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View Full Version : Do you always carry your backup mower?


williams lcm
01-25-2011, 04:20 PM
I have been carrying my backup mower for quite sometime. I never use it. It is an extra 1500lbs that I really don't need to be carrying down the road. I am thinking about putting it in my garage unitl I need it. What do you guys do? I think it will save on wear and tear on my truck and trailer.

wvaughn7
01-25-2011, 04:30 PM
I think it depends on a couple things. If you only have one mower total that you use I would carry a backup. We have two mowers on the trailer at all times, so if one goes down worst case scenario is that we have to spend a little extra time with just the one going. If you have a pretty reliable mower and you aren't that far from your house on most days I also wouldn't worry about it. Now if you are pretty far from your house and you have trouble from your mower I would definately keep some sort of backup so you wouldn't be stuck so far from home and have to go all the way back.

twcw5804
01-25-2011, 04:37 PM
I mow by myself. But I had days last year when I went out with (2) 21'' Toros and a 36'' exmark, and my ZTR. I felt kinda funny having 4 mowers with one guy, but all got put to use. The two Toros were set to different heights so I didn't have to raise and lower for different yards.

tailboardtech
01-25-2011, 04:55 PM
i dont carry my spare mower but i do carry a backup weedeater

nolanjim
01-25-2011, 05:03 PM
We leave the backups at home. We carry a 60, 36, and 21, in a pinch we'll use the smaller mowers. Then when we get home bring out the backups.
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T.E.
01-25-2011, 05:45 PM
What's the point of having a backup if it's not with you? Yes I have it with me.

Richard Martin
01-25-2011, 06:32 PM
We leave the backups at home. We carry a 60, 36, and 21, in a pinch we'll use the smaller mowers. Then when we get home bring out the backups.

I do the same. In 17 years I've only had to head back to the shop twice because I lost a mower and couldn't continue. The catastrophic failure rate is so low that it's not worth taking the backup mowers. If I save 1 mpg it's well worth not taking them needlessly. I figure I've saved 1,000 gallons of gas over the years.

BTW, if you're wondering, you have to travel 100 miles to save a gallon of gas at the 1 mpg rate.

h2oskier
01-25-2011, 06:36 PM
So technically it wouldn't be called a backup it would be called a run back to go get mower.

chipk1
01-25-2011, 07:03 PM
I can't remember the last time I used a 21"!

We leave the backups at home. We carry a 60, 36, and 21, in a pinch we'll use the smaller mowers. Then when we get home bring out the backups.
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nolanjim
01-25-2011, 07:52 PM
I'm with you Martin. I've only had to use the backup once in all my years. It's about effiency so its just not good sense to bring something along that isn't being used. They are not collecting dust either, they get used on my property. I trust my equipment.
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Lefet
01-25-2011, 08:02 PM
We have multiple mowers on the trailer at any given time so the back up stays in the garage until needed. We can always get through the day with what we have, just may take a little longer.

meets1
01-25-2011, 08:04 PM
TO those that say if you have why not bring it? Total waste of time, fuel, weight, space on trailer etc.

I have spares one but there in the shop. If one goes down go get the spare. Maybe if you drive 40 minutes one way to get to a yard and then your in the neighborhood for the day maybe but thats a judgement call. Everything for me is within 20 minutes of shop as the furthest point.

Back up mower vs - run back and get mower??? Why??

B&M
01-25-2011, 10:39 PM
We carry a 21in, a 36in,and a 52in on the trailer. If the 52 goes down the 36 comes off the trailer to finish the property. Then we will pick up a backup from the shop.

Buck_wheat
01-26-2011, 06:31 AM
we carry three mowers on the trailers; 60' 52" & 36" ... any one can be be a back up

meets1
01-26-2011, 07:57 AM
I agree with BM above.
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punt66
01-26-2011, 08:23 AM
I sold all my back up mowers. My ferris has never left me stranded. I was sick of storing equipment i never used. All gone. My dealer would give me a mower to use if its a major issue with down time.

Richard Martin
01-26-2011, 09:32 AM
My ferris has never left me stranded.

I wasn't going to bring this up but since you opened the can of worms...

