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View Full Version : What do you do if you're broke down for the day?


IA_James
06-09-2007, 07:54 PM
Ran into this the day before yesterday, blade drive belt broke on my Scag. Couldn't get the belt 'til the next day. Oil didn't need changed, blades were ok. Could have cleaned up the west side of the house (shrubs and vines) but it was too hot. So I just sat there and drank beer while I filled my head full of Lawnsite.com goodness. What do you all do?

sildoc
06-09-2007, 08:02 PM
get the part or get a loaner. Mow mow mow no time to sit and piss away a day. Not to mention what to do with an employee.

ZX12R
06-09-2007, 08:21 PM
I always keep spare belts.

IA_James
06-09-2007, 08:37 PM
get the part or get a loaner. Mow mow mow no time to sit and piss away a day. Not to mention what to do with an employee.

Well, my only employee is me. And I was done anyway after I finished the lawn I was at with my Lawn Boy. So, if you break down, and it don't matter, and you can't get the part 'til the next day, what do ya do?

lawnboy dan
06-09-2007, 08:59 PM
back up mower and keep spare belts in case . i have my trusty toro 32 tbar as a backup (actually i have 2)

topsites
06-09-2007, 09:51 PM
It's rare for me, I learned to carry spare belts in the truck box, most little stuff slows me down but I fix it right then and there. I learned to always carry spares of the stupid stuff that breaks most often, and a pretty complete set of tools, too.

Once, maybe twice a year something does crap out on me to where I can not fix it. If it's a grass-cutting related machine, I run home and grab the spare, yet another valuable lesson learned over the years.

The worst is the push blower, I only have one of those.
I suppose you could rent a machine for the day (yes they rent Wb's) but between all the time you'll put into that rigmarole, by then you're as well off having fixed your own, I find myself too short on time when renting, then there's no time left for repairing what's broken.

Not a whole lot you can do, but wait.
At least it's only a couple of days.

meets1
06-09-2007, 10:20 PM
Where in Iowa? Just had a Toro Z go down, wheel motor and one pump. 570hrs, 1 year old. My dealer tells me that at the earliest Wed. b/c he needs to order those parts and then tells me that maybe the mower has been handled roughly and maybe we do alot of turning on the concrete to break this. I tell him - warrent the thing - do whatever after spending 100K in the last 4 years with this guy I don;t have time for him to tell me that were rough on equipment. I have 4 z's - I can get by for a day or two but I may to be renting come wed. I will then have to get a kubota or deere cuz my toro dealer has nothing on hand for us to use as a backup.

That was my Friday nite and sat morning fun!

Brianslawn
06-09-2007, 10:20 PM
what was wrong with the 5 back up mowers? arent you a business? business have all the equipment needed to keep operating reguardless what happens. that means extra parts, mowers, trucks, trailers, trimmers, blowers, etc. you need to have at least three of everything otherwise customers are going to loose faith in you and sign up with a corporate giant.

this is the exact reason why we run so many people out of biz each year. its nothing we do. the ignorant lawnboys go out and commit biz suicide by not being prepared. you want your customers to know a $10 part put you out of business?

sounds like you need to go out and spend a $100k getting set up properly.

ProMo
06-09-2007, 10:33 PM
I usually take the belt to napa and get a replacement if the mower shop doesnt have it

bohiaa
06-09-2007, 11:06 PM
it happens to solo guys..... like almost everyone else I try to always keep spares. I even have a spare set of blades for everything.....
Redundancy,,,,Redundancy,,,,,Redundancy,,,,,

comming from the computer field this was drilled into my head.

If your servers are down for 24 hrs your outta business in 2 yeras.
if there down for 48 hrs, your outta business that year..

Brianslawn said it rather cruely but he's right

LindblomRJ
06-09-2007, 11:26 PM
I agree with Brianslawn. Or have a contingency plan in place. You can't always count on your dealer.

The only thing your customer cares about is that you show up and do a good job. If you can't fulfill that promise they will go elsewhere. Frankly I don't blame them.

Grits
06-09-2007, 11:28 PM
I use the back-up mower and get the main mower fixed. Do whatever you gotta do to stay up and running. Being prepared is the key.

