Snowblowing Tips

getting your snowblower ready for winterLooking for ways to make snowblowing less of a chore? Wish you didn’t have so many problems with clogs? These tips will help you use your snowblower more effectively, so you can spend less time outside clearing your driveway and more time indoors staying warm.

Inspect Your Snowblower

While your owner’s manual will tell you what you need to do to get your snowblower out of storage, there are a couple more things you should check before you use your equipment:

– Remove the shear pins and make sure the auger moves independently of the axle. If these parts rusted together during storage, a jam may bend the axle instead of breaking the pins.

– Check the engine manual for oil recommendations based on temperature. You may need to use a lightweight or synthetic oil to keep the engine lubricated when temperatures are below freezing.

Prepare the Area Before Your First Snow

Chains, rocks, toys, and other obstacles can hide in the snow, causing serious damage. Add some snow, and these objects become invisible. Clearing the area now will prevent breakdowns in the future.

Thick snow will obscure boundaries between turf and pavement. Placing tall reflectors along the edges of driveways and sidewalks will help you keep your machine on the asphalt.

Dress for Cold Weather

Reduce skin exposure as much as possible. Cuffed coats, long gloves, and balaclavas all help your neck and wrists. Dress in layers instead of depending on heavy clothing items. This lets you remove clothing as you warm up, preventing sweat and condensation that can freeze.

If you’re working on snow, you’ll probably need to walk over some ice. Cleats will help your shoes grip slick surfaces, while ankle-high boots will keep your ankle from twisting if you start to slip.

Consider getting a snow cab. It may be little more than a plastic bubble, but it’s effective at deflecting wind. This can have the same effect on your body as increasing the temperature by 15-20 degrees.

Keep the Fuel Fresh

It may be a few days or a few months before you need your snowblower again. This makes it easy to forget about fuel, letting it go stale and clog the fuel system.

Always add a fuel stabilizer when purchasing gas for your snowblower. This will extend the life of the fuel for up to three months. If the fuel is still in the gas tank after three months, drain it out and replace it with new fuel.

Let the Engine Warm Up

Carburetor-equipped engines need to be warm to use the right air/fuel mixture to produce maximum power, and that can take a few minutes in cold weather. Don’t start clearing snow until the engine idles smoothly with the choke off.

Look for Objects that May Clog Your Machine

While you’re waiting on the engine, check the area for loose items, particularly newspapers. They can easily jam your snowblower’s auger if you run over them.

Adjust for Snow Density

If you aren’t getting enough throwing distance, change how you’re picking up the snow. Increase the engine speed, move forward more slowly, and add more overlap to your passes.

Stay Safe When Fixing Clogs

Of the 6,000 or so snowblower-related injuries that happen each year in America, nearly all of them involve an operator trying to clear a jammed impeller.

Start by shutting off the engine and letting the augers come to a complete stop. Use your blower’s clear out tool to remove the clog. If it didn’t come with one, use a shovel or a broom handle to break up the snow. Never use your hands. Auger blades are sharp, putting you at risk of a cut, even if the machine isn’t running.

You can prevent clogs by keeping the inside of the auger housing and chute waxed. Snowblower-specific waxes are available, or you can use synthetic car wax.

Need to Refuel? Take a Break!

Trying to pour gas next to a hot engine is a good way to start a fire. Instead, you should go inside and warm up for a few minutes while your engine cools down.

After refueling, move your snowblower a few feet away before starting. This way you won’t ignite the vapors coming off of the gas tank.

Keep Spare Shear Pins and Belts On Hand

Shear pins and belts are sacrificial parts. If you get a major jam, these parts will break, protecting expensive components from being damaged. Have a few spares on hand, so you make immediate repairs and get back to work.

When you need parts or service for your snowblower, visit Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We have a large parts warehouse, so we probably have what you need in stock. Looking for a new snowblower? We carry several major brands of machines and attachments, including Troy-Bilt, Honda, Woods, and Multi-One. We also ship parts and accessories for these brands and more across the U.S. and Canada. To order, visit us online at www.shankslawn.com.

