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View Full Version : How to maintain lawn care equiptment.


BBC.lawn.services
08-30-2011, 04:12 PM
I'm new to the lawn care scene and I'm starting a part time company. I would like to learn how to do all the maintenance on the equipment. I looked at a couple of manuals to try to figure out what is recommend... but I wanted to find out what real people, mowing real lawns do to keep there machines running.

I'm looking to do the basic stuff like oil changes, blade sharpening, etc. So what kind of schedule to you run on?(example: I change the oil every ___ hrs etc.)

Thanks in advance!

- BBC

ffemt1271
08-30-2011, 04:45 PM
generally it's fairly easy to "maintain " your equipment.

My blades get swapped daily(cutting 10 to 20 yards)
Manchines get blown off daily and i blow out the air filter with my blower also(backpack, not compressed air)
oil & FILTER changed every 50 hours
Grease unit every 50 hours.
inspect belts every 50 hours.

when it gets to the point where i can't blow debris off the unit, say 2 or 3 times a year, or after it rains and stuff sticks to them, i was them with a hose(don't use power washer.

BBC.lawn.services
08-30-2011, 05:05 PM
Thanks for the reply!

So you buy new blades every day or do you just sharpen them?

2stroked
08-30-2011, 05:20 PM
If you company is not very big, then you don't need to do that much maintenance. Chane the oil and keep the air filter clean and you should be okay for a half season ( depends on how many yrds your mowing). At the end of each season I call in a guy that does all the maintenance, leveling the deck, adjusting tire pressure, oiling everything, belts, oil change, new blades, and a couple other things to get my rider ready for next season.

BBC.lawn.services
08-30-2011, 05:31 PM
We are shooting for 25 hrs a week or so.
Oh, okay cool! How did you find him? (what is his job title?) I would like to find a guy like that to do end of season tune-up for the next year.
Thanks for the help :)

2stroked
08-30-2011, 05:36 PM
Google search riding lawn mower repair for your area. Chances are there's someone out there who does the same thing. A neighbor told me about him. He came to my house in a work van that had a riding mower lift and all sorts of tools that you would need. No matter you'll probably want to do all of those things mid season and then again during winter. It solved my riders scalping problem that it had developed from being used so often.

ed2hess
08-30-2011, 05:51 PM
Go get a part time job at a mower shop.....I spend about 10 hours a month during the winter just watching and working with repair guys.

Restrorob
08-30-2011, 07:47 PM
Well, No one has mentioned the most important thing.....


Check Engine Oil DAILY !!!


I'm on my third commercial unit with a blown engine, just because it took too much time to pull a dipstick every morning.... :hammerhead:

GlynnC
08-30-2011, 09:33 PM
Go get a part time job at a mower shop.....I spend about 10 hours a month during the winter just watching and working with repair guys.

Great suggestion--if you've never been involved in equipment maint., learning from a few guys on this forum is not enough--I'm guessing most of us learned by doing, making our share of mistakes along the way.

BBC.lawn.services
08-30-2011, 10:24 PM
One of our guys blew a engine awhile back this year.. lots of down time and ate at the profits not a good deal.... I know a little about equitment mant. helping my dad but if one of the local shops will let me hang out and learn a little I will do it! So what exactly are you greasing?

topsites
08-30-2011, 10:47 PM
My engines don't blow.
I run them on steep inclines regularly, sometimes for prolonged periods of time, certainly almost always dusty conditions.
Sometimes, the only reason I know my engine is running low on oil is because I hear the valves ticking.
I change the oil in them maybe once a year, except the truck I do that every 6,000 miles, basically when it's pretty dark but not totally black.
I check it when I think about it, so maybe once a month, the truck about every thousand miles.
I have ran so low on oil there was nothing showing on the dipstick, more than once.
I use the cheapest oil filters money can buy.

Synthetic oils Thank you!

I lied, I have lost two engines in 10 years, one was before I switched to Synthetic,
the other was when I tested synthetics to the limit.
Did I mention I run my engines hard?

BBC.lawn.services
08-30-2011, 11:47 PM
LOL! Topsites... that's one way to do it.
Well I'll probably go between the two extremes... looks like checking out the shop is going to be not happaning... I've got a full school plate going and I play basketball plus I'm getting this mowing business going on the side. :dizzy: Will see maybe the guy will let me watch when I take our mowers in for inspection and repair...

