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How long to keep mowers?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassrangers, May 30, 2010.

  1. grassrangers

    grassrangers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    Hey we got a handful of mowers now that are getting old (1500 hrs +) and was wondering what other companies do about this? As some of the mowers are not 2 reliable anymore. i talked to a guy down here and he says he trades in each mower after 2 years on a truck. Does anyone do anything like this or something different?
  2. B Gillespie

    B Gillespie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    Should I mow my grass at 3" or 4"? Depends on the situation.

    A few factors will be income, sales, profit margin, equipment repair costs, equipment efficiency, tax implications, debt to equity, liquidity, operator comfort/fatigue...

    Cost out your options with an Excel spreadsheet and let it tell you. FYI, Solver is a handy free app from Microsoft.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. badbart

    badbart LawnSite Member
    Posts: 204

    If you trade them in every 2 years you'll never have any maintenance cost other than blades and oil changes, they'll be under warranty.
  4. Lbilawncare

    Lbilawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    Depends on how long it took to get to 1500 hours. That isn't really a lot of hours. Lots of factors here, do you need the tax write offs? If they aren't reliable, how much would it take to make them reliable and would you feel right about selling something to someone that you knew was going to have problems?
  5. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,641

    Free bump for a Gonzales guy!
  6. dgw

    dgw LawnSite Bronze Member
    from OH
    Posts: 1,008

    i have two walkers , one has 5800 hours, the other around there but the meter screwed up and spun up to 9000

    second motor on each

    both look like hell, but cut like they were brand new
  7. 1993lx172

    1993lx172 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,305

    Run'em until it is costing you more in time and repairs than the mowers are worth.

    My Lx172 is ninteen years old (we bought it new in 1993 the build date says June 1991) and other than a new transmission, pto clutch, a few electrical parts and an oil pan seal it still runs and cuts like new. Right now it's worth around $800-$1000 in current condition(the last time I was at my dealer I was talking to a guy behind me in line and he offered me $1,200 for it).

    The key to longevity is simple maintenance and operating attitude. I don't beat on it and take it easy when I'm using it. My parents bought it in 1993 (I was three at the time) so I treat it as if I am borrowing it from them i.e. better than I treat my own things, and I take good care of my own stuff. If, God forbid, something major did break again like the tranny or the engine then I would trade it off on something new. Just because something doesn't look like it did when it came from the dealer doesn't always mean that it's at the end of its useful life.

    Yes as something gets older parts start to wear out or break but you need to ask yourself, Have I gotten a full return on my investment, and is this problem going to cost me more than the thing is worth. A fifty dollar part does not mean a "death sentence" for lack of a better term on an older unit that is worth 4-5K used.
  8. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    How long someone keeps a mower is highly dependant on the type of person they are. Some people like to replace them every 2 years, others like to keep them until they are completely "dead".

    How well you care for your equipment can also affect how long you keep your mower. If you keep up on the maintenance and use quality parts and fluids, then your mower can last a heck of a long time. So you can then keep it for a longer period of time.

    For me, I would be getting rid of a mower with 1400-1800 hours on it...this way, I can get a little money out of it and I'll have gotten quite a bit of use out of it.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I run them until the wheels fall off, then I jimmy rig the wheels back on with some coat hanger wire
    and run them until the frame falls apart, which at that point I duct tape it back together and run it
    some more until the machine is losing big chunks of steel, now I take some worn out blades and cut
    out pieces of steel to weld in place, then I run it until it is so badly worn out that usually by the time
    the entire thing is ready to crumble into a small little pile of dust, I can then just grab a broom and a
    dust pan and take care of it as a tear rolls down my cheek.

    Which, not sure if I mentioned it but I run it until it absoflutely will NOT run and CAN not be run any more.

    Easier said than done LOL!

    Especially when a new mower's 4g.
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  10. ZTR_Diesel

    ZTR_Diesel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 371

    Generally speaking, I treat a mower as I do a truck - buy it used at less than 30% of original cost, then run it till the nickles and dimes you're feeding into it get too prevasive and begins to cause you to question reliability. OR...if you loose trust in something - trade it it!

    It's this American culture "thing" of perpetual debt that really eats at me. We're in love with the "new" so we seem to have to have it, and have it NOW! Not for me, I'll take a savings account instead.

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