When you do the maintenance on your mowing equipment, do you do it exactly by the book??? Or do you do it to what you think you should. Every piece of equipment has the section in the owners manual that says something like every 50 hours, change the oil, every 100 hours change the air filter, yada yada yada... My dealer is trying to work out a pricing plan for me to do the "by the book" maintenance. Now understand, I've been in business for what will be my 19th year this year. I know how to do maintenance. It's something that, when you get your business refined to the point of where I'm at, will all customers set up on flat fees, monthly, with most customers having multiple locations, commercial properties, so invoicing is a minimum. Equipment is all new, so repair time is a minimum. I've already got about 60-80 hours / week of work lined up all summer, so I'm not really looking to get out and do more advertising, knocking on doors, etc. Anyways, right now it's something like this.... Dealer cost on filters, oil, parts, and then the shop rate of $75 / hour. I run between $75 and $100 / hour mowing. I guess I look at it this way. Every 50 hours for me, running solo, means about every other week I'd be dropping a mower off at the dealer. I call the day before it's being dropped off, they'll make sure they have a guy for it when I drop it off. I've got an extra ZTR on the trailer, another ZD28 / 60" deck, so I'm not out a mower. Anyways, it's ready when my route for that day brings me back in town. At the 50 hour service, an oil change is looking about $75 total. I figure if I buy the oil, filter, grease, that is going to be about $15, give or take for 6 quarts in the diesel engine, plus the filter and 1/2 tube of grease. Anyways, it's pretty much a wash on the parts whether I put them in, or they do, since it's at dealer cost. Now they're looking at about $60 for the labor, not quite an hours worth of work. They'll wash it for me as well, plus sharpen the blades. I look at it, by the time I get the pressure washer out, not to mention either stop at the dealer and get an oil filter, or order them online in bulk (about 8 / year) wash the mower, change the oil, filter, blades, and grease the whole thing, that's an hours' worth of work, if not a hair more. I suppose if you really wanted to hustle and didn't care about the wash job tremendously, that you could cut that time down 15 minutes or so. Either way, even if it was only 1/2 hour, that's still $37-50 that could have been covered with me mowing, so about 60-80% of the labor charge of having the shop do it, plus they're looking for other things to take care of. I know it probably sounds like I'm lazy, which is some of it too. After working 60-80 hours for the week, last thing I want to do is start crawling all over the equipment. I was talking to the sales guy, who's also the V.P. of the place, a dealer where I've bought over $100,000 worth of equipment in 5 years from, asking him if there's a better trade in value then as well. He said yeah, that's it's worth an extra $700-1000 if he had invoices to show a customer that the mower was meticulously maintained by the shop. I realize most here will probably say that he's saying that so I'll spend more money there, but he's a good guy, we go out to lunch all the time and talk in great deal about each other's operations, and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be blowing smoke up my butt about something like that. All in all, the mower(s) would get about 800 hours on them in a year. My total for the shop doing the service would be roughly $2000 for the year, or around $2.50 / hour. The biggest charge would come at the first 50 hours, and then again every 400 hours, doing a hydro fluid change, since the Kubota ZD331 now has 19 quarts of fluid to replace.