Archive for the ‘Landscaping’ Category

AEM Updates Mower Safety Manual

December 6, 2010 6 comments

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has extensively updated its industrial/agricultural mower safety manual – both the English only and Spanish/English versions. Types of equipment covered include rotary, folding wing rotary, flail, boom and sickle bar mowers as well as disc mowers, disc mower conditioners and self-propelled windrowers. (The AEM “disc mower” manual is now obsolete.)

The AEM Industrial/Agricultural Mower Safety Manual was developed under the direction of the association’s Industrial/Agricultural Mower Manufacturers Council. AEM safety manuals outline common sense “do’s and don’ts” in clear language and an easy-to-follow format, and they are a convenient and cost-effective way to provide in-house safety training.

The manual covers current industry practice in machine design and construction as well as up-to-date industry safety best practices for equipment preparation, operation, maintenance and transport. Enhancements include an expanded “safe maintenance” section, with a new section discussing mower blade maintenance; expanded discussion of “mower thrown objects” and “slope operation”; and use of newer safety design features and enhanced operator protection systems.

Full Article: Green Industry Pros

Categories: Landscaping

PLANET, the Professional Landcare Network Hits 5 Year Mark

October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

PLANET the Professional Landcare Network is celebrating their 5 year anniversary.

See the timeline of the first 5 years of PLANET here.

The past 5 years have gone by quickly. PLANET has come a long way, and we could not have done it without our members!

PLANET, the Professional Landcare Network, is an international association serving lawn care professionals, landscape management contractors, design/build/installation professionals, and interior plantscapers. PLANET provides its members with a good business foundation to help them evaluate, plan, and better manage their companies. Member firms have direct access to marketing tools, industry specific business publications, updates on legislative issues, and networking opportunities that can assist them in becoming more profitable.

Congrats PLANET!

Categories: Landscaping

Propane Mower Rebates & Incentives Are Back In Texas

July 20, 2010 1 comment
For going green and purchasing propane mowers the State of Texas and Clean Cities wants to give back.

The United States is the major consumer of fossil fuels in the world. Nearly 90% of US propane supplies are produced in existing domestic facilities and remain a reliable alternative fuel option. Propane, as a fuel for commercial grade mowers will provide benefits in cost and emission reductions. Research show that propane vehicles provide a one-third (1/3) reduction in emissions and fourteen percent (14%) better fuel economy compared to gasoline. Other benefits include; no theft of fuel from the tanks; refueling ease; less equipment maintenance; no spillage; and engine longevity. 

Propane mower incentives are available to private or public fleet in the state of Texas.  Incentives will be awarded for dedicated LPG mower purchases or dedicated LPG mower conversions made beginning June 28, 2010 on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

New Dedicated LPG Mowers

  • $1000 incentives will be awarded for the purchase of a new, factory-direct LPG, zero turn, commercial mower. (Original Equipment from the Manufacturer (OEM)).
  • Ferris IS3100 Propane Mower


  • $1000 incentive will be awarded for the conversion of existing or new LPG, factory direct, zero turn commercial mowers. Mowers must have less than 200 hours of operation.

Qualifying Commercial Mowers

  • Applicants are limited to five (5) incentive awards per company.
  • Qualifying mowers must be commercial grade, walk behind, belt drive, or zero turn riders purchased from a participating “Service Dealer.”
  • Eligible mowers must be Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and/or California Air Resource Board (CARB) certified.
  • All conversion systems must be EPA/CARB certified systems.
  • Mowers purchased or converted must be operating in Texas. Texas fleets ONLY.

Links to forms and documents:
Propane Mower Incentive Guidelines
Propane Mower Incentive FAQ’s
Propane Mower Incentive Application
Propane Mower Pre-Rebate Survey

Article on propane mowers: Going Green? Ferris IS3100 Propane Mower

[Ferris IS3100 Propane Mower Specs]
[Texas Propane & Gas Association]

Categories: Ferris Mowers, Landscaping

What Is The Right Size & Model STIHL Product For You?

April 30, 2010 1 comment

Looking to buy a STIHL chainsaw, trimmer, blower or other outdoor power product and have no idea how to decide on what the right size and model is right for you?

Don’t get all bent out of shape, we are here to help!  There are a few ways to go about tackling this issue and feeling good about the product you select.

Option #1)  If you are in the greater Houston area go to either of Aztec Rental’s locations and our experienced and knowledgeable staff will help put you on the correct equipment for your needs and application.  If you are not in Houston go to your local STIHL dealer and our guess is they will have someone who knows STIHL products as well. 

*NOTE – You will not find any STIHL products in any “box stores” (ie. Home Depot & Lowes)!  Why? Great question! Check out the answer here.

