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Posts Tagged ‘outdoor power equipment’

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.

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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

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.

You Can: “DO-IT-YOURSELF”

 

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

STIHL Named #1 Selling Brand In America

June 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Independent research has shown that STIHL is the most popular handheld outdoor power equipment choice by consumers and professionals from coast to coast.

Our network of independent Dealers provide dependable, versatile, reliable equipment, and serve as a knowledgeable resource for outdoor power equipment. From grass trimmers and leaf blowers to pole pruners and chain saws, we can match you with the right tool, and hand it to you fully assembled, fueled and ready to run.

CONGRATULATIONS to STIHL, Aztec Rental is proud to be one of your dealers!

Get the #1 selling brand of handheld outdoor power equipment in America at Aztec Rental.

Categories: STIHL