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Woods Snowblower Attachments

woods snowblower attachmentsDo you need to move a lot of snow? Do you have a tractor? Instead of struggling with a small, single-purpose machine, go with an attachment from Woods. They make two-stage snowblowers that work with tractors with as little as 15 horsepower, and their biggest models can clear snow over three feet deep. Which one is right for you?

What Do You Get with a Woods Snow Thrower Attachment?

Most tractor attachments are single-stage, using one auger to pick up snow and push it up through the chute. Woods adds a fan that moves snow through the chute, so the auger only needs to pick up and chop snow. The result is better performance per horsepower. Their design also positions the gearbox behind the housing, increasing auger coverage and reducing clogs. Reinforced steel side plates support the augers and protect the attachment against impacts.

All snowthrowers are ASABE quick hitch compatible. To mount the snowblower, just pull up in front of the attachment, lift the mount points with the hitch, and attach the PTO driveline and any hydraulic or electrical connections. Woods’ TQH1 ASABE quick hitch adapter is compatible with Cat 1 three-point hitches.

Single Snowblower Attachments

These attachments connect to a Cat 3 driveline and are designed for a PTO speed of 540 RPM. The chute has a 270-degree range of motion. It can be aimed manually, or from your tractor’s cab using an optional hydraulic or electric chute rotator.

SB54S
Woods’ smallest attachment has a 54-inch working width and a 24-inch working height. It can be driven by a tractor making between 15 and 25 HP and connects to a Cat 1 hitch.

SB64S
This attachment is slightly wider at 64 inches of working width, and it’s compatible with 15 to 35 HP tractors. Otherwise, it has the same features as the SB54S.

SB74S
This snowblower pairs a 74-inch working width with a 26-inch working height. The SB74S is compatible with 30-50 HP tractors and mounts to both Cat 1 and Cat 2 hitches.

SB84S
Offering a 10 inch wider working width than the SB74S, this snowblower needs a tractor making between 35 and 60 HP.

Dual Auger Snowblowers

Need to move deep snow? These tractor attachments have two augers stacked vertically, increasing the snow clearing height to 38 inches. They require a tractor with a Cat 4 driveline and a Cat 2 or 3 three-point hitch. Both models will work with a telescoping three-point hitch, making it easier to connect the driveline.

SS84-2
Aside from the tall intake, this attachment has all the same features as Woods’ standard two-stage snowblowers. Working width is 84 inches. It requires a tractor making between 60 and 80 HP.

SS96-2
This attachment is a foot wider than the SS84, but it also brings some features that make it a better fit for large tractors. The SS96-2 comes standard hydraulic chute rotator that moves 200 degrees.
The gearbox is designed to work at both 540 and 1000 RPM PTOs. It’s compatible with 80-150 HP tractors.

SS108-2
With a working width of 108 inches, this is the largest attachment Woods makes. The chute and multi-speed gearbox carry over from the SS96. It works with tractors making between 125 and 175 HP.

We’re Serious about Snow Clearing Equipment

If you’re looking for a snowblower, snow plow, rotary brush or salt spreader, visit Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We carry a wide range of equipment and attachments from brands including Woods, Troy-Bilt, Honda, BCS America, and Multi-One. Need parts or service? We do that, too. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. We also ship parts across the United States and Canada. To order, visit www.shankslawn.com.

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Troy-Bilt Snowblowers: Built For Every Snow Clearing Situation

Troy-Bilt Snowblowers: Built For Every Snow Clearing SituationAre you looking for a better way to move snow from your property? Troy-Bilt makes a range of snowblowers including everything from small single-stage machines for clearing driveways to big two and three-stage snow throwers that can cut through the deepest, heaviest snow. With features like heated grips and powered steering systems, they’re some of the easiest, most effective snowblowers on the market. Here’s what you need to know to find the machine that will fit your needs.

