Don’t forget to grease your mower spindle bearings.

Do you have a preventative maintenance checklist for all of your lawn care equipment? If not, you need to remember that machines are destined to fail. Sometimes the failure is a small component but sometimes it’s a pricey one. In this example from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we see how 1 hour of maintenance every six months would have kept this business owner from having to pay a $700 spindle replacement bill. Keeping track of when you need to perform maintenance and having a system in place to remind you of it can help keep your business running smoothly.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I had just started mowing a church property I take care of and got about half of it done when the main pulley on the mower deck decided to burn up it’s bearings. I thought I smelled something hot, but decided it was my belt so I tried to get as much mowed as I could before it went.

Lawn mower spindle

Lawn mower spindle

The deck shut itself off, so I got off and looked and the belt was off. So I pulled around to the truck for my tools. As soon as I flipped the foot rest plate I saw it wasn’t the belt. The pulley was sitting near one of the spindles and was just a tad bit warm, as I found out when I went to grab it. So, back for another 50 mile round trip to the shop for repairs. I know this time I better be getting that mower loner again that’s for sure!

When I got the bill, I learned the damage occurred on my center spindle. Total cost for repairs was $700.00. My spindles do not have grease nipples on them. I was told that I need to rip them apart and repack them twice per year. The more mowing I do, the more often I need to repack them. The repair shop said some of his commercial customers repack their bearings as often as once a month! I don’t think I do enough mowing for that though.”

A second lawn care business owner said “as for bearings, ours get repacked every 60 days. Equipment maintenance is one area our small company is over the top on. Everything is logged and tracked by the piece of gear. I think this pays off as it’s rare we have anything break down. A $700 bill for a new spindle would send me through the roof and such break downs need to be avoided at all costs! I bet that doesn’t even include the loss of revenue for the time the mower was out for service or the time it took you to get the mower serviced and back to work.”

A third added “as long as everything comes apart the way it should start to finish should take about an hour per spindle to repack with grease. I completely take them apart and and clean out all old grease file down any rough spots and repack.

You tend to not think about these things until they seize up and you get a big bill to replace them.”

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