View Full Version : Who does own repaires?

01-04-2004, 04:28 PM
Im not talking the occasional flat tire thing, but who has the resourses and abillity to do more major stuff like tear into an engine (mower, trucks, power equipment), press bushings and/or bearings, weld, overhaul hydros, troubleshoot, ect.
Everything cant always be under warrenty and shop labor is costly.

01-04-2004, 04:38 PM
I do everything on the mowers and equipment but only what i'm capable of on truck. My uncle is a super mechanic and helps with things on the truck.

Chris W
01-04-2004, 05:13 PM
Small engines,boats and equipment fixes are a hobby for me.

Love it,

Car and Truck go to a friend of mine.

01-04-2004, 05:44 PM
I put a engine in my 98 f-150, and do all work on mowers except carburator work. I cant seem to get how carbs work. I am going to order a rebuild kit for one, i figure its only like $15, and if i screw it up ill just throw it out, i have alot laying around. My dad was a mechanic for many years, and seeing some "mechanics" today and what they can diagnose gives me no faith in them. I can buy needed parts cheaper from a couple places, and do the work at night, so for me it makes sence to do it myself. You mention welding, i am a very good welder at night when i can see what i am doing because everything else is dark. But when its light, i am the most pathetic welder in the world.

01-04-2004, 06:29 PM
I enjoy tinkering, and I would rather do some work myself as opposed to paying someone else (if I have the time)
I have a pretty good assortment of automotive tools, including air tools and some specialty tools.
Add to that the fact that I have a friend who owns a body shop and allows me to use space/tools whenever I need, and another friend whos a service mgr for a dealership. I prety much have the resources to do alot of service / repair when I so desire.......

01-04-2004, 07:00 PM
I do all the repairs that I'm capable of doing. Last year I bought welder, because I couldn't find anyone to make welding repairs in a timely manner. The only time a machine goes to the dealer is warrenty work, or if I don't know how to make the repair.

01-04-2004, 07:03 PM
One reason I posted this was because this lco I see often who doest know how to fix anything and is always running by the skin of his teeth. One day I see him pulling this tiny trailer that looks like he pulled it from someones trash. It didnt have a light on it and wheels so small it didnt look hiway usable. He finnaly got a ticket and couldnt use it anymore. Next time I saw him he had much better twin axel trailor but it had fat short tires. Then next time he had two tires off this trailer (front rt and rear lf) and driving it that way. He tells me tires kept rubbing inside fenderwells and causing them to blow. From behind it the axels looked like an X . He now has two old 36" mowers and one or both are always down. The last time I saw him the rope to one of his pull starters was all pulled out and he said its been like that two weeks because he doesnt have time to run it to the local shop to have them fix it. He also told me that he only sharpens blades a couple times all season. Im willing to bet all his other maintenance is very lax as well.

01-04-2004, 07:19 PM
I usually do my own repairs. The mower shops are so slow to fix anything that I just get too impatient waiting. By the time they even get to my mower I could have usually had the mower fixed and running again. The same with the truck, unless it's something like the tranny. Lawnman_Scott, be careful messing with carberators. My first bad experience adjusting a carberator cost me the piston on a Yamaha 125 induro. The mix was off causing the extra heat to melt a hole through the top of the piston. I considered myself pretty fortunate to only have to replace the piston considering I could have fried the entire motor.

01-04-2004, 07:20 PM
i worked at a town golf cource and they have a mecanic that will do anything for me.

01-04-2004, 07:47 PM
I fix everything myself, or with a helping hand. I have no faith in any mechanics around me. I have had my precious turbo cars who I took to a shop specialized and builds some of the fastest eclipse and toyota celica turbos in the country screw up putting in a clutch and leaving the trans with a 1/4" gap between the engine. It was not the owner but an employee. I fix everything and anything that needs a fix except under warranty.

I also had a freind who bought a truck from an uncle who was a auto repair shop forman and 2 months later the engine blew up. He charged him about $1400 to rebuild the engine and 2 months later it seized up and he put it in its final resting place.

Never put to much trust in your mechanic.

01-04-2004, 07:54 PM
I can do it all if needed, but sometimes paying to have it done is more cost effective than me spending time on it not making money. If its under warrenty then I don't touch it.

01-04-2004, 08:00 PM
i can do pretty much do any small engine repair...but like hoss said the dealers do can be more cost effective many times.

David Haggerty
01-04-2004, 08:00 PM
I have a complete shop. Mini MIG welder. Full range of air tools, wrenches, sockets torque wrenches etc. Hydraulic jacks, stands Knipco heater, auto retracting air hose reels.
Nearest dealer is 50 miles. So I do most everything except major overhauls. I set the valves on my 25 hp Mitsubishi diesels, and sent the injectors in to be calibrated. Stuff like that.
But right now my Cummins diesel Dodge truck is at the mechanic's for a head gasket.
And I'm sitting here at this computer. It could have been done in my garage. I just don't trust my skills that far.