Ironically enough it was a Ferris built mower that left me stranded both times. Back in 96 I had a Woods CM36 SD (identical to the Ferris SD except for the operator controls) that had an issue with the transmission. It wouldn't budge. Then in 2009 my Ferris Hydrowalk SD shredded the tranny belt because of a plastic pulley. And it only had about 75 hours on it then.

Neither mower ever gave me any trouble after that. My newer Ferris' plastic pulley has been superceeded by the factory with a metal pulley. There is a metal pulley on there now and the new models come with a metal pulley.

BTW, when I went to get a new pulley the dealer didn't have one. He offered to take one off of a floor model but I told him not to bother. It is a lot of work to change the pulley and I saw no point in making a situation worse by being a pain in the ass to the dealer. He had to ship the new pulley to me since I live 350 miles away. Free shipping. :)

punt66
01-26-2011, 09:40 AM
I wasn't going to bring this up but since you opened the can of worms...

Ironically enough it was a Ferris built mower that left me stranded both times. Back in 96 I had a Woods CM36 SD (identical to the Ferris SD except for the operator controls) that had an issue with the transmission. It wouldn't budge. Then in 2009 my Ferris Hydrowalk SD shredded the tranny belt because of a plastic pulley. And it only had about 75 hours on it then.

Neither mower ever gave me any trouble after that. My newer Ferris' plastic pulley has been superceeded by the factory with a metal pulley. There is a metal pulley on there now and the new models come with a metal pulley.

BTW, when I went to get a new pulley the dealer didn't have one. He offered to take one off of a floor model but I told him not to bother. It is a lot of work to change the pulley and I saw no point in making a situation worse by being a pain in the ass to the dealer. He had to ship the new pulley to me since I live 350 miles away. Free shipping. :)

Those are some old mowers. The mowers of today are different animals.

JeffW0011
01-26-2011, 09:49 AM
What's the point of having a backup if it's not with you? Yes I have it with me.

I have a backup truck but I don't have someone follow me in it every day.

I have a backup trailer but I still only take one trailer with me when I go out to mow.

I have a backup spray system but I really can only use one at a time so I leave it behind.

Unless your main mower is acting up or other circumstances exist were you believe you might actually need the mower that day leave it behind. When grandma runs that stop sign and T-Bones your trailer and your equipment is in a mangled heap in the middle of the road you will be glad to know your backup is sitting back in your garage/shop right where it belongs.

yardguy28
01-26-2011, 09:54 AM
I have been carrying my backup mower for quite sometime. I never use it. It is an extra 1500lbs that I really don't need to be carrying down the road. I am thinking about putting it in my garage unitl I need it. What do you guys do? I think it will save on wear and tear on my truck and trailer.

i also carry my back up mower every day with me. but my backup mower also serves as the mower that gets me in a few gated backyards.

i have a 52" grandstand and a 36" wb. i use that 36" wb on one backyard on tues, one backyard on wed. and one backyard on thurs. the rest of the mowing week it sits on the trailer serving as a backup should my 52" mower go down.

i don't think 1500lbs puts that much extra strain on the truck and trailer. but i am curious what mower weighs that much. i don't know the typical weights of sit down ztrs, but my 36" wb weights probably is 600lbs and my grandstand probably 1000lbs.

i would much rather have it on the trailer to save the time of having to run back to the shop to get the spare.

STL Cuts
01-26-2011, 10:34 AM
We carry a 21in, a 36in,and a 52in on the trailer. If the 52 goes down the 36 comes off the trailer to finish the property. Then we will pick up a backup from the shop.

Ditto, except I have a 48" not a 52"

Richard Martin
01-26-2011, 10:39 AM
Those are some old mowers. The mowers of today are different animals.

Nah. They still make the same exact Hydrowalk.

jaec
01-26-2011, 10:39 AM
I take my backup mower with me, just incase. You never know when it will come in handy. Things happen.

93Chevy
01-26-2011, 10:40 AM
Maybe if you're in the position where you need to carry a backup mower around with you every day, you should sell both mowers, buy one that's not going to leave you stranded, and take care of it.

I'm all about having different mowers for different areas, but if you really need to carry a second mower everywhere because you're afraid your main mower is going to take a dump, then maybe something needs to be reevaluated.

