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View Full Version : How to keep machines looking new


Liquidfast
01-07-2007, 10:07 AM
I know it's unavoidable but is there ANY way to keep them looking newer longer?

I notice that after only one season, they turn rusty and beat up...I was thinking of applying some sort of clear film....anyone tried it?

DOLMARatOS
01-07-2007, 10:11 AM
We use Fluid Film on just about everything and it looks better and lasts longer than wax. Spray it on or wipe it on. Plastic, metal, painted surfaces, anything.

Also. I had to re-make a plow-mount bracket this winter...all good an wonderful but I forgot to paint it and didn't notice till it was all installed.

I sprayed it with fluid film. No rust at all yet and this thing has been through salt slush like you wouldn't believe!

my $0.02

Liquidfast
01-07-2007, 10:40 AM
Ya know, Ive seen the advertisement for fluid film a zillion times and not once did I click on it cuz I didn't know what it was.....mAybe they should advertise it as: Fluid film, keep it looking newer, longer.

davidcalhoun
01-07-2007, 11:41 AM
The best way to keep machines looking newer longer is to never let anyone else drive/use them.

One reason why commercial machines are built so heavy is because employees run them hard. You know what an employee says when he runs into a post or stump? "Oops"

topsites
01-07-2007, 11:46 AM
I use tarps a lot in my business...
Generally, I buy either the 6x8 or the 8x10 sizes, Cordura or Dernier at Northern.
They're not cheap, but they're tough and easy to deal with.
I use them to haul piles of clippings, leaves, brush, whatever...

After a good season's use, the tarp generally develops weaknesses (the material is thinner and gets some small holes in it).
So over the years, I've built up a fair amount of used tarps (I dunno, 1 or 2 a year, over 4-5 years, I think I have about 6-8 of these things now).

These used tarps I then use to keep my equipment covered most anytime it sits.
Also, the 8x10 that I keep in the truck for work serves a secondary purpose as I spread it out over top of all my stuff in the bed, covers everything up and it helps a LOT!

Last but not least, proper care and careful operation, I agree that the owner keeps stuff looking newer about twice as long...

sildoc
01-07-2007, 01:07 PM
I just don't know. This is where I come in to the dilemma of wasted time. Yes I perform a religious maintenance program and yes I spray off the mowers when they need it but to keep them looking show room is ridiculous. They are a tool and proper maintenance is needed but I don't go and paint a shovel after I use it to dig a hole. I have better things to do.

J&R Landscaping
01-07-2007, 01:15 PM
I keep my machine clean and just do my best to maintain it and not run it into posts, fences, mailboxes etc. I also keep my equipment inside in my garage or storage area when they are not being used. I don't let my equipment sit out in the weather.

lawnspecialties
01-07-2007, 01:30 PM
Ya know, Ive seen the advertisement for fluid film a zillion times and not once did I click on it cuz I didn't know what it was.....mAybe they should advertise it as: Fluid film, keep it looking newer, longer.

After winterizing my aerator and bed edger, they both got a nice Fluid Film bath. They shine better than new and I know the rust will stay away.

nobagger
01-07-2007, 01:49 PM
In the winter we use Fluid Film on everything (deck, wheels, handle bars etc) in the summer we spray everything down with silicone after we wash the stuff down, that keeps everything from rusting. Just spraying everything down and drying at least once a week helps a great deal.

Jay's Lawncare
01-07-2007, 02:34 PM
I am going to have to give this fluid film a try

ed2hess
01-07-2007, 02:36 PM
I just don't know. This is where I come in to the dilemma of wasted time. Yes I perform a religious maintenance program and yes I spray off the mowers when they need it but to keep them looking show room is ridiculous. They are a tool and proper maintenance is needed but I don't go and paint a shovel after I use it to dig a hole. I have better things to do.

I agree with you on this point I think it would be lot better to spend time on learning how to change a hydro belt or grease the machine than polish it.

Liquidfast
01-07-2007, 02:38 PM
I just don't know. This is where I come in to the dilemma of wasted time. Yes I perform a religious maintenance program and yes I spray off the mowers when they need it but to keep them looking show room is ridiculous. They are a tool and proper maintenance is needed but I don't go and paint a shovel after I use it to dig a hole. I have better things to do.

Do you ever wash and wax your truck? Clean the windows in the either? No one said showroom condition...only looking newer longer. If you consider a neat appearance a waste of time....it might not be too long b4 you have better things to do with your time....:)

Mic_bug
01-07-2007, 03:03 PM
keep em clean (power washer) and wax job at least twice a year...
and fore most cover them when not using.

robbo521
01-07-2007, 03:33 PM
learning how to change a hydro belt or grease the machine,cant learn this unless it needs it,or you may have done it already!

JDWalkbehind
01-07-2007, 03:40 PM
where can you get fluid film?

Josh.S
01-07-2007, 04:01 PM
Paint your mower deck and stuff every winter, and apply fluidfilm or some type of oil on them.

Keep them indoors or tarped as much as possible.

