Lawn equipment & home exercise gear

Last reviewed: August 2011

The more complex the lawn equipment, the more likely it is to break down. Zero-turn-radius riding mowers can turn on a dime but require complicated transmissions and steering systems and are the most repair-prone, followed by lawn tractors, riding mowers, and self-propelled mowers. There's not much that can go wrong with push mowers, because all the engine does is spin the blade. Not surprisingly, replacement cost goes up with complexity, which is why our repair windows are generally longer for riding mowers and tractors. Note that routine maintenance, including sharpening and balancing the blade, hosing clippings off the deck, adding fuel stabilizer during hot weather, and draining the fuel during the off season, can extend the life of your equipment.

Dispose of equipment properly

The Salvation Army accepts lawn equipment that's in good condition. For a fee, a haul-away service like 1-800-Got-Junk will take mowers and tractors, as well treadmills and other large-scale exercise equipment, off your hands. Your city might run a drop-off recycling program. Some even offer mower-exchange programs, giving cash to residents who trade in their gas-powered mower for an electric one. See whether your local repair-and-retail shop wants it for parts, perhaps in exchange for credit toward a new model. Or you could put the equipment out on the curb with a "free" sign on it. A metal scavenger might come by and haul it off to the scrap yard.