The Best Backup Equipment for a Lawn Care Business 




The Best Backup Equipment for a Lawn Care Business

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

The Best Backup Equipment for a Lawn Care Business 

Is backup equipment necessary? 

There should actually be two Questions here

  1. Do you need backup equipment?
  2. And if so, when do you get it?

What do you need for your lawn & landscape business? 

When you start a lawn care business, you are busy, busy, busy; it can seem like a go-go. 

Lawn mowing to do, quotes to see, and days to plan. 

Who has time for a breakdown?

It is certainly never something that can be planned for or scheduled, and it always seems to come at the worst possible time. 

My number one tip here that can save you hours of running around is simple. 

When it broke down, I used to pack up and take my machine straight to the mower shop. Then, after a few years (yes, I’m a slow learner), I noticed that the first thing they always did was replace the spark plug. 

So, I started carrying spare spark plugs for all my gear. A new sparkplug gets the machine going nine times out of ten. One trip to the mower shop was saved. 

But what happens when replacing the plug doesn’t work? 

What do you do then?

Sometimes, when you run it to the shop, it’s a quick fix, and you’re back on the road half an hour later. 

The real problem starts if the shop needs to order parts to get the job done. 

If you are just starting and working only a handful of lawns, this will not be a massive problem. Just tell your customers you are running a few days late, and there won’t be too many issues. 

However, if all your days are fully booked and your lawn mower breaks down, you now have a problem. You can’t sit around and wait for that call to say your machine is ready. 

We always have backup equipment available at home to avoid this situation. 

We didn’t go out and buy new machines for this job. We use the machines that we put aside when we purchase new equipment. It is a good idea to keep your old machines and take them out for a day now and then to keep them in good working order. 

I always try to buy the same make and model every time, too. Doing this can help when your mower shop doesn’t have the parts you need on hand. It is not uncommon for me to shoot home and pick up a dead machine to cannibalize for parts to get back on the road again. 

When they stopped manufacturing, my mowers and parts became hard to get. I had four old machines sitting out the back in a shed, so I simply helped myself to parts as I needed them. 

My backup mowers
My backup mowers

When do you buy your back-up Equipment? 

The time to buy your second machine is when the first one is in the shop, and you cannot afford to wait for parts. Then, once the initial machine is back in service, you have your first backup mower for your lawn mowing business. 

Don’t sell your old equipment unless you will no longer use that model. 

These days, uncertain supply and delivery issues happen too often, and having those old machines for parts and the tools you need to strip them can be a great help if you need a part in a hurry. 

Lawnmowing101 Membership

Untitled design 4 1

Build a six-figure lawn care business

  • How to get customers fast
  • Systemize your business
  • Work less and earn more
  • Build a lifestyle business

Lawn Care Software

Untitled design 5

Get Your Lawn Care Business Running Smoothly

Easier for you and your customers. Jobber helps you quote, schedule, invoice, and get paid—all in one place.

What backup equipment do we use, and how do we store it?

Lawn mowers. 

We like to run at least one more mower than we need. We are running three mowers daily, so we ensure that we have a fourth one sitting in the garage. 

To ensure that your backup mower is in good working order, I would suggest that you rotate your mowers if possible. I use a labeler to put a number and a purchase date on my machines as they are all identical, and I want to know what machine I am using. 

On the first Saturday of the month, I service all my mowers. This is when I swap the backup machine with one of the working machines. 

Using this method, I can be sure that my backup machine has not been sitting for months before I use it.  

String trimmers and blowers

We also carry extras with these machines, although we don’t rotate these machines. I find string trimmers are more likely to break down than blowers, so I have different ways of handling these machines. 

With the string trimmers and blowers, I carry spare parts and accessories in the vans, such as spark plugs, air filters, and speed caps for the trimmers. 

Dealing with breakdowns

When I am in the field and a mower breaks down, I will run a few simple tests in this order before I pack up any machine and take it anywhere. 

  1. Check the fuel – This may sound obvious, but there are two reasons for doing this.
    1. To make sure you have fuel (yes, sometimes people miss this step)
    2. If there is an airlock in the gas tank, then opening the cap will fix that. If the airlock keeps happening, you must replace the cap as they have a breather built in, which may get clogged or break. 
  2. Change the spark plug. (as mentioned before)
  3. Remove the air filter and try starting the mower. If the mower runs, then your air filter needs cleaning or replacing. 

If none of the steps above works, it’s time to take the machine to the shop and pick up the backup equipment.  

