Apologies if this has been covered before but am new to the forum and looking for any friendly advice on equipment.
I have been running a general gardening service this year and am looking to offer customers a lawn treatment service next year. I have all the equipment i need except for aeration and scarification machines. most of my customers will have upto 100m2 gardens with a few that are .5 to 1 acre. budget wise i could not afford a Camon or similar so looking at Wolf/viking scarifiers for £500. Aerators seem to be difficult to find at that price. Would prefer to buy than hire as not had great experience of hired kit! Any advice much appreciated!
have a quick look on ebay most scarifyers you find are pretty reasonable on price and good quality.
ive used the one above , there not bad easy to use and price is okay. if you do get a second hand one make shure you get pics or check the blades as they do blunt easily if you hit very rocky soil.
Looks good, i keep looking on ebay for anything local to me. Have been considering the Viking
scarifier as i use Stihl tools and they are part of same company. good deal below.
Any thoughts on an aerator at similar price? this one is on ebay but its a bit pricey:
or this one for smaller gardens where access is a problem, might take longer but can factor that in when quoting:
might have to hire one for the larger lawns i work on and factor that in on the quote.
You have to understand that aeration and scarifycation are specialist jobs therefore requiring specialist machinery before you buy one of these machines id look into the quote prices from other companies in your area supplying these services if there isnt, ask yourself is there the demand if there is then spend the money on the specialist machinery there well worth it as you would be the only specialist company offering these services. Id firstly pick up a book on turf maintenance and look at the actual application each machine you want does.
Local lawn specialists around here are GreenThumb and they charge roughly £60 to scarify a lawn 10x10 as they were treating one of my customers lawns in between my visits. I have been studying lawn maintenance so happy with the types of treatments and different machines. I just cant afford the price of the pro Camon machines or similar so looking at alternatives that i can use. It would be good to offer my regulars something that will make their lawns look better as its an advert for me as well!
Have been looking at the wolf scarifier, looks ideal:
any view on the viking scarifier? http://www.worldofpower.co.uk/viking-lb540-petrol-lawn-scarifier.html
might be aimed more at domestic market although engine slightly more powerful.
If its for pictures for your portfolio id recommend collecting a few gardens together then hire a machine do them all the same time so u make the money on them, then keep doin the lawns but offer the specialist work next year when you have the funds to buy one of these machines.
I have notice most viking machines are aimed at medium to large gardens i can only comment on the 7 series mowers they are professional macnines and will see you several seasons but im not shure on the other machines, i have in the past tried using domestic machines to see me through the growing season while my mowers were being fixed, but as you can imagine they didnt last the season, purely and simply there not made for the heavy bashing our commercial machines geton a regular basis.
If theres one piece of advice i can give you, its buy the best machines and equipment you can afford, if you cant afford it just save up then buy it.
for years i didnt follow this saying and i paid heavily for it, as soon as i used this saying my business ran much more smoothly and efficiently, This isnt aimed directly at you robert it somenthink several of us on here have done in the past, again starting out with mid range machines is fine but i can assure they wont lass unless your extremely lucky, for instance my castles strimmer i had for 8 years worked perfect, never missed a beat, then i tried to give it a service then died on me. Its pot luck with these type of machines, but like i said by better machines as soon as you can afford them.
Hi nick is the wolf self propelled ?
Nick @ NM Garden Services Ltd said:
Wolf scarifiers are the business. I use one and it far out performs the Camon machines which I have lots of experience of using.
I'm going jump in here.... Buy the scarifier first, if you have the money buy a good one. Hold off on the aerator until you have a large number of clients that you will require it. You can hire the camon aerator for £80-90 per week...
I agree with you robbie a scarifier would be best if you have enough work for them, but the camon i would say is not a wise option to buy espcially with it being a spiker yes its good for improving drainage if thats what you need then yes its perfect, but if its to reduce soil compaction a hollow corer is the more apropriate machine to use as the spikers tend to compact around the spike holes. One thing i forget to mention was the sheer weight of these machines especially the camon, its okay if you have a tail gate on your trailor but if you dont would take two strong men to lift it.=]
I use an Eliet 401 with good results but I am based in one garden and certainly wouldn't want to be lifting this on and off a van all day. Do also consider the vast quantity of thatch you will have to dispose of, even from the smallest areas.I find it quicker to leave the collector bag off and clear up afterwards with a vacuum. I have always hired a spiker as the machines good enough to do a job are far too much money to own
I own the bigger Eliet, but I would never consider lifting it, I use a ramp made from 2 planks to get in/out of the van :)