Landscape & Irrigation

October 2017

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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40 October 2017 Landscape and Irrigation EQUIPMENT AND FLEET MANAGEMENT BY NICK MINAS A s the weather transitions from fall to winter, professional l a n d s c a p e r s a re b e g i n n i n g to p re p a re f o r co l d e r temperatures. While some landscapers are storing equipment for the season, others are seizing the opportunity by diversifying their businesses to include snow prep and removal. When faced with winter weather, it is important for professional landscapers to pay even closer attention to their machines, performing the appropriate maintenance with regard to proper storage or handling tough winter jobs. When tackling winter work, there are several equipment options for landscapers. For snow removal, consider a front mower, compact utility tractor or utility vehicle, all of which can be equipped with a cab to protect the operator from the elements, and, using implements, can handle a variety of winter jobs, including snow removal and preparation. Snow blowers, snow throwers, blades and brooms are ideal for efficiently removing snow, and can be easily attached and detached. Utility vehicles can be equipped with bed sprayers, enabling the operator to efficiently spray deicer. Routine maintenance As with any machine, routine maintenance is crucial to keeping it up and running. Remember to perform all regularly scheduled maintenance as outlined in your owner's manual, which includes oil changes and checking fluid levels. There are certain services you should perform during the winter season that will help your machines power through the winter chill. When operating in the winter, make sure you are properly lubricating all grease fittings on your machines to protect against moisture and corrosion. Additionally, keep an eye on fluid levels, such as antifreeze, to ensure the health of your machine. When adding any fluids, always reference your operator's manual. Be mindful to check the washer fluids of your machine during the winter months, referencing your operator's manual to ensure you are using the appropriate fluid to limit the risk of freezing. With all machines, pay attention to tires, as cold weather can drastically impact tire inflation. Before running machines, check tire pressure and add additional air if needed. When dealing with freezing temperatures, take extra care of the transmission and engine, which can be negatively impacted by cold weather. Reference your owner's manual and take the appropriate steps to warm up your engine before starting your workday. If your engine is in the cold over night, you may consider using an engine block heater, which will help get your engine up and running in the morning. Implements Implements can transform a machine into a winter workhorse. If using a compact utility tractor, consider implements such as a loader, Successful Snow Season Strategies Preparing your equipment, and your business, for winter ALL PHOTOS PROVIDED BY JOHN DEERE

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