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View Full Version : When to replace mowers


DAVELAWN
10-01-2005, 06:31 AM
Currently my company runs 3, 52" Wright Standers. 2 have about 1000 hours, one is new and only has about 250. I keep one as a backup and run the other two about 3-4 days per week. For those that have owned Standers, when did you find hour wise, it was wise to replace. BTW I am strict with maintenance, but would rather sell and make a few bucks to put towards a new machine, rather than beat it too death and have it with no value...

impactlandscaping
10-01-2005, 07:34 AM
We have put around 4-500 on each of ours so far since last June. Physically and mecahanically, they are still great. I am buying another Stander and a Sentar Sport for next season, so I figure I will keep one of the '04s next year, and sell one to buy its replacement, giving me one machine with 5-600 hours, and three with 0 hours to start the season. I have seen some of the Standers with 1500+ hours on them , and still be on the original pumps and wheel motors. I'd say anywhere before 1000-1500 hours(depending on physical appearance as well as mechanical) if you still want to make anything from it.

westwind
10-01-2005, 07:46 AM
1000 hrs. up here seems to be the best point to sell. These machines will sell, for guys that cannot afford a new machine, buying yours would be the next best option. The motor makes a difference as well, kawisaki seems to hold a little more value. We have 2 standers, new this season, that replaced the Great Dane standers. These machines average 4-500 hrs. a season (cutting only), and will go at least 1 more season with us. We have 4 lazers that will need replacement, so it seems best to alternate seasons when replacing these machines.

Jpocket
10-01-2005, 08:55 PM
I would say run them into the dirt, all while saving your money. Then buy new ones. TAke all the old ones and make "One running old one" and there you have your back up. Use the rest for parts to keep that one running

MacLawnCo
10-02-2005, 12:58 PM
i had a stander with 18 briggs with just shy of 1900 hrs. I sold it to a local competitor and the next week, they had to replace the clutch and the fuel pump. Neither were major and they still run the machine daily. everything else was orriginal on the machine.

I had another stander with 19 kaw that i sold with about 350 hrs. I had two issues with that unit. 1) ground wire to battery would frequently break, resulting in an engine that wouldnt run. 2) rear tries would pop the beads resulting in flat tires. IMO, nothing out of the ordinary. However compared to a metro Ive had running in the field for the past 6 years with out a single thing go wrong (only changed fluids and belts), I would say wrights are prone to mechanical issues.

General Grounds
10-02-2005, 03:26 PM
:rolleyes: so sell them at a 1000 hours thats like a seasnon and a half for some, if you maintain your stuff youll be shocked as to how long this stuff will last making repairs as soon as something doesnt look or sounds right. i have a 97" walker with 6700 hours on it with all original parts for the exception of the motor and it works 4 days a week. tony

65hoss
10-02-2005, 04:46 PM
I don't know about the standers, but if you maintain them, you are better off trying to get more hours from them. We may all like shinny new stuff, but that will cost you money in the long run. Use mowers to make you money for as long as possible.

On todays machines, 1000 hours is really nothing. Problem is, most people don't keep them very long these days to really make the full potential off each machine.

Lawn Masters
10-02-2005, 06:50 PM
I believe firmly in running the unit till its totally useless, then replacing it. I see no point in having the newest fanciest and most impressive machines when a beat up looking older unit will work just fine at a lesser cost to get.

DAVELAWN
10-02-2005, 07:01 PM
I am beginning to think I might just want to keep running them as long as I have a good backup...

grass_cuttin_fool
10-02-2005, 07:08 PM
I quess it would depend on the amount of hours a machine gets in a years time. I currenty put about 350 hours a year on my main mower. Im planning on keeping it 6 years for total depreciation and then moving it to a back up and then purchase a new mower for tax purpose and to have a more reliable mower in the fleet. I think with good luck and proper maintence, I can expect 2000 hours from a machine.

impactlandscaping
10-02-2005, 09:14 PM
I believe firmly in running the unit till its totally useless, then replacing it. I see no point in having the newest fanciest and most impressive machines when a beat up looking older unit will work just fine at a lesser cost to get.


After a certain loss amount of mechanical viability, older equipment becomes a liability rather than an asset. Upkeep, parts, etc. becomes an issue. Older machines may be fine for solos, but in a multi employee business, time is money...period.

TMlawncare
10-02-2005, 09:27 PM
Once a machine is paid for, it is your most profitable asset. This is when the machine is making you the most money and yielding the highest profits. If you trade the machine in you just started back at ground zero. Now if a machine is getting unreliable it needed to be fixed and sold or retired to strictly backup. To sell a perfectly good machine because it crossed the 1000hr mark is a very costly decision.

DanG
10-02-2005, 09:42 PM
If it's paid for run it till it dies.Then go out and buy a new mower, or fix what broke on it and save the money that you'd spend buying new over what it costs to fix it.

