Average Lifespan Of Gas-Powered Handheld Equipment

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by The Swamp Fox, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. The Swamp Fox

    The Swamp Fox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    Hello all! Been lurking in the shadows for the last few months while devouring info from the vaults. Finally took the plunge and joined up today in order to ask some questions I've managed to compile while planning a solo lawn maintenance start-up.

    I'm currently working on fleshing out an initial equipment roster. In the course of so doing, I'm trying to get a feel for the average lifespan of gasoline-powered handheld equipment like string trimmers, stick edgers, backpack blowers, kombi-style power heads, and other equipment like hedge trimmers, pole pruners, chainsaws, etc.

    Nailing down expected lifespan will enable me to accurately calculate depreciation when comparing the true operational costs of different makes / models within a given category, plan and budget for replacement, and accurately set my labor rate for each tool.

    Understanding that those who track hourly use on handheld power equipment are probably few and far between, does anyone have a good feel for how many hours typical professional-grade string trimmers, stick edgers, and backpack blowers will last on average?
  2. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,237

    Back when I was mowing I'd expect a trimmer or blower to go 2 seasons, if it lasted longer that was a bonus. Shears, pole saws and less used items last much longer for me.
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  3. weeze

    weeze Banned
    Messages: 17,196

    mine last 5-10 years or more. you will have trouble out of mowers before you will have trouble out of handhelds. you may have some minor things like replacing fuel lines or a primer bulb or something but no major problems for 10-15 years. it will be less if you have employees that treat the equipment like crap and throw it around and such and they are out there using them 12hrs a day. it all depends on use and how you take care of the equipment.

    one thing to note...and don't get caught up into it.....new products come out every single year so in a few years your equipment "feels" out of date....but it still does the job just fine so don't worry about always having the "latest thing" in mowing equipment.
  4. Cam15

    Cam15 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,402

    I've had my backpack blower for 3 or 4yrs so far and no problems. My trimmer is 2yrs old. But I certainly don't use them as much as Knox gsl.
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  5. MowDaddy

    MowDaddy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,502

    All my handhelds are stihl, except 2 echoes.

    We get 3-4 yrs out of trimmers,
    And they get a ton of use doing cemeteries.
    Rough guess on hrs.
    3 hrs per day x 5 days per week x 21 weeks x 3.5 yrs. About 1,100 hrs.
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  6. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,566

    As a business you should have an equipment replacement cycle. If its 3 years for handhelds, take the price it takes to buy them all new and divide by 3. It gives you the price each year you should save for replacement.
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  7. Tn Turf

    Tn Turf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 373

    I have 6 trimmers on the trucks that between them are used on over 9,000 lawns per year. I hope to have them before the warranty expires in 2 years. They usually make it 2 years then I sell them on Craigslist for like $125-$150 each and buy new ones on bulk discount (my Stihl dealer gives me 5% off and free oil, and I also get an additional 3% off using my cashback credit card)

    I keep 3 new ones in the shop for backups. Last thing I can afford is equipment giving me trouble.

    So short answer, 3,000 lawns per each trimmer and 4,500 lawns per each blower.

    If my math is correct the cost all broken down is 8.5 cents per yard for trimmer wear and tear
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  8. Andrew H

    Andrew H LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,986

    Also depends what kind of fuel you're running in them, you should be running E 0 in your small engines
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  9. weeze

    weeze Banned
    Messages: 17,196

    i have a honda trimmer that is 15 years old. all i've ever used in it was 87 octane 10% ethanol gas. never had a single problem with it. i did finally replace the air filter, fuel lines, and primer bulb after 12 years of use. these things last basically forever.

    blowers last even longer usually. i have a br600 that is 10 years old so far. i had to replace the primer bulb a couple of times and the fuel lines once.

    i have a husqvarna trimmer and blower and both are almost 5 years old and i've never had a single issue.

    i am a solo operation though. that makes a huge difference. i'm only using these things a few hours every day. if you have crews they may get used 8-10hrs a day so that will cut the amount of time they last by a good bit.

    just as and educated guess if you are solo they should at least last at least 10 years and if you have crews you should be able to get 5 years out of them on average. there's many variations so no one can give you an exact number.

    how many hours a day do you use the equipment? that will affect how long they last.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  10. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 18,804

    Sounds about right.
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