01-04-2004, 08:06 PM
Only the minor stuff...I leave the other stuff to the professionals

01-04-2004, 08:09 PM
I pick and choose the work I do on our equipment. I hate to work on engines so I have a couple of different part time guys that I use. I like to weld and build so I usually do that if I have the time. I buy used equipment at auctions all the time so that I always have 20 or so jobs on the go.
My schedule over the last two weeks.
Built a 2'x4'x4' rolling tool cabinet out of plywood and steel. Took apart a battery powered pallet cart that I am going to use the hydraulic power pack to make a side lifter on a trailer. Cut down the 2' racks on my flat bed to 12" to make easier access. I also made it into a dumping flat bed using a power pack and cylinder off another truck I bought. Made a headache rack to hang chains and binders. Welded 12" racks onto a buddies trailer and added a toolbox onto the hitch. Made a 11' snow blade that attaches to the front of a forklift for work. I have 4 part built trailers on the go and am picking up two more running gears tomorrow night. Always more to do. Of course my wife has a honey do list but I can't seem to find time for the stuff on it.

01-04-2004, 08:20 PM
At the place were I work as the head mechanic (only mechanic!).. we do it all. Its a very large nursery and lanscaping outfit. It would kill us to send all the work outside. Our new shop is in the works right now. I get paid a very very good wage to keep it all running and to make sure the crews have what they need to get the job done and to make money. If we dont have it, we fabricate it or find a place to get it. I weigh the cost of repair and parts vs the cost of replacement. Come winter when things in the grass cutting side slow down, I paint and redo all the trailers, go thru the mowers, and all their stuff so come spring they are ready to go. I keep track of machines and trucks etc that have warranties so we dont get ganked on repairs. Even if its out of warranty I plead to the dealer service mgr and many times have gotten repairs free or at least free parts/free labor. In this business I'm a consumer... I dont produce work or money.. I only ask for it for repairs. So I have to be smart when I go ask the boss for money for a repair. I take pride in what I do. Nope.. it aint my money I'm spending, but I look at it as if it was. I dont like piece of crap machines and I sure dont like come backs or foreman bitching at me that it doesnt work,so I fix it right the first time, then I go on to the next thing. We have over 120 pieces of rolling stock, not including ride on mowers. I even do all the state insp and DOT insp on our trucks to boot. Not bad for a 2 man crew!

01-04-2004, 08:26 PM
I usually try and do most repairs my self. Getting ready to pull the 3 spindles off of my 48" exmark w/b and replace the bearings. Do all my own truck repairs too. The inlaws have a farm with a hugh shop and every tool just about, that helps a lot.

01-04-2004, 09:46 PM
I don't even chance my own oil. Everything goes to the shop. I don't have time to run the business and be a mechanic also. :(

01-04-2004, 09:52 PM
I have always done my own repairs, both minor and major. In my last position, I was also the head mechanic. Made extra cash repairing co-workers lawn equip and vehicles after work. All my equipment is at least 10 yrs old. My daily trim mower is a 1960's era Jacobsen that starts on the first or second pull. I re-ringed it a couple of times and re-built the carb a few times, but it runs so nice, I can't bear to part with it.

01-04-2004, 10:54 PM
do what you know how to do. it saves down time while gear is in the shop as well as money spent on labor charges.

However, it is "dangerous" to tinker with stuff you dont know what your doing on. Friend of mine was messing with his echo 210 string trimmer and turned the adjustments way up-ending up blowing out the entire motor.

if its waranted-no questions asked, let the shop handle it.

other wise-if its in your dept. do it yourself.

01-05-2004, 01:48 AM
Where'd you guys who do major repairs and things like carburator work learn your skills. A couple of you mentioned that you are mechanics, so I assume you were trained. What about the rest of you. I'd really like to know 2-cycles so I don't make mistakes like some of those mentioned in ealier posts (the dirtbike and string trimmer).
Myself, I'm great at all maintenance and getting better at minor repairs (i.e. can use a voltmeter now which has saved several trips to the shop, basic stuff like fixing flats, replacing deck belts, and general quick repairs). I'm starting to get my garage equipped (i.e. new compressor and air tools, retractable drop-light, more wrenches, etc.) and am learning more and more all the time (thanks to Lawnsite especially).

little green guy
01-05-2004, 02:04 AM
It all depends how busy we are. In the spring and fall everything goes to the mechanic, I don't have the time to mess with stuff when I am busy it's "penny wise and dollar stupid to me" One of my guys is a pretty good mechanic/ welder so if it's raining or slow I usually have him do repairs and stuff. I try not to do any repairs my self unless it's in the winter when I have the time.

