Archive for August, 2010

Ethanol 101: 4 Main Problems With Ethanol Fuel (E10)

August 31, 2010 3 comments


The sale of ethanol blended fuel, commonly referred to as E-10 gas, is on the rise in the US as more states are mandating its use. Also promoting the growth of E-10 is the need to phase out the current additive MTBE which has been found to contaminate ground water supplies. E-10 gas has been in use for many years and, with smart fuel management, most of its negative issues can be resolved.  Read more…

The 4 Main Problems Caused By Ethanol fuel

Problem 1: Debris In Fuel

Gums rapidly form in the fuel tank and fuel delivery systems as ethanol fuels age. However, ethanol is also a powerful solvent that will strip away and disperse this build up back into the fuel as large, performance-robbing particles. This leads to clogged filters, injectors and carburetors.

Problem 2: Excessive Water In The Fuel And Phase Separation

Ethanol attracts moisture from the atmosphere, forming an ethanol/water solution mixed in the gasoline. E-10 fuel will naturally hold .5% water in suspension, but when water levels exceed this threshold, or when the fuel cools significantly, the water/ethanol mix drops out of suspension. This is phase separation. Excessive water in the fuel tank causes engines to run rough, stall, and can lead to internal damage to engine components. Ethanol provides a significant amount of the fuel’s octane, so when the ethanol/water solution separates and drops to the bottom of the tank, the remaining fuel is left without enough octane to properly operate the engine. Additionally, the ethanol/water solution can become partially combustible, which can lead to engine damage.

Problem 3: ETHANOL Fuels Break Down Quickly

Over a short period of time ethanol fuel begins to break down. As ethanol and other components evaporate, the fuel loses octane and becomes “stale.” This causes hard starts, pinging and engine knock, which robs your engine of power and can cause damage.

Problem 4: ETHANOL Causes Lost Power, Performance And Decreased Fuel Economy

Ethanol fuel does not produce as much energy as traditional fuel. This results in inefficient combustion, decreased performance, reduced throttle response and poor fuel economy.


There is some good news from this post, there are products that combat the issues Ethanol is causing in fuel.  There are many “fuel stabilizers” and “fuel treatment” products on the market, but one product that we use at Aztec Rental is Star Tron.

Star Tron is a fuel additive that cures and prevents ethanol issues in both gasoline and diesel engines. 

What Is Star Tron and How Does It Work?

Star Tron® is a revolutionary multifunctional fuel treatment based on naturally-occurring enzymes.  Star Tron® uses highly specialized enzymes to modify how gasoline and diesel fuel burns, resulting in more complete and uniform combustion with reduced engine emissions. This same enzyme package breaks down fuel sludge and allows water to be dispersed throughout the fuel as sub-micron sized droplets that can be eliminated as the engine operates while also cleaning the entire fuel delivery system. Contaminants are either safely burned off or filtered out, and fuel chemistry is stabilized for long-term storage. Star Tron® is not affected by and does not affect any fuel treatment that may already be in use. There is no possibility of any negative chemical interaction. Because Star Tron® is pure fuel, it cannot be over-dosed. It is formulated for use in all 2 and 4-cycle gasoline engines and in all diesel engines. [Read More]

 For more on Star Tron and how it attacks the 4 main problems with Ethanol Fuel [click here].

You can pick up a bottle of Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment here at Aztec Rental.  We use it in our equipment, recommend it to our customers who have equipment in for repair with fuel issues, and to customers calling us for advice. 

Biggest Factor In Engine Problems Are Fuel Related Issues
Don’t Shoot The Messenger; Equipment Repair and Warranty Work


Home Owners Saving Money While Bringing Back “Do-It-Yourself” Approach

August 30, 2010 8 comments

Home owners going back to a “do-it-yourself” mentality is an increasing trend over the past few years.  More and more home owners are trying to “cut back” during these economic hard times.  Taking on small projects, repairs and other around the house maintainance items themselves has been an increasingly common way to capture some extra money and relieve some stress on the monthly budget.  Projects such as extending a patio, pressure washing, carpet cleaning or snaking out a clogged plumbing line can be done much cheaper by a home owner than hiring someone else to come in to do it.  One of the biggest areas people are adopting the do-it-yourself approach again, is lawn and garden care.