ON EDIT: I'm not referring to anybody specifically. Just didn't want anybody to think I'm calling them out.

jaec
01-26-2011, 10:47 AM
Maybe if you're in the position where you need to carry a backup mower around with you every day, you should sell both mowers, buy one that's not going to leave you stranded, and take care of it.

I'm all about having different mowers for different areas, but if you really need to carry a second mower everywhere because you're afraid your main mower is going to take a dump, then maybe something needs to be reevaluated.

ON EDIT: I'm not referring to anybody specifically. Just didn't want anybody to think I'm calling them out.
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gasracer
01-26-2011, 11:58 AM
Depends on my route for the day. I may have both big ones or one big one and the 36". I carry the 2nd mower for a reason not just for a backup.Proper maintenance keeps breakdowns from popping up.

yardguy28
01-26-2011, 04:12 PM
Maybe if you're in the position where you need to carry a backup mower around with you every day, you should sell both mowers, buy one that's not going to leave you stranded, and take care of it.

I'm all about having different mowers for different areas, but if you really need to carry a second mower everywhere because you're afraid your main mower is going to take a dump, then maybe something needs to be reevaluated.

ON EDIT: I'm not referring to anybody specifically. Just didn't want anybody to think I'm calling them out.

i know your not calling anyone out specifically but for the record i wouldn't necessarly say my backup mower is a true backup mower.

like i said i carry a 52" and a 36" mower every day. do i need to carry that 36" mower every day. no not really. but should the 52" go out the 36" will take it place.

i use the 36" wb in 3 backyards through out the week. those 3 backyards happen to be on 3 different days. some might put all 3 of those yards on the same day so they'd only haul the 36" mower around that one day but then if my 52" did go out, i'd have to go back to the shop to get the 36". this way i just throw the 52" on the trailer, grab the 36" and keep going.

93Chevy
01-26-2011, 04:20 PM
i know your not calling anyone out specifically but for the record i wouldn't necessarly say my backup mower is a true backup mower.

like i said i carry a 52" and a 36" mower every day. do i need to carry that 36" mower every day. no not really. but should the 52" go out the 36" will take it place.

i use the 36" wb in 3 backyards through out the week. those 3 backyards happen to be on 3 different days. some might put all 3 of those yards on the same day so they'd only haul the 36" mower around that one day but then if my 52" did go out, i'd have to go back to the shop to get the 36". this way i just throw the 52" on the trailer, grab the 36" and keep going.

See that makes sense because you actually use it.

Some other posters led on that they load up two mowers and only use one of them throughout the day. That doesn't make any sense. If your main mower is in the condition that you don't trust using it all day, and you have enough revenue for a backup, then something needs to be reevaluated in my opinion.

Sure, breakdowns happen and they suck. Belts break, tires blow, blades bend, etc. But I really don't see the point in taking along another mower that's not being used. Leave it at the shop and pick it up.

mowerbrad
01-26-2011, 04:30 PM
This year I'll be carrying two mowers with me most of the time. The second mower won't be used as a back-up, but rather on some smaller properties.

Like others have posted, I don't understand the point of carrying two mowers only to use 1 of them. Seems like you'll just decrease your gas mileage even more and increase the wear and tear on your truck and trailer. If my mower breaks down, I'll probably spend a while trying to figure out how to get all 1800lbs of mower up the ramp on the trailer so I can get it to the dealer. All I have to do is get the mower to the dealer so I can drop it off and pick up a loaner mower.

MOturkey
01-26-2011, 05:57 PM
If I mow by myself, I don't need both Z's, but I take both anyway. I don't like carrying the extra weight either, but it is well worth if it something goes wrong, and given enough time, something will. I also have had to use one mower to pull the other out of the mud a couple of times, and having both with me was invaluable.

All that said, I would think it would depend upon your situation. If you are only a few miles from the shop most of the day, and don't mow properties where you can get stuck in a ditch or wet spot, then it might not be worth it to drag two mowers around all day.

MOturkey
01-26-2011, 06:00 PM
Depends on my route for the day. I may have both big ones or one big one and the 36". I carry the 2nd mower for a reason not just for a backup.Proper maintenance keeps breakdowns from popping up.

