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Share your tips and tricks.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by WHIPPLE5.7, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 958

    Some of mine are common sense but often overlooked. I run Premium fuel in my air cooled engines because they run cooler so they last longer. Make sure all grease zurts get greased often. Check and grease wheel bearings because they where, loosen, and burn off grease. In 2 cycles you can change spark plug #s to run hotter or cooler. On machines I'm not using on regular basis I loosen the belt tension and apply some belt dressing so they last longer and don't break in half when I'm using it. Keep gas cans out Sun so the gas doesn't loose its octane. Check wheels for straitness and free movement(sounds stupid, but can cause more where on equipment and you if its not right.) I have more but I'm someone else can touch on good ones as well.
  2. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 739

    You pretty much nailed it all in that sentence. The tips and tricks thread has been beaten to death about 436 times.

    In fact, if you enter "tips and tricks" in the search field, 7 pages will pop up.

    But these posts are certainly the MOST informative.

    But what the Hell.

    A great tip is to NEVER and I mean N E V E R attempt to fill and/or refill a piece of machinery with gasoline or oil whilst working on a customer(s) (especially one that you like or are fond of) lawn.
  3. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    That's a great tip there. I bet a lot of people do not think about that. For example: My helper was filling up a trimmer, he forgot to put the lid back on the trimmer, lifted the trimmer and spilled a lot of gas. Luckily, he was at the trailer over asphalt. I still don't like to spill it over the road though. I try to be very careful when fueling, but things happen.
  4. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    YES. I have seen someone filling up a wedeater and they over filled it spilled gas on the engine and it went up in flames luckly he was not burned....
    He had been using the weedeater untill it ran out of gas as it was hot.

    So now I allways fill up with weedeaters with the small vent hole on the gas can. takes a little while longer but spillage is less
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Bingo, me too!

    Here are some of mine:
    To 'get' the right length of trimmer string for a spool refill, I tie the loose end from the roll to the trailer gate latch, then walk to the front of my truck as it unrolls. Depending on your truck / trailer length the actual stopping point will vary and may involve 1-2 trials, but on my older D-250 the stopping point was the front bumper... On my newer D-2500 I have to stop at the windshield: Cut the line, blam, perfect length.

    I run synthetic oils because I can forget to check it, run it on steep inclines, and do various stupid things without seizing engines... Haven't seized one in 5 years (the first and last one seized on me ran conventional oil) and I push them to the limit too.

    Super unleaded is the trick for me, I think you pay for it at the pump or in other ways regardless, so I pay at the pump and I'm done.

    Double-platinum spark plugs last TWICE the lifetime of regular plugs due to electrode wear reduction, the Champion's RJ-12YC equivalent in 2x platinum would be the Autolite APP-5224... Once again it's pay at the store or replace more plugs.

    I buy Windex at the Dollar Store for $1 / sprayer, then when it's all used up, keep the bottle: Fill this with used motor oil (like from oil changes), it's a great lubricant for some gp crap (especially if you run synth), it's almost like wd-40 lol. I use this to lube hinges and also spray the pre-cleaners with it.

    I take a cloth that is damp with used motor oil and wipe down mower blades after sharpening, this keeps them from rusting.

    Hand-spreading mulch is a PITA but it is also the secret to getting the absolute thinnest spreads, I can cover at least 300 sq. feet with 1 cu.yd. of mulch hand spread. Thinner spreads are my secret to keeping prices competitive, so long it looks good, the trick is to cover the most area with the least amount of mulch.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Here's more, tired of paying for Windshield Washer Fluid at $1 - $2 / gallon?

    - For some time, buy $1 / gallon fluid as needed, use in car / truck but make sure to keep the empty bottles.
    - Once you have 4-6 gallon containers, you're ready (some 1-gallon milk bottles work good, too, but it has to be a hard and clear plastic with a screw-on top).

    - Buy or acquire some dish-washing detergent, cheap is good, Dollar General used to sell a 50 oz. bottle for like $1.50, Big Lots has good stuff in 24 - 32 oz. bottles for around $2 as well. Anyway, get 1 or more of those.
    - Buy several bottles of Isopropyl rubbing alcohol, a low price is imperative here, this is what drives your mix through the roof... Somedays the stupid stuff costs almost $1 or more / bottle, but I've found them for as little as 50 cents each... Of further note is pay attention to the concentrate, some are only 50% alcohol, others 70%, some 90%, etc...
    - Black or dark ink magic marker.

    Fill 1-gallon bottle 90% with water.
    Add 1 ounce of dish washing detergent (just a squirt, you don't need a lot).
    Add (depending on concentration) this amount of alcohol:
    - 50% add half the bottle. (1 rubbing alcohol container makes two gallons).
    - 70% add 1/3'rd the bottle. (1 rubbing alcohol container makes three gallons).
    - 90% add 1/4th the bottle. (1 rubbing alcohol container makes four gallons).
    - Fill rest with water, screw top on, shake a bit.
    - Write on side with marker 'windshield washer fluid' or if label is on there that is ok.

    Voila, your own Windshield Washer Fluid.
    Cost ~25-30 cents each or so.
    Helps to make these 4-6 at a time, it makes a VERY good cleaner, better than the stuff you been buying pre-mixed at the store.
  7. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 739

    That same isopropyl alcohol is a great de icer for those who plow snow as well. The company Prestone sells it as a de icer and its key ingredient is alcohol :canadaflag:
  8. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 958

    Sorry if this thread was hit on before but I'm sort new here and some others are as well so I guess its not that bad. You guys who have been in business for 20+ years have probably seen lots of this but there are still some new guys popping up and need the tips.
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Any and all pivot points of any kind on all my equipment(trimmers, mowers, trailer tongue latch, etc), anywhere there is not a grease zerk, get a weekly squirt of lubricant such as WD-40 or ZEP 45. It's amazing how much more freely things move after you've done this.
  10. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    I have gas powered hedge trimmers..... Seems like every time I use them it's wet.... So I allways spray them with WD after every use....

    there 300.00

    WD = 139.00

    No brainner

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