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How important is dealer support?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lilred731, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. lilred731

    lilred731 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    How important is dealer support to you? I ask this question to all of you to help me come to solution to a dilemma that I have.

    I am looking to purchase a walk-behind. What size, possibly a 48 maybe a 52. Brand either a Toro or Exmark. Out of the three dealer I will deal with two are Toro and the other is an Exmark dealer. The Toro dealers are closer than the Exmark. 1st Toro dealer is 1 miles from my house the 2nd is maybe 13 or so miles and the Exmark is 20 miles from my house. Just for reference sake I don't cut any lawns in the area around the Exmark dealer. I cut closer to both of the Toro dealers.

    The reason I am asking this is, my wife said that she will allow me to use most of the income tax return to purchase a lawn mower. She specifically said "The one you want." I immediately thought of the Exmark 52" TT with the 23hp engine. After talking the the dealers and asking questions I started to think alot harder about this than before. The Exmark dealer has the mower I want but the attitude of the salesperson just wasn't up to par. The Toro salesperson were more friendlier and informative than the Exmark person.

    My thought at the time was if he acts this way towards me now, will he act this way after I put some money in his pocket by buying the mower?

    How important is dealer support to you?
  2. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    I would not worry so much about the attitude of the salesperson, as I would the reputation of that dealer as it pertains to how they are at getting commerical guys in and out when you have a problem.

    If you are able, try to talk with other commercial guys about where they get their work done. Most of them will know the dealers who value their business and get them back working asap after a mower breakdown.

    At least for me, the #1 issue is how they handle repair problems and how quickly. Personally, I think all the major brands of mowers are decent machines. I now have to drive a half hour one way for my new dealer after having to fire my original dealer who always gave higher priority to companies that are much larger than mine. My new dealer treats all commercial guys the same way. For routine service, he has a waiting list and works thru it from top to bottom. For emergencies, he gives priority to ANY commercial operator regardless of big they are.

    You will hear the folks here tell you that dealer support is everything....because it is
  3. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Do what garpa says, The TT 52 Ultracut is a great mower not to get because of a bad attitude of a sales man. It the fixing thats important.
  4. BB36

    BB36 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    I look for a dealer who is close to my operation ;way spend any extra time(lost time) going to a shop further away,time is money.
    I would find out the turn around time in the shop.My shop for instance will work on a repair immediately if you need to get back to work; this applies to all comm. lcos that deal with them.
    Find a shop who has loaner mowers when your mower is down . Some shops will loan you a mower free of charge.Some others shops will rent you a mower on a daily basis while yours is being repaired.
    Also find out if there is a large parts inventory;and if a part is ordered how long it takes to get the parts.Toro(I run Toro mowers) for example will guarantee parts within 48 hours or they will pay for those parts.I know this to be true because this happened to me and Toro paid for all the late parts.
  5. sprout

    sprout LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Time is money! Dealer support is everything. I've been at this for almost 24 years, owned Scag, Exmark,Bobcat,Walker and JD all good mowers. When they go down your out of business, a PITA mower shop can be a nightmare. A good shop makes the bad times easier. Forget about witch mower is the biggest and baddist, they are all good. You decide what will work for you and help your business.
  6. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Although we do almost all our repairs "in house", I believe it is important to have a good relationship with your dealer. Prices and service, if ever needed, get better as the years go by.
  7. SCFF

    SCFF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    I agree with what sprout said. I have had personel exp with a PITA mower shop, their service went to crap, so when it was time to buy new equip I changed dealers and products, haven't had any problems yet.
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Ditto...only I'm starting my 10th year. I think of my dealer as being my silent business partner btw.
  9. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    My dealer kicks ass. He always gets me in and out fast, does a great job for me. Goes the extra mile, etc. For me, the salesmanship isn't as important as the service department. My guy will try to get my repairs done quick, and if it's something he thinks I could do, he'll tell me exactly how to get it done. THere are a few other dealers in the area that handle more brands, but their rep on repairs is horrible, and I'd never think of going to buy from them.

  10. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    I guess I have been lucky, no real need for my Dealer even after I spent lots of time researching before I bough the Walker. He's 2 hours one way and sends stuff next day if I need it. Hasn't been anything that was a problem. We have other mowers for back up so that helps too. Now that the warranty is over it really doesn't matter. I buy wherever I want.

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