Time Til Death

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by heygrassman, Mar 7, 2002.

  1. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    Does anyone have a general rule of thumb that they are willing to share as to the number of hour you can expect to get out of your mowers before it is cheaper to replace than to continue to repair?

    I know this can be type specific, I am looking for a general rule of thumb.


  2. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    How about when cost to repair/month equals or exceeds cost to replace (monthly payment)?
  3. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    Let me qualify.. my original question appears to be vauge.

    What is your history been on at what point in the equipment's life are you finding that those costs to repair are higher than the payments on a new machine. Local John Deere dealer is telling me that in 3yrs the repairs will be more than the mower payments. This is mind boggling, but what the heck do I know??


  4. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    i cant give it in hours, but i say 4 years. weve found that after 4 years, most walk behind and ZTR mowers need more money in original factory parts than it is worth to repair.

    we sell off most of that stuff, and replace with new. normal selling price for a 4 year old WB by us is between $600-1000, depending on condition. ZTR can vary greatly though.

    we do, however, have a 15 year old bobcat classic 48" WB that we still use when needed. seems as though the parts for it arent that expensive to replace.

    the newer equipment can be a ripoff on factory needed parts.

    smaller equipment varies greatly in life expectancy.
  5. WLC

    WLC LawnSite Member
    from NE TN
    Messages: 80

    Is it you, or do you have employees operating and maintaining this equipment. I own and operate my '95 Toro and people still look at it with amazement. One customer keeps asking me, "Is that a new one?" "No it's the same one its just gotten a coat of wax over the winter Mr. XYZ." (along with REGULAR oil,filter,grease intervals, etc.) With employees I'd say 3yrs. is accurate. Exceptions may occurr. I calculated my expense to operate my Walker MC to be $5.29/Hr....................whoops "Quick, Duck!".......I'm gonna catch flak on that one. I based it on 3000 hr. lifespan. (Somewhere I read Eric was still operating a couple Dixies in this hour range.) I included replacement cost,fuel,filters,oil,blades,belts,tires, and a nice chunk for miscl.) Anything after 3K is gravy....................

    So to answer/(make a stab at your question) I based my mid-sized gas mowers on 3000Hrs.
  6. Always Green

    Always Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    First why are you buying dealer parts? Most parts used are just standard bearings and such if you know where to get them there is little you need to buy from the dealer, Someonelse makes these part for Dixie or Walker you just have to fine out who.
    I have two 1995 50" Dixie Choppers employee run that I do all the repairs on with well over 3000 hours.
    The only thing that go bad on a Dixie is the Deck and i'm starting to manufacture an after market deck , my first replacement has 600-800 hrs on it. I have no plans to replace them anytime soon, a little paint and they'll look like new again(That's how old they are they're from before Dixie went stainless)
  7. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    2000 hours.
  8. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 949

    If you don't mind older equipment and you can do the work yourself than I have found that is is never cheaper to buy new, at least for the 2 54" bobcat walk behinds I own. I have replaced the engine and transmission on one of them for a total of $800. New tires, brakes, and belts for less than $250. That is pretty much everthing on those simple machines. It gives me a total of a little more than 1k. Yeah, it is not as pretty as some other machines but it is making me more money.
  9. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    By the time you factor your $40/hr. that you could be earning out mowing, the cost of parts and downtime, including travel for parts and shop, then don't forget that a new machine might be/will be more productive than an older design. (Hydro's, HOC, etc.)

    Our company has performed a comprehensive study, included all those factors and determined that we need to sell our mowers around the 2000 hour mark.
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    At 2000 hours, I drop a new engine on our walk behinds. After the next 2000 ( or sooner), I get rid of it completely through my dealer.

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