Still have the question about greacing...

Gianninilandscaping
08-31-2011, 12:33 AM
Check the oil daily, i change the oil every 3 months or 50 hours in the mowers and i always change the filter when i change the oil. my truck i change the oil every 2500 miles, i flush the trans every 100000 miles or when a trans line decides to break, change the break fluid when its real dirty ( you'll notice the stopping difference) check breaks and grease front end and u-joints every time i change the oil. i blow the equipment off every day (well i try too, sometimes i get lazy) check the belts once a week (it prevents down time from having a belt broken), sharpen blades every 10-20 lawns, change the plug(s) every month or 2 depending on how many you cut (plugs are cheap if you buy in bulk and so are oil filters and oil) and the most important thing is to keep a clean shop so it makes all this maint. quick and easy....

Tofutti
08-31-2011, 06:04 PM
So what exactly are you greasing?

... Anything that moves. Obviously anything with a grease fitting. Front casters (WB, ZTR..), Steering linkage for a tractor-type mower, wheel bearings, spindles, check all the linkage and pivot points that raise/lower the deck... If it doesn't have a grease fitting and it moves, then spray it with something (some might recommend white lithium grease, I personally use PB Blaster or Break-Away.).

larryinalabama
08-31-2011, 06:44 PM
Keep simple parts in stock, a whole lot of stuff can be fixed in the field. Such as belts pulleys or other stuff particular to a certain machine. Keep a greese gun on your truck, that willl save you a lot of repairs, anything that has a zerk tends to get dry, a wheel bearing can go out in a day if its dry.

I blow off my mower every yard at the same time I blow off the driveways, takes about 20 seconds. I also preshure wash the bottom of the deck reguralry. Keep blades sharp, you can look at them before to determine if they need sharpening.

I dont go by hours to determine oil changes. You will pull your dipstick daily if the oil is clean why change it. One pointer on your vehicles, put the correct weight oil, most modern engines require 5w-30 or 5w-40. The bearing clearences and oil holes ane extremely thght and small. Dont put 20w-50 in these engines it will substancually shorten their life.

BBC.lawn.services
08-31-2011, 07:38 PM
Thanks for all the help guys!
I'm developing a maintenance schedule for the mowers and will get all the common items in bulk as suggested.

topsites
08-31-2011, 08:54 PM
Well...
I have covered how I do oil.

Now...
Anytime a mower of mine runs out of gas...
I swap the blades and grease the zerks, check the air pre-cleaner and the oil.
On a Wb that's about every 8-10 hours.
Then I fill up the fuel.

The trick is to have a system that somehow reminds you to do it regular.
I NEVER fill up one of my Wb's without doing the above routine.
People are like you're crazy, but I'm like no, it reminds me to do the maintenance.

A lot of guys do it daily instead.
But however, whichever, some kind of REGULAR.
I used to do it daily, now I do it when it needs fuel.

That's the important thing, you need some kind of a set reminder to go over your machine some kind of regular, and religiously.
Preferably, often.

You will learn over time what things can be let go a month, or two, or a year, or two.
And which things need it all the time.
Grease, all the time.

Peace out

BBC.lawn.services
09-01-2011, 11:18 AM
Well, thanks to you guys, I got my maintenance scheadule all figured out!
:clapping:
Greased every thing today and I'm going to change oil tomorrow.

Tofutti
09-09-2011, 10:10 PM
Well...
I have covered how I do oil.

Now...
Anytime a mower of mine runs out of gas...
I swap the blades and grease the zerks, check the air pre-cleaner and the oil.
On a Wb that's about every 8-10 hours.
Then I fill up the fuel.

The trick is to have a system that somehow reminds you to do it regular.
I NEVER fill up one of my Wb's without doing the above routine.
People are like you're crazy, but I'm like no, it reminds me to do the maintenance.

A lot of guys do it daily instead.
But however, whichever, some kind of REGULAR.
I used to do it daily, now I do it when it needs fuel.

That's the important thing, you need some kind of a set reminder to go over your machine some kind of regular, and religiously.
Preferably, often.

You will learn over time what things can be let go a month, or two, or a year, or two.
And which things need it all the time.
Grease, all the time.

Peace out

TopSites,
You have a particular sense of sarcastic humor that I can totally get with. Hat's off to you, my good man.