Back Pack Blower - life span question

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-29-10, 09:09 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SE PA
Posts: 120
Back Pack Blower - life span question

Assuming for a moment that a back pack blower is used commercially (six days out of seven for nine months out of twelve), and that it was maintained properly it's entire life, how long will the equipment last before it required a rebuild? Also assume that the equipment is high end.

I am considering buying used and wondered if I should avoid all equipment used commercially?

Steve
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-30-10, 04:31 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South Florida
Posts: 376
Hello Steve,

I donít think there is a reliable, precise answer to your question if looking for number of yrs. that all high-end blowers crap-out. Equipment is somewhat like children . . . two children w/ same parents, living in same house, going to same schools . . . one is a poor student and attracts trouble like metal to a magnet, and the other is a stellar performer and relatively trouble free. When buying high-end equipment, there is always a random chance you get a ďlemonĒ.

Generally speaking, I avoid buying used commercial equipment mainly because itís usually not well maintained, and badly beat up. However, there have been a few exceptions, and those purchases have worked out well.

Bear in mind that a blower is a fairly simple piece of equipment, and other than the engine, there is very little else to worry about. While passage of time is a consideration when buying used outdoor power equipment, I believe the number of hours actually used is far more important. Commercial mowers have an hour meter which helps gauge engine run time but small power equipment doesnít have that feature. Passage of time becomes important to me if the model has been discontinued, and parts are hard to find. By close inspection, you should be able to see if the equipment has been abused or suffering effects from adverse weather conditions . . . I see commercial guys with open trailers, and their equipment is soaked when it rains . . . I would avoid that stuff.

Do you have any insight as to the type commercial work that equipment owner performs? In my area, commercial operators mainly doing residential work donít use their blowers for very long which differs from hours put on a weed trimmer. If the guy is doing very high-end work such as mega-mansions, he may change out his fleet of equipment based on appearance issues in order to project a favorable image to his wealthy clientele which would be the ideal scenario for buying used equipment (like people who trade out their cars every yr. or two purely for appearance reasons). Where I see them used the most are commercial guys doing work for cities in caring for median strips or commercial businesses with large parking lots . . . those crews often have one guy who uses the blower nearly full time so the number of engine hours will be far higher.

I would try to understand why the current owner is selling the blower. Rarely do commercial operators sell their equipment if itís working well unless theyíre going out of business or downsizing. Those who are business oriented, have a philosophy of running their equipment until itís basically no longer operable or the ongoing costs of maintenance and repair justify replacement.

I wouldnít pay more than 50% for used equipment even if itís in stellar condition (actual selling price; not the list price), and that would be reduced based on wear and tear considerations . . . for me, the only exception was a Bunton commercial zero-turn mower that was a trial demo w/ 33 hrs., and able to buy from a dealer at about a 20% discount and included full warranty. You should also think about how you plan to use this blower . . . if your usage is say 25 or so hrs. per year for doing a residential property, a high-end brand in decent condition could provide many yrs. of service. If this was a large $ purchase and involved more complex equipment like a vehicle, tractor, or riding mower, then having a mechanic take a look might make sense . . . but I wouldnít waste my time on a blower.
 
  #3  
Old 06-30-10, 09:42 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SE PA
Posts: 120
I do not have all the answers yet but hope to when I look at it tonight. The ad did not mention anything except the blower and a price. When I received a return call I was told that the units (supposedly there are two) are used daily and were being replaced. That is making me suspicious. Daily use suggests commercial use but for what amount of time daily? The asking price is about 1/2 of new but if someone is replacing the equipment why do so other than they are beginning to act up? I understand that up time is probably very important for some businesses - such as a landscaper. I do not know how far any given type of business will push such equipment before it is time to replace it.

The blower is the top of the line Stihl and still in production. My main concerns are how much life is still in the units? Are they 75 percent used up and the asking price at 50 percent of new? If they give me trouble what would I have to spend to rebuild the engine?

I was intrigued because I do have a lot of trees (and a lot of leaves) to deal with in the fall. My now dead Craftsman leaf blower was a hand held unit that kept my outside for many hours. All I can say is that the phone call last evening is leaving me with a queasy feeling in my stomach.

Steve
 
  #4  
Old 06-30-10, 10:46 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South Florida
Posts: 376
If answering a blind ad, I would be more wary. To protect yourself against possible stolen property, I would want a copy showing proof of purchase (e.g., invoice), and I prepare a short bill of sale in situations like that. Rather than relying upon what an unknown person tells you, the invoice will help validate how long the blower has been used.

Before meeting tonight, call person back and advise them upfront to bring copy of invoice, youíll want to see an ID such as driverís license, and youíll have prepared a bill of sale that will need to be signed. If stolen, he/she will come up w/ excuse for not meeting or not show up if the meeting is arranged.

Using a backpack for long use jobs such as your fall leaf clean-up makes sense . . . if you have other needs that involve quick use, I think youíll prefer a hand-held blower.
 
  #5  
Old 07-01-10, 10:19 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SE PA
Posts: 120
Just to let you know, I went out and looked at the blower. It was well used (abused) by a landscaper for what was purported to be three years. I just told the guy that I was not interested in it. What I thought the unit was worth would have been an insult so I just walked away.

Steve
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes