Which lawn mower spare parts should you bring with you?

Mechanical failures can happen at any moment. If you are out mowing lawns during the day, having the right spare parts with you can make the difference between a quick fix and having to end your day early. But with limited space, and budget, which spare parts should you keep on hand? That is what one Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum member was interested in knowing.

He wrote “what lawn mower spare parts do you carry in your trucks to do on site repairs? What spares do you keep in stock at your shop in order to save down time waiting on parts to arrive?”

A second lawn care business owner shared “I am probably in the minority here, but I don’t really carry any spare parts with me. I always have a good variety tools with me just for a quick fix to get me through the rest of the day. Mostly all of my lawns are pretty close to my house. So if a mower does go down, I can run home home and grab my backup mower in a pinch.

As far as spare parts in my garage, I don’t keep many things on hand except for filters, cables, spark plugs, blades…. just the basics. My mower dealer is fairly close by, so I can always just run over there and buy stuff as needed.”

A third business owner added “I carry extra tires, belts, blades, cables and anything else your workers may break or bend on a daily basis. Spare parts are priceless in this ruthless line of work.

A couple weeks ago I was helping a friend cut a yard (more of a hay field it seemed at the time) of a foreclosed home and he hit a fence post that had broken off about 6 inches from the ground level and was hidden in the tall grass.

The pole broke the spindle on the mower deck. We were later able to weld it up and it had a bit of vibration. The spindle was totally shot but it somehow  allowed us to finish the job.”

A fourth said “I keep in a storage box in my garage:

  • a deck belt
  • a drive belt
  • a deck pulley for each type (flat and curved)
  • a spindle
  • a collection of nuts and bolts
  • 2 spare mulch blades
  • oil for the tractor
  • grease gun

In the truck I keep:

  • the nuts and bolts
  • tools to be able to attach them if necessary
  • trimmer line
  • 2 cycle oil
  • motor oil
  • a spare tire for the front and one for the back of tractor
  • a floor jack to raise up tractor if I have a flat on site

When something major goes down on the tractor, I am close to home and that is where I will head to do major repairs.”

A fifth said “don’t forget a first aid kit. Employees seem to always be getting hurt.

As for spare parts, we carry very little. Maybe a chain for each chainsaw but that is about it.

Each crew does have a tool box with the basic hand tools. Two trucks have larger tool boxes with just about every tool going including a small air compressor and air gun.

In all my years of operation, it is rare we need any parts and when we do the dealer always has what we need. I am of the mind set that based on all the gear we have, it just isn’t worth it to stock items that could become lost, or stolen.

With my mini excavators and tractors, no two hoses are the same length and you have to replace them with an exact match on the arms if you blow one. In perhaps the last 2,000 hours of excavation, I have blown one hose. It took 30 min to drive to the dealer, 20 min for them to make me a new hose, and 30 minutes to drive back. Most hoses in my experience can be changed out in about 20 to 30 minutes.

We do have hydraulic fluid in the trucks but it’s rare we use it. Maybe twice in the last year. Keep in mind everything goes in for service every 200 hours and they really get a going over.”

One final landscaper suggested “I keep the following in my truck.

  • Spark plugs for all the equipment
  • 2 stoke oil
  • grease gun(mini)
  • lithium grease spray
  • maybe an extra air filter for the hedge trimmer.(seams to be the only one that needs to be change quarterly)
  • weed eater line
  • fire extinguisher
  • spare chain saw blade
  • tools do the above repairs

As for an inventory, it’s the same with products for us. I let the store, store my inventory unless it’s a special order item then I consider stocking it.”

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