Replacement Reserve Mower Replacement Recommendations: LHCC currently has four zero-turn mowers in service, a 2005 Turf Tiger, a 2018 Turf Tiger II, and two 2013 Dixie Choppers. The 2005 Turf Tiger was originally planned for replacement in the Replacement Reserve (RR) in 2018, but was not replaced as it still was thought to have some useful life left. The two 2013 Dixie Choppers were originally planned for replacement in 2019. They, too, were deemed to have some useful life left in them, and we postponed replacement.
We did well in that we were able to utilize all three of these mowers for additional seasons, however, at this time, two of three have degraded to the point that they do require replacement prior to the upcoming season. They both have significant wear to the hydraulic systems as well as to the engines, power transfer systems, etc. The third mower, one of the 2013 Dixie Choppers, is thought to have one more season of usefulness (the second one when retired could be used for parts if needed).
I have obtained quotes from two local dealers for appropriate replacements. Ideally, I would have liked to have obtained a third, but in truth there really is not a good third option in terms of equipment quality and applicability. What I have priced are comparable replacements from the industry leaders in terms of quality, performance, and longevity; those being Turf Tiger IIs, and comparable Hustler brand mowers of the same size and power range of those we currently have in service.
The Turf Tigers have proven their worth and abilities in their service here at LHCC. The 2005 model has lasted 15 years under heavy use, and with regular maintenance and care, repairs have been minimal. In comparison, the Dixie Choppers are now only 7 years old, and have been in the shop many times over that time period. This well-illustrates the desirability and worth of better-quality options such as the Tigers and Hustlers. When researching mowers, I found that the Hustler brand was rated just about equal to the Turf Tigers, with some industry experts preferring one over the other, but no overall agreement as to which was best. I have also spoken with local landscape companies and found similar opinions locally. With that in mind, I sought quotes on both brands.
Pricing is similar in terms of MSRP with the Turf Tiger models being slightly less than the Hustler models, but when purchasing multiple units at a time, Hustler offers very significant discounts ($3,539 discount off MSRP on each mower). This discount brought the Hustlers in at just over $2K less than two Tigers at a total of $22,355.19 compared to the Tigers at a total of $24,524.90. Both mower types come with similar warranties covering two years for commercial use. In addition to the lower price, Hustler offers a loaner replacement anytime a mower is in for factory warranty repairs.
Our local dealer, Cutting Edge Small Engine Repair, contacted me after I received my original quotes, and has informed me that we may also be able to take advantage of an incentive currently in place that will end at the end March. If he can locate two mowers within a 100-mile radius (in stock, stock changes fast) and we complete the sale prior to the end of March, we will receive an additional discount of $1,489.36 (on the total order). Total price for two Hustler mowers as identified would therefore be between $20,865.82 and $22,355.19 depending on in stock availability.
The planned replacement values currently listed in the RR are: 2005 Turf Tiger ($10,000), 2013 Dixie Chopper ($7,600). Total of $17,600.
My recommendation is that the Board approve replacing the 2005 Turf Tiger and one of the 2013 Dixie Choppers, with two new Hustler Super Z 60″ Kawasaki FX850s for an amount not to exceed $22,355.19 from the RR. (If approved, I will move quickly in an attempt to secure the additional discount of $1,489.36). Quotes are available and in the board book materials.
Collection Efforts and Payment Plans: In early February, Jill Whitacre produced and mailed 91 Final Notice stating intent to file a lien letters to delinquent owners. Those notices and subsequent transactions have resulted in 31 accounts being paid up in full, sizable partial payments on an additional 11 accounts, and 9 new payment plans. The remaining account owners have not taken any actions and remain in arrears. Jill has prepared the necessary paperwork to file liens on those that remain, and will do so as soon as practical considering current events, closing, etc.
Delinquent members wishing to avoid the encumbrance of a lien, may contact Association Bookkeeper, Shannon Lanham to arrange payment plan details. Shannon may be reached by phone at 540-931-0951, or by email at email@example.com
Mike Goodwin, LHCC GM