Archive

Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category

Tier 4 EPA Compliant Engines; The Who, What & When

November 12, 2010 6 comments

Engines used in virtually every piece of heavy construction equipment is changing as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Jan. 1, 2011, deadline approaches for Tier 4 Interim (Tier 4i) compliance on engines of more than 130kW (174 hp).

What does this mean for you and how will it affect your business and equipment use?  We will defer to our friends over at Rental Management who put together an article written by Jim Robinson to try to help clear the mud.

Engine manufacturers have spent the past several years developing new technologies to meet the new mandates and many have introduced Tier 4i/Stage IIIB compliant engines, a step to a final Tier 4 level requiring that engines emit 90 percent less particulate matter (PM) and 50 percent less nitrogen oxides (NOx) than Tier 3 engines.

There are two main technologies that engine manufacturers have adopted to reach Tier 4i compliance.

One of the technologies used by manufacturers is selective catalytic reduction (SCR). When an engine is adjusted for maximum efficiency, high combustion temperatures will reduce PM levels but increase NOx levels. SCR is an after-treatment system that cinjects diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), a mixture of urea — an organic compound — and water into the exhaust stream to create a chemical reaction that transforms the NOx into nitrogen and water.

Manufacturers in favor of using SCR say that because the combustion process on an SCR engine is efficient, the fuel consumption is reduced and the after-treatment system allows the engine to be very high performance. They say the simple design of the SCR system allows it to be very efficient and provide the same torque and power at the same displacement, which critics of cooled exhaust gas recirculation (CEGR) say is not possible with that technology.

The second major technology used to reach Tier 4i compliance is cooled exhaust gas recirculation (CEGR), which is a method for reducing NOx levels. A CEGR system recirculates exhaust gases, blends them with fresh air and returns the blend to the cylinder. This makes for lower combustion temperatures, which reduces NOx, but also will mean higher PM levels than those produced by a hotter burning engine. That means an after-treatment exhaust filter system is needed to lower the PM levels. This particulate filter is coated with a catalyst so that hot exhaust can burn off particulate matter, releasing carbon dioxide.

With a CEGR system the basic engine technology remains the same, there is no additive required and the system doesn’t require any change in the way the equipment is operated, but the particulate filter will require attention. “The CEGR system’s diesel particulate filter requires periodic regeneration that will vary depending on engine load. The filter offers a long life — more than 1,000 hours — but requires eventual replacement,” says Case’s Stemper.

How much can you expect equipment costs to go up or change with Tier 4 regulations? 

When the EPA developed the Tier 4 regulations, it estimated the increase would be 1 to 3 percent of the total equipment price, so the cost of a $13,000 piece of equipment would rise by $760 and the cost of a $235,000 piece would rise by $2,590. Caterpillar recently announced that prices on its equipment would increase by 2 to 6 percent next year in order to pay for the development and production of the new emissions technologies.

Full Article from RentalManagementmag.com: What Tier 4 Means To You

Advertisements
Categories: Equipment, News

Tips On Proper Outdoor Power Equipment Storage

November 5, 2010 8 comments

It is about that time of year, when you get to knock a few things off of that “honey-do” list for a couple of months. 

With your lawn going dormant during the winter months the use of  lawn mowers, trimmers, blowers and other outdoor power equipment are unlikely.  Taking the proper measures when you store your equipment gives you a much better chance of eliminating equipment issues the next time you pull them out for use.

With help from our friends over at STIHL, here are a few easy to do storage tips that will help ensure your equipment will be ready to roll.  