Squall

This line of single-stage snowblowers makes it easy to clear snow from your driveway. They can handle snow up to 6 inches deep and have a 21-inch working width.

Troy Bilt makes 5 models, letting you choose between three engine sizes. The 208EX adds headlights, while the XP comes with headlights, a remote chute control, and a three-year warranty. All other models come with Troy-Bilt’s standard two-year warranty.

Storm

These may be Troy Bilt’s most basic two-stage snow throwers, but they come well equipped.
The Touch ‘n Turn power steering system sends power to the wheels independently. That means you can send power to just one wheel to help you make turns. The drive system is designed to be engaged with one hand, freeing up the other hand for using the chute control on the move. 6 forward and two reverse gears make it easy to get the right speed to clear snow quickly without getting bogged down.

There are 8 models to choose from, letting you choose a working width of 24, 26, 38 or 30 inches. The 2410, 2460, 2860, and 2890 come with electric starters. The 2460, 2860, 2890 use airless tires, decreasing maintenance. XP models come with a three-year warranty. The maximum intake height for all Storm snowblowers is 21 inches.

Vortex

When you need to move heavy snow, getting a larger snowblower only does so much. The Vortex solves this problem by using a three-stage system collection system. After the main auger picks up the snow, a central accelerator auger chops it up, making it easier for the chute auger to launch it away from the cleared area.

The Vortex comes with the same Touch ‘n Turn drive system as the Storm, and heated grips are standard on both models. The 2490 has a 24-inch working width, while the 2890 has a 28-inch working width. Like the Storm, the Vortex has a 21-inch intake height.

Storm Tracker

This series delivers the power of a Storm snow thrower with the increased traction of a track drive. Troy Bilt’s D-tracks provide 50% more ground contact, improving performance on steep grades. It also makes the machine more stable when using the auger in its highest position to clear gravel. A three-position lever shifts the snowblower’s position forward and back on the tracks, giving you even better traction on uneven surfaces and when moving heavy snow.

The Storm Tracker has all the same features as a Storm, plus standard heated grips. The 2690 XP has a 26-inch working width and a 3-year warranty, while the 2890 has a 28-inch working width and a two-year warranty. Both models come with electric starters.

Arctic Storm

These are Troy-Bilt’s biggest, most powerful snowblowers, capable of cutting through snow up to 23 inches deep. The Arctic Storm comes with all of Troy-Bilt’s snowblower features including heated grips and electric start, as well as the XP 3-year warranty. Models are available in 30 and 34-inch clearing widths.

FLEX Snow Thrower Attachment

A snowblower is just one of several attachments Troy-Bilt FLEX power base. By using the same engine and frame for multiple attachments, you can get landscaping tools for the entire year at a much lower cost than buying stand-alone equipment.

Between the attachment’s 26 clearing width and the power bases’ 208cc engine, this combo delivers performance that’s similar to the Storm 2690XP. Due to its easy connect design, this attachment does not have a remote chute control.

Shank’s Lawn Has Everything You Need for Snow Cleanup

Shank’s Lawn Equipment offers everything you need to tackle winter weather. We’re an authorized dealer for Troy-Bilt, offering new snowblowers, accessories, parts, and service. Need something bigger? We also carry attachments from Woods and Multi-One. Stop by our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s just a mile off of I-81.

Not in the area? We can ship the parts and accessories you need to your door, whether you’re in the U.S. or Canada. To order, visit us online at www.shankslawn.com.

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Outfitting Your MultiOne Loader for Snow Clearing

Multi-One 10 SeriesFrom wineries to warehouses, if there’s a job to do, MultiOne makes an attachment for their mini loaders that can do it. Even snow clearing is easy with these machines. Here’s what you need to know to equip your mini loader for snow removal and cold weather use.

Snowplow

Which shape of snowplow do you need to clear snow off of sidewalks and parking lots? With this attachment, you don’t have to choose. It has hydraulically-adjusted sections that tilt to the following configurations:
– 30 degrees left or right to push snow to the side
– “V” shape for busting through tall, thick snow
– Straight for gather snow into piles
– Scoop for shaping piles

This blade uses spring mounts that absorb shocks and allow the blade to trip forward when striking objects, saving wear on the blade.

