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New vs used equipment and trucks

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by BLC1, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. BLC1

    BLC1 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 718

    How do you guys approach this situation. I go back and forth constantly on it and typically land at used trucks and new mowers.

    I'm starting to wonder if it's worth upgrading the mowers every 2 or 3 years though. With a mechanic on staff it seems like parts, motors, pumps etc are much cheaper to basically overhaul a mower as it needs it and keep around longer.

    That's the approach on the trucks as well. If I purchased a new truck and had a 6-800 payment, I think I can get by with used trucks and be proactive and putting a couple hundred here and there to keep them running good.

    What are your thoughts on this and what pros and cons do you see to both side.
  2. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,903

    If it has a engine I buy new, if it's an attachment for tractor or skid, I'll buy used if it's in good shape.
  3. RedSox4Life

    RedSox4Life LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,676

    Depends on how often it gets used and how much money it makes me.

    If i use it regularly and rely on it be in running shape every day, ill buy new.

    If it's for occasional use and doesn't bring in a ton of cash, used.

    Downtime can easily cost more than a monthly payment.
  4. Pressedun

    Pressedun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,811

    I'm slowly trying to go all new with everything, takes time but feel it's the right way to go.

    No downtime = less money lost and less stress.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,017

    You can find MUCH better deals on used stuff. you just have to look. People are too lazy to look, though.

    You can find mowers with 50-100 hours for half or LESS than what people paid new for them the previous year. You just have to look and look at the right time.

    Same goes for trucks. If you're using a new truck for this business you're crazy, though. Especially if you plow snow. That's insane.
  6. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,974

    if you have a decent mechanic on staff, and a decent availability for parts, you are already making the investment for field reliability with a mechanics salary.

    the flip side of that is to turn over your mowers every 3-5 because you DONT have a mechanic.

    The guy that does that? go buy his mowers! Gold mine.

    draw back to your style of business (running a mechanic) si that it sort of puts you at the mercy of that mechanic, what if he leaves?

    However, there are no perfect answers, or business models…choose one and follow it. don't sit on the fence (like having a mechanic but buying new equipment)

    for what it's worth I try to never buy a new truck.
  7. Pressedun

    Pressedun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,811

    Hate to say it but you're wrong, nothing wrong with a new truck to plow with. Bumper to bumper warranty for 6 years and 100,000? Tell me why that's bad? No downtime is better than breaking down constantly and raping your pocket every time.

    Just because that's how you do business doesn't mean it's the only good way.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,974


    Like I said above, there are no 'right' answers… only different answers.

    the only ones that don't work is doing something half way…choose a direction and run with it!
    Both sides have pros and cons
  9. Pressedun

    Pressedun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 42,811

    I can agree with that, I'm in no position to hire a mechanic for many many more years.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,017

    I'm not drilling holes in and beating the crap out of a new truck. Never gonna happen.

    My plow truck cost me $1500. My plow was more expensive than the truck.

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