If someone came to you and asked what lawn service equipment they need to get started in that business, what would your answer be? Would you take a minute or two to think about the work that needs to be done to earn money in this field? Or, would you just assume that you need a lawn mower and maybe a trimmer?
Be careful when you start to answer the questions, because you may find that having a mower and a trimmer is just the beginning of the equipment expense. You can certainly get by for the first week or two with these two main items, especially if you only have one or two customers.
But most of the professionals who head out to do this job on a daily basis have an interesting collection of tools and equipment, a collection that usually builds up over time.
Commercial Lawn Care Equipment
There are basically two types of lawn care equipment – for domestic use or for professional and commercial use. You really want to only purchase commercial lawn care equipment as this is going to be much more reliable and also have a much longer life. Buying domestic lawn equipment is short-sighted and will cost you more in the long run.
You can start your inventory by making a list of the tools you already own. For example, if you already have what is commonly called a “push mower” you are off to a good start. However, a reliable, commercial gas-powered lawn mower is a must if you are going to “cut the grass” for paying customers.
If you don’t have a mower, you should plan to spend $250 to $500 to get a product that is going to last. For larger yards, you may have to invest in a zero turn riding mower, which will cost a minimum of $1,000. Better products will set you back twice that or more.
A cart or wheelbarrow will be necessary at some point, for picking up sticks and debris. If you don’t have one now, you may want to include this item in your start up budget. As a general rule, you can buy a usable, lightweight product for $50 to $100. A larger, heavier wheelbarrow may cost $150 to $200. As a start-up business, you may want to look at a garden cart, then graduate to something more substantial as you get more customers.
Apart from these larger items, which will take care of grass-cutting, trimming, and generally cleaning, you should plan to have a garden rake (plastic will work, metal might be better). In the same category, you have need for a grubbing hoe, a shovel, a spade, clippers for cutting small branches and hand trimming, and a small pruning saw for larger branches. This group may also include specialty items such as a sprayer for weed control.
There are a few items you will need occasionally, which means you should consider renting them as needed. This is an important item to include in your budget. Two key pieces of equipment you’ll find quite handy (even necessary for some clients) are the blower and the chain saw.
If your business involves only grass-cutting and trimming at the start, you won’t have to put a lot of money into these. Renting them when you need to is the wise choice.
You could include the string trimmer in this category if you don’t want to invest in one immediately. But you may find that the cost of a trimmer is very reasonable, especially if you have to stop what you’re doing and go to the hardware store or rental shop to get one during the day. You can also rent a power edger and a pole/extendible trimmer for reaching branches off the ground.
Many individuals who start in this business find that they eventually need larger pieces of lawn service equipment, as their client grows and they move beyond mowing lawns and trimming. You may eventually have to rent a tractor or other piece of power equipment to move dirt, for example. Lawn rollers are necessary if you get involved in seeding new lawns.
At times, aeration of the ground is called for, so you may want to find a source for renting one of these. An additional list may include power seeding, sod cutters, tillers etc. If your lawn-mowing jobs cover large areas, you may want to invest in a zero-turn mower for efficiency. Needs vary, so make a detailed list for your specific jobs.