If it is a trimmer or a blower that breaks down and we are doing regular jobs, we will finish off the day, drop off the machine for repair, and take the spare machine out the next day. 

If your blower breaks, you can always tip a trimmer on the side and extend the cord to use it as a blower. And if your trimmer breaks and you run without it for an afternoon, it is not the end of the world. 

My backup string trimmers. One has been cannibalized for parts.
My backup string trimmers. One has been cannibalized for parts.

Tips for managing and maintaining backup equipment

When you have backup equipment for your lawn care business, it’s not just having a couple of old dusty machines out the back in case of emergency. There is a little bit more to it than that. 

Regularly inspecting and servicing backup equipment.

Make sure that your backup equipment is in good working order. I like to fire up our backup machines at least once a month. Another thing that I do is put a sticker on a machine if it gets swapped out because there is an issue. You don’t want to get your repairs mixed up with your backup gear. 

Sometimes, an issue that needs repairs is not apparent when you fire up that machine; this is where confusion can occur. Before I started using stickers, I sometimes would pick up a machine that I wanted to send in for repairs and wonder what was wrong with it. This can lead to a lot of wasted time and effort. 

Properly storing backup equipment.

We cover our backup mower and hang or string trimmers. We don’t want them getting in the way when we are busy in the workshop. Also, keep your mowers off floor level if you have any water or moisture issues. 

Rotating the use of backup equipment to prevent wear and tear

I occasionally swap out the backup mowers and let someone take them out for a day or two. This helps keep them in good working order. Nothing is worse than discovering that your backup machine won’t start because it has been sitting for so long.

Listen to audiobooks while you work.

Untitled design 8 1

With a sixty-day free trial

Discover millions of ebooks, audiobooks, and so much more for just $9.99/month.

  • No limits
  • Titles you love
  • Exclusive originals
  • Tailored for you

Having a reliable supplier for replacement parts

Finally, you need a good supplier for replacement parts. We usually carry a couple of spares for any of the parts that need replacing the most. Things like blades, wheels, bearings, and filters. If you order parts as you need them online, ensure the supplier has a sound delivery system. 

Make friends with your local mower dealer. 

Buy your large machines locally and ensure your dealer gives priority service to commercial businesses. You don’t want your mower to go in a queue behind half a dozen domestic mowers. 

One way to get good service is to show your local dealer that they are appreciated. Pay your account the day it is due. This will get you noticed. They get even better service; drop them off a 24-pack of beer before they break for Christmas.

211 19710 27956

In closing: The Best Backup Equipment for a Lawn Care Business 

We all deal with breakdowns in this industry, and they always seem to happen at the worst possible time, but as long as you have backup equipment and sound systems in place, it won’t really be a problem.

You can get out there and focus on doing the things that really move the needle in your business, such as mowing those lawns.

Frequently asked questions. 

What Equipment Do You Need to Start a Lawn Care Business?

Why Buying Lawn Mowing Equipment Locally Is Good For Your Business.

What Safety Equipment Do I Need for a Lawn Care Business?

How do you Service a Lawn Mower? Fast and Easily Method

Grow a six-figure lawn care businessStarting in your spare time

Get tips & tricks on how to grow a profitable lawn care business delivered to you inbox every week. 

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest posts

  • Are Daisies Weeds or Flowers?

    Are Daisies Weeds or Flowers?

    Are Daisies Weeds or Flowers? Daisies look great and can give the lawn a lovely carpet of white flowers with a yellow center come Spring. But are they a weed or a flower? It depends on who is looking at them and where they are. As a lawn care business owner, many customers constantly ask…

    Read more

  • Can You Run a Lawn Care Business Without a Trailer?

    Can You Run a Lawn Care Business Without a Trailer?

    Can You Run a Lawn Care Business Without a Trailer? These days, you see a lot of vehicles on the road pulling trailers packed with lawn care equipment. Pulling a trailer all day is hard work, and you must worry about parking or getting in and out of driveways. I have spent years towing a…

    Read more

  • Dealing with Dogs on Lawns  Lawn Care Business Tips

    Dealing with Dogs on Lawns Lawn Care Business Tips

    Dealing with Dogs on Lawns Keeping safe around dogs on the job. If you own a lawn mowing business, chances are you’ve had to deal with dogs at some point. After all, many homeowners have dogs, and you need to manage dogs while you’re working safely.  This blog post will share our top tips for safely…

    Read more