Added Touch
06-09-2007, 11:37 PM
I think sometimes you just gotta stop, smell the roses and have beer! But, only when it rains lol. Serioulsy, just putting together an emergency kit. What would you recomend as a basic list of topitems to include?

Thanks in advance

TK

65hoss
06-09-2007, 11:59 PM
We carry any and all wear items on the trucks. A real business always has backups, spare parts and common sense to get the job done. NOT SIT AROUND DRINKING BEER! I really don't care if its a one man show or a large crew, THINK LIKE A REAL BUSINESS. If you don't, neither will your customers and future customers.

Vikings
06-10-2007, 12:23 AM
I even got an extra truck. But so far I have nothing spare for my Toro 36 t bar. Not even sure what to get, it's brand new. I just bought a impact gun so I can get the blades off.

cantoo
06-10-2007, 12:46 AM
My wife does all the cutting. In our cube van she carries a Walker GHS and a 61" Bobcat midmount. Last week she broke the front wheel off the Bobcat and still finished the lawn on three wheels. She could have just used the Walker but was in a hurry so she just finished up with the Bobcat on 3. At home we have another Bobcat 61", two Steiners with 60 and 72" decks, and a JD 60" front mount. It would be an extremely rare time that we would miss a cut. The grass doesn't stop growing when your mower is broke. We have spare parts and belts for everything, I even had a spare yoke for the front wheel that broke off. Ten minutes and it was ready to go again. We run zero flats on some equipment to cut downtime. Run twin Bobcats to cut down on spare parts needed. We also use another thing called "Preventative Maintenance" that helps cut back on the downtime.

65hoss
06-10-2007, 12:54 AM
I even got an extra truck. But so far I have nothing spare for my Toro 36 t bar. Not even sure what to get, it's brand new. I just bought a impact gun so I can get the blades off.

Go get an extra 2 sets of blades, drive belts and trans belt if belt drive or hydro belt if hydro unit. A couple of spark plugs and extra air filter.

After you use this mower a while and find those little things after it gets some age...when you buy those parts...get 2 instead of 1.

Added Touch
06-10-2007, 01:07 AM
Good stuff .. thanks all!

captken
06-10-2007, 01:12 AM
ditto that.
Hoss, When are you guys gonna cut the rest of that hill on Covington Pike? The guy at the 4-Wheel drive shop asked my guys when they were cutting the Abra if they would cut the rest of the hill, behind what you are cutting... they said NOT! and called me, I told them they made the right call.

kenny.

65hoss
06-10-2007, 01:34 AM
ditto that.
Hoss, When are you guys gonna cut the rest of that hill on Covington Pike? The guy at the 4-Wheel drive shop asked my guys when they were cutting the Abra if they would cut the rest of the hill, behind what you are cutting... they said NOT! and called me, I told them they made the right call.

kenny.
huh?? You must be talking about that section farther down. If so, it wasn't the 4 wheel drive guys but the owner of that section. Each section of building owns there on part out front. They asked us for a price last year, they didn't like the amount. Its VERY steep. 90% of 3/4 acre would have to be done with trimmers.

MikeLT1Z28
06-10-2007, 01:38 AM
you talking about the overpass over near saturn and the MLGW office?

65hoss
06-10-2007, 01:39 AM
you talking about the overpass over near saturn and the MLGW office?

yea. The straight up lawn we maintain.

MikeLT1Z28
06-10-2007, 01:41 AM
sounds like a job for some inmate labor to me....

you get that picture link?

topsites
06-10-2007, 01:49 AM
Yes, DO back stock supplies, it comes in handy not just for uptime with your customers, but also like myself, if you ever have a rough year (or 3) then having a slew of back stock is another way guys like myself outlast the competition.

If you think waiting 2-3 days is bad, what happens if the supplier is out and it takes 3-4 weeks?
Worse yet, what IF you have such a bad year that you can't afford the part?

I always find it difficult to save my money past a point, the stuff just burns a hole in my pockets.
So, I buy supplies, what better way to get rid of it?
Bonus: Tax deductible.
Bonus: Far less people (read: vultures) are interested in a company that has 10 thousand dollars worth of boring and greasy lawn mower and related parts sitting around than that much cash in the bank, just as example.