You have either been awfully lucky, or you haven't done much mowing. :)

gasracer
01-26-2011, 06:51 PM
You have either been awfully lucky, or you haven't done much mowing. :)

I have had freak things happen. I spun a idler bearing on Monday. Got it back on Wed. Spun the one on the other side on Friday. I finished with the other mower,dropped it off at the shop,Picked up other mower and continued on. Flats and things like that you have no control over.

rodzilla94
01-26-2011, 08:52 PM
i carry my 48 hydro walk and my 60 tank at all times the 48 is for my hills im not comfortable with my tank on. you have to remember i live in tennessee and just about every yard has a hill that a ztr slids alot or just cant mow:wall

yardguy28
01-27-2011, 01:27 PM
This year I'll be carrying two mowers with me most of the time. The second mower won't be used as a back-up, but rather on some smaller properties.

Like others have posted, I don't understand the point of carrying two mowers only to use 1 of them. Seems like you'll just decrease your gas mileage even more and increase the wear and tear on your truck and trailer. If my mower breaks down, I'll probably spend a while trying to figure out how to get all 1800lbs of mower up the ramp on the trailer so I can get it to the dealer. All I have to do is get the mower to the dealer so I can drop it off and pick up a loaner mower.

see, i'd rather carry around a mower as a backup that doesn't get used at all except when needed as a backup.

this way if my mower breaks down i can get it on the trailer and pull off the other one and keep working. i can take my broken mower to the dealer when it's more convenient. to have to stop mid day to take a mower to a dealer and get a loaner is a time consuming event.

if my mower broke say tues. i'd use the backup mower until i had time to take the mower in to the dealer. that would either be a rainy day, a sat. or i'd try and get a helper for a day so i could finish work early and get the mower over to the dealer.

i don't wanna have to stop mid route and run to a dealer or my shop to get a mower just to save a little on gas mileage. a backup mower doesn't create enough weight to put that much wear and tear on the truck and trailer in the first place.

to each his own......

sedge
01-27-2011, 03:07 PM
I have been carrying my backup mower for quite sometime. I never use it. It is an extra 1500lbs that I really don't need to be carrying down the road. I am thinking about putting it in my garage unitl I need it. What do you guys do? I think it will save on wear and tear on my truck and trailer.

We have 2 of everything on the trailer at all times. The so called back ups do get used from time to time on larger jobs that allows one of the guys to help finish up with what ever is taking longer.

If your solo, maybe not a mower, but I for sure would have extra weed eater, blower and edger.

A&R Enterprise
01-27-2011, 05:39 PM
What sedge said.I even have a commpresor and plug kit to plug tires on the job.You never know.I do this as I cannot stand down time on a job.

yardguy28
01-27-2011, 06:52 PM
We have 2 of everything on the trailer at all times. The so called back ups do get used from time to time on larger jobs that allows one of the guys to help finish up with what ever is taking longer.

If your solo, maybe not a mower, but I for sure would have extra weed eater, blower and edger.

i have backups for everything on the trailer at all times except for a blower.

and like you said the backups do get used from time to time if i would have a helper for larger jobs.

i think it's a good idea to use your backup equipment from time to time to keep in running good. fuel lines can dry out and crack.

cborden
01-27-2011, 06:54 PM
I take two 61 zero turns and two 48 walk behinds with sulkies. Our routes are large and we can not afford down time, so I always take a spare 48 walk behind and a spare sulkie.

ShooterK2
01-27-2011, 07:20 PM
Last year, I carried two 36" walk-behinds, and a 21" push mower. This year, I plan to leave one 36" in the garage, and just run home and get it if I need it. My properties are small, and a 21" doesn't take that much more time than the 36" does, especially when you figure less trimming time, because the 21" will fit in a lot of spots the 36" leaves behind.

I almost wish I had bought a smaller trailer to begin with. The 16-ft tandem landscape trailer is overkill for just mowing, and I'm not into hauling lots of mulch and things of that nature.

sedge
01-27-2011, 07:25 PM
What sedge said.I even have a commpresor and plug kit to plug tires on the job.You never know.I do this as I cannot stand down time on a job.

yes to the above, i even have 18V impact to change blades if need be, as have hit things that have bent blades. Tool box and a spare spindles for the bigger mowers.

olde_blue
01-27-2011, 09:33 PM
A second mower on a trailer can be used to pull the first one out of a ditch, or to push a broken mower back onto the trailer, but I wouldn't carry a mower I didn't immediately need.