The snowplow is available in three models with maximum widths ranging from 49.6 to 90.5 inches. Extension wings and a floating adapter can be added to any model to improve performance.

Snow Blade

This simple, flat blade is perfect for clearing light to moderate accumulation on sidewalks and driveways. Like the snowplow, its spring mount lets the blade to trip forward when striking objects. The plastic scraping edge is reversible and can be replaced once it’s worn out. A hydraulic tilt mechanism lets you angle the blade 30 degrees left or right using the in-cab controls. The snow blade is available in widths ranging from 55 to 83 inches. The largest blade is compatible with 4.2 and larger loader, although Multi-One recommends using a 7.3 or larger loader. A floating boom valve is required to use this attachment.

Snow Blower

Why buy a stand-alone snowblower when you can harness the power of your mini loader? This series of two-stage snowblowers come with a hydraulically-actuated chute that rotates 200 degrees, and a cable-operated deflector to change the height of the snow exiting the chute. Both controls are within reach of the operator’s seat.

MultiOne offers 6 snowblower models. The 100 has a clearing width of 39.4 inches, and the 120 has a clearing width of 47.2 inches. These attachments are compatible with most mini loaders. The 130 HD and 140 HD clear 51.2 and 55.1 inches respectively. They work with 4.2 and larger loaders. The 63 inch wide 160D works with 6.3 and larger loaders, while the 70.9 inch 180 HD is compatible with 9.6 and 10 Series loaders. A floating boom valve is required to use this attachment.

Rotary Broom

This broom scrapes off caked-on snow, mud, and debris, leaving a clean surface. Adjustable casters make it easy to get a consistent height, while the blade can tilt 30 degrees in either direction to push debris to the side as they’re lifted off of the pavement. Extensions can be lowered to support this attachment, keeping the nylon bristles off of the ground during storage. The rotary broom is available in 44.5 and 54.7-inch widths. A floating boom valve is required to use this attachment.

Drop Spreader

This combination bucket and feeder makes it easy to lay down ice melting materials. The spreader can be loaded like a regular bucket, scooping up salt at ground level. Once filled, metallic mesh keeps the salt inside the bucket. A mixer axle in the bottom of the bucket breaks up salt, preventing clogs. Adjustable stop springs across the spreader bar ensure material is evenly distributed. This attachment is available with a 16.6 cubic foot bucket and 49.2-inch drop width for 4.2 and larger loaders, and a 20.5 cubic foot bucket with a 57-inch drop width for 6.3 and larger loaders.

Customizations for Comfort

Tools only go so far if the operator is fighting frostbite and exposure. Fortunately, it’s easy to outfit a MultiOne loader for the worst winter weather.

You can start by adding a smart cabin or enclose your loader’s cab in glass, protecting the operator from exposure without hindering visibility. Add a heater, and the cab will stay warm in the harshest conditions. Need to warm up faster, or want some protection without the cab? Add an electric heated seat.

To help your loader handle the cold, you can add a block heater to pre-heat the engine for cold starts. Attaching snow chains increases grip on slick surfaces while adding road lights lets you keep working when the sun goes down.

Shank’s Lawn Equipment is Your MultiOne Headquarters

Whether you want a MultiOne mini loader or need help with accessories or repairs for your current loader, visit Shank’s. We’re an authorized dealer for MultiOne, offering equipment, attachments, parts, and service. Visit our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.

Need parts for your mini loader? Want to check out which attachments we have in stock? Visit us online at www.shankslawn.com. We ship parts across the U.S. and Canada.

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Getting Your Snowblower Ready for Winter

getting your snowblower ready for winterWinter is here, and that means it’s time to get your snowblower out and use it to keep your driveways and sidewalks clear. However, after months of storage, it’s probably not ready to use. Here’s what you need to do to get it ready for the season, from getting it running to preventing future breakdowns.