//////////////////////////

sorry, thread hijack below

If your servers are down for 24 hrs your outta business in 2 yeras.
if there down for 48 hrs, your outta business that year..

Brianslawn said it rather cruely but he's right

Oh man how I wish most hosts saw what you speak of, get this, they all claim 99.9% uptime (a few claim only 99%) either way those are some lofty claims (deep hip boots recommended). More like 99.9% of hosts never even come close to meeting their uptime guarantees.

A 99.9% uptime guarantee means the host is ALLOWED one HOUR of downtime for every 1,000 hours uptime!
To get this straight, it takes almost 6 weeks for 1,000 hours to pass, and while that might not ring the bells, this next part will: In one whole year, any host guaranteeing 99.9% uptime is only allowed a total of 8.75 hours of downtime!

So you are absolutely correct, any host of mine is down for more than 9 hours the entire year, I'm gone.
Ok, you know, 12 maybe, but most are down a lot more than that.

Liquidfast
06-10-2007, 08:49 AM
If I were to go down for the day.........my wife would re-marry me all over again.






Break downs happen. Let's just say that every guru on here that was so nice to offer advice like "No real biz goes down" etc. breaks down 1 hour from their yard and it's rush hour. That one hour drive will take 4 both ways and it is now dark........what then??

If you are down for more than a day..........you are screwed.

bohiaa
06-10-2007, 09:06 AM
Yes, DO back stock supplies, it comes in handy not just for uptime with your customers, but also like myself, if you ever have a rough year (or 3) then having a slew of back stock is another way guys like myself outlast the competition.

If you think waiting 2-3 days is bad, what happens if the supplier is out and it takes 3-4 weeks?
Worse yet, what IF you have such a bad year that you can't afford the part?

I always find it difficult to save my money past a point, the stuff just burns a hole in my pockets.
So, I buy supplies, what better way to get rid of it?
Bonus: Tax deductible.
Bonus: Far less people (read: vultures) are interested in a company that has 10 thousand dollars worth of boring and greasy lawn mower and related parts sitting around than that much cash in the bank, just as example.

//////////////////////////

sorry, thread hijack below



Oh man how I wish most hosts saw what you speak of, get this, they all claim 99.9% uptime (a few claim only 99%) either way those are some lofty claims (deep hip boots recommended). More like 99.9% of hosts never even come close to meeting their uptime guarantees.

A 99.9% uptime guarantee means the host is ALLOWED one HOUR of downtime for every 1,000 hours uptime!
To get this straight, it takes almost 6 weeks for 1,000 hours to pass, and while that might not ring the bells, this next part will: In one whole year, any host guaranteeing 99.9% uptime is only allowed a total of 8.75 hours of downtime!

So you are absolutely correct, any host of mine is down for more than 9 hours the entire year, I'm gone.
Ok, you know, 12 maybe, but most are down a lot more than that.



yea... I was in the computer field for 12 years,,,, seems the the attacks on America drove us all outta business, I will never forget some of the stupid mistakes I have seen, a lot of co's want to follow Microsoft, there attitude is if you have a problem throw money at it.... well thats not allways the case...

IA_James
06-10-2007, 10:14 AM
We carry any and all wear items on the trucks. A real business always has backups, spare parts and common sense to get the job done. NOT SIT AROUND DRINKING BEER! I really don't care if its a one man show or a large crew, THINK LIKE A REAL BUSINESS. If you don't, neither will your customers and future customers.


If you'd read all of my post, you would have noticed that I did finish up, and I don't have a full sched so there was nothing going on anyway. Couldn't fix the belt, the rest of the equipment in good shape maintenance wise.

LCPullman
06-10-2007, 07:43 PM
Well, If you really don't have a full schedule, you can waste a day, but a not full schedule becomes a disastrously full schedule really quickly if your down.
We stock wear items and have backup mowers.

mini14
06-10-2007, 07:52 PM
i never have downtime i allways make sure i have a backup for everything.

meets1
06-10-2007, 09:23 PM
Belts, fuses, what about flat tires? I have wasted time going after plywood, a jack, sockets and I always carry my cordless impact, to jack up a mower, take off tire, run to station to fix, go back, place back on, put supplies back into truck. That kills me for down time and believe it or not, I have had 3 flats in the last week alone. Not all on the same mowers but with different crews at different locations. Everytime this happens it seems to be out in the middle of no where and just takes time.