Don't wreck into stuff (easier said then done mowing at 13mph all day)

where can you get fluid film?

www.mowpart.com

beedee
01-07-2007, 04:19 PM
why do you want to keep it looking new? keep it in good working condition yes but keeping it new invites someone to steal it!! I mean heck if you going to steal some equipment find some that looks new.. I lost some so now I now make my equipment look a bit run down just so it won't invite undue interest...

Jpocket
01-07-2007, 05:24 PM
I just don't know. This is where I come in to the dilemma of wasted time. Yes I perform a religious maintenance program and yes I spray off the mowers when they need it but to keep them looking show room is ridiculous. They are a tool and proper maintenance is needed but I don't go and paint a shovel after I use it to dig a hole. I have better things to do.

Pretty much..the only thing I can telll you is to keep them in a garge/shed, and hose them down a few time a week.

sildoc
01-07-2007, 06:13 PM
Pretty much..the only thing I can telll you is to keep them in a garge/shed, and hose them down a few time a week.
Mow year round here and always have the equipt on trailer unless I am doing maintenance. I hose all my equipt down when it needs it and power wash on occasion. I can spend my time making money rather than giving my mowers a wax job. We have very little rust that happens here, no salt on roads.

sildoc
01-07-2007, 06:16 PM
Do you ever wash and wax your truck? Clean the windows in the either? No one said showroom condition...only looking newer longer. If you consider a neat appearance a waste of time....it might not be too long b4 you have better things to do with your time....:)
Truck gets washed when it gets an oil change and hand waxed once a year. No need to wash a truck that is suppose to be working. It is not in any way grungy just a color that doesn't show all the dirt. This is why I won't buy a black truck even for a personal truck.
Neat apperance is always considered but where I live they would rather see you with equiptment that has been used rather than shiny new stuff.

lifetree
01-07-2007, 06:28 PM
I agree with Mow Right above ... in addition, I have used a product called OSPHO, it is a rust rexidizing agent ... it literally makes the rust turn back into metal ... and then when that happens i simply re-paint the portion of th machine that was affected.

wowmowwow
01-07-2007, 07:47 PM
yah this yr felt great with a new truck and big mower and a new trailor. i keep the truck very clean inside and out. i pressure washed my mowers and plugger, hand washed, pressure washed again, then waxed. and i think the effort of the finished product is well worth the time. especially when the mower and plugger are red.

mike lane lawn care
01-07-2007, 08:42 PM
i wash and wax them regularly. i try and keep them looking as cloase to mercedes-benz showroom condition as i can. I use a power buffer and better wax than i use on my truck. But it doesn't stop there, the machines are cleaned internaly, all grime is removed and the machine is maintained far better than the manual says to do. It's nice to see the machines sparkling in the summer sunlight while going through town, makes it more appealing to customers i think.

chuck bow
01-07-2007, 09:59 PM
This is what a wash does , all the machines ect one have 1200 plus hrs on them with one at 1700 hrs http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p164/rainboturf/003_3.jpg

Liquidfast
01-08-2007, 01:07 AM
This is what a wash does , all the machines ect one have 1200 plus hrs on them with one at 1700 hrs http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p164/rainboturf/003_3.jpg

I have 2 machines with 300 hours on them and they look 7 years older...I repaint, wax etc but I think the employees have a hand in aging them :laugh:

Ill just send them on the cubs from home depot and leave the commercial equip with myself and partner.

Sir mowsalot
01-08-2007, 01:03 PM
I clean my stuff every now and then, but only when im in the mood. Maybe i should clean more often but i honestly dont care a whole lot about it. When i do clean my z, i use that no touch tire spray and spray around the engine and hoses cause it makes everything look all brand new, and it is so easy to do, you just spray.

However, if your taking your machine in for service and you can wash it and clean it first i would do it, becuase it is human nature to be more thorough and careful when working on something that is all cleaned up, than something that looks like it just got done mud bogging. That is what my dealer even told me.

Total.Lawn.Care
01-08-2007, 01:23 PM
I usually blow my mowers off at the end of the day when re-loading from the last stop. Wash them once or twice a month, and I have JD Green Touch up paint for the scratches on the side of the deck and a few other spots that end up getting scratched here and there. I plan on keeping my stuff looking good and as new as possible (within reason) because I care about my equipement and the image my company projects. If I have nice, clean, well maintained equipment, that implies that I will do a good job and the customer will have a nice, clean, well maintained lawn.

Mr. Vern
01-08-2007, 01:24 PM
why do you want to keep it looking new? keep it in good working condition yes but keeping it new invites someone to steal it!! I mean heck if you going to steal some equipment find some that looks new.. I lost some so now I now make my equipment look a bit run down just so it won't invite undue interest...

That's funny! A bit Draconian don't you think. I suppose you would also recommend marrying the ugliest woman you can find - so no one steals her away of course.:laugh:

Look at Chuck Bow's equipment. You have to look hard to see which one's are the oldest ones. Equipment that looks like that gives customers more confidence, employees more sense of pride and a feeling that the owner cares about the details. Bottom line is it makes management easier and more efficient. When equipment looks like that it tells the employees that the standard is high and it's obvious if they aren't meeting it.

