now wasting much more time than he is...ya know?? Not only that, but i've found a local embroidery (spelling??) shop around that can make shirts with my logo sown in.

Just some ideas :D

harmon10123
06-12-2009, 11:51 PM
Oh and im waiting for next season because, well....I work full-time a the local Home-depot and I need the health insurance...so I'm kinda stuck. They don't offer insurance to part timers or I would get started tomorrow. Next year I'll be able to go back on my dads insurance where I'm in school...i only took 9hrs last semester so they dropped me b/c i wasn't considered a "full-time" student....bastards lol.

harmon10123
06-15-2009, 11:53 PM
Just an update, I'm currently looking into a 2009 husqvarna whf4817. It has the same Kawasaki engine as the exmark 48" the only difference is that the husqvarna is cheaper and it has a fixed deck.

Was wondering if anyone used or has used Husqvarna walkbehinds and what they thought about them. Lemme know.

Steve
06-16-2009, 12:06 AM
For example, the guy that i worked for a basic mowing was that....basic mow, trim, blow and go. I want to be able to charge say 5 or 10 dollars more and take the time to weed out mulch beds and spray driveways and what not. So a yard that he would charge $30 for i could charge $35 or $40 and really now wasting much more time than he is...ya know??

I think that is a great way to make your business stand out. It will be interesting to see how it works out.

mark123
06-16-2009, 04:20 AM
I have a walk-behind and a 21" self-propelled. No Z. I get calls from other lawn care companies that only have Zs and don't want to get off of them for any reason. :)

The biggest plus side I see to owning a walk-behind is that I lost 20 pounds since April! ;) Of course my pants don't fit anymore so I better never forget to wear a belt or the old ladies are gonna get a show. :eek:

StartALawnCareBusiness
06-16-2009, 10:20 AM
Oh and im waiting for next season because, well....I work full-time a the local Home-depot and I need the health insurance...so I'm kinda stuck. They don't offer insurance to part timers or I would get started tomorrow. Next year I'll be able to go back on my dads insurance where I'm in school...i only took 9hrs last semester so they dropped me b/c i wasn't considered a "full-time" student....bastards lol.


Pick up two or three lawn customers this season to get your feet wet while you are still working full-time. The experience you gain with a couple customers this year will be invaluable next year when you finally go full-time.

Since you're not ready to purchase your walkbehind this year, seek customers with small yards you can do with your 21" mower. If you work hard between now and the end of season you can probably save all the money you need to purchase any mower you want come next season.

Oh, also, think seriously before using a student loan other than for its intended purpose. When I was in college I knew a number of people who "redirected" their student loans. No matter how noble their intentions it always seemed to come back to bite them in the butt. You can start your business without the need for creative financing. :)

Good luck:

Keith

CHEESE2009
06-16-2009, 03:41 PM
The biggest plus side I see to owning a walk-behind is that I lost 20 pounds since April! ;) Of course my pants don't fit anymore so I better never forget to wear a belt or the old ladies are gonna get a show. :eek:

You should be like me, after work I drink a ton of soda & eat a bunch of junk, then go out for beers. Keeps the pants on! :p

Nah, the best part of mowing is looking at what you gain from it...

You get a perfect tan
You lose weight
You make money doing what you love, being your own boss!
It's also great with woman, "Yeah, I own a business :cool:"

I want a stand on mower, I'm looking into a used one a friend is selling for $3000.00 toro.

harmon10123
06-16-2009, 04:07 PM
Oh, also, think seriously before using a student loan other than for its intended purpose. When I was in college I knew a number of people who "redirected" their student loans. No matter how noble their intentions it always seemed to come back to bite them in the butt. You can start your business without the need for creative financing.



Lol...i take out extra each semester to help with bills and what not. 1 semester at Marshall is $2400 (give or take) and I take out $5500.00 to help with books and "other" expenses. Thats how I paid my truck off :P. Marshall gets 2400 of it right off the top and whats left over goes into my bank account.