PDA

View Full Version : Buying Equipment from a city


mowerdude777
09-26-2010, 02:26 PM
Is this a good idea, to buy used equipment from city's, I recently found out that a local city has a Giant Vac leaf vac and a Jacobsen 48 WB mower for sale and they are CHEEP and still work, but is it too risky to buy used equipment from a city?

JB1
09-26-2010, 02:28 PM
just buyer beware, or if you are handy working on equipment go for it.

StihlMechanic
09-26-2010, 02:30 PM
If the price is right, buy it. Cities buy new equipment at the begining of their fiscal year, which starts Sept 1st. Your not necessarily buying someone elses headache, they just have new units to replace the old. My experience with cities and their equipment is that they are on strict service schedules.

corey4671
09-26-2010, 02:46 PM
I know around here the have the inmates running the equipment. there's a reason why they upgrade it so often....it's usually just absolutely used up

ShooterK2
09-26-2010, 03:24 PM
Inmates run them here too. My dad is shop foreman for our city, been there 26 years, and works on all the equipment. When I was first getting started in this business, I asked him about the city's old equipment, and he said that, basically, they use it until there's just nothing left. I'm not saying all cities do this, but they use parts off the old mowers to fix the newer ones, and don't sell off anything until it's absolutely of no use to them whatsoever.

Yes, they're on strict maintenance schedules, but they don't get treated very "nice" by the users. From what I've seen and heard from my dad, those guys don't care at all what they "mow" with the city's mowers......

StihlMechanic
09-26-2010, 03:30 PM
What prices are they asking?????????

rwaters
09-26-2010, 03:32 PM
I am sure it depends on the city(as far as maintance, I sell to a few citys close to me 2 really good ones and 1 extreamly bad one, the rest I don't fully know) but I agree with the fact most of the time they are selling it for a reason(if you are a good mechanic you might get a deal otherwise you most likely have a problem) However the leaf vac is more likely to be a good deal, I have 2 citys here with them sitting in the shop as like a lot of rural customers they do not like using the vac systems(the end up using gator blades on the mowers) The walk behind I would not buy unless I had an inside track to make sure the deck is not bent.

mowerbrad
09-26-2010, 03:51 PM
Now all cities/townships sell off their equipment every year and buy brand new stuff. I know at our township DPW they use the equipment for several years. They maintain the stuff pretty well and it all looks pretty nice too. When the department wants to keep the equipment for several years, they are going to take good care of everything.

If the equipment checks out okay when you look through it, I'd say its a safe bet that it will give you some good use.

nepatsfan
09-26-2010, 03:56 PM
Our fiscal year starts 7/1. I am not sure if it is like that in every state but anyways. This is gonna vary from city to city. Its kind of like asking if you should buy equipment from a landscape company. Some cities and towns are gonna maintain their equipment really well, on a full maintenance schedule but I suspect a lot of times with budget cut backs and stuff they might be more on a maintenance by breakdown schedule. I think it's gonna really depend on the town. I would try to go down and talk to the mechanic if you are serious or try to find catch one of the guys on the grounds department at a coffee shop or something(shouldn't be too hard to find a municipal employee at a coffee shop) and just ask them. I heard such and such piece of equipment is for sale...how does that thing run. Then ask if they maintain their stuff pretty frequently. Another thing about the municipal stuff is they might not have enough equipment to let something go for a day once a week or every couple weeks. In short it will totally depend on the city you buy it from and it will be tough to generalize on municipal equipment. One thing you can be sure of it when it is running, its probably run hard, which most commercial mowers can take but look at them closely. If I heard about a equipment being sold by a local municipality for cheap, I would definitely go look at it. I buy a lot of stuff from auctions too which can be a crap shoot but if you get stuff reasonable enough you can miss once and a while and still be ahead.

mowerdude777
09-26-2010, 04:08 PM
What prices are they asking?????????

Its on a surplus auction site, the bids last I checked were 150 for the vac, 35 inch path and has a briggs and the mower is at 200 and has a kaw 24 hp but they just extended the action another 8 days:mad:

StihlMechanic
09-26-2010, 05:24 PM
Its on a surplus auction site, the bids last I checked were 150 for the vac, 35 inch path and has a briggs and the mower is at 200 and has a kaw 24 hp but they just extended the action another 8 days:mad:

If you can get either for $400 and under, its a steal. Even if they end up being wornout, you could make your money using them unil they crash and burn. If you want lightly used commercial equipment, good luck, at least around here, You either have to buy it new or buy scrap metal, lol.

cpel2004
09-26-2010, 06:28 PM
Caveat Emptor! Not all cities maintain their equipment like we would think they do!

mowerdude777
09-26-2010, 07:55 PM
If you can get either for $400 and under, its a steal. Even if they end up being wornout, you could make your money using them unil they crash and burn. If you want lightly used commercial equipment, good luck, at least around here, You either have to buy it new or buy scrap metal, lol.

Yeah true they are not new in any way but they run and work

Trevor8
09-26-2010, 10:19 PM
I think you should save your money. You will not be able to pull a dump trailer with a van. If you are going to get a truck soon then get the vac. I dont think you need another mower unless one is in bad shape. Just my opinion don't take it the wrong way.