  1. To get the equipment ready for storage, clean it first. The air filter and the cylinder fins can be cleaned by gently brushing with an old toothbrush. Remove and examine the spark plug for excessive carbon build up. You may want to replace it once a year. Put two drops of two cycle oil into the cylinder and gently and slowly pull the starter cord to spread the oil on the inside of the cylinder. Replace the spark plug and carefully reconnect it to the ignition lead.
  2. Remove the cutting tool on your trimmer, clean out all the debris (see your Operating Manual).
  3. Examine the spark arresting screen. It is a small screen at the muffler exhaust that is usually fastened with a screw or clip. The screen must be cleaned with a wire brush or replaced with a new one.
  4. The fuel tank should be emptied of fuel mix. Start the engine and run it at idle until the engine stops. It is important that the engine is run at idle speed only, so there will be no lack of lubrication when the fuel mix dries up. Do not operate the throttle.
  5. For long term storage, a dry and, if possible, dust- and frost-free place would be ideal. You can save space if you hang the equipment from its built-in hanger.
  6. Fuel mix deteriorates and should not be kept over 30 days. If you need to dispose of fuel mix, please do so in a proper and responsible manner. (50:1 fuel mix can be used up in any gasoline engine without a catalytic converter, i.e. lawnmower, ATV or motorcycle) Remember that STIHL products use the same 50:1 fuel mix so the fuel you used for your trimmer will work in your blower or chain saw, while your trimmer is in storage.

Following these steps can help prevent this: Biggest Factors In Engine Problems Are Fuel Related Issues.

Always Remember: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

For more information and tips check out our other posts on equipment service.

Independent We Stand, The Power Of Buying Local

October 14, 2010 1 comment

Aztec Rental has joined the Independent We Stand movement!

What is Independent We Stand?

Independent We Stand is all about independently owned businesses across the country reaching out to their communities and educating their neighbors about the many benefits of “buying local.”

You can support the cause and help revive the local economy by shopping at your friends’ and neighbors’ stores. Buy their products. Eat their food. Use their services. In turn, these locally owned and operated businesses will continually pump your hard-earned dollars back into the local economy by way of taxes, payrolls and purchases.

This means more money for roads, schools, services and new jobs in your community.

Independent We Stand recognizes all socially responsible businesses, both large and small. The movement focuses on helping the little guys not just survive, but thrive…and all the while helping them to contribute to their community.

Small business owners think money spent in your community should largely stay there, not always go home with strangers who hail from heaven knows where.

These locals aren’t just “moms and pops.” They’re all about family—brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, cousins, neighbors, friends—all the people who make your community a wonderful place to live. They’re scout leaders, volunteer firemen, Little League coaches. They’re the folks who sing in the church choir, rescue animals and help feed the less fortunate.

It’s time for you to refuse to fuel this recession any longer and help get the economy back on track.

What are the benefits and importance of buying local?

Local businesses across the country now have a new champion in the form of Independent We Stand, a national movement of independent business owners educating their communities on the benefits of shopping at local stores.

“This project began as a way to inform friends and neighbors on one of the best ways to revive our economy: buy local,” said Bill Brunelle, Independent We Stand spokesperson. “Buying products and services from people who work and live in your town means more money goes back to your local area. Through taxes, payrolls, and the business owner’s own local purchases, that reinvestment stays where you live, making your own community a better place.”

Independently owned businesses provide numerous benefits to their local economies that most people might not be aware of. According to recent studies*:

The Economy

  • Small business accounts for 75% of all new jobs.
  • When you spend $100 at an independent business, $68 returns to the local community. Spend that same amount at a national chain and it drops to $43.
  • For every square foot a local firm occupies, the local economy gains $179 vs. $105 for a chain store.
  • Locally-owned businesses reinvest in the local economy at a 60% higher rate than chains and Internet retailers.
  • Small businesses employ just over half all U.S. workers.
  • Small businesses create more than half the nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Locally-owned and operated businesses create higher-paying jobs for you and your neighbors.
  • More of your tax dollars are reinvested in your community to fund local schools, hire more police officers and improve roads

Sources: U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Small Business Nation; Civic Economics – Andersonville Study of Retail Economics. Civic Economics – San Francisco Report on Retail Diversity. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Buy Local Berkeley.

