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2009 Equipment Pricing Reality

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GPDesign1, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. GPDesign1

    GPDesign1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 420

    Much has been written here lately about the coming price increases from equipment manufacturers in 2009. The anger is understandable... nobody likes increases, whether it be the cost of daycare or for a gallon of milk. But the reality is that in our current "global economy", Americans are being pressed to do more with less- All of us. To characterize manufacturers as somehow singularly greedy is to ignore the realities that we all face. With multiple years of freak-show weather, incredible fuel prices and major increases in everything from fertilizer to employee benefits, LCO's certainly have their share of stress to contend with. But trust me when I tell you this; everybody else feels your pain as well.

    OPE manufacturers work in an environment much like car companies, but without the economies of scale created by high volume. Where a popular pickup truck may be produced at tens or even a hundred-thousand units per year, a popular mower may only represent several hundred, perhaps a (very few) thousand units. It's not a valid comparison. Even the big guys produce mowers virtually by-hand. There's just not enough volume per model to justify the heavy tooling or automation used by car companies. That's why they seem expensive; they're all virtual short-runs.

    When you purchase a new mower, you're directly contributing to the livelihood of a real person- a Joe or a Jane in Nebraska or Wisconsin or North Carolina that built it for you with their hands and heads and hearts. Your money is not going to some imagined fat-cat lighting twenty dollar cigars with hundred dollar bills. It's going to people just like you. People who work hard everyday to create the tools you work with. I know a great number of people in this industry and they represent everything that's good and admirable about America. Industries like OPE are the backbone of the American economy. Without it, we're all out of a job.

    When most people look at a mower, they just see a mower. When I look at a mower, I see steel and copper and cardboard and truck drivers and insurance bills and property taxes and cost per square foot. I see the stacks of wooden pallets your mower ships on which have increased nearly 50% this year. I see costs of forthcoming EPA mandates and increasing worker's comp coverage. I see everything from the lead in your battery to the cost of printing your owner's manual increasing, with some things going up as much as 300%.

    The struggling remnants of American industry are under siege right now, brought about by government and financial institutions who're in the back-pocket of multi-national corporations. They don't give a damn about you or about your country. They've become their own countries- the nations of GE and Lockheed-Martin and General Dynamics. Don't get pissed 'cause your new Z costs 12-grand: Get pissed because Walmart sells a dozen pairs of Vietnamese socks for 5 bucks (leaving 500,000 Americans out of a job). Get pissed because your government wastes a Trillion of your hard-earned dollars every year in a vain attempt to police the world (to make it safe for big corporations). Get pissed because International bankers gamble your retirement money like it's their private piggy-bank to manipulate markets for obscene profits. They are the ones lighting twenty dollar cigars with your hundred dollar bills. Get pissed because your nation is systematically being reduced to third-world status for the benefit of an elite handful of insiders.

    It'd be good for us to remember; we're all ultimately in the service business. But without a vibrant industrial base that creates real wealth in our nation, no one will be able to afford to have their lawn mowed. Then, we're all out of a job.

    Just an FYI: Better Outdoor has only about 150 of this year's mowers remaining in stock. Once they're gone, they're gone. And, as much as I hate it, there will be a price increase for 2009- no way around it. I would invite you to join me in expressing your extreme displeasure to Washington, Wall Street and Walmart. If you want somebody to kick (like we do), those are wonderfully deserving targets.


    kind regards,

  2. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,758

    Excellent post. I agree with everything you said. Its a shame that we as Americans have become like sheep. We are not worried about what matters most. But we do know how many home runs Joe Blow has in his career. We don't know who are state senators are. We don't realize what this government is really doing.

