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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

Gearing up


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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  #1  
Old 11-30-2011, 09:07 AM
barefoot352 barefoot352 is offline
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Default Gearing up

Hi everyone,

New to this site and getting ready to start setting up my business for the spring. I am pretty well set on my business plan/setup and equipment except for one thing, a mower.

I am buying everything new (edger, trimmer, blower, etc.) and plan to buy a new mower as well. My business will focus on quality over quantity and here in Florida there is plenty of work. The better lawn companies run the cheap labor out pretty quick. I will be maintaining approximately 20 yards in the 8-10k ft2 range at the beginning and plan to grow it to 40-50 accounts this year.

I can't afford a new commercial mower at this time and pretty much refuse to go into debt to get this little dream started.

My initial plan was to but a JD Z425 to get started and as I grow a bit move up to a bigger commercial rig. I know its a ressidential ZTR but my budget calls for $4000 mower and not much else. I also don't want to buy something used as I don't want to inherit someone else's problems/sloppy seconds.

I figure I can run the JD for a year or two, sell it and upgrade when the time is right and I have more money in the bank.

SO question is...how does the Z425 fare and am I making a decent decision going with this brand/model/type of mower?

All opinions welcome and thank you for your time!

Barefoot
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2011, 12:13 PM
kymd82 kymd82 is offline
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Welcome aboard. I am new to this site as well. To answer your question, I think that the z425 would be a great machine to start your business with. At the old company that I worked for, we used nothing but JD and had very few problems. I don't think you can go wrong with a Deere.

I have a 48 walk-behind ex-mark that works great for residential yards. An advantage to having a 48 instead of a 72 is that I can actually fit into some(but not all) backyard fences. Like you, I am just starting my own business, and until I can afford to buy a commercial 60 or 72, the 48 works wonderfully. I have received many compliments on the "stripes" and the cut. Many people that I know only use a big commercial mower for business/commercial jobs. In some residential yards, there's a definite advantage to having a smaller deck. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:13 PM
CHEESE2009 CHEESE2009 is offline
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John Deere is great and all, but I would only consider their brand for snow tractors, or their non Zero Turn lawn tractors.

There is absolutely no real reason not to go with them if the dealer is near your location.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:36 PM
plsllc2011 plsllc2011 is offline
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I agree with the previous post. I think you can get into a commercial grade 36" or 48" walk behind that has a sulky attached for the same money as the JD. Buying commercial gear usually gets you things like a bigger gas tank. For example, residential mowers usually have 3 - 3.5 gallon tank or smaller. Commercial mowers have 7 gallon plus tank.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:01 PM
barefoot352 barefoot352 is offline
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Thanks for the input...I have three JD dealers within 20 miles of my location so not too big a deal.

I agree with the buying of commercial stuff and will upgrade quickly...if I don't sell the 425 I can just keep it as a backup.

When I go to commercial I am pretty sold on the JD 900 series and if I kept the 425 as a backup then I would still have same make equipment (I am psycho when it comes to uniformity) lol
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:28 PM
wandfsmall wandfsmall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot352 View Post
Thanks for the input...I have three JD dealers within 20 miles of my location so not too big a deal.

I agree with the buying of commercial stuff and will upgrade quickly...if I don't sell the 425 I can just keep it as a backup.

When I go to commercial I am pretty sold on the JD 900 series and if I kept the 425 as a backup then I would still have same make equipment (I am psycho when it comes to uniformity) lol
the problem with John Deere is price to quality ratio. you can take any John Deere and take away 1 to 2 thousand and you will see competitors with equal to even better quality. That green paint is expensive. Look for a good commercial walk behind or something with a Kawasaki engine on it.
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Last edited by wandfsmall; 11-30-2011 at 08:29 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
My business will focus on quality over quantity and here in Florida there is plenty of work. The better lawn companies run the cheap labor out pretty quick.
This is a very interesting point that you might be able to use to your advantage in growth.

Can you tell us a little about what you mean by it? How do you feel the better lawn care companies run out the cheap labor? What about this have you seen in your experience?

Ultimately how will you battle against it?
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:54 PM
Mikes mowing Mikes mowing is offline
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Smile gearing up

I also new to the page. I started with a exmark 48.
I rebuilt it belts,pulleys ,one caster wheel ,rebuilt carb starter basket.
I do a range of residenal and 2 comm properties.
the 48 inch deck gets in to small yards and also does 4 arce church lot nicly
Bigger is not always better.as long as the mower is not home version it should do fine .Home owner gear is not designed for extened hours of use.
hope that helps.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:23 AM
barefoot352 barefoot352 is offline
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Thanks for the info everyone!

I wish I could go with a new commercial but it is out of my range right now, hopefully whatever I go with will be the right choice!
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:52 PM
CAPTWILL30 CAPTWILL30 is offline
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All I will say is that @ my full time job I run a JD 60 commercial and it only has 425 hrs and it runs like it is on it last leg I will tell you I was sold on the green for my biz when I start it but after this I'm done whit the green!!!!!!
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