The Community

Did you know independent locally owned and operated businesses…

  • Are run by your neighbors—maybe even friends or mentors? They genuinely care about the well-being of your community because it’s home to them, too.
  • Are among the first to offer their communities a helping hand? Research shows they donate to local charities at more than twice the rate of national chains.
  • Add character, quality and charm to your community, not to mention more choices? Often these smaller shops carry items that bigger stores don’t sell—usually because there’s not enough of the really good stuff to go around or the profit margin isn’t high enough for the big guys to stock.

The Environment

  • When you shop at independent locally owned and operated businesses, you are contributing to a smaller carbon footprint. Products often require less packaging and don’t travel as far.
  • Many independent locally owned and operated businesses can be found in established business districts, which mean less infrastructure, less maintenance and less wear and tear on your community

The Independent We Stand website also provides tools for businesses and consumers to further the cause. The newly launched site, IndependentWeStand.org, features a database of locally owned businesses across the country, a resource center for business owners to share news and statistics on the importance of buying local, and posters and flyers to help promote the message.

“All socially responsible businesses, big or small, help our economy remain vibrant,” said Brunelle. “Our goal with Independent We Stand, however, is to give locally owned, independent businesses a bigger voice to talk about the important contributions they make.”

Independent We Stand is funded in part by STIHL Inc., a manufacturer of outdoor power equipment that has never sold its products through mass merchants and sells through thousands of independently owned servicing dealers across the country.

stihl aztec rental

With STIHL, the #1 selling brand of handheld outdoor power equipment backing the movement, you know its strong!

Why does Stihl, one of the worlds most recognized companies only do business with independent dealers?
Read This: STIHL in “Box Stores” – Negative Ghost Rider

For more information, to pledge your support for locally owned businesses, or to register your own business in the database, visit www.independentwestand.org.  You can also follow them and join the movement on Twitter [@IndWeStand] or Facebook [/independentwestand].

We joined and so should you!

[Aztec Rental]
[Independent We Stand]
[Stihl Outdoor Power Equipment]

Categories: Aztec Rental, STIHL

Even Higher Levels of Ethanol Fuel Coming, Could Damage Your Equipment

October 13, 2010 4 comments

Your equipment might be in harm’s way with the decision of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve higher levels of ethanol in gasoline for use in 2007 and newer automobiles.  The approval is going to bring a 15% Ethanol fuel (E15) to the pumps, a 5% increase to the current Ethanol Fuel (E10) already being sold.

The use of E15 or higher ethanol blended fuels in outdoor power equipment or small engines could cause performance issues, damage the engine, and void the manufacturer’s warranty.  As we know from our posts, Equipment Repair and Warranty Work & Fuel Is Biggest Factor In Engine Problems, fuel related issues are not covered by warranty.  All equipment from lawn mowers to chainsaws and utility vehicles to generators are in the risk of damage scope.

There are problems that can occur with the use of E10 Ethanol fuel already, so the use of E15 will only enhance these issues.  We broke down the four main problems that the E10 Ethanol fuel could cause and the ways to combat it:

Ethanol 101: 4 Main Problems With Ethanol Fuel (E10)
Problem 1: Debris In Fuel
Problem 2: Excessive Water In The Fuel And Phase Separation
Problem 3: ETHANOL Fuels Break Down Quickly
Problem 4: ETHANOL Causes Lost Power, Performance And Decreased Fuel Economy

Click Here for full post on: Ethanol 101: 4 Main Problems With Ethanol Fuel (E10)

With the probability of many people having equipment issues with the use of E15 extremely high, The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) issued a consumer alert on new Ethanol fuel. [GreenIndustryPros.com]

OPEI Issues Consumer Alert on New Ethanol Fuel The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) has advised outdoor power equipment users to be aware of new fuel coming on the market with higher levels of ethanol that could harm equipment sitting in their garages, tool sheds and maintenance buildings. Over two hundred million pieces of outdoor power equipment could be at risk of product failure or voided warranty, including chainsaws, lawnmowers, utility vehicles, generators, snow throwers, trimmers, edgers, pruners, chippers, shredders and blowers.

