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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www.landscapeirrigation.com Landscape and Irrigation October 2017 41 snow blower or plow. Utility vehicles can be equipped with blades or salt spreaders, and front mowers with brooms and snow throwers, allowing these machines to tackle snow. Your dealer can help you identify the best implement for your desired application. As with your machine, it is important to properly maintain implements to ensure longevity and smooth operation. A loader on a compact utility tractor is ideal for snow removal, as it has the ability to move large amounts of snow with which other implements may struggle. To keep your loader in good working condition, make sure to keep all fittings properly greased. As you tackle work throughout the season, make sure to monitor your loader for abnormal operation, which may require additional maintenance. If using a snow blower, it is important to ensure all parts are properly lubricated, especially the chain. If the chain is loose, make sure you replace prior to use. Additionally, if you are using a plow this winter, keep it maintained by lubricating pivot points and linkages. Inspect the cutter edge for wear and tear, and replace if needed. When maintaining your implement, be sure to refer to your owner's manual to ensure you are performing the proper maintenance. Equipment storage If you are closing up shop for the winter season, make sure to perform proper machine maintenance prior to storing your equipment. Give your equipment a good wash prior to storage, removing any debris that can lead to machine damage if left untouched. This will help to prevent rust and corrosion, and allow you to clearly see if any other parts need attention. Once clean, check your machine for any chips or scratches that need to be repaired. Give your machine a complete walk-around, checking the machine for loose or worn parts. Tighten nuts and bolts, replace filters, and check and replace belts as needed to make start-up easier when spring arrives. Additionally, perform any routine maintenance, such as oil changes, and record any work performed in a logbook so you have something to reference in the spring. Before storing, give special attention to the mower deck and blades, as they are very important parts of your machine. Check blades for dullness and corrosion, and sharpen if needed to ensure a quality cut. Additionally, replace any blades that have logged too many hours. When looking at your mower deck, monitor any wear and tear on the mower belt. It should be taut and in good condition, and free of any loose cords or missing chunks. If it is frayed or worn it should be replaced. Parts Professional landscapers can work with their local dealer to ensure their parts inventory is fully stocked and ready to handle winter maintenance. Ensure your parts storage area is well organized, and keep detailed records of what parts you are using and how many you have stocked. Your dealer can help you identify what parts you regularly use and the right amount to keep on hand to best meet your business needs. From there, the dealer can help you develop an easy restocking plan, making sure you have the parts you need and are not stranded if roads are blocked by snow. New equipment As you enter the winter months and find that you need to add to your equipment fleet, work with your dealer to identify the best machine for your intended application. Your dealer can help you navigate the selection and purchasing process, laying out all of your options to determine which purchasing method is best for your business. Equipment financing allows landscapers to spread out payments over a longer time period, allowing the opportunity to generate revenue as they pay down the balance. Look to tie in other things, such as implements or parts, to get the most value for your investment. Winter offers landscapers an opportunity to diversify their businesses by picking up a new source of revenue during a time that would usually see work slow down. To ensure your business is ready to tackle the jobs winter has to offer, it is important to maintain your equipment to keep it up and running all season long. Nick Minas is product manager for John Deere Commercial Mowing.

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