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Pressure washers and snowblowers are the two things I never lend out, unless the borrower leave me a full deposit.

It's not that I don't trust the borrower, I just don't trust my self go ape mad if they mess up my equipment.
I agree totally, I would also add chainsaws to the list, after lending one to a former neighbour and getting it back with a destroyed chain. It turned out that the wood he was cutting was full of nails.
If someone asks to borrow one of my machines, I will tell them sure, but it comes with an operator (me).
 

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Pressure washers and snowblowers are the two things I never lend out, unless the borrower leave me a full deposit.

It's not that I don't trust the borrower, I just don't trust my self go ape mad if they mess up my equipment.
Agreed! I would add generators to the list as well. But I can go as far as never loan out any power equipment or my truck for people to use as I am really particular with my things and would be super mad if they were mistreated or damaged. Some people are really surprised that I don't freely hand over my truck keys or equipment for others to use. I don't get it but maybe it's just they have a lack of experience with their things getting damaged.
 

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Personally both are very important, if you buy cheap no matter how well cared for it won’t last, Also with quality machines even when not cared for can last quit a while, Seen s lot of old Ariens in tough shape un cared for but still going.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Depends on the machine a bit... even the worst operator would have a hard time breaking the old Gravelys.. those things were tanks. Nowadays? Operator definitely.
Never seen a Gravely in person. Had an old Gilson that was pretty stout.
 

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Depends on the machine a bit... even the worst operator would have a hard time breaking the old Gravelys.. those things were tanks. Nowadays? Operator definitely.
That was a long time ago, the old small Gravely snowblower, built like a smaller walk behind snowblower of today's machines.
Now the old "L" model walk-behind with the snowblower attachment, or "Snow Cannon", those things were built like a tank and more, they were just about unstoppable. If the pile was too high, it would tunnel through it like it wasn't there. Watch out for buried firewood or bricks, because they would end up flying through the air and land about city block away, hopefully it didn't hit anything on its way down or there would be some expensive damage to whatever it hit.
They worked nice on stone driveways if you wanted to sand/rock blast anything that was in the way of the discharge. They worked very well for removing bushes and other shrubbery that was in its way that may have been buried in the snow, the poor bush would be gone when the snow melted, and across the street in the neighbors yard or on their roof.
 

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toro 928 ohxe 38801,
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those old gravely's were tanks wasn't much of the important parts that were not cast iron and real steel .
loaning out tools i'm with the operator comes with it, made that mistake one time, loaned my brother in law one of my cheap poulan chain saws with a new blade and bar, that i used for limbing when it came back there was not a single tooth left on the bar and the bar was bent ,to think he asked why i would let him use my stihl ms462 yah $150 ver $1.100 to start plus your a book keeper not a tree service owner .
 

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Discussion Starter #29
those old gravely's were tanks wasn't much of the important parts that were not cast iron and real steel .
loaning out tools i'm with the operator comes with it, made that mistake one time, loaned my brother in law one of my cheap poulan chain saws with a new blade and bar, that i used for limbing when it came back there was not a single tooth left on the bar and the bar was bent ,to think he asked why i would let him use my stihl ms462 yah $150 ver $1.100 to start plus your a book keeper not a tree service owner .
There is a time to be charitable with tool loans and prudent. Like one poster mentioned it's just better to give than to loan. same goes with money because you aint gonna see it again.
With a snowblower I just go do it myself. With other tools I loan them without a thought of getting them back. Sometimes you do and sometimes it may be 3 years. It's funny. When someone does not return an item you NEVER see them around again.........that may be a good thing.

Remeinds me of that movie Bronx Tale. The kid was upset about not getting 20 back from some neighborhood Moke. The godfather told himyou just paid 20 bucks to get rid of the guy. you dont like him anyway.

I laughed and said that was so true. Now when I want someone to go away and not come back I ask if I can lend them 20 bucks.........
 

