How long do your mowers last.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnjocky, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. lawnjocky

    lawnjocky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 189

    I was reading another post and someone said a 20hp motor would last 2000 hrs. Over the years I have settled on 15-1800 hrs as my estimate for the life of a gas powered mower. After that it becomes a game of what will break or quit working today and dealing with the power/speed loss. I'm talking about the mower as a whole and not just the motor. When I'm done with a mower it still runs and will deliver good use for years to come, but I can't trust it because of the down time. Paying the help to come back with a non running mower tends to suck the profit out of a day.

    My question to the board is this;
    With proper servicing, how many hours do you get from your mowers before you start having trouble and think about trading or a major overhaul?

    Please include if you run it yourself or have employees. The owner almost always takes better care of their own machines.
  2. Mahoney3223

    Mahoney3223 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 995

    TURF TIGER THAT WAS RAN BY EMPLOYEES LIQ COOLED DIED OUT 1900 HOURS....let you know when my others fail...I got a walker that was shortblocked at 1500 hours....yes the owner will take better care, and you have "perfect" service...but really who does? my dealers i've gone too have said air cooled engine on average 1500-2000 liquid 2000-2500 with proper maintenance.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Gosh, speaking from my own experience I wonder today if it was even worth it...

    My 48" Wb was about 8 years old when the transmission went out...
    I replaced that, a year later the engine was down on compression, as you know
    it's that gradual loss and it still ran but it had been some time coming.
    Anyhow, I replaced that.

    After that things took a turn for the worse, I suspect the power of the new engine
    made a lot of other things fail, I am telling you...
    I replaced several pulleys, all the spindle bearings, shafts, brakes and sheaves, springs and clips, a few things
    more than once, seemed to me like I replaced everything except deck and frame, heck the muffler too, to make
    matters down right rough for all of that year it seemed I couldn't get even one whole day out of it.

    Finally two years later I got it half way running good, at least last year it didn't let me down but a couple of times ...

    Now the deck has got cracks in it, the rust has gotten so bad I can see air (and I mean AIR) through certain parts ...
    And it's just so worn out that some parts no matter how often I replace them can't
    compensate for the wear, it's loose regardless and that causes more problems.
    A new deck frame assembly costs $900

    Unfortunately a new Wb like mine runs $3,700!

    What can I say, I think I'm spending the $900.
    Looking back I should have just bought another, hindsight is always 20/20.

    I did last year manage to rebuild the Tecumseh peerless, crazy dang needle bearings, I am no dummy when it comes
    to these things and I swear it all went back together exact but when I turn it by hand I can hear and feel a slight drag...
    Who knows, maybe that's the way it's supposed to be, only time will tell.

    The Kohler I also kept, that I'll likely be dropping off one day soon for a rebuild.

    Is it worth it...
    I'm guessing it's 3-4 thousand either way.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  4. lawnjocky

    lawnjocky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 189

    I didn't even think about the liquid cooled gas motors. Never had one. Just air cooled and diesel's.

    Repair or replace can be hard choice sometimes. Look on the bright side, at what? 10 years of use, that sucker's gotta be paid for:laugh:
  5. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,253

    My first exmark metro, which was bought in 2001 still runs like a champ, still starts on the first pull everytime, and still has the original deck belt! All thats ever been wrong with it is a stuck open valve in the carb, I used Stabil, so I dont know how it gummed up, but that was the only repair its ever had. I believe if you take good care of them, they will last a good long time, mainly keeping oil changed, keeping the air filter clean, and winterizing them right, and greasing everything as instructed.
  6. ecobluemaui

    ecobluemaui LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I believe there are very important factors involved in keeping a mower (Rider, Push, Etc.). Keeping the filters oil, fuel, and air clean! Especially the air filter must be clean, dry, and oiled properly. Next high octane fuel. Sharp blades. And obviously keep to the maint. schedule for your machine. And last but not least overall physical treatment of the machine, and I couldn't agree more with you about Owners taking better care of your machines! They are our babies...We love taking them home and taking care of them..To our employees however are abusive step parents, and our machines are disobedient step children! Sorry for the tangent...
  7. Cummins343

    Cummins343 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 2,468

    a long time. One of my walkbehinds has 3000+ hrs on it.:weightlifter: All my standers are fairly new.
  8. SangerLawn

    SangerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 736

    I have a 60 exmark lazer that made it to 3,700 hours with no major repairs. Yes I had to replace spindles, belts, and I think caster wheels on the front but in all I had no major problems until the motor locked up. I had engine rebuilt at 3,700 hours and it lasted about another 1,000 and engine died again.

    This was the mower I ran, very very seldom did any employees run this machine. It has a kohler 22 horse command on it. It is now parked in my back yard with a tarp over it while I debate what I want to do with it. Probably gonna sell it to a buddy of mine.
  9. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    Probably depends on a few things, how you maintain it, the abuse it subjected to, those are the two big things I can think of. I know guys that leave their stuff out in the elements and seem to never break down. I also know guys who garage their equipment and use an enclosed trailer who had a major break down in less than 200 hrs. with two new machines. Who knows, its a machine so anything can happen, all you can do is do the scheduled maintenance and hope for the best in a couple years down the road. Preventative maintenance begins with 0.0 hrs on it not 100. I take a lot of pride in our equipment so its washed down regularly and shinned up weekly. Aside from the normal scuffs and scratches on the left side of the decks, they sill look fairly new. There comes a time when a piece of equipment becomes too unreliable (weekly break downs) then its time to either do a major overhaul or buy new. I would much rather spend 1k to fix many problems on one machine than spend 4-5k on a new one.
    EDIT: a good rule of thumb Ive heard and went by is, when the repairs are 75% the cost of a new the new one.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  10. Mahoney3223

    Mahoney3223 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 995

    yeah man, i have had two Scag TT's with liq cooled and they run a lot cooler and it's less wear on the engine. They are really nice. It's basically like a little car engine. I got the new 35 HP BB Briggs liq-cooled on my new Tiger and I really like it, it has a lot of balls man. I would suggest a liq-cooled used since they tend to last longer. If you buy a new one, your going to pay like 1500 or more for it.

Share This Page