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View Full Version : how many guys work on your on stuff??


lawnguy268
02-03-2007, 04:38 PM
It seems like more and more people are just going to the shop and spending x amount of dollars on simple repairs. I just got a echo PB400E from a guy who used to landscape he said he hasnt used it in more than 2 years. And than said I could take it for 50$. I cleaned the spark plug. Cleaned the air filter and it blows like a champ . anyway do most of you guys do your own repairs or just have some one else do them.

carcrz
02-03-2007, 04:50 PM
I do what I know how to do, which unfortunately isn't much. I figure it is cheaper to have it done that to have it blow up & buy a whole new machine. On my Redmax, I had already replaced it w/ something else, so I took it apart & did some R & R. Glad I did too because the Redmax dealer put the wrong bolt in the wrong place & it was hitting on something causing it to lock up. $0.20 fix for a problem they have been trying to figure out for the last year!

WALKER LANDSCAPE
02-03-2007, 05:07 PM
We try to do our own reapirs depends on the extent of the fix.

carcrz
02-03-2007, 05:21 PM
I forgot to add that I always put a post on here while I am learning so that I can help others along the way in case they come across the same situation.

lawnboy dan
02-03-2007, 07:11 PM
i do 99.9% of my own mech work. i would go broke if i didnt

newz7151
02-03-2007, 09:44 PM
i do 99.9% of my own mech work. i would go broke if i didnt

Do you pay yourself an hourly rate while you are doing your own repairs? If not, it's lost $$$$. if you're spending the time that you aren't cutting by working on your equipment yourself and not charging your company for the personal overtime spent, the business is running you instead of you running the business. You should be charging enough that when you stop mowing for the day and go home, you don't have to do any additional unpaid work and can spend the time relaxing or with your family.

ed2hess
02-03-2007, 10:09 PM
I try to do around 90% of our repairs and do all of it after hours or on weekends because I enjoy it. I think I would make twice as much repairing stuff as mowing grass if I had to do a tradeoff.

LCPullman
02-04-2007, 02:46 PM
I take care of all the equipment maintainence and repair my self. My business pays me a normal hourly rate for it. The only time I use a shop is when its warranty work.

With some service manuals, general knowledge/common sense, and organization, you can learn to do just about anything yourself. Lawn care equipment is actually quite simple to repair, relatively few factors involved in problems.

The problem is, no repair shop can diagnose a problem like you can. You run the equipment, and know what the problem is, when it happens, etc. They can't necessarily reproduce it in the shop.
It is really a problem for the shop if the problem is periodic/sporadic, or comes to light only under on the job conditions which can't be recreated in the shop. The shop almost has to work in the blind in such a case.

Over all, it seems I can take care of maintainence and repair as well, if not better than the shops I have around.

I do most vehicle maintainence and some repairs. But vehicle are alot more complicated thanks to electronics, computers, lots of wiring, etc. So, I rely on a shop for certain diagnosis and repairs.

GreenN'Clean
02-04-2007, 07:48 PM
My father in law works on all my equipment,trucks,etc. He's been a master tech for 40 years and works on them very cheap

J&R Landscaping
02-04-2007, 08:42 PM
I do most all of my own repair work. It saves money and I am able to do it at night or when I'm not mowing. If I get in a jam, I might bring it to my dealer but mostly I do the repairs myself.

Being a Certified 4 stroke engine Technician definitly has some perks. I guess high school wasn't a total loss.

Tadams
02-04-2007, 09:32 PM
I do about 90-95% of the work myself. I would go broke if I took the equipment to the dealer for every repair. There are guys here that take mowers and two stroke stuff in for oil changes, blade changes, belt replacement, fuel filter changes, cracked fuel lines, and tire repair (plugs). You have to learn how to do these things. I can do these things in the field and save a lot of time and money by not going to the dealer.

DJL50
02-05-2007, 11:53 PM
The thing that gets me is most shops around here are so far behind in their work I have no choice but to do repairs myself. I took a class last fall on small engine repair. I needed a carb rebuilt last May and it took my dealer 9 weeks to get to it. (needless to say he lost a sale on my new ZTR) I had an issue with my new ZTR (from another dealer) To beat the so called spring rush I took it in just after New Years. They were already at a 4 week wait.
To me this is just uncalled for. I realize everyone dumps their mowers on them in the spring but they should plan and expect this. Who is going to know they have a problem with their mower in the dead of winter?? Pay people good money and have a staff on hands to do the work. If I have a problem with my Truck I drop it off and in most cases they have it fixed the same day. Why is it so hard to run a mower shop the same way??? I would be willing to bet 90% of the jobs are not that big of deal. New belt or just old gas in the tank.

