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Yea right,.... It took me a sum total of 17 minutes from start to finish and that included dropping the deck out from under the machine, as well as running it back and forth for a bit. It took longer to pour new fluid in than it did to remove the filters and drain the trany and resivoir. So now I hope its 200 hours until they are due again, and other than air cleaner and oil changes its work ready. I think the local dealership could see a fast buck being made......they have a sign that labor is $60 per hour. Somehow I just can't imagine any lawn and garden mechanic being worth that kind of money. Heck even an A & P mechanic don't get those kind of wages in this area. Probably the mechanic gets $6.00 and the parts man gets $10.00 for lying and sucking in a customer and the dealer gets the balance.
 

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Happy to hear you got it done and it didn't fall apart. And yes $60. an hour sounds high to me. Now i know why i do my own:D
Jody
 

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Chipmaker,

It also pays rent, insurance, benefits, depreciation, equipment, tools, possibly overtime during buys times...a lot of things we don't think about.

The dealer also sends their techs to schools, seminars, sometimes travel and accommodations to keep them up to date on the new equipment.

My local JD dealer also sells Stihl chainsaws, trimmers, blowers, BearCat chipper/shredders, Honda mowers and generators, Ferris and DR equipment, Troy-Bilt tillers, Arian (sp?) mowers, and more I've probably forgotten. The service department needs to be trained and knowledgeable to repair all of these. There is also "setup" (gas, oil, start/run) on all equipment that goes out the door.

They have to learn and keep up with updates to their service/parts computer software, put in service department parts orders, check status, and answer customers questions/complaints. Most customers don't understand when a tech/mgr explains, for some reason, the part didn't come in, even if it was "promised".

And....repair/service customers equipment. Sometimes you make good profits...and sometimes you loose your shorts. Good, hardworking, honest, experienced tech are not that easy to find.

Sure, repair/service costs hurt. I try to do as much as I can, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and get it done.

Greg
 

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Thats why I do my own work. But sometimes, I can get stumped on things, and if I don't figure it out in a day than I will post at the doityourself website, and now I can post here as well.:D
 

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i rely on my dealer.. being mechanically useless.. or maybe just lazy... but my dealer gets 40$/hour.. and is pretty fair to deal with so far.
 

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Just thank yourself that small engine do not have the complification and sofistication that computers have. That why my computer service is really basic diognostics and repair. Computers are stumping me everytime!:argh: :D
 

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I have to say, I never priced it out but ya, $60 DOES seem a little high. I work at a car dealer, so know full well what it costs to run that kind of a busness, but still. We just jumped up to $70hr, from $65 not to long ago. Now I could be wrong but seems like there would be a LOT more traning, and overhead in a car dealer then a L&G repair place. Seems like $50 or so would be closer to fair.
 

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HI Chip,
First,let me say the reality of running a shop is now complex and getting more so. We charge by manufacturer's flat rate (same as used for warranty work), not which means if job takes longer (and ALOT of them do) we've lost the time. Our labor rate is also 55.00 an hour but that covers much more than a mechanics wages & benefits.....which have to be fair if you want a good tech. Ours costs about 36k in wages,benefits and taxes. A mechanic rarely bills over half his actual time in our business. Thats one thing we're working on......too much time lost doing things not applicable to job at hand.

Next, theres the actual cost of the shop equipment & supplies,including the sprays,lubes & cleaners that seem to be constantly used back there.Oh, and don't forget the upkeep on the parts washer. Fresh Fuel mix ,bar oil or gas needed to check repairs. And no,we add no "shop supplies",'enviromental" etc to our workorders like car dealers.

How do you dipose of your oil or old gas? Did you just put your filters in the trash? We have to accumulate and dispose of it properly.Same for old engine oil and hydro filters. Also,we have to maintain records of diposal. Engine coolant is the same if we 're servicing a liquid cooled unit.

Parts-lookup software and service manual maintenance is not free from the manufacturer's..........our parts maintenance alone is 1500.00 annually and we have to install and maintain the data. Online lookup is fine for a homeowner.........but a dealers lookup software has to be linked to his business management system to give the custoemr the kind of fast service he demands.

The costs of training are going up and are not only necessary ,but required by most manufacturers. We pay 35.00 to 125.00 to for the class and lose the man for a day,sometimes two.We not only have to pay him and his travel.......the shop backs up. In theory,he's a better tech when he gets back.But I think you can see the costs can run in the hundreds of dollars a day.

I think you can see that indeed,with a qualified,well trained mechanic,a well equipped shop with latest software support............60.00 an hour is a bargain to quickly and effeciently solve a problem and get your Baby "back on the grass".

Its not "just a lawnmower" anymore. Most of you here feel the same way or you wouldn't be here. DIY is great.....but just understand the days of a shop running at a loss or no profit are gone. The dealership has to make a profit to stay there for the time when you DO need it. The shop is a seprate profit center. I worked for my Uncle in the late 60's ......and then the shop was a necessary evil (ran at a loss) needed to support sales.Just like the auto business,thats no longer the case.

Thanks for listening. Im trying to educate not lecture. If I come across that way.......my apologies. Modern times has made each of our professions more complex. Like evryone else we want to make a living not a killing.
 

