Equipment life. All in the maintance?

I've been reading on hand helds for the last... five hours or so. Reading everything I could find.

Now for every brand etc. I could find there would always be a couple people who would say... this brand sucks. After 2 months they just don't run right, carbs always not working blah blah...

got me thinking...

All these brands (commercial quality) make products that are very very close. It would follow that if keep in good order they should last a good while. So is it really all in the maintenance?

There are slight variations from brand to brand. A lot of it seems to just be the color. So just select the gimmick specific to each brand that you prefer/good dealer near you. Take care of it. BAMO! Long lasting machines.

In reality if you use good quality oil. Good gas. Keep the engine clean. Than any quality brand should last and serve its intended purpose.?


LawnSite Fanatic
the problem is noone really knows because there are so many variables. i can tell you this. my mom had a 1998 honda accord and she always used the cheapest gas stations and cheapest gas and cheapest oil etc. and that thing is still going at over 300,000 miles. she hardly ever changed the air filter and such.

now maybe if she used the good stuff and maintained it better it would last over 500,000 but who really knows.

another thing is the operator. imagine buying two cars that are exactly the same. if you drove one aroung flooring it at every chance you got and slamming on the brakes all the time and such and then drove the other one more sensibly the one driven more sensibly would probably last longer.

i don't think everything is equal. some are better than others. it may only be slightly but it's still a difference. i would bet any honda engine would last longer than an echo engine. of course there's always exceptions to everything so noone will ever really know 100% for sure anything. the brand does play a part in it. the vanguard engines that are put together by diahatsu (a subsidary of toyota) are good engines where as the regular briggs engines aren't as good. that is the same brand name but yet there's a difference in how they are made or assembled.

then you run into the thing where even a good company makes a bad product now and then. they usually change it to correct it or do away with it altogether.

i always try to use the good oils, good gas, etc. in all of my stuff though. i believe 100% an engine using mobil 1 in it would last longer than one using walmart cheapo oil in it. (using the same exact engine) i also believe using a gas like chevron with techron will keep an engine cleaner therefore making it last longer than using EL cheapo gas down the street because it's cheaper.

bottom line is a good product is a good product and it will last a long time even if using the cheap stuff in it. a crappy product may last a little longer using good stuff in it but i would think it would still not last as long as a good product that used cheap stuff in it.

honda civic or chevy cavalier...which do you think will last longer? it's pretty obvious in this example. i've never in my life seen a chevy cavalier with more than 200k miles on it. i've seen hundreds if not thousands of civics over that much.
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IMO-maintenance practices, good or bad, will account for 90% of how long things last. The other 10% are variables like a lemon, how the stuff is used,etc. Do I think a honda or toyota will last longer than a chevy? Yes, but a chevy will prob last a long time if it is well maintained. I think a lot of times when people say their stuff is always having problems, the issue lies with them.

White Gardens

LawnSite Fanatic
Bloomington IL
I worked for a lawn service before my biz and the owner would get a few FS90's every year.

We would take them out and beat the snot out of them, mostly getting close 40 hours a week on each trimmer you used.

Not much for maintenance in a situation like that, and they would last about 1-1.5 seasons before they were too beat up to use anymore.

Personally it always surprised me, especially running no guards in 90*+ heat which heat is usually the killer on handhelds.


LawnSite Member
"bottom line is a good product is a good product and it will last a long time even if using the cheap stuff in it. a crappy product may last a little longer using good stuff in it but i would think it would still not last as long as a good product that used cheap stuff in it."

Well said, well said.

Due to us living in a falling world. Nothing is perfect and everything (on this earth) will break and wear down eventually. Great thoughts on the matter Jason. I hope my obsessive my research addiction leads me to get great products and than it's up to me to take care of them. We'll see how well it works!

Bunton Guy

LawnSite Silver Member
charlotte nc
From my experience its 50/50. Part quality of equipment part maintenance practices.

For instance.....Stihl br600 4-mix blower. I have owned 2 in the last 4-5 years. Both I had brough in on a regular basis to have the valves cleaned & adjusted. Ran high quality fuel & oil and kept up with maintenance. Neither lasted longer then 3 years of normal use. Now dozens of people on here have had NO issues with them.

Echo trimmers & hedge trimmers....same issue I have done all the preventative maintenance I can possible think of. Several of our echo trimmers have either seized or major repair bills to the point that we don't bother trying to fix. NONE of them were repaired by echo under warranty....always denied warranty.

On the flip side I have had several Shindaiwa,redmax,maryuama & Husqvarna pieces in the past that flew under the radar when it came to maintenance. Were talking 5 years without changing a fuel filter, spark plug, air filter & grease. All still to this day run like a top and fire up in 1-3 pulls.

The life of the equipment is FIRST determined on that factory assembly comes on how well we do our part! Everything in life is a numbers game....the more you make the more that will fail. One bad apple will spoil the bunch. Get an employee who had a rough night sleep and you might as well consider every piece that passes through his hands on that assembly line a lemon.


LawnSite Senior Member
Yes and no..

If the machine has a major design flaw..even the best maint wont mean a thing..

Prime example..I loved my Kawasaki line trimmers but every time they tilted on the trimmer racks all the gas would fall out of the tank threw the carb soaking the filter.. to the point i just ran them without filters till they adventually **** the bed, people have told me some older Echos did the same

Then there is my Redmax's that havent got any attention run at close to 100:1 threw their years and haven't skipped a beat outside of a new plug

Im not knocking Kawi or echo.. sometimes somethings are just not right, I have a Redmax like that ;(