Lawn Care Equipment Maintenance

Changing the mower blades
It is that time of year again to dust off our lawn mowers and tune them up. As an owner of a lawn care company I am always watching the bottom line. With fuel prices on the rise again, everything else is following suit. To operate any business in these economic times calls for decisions.
For instance, purchasing new equipment. Usually this would only present itself if our current equipment has either run its course or business has started to grow. But, to purchase new equipment because we failed to perform proper maintenance, would be very untimely and costly.

Having over 15 years experience in the landscape industry, I would like to say I have seen it all. However, every season brings something new, but there are those things that are not new. Mower maintenance. Not only do we live by this, we breathe this. The importance of keeping our machines tuned up and lubricated, has never been under-estimated.

This machine was purchased in 2006
Usually new machines will have an owner manual with suggestions of how to keep your equipment on a proper maintenance schedule. I still have the very first Zero-turn mower I ever purchased (9 years old). To still have a machine performing at a high-level after nine years is incredible! Especially when you consider that we consistently cut countless acres of turf at least twenty weeks per season. 

Few Tips To Pass Along

1. Changing the oil every two weeks or less has increased the life expectancy of all of our equipment. I do not know the exact percentage, but it must be high.

2. Belts are very important for any lawn mower to perform well. If your belt has visible cracks, it is time to replace. Sometimes you will notice the turf is not cutting as well, this could mean your belts have more hours than normal. Belts are cheap if you compare taking your machine somewhere to be fixed or replacing.

3. Tire pressure can make all the difference if the cutting height does not seem correct.

4. Spark Plugs need to be changed every year to gain ultimate performance for your machine.

5. Sharp cutting blades are absolutely crucial, when aiming for the ultimate cutting experience. We sharpen our lawn mowing blades everyday, which ensures our properties will look pristine.

6. Dirty machines are easy to accomplish. The last thing we want to do after mowing the lawn is clean our machines. Scheduling routine cleaning every week helps us determine if there any leaks in our hydraulic hoses or other potential areas that need attention. We grease our lawn mowers after every cleaning, you never know when something will stop working.

If you feel your machine is not running properly, I highly recommend that you make every attempt to troubleshoot your machine first. Most lawn mower repair shops charge hourly rates that are close to car dealership rates.

These tips are intended for commercial lawn equipment. But if you are a homeowner, you too should have a maintenance schedule for all of your machinery. Simply having a schedule for routine maintenance will give your lawn care equipment a fighting chance for a long life.