Remember that we are in the landscaping industry and people are spending their hard earned money for a product that is almost completely "appearance" oriented. Appearances are critical in our industry - unless you want to compete on price alone.

My hat is off to you Chuck Bow!

chuck bow
01-08-2007, 02:08 PM
Thanks iam quite proud of what i have . I have worked very very hard to aquire this equipment and with the cost of equipment these days YOU HAVE TO try to keep it nice. The last pic of the Scag walkbehind(swzu ultimate) , that machine has 1600 hrs on it and its a 2002 model year .

2menandamower
01-08-2007, 02:24 PM
I usually get caught in the rain at least once per week so that is a wash job for the equip. and the truck. It just takes a while for it to dry,,,,, Just Kidding....

saw man
01-08-2007, 02:44 PM
Blow them off with the blower everyday! That grass sits there and it obviously wet, and eats away at the pait and what ever else and then rusts or corodes it.

It doesnt take much to keep them clean!

RICHIE K
01-09-2007, 06:22 AM
We wax all our eq.

Dano50
01-09-2007, 08:34 AM
Fluid Film (http://www.eurekafluidfilm.com)will not only provide long lasting protection from corrosion but it works as a wax and will really bring back the shine if the paint is getting oxidized.

Prestige-Lawncare
01-09-2007, 09:05 AM
That's funny! A bit Draconian don't you think. I suppose you would also recommend marrying the ugliest woman you can find - so no one steals her away of course.:laugh:

Look at Chuck Bow's equipment. You have to look hard to see which one's are the oldest ones. Equipment that looks like that gives customers more confidence, employees more sense of pride and a feeling that the owner cares about the details. Bottom line is it makes management easier and more efficient. When equipment looks like that it tells the employees that the standard is high and it's obvious if they aren't meeting it.

Remember that we are in the landscaping industry and people are spending their hard earned money for a product that is almost completely "appearance" oriented. Appearances are critical in our industry - unless you want to compete on price alone.

My hat is off to you Chuck Bow!

Good post! I always say that we sell image!
.

fiveoboy01
01-09-2007, 10:27 AM
Fluid Film (http://www.eurekafluidfilm.com)will not only provide long lasting protection from corrosion but it works as a wax and will really bring back the shine if the paint is getting oxidized.


Geez Dan, when I read the title of this thread, I expected to see a response from you within the first 5 posts:)

I generally pressure wash my stuff once a week or so. I use fluid film or zep 45 to protect and lubricate.

I like my equipment to look new if possible.

jkingrph
01-09-2007, 01:02 PM
I agree with Mow Right above ... in addition, I have used a product called OSPHO, it is a rust rexidizing agent ... it literally makes the rust turn back into metal ... and then when that happens i simply re-paint the portion of th machine that was affected.

Yeah, That OSPHO is a great product. Has phosphates and chromates, and converts rust to compounds that are difficult to rust, also is a great primer for steel.

Premo Services
01-09-2007, 03:15 PM
Yeah, That OSPHO is a great product. Has phosphates and chromates, and converts rust to compounds that are difficult to rust, also is a great primer for steel.


Where do you get this stuff at:dizzy: :dizzy:
Is there a web site

jkingrph
01-09-2007, 03:21 PM
Where do you get this stuff at:dizzy: :dizzy:
Is there a web site

Get mine at a local hardware store, might try paint stores.

lifetree
01-09-2007, 08:06 PM
Yes, you can get OSPHO at specialty paint stores. For the ones who said they pressure wash their mowers, frankly, that is the worst thing you could do. The pressure is so high on those things that the water gets into the spindles and will cause them to rsut and corrode ... I would advise re-thinking whether to pressure wash a commercial ZTR or WB.

chuck bow
01-09-2007, 10:35 PM
If your going to pressure wash the machine let it run and after your done let the mower deck run a while to get water out of spindle and bearings seems to work on this end

sildoc
01-09-2007, 11:13 PM
If your going to pressure wash the machine let it run and after your done let the mower deck run a while to get water out of spindle and bearings seems to work on this end

I don't pressure wash around the spindle area. I blow that with an air compressor. After a good rain or squirt I always shoot some greese where I can.

Dano50
01-10-2007, 09:01 AM
Geez Dan, when I read the title of this thread, I expected to see a response from you within the first 5 posts:)

I generally pressure wash my stuff once a week or so. I use fluid film or zep 45 to protect and lubricate.

I like my equipment to look new if possible.

Okay, okay. I've been on a run of tradeshows but I'm back. I won't let another post slip by. :laugh:

Stillwater
01-14-2007, 12:50 AM
Yes their is a way to keep them new, don't use them!

Grits
01-14-2007, 01:33 AM
I know it's unavoidable but is there ANY way to keep them looking newer longer?

I notice that after only one season, they turn rusty and beat up...I was thinking of applying some sort of clear film....anyone tried it?

I just thought of this. I have seen this clear sticker like stuff used to put on rocker panels of trucks and other vehicles. Maybe put that on parts of the deck to help protect it from scuffs. i don't know how well it would hold up, but it is worth a try.