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Equipment

Getting Started with the Right Equipment

5 min read

Imagine this: you're spending your Saturday working on your lawn. As you edge the driveway, you remember doing this before for your family and even some neighbors. The money you made even got you through college. Now, as you begin to aerate the lawn, you wonder what it might take to start your own lawn care business, what kind of equipment would you need to invest in?

You take a look at your neighbor's yard. It's emerald green, perfectly cut, trimmed, and edged. You've even observed their lawn care provider to see what kind of equipment they use. If you can get a lawn care business equipment package like that guy, then all you'll need is customers!

What is the equipment needed to start a lawn care business?

A Plan

All business endeavors start with a plan, even if its small. You'll need to consider what kind of services you plan to offer before you decide on what type of equipment to purchase.

If you plan to aerate lawns, spread seed or pesticides, or remove snow in winter, then you'll need the proper equipment to complete all those tasks.

However, if you plan on offering only lawn care services, then your equipment list is a bit shorter. You'll need the basic cutting equipment such as a mower along with trimmers, edgers, and blowers for cleaning up after. First, though, think about the big stuff.

Truck

The biggest thing to consider when it comes to the right truck, is how much weight it can handle when towing. Riding mowers can weigh over 500 lbs! Add in bags of fertilizer, mulch, seeds, and the equipment needed to distribute them, and you have some serious weight to pull. Additionally, you should add in the weight of the fuel in the mowers and the weight of the trailer.

To be on the safe side, using a truck rated for towing up to 9,800 pounds is a good start. Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, or Chevy Silverado 1500 are all recommended to get the job done.

Trailer

A flatbed with a ramp is handy for driving riding mowers onto the trailer. These come in two different variations: plain flatbeds and mesh sided flatbeds. Both are relatively inexpensive and are good for storing equipment. While you want enough room to store all your stuff, a trailer that's too big can be an unnecessary inconvenience.

The best equipment isn't about a brand name, it's about quality. On the equipment's quality rests your reputation.

Storage

Of all the equipment needed to start a lawn care business, many would say the mechanical equipment is the most important. Most cities prohibit the storage of business equipment on residential streets or properties, so you'll either need to buy or assemble your own storage shed on your property or maybe rent a storage unit. Neither is very expensive and can probably be found somewhere relatively close by.

You'll need a place to clean and prep the equipment for the next job. It makes the most sense to do this at home. If you build or buy a storage shed to place on your property, make sure it's big enough for a trailer as well as equipment (after it's been cleaned and prepped). Your work truck can probably be parked in your driveway.

Safety Items

Unfortunately, even the best equipment for lawn care business can be unhealthy for operators. OSHA recommends respiratory protection in the form of face masks, gloves for hand protection, steel-toed boots for foot protection, safety glasses to protect your eyes, and ear muffs for protecting your ears. Most of these items aren't very expensive and can be found almost everywhere.

Mowers

Riding mowers are very technologically advanced these days. Some of the major name brands companies are John Deere, Husqvarna, Gravely, Troy-Bilt and many more. There are even robotic mowers for lawns that just need an evening up. These mowers essentially turn and cut the grass all by themselves. All you have to do when operating, is keep the mower straight.

Push mowers aren't too expensive, nor are super advanced. You might want to consider owning both a push mower and a riding mower to expand your business capabilities. When you decide which brand you consider the best equipment for your lawn care business, check with them to find out if they offer a lawn care business equipment package.

Mower and long grass

Snow Removal Equipment

So now, you have customers, you have the best equipment for your lawn care business, and business was great... until Winter came along. Now what do you do with this huge investment in the off-season? You're busy three seasons out of the year. Why not the fourth? All you need is the right attachments for your mower, and you're set to alter your business to cater to snow removal.

It is recommended to use your mower instead of your truck. Your mower can get into smaller spaces. Most snow removal companies use scraper blades, snow pushers, V-blades, and buckets. Depending on your customers' surfaces and the amount of weight your skid steer will take dictates which attachments you'll need.

Equipment Packages

At the very least, you'll begin your business with the most basic of equipment: mowers, trimmers, edgers, and blowers. As time goes on and you gain more customers, you can supplement this with more equipment. The brand of equipment you use may allow you to customize any lawn care business equipment package they offer.

For example, you choose a Husqvarna riding mower. You need a trimmer, blower, and a hedge trimmer. Husqvarna offers many equipment packages, so you should be able to find one to suit your needs. You can look online for a dealer near you, check prices, and plan exactly what equipment is necessary.

The insurance, business plan, payroll, management software, and dozens of other business aspects are a subject for another article, but they are worthy of thought. For now, though, concentrating on the equipment needed is the biggest thing and has to be done right. Without the tools of the trade, you'll be cutting grass with a scythe.

The best equipment isn't about a brand name, it's about quality. On the equipment's quality rests your reputation.

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