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Spring Valley Lawn Service
11-08-2012, 08:50 AM
This my second year and I am still learning. A lot of people in the lawn buisneess have given me great advice. The only thing I wasn't told is I neededmechanical skills and a place to work on mowers. Bought a new mower and thought it breaks and dealer fixes it. There are still oil changes, blade sharpenings, and cleaning equipment. I'm not saying you have to have a big shop or a lot of tools just saying make sure you got some were to work. There is a lot of up keep.

Patriot Services
11-08-2012, 09:20 AM
I've tried to tell this to new guys before and always got flamed. They all think new stuff doesn't break. Home Depot will give me a new one. A day doesn't go by I don't have to pick up a tool. If you don't have repair skills you better have multiple backups and a good amount of money for the repair shop.
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clydebusa
11-08-2012, 10:38 AM
The part I love is I make ......... doing the lawn. It usually takes a couple of years for a newb to figure they spend after hours and Saturdays/Sundays doing maintennance. Then the light comes on to figure for every 1 hour in the field to add 15 minute for upkeep, drive, estimate times. Then instead of averaging ** dollars an hour it is much less.

Spring Valley Lawn Service
11-08-2012, 11:20 AM
What saved me is I already had a shop and tools. So days it rains I work on my equipment and don't get behind. Maybe we need a rule list for new guys. Being new maybe I'll make one or a list of my mistakes.

flyingdutch16
11-09-2012, 10:26 AM
This is a very good thread. Especially for new guys who think equipment is not gonna break. Also for the younger guys out there in their teens who think that their equipment will just last. It won't. You need to take care of it and maintenance the hell out it especially uses equipment.
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1ATony
11-09-2012, 04:33 PM
If you need to make a repair to a mower but are unsure of where to begin, check out YouTube there are a lot of great repair videos out there that will get you out of a jamb.

My snow blower last year ate a carrier bearing, so I looked on YouTube learned how to split the maching in two, and heat the bearing with a torch so that I could remove the fly wheel from it.

Was quoted 250.00 by the small engine repair shop, did it myself for $53.00. I used http://www.partstree.com/parts/ to order the parts. It worked out awesome.

iand
11-09-2012, 04:46 PM
it doesn't take long to realize that taking equipment to the repair shop everytime something needs repairing is the fast way to go broke and that a lot of the repairs are easy but it is a good idea to check youtube for instructions,as i said to one guy about a repair i did it took me about 1.5 hours to do the repair the 1st time next time i think it should take about 10 minutes :laugh: wish I'd checked youtube for the easy way

cgaengineer
11-09-2012, 04:49 PM
I've tried to tell this to new guys before and always got flamed. They all think new stuff doesn't break. Home Depot will give me a new one. A day doesn't go by I don't have to pick up a tool. If you don't have repair skills you better have multiple backups and a good amount of money for the repair shop.
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This is so true...I keep extra stuff on truck for repairs and rigging...I think if you are part time and don't know how to repair you will never profit much. I don't take anything in for service unless its warranty work...and sometimes I even do that myself because the cost is less than the down time. We've been blessed, no major breakdowns or failures...just some small stuff here and there...belts, springs, carb kits....

1ATony
11-09-2012, 04:50 PM
it doesn't take long to realize that taking equipment to the repair shop everytime something needs repairing is the fast way to go broke and that a lot of the repairs are easy but it is a good idea to check youtube for instructions,as i said to one guy about a repair i did it took me about 1.5 hours to do the repair the 1st time next time i think it should take about 10 minutes :laugh: wish I'd checked youtube for the easy way

My next door neighbor gave me a brand new 1989 Toro 824 Snow Blower when he moved out about 2 years ago.

After I tossed new belts on, changed the oil and did the carrier bearring it runs like it's brand new.

Spring Valley Lawn Service
11-09-2012, 05:05 PM
Also if you don't know how to fix sometimes a dealer will let you watch a repair made. It helped me out

Kelly's Landscaping
11-09-2012, 08:51 PM
This stuff doesn't come all at once but as you try to maintain your fleet and change set ups in different seasons your find you need a lot of shop tools.

