Maintenance is an unavoidable part of a landscaper’s job but is necessary to keep your fleet prepared for productivity and reduce downtime. Here are top maintenance tips to keep your engine in great condition to maintain productivity on jobsites.
Maintenance Tip # 1 – Evaluate Your Fleet
At the beginning and end of the season, check your equipment fleet and their engines. Examine the condition of those engines. Are they old and no longer performing properly or experiencing issues? Can these issues be resolved with proper maintenance or are they just related to old age? If so, it may be time to invest in a new engine or machine.
Maintenance Tip # 2 – Check Spark Plugs Regularly
Over time, spark plugs can become susceptible to carbon deposits and other damage that hinders your machine’s performance. Worn spark plugs can lead to stalling, difficulty starting, and engine misfires. Remove and inspect your engine’s spark plugs on a regular basis and replace them when necessary.
Maintenance Tip # 3 – Change Engine Oil Regularly
You know the importance of regular oil changes. Skipping oil changes can result in engine damage and relying on old oil can lead to lower engine performance and long-term damage. Make sure you understand the guidelines for your fleet’s engines. Knowing your engine’s oil-change intervals and sticking to them keeps your fleet running and working properly.
Maintenance Tip # 4 – Change Filters
For the fuel filter to help keep contaminants from entering the engine through the fuel line, replace it annually, after each season, or every 200 hours of operation.
Maintenance Tip # 5 – Use Proper Fuel
It goes without saying that your outdoor power equipment needs fuel to operate properly. Since the engine in your OPE is only as good as the fuel you put in it, make sure you know the right type of fuel to use in your machine.
Engines produced for use in outdoor power equipment are not designed for gasoline with more than 10% ethanol. Using higher ethanol fuel blends can lead to engine damage and performance issues.
Ethanol-free gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher is generally a good fuel choice. Choosing the correct fuel for your engine is the best way to ensure proper performance and avoid engine issues and long-term damage.
Maintenance Tip # 6 – Store Your Equipment Properly
If you need to store your equipment for a significant amount of time, use a fuel stabilizer to combat stale fuel. As you know, fuel starts to go bad after 30 days so do not let it sit in your machine for longer than that. After 30 days, the volatile compounds in the fuel start evaporating, and this occurs whether the gas is in your outdoor power equipment or in the gas can.
As fuel sits and grows older, it evaporates and forms brown sticky deposits that eventually turn into a hard varnish. Deposits and varnish can plug fuel lines and passages in the carburetor, preventing the engine from running properly.
Fuel stabilizers separate and create a thin film on top of the fuel to keep out air and moisture. They also help prevent varnish buildup and can combat the corrosion.
Maintenance Tip # 7 – Use Propane
Consider using propane for your machines. In some cases, fueling with propane can offer benefits for your business. Propane eliminates some elements of operator error. For example, gas spillage can cause dead or brown spots. With propane, spillage will never be an issue.
Fueling with propane can also help avoid fuel storage issues. Unlike fuel, propane isn’t susceptible to going stale, so your equipment can be stored with propane in it for long periods of time.
Lastly, using propane can impact your maintenance schedule by reducing the amount of time spent refueling. When your crew stops to refuel, that can add up to hours of lost productivity. With propane, you can easily refuel on the job.
Performing proper engine maintenance is essential to ensuring your fleet is up and running.
Weingartz, family owned and operated, began in 1945 as a farm supply store for local Michigan families. In the 1970s, we began to focus exclusively on outdoor power equipment. Over time, we morphed into the “power equipment superstore” that now defines all of our locations. The staff and experts at Weingartz work diligently to provide the best service possible and give honest and helpful advice to each and every customer.
Weingartz also sells parts for all outdoor power equipment at https://weingartz.com/parts-lookup.
32098 Plymouth Road
Livonia, MI 48150
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