Category Archives: Equipment

An Ounce of Prevention: Seasonal considerations

Outdoor power equipment should get special attention at the end of each season, including changing the oil and removing dirt and debris. Photo courtesy Kohler Engines

By Scott Mack

All outdoor power equipment should get some special attention at the end of each season. An oil change must be performed to ensure clean oil is coating the engine while it is being stored. Many turf professionals do not realize that part of the byproduct of engine combustion includes acid and water. Adding 29.6 mL (1 oz) of fresh oil to each cylinder and rotating the engine are recommended to help protect the cast iron lining against water condensation and its corrosive properties.

Any loose clippings and dirt should also be removed from equipment at the end of each season. Most dirt can easily be removed with soap and water, but a wire brush may be helpful; a putty knife can even be used to carefully scrape away ground-in debris from the underside of equipment. It is not uncommon for rodents to nest in dirty machines while in storage, so turf professionals should not make it easy for them.

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An Ounce of Prevention: Overlooked maintenance

When caring for turf equipment, it is important to make regular, informal inspections. Photo courtesy Kohler Engines

By Scott Mack

When it comes to caring for turf equipment, there are several basic procedures that tend to get overlooked. One of these is the importance of regular, informal equipment inspections. At the end of each day, it is a good idea to simply take a walk around each piece of machinery to look for anything out of the ordinary, and to examine the tires, fuel cap, and external cables. If anything appears to be loose or out of place, the issue should be fixed immediately. Additionally, turf professionals should be sure to look for any significant buildup of dirt or debris on the engine, especially near the air intake screen, radiator, or cooling areas. Keeping these parts clean is simple, but incredibly important to overall engine performance.

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An Ounce of Prevention

Photo courtesy Kohler Engines

By Scott Mack

Turf professionals understand the importance of maintaining the engines in their lawn mowers and other outdoor power equipment. After all, it could be argued no other function affects turf management operation as much as proper engine care. Conducting regular engine maintenance not only helps extend the equipment’s life over the long term, but it also helps ensure optimal performance on a daily basis. The immortal words of Benjamin Franklin certainly ring true in this instance—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Or, to use more modern language, a little extra effort now can translate to big savings down the road.

Turf professionals looking to stay on top of engine care must follow the maintenance schedules provided by equipment manufacturers. These documents outline the frequency of care procedures for specific engine models, taking guesswork out of maintenance scheduling. Of course, most engine manufacturers now make this information readily available online for quick and easy access. This is especially beneficial for those using older equipment or anyone who happens to misplace an owner’s manual.

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Well-equipped for the Job

Photo courtesy Dave MacIntyre

Over the past 23 years, Dave MacIntyre has been an equipment technician at a cemetery, a car dealership, and three golf courses. Honoured with the first annual Equipment Technician of the Year Award in 2011 from the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association (CGSA), he says he loves his job at B.C.’s Seymour Golf and Country Club—except for the early mornings.

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A Closer Look at Frequency-of-Clip: Making mower adjustments

An operator checks the frequency-of-clip (FOC) setting on his mower during the 2012 Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Championship of Canada held at Country Hills Golf Club in Calgary. Photo © Scott MacArthur

By Adam C. Slick

Traditionally, the only way to change frequency-of-clip was to change reel blade count and/or alter mow speed. To help superintendents increase frequency-of-clip (FOC) quickly and easily, equipment manufacturers have recently added blades to standard reels, with some manufacturers adding 15- and 14-blade reels to their lineup.

In addition to changing blade count and mow speed, all mowers offer some level of FOC control, most using gears and pulleys.

Some manufacturers have taken FOC controls one step further. For example, on some mowers, superintendents can adjust the FOC on a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen in a matter of seconds. Since some reels are driven from individual motors separate from the tractor, the FOC remains constant, even if the speed of the mower changes.

In the end, frequency-of-clip is another equipment setting superintendents can adjust to adapt mowers to course conditions. If you have not experimented with FOC on your equipment, it is definitely worth exploring. A little adjustment here and there can make a big difference on your turf.

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