The commercial lawn business is about as seasonal as it gets. No matter how busy the summer season may be, it will always come to an end. When it does, it’s time to put all the equipment to bed for a few months. The way you manage this task, just like your summer maintenance, makes a big difference in how things go next spring. Follow these three tips to get your equipment prepped for the offseason.
Manage the Fuel
Gasoline tanks don’t play well with cold weather. If the tank is not full, water can condense in the airspace and dilute the fuel. If there is any fuel left, it can degrade and damage engine parts.
That’s why your equipment fuel tanks should be 100% full or 100% empty for the winter. If you choose to go with full, be sure to add a fuel stabilizer so that the gas remains in good condition through the winter. Bear in mind that there is a safety hazard in having a bunch of full tanks stored indoors for months, so a better option might be to have your crew run everything down to the E before putting equipment away.
Perform Heavy Maintenance
When grass season hits, it hits hard. If maintenance hasn’t already been done, it may not get done, leaving bad plugs, oil leaks, dull blades, or other issues that will hurt your efficiency or emissions.
After your last jobs in the fall, have a mechanic give all your power equipment a thorough checkup. If there are problems, the fall is the time to find them. You’ll have a better chance of getting hard-to-find parts delivered, and repair shops are never as busy during cold weather. You’ll be able to put it up for the winter in top condition.
Treat for Corrosion Prevention
With equipment stored indoors, rust is a serious problem. Regular use during the warm, sunny mowing season helps keep most corrosion at bay when you’re working. Come winter, problems can emerge.
The good news is that most of those problems are easy to avoid. Clean all the equipment thoroughly before putting it away. Accumulated grass clippings can hold moisture against metal parts. After everything is clean, leave it outside with decks raised until it’s thoroughly dry, then coat exposed metal with machine oil. Blades and suspension parts are particularly subject to rust.
Your commercial lawn equipment is the lifeblood of your business. The less money you waste on replacement and repairs, the more money ends up at your bottom line. Good maintenance of your equipment each fall can make a big difference in how long your expensive mowing equipment lasts.