Buying a used many hours is too many?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Let it Grow, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    I'm looking at buying a used ztr this spring and I'm wondering how many hours you guys had on your mowers before you had to start replacing things. I think my options will be Walker, Bobcat, Kubota, Dixon & Toro...which mower would you buy if you were buying used?
  2. Ax Man

    Ax Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    It would depend on who I bought from, and condition of the Machine.
    I bought my first WB used, 800 bucks 17 years ago, It had 1000 hr guesstimated on it. I ran it full time for 2 years, and bought a new one in the middle of the second.
    Last year I bought a Walker -dealer demo, 250 hrs it has been a great machine. I have put 1000 hrs on it since. just belts, oil and grease. for maintenance.
    I knew both people who I got them from, and wasn't concerned with problems.
    I guess if you aren't sure about a machine, pay a mechanic to check it over before you buy it.
  3. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    As similar as ZTR's are to the eye, they all have different parts. And those different parts will wear differently on each mower.

    Also consider if it was trailered or home based. Big difference on wear.

    Also consider if it was used on small yards, or wide open flat smooth large acerage lawns for 6-8hrs at a time.

    There are SO many different variables, and the engine life is only a small, easily replaceable part of the factor.

    Remember just about ANYTHING that is used is AUTOMATICALLY worth 1/2 of its original price. Doesn't matter if its 3 months old or 3 years old. Start at half and go DOWN.

    Things to check are parts that are difficult to replace.

    Put your foot against the deck and give it a few kicks back and forth. If its all loosey-goosey, thats going to be difficult at times to return to TIGHT.

    Check for deck damage. You want a clean, rust free deck that isn't tweaked or otherwise damaged.

    Check spindle bearings, idler pulley bearings and their control arm bushings. Remove deck belt and these things are easy to spot.

    Look for leaky hydros. From pump shaft seals to hydro hoses and fittings to wheel motors. This is the HEART of the ZTR and the MOST EXPENSIVE TO REPLACE.

    Look for tire wear. Tires arent cheap ($200 for most)

    Check for caster bearings being worn/loose. Also caster wheel bearings.

    Lots of stuff on these things get neglected. If the unit LOOKS like it was neglected, it probably WAS.

    Buyer beware.

    Now, go out searching!

    Good Luck
  4. Let it Grow

    Let it Grow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    Thanks for the info...I am a mechanic so that is why I'm looking into buying used...I can fix it when it breaks!!!

    I'm just not familiar with how long most mowers will go without having too many major problems.
  5. G-father

    G-father LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    I do not agree with the half value rule. If you can find a used machine with low hours (from a homeowner etc), it is worth more than half the price of a new one. If that was true than TLS's 2001 60" eXmark Lazer 27hp LC Kawi w/Ultra-Vac, Director, and EZ-Striper would be worth about 3500-4000 for the package if it had around 1200 hours on it, however if it was in good condition I feel the mower alone would be worth 4500. (8600 for mower, 1600 for uv, not sure about the director)/2 = 5100 for 6 month old ~300hr is way too low. In my opinion used machines need to be carefully looked over and priced accordingly.

    Be careful about demo machines. I looked at a few and they were beat to s___. 200 hours on a demo is like 500-1000 hours of owner use. They are used for short periods at the shop - hard on engine. They are sometimes driven my inexperienced drivers - driven into trees and walls. They are used very hard by people who don't care about them - hard on everythning.

    just my opinion
  6. zero_turn_mowers

    zero_turn_mowers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    I totally agree with G-father. I own Walker Mowers and I can usually run any of them to around 800 hours before I do the first thing to them. It is how they have been taken care of that make them last trouble free, would be great to find one that a home owner has.

  7. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    My Lazer was $8495

    With Director and Striping roller figure an even $9000

    I wouldn't sell the UV, but I could sell the Lazer out front of my house in under a week for $5000 to a homeowner passerby.

    BUT,....It only has a hair over 1000 hrs, and it is visually and mechanically perfect.

    Cant get much more than $5000 for used mowers (withen reason).

    I'll most likely keep it another season and unload it next fall or the following spring.

    The half rule applies to MOST slightly used equipment. If it LITERALLY has been only used by a homeowner, then yes, the 1/2 factor has to be curved a bit. The more you curve it though, the better NEW, fully warrantied machines look.
  8. Lakeview

    Lakeview LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    One thing to consider is how many different operators would have used a single piece of equipment. Different individual operators are are hard on different parts of the machine. A machine that was operated by one individual will have wear resulting from the operating habits of that one person. A machine that was operated by four different individuals over a certain period of time will have wear resulting from the operating habits of four different people. One person may be a curb jumper, the other may be a low rpm operator and yet another may be a snap-driver.

Share This Page