Lawn Mower Maintenance: Best Practices for Extending Lifespan
As the mowing season reaches its peak, the last thing any landscaper or homeowner wants is downtime due to lawn mower issues. By implementing a few best practices, you can mitigate downtime and extend the lifespan of your mower- pushing off having to make the decision to purchase a new/used one. Taking good care of your equipment is key, and in this article, we will explore various methods to properly care for your mowers.
Preventative maintenance is crucial in ensuring the longevity of your mower. It’s easy for this aspect to fall through the cracks during the busy season, but ignoring it can have detrimental effects. To keep your mower in top shape, follow these tips:
Follow the Owner’s Manual
Your lawn mower’s owner’s manual is a valuable resource that provides specific parameters for maintenance. It outlines when filters, fluids, and other components should be changed or checked. Make sure to adhere to these guidelines and keep track of your service intervals. Record when parts are replaced so you have a clear understanding of their lifespan.
Conduct Regular Inspections
Before heading out to a job, it’s essential to conduct a thorough inspection of your lawn mower. Check the air filters, oil levels, blades, belts, and pulleys. Tire pressure should also be checked, as improper pressure can affect the quality of your cut. Dull mower blades can harm the health of the lawn and shorten the mower’s lifespan. Thus, it is advisable to remove, clean, and sharpen the blades once a week or every 25 hours of mowing. Ensure the blades are properly balanced to prevent vibration damage to the mower deck.
Scope Out the Lawn
While mowers are designed to handle various obstacles, it’s important to exercise caution and avoid unnecessary damage. Before starting a job, take the time to walk the property and identify potential objects that could interfere with your mowing. Here are a few tips to consider:
Small debris, such as sticks and rocks, can bend brackets and throw the deck off balance. It’s crucial to remove these obstacles before mowing. Additionally, ask the customer if there are any hidden stakes or wires that might not be immediately visible. Being mindful of these potential hazards will prevent unnecessary damage to your mower.
Avoid Mowing Damp Lawns
Mowing overly damp lawns can lead to clumping of grass clippings, which can block the blades and make the mower work harder. Clumps of grass can also impede the quality of the cut. If possible, try to schedule mowing on dry days or when the grass is not excessively damp.
Train Your Operators
The environment is not the only factor that contributes to wear and tear on your lawnmowers. Inexperienced and untrained crew members can inadvertently cause damage or fail to identify potential problems. To prevent this, invest time in training your operators:
Provide On-the-Job Training
Pair up new hires with experienced employees to provide on-the-job training. This allows them to learn the proper mowing techniques and procedures, such as loading and unloading the mower and navigating hillsides. Observe their tendencies and correct any unsafe practices. It’s essential to teach them how to maintain the lawn mower and identify signs of potential issues before allowing them to operate the mower regularly.
Emphasize the Importance of Maintenance
Educate your operators on the significance of regular mower maintenance. Teach them how to check the oil, inspect the blades, and recognize signs of wear and tear. By instilling this knowledge, they will be better equipped to identify and address problems promptly, reducing the risk of major breakdowns.
After a day of mowing, it’s essential to clean and store your lawnmowers correctly. Proper storage not only enhances the professional appearance of your equipment but also prevents damage. Here’s what you need to do:
Clean the Mower
Remove debris from the mower’s body and upper deck. Grass clippings should be cleared from the deck as they can build up and harden into gunk, requiring scraping. Regular cleaning also prevents rusting. After cleaning, ensure the mower is dry before moving on to the next step.
Store Indoors or Under Cover
Storing mowers outdoors, exposed to the elements, can lead to damage to rubber and plastic parts. Sun exposure can fade the mower’s paint, and moisture can cause rust and corrosion. To avoid these issues, store your mowers indoors or under cover when they are not in use. This will help prolong their lifespan and reduce the need for repairs.
The right software can revolutionize the maintenance of your mowers by providing a comprehensive overview of their performance and health. Through real-time tracking and monitoring, software like SingleOps can keep you informed about crucial metrics such as fuel consumption, total run time, and the timing of the last oil change. By consolidating this data and presenting it in an accessible format, the software empowers you to make informed decisions about maintenance schedules, fuel efficiency improvements, and overall operational optimization. This proactive approach not only extends the lifespan of your mowers but also maximizes their efficiency, saving you time, effort, and resources in the long run.
Taking good care of your mowers is essential for their longevity and performance. By implementing preventative maintenance, scouting the lawn for potential obstacles, training your operators, and storing your mowers properly, you can extend their lifespan and minimize downtime. Remember, a well-maintained mower is a reliable and efficient tool that will help you achieve exceptional results.
So, embrace these best practices, and let your mowers become the backbone of your landscaping operations!