As a landscape contractor, nothing makes me happier than those first couple of days of warm weather…especially after this past winter!!
It means that the spring rush is just around the corner and I need to make sure we are ready when the phone starts to ring!!! A few weeks back, I posted an article “Getting Ready to Get Ready”. Now its actually time to GET READY!
This posting will deal with all phases of getting my equipment ready and visiting a trade show or two! My process starts with pulling all of my equipment out from the trailer and my garage. I fill everything with fresh gas, start all the engines and let them run for at least 30 minutes. I start the engines and let them idle for the first few minutes, then gradually crank them up to full throttle. Starting a cold engine and running it full throttle right away may cause the engine block to crack or cause other serious problems. Once the engines run through the 30 minute cycle, the oil is drained and refilled with new oil and oil filters.
In my last post, I explained how I went over all of my equipment and took inventory of all the necessary replacement parts, filters and spark plugs. At that time, I ordered everything and made sure I had all the parts I needed to get all of my equipment in optimal working order. At this point, all of the oil has been changed, the oil filters, air filters, fuel filters and spark plugs have been changed. The engines are ready for another season and its time to focus on lubricating all of the other moving parts. I do the grease fitting first, then heavily lubricate the throttle cable, the safety control bar cable and any other moving parts. I prefer to use WD-40(I like the smell) but any decent quality spray lubricant will do just fine. I take my trimmer and edger shafts apart and completely coat with white lithium grease. This process reduces friction and prevents future wear and breakage.
Once my engines and all working parts are completely serviced and ready for action, I turn my attention to the blades and cutting decks. I make sure the under side of the mowing deck is completely clean and dry. At this point I thoroughly coat the underside with cooking spray. Cooking spray keeps grass clippings from sticking to the mower deck and improves cutting efficiency. There are several brands of sprays on the market specifically designed for lawn mower decks. I’ve tried them all and none work as well as the cooking spray that I buy at the dollar store! Once the deck is clean and coated, I install a sharp blade. At this point, my mowers are ready to go to work! I recommend having at least one set of spare, sharpened blades on hand.
Blowers, Chainsaws, Demolition saws, Hedge Trimmers and all my other hand tools are disassembled, cleaned and lubricated. A simple change of the air filters and spark plugs and these smaller hand tools are ready for the season.
Next I turn my attention to my hand tools such as shovels, rakes, pruners, shapers, loppers, axes and picks. I start by inspecting the handles to make sure all of these tools are safe. Once I determine that the tools are safe and usable, I use a steel wool buffer to remove rust, then thoroughly coat all metal surfaces in WD-40. One professional tip that I can offer is sharpening the tips of your shovels. I use an angle grinder and make the tool sharp enough to effectively cut but not dangerous. A clean shovel is much more efficient than a dull rusty one.
I’m almost ready to get to work at this point. After effectively and efficiently loading everything back into the trailer, I check and lubricate the axles, calibrate my spreaders and it’s off to the trade shows.
This year I will be attending one show for equipment, one show for plant materials, one show for hardscaping, lighting and irrigation and the fourth show for flowers and outdoor furniture.
As the economy shows signs of recovery, I am extremely excited about our position in this market. Lundholm Landscaping, LLC is THE CUTTING EDGE/TRENDSETTER in high end custom landscape design and construction.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and feel free to leave a comment or suggestion. I really appreciate everyone’s input! Check back soon and read my next posting which will be “Extreme Landscape Makeovers”, the makings and processes of the having the ultimate landscape!
Contact me in the following ways…
Lundholm Landscaping, P.O. Box 1066 Cape May, NJ 08204
Office 609-898-9136 Cell/Text 609-722-1814 email firstname.lastname@example.org