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Yes, I agree that the operator is a major factor in the longevity and reliability of a given machine..
but..the machine itself is still a very important factor as well! ;)

I would say its 50/50 operator and initial build quality.

There still seems to be somewhat of a myth in the snowblower world that "all machines are basically equal" in terms of quality and relaiabilty when new..
this is faaaaaaaaaar from true or accurate! ;)
there is a huge difference in initial build quality..
a neglected Honda will likely last much longer than a pampered Walmart off-brand junker.
There are a LOT of snowblowers that are basically useless junk when they are brand new..
So yes, operator maintenance is certaintly an important factor.. but the machine itself is also very important..
Scot
 

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Shhh, don't say that it is mostly the operator's mistake and lack of maintenance, because that is what snow blower makers want to hear. I have seen crappy made snow blowers with many plastic parts, brass gears and etc. If a snow blower is crap, I wouldn't want to keep it in the first place.
 

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Something that is becoming more and more apparent to me as time goes on is this. The person who operates the machine is more important than the machine.

Obvious you say? or not. I only work on Honda's and have seen terribly abused machines that are only a few years old. Then I see Honda's that are 25-30-35 years old and still perform as new.

I constantly emphasize this to potential buyers that "they" the owner/operator hold the fate of their machines in their hands. This is not only true of Honda's but also of most brands of snowblowers. Most of us know that proper maintenance and proper use is the key to a long life of a machine. Sure some machine brands are built better than others but I have seen evidence over the years that the owner may be more responsible than the quality of the machine.

We see it here all the time. Members say Ariens are the best , Toro is the best , Honda is the best and so on. And it may be all true. Depends on the owner.

I have a small percentage of owners that seem to have so many problems with their Honda's. They are always complaining about their machines. I know the problem. they don't know how to properly use it. They use it hard as if it's bulletproof. then they wonder why it breaks.

On the other hand I know owners that never or rarely have a problem. I'll work/service their machine and won't hear from them for 2-3 years and will start to worry. I contact them and they say their blower is running great and have no issues.

This is a very frustrating thing. trying to educate people on the proper use and maintenance on their machines to get a long life out of it.

So what do you think? Quality of machine is more important? Or the quality of the owner?
Hi
Operator definitely. I have a 1977 Ariens ST724. ( 7hp, 24 cut) Still runs fine. I had to put new skid shoes last spring, and darn it, I may have to change the Original friction wheel. It moves fine, but in highest range not as fast as it used too. It gets an oil change and wax every spring. On its' 2nd set of belts too. By the way I live in northern Ontario and got 12 feet of snowfall last winter.
 

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I'm with you guys about not loaning out tools like these. Like loaning out a performance car or your favorite girlfriend. They may look the same when they come back but you'll always wonder about hidden damage.

I used to keep a $10 garage-sale 8" miter saw under the bench to loan to neighbors. Never felt guilty letting folks use it for fence-boards and the like. The equivalent in snow-clearing terms is a well-used shovel.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
my neighbor can over yesterday to borrow my Husky chainsaw. said he only needed to make a couple cuts. he has a cheap chainsaw that probably never seen a file. heard him trying to saw for about 30 minutes with his before he cam over and asked.

i got the saw and started walking over to his house and told him I would make the cuts. took me less than a minute. he asked what kind of saw it was and I said a $400 Husqvarna. I think he paid $99 for his.

I'm thinking about qualifying buyers before they buy. fill out an experience resume and then pass a test on using it correctly. it's getting pretty frustrating with some of these people. had another winner yesterday that didnt know a thing and wanted a warranty. I told him to buy a new Honda.

he was a little taken back. " you mean you won't take my money?" I said that's right, people like you will never leave me alone with any little problem you have. it aint worth the aggravation.
 

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My machine was built in 1999 and is still going strong. It's an MTD with a 10HP Tecumseh engine I bought at Wal-Mart. It still purrs like a hungry dog on a bone. But high end or low end, you have to take care of them if you want them to last.
 
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