Tires

Before you move your snowblower, air up the tires. This will keep them from rolling off of the rim when the machine starts rolling. Check the sidewall for the correct pressure.

Struggling to get a tire back on its wheel? Wrap a tie-down strap around the tread of the tire. Tightening the strap will push the sidewalls out, making it easier to get them to seat on the rim.

Engine

Inspect the air cleaner. Foam and paper air filter elements are a common target for rodents.

Remove the spark plug and check for any damage. Poor storage conditions can lead to rust.

Check the oil level. If you didn’t change the oil before storage, do so now. Acidic compounds left by combustion will break down the oil over time.

Disconnect the spark plug before doing any more maintenance. This will keep the engine from kicking over and starting while you work on the rest of your snow thrower.

If you’ve lubricated the cylinders before storage, expect to have some black exhaust smoke when you start the engine. This is just the oil burning off.

Lubrication

Apply fresh grease to the auger shafts, spacers, and bushings. On some models, you may also need to apply grease to the wheel bearings or axles.

Two-stage snowblowers have an auger gearbox that requires some form of lubrication, whether it’s grease, anti-seize or oil. Check your owner’s manual for information on the correct lubricant and instructions on application.

Operate the controls to make sure everything is moving freely. If you have a sticking cable, spray a penetrating oil into the cable housing and work the controls. Once the cable is free, apply silicone lubricant or non-detergent oil to protect the cable. Replace the cable if it’s frozen or crimped.

Apply wax to the inside of the auger housing and chute. You can use either car wax or special purpose snow wax. This keeps the snow from sticking to your machine, preventing clogs.

Belts

Belts stretch with use and degrade over years of exposure to temperature and weather changes. If you see cracks in your blower’s belts, or you find that they’ve stretched too far to transfer power, replace them.

Skid Shoes

These plates on the side of the auger housing control how high the main auger sits during use. Keeping the auger low helps it scrape off snow on pavement, while a higher setting keeps the auger from picking up gravel and soil when clearing out unpaved areas. To set the auger height, support the auger housing on blocks. Loosen the nuts on the skid shoes, slide them up or down, and tighten the nuts. Lower the auger and make sure it’s sitting level.

Shave Plate

If you have a two or three-stage snow thrower, it will have a shave plate. This plate at the front edge of the auger housing scrapes up the bottom layer of snow to get a clean finish.

Place your machine on a flat, paved surface. Raise the skid shoes to their highest position. The edge of the plate, the wheels and the skid shoes should be flat against the ground. Adjust the position of the plate if you see a gap, or it’s lifting up the snowblower. Replace the plate if it’s bent, worn or cracked.

Clean Out Tool

If your machine came with a cleanout tool, make it’s on the machine. There will usually be a mount for it on the back of the auger housing.

Fuel

While you may have a consistent lawn care schedule, snow can be unpredictable. Snowblower manufacturers universally recommend using gasoline treated with a stabilizer. This keeps the fuel fresh for up to three months, so you’re unlikely to have starting problems if it’s been a while since the last snowstorm.

Stock Up on Parts

Sheer pins and belts are both sacrificial parts. They’re designed to fail in the event of a clog, protecting more expensive parts of your snowblower. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep some spares on hand, so you can make repairs and get back to work.

When you need snowblower parts, visit Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We have a massive parts warehouse, so we have common parts for most major brands in stock. Visit our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or order from us online at www.shankslawn.com. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

Need a new snowblower? We carry stand-alone machines and attachments from several major brands including Honda, Troy-Bilt, Woods, and Multi-One. We also service the brands we sell, so we can help you get your snowblower back in working order.

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Using Your BCS Tractor to Clear Snow

BCS TractorsAt first glance, a BCS tractor may look a tiller, but its attachments let it do so much more. BCS makes a wide range of tools to handle landscaping tasks ranging from pressure washing to mowing, saving the cost of buying multiple machines. You can even put these tractors to work in winter, whether you need to clear deep snowdrifts or get the last layer of ice and snow off of your driveway. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right attachments and accessories for your snow clearing needs.

