Before I talk about lawn equipment, I want to talk to you about parts and service. This will be very important when trying to decide what and where to get the equipment.
Example: You can have the best lawn servicing equipment money can buy. But if you can not get parts and service when needed, what good is it. What are you going to tell your customers when your down two days to two weeks. This can and will happen to you sooner or later.
Remember when you were bidding the job to your customer and you stressed to them how dependable you were and how you were always on schedule. The customer probably even mentioned how their old lawn service company was never there when they were suppose to be. They had to call the service to see if they were even coming. Do not let them say that about you.
You should buy from reputable dealers. Go talk with the owner or sales representative or shop foreman about the service you will need. Do this before making your equipment purchases. You should build a good relationship with the dealer. You will need him down the road.
Try to buy products if possible, that more than one dealer in your area carries. This way if you are unhappy with the service you are receiving, you can go to the other dealer. I'm a firm believer in giving my loyalty to the dealer, he can help you when you need it the most. Dealers have bad days too. Work with them it will pay off in the long run.
Most of the major brands are carried by more than one dealer. I am not saying that some equipment manufactures are not good, just make sure you check on availability of parts and service.