Option #2) On the STIHL website they provide a great product selector tool.  All you have to do is answer a few questions about what application you want to use the product for and BOOM, it spits out a few suggestions of models and sizes that will be right for you.  Then you call up Aztec Rental or your local dealer and tell us what product you want and we will have it serviced and ready for you to pick up at your convience!

Here is the link:  STIHL Interactive Product Selectors

Now take a deep breath, relax and feel confident now that you know Aztec Rental and Stihl will put you on the right outdoor power equipment for YOU!

Categories: Landscaping, STIHL

Lawn Mower Maintainance Schedule

April 26, 2010 Leave a comment

When should i change the oil in my lawn mower? 
How often should i replace the fuel filter? 
Should i change the spark plug every 200 hrs?

All great questions!  Here is a little guide to help you keep your lawn mowers up and running. 

Some of this may vary per manufacture, but you can use this as a good guide line to keep your equipment serviced and help extend the life of your equipment.

  Maintainance Schedule          
Before Each Use
Every 25 hours
Every 50 hours
Every 100 hours
Spring and Fall
  Saftey Checks  
Check safety Interlock System
Check mower blade stopping time
Check rider brakes
Lawnmower Care            
Check mower for loose hardware
Check/ adjust PTO Clutch                                          ****  
Lubricate mower                                                   ***/****      
Check/ clean/ replace battery and cables      
Check tire pressure
Clean deck and check/ replace mower blades               ***      
Check hydraulic oil
Change hydraulic oil and filter                                      ***      
Check gearbox oil level                                              ****
Check tire wear                                           
Check belting
  Engine Care    *            
Check engine oil level
Check/ clean engine cooling fans                                 ***  
Check/ change engine air filter                                     ***  
Change engine oil and filter                                        */***
See your engine manufacturers owners manual (usually every 200-300 Hrs)
Inspect/ replace spark plugs                                           *
See your engine manufacturers owners manual (usually every 200-300 Hrs)
Check/ replace fuel filter and fuel lines                        */***
See your engine manufacturers owners manual (usually every 200-300 Hrs)
Check / clean spark arrester                                       */**
See your engine manufacturers owners manual (usually every 200-300 Hrs)
Check engine coolant level
Change engine coolant                                                  *
See your engine manufacturers owners manual (usually every 300 Hrs)
Check/ clean cooling fins and intake    
Check/ clean radiator screens
Check raditator hoses                                                  **        
  *    :  See your engine manufacturers owners manual
  **   :  If equipped.  Replaced if damaged
  ***  :  May require more frequent service depending on operating conditions
  **** :  Service after the 1st 25 hours of operation, then every 100 hours  of operation

Follow these guidelines and you will be happy with your equipments performance. 

If you are having issues that are beyond you scope, bring your equipment to Aztec Rental.  With our experience and veteran mechanics we will have your equipment up and running in no time.

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

City Of Houston To Pick Up Yard Trimmings In Compostable Bags ONLY!

March 29, 2010 8 comments

For the City of Houston April 5, 2010 is the start-up date for the collection of yard trimmings in City approved compostable bags.

** IMPORTANT **  – Home Owners and Landscapers; City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department crews will ONLY pick up bagged yard trimmings placed at the curb in City Approved Biodegradable & Compostable bags. 

These bags can be identified by a logo on the box and on the bag specifying “City Approved” and “City of Houston Biodegradable/Compostable Bag.”

No worries, you can pick these bags up with the proper logo at Aztec Rental.


Two week grace period allowed before you must follow rules, reports

To remind residents of the new rules, city workers are placing notices on plastic bags with yard waste. For the first two weeks under the new rules, the city will collect the bags on the day after the usual pickup day.

Could face $2,000 fine if you do not use proper bags.

After the grace period, the city will not collect yard waste in plastic bags. Under the ordinance, residents face penalties of up to $2,000 for putting leaves and clippings in garbage containers.

Slow start for ‘green’ yard waste bags

Categories: Landscaping, News

A Proposed Fertilizer Restrictions Bill

March 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Bill restrictions not written to squeeze landscape contractors.

A Frederick, Maryland lawmaker is seeking greater restrictions on phosphorous in lawn fertilizers. However, his proposed bill would not affect fertilizers used by licensed landscape contractors because the ban specifically targets residential properties.

How good is the idea of restrictions?

Several state agencies have raised concerns regarding the bill. The Maryland Farm Bureau reported that reducing phosphorous would make fertilizer less effective and contribute to soil erosion, as homeowners would be unable to properly care for their lawns.

Reducing phosphorous, to do or not to do?

Categories: Landscaping, News