A backup mower on your trailer is convenient if your mower has mechanical problems, but what if your malady is an traffic accident, fire in your trailer, or theft? Then you may be out both mowers, and you would be wishing you left the backup at home.

BINKY1902
01-27-2011, 10:09 PM
I never take my backup. If something happens I will come home and get it, cause I'm never more than a 25 minute drive away on my route. I do have a backup trimmer, and a backup blower on me at all times. My mower is still new, so I don't need to take a backup with me. I do keep a come-along with me in case my rider breaks down or gets stuck.

mowerbrad
01-27-2011, 11:35 PM
see, i'd rather carry around a mower as a backup that doesn't get used at all except when needed as a backup.

this way if my mower breaks down i can get it on the trailer and pull off the other one and keep working. i can take my broken mower to the dealer when it's more convenient. to have to stop mid day to take a mower to a dealer and get a loaner is a time consuming event.

if my mower broke say tues. i'd use the backup mower until i had time to take the mower in to the dealer. that would either be a rainy day, a sat. or i'd try and get a helper for a day so i could finish work early and get the mower over to the dealer.

i don't wanna have to stop mid route and run to a dealer or my shop to get a mower just to save a little on gas mileage. a backup mower doesn't create enough weight to put that much wear and tear on the truck and trailer in the first place.

to each his own......

Well for me to have a second mower, just to use as a back-up, makes no sense. I'd have to have a second mower that would weigh 1500-2000 pounds, that's a fairly significant amount of weight to be carrying around only to be taking up space on my trailer and not being used.

I trust my main mower to not break down on me in the middle of my day, if it comes to the point of me not trusting my mower, I will get a new one. I can't wait for several days to bring my mower in for service if it is broken. Plus, if I can't make it to my dealer, I can call them and have them drop off a loaner for me and pick up my mower.

I just can't see putting an back-up mower on my trailer and probably not even need it during the day.

yardguy28
01-29-2011, 11:52 AM
Well for me to have a second mower, just to use as a back-up, makes no sense. I'd have to have a second mower that would weigh 1500-2000 pounds, that's a fairly significant amount of weight to be carrying around only to be taking up space on my trailer and not being used.

I trust my main mower to not break down on me in the middle of my day, if it comes to the point of me not trusting my mower, I will get a new one. I can't wait for several days to bring my mower in for service if it is broken. Plus, if I can't make it to my dealer, I can call them and have them drop off a loaner for me and pick up my mower.

I just can't see putting an back-up mower on my trailer and probably not even need it during the day.

as i can't see driving all the way back to the shop or to the dealer in the middle of a days route to drop off a broken mower to get your backup or a loaner.

i trust my mower not to break down either. but i don't wanna have something go down and have to make that trip to the dealer or shop in the middle of the day. this way i can just put the broken on the trailer and get out the backup.

someone mentioned there dealer is only 25 min. away from any given location. thats an hour both ways to get back to work. when i will spend an extra 5, 10 min. at most if i would have a breakdown.

everyone has there prefrences. just another way of doing things.

i also guess i've never paid much attention to how much some mowers weight. i know my 52" grandstand weights around 900lbs. and my 36" wb (which serves as the backup mower) weights around 600lbs. i think nothing of throwing both those on the trailer when it comes to weight.

brianslawncare
01-29-2011, 02:36 PM
i carry a back up. i dont want to drive back and get my mower it waste time.if im 20 miles from my back up mower, thats 40 miles im traveling to get my mower that i can carry anyway? what if im only in that area once a week and its 20 miles away and i have 4to 5 yards left? do i skip these yards until next week? or do i try to squeeze them in on the next day? gas is going to be close to 3.50 per gallon! to me its easier to leave on the trailer. as long as you have room on the trailer. i saw one guy in my area with three zs on the trailer and a walkbehind in the back of the truck. i think that one in the truck would be his back up.

