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Mower life expectancy

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rjh4758, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. rjh4758

    rjh4758 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    What could you anticipate the life expectancy of a quality commercial mower- ZTR, Walk behind, Stander? Just wondering how long it will last before a lot of wear and tear will start nickle and diming you?
  2. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I'd say 2000+/- hours. A lot of it is determined by how well you take care of your mower. With good maintenance (oil changes, greasing, air filter changes, etc) and good care, your mower could definately last longer than 2000 hours before "nickle and diming" you.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    It goes far beyond what you speak of, I found after 10-12 years the
    manufacturers start to phase out parts so it becomes harder and harder
    to find replacements and guess who gets to do ALL the cross-referencing?

    Also certain parts can NOT be replaced, at least not easily, but they do wear,
    unless you feel like replacing a whole deck (they're not cheap).
    On account of one stupid little steel PIN that's welded onto the deck in such a way that I don't
    foresee most backyard mechanics replacing it, but it's so worn that the spindle it holds wobbles and
    this wobble causes the $5 left-thread eyebolt that's part of the turnbuckle belt-tensioner to break
    ALL the time.
    When it breaks you're SOL unless you've got one already handy, then it takes 5 minutes to replace it,
    assuming you can pull the broken off piece out of the turnbuckle easily.
    As for replacing the pin, well good luck finding it, even the original OEM parts manual doesn't show it,
    no sir, you have to buy the deck.

    So in the compromise one has to run the entire machine slower, to keep the wear and tear from eating us alive.

    8-10 years, reasonably speaking, but even then...
    The mower is fully paid for, a new one costs a LOT more than it did 8-10 years ago...

    You'll see :p
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  4. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,253

    With farm tractors, they make replacement parts for some that go back to the 1930s! So why would they stop making parts for commercial mowers after only a short amount of time. If taken care of, they can last as long as a farm tractor easily!
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I couldn't agree more, it ain't right but Toro doesn't even allow the download of their 1997
    model 30197 parts manual anymore although granted, it's actually the 1998 manual...
    Same with the Owner's manual, it's just not there.
    Oh but it's the same thing as the 1998, so is it a mistake?

    I think not, try the 30165, that's a 1991 Toro 52" model.
    Nothing for that, well...
    Almost nothing, they have a FEW parts but not most, good luck even TRYING to find a parts diagram!
    A complete one would be nice, I guess there's always some cute volunteer willing to SELL me one now...

    Luckily that one crosses to the newer 52" Groundsmaster and I'm not sure what all crosses
    but the parts I needed did, now guess who had to figure that one out?

    As the owner of a 2004, a 1997, and the recent dealings with that 1991 Toro I can pretty
    clearly see the progression of how and where things get quietly pushed out, far as I'm concerned
    they don't want us fixing them up, that's probably not good for business.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  6. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,038

    2500 on our walker and golden but i have a few bobcats xmfixed decks and its all cross refferancing at this piont and then the transmission went out 700 for a belt drive trans B*S* they sent me a "aftermarket and it was the wrong one so.......100.00 scrap metal it is . any mower out there in the commercial field should recover its costand replacement in 400-500 on belt drives and 1000-1500 to be safe we personally do it in 400-500 on all chepos and 750 on the z
  7. rjh4758

    rjh4758 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    I was thinking 2000-2500 hours if well maintained.
  8. rcslawncare

    rcslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,684

    2000 hours seems about right, but it all depends on the conditions it is running in. Some only last 1200 hours with good maintenance, the heat really breaks down these air cooled engines.
  9. Lehighlawnpros

    Lehighlawnpros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    We've had great results with Grasshopper 700 series front mount ZTRs
    with liquid-cooled Kubota engines.

    1993 721 5,000+ hours (just gave this one to a friend, runs/mows fine)

    1998 725 7,130 hours (our backup machine runs/mows like new)

    2004 722D diesel 2,400 hours (our primary machine, fully awesome)

    No problems getting parts for these machines, I've replaced some hydros on the older machines but all the engines are original
    and never any internal engine problems. Zero spindle failures in 16 years.

    We love the diesel, it averages .6 gallon per hour fuel consumption.
    Our 721/725 gas engines average approximately 1 GPH.

    Maintenance is the key to longevity, including blowing off debris and scraping the deck clean at the end of every mowing day,
    this really helps to prevent corrosion. I also give the spindles one pump of regular lithium grease every eight hours of use.
  10. Lehighlawnpros

    Lehighlawnpros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    P.S. to my previous post.

    I'm shooting for 10 years in service/10,000 hours on our 722D diesel,
    and I think it's do-able.

    I'm using Amsoil ACD synthetic diesel oil and bypass filtration,
    with 500 hour oil/full-flow filter change intervals (twice a year for us).

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