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Posts: 66
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 2:25 pm
Location: Ipswich


Post by steve »

I would like to take the liberty of having a rant. To save disappointment this has very little motorcycle content. Professor if this does not fit in with the Choppers Australia forum please delete.

My rant centers around living in a disposable society and waste in the world. It has sparked from me wanting to buy a new ride on lawn mower. In my search I have read many reviews and a lot of them have a limited life, essentially a disposable item. Much of this stems from the hydro gearbox or the repair parts costing almost as much as a new mower.

I thought I would buy a Greenfield 34”as they are supposedly rebuildable and Australian made. The neighbor across the road has one so I went over for a chat. He purchased his new. He agreed they are rebuildable and proceeded to tell me all of the things he has had to rebuild in the last 5 years including a few things that warranty did not cover. At twenty hours old a pulley let go. Warranty covered the pulley and fitting it. It did not cover the belt it destroyed and the damage the broken belt caused. It only cost a bit over a hundred for that repair but has cost a fortune over the life of the mower. After warranty ran out he has had a fuel tank split and various welds breaking and other things break. He runs a trailer repair business and does not appear to abuse his equipment He strongly suggested I look at something else. In his opinion they are a good idea that is suffering from poor quality.

I have spent countless hours and still have not decided what mower to get. I want a ride on, new or second hand, that can be maintained, will last, have fairly priced spares and is suitable for an acre with a maximum width to fit through a gate 114cm wide and has a reasonable turning circle, that costs less than the price of a small car.

This has got me thinking about the waste in the world. Every day we are throwing things out because they are uneconomical to repair. I am not talking about labor costs which have to be paid to pay wages. I am talking about spares costs, things that are made not to be disassembled. Sealed for life gearbox’s. Something that the home mechanic can keep in good running condition.

This extends to motorcycles that have subassemblies that must be replaced as a whole as the individual two dollar part can’t be purchased.
There is no use having a rant if I don’t know what outcome I want. For this particular rant I want two things. The first is to find a suitable mower.

The second is more difficult to achieve. That is to find a way we can turn this disposable attitude around and convince companies to supply a product that can be maintained and spares at reasonable prices. It would be better if these companies were Australian. I am not sure how to achieve this but someone will.

I could go on but I don’t want to outstay my welcome.

Thanks for reading.

Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:48 pm
Location: North-Eastern suburbs- Adelaide

Re: Rant

Post by Youngblood »

:x :x :x
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 6038
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia

Re: Rant

Post by Prof »

Well us chopper builders recycle old bikes and give them a new life! So that's something.

I understand that spare parts are where manufacturers recoup some profit, because the markets are so cutthroat that little is made on the initial sale, especially in the case of anything with a motor.

Most products are made to a limited lifespan. An otherwise good machine will have a couple of short lived parts that necessitate buying a whole unit rather than just the part.

Remember the non run stockings around ww2? Manufacturers watched sales plummet because women weren't needing to replace laddered stockings, so they pulled the non run product off the market ... and we've not seen it since.

What gets me is the incredible waste in packaging. No longer can I buy 500g of 65mm nails in a paper bag... have to buy six boxes or a pile of packets where I am convinced the packaging is probably half the cost of the product. Everything is packaged for display a terrible waste.

Re ride ons. We have a couple of Greenfields 30 years or more old. Very few breakdowns though belts are a pain to intall. Starter gears are plastic and need replacement every 5 years or so. We do very heavy work with them and they are ok.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof
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