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Regular Maintenance for Your Power Tools and Lawn Equipment

Joseph Coupal - Friday, April 27, 2012

Yard and lawn care season has begun, along with those outdoor home maintenance tasks. It is fun to break out the power tools, and regular maintenance is the key to having them run well and last long.

Start with an oil change, most power tools require an oil change every 25 hours of running time. It is best to follow the maintenance plan spelled out in your owner’s manual. The manual usually also calls for once/year engine tune ups.

Air filters need to be regularly changed as well. Think of all the dust you kick up with your leaf blower or lawn mower. To keep your equipment running smoothly, the engine needs air. Of course, if you have not started the lawn mower yet this season, your lawn mower blade probably needs sharpening.

Scheduled maintenance holds off big surprises. There is nothing worse than reaching for a power tool and having it not start. For schedule maintenance or parts for your power tool contact J&J Small Engine Clinic in North Attleboro.

Keep your Lawn Mower Running Longer and Better

Joseph Coupal - Friday, April 20, 2012

A trouble-free lawn care season begins with a lawn mower that starts easily and runs smoothly. The key to making that happen may be as simple as doing a mower tune-up this year. A tune-up is inexpensive, takes only about 30 minutes for a typical push mower and is easy.

Best of all, this annual maintenance can save hundreds of dollars in the long run because it helps avoid major, costly repairs and premature replacement of the lawn mower.

It's like preventive medicine for your equipment. For a few dollars and few minutes once a year, you can make your lawn mower last longer and run better.

Benefits of a tune-up include:

  • A lawn mower that starts quickly and runs smoothly at full power
  • Extended mower life and the potential to avoid major repairs
  • Reduced engine emissions because the engine runs cleaner
  • A small savings in the amount of gasoline used
Homeowners who have never attempted a mower tune-up can have it done at J&J Small Engine Clinic.

For the typical push mower, this is everything needed to do a tune-up: the right amount of oil, an air filter, spark plug and fuel preservative. Need parts? No problem; contact  J&J Small Engine Clinic.

Original article Wall Street Journal

The Basics of String Trimming

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, April 12, 2012

String trimming and edging, two common tasks generally linked with mowing, are not difficult tasks. But there are a lot of ways trimming can be made less efficient - from abusing the string trimmers, making them more prone to breakdowns and failure, to not carrying common repair and replacement parts.

Before landscape companies even get onto properties, owners have to figure out which lawn equipment products work best for their operations and the properties they maintain. They're faced with a lot of choices in selecting professional-quality trimmers and edgers. For example, split-shaft machines can take attachments. Is that important to the jobs they do? Do two-cycle or four-cycle units work best for their jobs? Today's gas-powered, hand-held units are quieter and more fuel-efficient. For truly quiet operation, users can now find portable and relatively powerful electric trimmers.

Edging along walkways, driveways and other hardscapes gives landscapes a finished appearance.
For trimmers, the choice ultimately depends upon the size of the properties they maintain and what they'll be trimming. Mostly grass? Tough weeds? Equipment users should have some say in the product selection, as well. Users may find some units more comfortable, more reliable or easier to service than others. Workers will perform better with equipment that they find easiest to use. Trimmers are available with boom shafts, straight shafts, curved shafts and shafts with handlebars and shoulder harnesses. Each design has unique performance characteristics, those with handlebars and shoulder harnesses are designed to reduce strain on workers' backs.

There are more differences. Trimmers come with different head types: refillable spool and fixed-line being the most common. In some models you can replace the line with a metal cutting blade for really overgrown areas.

Taking a little extra time to find the best models for your particular needs is time well spent. Test out the models at J&J Small Engine Clinic. The unit's weight should feel evenly distributed or a bit heavier toward the top handle. Are the control buttons in a handy place? Do you need a model with a protective sleeve around the shaft? It's a good idea if your guys are going to be cutting a lot of weeds or tall grass.

Turf Magazine

Keep Your Leaf Blower Running

Joseph Coupal - Friday, April 06, 2012

Your leaf blower gets a big workout in the fall, but you often do need it for spring and summer too. But because of the heavy workout it gets, they often develop problems. The problems are from basic wear of or lack of maintenance. But the most common problem is that they just won’t stay running.

First and foremost, check the fuel source. It sounds simple, but does it have gas and does that gas have the right gas/oil mix?

You have to prime the blower before you start it. The primer bulb lets new fuel into the carburetor. If you don’t get a good amount of fuel into the primer bulb after about 3 to 5 pumps or if the fuel is foamy then you are drawing in air, either from a leak in the carburetor or the fuel lines. The primer bulb will not get hard but should be full of fuel.

Do you need help getting your leaf blower to stay running? Contact J & J Small Engine Clinic.

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