J&R Landscaping
02-06-2007, 12:42 AM
I had an issue with my new ZTR (from another dealer) To beat the so called spring rush I took it in just after New Years. They were already at a 4 week wait.
To me this is just uncalled for. I realize everyone dumps their mowers on them in the spring but they should plan and expect this. Who is going to know they have a problem with their mower in the dead of winter?? Pay people good money and have a staff on hands to do the work. If I have a problem with my Truck I drop it off and in most cases they have it fixed the same day. Why is it so hard to run a mower shop the same way??? I would be willing to bet 90% of the jobs are not that big of deal. New belt or just old gas in the tank.


I'm kinda surprised about the above mentioned. I have been to several local dealers with-in the past 2 weeks looking for deals and to see what is new on the market. All but 2 or 3 of these dealers are desperite for service work. I was even told by a 2 dealers that if I drop my equipment off by noon and they have all the nessecary parts in stock, they would have it ready for pick-up before the end of the day! In a few weeks, though it will start getting busy.

DawgGrad00
02-06-2007, 11:14 PM
While living in a very rural area, not born with a silver-spoon and living with an extremely tight budget, our company has realized and always worked on our own stuff. If it weren't for networking with other local mechanics or other people that are very mechanically experienced, we would be in a bind. In fact, were having a few problems today with major equipment but are slowly getting them resolved. Take that blower and get that spark arrestor screen out of it and I bet you'll see an even bigger difference. Shops aren't allowed to do it though so don't ever ask them too. If you do it, you may see an even bigger difference.

topsites
02-07-2007, 02:13 AM
I learned an important lesson early on: You HAVE to include in the price of your services SOME amount for maintenance, regardless of who does it.

Yup, even if you DIY, you not only should get paid, but I learned the hard way there comes a time when you can NOT fix it, and if you have not been getting paid something for maintenance, then you are likely to get caught short on the cash needed to pay someone else to do it.
But what really got me one day, is it dawned on me that it wasn't that I didn't mind doing it, it's that I didn't have a choice.
And I got tired of not having a choice in this matter.
So, charge for it, and get paid.
The shop charges $50 pmh, so you need to get something, too.

That having been said...
On the machines, there isn't much I can't do, other than I will replace an engine / transmission before I attempt to rebuild one (thou the tecumseh's I've gotten pretty good at).

On the cars, I'm limited a bit more...
No shocks or balljoints for me, no exhaust related work or fuel injection systems either.

I can do most anything superficial, thou the bmw's challenge considerably with some things that would appear to be minor repairs (wheel bearings and water pump come to mind, as does the hydraulic fluid clutch pedal system (read: serious nonnnsense lol).

No, no engine rebuilding, I won't go much past the intake / exhaust manifolds, but radiators and a/c systems come easy to me, as is the alternator.
But I do my own trans fluid and filter changes, and I'm good with the brakes, for example.
I have most of the tools, to include an air compressor with some pretty decent stuff, several hydraulic floor and aluminum racing jacks, a dynamic wheel balancer, a tire remover / installer, you name it, only thing I miss is something that lifts the entire car in the air.
Oh, and the towing dolly, man I miss having one of those.

lakesregionscapes
02-07-2007, 02:48 PM
We do 90% of our own maintenance and repairs - can't afford to wait for the local shop to get to it (2-10 days), don't have the time to haul equipment to someone faster, (2 hour round trip each run), and got sick of paying for them to replace parts that were fine, and miss the repair it was brought in for (replace the belts when the spindle is shot? Grrr!). Only warranty repairs go to the shop usually.
We try to teach the guys the basics, so they have a clue when the oil is low, they bust the throttle cable for the third time that season, or they rip out the trimmer recoil string - mixed results on that mission.
Also, we don't have enough equipment on hand to leave it out of service for several days-usually gets fixed that night if it can't be done in the field.

On the trucks did many, many repairs - sent it to the shop if we couldn't figure it out, or were really short for time and had a running backup.
It's gonna be harder there since we upgraded by a decade this past year - from late 80's to 1998-2000 (one can always hope they won't break down as much - yeah right!)

ffemt1271
02-13-2007, 05:58 PM
i do all of my own repair work.

Ga.GrassCutter
02-14-2007, 06:05 PM
I do my own unless it's under warranty. Can't afford the shop rates.

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
02-14-2007, 06:11 PM
Always i do it,local shop here wants $50 a hour.

muddstopper
02-14-2007, 08:13 PM
Time is usually my biggest drawback. I can fix most anything and fab a lot of my attachments and trailers. If I cant find what i want, I build it. DIY isnt always the cheapest way to fix things or even build things. My last trailer cost me way more than simply buying a new one, but I built what i wanted and didnt have to settle for something that would just get me by. Still, If I could have found what I wanted, I wouldnt have went thru the trouble to do it myself. I feel the same way with even simple things. Oil changes, let someone else do it. I drop it off and pick it back up on my way back thru. For the amount of money I would save doing it myself, I would lose more in lost income.