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Are mower repairers in Canberra killing the trade?

By 00davist - 20 July 2012 53

As a hobby based in passionate intrest, I run an add hoc mower repair/sales shop from home for a little extra cash on the side, and some of the stories I hear from the folks who find me have me wondering weather mower repair for the domesic market is an industry being killed by the people in it.

One example is a lady who brought in a honda firefighter pump that had been killed in a flood (submerged for a week) which she had taken two a mower shop, only to be told it was well beyond repair.

The shop managed to sell her a new one, but thankfully her son was quick enough to refuse there offer to ‘dispose’ of the dead one (although they were apparently quite insistant that they should get rid of it for her)

Anyway, it sat in a shed for about a year, then ended with me, the car trip home was enough to dislodge the muck in the carby from the jets, and it fired up straight away for me.

I gave it a good clean out, but really there was little to be done, it’s hard to fix a machine that’s working fine!

I’m guessing the shop she went to knew the pump was fine, but thought they would be able to sell her one, then simply dry out the electricals (which the year in the shed would have done) and sell her’s off for a few hundred.

Aside from that extreme example, I have heard of basic services for victa 2-strokes costing over $100 and sometimes $200 at some shops (it’s about $25-$40 for parts depending on the service) which leaves many people simply calling easy scrap and hitting up ebay or gumtree for a reconditioned mower for the same price.

In reality, if you want to put $150 into your mower for a service, that could give you new filters, seals, bearings, blades wheels and more, with room left for change.

I know these shops have rent’s etc.. to cover too, but at the end of the day, perhaps the industry needs to adapt to survive.

Does anyone else have horror stories to share about the repair industry for small engines, I’m very curious to see how many people even bother getting older mowers repaired these days.

[Ed – But let us not name names]

What’s Your opinion?

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53 Responses to
Are mower repairers in Canberra killing the trade?
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Cashmeoussayd 11:16 am 17 Apr 17

Hey friend,
Great discussion.

I have a mower and petrol snipper that need a going over. Are you still hobbying? Would be glad to support your hobbit 😉

Please contact me if you are available to help.

Garden20 11:35 am 28 Nov 16

Hi can anyone put me intouch with 00davist – who (Repairs Lawn Mowers) Around the Canberra Area. Also dose anyone know where to buy, a Good Second Hand Lawn Mower. Thanks.

TommyS 3:19 pm 08 Oct 16

I need to service both my Whipper Snipper and lawn mower and would be interested in your service any chance you are still working on them?

000000000000 11:57 am 25 Oct 15

Hi I have an old 4 stroke Briggs and Stratton that needs a bit of work: casing is cracked and fuel is leaks, blowing smoke, chugging and then won’t start. Not sure if it’s had its day or just needs an overdue service. Could you please contact me so I can arrange repair?

TB 2:36 pm 19 Oct 14

00davist said :

I have noticed a few of the surviving ones run their shops from home (on a much more professional scale than I do) Like Aco’s over in Higgins.

I’m involved in a forum that provides free assistance to those who want to do it themselves (A very affordable and actually easier than you would think option) which is combined with the online store of a repairer in sydney.

I guess alot of my curiosity comes from watching a number of industries trying to work out what to do with themselves these days, with the influx of cheap replacements, an increase in a throw away attitude, and a lot less focus on traditional advertising and sales, some industries seem to be finding great ways to evolve, but others are fighting to hold on to a way of life that is not sustainable.

Even with cheap imports, done right, repairs can still really save money, especcially if you want to learn to do it yourself.

Felix, a mower with donor base from Tiny’s would have been no more than $20, and I can think of a number of hobbyists, including myself who would not charge more that $20 to do that job, hoever even that could have been saved as the procedure is really simple, just unbolt the blade bar, then undo 3 bolts, pull off the engine, pop it on the other base, do up the 3 bolts, and refit the bar, it takes about 10 – 15 minutes.

If you ever want to try, message me, advice and instructions are always free for anyone who wants to DIY, I think it’s important to be able to fix things if you want to.

I think a lot of women like me are prolly not savvy on lawn mowers but I have Honda 4 stroke bought some years ago from a retail store at North Canberra. There were loose parts I found when I brought it home. I tightened them but lost few and bought replacements from the same store. Today, I have changed oil and replaced spark plugs but it still won’t start. Just thinking if you are happy to provide some DIY lessons or troubleshootings for women at your place maybe. They can bring lawnmowers and discuss problems and exchange problem/solution for maybe a few dollars entry fee.

gazket 6:05 pm 11 Dec 13

It used to be
Parts were expensive , labour was cheap
Now it’s
Parts are cheap, labour is expensive

gazket 5:53 pm 11 Dec 13

I will tell you something about the water pump. The lady took it to the shop and said it had been submerged in a flood.

To give warranty on the repairs the shop would have to be confident that the engine could be repaired to be fit for proper use . The pump would need a full rebuild to be able to give this warranty which no doubt would cost more than a new pump.

You could be guaranteed if the shop just changed the oil and cleaned out the carby and got the pump to run again and it stopped because the rings got caught, the old lady would of wanted a brand new water pump as replacement or the old pump fixed again. She would have would have every right to claim.

Being a hobbyist or backyardie you offer kerbside warranty . Also the shop has rent, utilities, super, payroll tax, GST tax, insurance , plus extra bills on top of that.

I’ll think you will find the mower shops offer a small trade in price for old machinery if you buy new from them. The old mower or water pump will be used for spare parts if they are usable or scrapped at the metal recyclers.

Ben_Dover 4:49 pm 11 Dec 13

Is Dusty still operating out of Jammo Trash and Treasure? Didn’t he do servicing? I bought a mower off him, he’s good value.

MrBigEars 4:02 pm 11 Dec 13

I don’t think he’s coming back…..

jcra 2:08 pm 11 Dec 13

Hi 00davist,

I have a 4-stroke thats not starting due to old fuel (I found jelly in the cabie bowl) – I suspect the carbie needs a bit of a cleanout. Are you still accepting small jobs, and how can I contact you?

KevFromCanberra 12:38 pm 09 Nov 13

I have a Honda HRU196 mower that I bought for big dollars when I lived in Brisbane, and then came to Canberra and it has sat in my garage for about 8 years.

Until recently we only had a postage stamp sized lawn so we have got by with a cheap Victor mower over that time period. Now that I have ripped out a whole lot of dangerous trees and extended our lawn I thought I might as well get some use out of the Honda.

Just wondering what will happen if I just tip some petrol and oil into it and crank it up. Should I get it checked out first? Not sure what happens to these devices when they just sit unused for nearly a decade.

I am thinking that it would be more sensible to get it serviced than gamble on blowing the thing up.

spinact 9:53 am 13 Sep 13

Maybe 00davist should post an email address, his services will obviously be in demand now spring is coming

jayskette 10:39 pm 12 Sep 13

Hi OP, please PM me your details – I have some business for you!

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