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Mower daily upkeep- help me experts!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Rich1101, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Rich1101

    Rich1101 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    the problem seems to be :NOBODY WANTS TO SELL A GOOD MOWER. dont blame them.

    thanks for all the help

  2. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    They are out there, you just have to be patient. You need to look for someone like myself that mows commercially, but replaces machines to keep them under warranty instead of waiting until they develop severe issues. Homeowners are a good bet also, but the number who buy commercial grade equipment then for some reason sell, is probably very few.

    One thing you might do is go to some local dealers and tell them exactly what you are looking for, and what price range you need to stay in. Ask them to contact you ASAP if something in that range is traded in, and if it suits you, you'll buy it on the spot. I know my dealer keeps such a list, because when I was first starting in the lawn business, I inquired about good, used machines. He said he occasionally gets one in, but he has a list of people to call first and give them a chance to purchase.

    Also, timing could be important. The holiday season and the extra expenses it brings, plus the simple fact there is little work for a mower in mid-winter, means you might run across a bargain in the next few months by watching things like Craig's list. Just make sure you verify ownership and condition. Good luck.
  3. gasracer

    gasracer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,049

    Also check that they didn't finance it and still owe money on it. Get a Bill of sale.Most equipment around here is bought through my local dealer. He will run the persons name and serial number through his system for me to check it out.Do Not start doing internet searches on serial numbers on used equipment. You might get a call from a collection agency wanting it.
  4. Buck_wheat

    Buck_wheat LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 585

    For light use like yours would be, you can save a bundle of $$$ buying a mower with some hours on it. I wouldn't be afraid of a mower with as much as 1500 hours on it. Look at it, you'll know if it was beat to death or maintained. Do an engine compression check, check the dip stick and see if it's carbonized on the bottom and that the oil isn't black sludge, look for signs of leaks (they'll usually accumulate dirt and dust around them), check the belts for nicks and cuts, look at the spindles, look for rust particularly on the deck & muffler (some rust is normal) etc... go ahead kick the tires and take it for a run.

    I bought my first commercial rider (X-Mark Lazer Z 52" 25HP Kohler) with 1700 hours on it for $2,000. I saved a good $6-8,000 over a new one. That was five years ago, I use it commercially, mostly on residential properties. It's still running today and I haven't spent $4,000 - $6,000 outside of normal maintenance and wear and tear. My biggest expenses were the PTO Clutch@ $300 and a new head for the motor $750. All in all it was a good buy and it's still running.

    Everyone here talks about regular maintenance, this is a must (In zone 9, I change plugs 4 x per year), Rust is a problem so cleaning the deck after you finish cutting is important, regular oil and filter changes, (we do them weekly since the machines are grinding every day, all day) make sure the zerk fittings (those little nobbies you sguirt grease into) are wiped immaculatly clean before you lube otherwise you'll jam dirt into the grease and increase wear. Oh, and don't over grease them either, a squirt ought to be enough.

    There are plenty for sale, specially at the end of a growing season or the beginning, patience pays.
  5. Rich1101

    Rich1101 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    thanks- now "gasracer" scared me. I never thought of buying a mower that someone still owed money on....

    If I buy something from craigslist etc, I think the chances are about 0 that the guy would have a paid receipt, unless he was the original owner.

    Would you just buy the machine, or still run the serial numbers? just asking
  6. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,164

    I would run the numbers to see several things: ownership, date of purchase, any recalled items, warrenty work, and possibly stolen.

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