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The Most Important Thing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by carlsmower, May 6, 2008.

  1. carlsmower

    carlsmower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    First off I will confess that I work at an outdoor power equipment dealership.
    I have posted on Lawnsite a few times but mostly I just check out the site to see what you guys are thinking.
    I just wanted to make 1 point to you guys, and this is just my opinions. I am just the service manager at the shop, Im not a pushy salesmen so hopefully you will listen. The most important thing to you guys is your servicing dealer! Many of you wonder what the best mower is for you, I think that the best mower for you is the mower that you can get the best service on. All mowers will break down at one time or another, no one can disagree on this. So say you have an Exmark and it breaks down and the dealer is a week behind. How much money will you loose during that week? Or look at it the other way, you have a Gravely that breaks down and the dealer will drop everything for you when you come in? It doesnt really matter what mower is better, its all about what mower you can keep in service.
    Price should not be an issue either! I see a lot of threads in here complaning about Low Ballers, well, the OPE shop has the same competition with low ballers. I have found that in a business there are three key parts. Product, Service and Price. And no business can offer all 3. Either you get a good product for a good price but get crappy service or you get a good product at list price with great service.
    All Im trying to say is that the key to finding the right equipment is finding the dealer that will give you the best service. You may pay more up front but overall you will save money with less down time.
  2. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Agree wholeheartedly. Been living this philosophy for over eight years and wouldn't even be near where I am at today without the outstanding support from my dealer.
  3. ncls

    ncls LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    Or, have a backup mower(s), then the dealer is not that important.
  4. S L C

    S L C LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Sounds wonderful and all, but what if the mower is a POS **** and you can't do anything about it? :hammerhead::hammerhead:
  5. farmboy1285

    farmboy1285 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 574

    I agree totally. I hate the dealer that I take my commerical stuff they always screw something up, keep my mower for a week and charge me an arm and leg. But the the guy I take my Stihl stuff and 21" snapper to is great I actually enjoy going to his shop because he is so great to work with and will give it to you straight. Both of the dealers sell Stihl and Snapper but I will only buy from one of them and its not the one that works on my commerical stuff. Sure there are differences between mowers and some are better than others but the dealer should definitely be a major consideration when buying a mower.
  6. carlsmower

    carlsmower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    I disagree with whoever said they should have back up equipment. A good dealer will have 4-5 zero down time zero turns and a bunch of zero down time handheld units. Why should you have $15000 dollars worth of equipment as back up. Any of your exmark dealers should have zero down time equipmetn. I know at my shop, if we cant fix it in 1/2 hour (only on equipment purchase from us) we give out a loaner machine until its fixed. You, the commercial landscaper should demand that from your dealer. If they are not willing to do this then find someone that will. But in return, be loyal to that dealer. Dont ask them to beat the price on some dealer 50 miles away. Pay the price they ask. The price that a dealer ask is the price that they have set in order to be able to take care of you.
    If the dealer is not willing to give you zero down time equipment, then they really dont care whether you succeed or not so you in turn should not care whether they suceed or not. Find a dealer that cares about you and be loyal to them. End of question.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yup, or when the shop is FULL of wonderful customer's machines anyhow and ALL the loaners are out and I still have to wait 2 weeks? But 1-2 weeks ain't bad, I've waited 3-4 to 6 months before ('n more than once) :cry:
    And some to most every dealer will do it, sooner or later.
    Either because you're the jerk who deserves it, or you're the nice guy who don't mind :laugh:
    So it don't really matter, but I do appreciate dealers realizing customer service is important.
    Because all in all he does make a good point, don't dis your dealer.
    Sooner or later you still need them, yes sir you always, always need your dealer.
    That much I did learn.
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I disagree. Only twice in 13 years have I had to take a mower in for dealer service. The first time was a joke between 2 different dealers, neither of whom could fix the brand new mower.

    As pointed out by Topsites, it does matter between brands of mowers. Some mowers just don't work out for certain people and no amount of excellant service is going to fix a bad deck design or improperly designed hydro system.
  9. Turf Dawg

    Turf Dawg LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,719

    I feel like with the handhelds you are right on. I always say dealer before brands on the handheld stuff. However mowers I feel to be a different story for me personally. My biggest and best dealer is where I buy handhelds, trim mowers and my Walker. But for ZTR midmounts I will go with the brand that will do the best job for me at that time. I just made a post yesterday about ordering a new Hustler. Iguess it maybe different for others since like someone else mentioned I have a backup and can do alot of the work myself but if one brand of mower has a great dealer but a bad cut I am dead. I will have to agree that if you have a good dealer with the brand you like it makes for a great time. By the way my Hustler dealer is new but I think he will be a good one because he cares and is excited to learn.
  10. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    I have backups for my backups, The dealers in my aera have a 2week waithing period they are all busy fixing homeowners stuff.
    My policy is if I cant fix it I dont own it

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