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Good insight, Neil. Appreciate you sharing the true side of business and not the RIFF-RAFF that is spoken in other parts of this sandbox. My hats off to you for your commitment to the working man and keeping the economy moving forward with your business. I can understand how margins can be tight and your return on capital investment is something that has to be maintained for your survival.

I guess everything these days costs more --- Think the local lawn repair shop charges about $50/hr for work and I am still trying to locate a decent engine machinist shop that can help me with my 8N engine project. I am just lucky that there are still some of these even around anymore. Thanks again for sharing your expertise and insight. I think it was very informative and right on context.

Regards,
Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Don't get me wrong, but I do not begrudge anyone from earning a decent wage and a profit. Thats what business are for, but I sure as heck do not feel like I need to pay for the owners kids college tuition with the cost of an average service charge, such as these two filters. The biggest gripe I have with that dealer is his attitude and the deal about not selling those filters to consumers as they are too easy to screw up a system with, is something I viewed and continue to view as a hype means of getting service business, nothing else. Changing those filters was as easy as or easier than an oll change, and well within the mans of anyone that knows what a wrench is, so their statement to me was a down right blantant lie. Then again why shuld I pay for the companies bank loan from the sale of a single gal of close to $25.00 for a gal of HyGArd? Its all the little things this particular dealer feeds into things that gets me hot under the collar with having to do any business with him and other like dealers. We all know JD prices appear high as compared to other makers parts such as MTD's Murray etc, but there is a world of difference in the way things are made, but to be able to buy a part online from say the JD parts site that has the MSRP listed, and then see a 10 to 15% or higher increase over the MSRP is just a rip. Its not to pay the expenses assocated with running the business but more in th pocket profits for the dealer. I bought the 2 filters at a lesser price and with shipping they ran me less than just the price quoted me for just one of the filters even though they would not sell the filter to me, and they were even cheaper than JD's MSRP, and then to gouge you on labor to replace them on top of that is outrageous. I guess I really need to get off my soap box on my rant with this particular dealer, as I am the onlyone in this forum in his area, so its not like I am warning others of his practices and tactics. I guess thats the price I have to pay for living in a area that is virtually free of any blue collar type know how or workers, and only folks that are deep into debt and live in 1000 acre mansions with money being no object, hence this dealer does what he wants and gets away with it, as he knows the folks in the mansion on the hill don't have a clue so he can charge what he darn well wants.
Just because a dealer sends and pays for additional schooling for his mechanics etc does not necessarily mean they know anything. But thats not the issue I have, but I still do think its absurd to have to pay what would easily be a bill for $60.00 labor, $10.00 for an oil filter and $5.00 for 2 quarts of oil, and still have to transport the machine to a dealer to have it done on a average L & G tractor. Heck you can get just as good of service at Jiffy Lube and get 5 quarts of oil and filter and the labor for $20.00 or so.......There is just no ryme or reason to jacked up prices, lying about proceedures and ripping folks off in general just because you can do it and get away with it. Integrity is something this dealer lacks ..........totally. His only firm comittment is to fill his pockets with $$$ and be damned with his customers.
 

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Beyond a certain point; I let the dealer shop handle things but I do the inspections and services myself and save a lot of money. As said above, for that really tough problem is when I would pay for the dealer shop to fix it. I just don't have all of the special tools, manuals, and know how and am more likely to screw it up than not.

chipmaker, sounds like you made out pretty good.
 

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Thank the Lord that I have been able to do 99% of our repair myself... Our dealer for big equipment gets a door rate of 95 per hr... I understand the running of a shop (service mngr FLM for 10 yrs) but I still think that there is a ceertian amount of gouging that goes on... These mechanics have become parts replacers all do to modern technolgy called computer age.. Our 450 JD dozer is all comp. operater. Again I am glad that I worked heavy equip. repair for many years.....
 

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Terminator, do you think you can help Ernie turn up the pump on his tractor so he can get 4,000 rpm and drive at 25 mph too! That would be one haulin' but Massey! ;) :D
 

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The Massey would most likely tear itself apart. Those old engine were never built to even think about reaching that RPM. Mine can because it has the ability to go to 4,000 RPM's but it was designed for 2,600. Anyone who tries to bump an old engine in an old tractor, will likely start to cry because the engine tore itself apart.
 

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Sorry Ernie! :confused: Was just trying to hook you up. Guess you will have to get one of these 4,000 rpm capable John Deere tractors if you want to go that fast.;) :D
 

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I really find the comments interesting in the fact that if your tractor has a major problem and it has to go to the dealer for repairs you all would be cheering the dealer for fixing it without taking a arm and leg or under the warranty. But the poor guy would get slammed against the wall if it was major dolars to repair it if you did not like the dealer because "He is ripping me off"
The dealer I have is probably the most honest dealer I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I have had my Deere in for repairs and they took care of me really well and did the repair in the time they stated. I think that the dealer get really slammed but they have to pick up the pieces after we do something spupid.
 

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I know of another great dealer too. Yours is good it sounds like. And that one I am speaking of is Carl's Mower & Saw. This better not turn into a flame war because it is almost looking like its about to go in that direction!:D
 

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Flame war?? what over what can withstand higher RPM's a JD, or an old MF?

See I would need more info on bore/stroke, valve size, and size and strrengh of the reciepting assambly to gather an opion
 
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