Anyone upgrade new mowers every two years?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MacLawnCo, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    Ive been thinking recently, and think i may be on to something. Please dont apply this to wbs, that another ball game i think. Im talking standers and Z's here.

    The mowers that i am investigating purchasing next year come with 2 year complete waranties. What the thought was is to run them for 2 years, then sell them and buy new again. The benefits i see are many. First, my dealer will only give out loaners while in the waranty period...this way id never be out of waranty. Similarly, id never have an uplanned maintenance expense. Secondly, it would be very cheap to own. It seems that it would be easy to dump a 2 year old mower with 1000-1500 hours for $3000-$4000 less than what you paid. This would make your ownership cost around $2k per year...not bad, and similar to what a mower would cost annually over its usefull life if used until sever maintenance costs were incured...around 3000 hours. Also, since my immage is very important to me and my clients, we would always have nice shinny equpiment on their properties. I dont see many downfalls to this, can anyone help me see the other side to this coin? Anyone do this now?
  2. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    Mac-My Snapper Z is out of warranty in May 04. I was just in the dealership yesterday looking over the 04 models and getting info on spring rebates,etc. I was thinking similarly about this same idea. Most people trade their trucks / cars every two years, why not high end mowers as well. A big way to get the biggest ROI dollar for dollar.I am thinking of going with a Sentar, though, so I am going to hold on to my Z for a while..Great thread:D
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    this is a great thread, the only problem that I can see with upgrading every 2 years is that you would constantly be in debt or finanical obligation to a company.
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    There was a thread here some time ago (a coupla' years) that said that a machine should stay in service until the cost to repair it is greater than 50% of it's value.

    My Exmark 36" Metro is heading into it's fifth year and my Dixie 60" into it's fourth. I'm not sure of the hours on the Exmark but they should be somewhere in the 800 to 900 range and the Dixie has 877+- hours on it.

    I plan to use these same 2 machines until my retirement from lawn servicing in 4 years. Both of them still look great and there has not been enough advances in the new models to justify the expense of replacing perfectly good machines.

    BOTURF LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    Mac , this is the way i do it. I trade every 2 years so mowers are under warrenty all the time , i try to get a new one every year as we have 2 large mowers the way we have set it up is that we alternernate which mower we are getting rid of.( been doing it this way for at least 10 years ) I made the mistake last year of not trading one as i thought i just run it another year to see how many more hrs i could get out of it , to a point this was a mistake from 2 angles . I didnt have the tax write off , so payed thru the teeth to uncle sam ( hit that fine line where i went up another tax bracket ) and still kicking myself for not trading also it cost alot more when something broke as i had to pay alot more out of pocket for repairs . I think 2500 hrs on a 17 horse kawi is just about the max for this engine
  6. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

  7. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    Mac, I just started that program earlier this year. However, I trade all equipment out, wb and ztr. What money I do come up with for the trade out is more than offset by the benfets you mentioned in your post.
  8. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    my dc is going strong at 6 yrs a new set of tires and a few parts here and there and it will go another 6 yrs I hope. My wb ill replace when I see something I like its probably going to be yellow next time.
  9. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

    Troy, not to pick on you, but i think i should point something out. You can approach this two ways. First, you can lay down cash for the machines like i will be doing. That ways there is no loan and no debt. Over the next two years, it would be easy to stash away $2k per year to offset the loss at the end of my ownership cycle. Then, id sell the machine, add in my savings and pay cash for the new machine.

    Second way would be initially more financially strenuous, but i still think that there would be positive rewards. Take the loan out for the machine. Pay it off in 2 years, and sell the mower as planned. Then you have 2 options. First you could have been saving the $2k per year and then have cash for the new machine in year 3. Or, you can finance what you would have needed to save. Not too dificult, and the interest is a tax write off.

    Richard, this way is obviously fine with you...but the difference here is the number of hours i am talking about putting on the machines. You are in the neighborhood of 200 per year, while this plan is looking at machines that get more than say 500-700+ per year.

    I still think that wbs dont need replaced on this cycle. They are so cheap that if mine ever went down, id just assume buy another one while mine the down one was getting fixed. lol

    Id love to hear some more opinions on this matter. Especially interesed in hearing the depreciation aspects...Mark, Bruce?
  10. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    Why not take that 2K per year and save it?In two years you have 4K when your warranty goes out.If your mower is still working fine,then in three years you have 6k.How often does a mower need 4k in repairs?
    Before long you'll have enough for a new mower out right and if you're having trouble with the one you have,then trade it in.
    The way I look at things is if I "own" something,as in it's paid for,then I'm making money off it.If I'm constantly making a payment,I'm losing money.
    That 2k per year will be like a self insured warranty.

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