Dan

surfisher211
10-02-2005, 10:59 PM
i have a 36" lesco w/b and a 32" lesco w/b they are both over 9 yrs old they are used every day! never had a probblem i change the oil around every 300 hrs they still cut like the day i bought them and start on the first pull take care of your mowers and your mowers will take care of u

QualityLawnCare4u
10-02-2005, 11:41 PM
i have a 36" lesco w/b and a 32" lesco w/b they are both over 9 yrs old they are used every day! never had a probblem i change the oil around every 300 hrs they still cut like the day i bought them and start on the first pull take care of your mowers and your mowers will take care of u

Wow! You go 300 hours between oil changes? I change mine every 25 hours and thats with mobile one synthetic, hoping to make them last a long time. Like an above poster said, when they are paid for that is profit.

surfisher211
10-03-2005, 07:56 AM
ops sorry that was a typo lmao 30 hrs

Maitland Man
10-03-2005, 08:13 AM
Hydros are nice and strong, deck is solid, and motor runs smoooooth! I have had to change the stupid caster bushings and wheel bearings in the front dozens of times already though. I blow out under the deck cover everyday and change my fluids and filters every month. The hydro filter goes every few months with a fluid change for every third filter change.
The manual blade engagement gets attention every so often as well.

Dennis

brucec32
10-04-2005, 01:58 AM
I'd first ask "can I afford downtime?"

As you know, over 1000 hours the odds of failures rise proportionally and you will eventually see some big ticket items (hydros, engine). But what may cost you just as much is the downtime and disruption with minor breakdowns. If you feel you have spare mowers enough and free time or a mechanic on staff you may want to roll the dice. It's probably always cheaper to keep running them. But if a breakdown means you fall behind on valueable accounts, or spend your precious time off replacing parts, it may be worth the price of a new one to avoid the hassles.

I've never had a serious repair done by a shop (usually due to parts availability) in less than 3 working days.

Remember also the used market. Try to gauge what yours is worth now vs 500 or 1000 hours from now. If you get another 500 hours out of it but spend $1200 on repairs and it drops another $1000 in resale value, factor that into the decision.

Finally, a new stander is actually "cheap" per hour when you factor in the resale value. If you use a $6,000 mower for 1,000 hours and sell it for $3500, it cost you $2.50/hour to buy, plus finance costs. If your typical $35 home lawn requires 20 minutes of mowing, your per-lawn cost of the stander is just 83 cents. The older one is less, of course, but is it worth the cash savings?

They're valuable tools. I might cost you 40 cents more per hour of use to always run newer equipment. My philosophy is it's worth it. But mostly because I hate the stress and disruption to the schedule breakdowns cause, the money part is secondary.

topsites
10-04-2005, 02:59 AM
I would say run them into the dirt, all while saving your money. Then buy new ones. TAke all the old ones and make "One running old one" and there you have your back up. Use the rest for parts to keep that one running

Yup, and use the old one for the real rough jobs nobody else wants to do.
I get 7-8 years out of mine, each gets used about half the season (I always have 2, one in service, one as backup - use them about equally throughout the year). Once they get to where they're falling apart, sell or keep for own yard or parts (a T-bar is 65 dollars for the top half).
That's how I started, bought 2 OLD toros, worthless as they were, they still outperformed any new homeowner's rider.
Because you can ALWAYS sell a Toro for around 1,000 dollars, take it or leave it.
So, run the old ones into the dirt and charge accordingly, wouldn't want the new one to eat it.

TURFLORD
10-04-2005, 05:57 AM
I would say run them into the dirt, all while saving your money. Then buy new ones. TAke all the old ones and make "One running old one" and there you have your back up. Use the rest for parts to keep that one running
True. The longer you run a machine the greater return on your initial investment. 1000 hrs isnt much. Your going to sell a machine you just paid 5-7k for 1-2 yrs after you bought it? Used machines aren't worth much because the buyer has no knowledge of the machine and therefore won't pay much. Only buy new when it's not economical to keep the old running.

The landscaper
10-04-2005, 11:16 AM
I would find a good hour mark to sell and stick with it. You really dont want the headaches of machines breaking down in customers yards. it will make you look bad have you running around all day if you have employees running them. Get rid of the machines before they create headaches and always have peace of mind knowing you can mow all day with no problems.

i think it would be alittle different with belt driven walk behinds and things like that with fewer things to go wrong

LwnmwrMan22
10-04-2005, 11:33 AM
I trade my ZTR's with between 1000 and 1500 hours.

At this rate, I can still get $5-6k for trade value, so a new one costs me about $4-5k.

If I do this every 2-3 years, a new mower costs me about $2k / year, or less than $400 / month for the 6 months I mow.

I gross around $18k / month, so I look at it as I would rather know the mower isn't going to cost me down time.

If it does break down, I've got another backup.

If that's down at the same time, the deal I made with the dealer was I get a demo, or a new mower for as long as mine is in the shop.

I don't think I could do that if I walked into the dealership with a 5-6-7-8-9 year old mower.