LIVE LONG

The repair-or-replace question is a frequent dilemma. You know … the old mower has given you all the service you hoped for, and then some. And it still cuts pretty well, when it's in good operating condition. Trouble is, it's prone to breakdowns; not surprising for its age.

Is it time for a new one? Well, that's the dilemma. A new one would be awfully nice. It also would cost you plenty of money. On the other hand, you could just keep repairing the old mower. Though it's getting to be a hassle, you realize that the payments you're avoiding exceed your repair bills. But then there's the lost production … and so the debate goes.

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While we can't offer any profound new insights to resolve this issue, this month's cover feature discusses how you can at least delay the repair-or-replace dilemma: good maintenance.

Preventive maintenance is a little like exercise: people know it's good for them, that it might even add years to their life. But it often feels like a chore, so when it's time to go jogging, many of us opt for the couch instead. Similarly, maintenance often is seen as a chore and an expense, rather than an investment that will pay off with longer equipment life. As such, it's easy to delay it, or to do it as quickly and cheaply as possible.

One thing is sure, though: Experts know, without doubt, that good maintenance pays. It pays with longer equipment life, with better performance, with fewer and less expensive breakdowns, and higher resale or trade-in value. In this month's cover feature, “Live long and prosper,” equipment writer Paul Peterson examines the benefits of good preventive maintenance, and discusses how to take maintenance beyond merely following the service manual. So, like the exercise gurus are fond of saying, “What are you waiting for?” If it's time for a change, there's no time like the present.

REINVENTING GROUNDS MAINTENANCE

You might notice something is different with Grounds Maintenance this month. Actually, it's almost certain you've noticed, because it's the most significant change that Grounds Maintenance has ever made.

We've updated our look with a bolder appearance and a design that makes it easier to deliver the information that's important to you. In keeping with an increasingly rapid-pace world, we've made it simpler to glean important points at a glance, but delve into more detail if you wish. We've added more coverage of the latest research, presenting it in a brief, readable format. And we've added more information to the cover to give you a better idea of what each issue holds.

We haven't changed the essence of what we do best, however. We're still your No. 1 resource for Green Industry technical know-how. Over the years, you've made it clear that you value Grounds Maintenance because of this, so we're not changing what we do … we're just doing it better.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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