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Tip Of The Day - 11/15/05 - Vehicle Maintenance

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by Sean Adams, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,597

    How does everyone maintain their vehicles? Have you looked at the cost of doing things yourself versus taking it to a mechanic? This is assuming you are capable of doing the work properly and safely....more of a question to incite conversation versus a tip.
  2. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Remember when vehicles were relatively easy to work on? Now it seems as if just to remove the oil filter on many rigs you need a schematic diagram telling you where it is, and how to do it.

    It takes me a good portion of one day out of the week to service my landscape maintenance equipment, that’s bad enough. Do you have any idea how many grease fittings there are on a Walker? Do you have any idea how much I do not want to dive headfirst into my truck’s Cummins engine?
  3. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    I service all my own equipment, including vehicles. Personally, I can't see paying a shop $65 - $75 per hour (in my area, that's the going rate) to do what I can do myself.
  4. J & B Lawncare

    J & B Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29


    I do it all. That is as long as I am able. I even keep many pruchases limited to older model (big stuff). My trucks are both 1989 Dodges. I will search for the right older truck, I want tnothing to do with new ones.


    J & B
  5. cbelawn

    cbelawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    i do all maintance work on equipment and vehicals. my background in automotive helps. and having all the correct tools. the only thing i don't do is change tires. i had a tire machine but it was not worth the floor space. also do all manufacturing ie. trailer and things like racks and such. my winter project is going to be a dump trailer, i hope.
  6. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    we do alot of ours, except oil changes....

    we get it done at an authorized shop so there is a record in case there are any vehicle warranty issues.

    also they only charge us $19.95. I cannot do it for that. Oil and filter is $10.00. and at least 1/2 hr labor ( $20.00).
  7. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    Matt does all of our maintenance on our vehicles, even the oil changes. He would rather spend the time knowing it is done right, than taking it somewhere where a disgruntled employee is having a bad day work on our trucks.
  8. Doug Z.

    Doug Z. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    On all the smaller equipment, myself and once in a while my employee do it as long as we are not swamped. Sometimes I will do some of the trucks and equipment. A good friend of mine is a GM mechanic and will come over and do the trucks and tractors when Im to busy.
  9. SproulsLawnCare

    SproulsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from IN
    Posts: 365

    I changed the ball joints on my truck earlier this year for something like $120 plus a $20 tool rental. The same job was going to cost me around $670 at the shop.
  10. LorentzLawnSnow

    LorentzLawnSnow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    i do all my own maintenance as well. the cost of repairs would kill you in this business as often as maintenance is required, especially for larger companies with large fleets. my dad and grandpa were both mechanics, i learned a lot by being forced to hang out in the shop when i was little against my will. as a teenager, my dad had moved an hour or so away and i wished i could have that shop time back. he's always a phone call away if i get into a real pickle. but i've learned a lot by just tearing into something knowing it has to be operational by tomorrow and getting it done whether i knew what i was doing to begin with or not.

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