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Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

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Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
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  #1  
Old 03-06-2011, 06:54 PM
Ron H. Ron H. is offline
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My name is Ron and I own R & S Small Engine Service (www.randssmallengine.com), in Broken Arrow, OK. I've been involved in small engine service (lawmmowers, trimmers, edgers, blowers ... etc.) for over 40 years and I'm adding some light residential mowing to increase my business footprint. Eventually, my goal is to run the repair side of my business while a partner runs the lawn care side.
In my spare time, I completely value every minute that I spend with my grandchildren (and they are "grand" too), as well as fly fishing and motorcycling. I currently have two grandsons, ages 5 & 2, and am expecting my first granddaughter in May.
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2011, 08:22 PM
Gls Gls is offline
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Good luck to you. I am new as well and am attempting to start a landscape company. Just curious, what mowers would you recommend? Being in the repair business I figured you are the person to ask. I've herd Honda as a self propelled and I want a 36" toro walkbehind. What are you thoughts and are there any good, decently priced alternative?
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:29 PM
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Welcome to our forum!

you got a great website there! I noticed you have a mobile operation, what is your view on why you decided to implement that and how do you feel it helps?
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:31 AM
Ron H. Ron H. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gls View Post
Good luck to you. I am new as well and am attempting to start a landscape company. Just curious, what mowers would you recommend? Being in the repair business I figured you are the person to ask. I've herd Honda as a self propelled and I want a 36" toro walkbehind. What are you thoughts and are there any good, decently priced alternative?
My experience tells me that you are definitely on the right path with those choices. I'm a big advocate of Honda's s/p mowers, having a couple myself, as well as the John Deere commercial series with the Kawasaki engine, which I also have a couple of. The 36" Toro Walk Behind is a great mower and one that you should get several seasons of service out of, especially if you set them up on a regular service plan. Just remember that oil is a lot cheaper then a new engine, and be sure to keep the machines as clean as is feasibly possible. You'd be amazed at the number of engines I replace each year because the cooling fins were clogged with dirt and dust.
Best of luck in your new endeavour.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:53 AM
Ron H. Ron H. is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Welcome to our forum!

you got a great website there! I noticed you have a mobile operation, what is your view on why you decided to implement that and how do you feel it helps?
Steve, I wish I had implemented the mobile service 10 years sooner; the reaction to it has been amazing.
I always had free pick-up and delivery, since most of my customers are elderly and have acreage, but don't have the ability to get their equipment to a repair shop. When the gas prices began to climb several years ago, I knew that I needed to either go way up on my prices, to cover the cost of return trips, or do something that would allow me to just make one trip to the customer. This is when the idea for the "mobile shop" was born.
I bought the trailer and outfitted it as you see on my website. I have since added an ATV jack to the trailer, which works great on all of the riders that I encounter. And this is how I implemented my mobile repair service.
A new program that we began this season is to partner with Homeowners Associations and visit their addition for the convenience of their members to bring their equipment to one site, within walking distance of their home. If some of those are elderly and unable to push their mower to where we set up, I'll go to their home after I finish servicing the others equipment.
Most people expect this sort of personalized service to cost much more than they are used to paying at a repair shop, but they are quite surprised to learn that I'm usually 1/3 the cost of most repair facilities. Just to give an example of the cost of service for a typical riding mower, I give it a tune-up, change oil, clean or replace the air filter, clean & adjust the carburetor, grease all zerks and pressure wash the mower for $64.95. If the engine is a twin cylinder model there is an additional charge of $5.00, and an additional charge of $9.95 for the oil filter. Under those conditions, the worst case scenario is $79.90, and the customers don't have to take their equipment to a shop, or wait several weeks for it to be returned. It's a win-win for everyone.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:24 AM
wandfsmall wandfsmall is offline
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Nice to see another mechanic on here, I have a repair shop and had thought of the mobile service trailer but how do you setup the pressure washing with the mobile trailer? Also do you have many times you have to run for parts or how do you stock the trailer.. I am not trying to offend just wondering as I have thought about dropping back to 1 location and running a mobile station to keep up with the service from the smaller store, as the taxes at the location of the smaller store are double what we have at the main location with 4 times the space.

