Any small engine mechanics on here

Gman2310

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
NJ
Anyone have a customer not pay for repair and pick up machine. We put motor on a 42” stander and now customer doesnt have money to pay for motor. Looking to sell machine to recoup my money. Has anyone done this?
 

AlohaMowing

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Hilo, HI
There almost certainly are local laws that will tell you how long you must hold unclaimed property, what notice you must give to a customer prior to disposal, what right you would have to the proceeds or any sale, whether you need to send some or all of the proceeds to the customer or if some or all of the proceeds are to be escheated to the state. Everyone doing repairs needs to know the applicable local laws. Follow the law and you should be okay, don't follow and you risk being sued by the customer.
 

vtx531

LawnSite Member
I would think you have two main options:

1. Remove the engine and return it in the original state.

2. Return the machine with the new engine
... a. He pays you later
... b. You sue him for the money
...... i. You are able to collect
...... ii. You are not able to collect
...c. You let it go.

I don’t think selling it is an option. I would definitely not do this. You don’t have title to this property (in a legal sense). You can’t legally sell it anymore than the customer could sell one of your mowers. You have possession but you don’t have ownership.

I would go with option #1 unless you are a gambler but if he doesn’t have the money he probably owes other people too and I don’t think chances are looking good on that route.
 

dboyd351

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Cape Charles, VA
I would think you have two main options:

1. Remove the engine and return it in the original state.

2. Return the machine with the new engine
... a. He pays you later
... b. You sue him for the money
...... i. You are able to collect
...... ii. You are not able to collect
...c. You let it go.
I don't see where any of these things makes the mechanic whole for his efforts, therefore this is very poor advice.
Option 1 requires you to take the old engine off, install the new one, discover you aren't getting paid, remove the new engine, re-install the old engine, then get paid nothing for your efforts, but return the machine to the owner. You expect to stay in business and make a living doing this?

Where I live there is something called a mechanics lien that is expressly designed to cope with the situation described by paying the mechanic for his labor when the machine or business is sold, but I don't know how it works, so maybe you should do a search on "mechanic's lien".
 

vtx531

LawnSite Member
I don't see where any of these things makes the mechanic whole for his efforts, therefore this is very poor advice.
Option 1 requires you to take the old engine off, install the new one, discover you aren't getting paid, remove the new engine, re-install the old engine, then get paid nothing for your efforts, but return the machine to the owner. You expect to stay in business and make a living doing this?

Where I live there is something called a mechanics lien that is expressly designed to cope with the situation described by paying the mechanic for his labor when the machine or business is sold, but I don't know how it works, so maybe you should do a search on "mechanic's lien".
A mechanic’s lien is something that goes on the title. We are talking about a lawnmower..not a house/car/boat/airplane. A lawn mower doesn’t have a title.

Better advice would be to insist on payment upfront, before work begins, but the poster was asking what to do now and I stand behind my advice.

What ended up happening gman?
 
Last edited:

BigFish

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
chesapeake, va
Anyone have a customer not pay for repair and pick up machine. We put motor on a 42” stander and now customer doesnt have money to pay for motor. Looking to sell machine to recoup my money. Has anyone done this?
I have on a couple of occasions, but the units were only hand helds.
In your case $$$, I would take the deadbeat to small claims court if you can.
 

danell10

LawnSite Member
Location
saginaw, mi
Anyone have a customer not pay for repair and pick up machine. We put motor on a 42” stander and now customer doesnt have money to pay for motor. Looking to sell machine to recoup my money. Has anyone done this?
You're in a shitty predicament. I would do my best to work with the guy. Maybe ask what equipment or tools he has that are near equal what he owes you. I would ask what he's willing give you in lieu of payment. The guy may go around town saying your shop screwed him on an engine replacement deal. That may cost you much more, so I would do my best to make some sort of deal with him. Meanwhile, revise your repair policy. Maybe have people pay for the parts up front, and pay the labor/balance when the machine is picked up. Good luck!
 
OP
G

Gman2310

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
NJ
We are filing paperwork for small claims court this week. See what happens. Hes getting divorced, business is going out of business. Hopefully get a judgement before he sells.
 
Top