Information, resources, insights, & tips to help you gain MOWmentum.

Lawn Care Tip of the Month: Equipment maintenance

Posted on:Jan 18, 2016

This is Part I of our Lawn Care Tip of the Month blog series.

Well, 2016 is officially here, and that means the beginning of our new monthly series "Lawn Care Tip of the Month." The Lawn Care Tip of the Month for January is Equipment Maintenance.

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

This is especially true when it comes to equipment maintenance. Equipment that does not function correctly or is down completely due to misuse, abuse or neglect, results in lost productivity and higher costs associated with repair and replacement of damaged parts and components.

The winter months are a good time to give every piece of equipment you own a thorough inspection in preparation. Below are a few general guidelines that will help you prepare your zero-turn mower or other equipment for spring.


Lawn Care Tip of the Month: Equipment Maintenance

Cleaning – Thoroughly clean all accessible points and remove dried grass and dirt from crevices; a lightly oiled shop towel will help remove stubborn deposits. Use low-pressure air to blow debris from the engine and transmission areas, and remove clippings and debris from electrical components.

lawn care tip spring mower prepEngine Change the oil and replace the oil filter as outlined in the engine manual. Clean the air filter by lightly tapping in your hand, and remove any dirt and debris from the air filter housing with a clean damp cloth. Consult your owner's manual for the proper time to replace the air filter. For liquid-cooled engines, remove any dirt and debris from the radiator cooling fins. For spark-ignition engines, clean the spark plugs or replace them.

Fuel Replace the fuel filter, drain leftover fuel and refill with fresh fuel. Use a fuel stabilizer like STA-BIL® all year to preserve fuel freshness and prevent gumming in the carburetor.

Transmission Check the cooling fans for mobility, and remove any "baked on" obstructions. Inspect nuts, bolts and linkage for snug fits. Consult your owner's manual. Replace with OEM-specified filter, and refill with OEM-specified fluid only. Check hydraulic hoses for leaks or signs of wear. Use extra caution when servicing systems that utilize separate pumps and wheel motors and high-pressure lines to avoid injury.

Lubrication Thoroughly clean all grease fittings and lubricate with SAE multi-purpose grease. Apply only the appropriate amount of grease as specified in the owner's manual, as too little or too much grease can damage fittings, seals and bearings. Use a disposable shop towel to wipe off any excess grease before use.

lawn care tip spring mower prepMowing Deck Check that all baffles and shields are installed properly. Make sure pulleys and idlers are clean, and check for any loose or noisy bearings. Inspect belts for wear or damage, and adjust deck belt tension springs as needed. On a level surface, measure the height and angle on all sides, and adjust if necessary. Consult owner's manual for proper deck angle to ensure optimal mowing quality.

Blades Sharpen the mower blades, and check for balance and levelness. Do not straighten bent blades or add weight to blade tips; bent or altered blades will affect airflow and diminish cut quality. Discard and replace with OEM-specified replacement blades.

Tires Over- or under-inflated tires can have a substantial effect on traction and quality of cut. Never inflate to the pressure embossed on the tire. Instead, consult your owner's manual for recommended tire pressure. Grasshopper has low-pressure tire gauges available.

Want a hard copy to check off items as you prepare your mower for spring? Download the full checklist to prepare your mower for spring.


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