Blades are always with us, extra fuel filters, trimmer heads, zip strips, ect. But somethings are just unforseeable as far as equipment break-downs. As sufficient as you want to be there is always some time wasted due to a breakdown.

cantoo
06-10-2007, 09:54 PM
My wife had a major beakdown today on our most important lawn. She was cutting our own grass and got a flat tire. She limped to the garage and I had the jack and electric impact on it right away. Spare tire was sitting beside the shop door cause she just had a flat a few days ago. All in all it was less than 5 minutes and she was cutting again. Flat tire is sitting beside garage and will be dropped off at the tire shop on the way past tomorrow morning and picked up tomorrow night on the way home.
Two other mowers are in my shop, one waiting for a hydraulic hose and one just getting some PM. We have two Steiners and two Bobcats and only one operator so we're good. The only machine we don't have back up for is the Walker and it has never let us down for more than a day or two. I do all repairs myself.

LindblomRJ
06-10-2007, 09:59 PM
For flat tires you can be like Topsites. Buy a tire changer and wheel balancer. Does anyone use "tire slime" and if so what success do you have with prevention? There is always a can of fix-a-flat :laugh:

Lohse's Lawn Service
06-10-2007, 10:09 PM
what was wrong with the 5 back up mowers? arent you a business? business have all the equipment needed to keep operating reguardless what happens. that means extra parts, mowers, trucks, trailers, trimmers, blowers, etc. you need to have at least three of everything otherwise customers are going to loose faith in you and sign up with a corporate giant.

this is the exact reason why we run so many people out of biz each year. its nothing we do. the ignorant lawnboys go out and commit biz suicide by not being prepared. you want your customers to know a $10 part put you out of business?

sounds like you need to go out and spend a $100k getting set up properly.

Well said. And some wonder why I have the equipment I do. For reasons just like this! I also have a back-up trailer. Not as long, not as big, but I won't waste any time if something isn't up to par. I have OCD.

I was once an "ignorant lawnboy" as you like to call it. But we all start somewhere and you were a lawnboy at some point in time, too.

J&R Landscaping
06-10-2007, 10:55 PM
I keep spare parts on the truck just in case of problems. I have a back-up mower as well. If worse came to worse, I would gt other work done or billing/office work done. For me, I could really benefit from a 36 hour work day so I generally dont have a whole lot of extra time.

Also, to the original poster,
If 1 dealer did not have the part you needed, couldnt you have gone to another dealer to get what you needed?

cantoo
06-10-2007, 11:10 PM
We use a cube van for our daily mowing but we also have a truck and more than 12 trailers available to use. I have two 16' trailers, one 20', and 10 more single axle trailers from 4' to 14' long for hauling various stuff.
We used to use slime but it was a hassle somtimes. We still use it but have tried to weed out the thorn tree lots instead. I have thought about a tire changer but our local guy is pretty good and we also do work for him so I throw him some money. We buy most of our tires from him and he gives us decent deals.

bigbear
06-10-2007, 11:47 PM
i take all my tires to the local tire shop and have them filled with foam(back ones fronts are exmark solids) never had a problem just have to cur old tire off with sawzall

LCPullman
06-11-2007, 12:26 AM
For flat tires you can be like Topsites. Buy a tire changer and wheel balancer. Does anyone use "tire slime" and if so what success do you have with prevention? There is always a can of fix-a-flat :laugh:

Our Hustlers come from the factory with sealent and we've never had flat troubl, but we know the sealent is why we don't have trouble.

Stillwater
06-11-2007, 03:06 AM
what do I do? get off my ass and go to a autoparts store and buy the belt if the dealer dont have one. dont just buy one, buy 3 of the dam things. or you could ingnore this and watch startrek

Midwest Lawn Services
06-11-2007, 04:02 AM
I always keep spare belts.

What he said. Down time=wasted time=lost profit=pi$$es me off!:cry: Call me anal retentive, but I always carry TWO sets of belts for every machine. Bad luck can't shut down this operation, just poor planning!:hammerhead: