Our New Turf Equipment Package for 2018

Our New Turf Equipment Package for 2018

This year in August comes our first renewal of our equipment fleet since we have owned the property and over the first 4 years we have learned quite a bit about things that worked the first round and things that we would like to change. We started the process in early January with getting bids, talking through the equipment we have liked, the service we have received and the new items that we would like to give a try. We start this process actually the year after we get a new fleet.

We begin bringing in demos and such throughout the summer months so we can always take a look at what everyone has to offer. That is everyone who will bring a demo out. There is not really any time that I can remember telling a salesman that I didn’t want to at least take a look at or try out a product that they were offering. I say that because it seems to me that demos on equipment are getting harder to come by. I remember times in the past where a salesman would light up when they could bring a demo out and now it seems to be a hassle. I can tell you that I will NOT buy a product that I cannot first try. I just can’t spend an owners money unsure if the product will work at our operation, no matter the success it has had at other facilities.

Here we do a hybrid lease / purchase. We lease the high use items and purchase or $1 out the items we feel we can get some longevity out of. We do that for quite a few reasons but the main one is to keep our Repair and Maintenance budget much more flat lined vs having peaks and valleys. Over the last 4 years (we didn’t have everything new because we had acquired a lot of equipment in the property when we purchased it) we had a fluctuation of around $5,000 over 4 years in R&M and that includes management of our Hotel and golf cart fleet as well. When I look over this to decide what makes sense to lease vs purchase I don’t just consider the cost of the equipment I also consider the warranty (we get 4 years on most items), I consider the labor of putting on parts after warranty, I consider the residual value of the equipment, I consider the amount of time available for repairs, grinding, and managing our facility at a high level and I think about if we didn’t lease it the added costs involved. Once a warranty runs out you now have to purchase all the parts needed beyond the 4th year so the R&M budget goes up considerably, also the labor required to put on those parts you just added into the R&M budget, the downtime that gets experienced the older equipment gets and when you start looking at all those things you can begin figuring out if this is something worth doing.

Lastly we quote all 3 equipment manufacturers on competing products to get an idea of cost. We want to make sure that the items we select not only can get the job done but are worth the price. What gets me is this, I try to purchase something from each manufacturer knowing that there isn’t one that makes everything the best. We want to do business with everyone if it makes sense. (Decided to omit my rant on pricing differences when you don’t buy everything exclusive from one manufacturer and this isn’t the case with all the manufacturers. Just didn’t want to piss someone off. Just fair warning watch your prices. As I do deals with other clubs all the time I know what things should cost so when items show up $6,000 higher my red flag goes up.)

Finally, we are going into the GPS sprayers this year after a lot of demos, data crunching and talking to other golf courses. We are changing the type of rollers we are using both based on some really good demos and equipment that was loaned to us for our televised tournament in January. I can tell you, had we not used the rollers during the tournament and really seen the difference, we would probably never have changed but it’s those demos and the willingness of some companies to support these events that help you sell equipment both to the host venue and the volunteers at those events. We are also going to be walk mowing our tees and approaches in the season so we have added those machines in this year.



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