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Who trades / sells mowers every 2-3 years to buy new

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tinman, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Posts: 1,348

    Just wondering how many of you trade or sell your main mower every 2 - 3 years & buys new. Thinking of doing just that, if I could get in the cycle. Thinking of selling my old chopper & gettting a new one to go with the new TORO WB I got earlier this season. Down time is rough now that my schedule is full. Not to mention repair costs.
    SO does trading / selling used mowers & buying new every 2-3 years work out well?
  2. True Cut Lawn Maintenance

    True Cut Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 418

    id personally think it would depend on how many hours you have on it, i used to work for a JD dealer working on combines and farmers would trade every year for a machine with 100 fewer hours, put another 100 on it and then trade it off the following year.

    The whole key is not to let it depreciate too much, once it goes past a certin point its worth next to nothing
  3. splatz100

    splatz100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 647

    I like to keep them under warranty,so once warranties are gone so is the mower
  4. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    I trade every 2 years. Mostly to keep the machine under warranty.

    However, cost does have something to do with it as well.

    I can usually trade for a difference of around $5,000 on a 28 hp 60" mower.

    This comes down to about $2,500 / year to run new mowers.

    Now I know I probably wouldn't have $2,500 in repairs every year on a mower, but I'm basically buying no downtime.

    The dealer that I run through, if you've got a machine that has warranty issues, they'll guarantee me a mower.

    If it's out of warranty, then I have to "rent" a mower for $20 / engine hour.

    If I had a mower down for a week, and put 25 hours on a rental unit, it'd still be just $1000 for that mower, but I'd still have the cost of repairs.

    Lately though, I've thought about running an extra year or two, just to see come debt load come off, but my mowers aren't the real debt load, my bigger equipment is.

    Still, I'm sure I could get by with trading every 4 - 5 years, but then you're going to get about $2,000 for your machine, or a difference of $7-10k, depending on what you buy. Now you're still talking $2 - $2.5k / year if you finance, which I don't know why you wouldn't at .0% like most companies have, so you're still looking at the same cash flow, plus you've run a machine and put money into it the second 2 years.

    For me, once you're in the cycle of trading, and you've budgeted for it, it's no big deal.
  5. ProLawns

    ProLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 476

    My philosophy is totally different. I'll use a machine until it's maintenence cost exceeds it's productivity. I'm still using my first mower, a Toro 36" WB. I use it for gated properties and banks. I paid $1800 used (it was six months old) for it 14 years ago. I replaced the deck about 7 years ago @ $650 and I just replaced the engine @ $850. Total cost for the 14 years is $4300 including $1000 for misc. parts that were replaced. I do 99% of the repairs myself. This saves on labor cost which allows me to operate equipment cheaper. If I would have traded this mower every 2-3 years it would have cost me $2800 initial price (new) plus another $1500 to trade every 2.5 years. Total cost would have been $10300 and that's a conservative figure. Of course I would now have a newer mower but this one has years left in it which makes it's yearly operational cost even lower.
  6. lawnmedic1

    lawnmedic1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 122

    I run equipment until repair costs exceed replacement costs, or until there is no need for it any more. My dealer will get my mower fixed asap, if it can't be fixed while we wait then a demo is loaded onto the trailer. There has never been a charge for demo use.
    Just sold my original 36" mower this spring(had not been used last season). Now I wish I hadn't sold it, need a something to mow the new lake house with.
  7. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    So far I've traded every 18 months, only because my this time I've had enough of the hassles each has given, or work has differed....mainly the latter.

    I'm not interested in keeping out of warrantee mowers for many years, I just don't have the mechanical skils or patience.

    As long as the mower has earn't what you wanted so your not going backwards financially, trading to fresh machines every 2 years is ok imo.

    for example, I have a great toro now, only 18 months old, it's had a month downtime already, and now that I'm doing big areas commercial mowing not just residential large lawns and acreages, I am ready to change, I'm demoing the new john deere 997 tomorrow....on a 4 year hire purchase set up like a lease, owning one is cheap! Trade the toro obviously....love to own both, but a solo biz only can afford so much lol.
  8. iluvscag

    iluvscag LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 741

    I'm right there with you buddy. :waving:

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