It’s almost the end of the year!  If your company did well, that might mean it’s time to stock up on all the new equipment, such as a mower, you want before January.

Before you start making your list, remember, equipment is a DEPRECIATING (losing value) asset. Equipment is just a tool that you use, which will be used up and depreciated over time. Eventually, that brand new mower you buy will be a pile of rust that refuses to start – no matter how well you keep it up. The point of buying equipment is that it will produce money for you. Not that it’s shiny, not that you look cool to the competition, just that it helps your business make more money.

The first rule of buying new equipment is do NOT get in debt. Make sure that you have the cash for it before you even look for new equipment. Getting in debt and having the company take back your equipment and ruin your credit next Spring when money is low is not worth it. If you can keep your lawn company out of debt, you will save yourself a dozen headaches and have a much easier time of growing your business.

So where can you get that affordable equipment? Search craigslist and online yard sales for commercial mowers and lawn equipment. Know what you need, first of all, and rank all your needs so you can start with what you need the most first. For many of us, that is adding a new crew which means you need a new mower for them. Here are some of our thoughts and experiences with different types of mowers.

Mowers

If you’re looking for another mower, make sure that it is commercial grade with a good engine. In our experience, American made engines honestly aren’t the best (as much as I hate to say it!). Foreign engines seem to be built better to last longer. Check out the reviews on the mower you are looking at and find out for yourself.

Sit-Down Mowers:

Pros

  • They look cool
  • They save your energy

Cons

  • They waste time in getting on and off of them at your typical list of residential or small commercial properties.
  • Sit-down mowers cost 2-3 times MORE than a walk behind mower.
  • They cost more to repair.
  • They are less versatile – harder to move around, get through gates, take up more space in the trailer and more!

Walk-behind Mowers:

Pros

  • They cost less money.
  • They are versatile – get through gates, take up less space, and move around well.
  • Walk-behind mowers still save your energy if you add a Velke or other ride behind contraption.
  • They last longer – 3-5 years on average for commercial mowing but a stand-behind contraption you hook on it like a Velke can last up to 10 years easily.

Cons

  • They waste more energy than a sit behind if you don’t have a stand-behind contraption like a Velke.

Standing Mowers:

Pros

  • They cost less money than a sit down, but more than a walk behind.
  • They are versatile – get through gates, take up less space, and move around well.
  • Standing mowers save your energy.
  • They last longer – 3-5 years on average for commercial mowing.

Cons

  • They cost more than a walk-behind.

Let’s start with the basics, if your company is new and made a good profit this season, make sure that you have the basic needs for next year.  High quality and used is always your best bet because it’s better to have that extra cash in your pocket than another loan. You can find out more in our book, “Lawn Maintenance and the Beautiful Business”.