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Equipment Selection Question


Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs, Buy or Sell

Outdoor power equipment discussions. Questions on commercial lawn mowers, lawn mower, mower parts, lawn tractors, engines, edgers, trimmers, pole saws, aerators, hydro seeders, snow plows, chain saws, stump grinders, trucks and trailers?
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  #1  
Old 12-24-2008, 08:48 AM
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Talking Equipment Selection Question

Starting up my lawn & landscape company as we speak. I'm planning on a truck and enclosed trailer to start. Question: What width and length of a trailer should I go with? I'm debating on 7x16 or 8x16. Thoughts?

Also, what equipment would you guys recommend to start out. My area is 1/3 to 1/2 acre subdivisions.

thanks and happy holidays!
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2008, 02:04 PM
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Hi Spartan,

Why not just start with a small open trailer and a small mower? Then put that extra money into your marketing material?

What's your view on all that?
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Old 12-27-2008, 02:27 PM
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I agree with Steve. You should probalby start out with your mower and a smaller trailer or work out of a pickup. Put your money into marketing. Keep your eye out for used equipment and trailer. Really good deals on craiglist. My biggest regret is spending money on two new mowers and weedeater.
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
I agree with Steve. You should probalby start out with your mower and a smaller trailer or work out of a pickup. Put your money into marketing. Keep your eye out for used equipment and trailer. Really good deals on craiglist. My biggest regret is spending money on two new mowers and weedeater.
What did you start off with initially and what would you start off with if you could do it all over again?
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grassmowers08 View Post
My biggest regret is spending money on two new mowers and weedeater.
Really?

I was in business about 2 weeks (with a residential tractor mower I had) when I decided to go big or go home, I dropped about $7,500 in a brand new commercial zt. It increased productivity, quality, & peace of mind (new & under warranty.... nobody elses old headaches). I don't regret that at all, In fact I bought a 2nd machine less than a year later & plan to buy a 3rd in the spring. For me, To be a proffesional in this industry I gotta be running professional grade gear. Yeah you can buy used commercial gear but who knows what kinda hidden problems you might end up with? My machines have paid for themselves many times over before they even ran out of warranty, then any time you get with em after the payments & warranty are all gone (without major overhaul type repairs) are gravy. To each his own though I guess.

I suppose it's like a car, Some people (& I used to be one of them) would buy older cheap cars & run them till the wheels fell off, Granted no payments
but the headaches were nonstop... brakes, transmission issues, battery, alternators, front end problems. Then I realized I wasn't paying a car company, but I was still making payments.... $200 here, $80 there, $400 for trans, $100 for muffler, $150 for a starter etc. I decided to bite the bullet & bought my 1st new vehicle in 2001. Yup the payments still sucked but the damn thing started everymorning & got me to work on time.... no headaches, & no missed work while fixing it. I haven't owned a clunker since.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:58 AM
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Cool Steve

I started out with a cub cadet push lawn mower, a ryobi weedeater( were mine), a mcclulough back pack blower($85 ripp off killed middle of the season), and a open end tilt 5x8 trailer for $350, brother in law gave me a nice trailer later. Ill post pic. Now I have two 22 inch Toro mowers,Echo weedeater.ITS AWESOME! A homelite blower planning on getting a echo back pack next year.The same traier.

If I could start all over I would have a 6x12 trailer, two hyrdro 36 in. walk behind,2 echo weedeaters,two echo back pack blowers and thats it.IT would be all commercial equipment. I might have a couple of zero turns if I got an extra crew to do commercial work when I retire from my job or my son Travis would. For now Im doing residential.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:08 AM
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The reason for the enclosed trailer is that I need to lock everything up at the end of the day so an open one will not work right now. I'm also going to billboard the sides of the trailer and truck to work as a moving billboard to start off.

But, I agree with Chuck about the go big or go home. I'm very big on setting myself apart and letting people know that I'm in this for the long haul. It's just a belief I have to build this business.

With that said, any thoughts on the size of enclosed trailer?

thanks fellas
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:27 PM
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Spartan,

That's how I felt when I started, I needed to dive in head first to make sure I would succeed. If you half *** it & don't invest much time, money, or energy then it's easy to walk away. If your all in, you will make it work.

As far as trailers I had the same issue, I need to be able to secure my gear at night & wanted to do up the trailer with graffix & lettering. I run a 6x12 cargo craft enclosed. It has served me pretty well.
Drop me a pm with your email, I'll send you a few photos of my set up.
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  #9  
Old 01-07-2009, 12:02 AM
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I am obviously speaking from the other side of the fence but have to agree, If you are going to purchase equipment, purchase good quality equipment. Equipment does not have to say "Exmark" "John Deere" or "GrassHopper" or any of the other higher end brands to be "good quality". Just be equipment that is designed to do what you are planning to do with it. I have been servicing equipment for over 10 years and have seen the death of many cheap trimmers, mowers, and accessories sue to one thing: they were being used for "commercial use" when they were intended for residential use.

When I say commercial use I mean that you are using it for more than to just your own yard. For example, Weedeater featherlite trimmers may be light and may be easier to use due to less fatigue, etc, but what about the fact that it may not last all season? Or that it may die on you when you are half done with a job? Do you want to have to leave a good customer's job half trimmed or half mowed just because you were to cheap to buy good equipment and it quit in the middle of Saturday afternoon? Granted, any equipment can quit at any given time, but good quality equipment is less likely to do so.

Then there is the matter of what type of business you are running. If you are the neighborhood kid who is getting their feet wet in the business or earning some summer money by push mowing a few neighborhood yards, then you may be able to get by with a simple, used push mower and a cheap $60-$70 Featherlite. But if you are trying to operate a credible business, with credible customers, you realize the customer is who feeds you. You want to attract customers who are willing to pay you and refer you to their buddies. I know each person is in business for themselves and with a slightly different point of view but remember, whether you are mowing 50 residential yards or 50 commercial lawns, you need to appear professional to your customer. I will refer to these customers as Commercial customers due to the fact they are probably more than single job customers. Also consider this, if your customer drivers nice vehicles or has a nice lawn, they are probably going to expect a decent looking piece of equipment on their lawn.

Just a few ideas to keep in mind. I would not recommend someone buy $20-$30 grand in equipment the first year. But then again, it is your business and only you know what your expectations are. I can't dream your dream nor can I live your dream. Just make wise, informed, and well thought out decisions.

PM me if you have any questions for me as an equipment servicing dealer.

Eli
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:12 AM
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Eli,

Can you tell us what the main difference is in life span between a consumer and commercial piece of equipment? What makes one last longer than the other?

Also what kind of equipment do you recommend?
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