Gary Campbell
01-30-2011, 10:17 PM
I always carry a back up mower, Ive gotten stuck with one, and used the other to escape, if you break down , have a flat, or break a belt on one, you can finish with the other one, Im never without backups of all of my equipment so I can at least finish the job Im on....

punt66
01-30-2011, 11:18 PM
i carry a back up. i dont want to drive back and get my mower it waste time.if im 20 miles from my back up mower, thats 40 miles im traveling to get my mower that i can carry anyway? what if im only in that area once a week and its 20 miles away and i have 4to 5 yards left? do i skip these yards until next week? or do i try to squeeze them in on the next day? gas is going to be close to 3.50 per gallon! to me its easier to leave on the trailer. as long as you have room on the trailer. i saw one guy in my area with three zs on the trailer and a walkbehind in the back of the truck. i think that one in the truck would be his back up.

20 miles? My furthest job is 5 miles away.

Fresh_Cut
02-01-2011, 02:09 AM
If I mow by myself, I don't need both Z's, but I take both anyway. I don't like carrying the extra weight either, but it is well worth if it something goes wrong, and given enough time, something will. I also have had to use one mower to pull the other out of the mud a couple of times, and having both with me was invaluable.

All that said, I would think it would depend upon your situation. If you are only a few miles from the shop most of the day, and don't mow properties where you can get stuck in a ditch or wet spot, then it might not be worth it to drag two mowers around all day.

Depends on my route for the day. I may have both big ones or one big one and the 36". I carry the 2nd mower for a reason not just for a backup.Proper maintenance keeps breakdowns from popping up.You have either been awfully lucky, or you haven't done much mowing. :)

Why you say he's lucky? He said he always has at least 2 mowers.

I, too, have had to pull my Lazer out of the mud once. Guess what I did it with?
My eXmark 36" Turf Tracer HP :) .

brianslawncare
02-01-2011, 07:24 PM
punt66. thats good for you that you only travel 5 miles. 20 miles is nothing some of our yards are farther. i dont live in the city. even at 5 miles thats time wasted going back for another machine if you have room on the trailer.

yardguy28
02-03-2011, 01:53 PM
punt66. thats good for you that you only travel 5 miles. 20 miles is nothing some of our yards are farther. i dont live in the city. even at 5 miles thats time wasted going back for another machine if you have room on the trailer.

my view point exactly.

i pull a 6' x 12' trailer. plenty of room for the 52" grandstand i use most of the time and the 36" wb that i use 3 times a week and that serves as my backup mower.

why leave that 36" wb at home causing me to run back home to get it should something happen to the grandstand?

B&M
02-04-2011, 03:20 AM
see, i'd rather carry around a mower as a backup that doesn't get used at all except when needed as a backup.

this way if my mower breaks down i can get it on the trailer and pull off the other one and keep working. i can take my broken mower to the dealer when it's more convenient. to have to stop mid day to take a mower to a dealer and get a loaner is a time consuming event.

if my mower broke say tues. i'd use the backup mower until i had time to take the mower in to the dealer. that would either be a rainy day, a sat. or i'd try and get a helper for a day so i could finish work early and get the mower over to the dealer.

i don't wanna have to stop mid route and run to a dealer or my shop to get a mower just to save a little on gas mileage. a backup mower doesn't create enough weight to put that much wear and tear on the truck and trailer in the first place.

to each his own......

I wish our dealers would loan us mowers, not one of the dealers in our area would ever even consider loaning a mower. Heck we can't even get them to let us demo new equipment.

yardguy28
02-04-2011, 10:49 AM
I wish our dealers would loan us mowers, not one of the dealers in our area would ever even consider loaning a mower. Heck we can't even get them to let us demo new equipment.

i'm actually not sure my dealer does loan mowers out. i've never needed to use a loaner.

i just hear everyone on here talking about getting loaners from there dealers so i assumed its something every dealer does. but i guess not.

yet another reason to have a backup and carry it with you if your dealer doesn't do loaners.

D&K Lawns
02-04-2011, 04:30 PM
I carry mine every freakin day! Leaves to much to chance if you don't have it with you. Need to run it every so often anyhow. By the way, some of you boys on here sure do have a crappy attitude. He didn't ask the original question to have you cop an attitude. Lighten up and quit accusing others of not knowing how to do their job,,,it's personal preference any way.