We are so used to having our vehicles work when we start them up that more often than not, we don’t have a plan in place to use if our truck breaks down for any reason. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from some business owners who ran into some big mechanical problems. It’s amazing how much some repairs can cost and how long the repairs can take to fix. Keep this in mind as you are reading so if it happens to you, you can easily transfer your equipment to another vehicle as you wait to get your primary truck fixed.
One lawn care business owner wrote “after dropping my last guy off the transmission in my truck burned up on me pulling out into a street. I have no gears but neutral. This trans was replaced with a used one a few months back. I just had the shifter cable and lines replaced.
All together this is my 3rd trans in 6 months. Now I’m not sure what to do. Should I get it rebuilt with a warranty? Junk it? I went cheap with a used one the first time.
The truck has 270k miles but there is really nothing else wrong with it. There isn’t even rust on it. It’s cheaper to rebuild then buy a used truck with who knows what problems.
The first transmission that went was 3rd gear. The second one was fine but started slipping after driving at highway speeds.
Then my Ford f350 won’t go past 3rd gear at all. I got a rebuilt one for that and then the timing chain went.
I did have a trans cooler installed when I put the plow on but that didn’t seem to stop it from failing. The transmission repaid shop won’t even give me a quote. They want about $500 to open it up. Then they said an overhaul would be at least $1,800 and a remanufactured unit for around $2,700. The warranty would be 12 months or 12,000 miles.
After making a few calls, I found I can get a rebuilt trans from a local auto parts store for $1350 after core. I might go with that since it has the longest warranty (3 years).”
A second lawn care business owner said “I feel your pain. Today, I was wrapping up my day with a few estimates close to home and I got in the truck to go to the next one, started it up, put my foot on the brake and put it in gear - or tried to. The shifter lever (automatic) just popped all the way to the right. WTF? I swung it back toward park and it wasn’t doing anything - just moving freely. Sigh.
Aside from a wheel bearing I had replaced last week, this is the only problem I recall having with it since purchased new.
I had it towed to my local mom/pop garage and praying he can look at it/fix it tomorrow.
Now I’m weighing whether to rent a truck for Friday’s jobs, or play catch up on Monday. (rain forecast for weekend). This sucks.
Anyone who doesn’t have a contingency plan in place for when their truck goes down might want to do some preemptive rental research - finding a rental pickup truck isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Uhaul only has trucks at the main centers - not at the ‘gas stations’ with Uhaul rentals. I did manage to locate a truck at Enterprise rent a car only a few miles from me, but fortunately I didn’t need it.
Crisis averted. No rental required.
The garage couldn’t look at it until after lunch the next day, but he did call later and said I could pick it up. The part won’t be in until Monday, but they did a temporary fix so I could at least use my truck until it gets the part replaced.
I didn’t catch what the part was called, but it’s the part that comes out of the transmission that the shifter cable attaches to. It had rusted and the cable popped off, so they wired it together for me and I was able to start my first lawn at 3pm today. I got 4 cuts done and did the two estimates I couldn’t get to yesterday.
The bast part of the day was when I asked what I was looking at for the repair total once the part comes in. ‘Oh, it will be under $100′, he said.”
Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