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When do you replace your machines?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Edgewater, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    What do some of you larger operators do to track the costs associated with a piece of machinery through its lifetime.

    A trimmer for example. Do you keep a file on each trimmer and track the money spent on that unit? What makes you decide to repair or replace a unit.

    How do you treat larger pieces such as riders and trucks.

    I am curious to hear your systems,

  2. SimonCX

    SimonCX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 731

    I change out equipment when it doesn't become dependable any more. If it starts break down and costing me money because I cant get the job done it gets fixed and used as a backup or sold if I don't need another unit like it.
  3. Stuttering Stan

    Stuttering Stan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    All my equipment is on a 5 year depreciation schedule. Once it is all depreciated out, I then buy a new replacement and either keep the old piece as a backup or sell on ebay. Trucks I use mileage since there is no depreciation value, when it becomes a pos I start looking for something else.
  4. coif_kid

    coif_kid LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 93

    Trimmers are replaced every year. I don't need the hassel of repairing one. Plus getting it serviced costs like $50. That said I am solo and use one trimmer as main trimmer. If the old trimmer still works it becomes my back up.

    I do small properties so my biggest mower is 32 inch. Replaced every three years. No maintenance done during that time though except for greasing and oil changes. Not worth the potential break downs after 3 years.

    The trick to remember with replacing is you have to weigh the benefit of extending the machines life by a year versus the associated costs of maintenance and the value of your time spent repairing it and hauling it to the shop.

    Something for you to consider. Take my toro 32 inch purchased at 3k. If I replace it every four years versus 3 years I save $750. Now the question is after year three I probably do need to replace the belts which go for $100. So I'm really saving $650. Now I have to do maintenace on it at the beginning of the season, which I definitely don't have to do if I buy at new one at that point, so minus $100 for time and material. So now I'm really saving $550. Now is $550 worth my time and repairs costs if it breaks down which is more likely with each passing year? That is the question for you to consider.

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