Single-Stage Snow Thrower

This type of snowblower uses a single auger to pick up snow and push it through the chute. The thrower attachment works best with any type of snow that is 3 to 16 inches deep.

The adjustable skids can be set from 0-2 inches, letting you scrape pavement clean or move snow without picking up gravel. The chute has a long handle that lets the operator swivel it 200 degrees without leaving the tractor. This attachment can throw snow up to 40 feet away.

BCS America offers single-stage snowblowers in 24 and 28-inch widths. These attachments work with any model of tractor equipped with a PTO extension or quick hitch.

Two-Stage Snow Thrower

Need to move snow drifts and heavy accumulation? The two-stage snow thrower can handle snow over 16 inches deep. It has a second impeller that pushes snow through the chute, moving heavy snow further. This attachment has an impeller housing made from 3/8 inch steel and a heavy-duty gearbox to handle commercial use.

That added structure makes this attachment heavy, so BCS includes rollers that can fit in place of the skids for easier transport. Otherwise, this snowblower functions just like the single-stage attachment, down to the operator position chute control. BCS offers a 28-inch width thrower that works with Model 739 and larger tractors. There’s also a 33-inch width model that’s compatible with Model 749 and larger tractors.

Power Sweeper

Snowthrowers can leave paved surfaces with a thin layer of snow that will pack down and turn into ice. If you need dry surfaces that are safe for vehicles and pedestrians, you need a power sweeper. Looking for a way to clear sidewalks? This attachment’s compact size is perfect for the job.

The sweeper works best on dry snow under 8 inches. It’s less effective with wet snow, which will cling to the bristles. The power sweeper is a great compliment to other snow attachments, letting you get the last bit of snow off of the ground. This attachment can also dethatch turf and remove dirt and loose materials, making it useful year-round.

BCS America makes sweepers in 30, 40 and 48-inch widths. These are compatible with all tractor models.

Snow Blade

This blade is a perfect complement to the power sweeper, as it’s designed to remove wet snow and slush up to 5 inches deep. While it may look similar to BCS’s dozer blade, the snow blade’s curved shape makes it better at rolling snow without it sticking to the metal surface. The blade can be set to one of 5 angles, letting you push snow forward or to either side of the tractor. Adjustable skids can lift the blade up to keep it from picking up gravel.

BCS recommends installing wheel weights on your tractor when using this attachment. If you need to remove snow from fragile surfaces, the blade can be fitted with a non-metallic edge.

Tire Chains

Snow moving equipment isn’t effective unless it can move on slick surfaces. That’s why BCS America offers chains that fit all standard wheel and tire sizes. These can be used alone or paired with spider bungees. These bungees create even tension across the chains, increasing their life by up to 25%.

Shank’s Lawn Has Everything You Need for Snow Removal

Does a BCS tractor sound like it fits your needs? Shank’s Lawn Equipment is an authorized dealer for BCS America and the Honda engines that power their tractors, so we offer tractors and attachments as well as the parts and support you need to keep them working. Looking for a stand-alone snow thrower? We’re a certified dealer for several manufacturers including Honda, Troy-Bilt and Cub Cadet. Come visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or see our current stock on our website, www.shankslawn.com. Not in the area? We ship across the United States and Canada.

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Preparing Equipment for Storage

preparing equipment for storageWe’d like to forget about our mowers, tractors and other equipment during the off-season, but improper storage can lead to expensive repairs. Fuel systems can clog up, rust can form on cables and housings, and batteries can fail. Taking these steps now will help your landscaping equipment make it through the winter unharmed.

