No matter how well you maintain your lawn equipment, sooner or later, it will need to be replaced. The more you use the equipment, the more wear-and-tear you’ll put on the equipment. The big question is, how can you tell when you need to replace equipment versus just repairing it?
Time on the Engine
The most important part of your lawn equipment is the engine, and the engine is what can ultimately lead you to replace the piece of equipment. Blades can be sharpened or replaced, tires can be patched, but engines have a certain amount of time until they just require too much in the way of work to keep them going. A rule of thumb is to multiply the horsepower number by 100, and you can find the appr0ximate life expectancy of the engine. For instance, a 10-horsepower engine can be expected to get 1,000 hours of use before the engine is done. This is only approximate, and it doesn’t mean that the rest of the machine is finished – major components such as the frame and mower deck may still be fine. If your engine is the only reason you may want to replace your equipment, see our next point.
Return on Cost
Repairing equipment can get incredibly expensive, especially when there are multiple issues. While many people are proud of having the same piece of equipment for long periods of time, many of them do not realize that it is likely more cost efficient to replace their equipment instead of continually footing repair bills. A great rule of thumb is, if your repair costs for the year are half of what the replacement cost would be, it is time to replace your equipment.
Don’t Run your Equipment Into the Ground
You can often get trade-in credit on your old equipment, but not if you’ve completely used it up. If you’re planning on getting something in return, make sure to replace your equipment before all of the warranties are out. Also make sure that the equipment is in good working order, and in as good shape as you can get it. This will allow you to get the maximum back when trying to replace your old equipment with new equipment.
Don’t Replace what you Don’t Use
If you have a piece of equipment – for instance, a wood chipper – that gets only sporadic use, consider trading it in near the end of its life cycle or when it is no longer useful, and foregoing a replacement. As discussed in an earlier article, some equipment is better rented than owned, so consider using the trade-in value of a sporadically-used piece of equipment towards something else.