Articles in the Series:
- Starting a Lawn Care and Landscaping Business
- The Landscape and Lawncare Services Industry
- How to Start a Lawn Service Business
- Tools and Equipment Used for a Lawn Care and Landscaping Business
- Pricing Your Lawn Care and Landscaping Services
- Marketing and Promoting a Landscaping or Lawn Care Business
- Additional Services and Revenue Streams for a Landscaping or Lawn Care Business
- 10 Tips to Succeed in Lawn care and Landscaping Business
- Resources to Help Start a Landscaping or Lawn Care Business
Tools and Equipment Needed
If you are thinking of starting slow with a niche in a specific market, you can start the business using only the basic equipment. Here is a list of some basic equipment you will need during your startup phase:
Leaf Blower/Vacuum. Examples include:
- Husqvarna 4.3 HP Gas Backpack Blower,
- Makita BBX7600N 75.6 CC 4-Stroke Backpack Blower,
- RedMax HB281 Blower
- Husqvarna 350BT 50.2cc 2-Cycle X-Torq Gas Powered 180 MPH Midsize Back Pack Blower (CARB Compliant).
- If you have extra dollars to spare, get Sthil BR600 or RedMax EBZ8500 (both costs about $600).
Line or String Trimmers, such as
- Husqvarna 128DJx 17-Inch 28cc 2-Stroke Gas Powered Straight Shaft String Trimmer/Brush Cutter with Detachable Shaft (CARB Compliant)
- Poulan Pro PP125 17-Inch 25cc 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Straight-Shaft String Trimmer with Split Shaft
- Toro 51488 48-Volt MToro 51488 48-Volt Max Cordless Dual Line Trimmer, 13-Inch
- Poulan Pro 966774301 4-Cycle Gas Straight Shaft Trimmer
- Another good trimmer is the Stihl 4 Mix
Hedge Trimmers, such as:
- Husqvarna 122HD45 Hedge Trimmer – 21.7cc, 18in. Blade
- Makita XHU02Z 18V LXT Hedge Trimmer
- Other hedge trimmers the pro recommends include the M254 Shindaiwa, Stihl HL 100K, Maruyama
Chainsaws, such as
- Husqvarna 460 Rancher 20-Inch 60.3cc 2-Stoke X-Torq Gas Powered Chain Saw (CARB Compliant)
- Poulan Pro PP5020AV 20-Inch 50cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered Chain Saw With Carrying Case
- Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chain Saw With Smart Start
- Other good chainsaw brands to consider are Husky, Stihl, Shindaiwa and Echo
Other must-have equipment include:
- Commercial mower
- Handtools (rakes, shovels, broom, trowels, pruner, etc.)
- Safety equipment include goggles and gloves
- Truck or some type of transportation such as pick-up truck
However, as your business grows, you can begin to offer more services, and more services often means more equipment. Additional equipment you will need:
- Riding mowers
- Skid steer loaders
- Bed edging materials
- Water features
- All types of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, fertilizer/pesticide combinations
- Snow and ice removal tools
One common mistake of lawn care and landscaping business is to buy (or rent) too much equipment. Too often businesses get equipment on impulse without looking at their financial or operational plan (if any). Experts recommend that your equipment should be busy and billable 30-50 percent of the time.
The question you’ll be faced with regards to equipment is when to buy and when to rent. Consider buying the equipment when your company will use it 50 percent of the year or more. Some businesses decide by looking at the number of jobs they need to have in order to pay for the tool – and then make the decision if they can pay for it in a year. Prepare a financial plan, and calculate how much revenue a tool represent and only buy those tools and equipment that can bring the payback in a short time.
Renting equipment on the other hand allows you more control and flexibility in your inventory. Renting is also a smart first step in deciding whether you need to buy the equipment as it allows you the flexibility to try out different makes of equipment to decide the brand and model you would like to purchase. For a start-up business or when introducing a new service, renting your equipment (at least for the first season) makes a lot of sense as it allows you to test the business without the huge investment required for a brand new equipment.
Tools in the business also include software and equipment you can use to improve the efficiency and productivity of your operations. Examples include:
- GPS truck routing and tracking to reduce fuel costs, increase productivity and see where your trucks have been and at what time
- Contact management system to keep track of your customers and their information
- Scheduling and routing programs to help you find the most efficient routes in order to save time and money and cut fuel costs. It also helps you manage your appointments and to set appointment times and dates
Recommended Books on How to Succeed in Lawn care and Landscaping Business:
- Lawn Care Business Guide: The Definitive Guide To Starting and Running Your Own Successful Lawn Care Business
- Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid.
- GopherHaul Extreme Lawn Care Business Tips.: Unfiltered, unedited, and a little rough. A collection of landscaping & lawn care business lessons.
- Start & Run a Landscaping Business (Start and Run A)
- How To Get Commercial Lawn Care And Snow Plow Customers.: From The Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum & The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show.