Our first year we got socket sets screw drivers wrenches stuff like that. Had to get an air compressor and an impact gun.

But soon into that season my ex boss got annoyed with me using the blade sharpener so we had to go buy one of them. Then a miller mig welder became very important.

Soon we were drowning in little stuff so a tool box was needed and a vice can't imagine life with out a vice. That and the ability to fix a flat is a must along with the ability to restring a recoil.

But soon we needed ways to cut metal so the die grinder and the sawzall became a must along with a nice new set of colbolt drills.

But then we needed to build a leaf box and all of a sudden we need circular saws hammers skill saws and carp tools like saw horses and such.

We needed a car jack and stands crowbars pulley pullers.

Then a few years into the business trailers needed help so palm sanders and a plasma cutter were needed. Plus over the years all sorts of things like measuring tapes and all sorts of clamps vice grips.

And then the original compressor went so we upgraded to a nice 60 gal ingersoll rand with a 3 hp motor. And with that came the ability to use real air tools but while we waited for it we had to get an electric impact gun.

Before you know it you have 5000 PLUS in stuff that never leaves your garage..

cgaengineer
11-09-2012, 09:11 PM
This stuff doesn't come all at once but as you try to maintain your fleet and change set ups in different seasons your find you need a lot of shop tools.

Our first year we got socket sets screw drivers wrenches stuff like that. Had to get an air compressor and an impact gun.

But soon into that season my ex boss got annoyed with me using the blade sharpener so we had to go buy one of them. Then a miller mig welder became very important.

Soon we were drowning in little stuff so a tool box was needed and a vice can't imagine life with out a vice. That and the ability to fix a flat is a must along with the ability to restring a recoil.

But soon we needed ways to cut metal so the die grinder and the sawzall became a must along with a nice new set of colbolt drills.

But then we needed to build a leaf box and all of a sudden we need circular saws hammers skill saws and carp tools like saw horses and such.

We needed a car jack and stands crowbars pulley pullers.

Then a few years into the business trailers needed help so palm sanders and a plasma cutter were needed. Plus over the years all sorts of things like measuring tapes and all sorts of clamps vice grips.

And then the original compressor went so we upgraded to a nice 60 gal ingersoll rand with a 3 hp motor. And with that came the ability to use real air tools but while we waited for it we had to get an electric impact gun.

Before you know it you have 5000 PLUS in stuff that never leaves your garage..

I'll tell you that we can cut a lawn to padding and building a house...that should tell you what's in our shop.
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greendoctor
11-10-2012, 03:27 AM
I do not mow, however I have the capacity to fix many things on the road and the major stuff in my home workshop. Cannot be waiting around for a dealer to get to it. I also do lots of PM. Things are greased, sharpened, etc on nights or weekends. Critical equipment is overhauled every year in December.

recycledsole
11-10-2012, 06:46 AM
hey guys, where can one learn how to work on our equipment?
thanks

herler
11-10-2012, 07:53 AM
No matter how many customers and how much work you have,
remember the dealer charges more than you do!

jsslawncare
11-10-2012, 08:26 AM
hey guys, where can one learn how to work on our equipment?
thanks

When it breaks, try to fix it. Then go to the dealer and tell them your neighbor borrowed it, broke it and tried to fix it without you knowing it.

flyingdutch16
11-10-2012, 08:41 AM
When it breaks, try to fix it. Then go to the dealer and tell them your neighbor borrowed it, broke it and tried to fix it without you knowing it.

Or just tell them you tried to fix it your self but weren't able to fix it? Usually easier for the mechanic to know exactly what you did.

Classic Cuts Lawn Service
12-03-2012, 12:04 PM
pay cash whenever possible!!!

zackvbra
12-03-2012, 01:36 PM
during the offseason, winterize your equipment you only use during the summer. this means run or drain all the gas out of it, spray some lubricant on it, put a drop of oil on the spark plug, disconnect the battery, and tuck it away somewhere in a dry place. and be sure to change the oil, air filter, fuel filter, etc. when its time to put it back to work.

David C.
12-03-2012, 09:52 PM
All my work I do myself--either in my garage or in Father in law's tractor shop--none ever goes to the dealer