This advisory comes after the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve higher levels of ethanol (E15 or 15% ethanol) in gasoline for use in only 2007 and newer automobiles.

Until recently, the maximum allowable limit of ethanol in gasoline was E10 or 10%. That means, all engine products in use today, with the exception of “flex-fuel” automobiles, were designed, built and warranted to run on gasoline containing no more than 10% ethanol. Use of E15 or higher ethanol blended fuels in any engine product, with the exception of a “flex-fuel” automobile, could cause performance issues, damage engines, and void the manufacturer’s warranty.

OPEI advises consumers of the following measures to protect products and prevent voided warranties:

1. Read and follow the owner’s manual. It will clearly explain what fuels can be used to ensure a properly functioning product.

2. Do not put any fuel containing more than 10% (E10) in small engine products (EPA’s decision only applies to 2007 and newer highway vehicles), unless otherwise stated.

3. Check the pump to be sure that it is dispensing E10. Some gas pumps at local gas stations may offer both E10 and E15, or have blender pumps that dispense mid-level ethanol fuels for “flex-fuel” automobiles. Higher ethanol fuel (E15) may be less expensive than regular (E10) fuel, but putting E15 into an E10 approved product could cause product failure and void its warranty.

4. Many consumers fill their vehicle gas tank and the gasoline can at the same time. Be sure that the gas can is filled only with E10 fuel.

“The Department of Energy’s (DOE) own testing has shown that putting anything other than E10 in non-road, small engines can cause performance irregularities and equipment failure,” said Kris Kiser, executive vice president at the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. “Consumers need to understand this or they could encounter performance irregularities, increased heat and exhaust temperatures, failure or unintentional clutch engagement when using outdoor lawn and garden equipment.”

OPEI supports Congressional efforts towards energy independence and the use of biofuels, including ethanol, and manufacturers can design and build future equipment to run on specific blends. However, current equipment was not designed to run on any fuel exceeding 10% ethanol.

Bottom line, stay away from the use of the 15% blended Ethanol Fuel (E15) in your small engine and outdoor power equipment, it can only bring bad news.  So, make sure to pay attention to what fuel you are putting in your equipment and fuel cans.

[Ethanol 101: 4 main problems E10 can cause]
[Don’t Shoot The Messanger: Equipment Repair & Warranty Work]
[Biggest Factor In Engine Problems Are Fuel Related Issues]
[Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)]
[GreenIndustryPros.Com]

STIHL Puts Green Behind The Orange

October 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Stihl – The Road to Green is Orange

At STIHL, we invest considerable resources in making energy-efficient products that minimize our impact on the environment. We’re committed to developing powerful, fuel-efficient outdoor power equipment while using production practices that are environmentally responsible. After all, taking care of nature is the very basis of everything we do.

Over the past several years, STIHL has made significant investments in research and development to address our environmental footprint. STIHL is dedicated to developing products that are environmentally responsible. We are proud that our product line features some of the best available technologies and some of the cleanest running outdoor power equipment available today. STIHL will continue to work toward socially responsible environmental stewardship both in operation and manufacture. We are also working to increase environmental awareness in our vendors and business partners. After all, taking care of nature is the very basis of our operation.

Stihl has put together an interactive online brochure featuring “greener” outdoor power equipment products. 

Click here to open brochure: STIHL-The Road to Green is Orange

Greener Products From Stihl

Categories: STIHL

Getting Advice From STIHL Is The Only Way To Go

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment

As a dealer, we can honestly say this isn’t much of a stretch on the truth.  We see something along these lines everyday by customers who choose not to go with STIHL or other “sales people”.

The STIHL marketing department gets two thumbs up on this one.  Great commercial!

For more thoughts on the approach of how STIHL became the #1 selling brand of outdoor power equipment check out this article: STIHL in “Box Stores” – Negative Ghost Rider

STIHL Outdoor Power Equipment

Categories: STIHL

In The Field: Mobile STIHL Office

September 3, 2010 1 comment

Stihl

Categories: In The Field, STIHL