Next Truck : Brand New and American

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by LawnCareBowling2019, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. LawnCareBowling2019

    LawnCareBowling2019 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    Well guys sorry for this post, I guess I couldve said something better about my bad day. Anyways today is going good worked half the day, and got a good half-all day job tomorrow, and the truck wont cost to much to fix.
 likes this.
  2. tonymower

    tonymower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    Brakes, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, brake lines, etc.... are all simple parts to maintain/replace by yourself. Being able to maintain your own equipment is a vital part of this business (at least when you are firdt starting out). Example, many years ago I had a brake line go out on me. I called a few mechanics and the average quote I got was $700 to fix it. I called up a friend and he explained how easy it is to replace a brake line. He then gave me some of the best advice I've received...."search YouTube". Nearly any maintenance you will need to do you can find a walkthrough on YouTube. Instead of paying $700 for someone to fix it for me I spent $75 for the tools and the brake line and did it myself. It took me 3 hours the first time I did it. Now that I've done it a dozen times or so I can finish the job in under an hour.

    I suggest you learn to do simple maintenance projects on you vehicles and equipment. Here is a list I recommend...

    Brakes (pads, rotors, calipers, lines, bleeding)
    Fluids (oil, brake fluid, antifreeze, transmission, hydraulic)
    Plugging a tire
    Pulleys and belts

    That's just a quick list of items that if you learn how to do will save you thousands of dollars if you continue in this business.

    Good luck!
  3. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Gold Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 3,708

    if the same line breaks a
    dozen or so times I would be relocating it or finding out why it keeps failing!;)
  4. tonymower

    tonymower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    Not the same truck. Several different trucks
    hort101 and Matthews Lawn Care like this.
  5. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Gold Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 3,708

    Oh I figured as much that's why I threw the wink in there!

    Once you get a flairing tool and a bender break lines are easy.
    Mark Oomkes likes this.
  6. tonymower

    tonymower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    Ha....I didn't see it. Well played
  7. Mark Stark

    Mark Stark LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    Fixing your own equipment is great if you want to/need to/know how to. Certainly it's another trick up your sleeve.

    I'd suggest that if your not very mechanically inclined OR simply don't want to do mechanic type work, you need to budget for items like this.

    I can clean my own house and save $150. My clients can mow their own lawn and save $45. I CAN fix a brake line in a work truck....

    You get the idea. In my case, I prefer to focus on core competencies and let the mechanics handle their core competencies.

    The "trick" is remembering that a it's not IF something will break but rather, WHEN will something break. You MUST plan on it. You MUST charge your clients enough to cover these costs.

    Your in business now. That doesn't mean that you need to know how to do everything in order to save a few bucks here in there. I politely suggest looking at the bigger picture and using this entire instance as a wake up call to determine what kind of businessman you'd like to be.
  8. BMWNJ

    BMWNJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    Youtube is definitely a great resource for repairs. I've upgraded my 99 4Runner brakes to Tundra brakes this past summer and had zero experience with brakes, calipers and rotors. It took me a few hours but I saves myself a nice amount of money and got rid of the wimpy stock rotors and calipers.

    You might be able to upgrade your taco w tundra brakes if your taco has the same set up as the 4runner.
    hort101 likes this.
  9. LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,241

    I'm with Mark.
    I used to do 99% of all my repairs myself on everything. Now I will do my own repairs if it's an emergency repair and shop can't get me in right away, or it's something during the off season and I have the time to putz with it.
    Plus there are advantages to having a shop fix thing's. Warrantee!
    Plus now adays you need more and more specialized equipment.
    My time is better spent making money and not trying to save a few $$ on every repair.
    The shop charges me about $100 per hr on repairs. I bring in on average $83 per hr. So for a $17 spread. I don't waste my time much anymore unless it's something I can take care of quickly. Plus it's all about building relationships with other businesses.
    Last year I had them put a new trany in my f150 if I remember correctly it was around $500 labor. But I also picked up a fall cleanup from one of the mechanics who hates doing his own yard. So I charged him $350 on cleanup. I always recommend their shop, and they recommend me. Everyone wins.
    JMK26, hort101, rclawn and 1 other person like this.
  10. tonymower

    tonymower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    I agree, but most people starting out don't have the cash to do repairs or the cash would be better spent marketing, on new equipment, etc...

    After you are in business for a while the need to do your own repairs goes away. Today I had the opportunity to let a mechanic change the alternator on my truck cause I didn't feel like it. Before I would've saved the $300, but as you stated, I've built the cost into my pricing.
 and hort101 like this.

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