Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

MAR 2014

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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The extreme winter throughout much of the country will undoubtedly delay the green season. There is talk in some areas that the mountains of snow won't be completely gone until June. Wherever you do business, here are steps to take to get ready to roll, whenever that might be. Clean off rust by scrubbing with steel wool dipped in white vinegar. For heavy rust, a hand drill with a wire brush attachment may be required. Sharpen blades with a tool sharpening fle drawn across the edges at a 45-degree angle. Securely clamp the tool in place before sharpening. Sand down rough and splintery portions of wooden handles with fne-grit sandpaper. Repair worn-out handle grips with rubberized tape, foam tape or bicycle grips. Your clients' beds, retaining walls, pavers and more may need major attention because of the extremity of this winter. Be prepared to identify and quickly mend the damage. If you didn't add fuel system stabilizer when you stored the equipment, empty tanks of old gas since evaporation, oxidation and condensation can have made the gas go bad. Replace or clean air flters and clean air intakes. Inspect the spark plugs. Replace if they are heavily fouled. Otherwise clean them with a spray carburetor cleaner and a stiff wire brush, wiping dry with a clean rag. Make sure the gaps are set right. Before reinserting, spray penetrating, lubricating oil into the cylinder and pull the starter rope fve to six times to distribute the oil throughout the cylinder. Sharpen any blades or have them sharpened at a shop. Tighten all nuts and bolts and connections. If equipment continues to sit unused, start engines with fresh gas periodically. For any needed shop repairs, get them done sooner than later as shops tend to get busy with homeowner repairs after the season starts. 62 LC DBM I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 5 3 2 I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 4 1 4 062-063.indd 62 3/3/14 11:11 AM

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