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New Equipment vs Used

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Port City Lawncare, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. Port City Lawncare

    Port City Lawncare LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 75

    Is it better money spent to go ahead and buy new equipment w/ warranties vs finding used w/out warranty. I know downtime is money just being wasted but how important would some of you say this is.
  2. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    If You can aford To replace everything Used Is Ok.
  3. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    how good are you at repairing equipment?

  4. Port City Lawncare

    Port City Lawncare LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 75

    I'm not very good at fixing small engines, gimme a Haynes manual and I can take a car apart.

    I checked with a company today who's offering 2 yr parts and labor wrty. Plus they'll provide you with equipment if yours is taking more than a day or so to repair.

    I'm using Kawasaki presently and I like it, but I'm thinking of going with all Maruyama (sp?) Has anyone had any significant long term problems with this equipment?
  5. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Port city
    Define (OR SO?) In your warranty!
  6. Port City Lawncare

    Port City Lawncare LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 75

    OR SO - more than 2 days, which according to the salesman shouldn't ever happen.
  7. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Thank you.
  8. wareagle

    wareagle LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 18

    Yeah, but can you put the car back together again?
  9. lawndreamer

    lawndreamer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I'm a Mechanic, My son can tear things down without a Manual. lol he's 4. Small engines have the least amount of parts but seems to me they are the hardest to get working properly. I'm dumbfounded, but I only worked on two things before. Stihl 019 chainsaw, and a Ryobi trimmer.
  10. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    New or used is a decision you have to feel good about. I'm sure there are lots of good and bad experiences with both sides of this coin. I've bought both and done fine with both, but IMHO, for the new guy just starting, buying new is the way to go if you can swing the money or financing. Here's why:

    Virtually every commercial machine on the market will give you a couple of trouble free seasons when new. That gives you time to get your feet wet without adding to what's already going to be a stressful time. Think about it. The last thing that you really need is to just get that scheduling thing all figured out to all of your customer's satisfaction and then your machine breaks and everything goes to pot.

    Lack of dependability from other LCOs will get you a lot of new customers. This is the #1 complaint. People switch services because their old services never show up on time. Many times it was because the old service was suffering from a broken down mower and didn't have a back up. For the new guy starting out, business can be built quickly if you can develop a reputation for being honest, fair and dependable. If you buy a new mower, you should be able to reasonably guarantee that you'll be on time, everytime for the first couple of seasons. After that, you should have time to gather enough coins to buy either another new machine and save your old one for a back up, or buy a used machine for a back up now that you've got some mileage under your belt.

    And BTW. Every machine I've ever bought came with a promise of a free loaner if my mower broke down under warranty. It's part of making the sale. However, I have yet to see the dealer that keeps this promise. I'm sure that somewhere in this country there is an honest dealer that means well and actually provides his customers with a free loaner, but it aint ever happened for me. Whenever I've needed a loaner, amazingly every loaner just happened to be already loaned out when I was running 3 days behind because of my mower being down. Yeah, right. This one falls under the heading of "believe it when you see it."

    NO, WAIT, I take it back. Phil Lee at Commercial Lawn gave me a loaner this past season. And I remember being both amazed and grateful. And the loaner was an Exmark W/B with the ECS controls. Sweet.

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