Both my truck mechanic and mower shop are great, If I have a truck break and I need the truck asap they usually have me back going the same day or theh next day no matter what breaks and if I have a mower or other machine go down I can bring it down to the shop and they will fix it while I wait unless it's something like a blown engine.

I have and will do major repairs myself or with my guys in the winter or if we get in a jam during the season. we've done a couple clutches in my trucks and lots of other good sized jobs.

01-05-2004, 02:15 AM
I have a retired ag mechanic do all my work including changing the oil. The guy has a shop at his home that he works out of and I'm his biggest customer. LOL He always take care of me NOW and he's really good. He gets all my parts from the dealer that he use to work at and sells them to me at dealers cost. And the man only charges $15 an hr. and will work at night. He lives about 4 miles from me so I just drop the trailor off with the equipment on it and tell what I need and if its just pm I hook up the next morning and go. If he needs to order he does it and calls when parts arrive. I have a full shop at my house but its a little messy most of the time, so with the set up I have going I have know plans to change.

01-05-2004, 02:39 AM
I have learned most of what i know from get it done and done right or suffer. I do not like to suffer any more than I have to already. It takes mostly common sense and and a little book smarts to get most any job done. I come from a technical back round in my family and growing up on my Grandfathers Ohio farm so I am sure it helps a little. Just a little though because my Dad calls me all the time to help him figure out what he needs to do to get something finished.

01-05-2004, 05:17 AM
Like Rodfather, I do a little of it and leave most of it to the pros. Fortunately, we know a guy who works at one of the really big small engine repair shops here in town (and has worked there for over a decade) who also has a small repair shop out of his house for 1/5 the price the big shop would charge. I often get fairly major repairs done for super cheap. He's almost TOO honest about the amount of time he spends on stuff and never marks up parts. Just spare change for him and almost no overhead. So I guess he can get away with it. Anyway, we're fortunate to get top quality work for super cheap. He does all of our 2 cycle engine repairs.

For our mowers, I pay through the nose at the Honda dealership. But they are just awesome to me. We're they're biggest customer and they will get a mower fixed and back on the road in a matter of hours if I ask them too. I would never be able to do it that quickly - even if I had the time (which I don't) and even if I had the knowledge (which I don't).

I also pay through the nose for auto (truck) repair. But again, it's a time-knowledge thing. The shop I use isn't cheap. But as one of their best commercial customers, they get us back on the road QUICK and always do precision work.

I learned a long time ago that I could make more money doing what I am good at (marketing, giving bids, landing jobs, managing, etc.) than to take time out from doing that stuff to try to work on something I am not very skilled at. I just make more money continuing on doing what I do. I let the pros do the rest for me.

Expert Lawns
01-05-2004, 04:05 PM
Speaking of repairs. If any of you handymen know a good website to look for used axels, let me know. or you can email me Expert_Lawncare@hotmail.com (there is an underscore _ after Expert) THanks

Black Water
01-05-2004, 05:49 PM
I only mow part time, but i'm like most of you guys. I fix any thing that's not under warranty, witch is most everything.:rolleyes:

I was a diesel mechanic in the service. Then a Machine Repairman for the Timkin Co. for the last seven years. I just thought i knew how to work on machinery in the service. I really got a education working on the machines at Timkin.

We repair and rebuild anything mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic. We do metal fabrication, welding, pipe fitting, and preventive maintenance. At this plant where i work we make the largest bearings in the world. Anywhere from 8" to 14' on the inside (bore) diameter. Some of the machines we work on are over two stories tall. But it does'nt matter if it's a big machine, or a small carb. I always have a service manual within arms reach. And when i buy a mower, truck, trimmer, or whatever. It better come with a operator, and a service manual, or at least have the option of purchasing one.

01-06-2004, 04:14 AM
We do everything, including rebuiling axles and driveshafts. All equipment maintenance and repair is done right at the shop, and we do work (including Kohler engine overhauls for several other lco's, too. The 4 things I don't do myself, are exhaust (not worth the effort for all the bending and such). Transmissions (have a friend that owns a business that comes in and does them righ at the shop). Electrical (another friend that specializes - if I can't figure it out). And machin work for motors (milling and such). Pretty much everything else, including any welding, fabricating, and/or frame work, we can handle. We are very blessed to have the facility and resources to do this.

01-06-2004, 07:25 PM
In season everything goes to the dealer. Out of season I do what I can. But I don't get over my head.

I do blades and oil changes even in season.