Also have you tried the mojack for the service trailer I can not stand it here but I would think it would work nice for your application.
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:59 PM
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I bought the trailer and outfitted it as you see on my website. I have since added an ATV jack to the trailer, which works great on all of the riders that I encounter. And this is how I implemented my mobile repair service.
Could you show us some pictures of the way you have your trailer set up? This sounds really cool!
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:19 AM
Ron H. Ron H. is offline
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Could you show us some pictures of the way you have your trailer set up? This sounds really cool!
Steve, I've tried to upload a picture of the inside of my trailer, but I keep getting an error message that says the Gopher Forum database has encountered a problem. I'll try to upload the picture later. In the meantime, anyone who is interested in seeing the layout of my trailer can go to my website, www.randssmallengine.com, click on the "Services" button and scroll to the bottom of the page for a picture of the inside.
At the front of the trailer is a small workbench with a vise, saw chain sharpener and parts bins (spark plugs, carb kits ...etc.) mounted on top. Under the workbench is storage for oil filters, battery charger, oil drain pan, tubes of grease ... etc. I've secured several milk crates under the bench to hold the previous mentioned items, plus some. On the left wall, viewed from the rear, is a mounted roll-around tool box, with wire wheel and grinder mounted on top, and the blue plastic drum is a water holding tank that feeds my pressure washer. I mounted a small pump on top of the tank to feed water to the washer. Next is the 1800 cfm pressure washer. Since this picture was made, I've built a holding rack that secures an ATV jack along the left wall by the rear door.
On the right side, next to the entry door, is my mounted air compressor, with air hoses and extension cords mounted to holders on the wall. Behind the compressor is another milk crate that holds quarts of oil, then two racks for fuel cans, one with straight gas and the other with mixed fuel. Then there is another milk crate with two small jacks and blocks of wood. Finally, closest to the rear door is a 6 gallon container for waste oil.
Sitting crossways between the two sides is my 6500 John Deere generator. This is anchored, with a strap, to anchors on the floor to prevent it from rolling around when in transit. When I get to my job site, I just remove the strap and roll the generator outside.
I wired two four-gang electrical outlets, one on each side of the workbench, and wired them to an exterior outlet that's mounted on the outside of the trailer. I made a short heavy gauge cord, with male plugs on each end, which connects my generator to the trailer through the exterior outlet. With this system, when I start the generator it powers the entire trailer and allows me to run any accessory that I want to run from the outlets on the bench.
Sorry to be so long winded.

Last edited by Ron H.; 03-08-2011 at 07:31 AM.
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  #9  
Old 03-08-2011, 07:48 AM
Ron H. Ron H. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wandfsmall View Post
Nice to see another mechanic on here, I have a repair shop and had thought of the mobile service trailer but how do you setup the pressure washing with the mobile trailer? Also do you have many times you have to run for parts or how do you stock the trailer.. I am not trying to offend just wondering as I have thought about dropping back to 1 location and running a mobile station to keep up with the service from the smaller store, as the taxes at the location of the smaller store are double what we have at the main location with 4 times the space.

Also have you tried the mojack for the service trailer I can not stand it here but I would think it would work nice for your application.
To me, the trailer is totally invaluable and something that I wish I had done many years earlier. Overhead is essentially non-existent and my customers are equally excited about it.
To run my pressure washer, I took a plastic 55 gal. drum and made a siphon tube out of PVC, with holes drilled along the side of the tube toward the bottom. I drilled a hole through the small bung of the drum and ran my tube to the bottom of the tank. The tube is cut at an angle on the bottom to aid in picking up the water. I bought a small 110 v swimming pool pump from Lowes (about $20.00) and attached it to the siphon tube on the suction end, with a short piece of RV hose running to the pressure washer intake. A small piece of 1 x 4 board on top of the drum secures all of the pump assembly. When I'm ready to pressure wash equipment, I plug both the pump and pressure washer into the outlets on the workbench and get to work. I have had this set-up for the past 5 years and it has always worked flawlessly. There are probably better ways to set this up, but I haven't found them yet.
I'm not familiar with the mojack, but I'll look into it. I just happened to have the ATV/Motorcycle lift sitting around and found that it works great for lifting riders and only uses a small footprint in the trailer.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:21 AM
Ron H. Ron H. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Could you show us some pictures of the way you have your trailer set up? This sounds really cool!
Steve, I think the picture linked to this response. I'll post and see.
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