Something Old. Something New. Something Borrowed. Something Orange?

One of the hardest things about running a business is trying to figure out when you’re supposed to make capital improvements, when you’re supposed to buy new/used equipment and when you’re supposed to pinch your pennies and just make do with what you have.  As a general rule, we always pinch our pennies.  Our family believes in offering our golfers a reasonably priced golf experience with quality conditions.  Sometimes keeping the reasonable pricing might mean making cuts here or there or doing our best to use a piece of equipment for at least one more season.

There are also outside factors that often come into play in our financial decisions.  I’d say one of our hardest years to stay in business happened about five years ago when the main road to our facility was closed during our entire busy season from May through September.  In order to come to our golf course, there was a pretty lengthy detour.  It took us several years to recoup all that we lost in that one year.  All in the name of progress, right?

I share this with you because what I’m about to tell you is a pretty big deal in our neck of the woods.  As a rule, we purchase equipment that has come off of lease, so it might be 3 – 4 years old with several hundred hours of use on it.  Then, we use it and use it and use it.  Some days we even have to say a prayer to get our equipment to work.

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We don’t really have a set pattern in how we replace equipment.  Basically, when it’s no longer running consistently, we start shopping for a replacement.  Over the years, we have found that sometimes you just simply get a lemon and age doesn’t have anything to do with how one piece runs over another.  As I mentioned in this post, our greens mowers have seen better days.  We have three of them, but they are all fairly old.  Most of the summer, the only one that worked consistently was the one that we bought about 15 years ago.

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There are many things that you can do without, but a good/reliable greens mower isn’t one of them. When I got on the phone to see what mowers would be coming off lease this fall, my salesman told me about a deal that I couldn’t refuse.  I think I heard a pin drop when I called up my brother to tell him that I thought we should buy a brand new greens mower.  We visited with Dad about it and crunched some numbers.

Yesterday, our hot off the assembly line mower arrived to our shop with a big smile on his face.

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Can you see the smiling face?

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It was the first thing that we noticed.  I think our new little mower is happy to be here.  The other first thing we noticed was its number of hours.  It arrived with zero.

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Not very many hours compared to our old girl who has been going like the energizer bunny for many years!

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After our new mower got off the delivery truck and the papers were signed, Jason and Ron arm wrestled over who got to take it for its first spin.  Given that Ron had shoulder surgery and can’t work, Jason won easily.  Maybe when Ron’s shoulder heals, we can have a rematch just for fun.

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Yep!  It mows like a champ!  If I’m not mistaken, I think that is Jason wiping tears of joy.  I have no idea what Ron is doing, but I’m sure it’s important and has nothing to do with hugging the new mower that will actually run.

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How about you?  Do you get excited when you get brand new equipment or vehicles?  Our outside crew were a bunch of giddy school girls yesterday.  I tried to get a picture of them all jumping, but they declined.  Fun-a-phobes!

Post by Allison

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