    Bread and circuses. Keep the masses occupied and focused on bullshit while we rob them blind. Pro Football, Pro Baseball, Nascar. I have nothing against sports, but when you care more about that then what really is affecting you life and money, thats just crazy. We are at a major crossroads in this country, and I don't really like either candidate. But the lesser of two evils is McCain. If you don't want to live in a Socialist country you better not vote for Obama. The illegals are ruining this country. Yet we sit by and let it happen. Call your Senators, get involved people, this is our country. This is not what our founding fathers envisioned, we need less government not more.

    President Bush has led this country down the rabbit hole, its up to us to get it back on track. We all have a voice and we need to use it. Its not to late to turn this country around, but its getting to the point of no return. We need to wake up, fight back, and get involved. Because if we don't , its only going to get worse.

    Read the book Atlas Shrugged.

  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    I have a suggestion. It will probably save nothing, but why not end owners manual and have them available on your website downloadable. I needed mine once and couldnt find the thing anywhere so I went to the site of the maker of my mower and got one on the computer in about 5 min (after searching the house for an hour).

    I know it would save practically nothing, but would bring more people to your site and may help that way. Great post by the way.
  4. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    agree'd, i dont complain much about the prices of equiptment because its earning my living. an extra $1k for a mower....well, ok. it's bigger and faster, and i know the faster and more efficient i am the more $ per hr i make. so its a win win in my book. good post.
  5. ericmcj31

    ericmcj31 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 404

    NOt to be a devil's advocate or nothing-but I think the greedy manufactures would be really thrown back if we (consumers) refused to purchase their equipment b/c of price increases. I don't know about you guys but I haven't received a pay raise of 10% or more during the past year-probably actually been cut by 10% due to high gas/business expenses. If everyone kinda "stretched" their mowers out a little longer, it would say something to manufacturers. Not to sound unAmerican or anything, but mower manufacturers don't care about you or me-just their bottom line-and that's what you've gotta think about. If paying more doesn't harm you, then so be it-but I think it is unfair. It pretty much (says) it all boils down to oil. I don't believe that crap either. I mean people charge astronmical (~spelling) fuel, environment recovery, etc., etc., etc.!! surcharges!! I am surcharged out!! Hey I know stuff has gone up, but to remain as loyal to my customers as possible is what I try to do. I have never seen an economy like this, I am just a young guy-but I think it is really unfair to punish Americans by making them pay higher prices! Sorry for my rant-and some may not make sense, but just had to blow some steam!
  6. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Posts: 1,348

    Costs are costs. manufacturers have to make money. With all the different makes & models there is plenty of competition to keep pricing down.

    Oh & I agree... read Atlas Shrugged
  7. MONTE

    MONTE LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 793

    valid points on all accounts! True cost of material is higher but the manufacture's do not care about the end user or the dealer usually! They know they can find another dealer probably to pick up a line and the end user is out of luck with out a good dealer to support him! I have learned from experience on that one!
  8. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,446

    Steel is down. Fuel is down. The dow is down. This warrants a price decrease. We are lowering our fuel surcharge in proportion to the lower fuel prices just as we raised it earlier this season. Machines that are yet to be manufactured should cost less to produce. If the market bounces back (as it will regardless of who gets in office---Obama most likely) and mower manufacturers can sell these usits at the increased price they will be seeing a little more profit on them than they would have without the current slump.

    McCain's across the board tax cuts would put cash back in the banks and market faster than anything else but those of us in the service industry should be able to handler the slower, safer climb out of a democratic presidency better than most. Mower manufacturers are gouging just like the gas stations if they maintain price increases that were projected based on cost/economy of six months ago.
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,896

    Gary - appreciate your thoughts.....I own probably one of few Quicks in southern MN and when someone asks me about the machine, I tell them first off "made in North Carolina, USA!" Then I rattle off the features:)

    I DEFINITELY agree with you on WalMart (and the like). The WalMarting of America is really killing us if you think about it. Whoever is reading this post, stop shopping there NOW, you support so much wrong when you do shop there. Think about more than just yourself, which I know is hard for most Americans (me me me).
  10. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,641

    So true....So true......:usflag:

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