Fuel

Modern gasoline degrades quickly, even if it’s treated with a stabilizer. To prevent tarnishing and corrosion, empty the fuel system before storage. Most Honda engines have a removable sediment bowl on the bottom of the carburetor. Removing this bowl and opening the fuel valve will dump out the contents of the fuel tank and lines. On other engines, you may need to disconnect a fuel line or use a siphon pump to empty the tank. Once the tank is empty, start the engine to burn off any remaining fuel in the carburetor. As long as it’s not mixed with two-stroke oil, this gasoline is safe to use in your car. Modern fuel-injected engines are less sensitive to stale fuel, and that fuel will be diluted by what you’ve already put in the tank.

Diesel lasts a long time when stored as long as it doesn’t get hot. Summer diesel blends will cloud and solidify at low temperatures. However, this won’t hurt the engine as long as you don’t need to start it. If you think you may need to pull your tractor or mower out in the winter, fill the tank with winter formula diesel. Run the engine for a few minutes to pull this diesel through the fuel system. To prevent algae growth, keep fuel tanks and storage containers full to reduce contact with oxygen.

Natural gas fuel systems require no maintenance. However, if you have a dual-fuel engine, you still need to empty the gasoline side of the fuel system.

Preventing Rust

Clean your equipment thoroughly to remove any dirt that can collect moisture. Use a dry brush or rag to remove dirt from the engine, transmission and hydraulic components. Hand wash the rest of the equipment to prevent water from contaminating oil and hydraulic fluids.

To keep rust from forming, you need to create a barrier between metal components and the moisture in the air:

– Grease bearings to push out dirt and moisture.
– Check painted parts for chips. Apply touch-up paint to exposed metal to prevent rust.
– Clean and lubricate drive chains.
– Apply non-detergent oil or silicone lubricant to cables. Spray or drip the lubricant into one end of the housing until it comes out of the other end.
– Apply silicone lubricant or fogging oil to exposed metal parts.

Don’t cover your equipment with a tarp. Waterproof tarps can trap moisture against equipment, while breathable tarps will get soaked in rain and snow.

Piston rings can seize if they sit for long periods without lubrication. Apply a small amount of oil to the inside of the cylinders through the spark plug hole, then place rags in front of the holes. With the plugs out of the engine, pull the starter handle a couple times or run the electric starter for a few seconds. This will spread the oil across the cylinder wall and push out any excess. Put the plugs back in to seal the cylinders.

Winterizing Pressure Washer Pumps

RV anti-freeze can be used temporarily if you’re facing a sudden cold snap, but you really need to use pressure washer antifreeze long term storage. Unlike RV antifreeze, it has additives that prevent rust. Flush the detergent system and drain all the water out of the pump before adding antifreeze.

Antifreeze can be drawn into the pump through the detergent system. If your pressure washer doesn’t have a soap sprayer, use a float tank or hose and funnel to pour the antifreeze through the inlet. Run the washer until antifreeze is coming out of the pump outlet.

Batteries

Lead-acid batteries sulfate during storage, reducing their capacity and cranking amps. To prevent this, a light charge needs to be applied with a trickle charger. Check the owner’s manual for charging recommendations. Small batteries used with single-cylinder engines may require special low amperage chargers.

We Have Everything You Need This Winter

Now is a great time to perform maintenance and repairs you’ve been putting off this year. If you want to do it yourself, or you need some help, visit Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We’re a full-service dealer for many popular brands, offering parts, service, and accessories. Looking for snow clearing equipment? We sell snowblowers and attachments from a wide range of brands including BCS America, Multi-One and Woods. Come visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. We also ship parts and accessories across the United States and Canada. To order, visit us online at www.shankslawn.com.

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SnowDog: The Easy Way to Get Out Into the Snow

snow dogDo you think a snowmobile would be fun to own, but you can’t justify the price? Are you looking for an off-road vehicle that can easily fit in your SUV or truck? Then a Snowdog may be just what you need. Snowdog’s motor tows can pull you along ice, snow and even bare ground, getting to places out of reach to ATVs and snowmobiles. Add some sleds, and you can bring a friend and some extra cargo.

What is a Snowdog?