A survey was recently conducted by The National Gardening Association showing this increase of home owners taking matter into their own hands.   The survey came back with about one out of five households nationwide spent more time caring for their lawns and gardens last year and 16 percent less money in total than in previous years.

The survey goes on to indicate that, while most of the 83 million households that participated in do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities last year spent about the same amount of time on their lawns and gardens, 22 percent spent more time food gardening, 19 percent spent more time flower gardening, 19 percent spent more time container gardening, 14 percent spent more time on lawn care, and 13 percent spent more time on yard and landscape maintenance. Only about 1 out of 10 households spent less time on lawn and garden activities last year.

These recently published results found in the Hard Times Lawn & Garden Survey and 2010 National Gardening Survey show how more Americans are tightening their belts while benefiting from their own lawn and garden maintenance, said Mike Metallo, President of NGA.

“It makes perfect sense that people are spending more time on do- it- yourself lawn and garden activities during this great recession because it’s a simple and direct way homeowners can maintain and improve the appearance of their property and save money by doing more for themselves,” Metallo said. “It’s clear that food gardening is a significant priority for many people because exercise, health and nutrition, along with food safety, are on the forefront of their minds, along with the dollars they spend on produce in stores.”
According to NGA’s 2010 National Gardening Survey, household participation in all types of do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities increased by 2 million households last year, to 83 million households from 81 million households the previous year. The average annual amount spent per household on all lawn and garden activities decreased by $81 from $444 to $363. And the total amount spent on all lawn and garden activities decreased by 16 percent to $30.121 billion last year from $36.060 billion the previous year.

Full Article: More people saving with do-it-yourself lawn & garden care

So, if you are looking to save that extra money and “do-it-yourself” your local rental store should be the first place you look.  Rental companies like Aztec Rental carry the equipment that will get your job done.  From lawn and garden equipment (chainsaws, lawn mowers, blowers, aerators, & sod cutters) and home project equipment (pressures washers, carpet cleaners, tile saws, & concrete mixers) to contractor equipment (generators, compressors, jackhammers & compactors) and earth moving equipment (backhoes, dozers, skid steer loaders & excavators), will be on hand and rental ready.

Basically, what every the project or job you have we make it easy, from the equipment and expertise to the proper use and advice.  So, if you are in the Greater Houston or surrounding areas come see us at Aztec Rental for all your rental equipment needs.  If Houston is not where you call home, contact your local rental company for information.

We strive on our customer service, and an important part of that is understanding what our customers want, need and what is in their best interest.  Many people do not want or need to rent equipment, as owning the equipment is more logical and beneficial for them.  If renting the equipment is not what you had in mind and would rather own the equipment yourself, great news, Aztec Rental is your source for new equipment as well.  We have the privilege of partnering with top of the line manufacturers in the outdoor power equipment, lawn equipment and construction equipment industries, to get you the “right” equipment for your needs.   If you are looking to purchase that chainsaw, trimmer, blower, walk behind lawn mower or zero turn mower you have always wanted, look no further, Aztec Rental has the experience and knowledge you are looking for in an equipment dealer.

Brands: Stihl, Echo, Ferris Mowers, Snapper Mowers, Trailers and more.

Helpful Do-It-Yourself Articles:

Lawn Aerator: How & When To Use
Spring Cleaning At It’s Easiest: Get Your Lawn In Shape
How To Refinish Your Hard Wood Floors

Categories: Aztec Rental

ECHO CS-400 Chain Saw Awarded Seal of Approval

August 25, 2010 2 comments

The Handyman Club of America gives the ECHO CS-400 two thumbs up, and gets a near perfect tester rating.

echo chain saw cs-400

The ECHO CS-400 Chain saw has received the Handyman Club of America Seal of Approval with a 100% approval rating and an overall member/tester rating of 9.2 out of 10.

ECHO continues to set the standard for chain saw performance with the CS-400. This lightweight and versatile chain saw has a 40.2 cc Power Boost Vortex™ engine for lots of cutting power and is loaded with many professional features. The CS-400 is designed for the professional tree care operator, demanding farmer or rancher, as well as the discerning homeowner. The ECHO CS-400 Chain Saw product review will be seen in the August/September issue of Handyman Magazine arriving in early August.

Full Press Release: ECHO awarded Handyman Seal of Approval for CS-400 Chain Saw

[Full line of Echo Products]
[ECHO CS-400 specs]

Categories: Echo

New Construction Starts Up 7% In July

August 23, 2010 Leave a comment

 Beginning of an up swing?

