I am learning a lesson with equipment purchases

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    The lesson is, how much does the manufacturer charge for parts when that equipment starts aging? This question is more important than the design or today's purchase price.

    Honda changed their design on the HRC216HXA 21" commercial mower sometime between 2003 when we bought our first one and 2005 & 2006, when we bought 8 more.

    We are buying parts for both models now and I have steam squirting out of my ears I'm so mad. Last week, we bought new rear wheel bearings for each model. $13.06 for the new one and $31.50 for the 2003 model.

    Today, we bought new safety shields. $7.32 for the new model and $29.02 for the old model. Almost 4 times as much for the older model.

    What Honda is telling me is, they build a fine product that is meant to last. As long as you can get parts for it, you can keep it running smoothly if you take care of it. But if you intend to run it long term, we are going to rape your azz for parts down the road. One way or another, you're going to pay us.

    Does Toro & Snapper do this too?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 4,381

    I think most all of the companies charge high prices for replacment parts. Have you considered selling some of your equipment just before it gets to the point of needing lots of new parts. For example, I get rid of push mowers(Toro Superrecyler) every two seasons. Trimmers and blowers I rotate out every three years or so. It may cost a bit more but it is really nice to know the stuff is going to run and not nickel and dime me to death.
    ericg likes this.
  3. barnard

    barnard LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    Maybe it would set better with you if you looked at it this way. Maybe Honda recognized that in the past their parts were too high ,and on newer models the lowered them significantly.Would you prefer the were still as high as the old ones?Just a thought.
  4. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    Here's the thing..

    When a machine is being built on an assembly line and they are turning out hundreds of thousands of them, they are buying the parts for them in great quantity. They probably get a very good price on the parts from their suppliers.

    As soon as somebody gets a wild hair and decides that they are going to change the design and change or no longer use a bunch of parts, the suppliers are no longer shipping hundreds of thousands of parts to Honda. They may now only be shipping a couple thousand or so a year (or maybe even fewer) to cover retail replacement parts.

    Since the vendor is now making and selling much lower quantity to Honda than what they were before, the price per part is going to be higher. The older a machine gets, the reorder qty. from Honda to the vendor is getting smaller and smaller, thus the part price increases three or four fold what it was before when the machine was in full production on the assembly line.
  5. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    Exactly what I was going to say. I know this to be true cause the last company i worked for would do just that with replacement parts.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah, Toro does it but not exactly like that, they just charge high prices right off the bat.

    Best I can recommend is what I do:
    - Find out which parts wear out the most often / cost you the most over time to replace. This varies but usually something along the line of a certain belt or a bearing, sometimes some grommets, whatever.
    - Look long and hard until you find someone who makes the same or a similar interchangeable part you can use, then buy as many as you'll need for the next 5-10 years (one order means less hassling with it later).
    Just be aware of some things that decompose over time, as a rule I only carry 2-3 spare belts of any kind.

    As with Honda, I would just buy those parts you know will wear out later while they're cheap now, and stock them.

    Also I check salvage stores, in the past year I found 3lb. spools of .080 round for 12 dollars each, some Kohler air filter pre-cleaner elements for a dollar each (thou you have to cut each one a little bit off the end so it fits), stuff like that, just gotta keep looking.
    I like doing this stuff on rainy days myself, I love going parts hunting, half the time I find other good deals like for stuff around the house.
  7. Howard Roark

    Howard Roark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 805

    We're runnin' the hell out of our 21 Toro's even w/ Kawi's and we have always had absolutely NO problems.

    Can I ask you why you prefer the honda 21's? I found their controls to be quite akward and much less user/speed friendly than the Toros.
  8. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    In less words: Supply vs. Demand

    The post is completely accurate though. I am now working in heavy truck/trailer parts and same story.

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