Mix-oil: Buy a 2.5 gallon gas can because mix for 2.5 gallons is cheaper than mix for 1 gallon. Then, go to your commercial lawncare dealer and buy a CASE of Stihl (guess you could use echo, dunno) 2.5-mix. A CASE contains 48 little canisters of mixoil already measured out for a 2.5 gallon gascan. This relieves the guess-work at the pump. A CASE costs around 70 or 80 dollars for 48 bottles, but buy them individually and you pay 1.99 each ($96 for 48). And last but not least, the first case I bought lasted 3 years. String: Figure out what thickness string you prefer. As for myself, I like the thin kind ... The thick kind wears slower but the weedeater runs higher rpms with the thin AND you get more string on the spool, thus equaling the duration. Since string is sold by weight, no matter which size you buy, you get the same .... errrr OK you get more thin string but then thin string wears faster so yes it is the same, basically. For my weed-eater there really are only two thicknesses, and I forget the exact numbers but it's 0.80 and 0.85 or maybe it's .85 and .90 whatever: The thin and the thick. To figure out which kind you like best, buy a small roll of each and run that through. Once you know which kind you prefer, buy the BIG nasty spool of your preferred thickness as this lasts forever and is the cheapest per foot. I also learned to practice running the string razor-close to the surface without touching it, as this helps string last longer especially with driveways. On that note, aggregate driveways and walkways eat string like mad so it really pays to learn to skim the surface. On a separate but similar, if I can avoid parking in the customer's driveway, I do so because it never fails some oil drips on the driveway from the truck, it is best to park on the street anytime you can do so. Far as the trailer-gate, LOL, the good news is if you leave it down, you will likely know it right away. Far as I'm concerned, never be in too much of a hurry and no harm done, it's just hella embarrassing. Beware of setting down equipment on the tongue of the trailer, that is how I ran over my backpack blower. By the way, Shoo-goop fixed a large crack and when the thieves came around last winter, they didn't take it and they didn't take the weedeater, either: If your equipment looks new, please be careful where you leave it. If it's all f*ked up, that could be good Some guys talk all the time about full-throttle being the only throttle. To each their own, I run my stuff at 50-90 percent throttle which saves fuel, makes less noise and doesn't sound like some formula-I tearing up the yard. In addition, it appears to extend useful life on 2-cyclers far beyond government definition (and government definition of useful ... well, nevermind). On a 172 - 200mph blower, idle speed is enough wind for me to blow small debris left on paved surfaces from grass cutting - If you cut with side-discharge and no bag, run around the outside with the side-discharge facing IN. Make 2, maybe 3 big loops, then start circling the other way to blow the clippings back OUT. This helps distribute clippings evenly but also you keep yourself from blowing a TON of clippings onto paved surfaces you have to clean later. Man I gotta go, they're gonna eat me for talking endlessly, bb and gl!