The value of new construction starts in July advanced 7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $411.2 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies.  Nonresidential building continued to see improvement after extremely depressed activity earlier in the year, and nonbuilding construction bounced back following its June slide.  Both sectors in July were lifted by the start of several massive projects.  Meanwhile, residential building lost momentum in July, as the housing recovery paused for an additional month.  For the January-July period of 2010, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis came in at $238.0 billion, down 4% compared to a year ago.

The July statistics produced a reading of 87 for the Dodge Index (2000=100), up from a revised 81 for June.  “The pace of contracting over the past year has essentially stabilized at a low level, and July showed activity moving back up towards the middle of its recent range, following June’s weak performance,” stated Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction.  “Nonresidential building seems to be leveling off after the substantial declines witnessed over the past year, and in a few cases projects that were deferred are now reaching groundbreaking.  Still, given the negatives of tight bank lending, sluggish employment, and the diminished fiscal position of states and localities, a sustained recovery for nonresidential building remains several quarters away, at least.  The public works sector continues to show generally healthy activity, supported by financing from ongoing federal programs as well as stimulus funds.  The housing sector right now is in the midst of a pause from the earlier improvement shown during the latter half of 2009 through the first quarter of 2010.  In effect, the volume of total construction starts appears to be in the process of ‘turning the corner,’ after the steep decline reported in 2009, but the turn is assuming an extended U-shaped pattern.”

Read More: Forecasts & Trends McGraw Hill Construction

Categories: Construction, News

Your Weekend Fill: Street Performers

August 20, 2010 Leave a comment
Categories: Weekend Fill

Repeal The IRS 1099 Provision of The Health Care Bill?

August 20, 2010 20 comments

ARA’s vice president for government affairs John McClelland urges you to repeal the IRS 1099 provision.

The much loved August recess is upon us here in the nation’s Capitol and — except for a brief return by the House this past Tuesday to pass yet another spending bill — members of both the House and Senate are at home until Sept. 14. While it is true that some members of Congress will take a brief vacation or participate in a “fact-finding” trip, most will be hard at work campaigning for the upcoming election. That means they actually will be looking for opportunities to see and talk to you, their constituents. While I know there are probably a lot of things on your minds that you would like to say to your senator or representative, I am going to ask you to be single-minded if and when you get an opportunity to have a face-to-face encounter with one or more of your lawmakers: talk to them about the total repeal of the IRS 1099 provision of the health care bill.

Why the IRS 1099 provision of the health care bill needs repeal.

Just in case you have forgotten, one of the provisions — Section 9006 — of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that was signed into law earlier this year requires all businesses to begin issuing IRS 1099 forms to any business that receives goods or services worth more than $600 in a given tax year. Unless this section is repealed, it is estimated that 40 million taxpaying entities will be subject to this provision, which will create an enormous burden on businesses, governments and nonprofit entities throughout the nation. The House has already seen the light on this, but the Senate, where the provision originated, is proving to be harder to convince that the 1099 reporting mandate is just plain bad and a job-killing policy that needs to be relegated to the dustbin of legislative history.

Read Full Article: View from Washington, D.C.: Take action, demand repeal of the 1099 provision

Categories: Rental Equipment

Impact Of Expiring Tax Provisions In 2011 On Small Businesses

August 17, 2010 1 comment

Small business owners could be in for what’s effectively a wave of new taxes next year. I’m not talking about taxes relating to health care reform, but to the fact that many of the tax cuts put into effect in 2001 and 2003 (some people call them the “Bush tax cuts”) are due to expire January 1, 2011.

The taxes affect investors, small business owners and individuals. Here’s a look at some of the changes:

Personal income tax rates will increase. The top income tax rate (the rate at which two-thirds of all small business profits are taxed) will go from 35 to 39.6 percent. Here is the full list of marginal rate hikes: 

  • The 10 percent bracket rises to15 percent
  • The 25 percent bracket rises to 28 percent
  • The 28 percent bracket rises to 31 percent
  • The 33 percent bracket rises to 36 percent
  • The 35 percent bracket rises to 39.6 percent

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will also affect more families—an estimated 28.5 million, or 4 million more than last year.

Read Full Article: What You Need to Know About Small Business Tax Provisions Expiring in 2011

Categories: News