Properly storing summertime maintenance equipment can be crucially important to prolong the life of the tool.
Many hand held tools such as weed trimmers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, etc. require gasoline that has been mixed with 2 cycle engine oil.
It is very important to remove all the fuel from the engine. We often store our summer motorized tools in cold storage during the winter months. Freezing temperatures can cause moisture build up, which can lead to mechanical issues in the spring when you begin to use the tool once again. Before freezing temperatures begin, simply poor the fuel back into your fuel container or run the equipment until empty.
Lawn mowers should be stored without fuel as well. However, lawn tractors should be stored with a small amount of stabilized gasoline left in the fuel tank. Then, prior to running or starting up in the spring, top off with fresh or newly purchased fuel.
Never store gasoline from season to season. The risk of moisture build up still exists, even when stored at warmer indoor temperatures. If your lawn tractor has an electric ignition, removing the battery and storing at room temperature will help reduce discharge and compromising the battery’s ability to hold or maintain a sufficient charge. Placing the battery on an approved trickle charger periodically throughout the winter can help maximize your battery’s life as well.
Now that you’ve properly stored your summer equipment, it’s time to get the winter tools ready for use.
The most common mistake people make is using fuel from the previous winter season for their snow blower or thrower. Again, starting out with fresh or new fuel is very important to help reduce mechanical issues from occurring. Replacing the engines spark plug can also provide better fuel efficiency and performance. Never store your machine outside in the elements. This can accelerate moisture build up in the fuel. Storing inside a garage or shed should reduce this risk.
Finally, a great safety tip when using your machine this winter. Should it become clogged with snow or ice, shut off the machine and dislodge the excessive snow/ice with a broom handle or the supplied scoop stick. Never use your hands or feet to dislodge the debris. The auger could still be under tension and once the debris is cleared, the auger may shift and cause severe injury.
Snow plows should be properly installed to the specifications of the manufacturer and hydraulic hoses checked for cracks, splits, and leaks. If hydraulic fluid is low, refill properly with a suggested grade of new fluid.
These are just some of the suggested ways to maintain your equipment. For more details, information, and ways to keep your small engine tools and equipment running smooth in the summer and winter, contact the experts at Fisher and Father, Inc. at (814) 677-6416 or stop in to see them at their retail location in Cranberry, PA across from Sears parking lot at the Cranberry Mall.
And if you want information on how to properly insure your equipment, call Barr’s Insurance at 888.813.7500 or visit our website at www.barrsinsurance.com
Rod Fee, Barr’s Insurance Account Executive