Starting a lawn care business

Mike88se

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You're correct when you say anyone can do Lawn-care but not everyone can do it right. You're also correct in the fact that people can be train to do lawn-care but not many can make enough money to support a family when working for someone else and they don't last long. As far as technique goes everyone is going to be different. If you want to teach anything teach Efficiency, it is key. I think the real education has to come in knowing how to use the equipment efficiently. Knowing that, knowing where to start and know what direction to go with hand held equipment can save a lot of time and product/money for a business. You would be surprised at how many people I see use a trimmer backwards, it's unreal.

The biggest problem I see with most lawn company's and the people they have working for them is time wasted, retracing there steps and making a job that should have taken twenty minutes end up taking thirty to forty finish and all the time that's put on equipment running that's not necessary.
That's kind of what I'm talking about. See I really have doubts about whether I'm doing things right. I mean... the efficiency and timing come or they don't. I probably waste a lot of motion and time but I'll either get that squared away or suffer the consequences. I'm more concerned about how I do the work and if there's something I could do better. Just things that I may not know about that make a difference in the quality of my work.
I didn't know there was a way for trimming. Well, kinda, but I usually walk forward with it, but I also sometimes walk backwards with it.

Other thing with Lawn company's is that some buy stuff they just don't need and end up with big overhead. I buy what I need. I have one of everything as of now of commercial grade. This year I plan to get a secondary trimmer for back up and maybe a bigger mower or walk-behind. Some just go all out and buy two trimmers, blowers, edgers, mowers and they are alone or with one guy. I explain to my employee that once the person with the mower is done, this person packs up everything in my truck and starts passing the blower if I am not done trimming or mowing. Once this person is done, she waits for the other in the truck, ready to go for the next job. A minute saved here and another there can add up after a long day of work.
That makes sense. It sux to go out to do a job and have problems with your tools. I work alone so if a problem comes up I'm the only one thats going to be idled and I'll be the one repairing whatever machine isn't working. It would be good to have one of those combo tools in my situation. Trimmer w/ attachments.
 

Carscw

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Ric is right every one has their way of doing things.

I have been doing this for many years and have found out what works for one does not work for all.

When I trim around the house or a fence I walk backwards. It is the fastest way for me. My wife walks forward.

I edge the drive way before I mow. Most guys edge after they mow.

I do all my trimming before I mow that way I can mulch the clippings.

You have to find what is fastest for you without sacrificing quality. When it comes right down to it quality comes before speed
 

Ric

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That's kind of what I'm talking about. See I really have doubts about whether I'm doing things right. I mean... the efficiency and timing come or they don't. I probably waste a lot of motion and time but I'll either get that squared away or suffer the consequences. I'm more concerned about how I do the work and if there's something I could do better. Just things that I may not know about that make a difference in the quality of my work.


Efficiency and timing come with doing things right, speed has very little to do with it. You can always do better. There are a lot of people who don't believe in backup equipment, at least two of everything can save you down time and possibly clients. Want to save yourself a little time? One way is to throw away that fantastic speed feed head people are so fond of, it's to slow. I make sure my trimmers FS 90 and FS110 all run the same head and I carry two C 25-2 inserts/line spool with line ready to go, takes about a minute to insert one and I'm back trimming not standing at the trailer wasting time winding a stupid spool. It's faster than a speed feed head and a lot cheaper.
You say you probably waste a lot of motion and time. Want to save that time and motion? Well I hate to say this but chalk one up for Carscw. When you go to your next job and start your trimming go stand in the driveway and look at the house and go to your LEFT young man. Start trimming to your left side of the yard and house as your looking at it from the drive, walk backwards with your trimmer, always left as Carscw said and why, because your moving with the rotation of the trimmer head your trimmer will cut better, faster and use less line and never retrace your steps. There are a lot of things you can do to save you time and money if you just think.
 
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...It would be good to have one of those combo tools in my situation. Trimmer w/ attachments.
But in that case if one power head went down you would be without a trimmer, edger, etc.

...One way is to throw away that fantastic speed feed head people are so fond of, it's to slow. I make sure my trimmers FS 90 and FS110 all run the same head and I carry two C 25-2 inserts/line spool with line ready to go, takes about a minute to insert one and I'm back trimming not standing at the trailer wasting time winding a stupid spool. It's faster than a speed feed head and a lot cheaper...
I find the Speed Feed head is quick. I only replace the line maybe twice a day and I have pre-cut lengths of line (around 8 ft.) attached to my trimmer so all I have to do is insert the line and twist. Done in less than 30 seconds.
 

Carscw

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And never never give in laws a job.
My wife's brother works with us sometimes ( not my idea ) he is like a horse with blinders on. He walks around the house 3 times. Goes thru 10 feet of line per house and I still have to get everything he missed. But he is better at trimming then mowing.

The fact that he is a dumb azz is only part of the problem he has no desire or passion to do a good job.
 

Carscw

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But in that case if one power head went down you would be without a trimmer, edger, etc. I find the Speed Feed head is quick. I only replace the line maybe twice a day and I have pre-cut lengths of line (around 8 ft.) attached to my trimmer so all I have to do is insert the line and twist. Done in less than 30 seconds.
I have used the speed head on 1 trimmer and did not like it. To me it was a pita. Like ric said so much faster to just change out the spool
 

Lawnboy18

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And never never give in laws a job.
My wife's brother works with us sometimes ( not my idea ) he is like a horse with blinders on. He walks around the house 3 times. Goes thru 10 feet of line per house and I still have to get everything he missed. But he is better at trimming then mowing.

The fact that he is a dumb azz is only part of the problem he has no desire or passion to do a good job.
It was the opposite for me. You cant just base yourself on one experience/person. My step brother was like god on a trimmer. I wish he could trim all summer with me, but he has other stuff to do.
 

jakewells

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I got 11 yards i do and im a one man show. my daddy always told me if you want to do it right do it yourself and hire no one.
Along with that he told me be fair about my prices don't be to cheap and do be to expensive.
I keep it fair 35.00 for small yards and for yards bigger than 1/2 acre i charge 35.00 per acre. but i don't go over 2 acres when it comes to yards.
 

jakewells

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I recommend a 30-50 gallon transfer tank/toolbox with pump,filter,lock too because gas cans are two bulky but i leave a single 5 gal can for 2 stroke gas. sure beats running to station because you are out of go go juice.

Throw in some spare parts for the mowers and the trailer if you have one and your vehicle too.

Keep a cooler or a igloo full of ice water because the sun can sure zap the water out of you're body.

Pack extra string in your back pocket when your away from the truck.

Keep a mechanics tool kit present at all times.

Wear a hat safety glasses and ear plugs. i know that may seem a bit much but trust me i have ringing in my ears from not using them and i have got junk in my eye and it doesn't fell to great so just wear them you only got one pair of eyes and ears. :thumbsup:
 

GRUMBLEBUM

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Ive been considering starting a lawn care business this spring. Any tips? What kind of equipment would be good to start off with? I know i can get customers. Yards would mostly be smaller in town. What should i charge per yard? I live in west Michigan.
Its simple and easy .. Buy a HONDA 21 inch Self drive unit..
I have had mine now for over 25 years and it still starts First time ( or at worst 2nd time) every time !!

The newer ones are even better than mine is so dont hesitate .. Its the best on the market !

Cheers and goodf luck

Bob
 
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