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Equipment - when to buy new and bury the old?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by meets1, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,855

    We have a number of 44 Toro WB that have seen there better days. Don't get me wrong - they don't miss a beat yet and still cut 8 hours a day 5 days a week. I also am running 4 Z master 52 toro, all are 3yrs old, 750 - 1500 hours / machine. I also have a Toro 220D, 2000 hours, but it looks good, runs great and cuts great, do I keep it, trade it, or just sit on it until it dies. Time to trade, keep nickel and dimeing them or what. What do you guys do on equipment and how long do you keep it, trade it, determine / hour what? Thanks.
  2. Mr. Magpie

    Mr. Magpie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    I have not operated long enough to say I have experience with this, but in theory I would think that keeping them as long as they cut acceptably is the key. Then, refurbish them a bit and sell them for a small chunk of change. There is a depreciation curve on each piece of equip..... you need to try and gain an understanding of this curve (based on its history and such) and sell it at one of the peaks.

    But, I would never compromise the quality and reliability of my business just to squeeze some life out of an almost dead machine...
  3. Howie's Lawn Care

    Howie's Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    I would say the standard expectancy is 2000 hours. I think anytime after 4 years or 1500 hours.
  4. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    I run JD 400 series Tractors with the Yanmar Diesel - My old 332 (1988 model had 5000 hrs. on it when I sold it and it is still running.)

    From this experience, and considering that the JD 400 series tractors have frames and front ends that will probably go 15,000 hrs, and considering the fact that Yanmar now thinks their engines will go 15,000 hrs., it would be stupid not to run them for a long time.

    Here is my history on equipment - I hope this helps.
    1988 - JD 332 - 16HP Yanmar - 5000 hrs. - Sold - Still running:

    1990's - JD 455's - bought used ones (2) All Wheel Steer - 22HP Yanmars - Put on 2500 hrs.

    Today - Am into real commercial and some residential mowing - 110 acres a week, so traded the 2 All Wheel Steer's in for a 595 (24HP Yanmar - 4 wheel drive), and bought a one year old 495 (24HP Yanmar - Back wheel drive.)

    With this set up we mow 110 acres (lots of parks, lots of trees, lots of BBQ grills - picnic tables etc) in 15 hrs tack time x 2 mowers = 30 hrs tack time total.

    Getting back to the topic "When do I trade?"

    Answer - I will probably run these machines for at least 10,000 hrs, because the tractor will last at least that long, and the engine even longer, and they will still have some trade value. But who cares at that point, the mower owes you nothing at 10,000 hrs.

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