View Full Version : How long to keep mowers?

05-30-2010, 06:32 PM
Hey we got a handful of mowers now that are getting old (1500 hrs +) and was wondering what other companies do about this? As some of the mowers are not 2 reliable anymore. i talked to a guy down here and he says he trades in each mower after 2 years on a truck. Does anyone do anything like this or something different?

B Gillespie
05-30-2010, 07:35 PM
Should I mow my grass at 3" or 4"? Depends on the situation.

A few factors will be income, sales, profit margin, equipment repair costs, equipment efficiency, tax implications, debt to equity, liquidity, operator comfort/fatigue...

Cost out your options with an Excel spreadsheet and let it tell you. FYI, Solver is a handy free app from Microsoft.
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05-30-2010, 08:07 PM
If you trade them in every 2 years you'll never have any maintenance cost other than blades and oil changes, they'll be under warranty.

05-30-2010, 08:13 PM
Depends on how long it took to get to 1500 hours. That isn't really a lot of hours. Lots of factors here, do you need the tax write offs? If they aren't reliable, how much would it take to make them reliable and would you feel right about selling something to someone that you knew was going to have problems?

Big C
05-30-2010, 08:20 PM
Free bump for a Gonzales guy!

05-30-2010, 08:54 PM
i have two walkers , one has 5800 hours, the other around there but the meter screwed up and spun up to 9000

second motor on each

both look like hell, but cut like they were brand new

05-30-2010, 09:25 PM
Run'em until it is costing you more in time and repairs than the mowers are worth.

My Lx172 is ninteen years old (we bought it new in 1993 the build date says June 1991) and other than a new transmission, pto clutch, a few electrical parts and an oil pan seal it still runs and cuts like new. Right now it's worth around $800-$1000 in current condition(the last time I was at my dealer I was talking to a guy behind me in line and he offered me $1,200 for it).

The key to longevity is simple maintenance and operating attitude. I don't beat on it and take it easy when I'm using it. My parents bought it in 1993 (I was three at the time) so I treat it as if I am borrowing it from them i.e. better than I treat my own things, and I take good care of my own stuff. If, God forbid, something major did break again like the tranny or the engine then I would trade it off on something new. Just because something doesn't look like it did when it came from the dealer doesn't always mean that it's at the end of its useful life.

Yes as something gets older parts start to wear out or break but you need to ask yourself, Have I gotten a full return on my investment, and is this problem going to cost me more than the thing is worth. A fifty dollar part does not mean a "death sentence" for lack of a better term on an older unit that is worth 4-5K used.

05-30-2010, 10:29 PM
How long someone keeps a mower is highly dependant on the type of person they are. Some people like to replace them every 2 years, others like to keep them until they are completely "dead".

How well you care for your equipment can also affect how long you keep your mower. If you keep up on the maintenance and use quality parts and fluids, then your mower can last a heck of a long time. So you can then keep it for a longer period of time.

For me, I would be getting rid of a mower with 1400-1800 hours on it...this way, I can get a little money out of it and I'll have gotten quite a bit of use out of it.

05-30-2010, 11:20 PM
I run them until the wheels fall off, then I jimmy rig the wheels back on with some coat hanger wire
and run them until the frame falls apart, which at that point I duct tape it back together and run it
some more until the machine is losing big chunks of steel, now I take some worn out blades and cut
out pieces of steel to weld in place, then I run it until it is so badly worn out that usually by the time
the entire thing is ready to crumble into a small little pile of dust, I can then just grab a broom and a
dust pan and take care of it as a tear rolls down my cheek.

Which, not sure if I mentioned it but I run it until it absoflutely will NOT run and CAN not be run any more.

Run'em until it is costing you more in time and repairs than the mowers are worth.

Easier said than done LOL!

Especially when a new mower's 4g.

05-31-2010, 02:47 AM
Generally speaking, I treat a mower as I do a truck - buy it used at less than 30% of original cost, then run it till the nickles and dimes you're feeding into it get too prevasive and begins to cause you to question reliability. OR...if you loose trust in something - trade it it!

It's this American culture "thing" of perpetual debt that really eats at me. We're in love with the "new" so we seem to have to have it, and have it NOW! Not for me, I'll take a savings account instead.

05-31-2010, 04:27 AM
i agree, run it until it is costing your more to repair than it is for a new mower or a used mower. Swap engine, weld idc. It cost 700$ for a new engine that can last you for 3-4 years depending on use and care compared to $7000 for a new mower that again will need repairs and overhauls again in 3-5 years. Run them till they are completely done. A good maintenance program and some paint and the things will look and run great. If it can still cut the grass and leave a good cut, then I will keep running it. When it gets to the point where its near death. I will fix it up a a little and make it a rough field over grown lot mower. Only gets used a few times a year, but you wont get much for the machine on trade in or sell

SouthSide Cutter
05-31-2010, 06:01 AM
I was thinking about trading this spring. Mower was 2 yrs old and going out of war. Had 600 hrs on it. Was going to give me about half price of a new one. So I figured if you can run it 2 more yrs. Then just buy a new one again its the same money. The longer you run it the cheaper it gets. I think it depends on the hrs you put on it and how you take care of it. Like the above says keep it for rough mowing jobs when its older.

05-31-2010, 02:48 PM
thing is i dont use the mowers my employees do. i stay on them about taking care of it but they dont always do. one mower is 13 months old with 1800 hours on it and the other is 2.5 years old with 2300 hours and another one is 3 years with 1500 hrs. so i can run it till its dead like some of you smaller companies who cut on your own machine and can take care of it better.