This vehicle is classified as a motor tow. In principle, it’s the same idea as a wide area walk-behind mower. If you eliminate the seating position from a machine, you can make it lighter and cheaper without compromising performance. A Snowdog is just an engine, transmission, frame and track. However, it delivers the same snow and ice performance as a full snowmobile at a fraction of the cost. It can also be used on dry ground, opening it up to use year-round.

A Snowdog has a steel frame that surrounds the engine and provides a place for cargo. A removable vinyl cover shields the top half of the frame and helps deflect snow away from the operator. The Snowdog’s three-position handlebar adjusts for riders of different heights. Operators can be pulled along while they’re wearing skis, or they can attach a trailer to ride behind their motor tow.

Power

All Snowdogs are powered by a 13.5 HP single cylinder Briggs & Stratton engine. An electric starter comes standard, so you don’t have to worry about trying to pull start the motor in cold weather. On average, this engine uses a half-gallon of fuel per hour.

The engine and CVT are mounted on top of the frame platform, making them easy to access for maintenance. A chain final drive connects the CVT to a single track. Top speed is 20 MPH. Like a snowmobile, the Snowdog has an engine shut off switch attached to a wrist strap. If the operator falls, the engine shuts off immediately.

Models

Compact B13ME

At 50 x 24 x 30 inches, this model is small enough to fit in a car trunk. Weighing in at just under 270 lbs, it’s easy to drive it up a ramp into the bed of a truck. It can tow up to 330 lbs. on dry ground, and up to 550 lbs. on snow.

Standard B13ME

An 8-inch longer frame makes the Standard 30 lbs. heavier than the Compact. The added track length lets the Standard tow up to 660 lbs. on dry land. When operating on snow, it can tow up to 1,100 lbs.

Standard B13MER

This motor tow comes with a reverse gear, making it easy to maneuver in tight quarters. Otherwise, it’s identical to the B13ME.

Trailers and Accessories

As long as you wear skis and operate on snow, a Snowdog can be used on its own. While you’re experiencing the joys of cross-country skiing without the physical effort, you can also smooth out the trail for other skiers with the ski trail groomer. There’s also a groomer made specifically for snow on fat bike trails.

Want to skip the skis? You have several options. The sled is designed to slide on ice and snow while limiting drift. It has hitches on the front and rear, so several sleds can be towed to increase cargo space. A swiveling seat can be added to carry one passenger, or a fixed wooden chair can be used for one seated passenger as well as a grab handle for a second standing passenger.

Snowdog’s two-wheel trailers work on all surfaces. The cargo semi-trailer has a padded seat and a luggage compartment. The Sport semi-trailer just has a small footplate for the operator to stand on. It has a hitch to attach a sled, adding passenger and cargo space.

The slider suspension replaces the spring trolleys inside the track, improving deep snow traction. Skates can be added to sleds for better ice traction.

For cold weather, handlebar mitts can be added to insulate the driver’s hands. The handlebar bag adds more storage space, and its clear sleeve is perfect for mounting a GPS device.

Warranty

The engine is guaranteed by Briggs & Stratton for one year of residential use. The protective cover, CVT components, battery, and headlight are covered for 30 days. The wiring harness and control cables are covered for 90 days. Everything else on the Snowdog is guaranteed for 12 months by the manufacturer.

No Matter the Season, We Have You Covered

Shank’s Lawn Equipment has the outdoor equipment you need for work or play. We carry several snowblower brands, as well as fun outdoor toys like the Snowdog line of motor tows. If you’re looking to buy a Snowdog, or you need parts or service, come visit us. Our shop is located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Blvd. in Chambersburg, PA. We can also ship parts and accessories to your door, whether you live in the United States or Canada. To order, visit us online at www.shankslawn.com.

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RedMax Chainsaws

RedMax ChainsawsStricter emissions standards and increasing safety concerns have radically changed the chainsaw market in the past 20 years. RedMax has responded with cutting edge technology, building powerful two-strokes that are smog legal and handles with better vibration control. While they’re a well-known brand among landscaping professionals, they also build models that are perfect for residential users who need to cut branches and chop firewood.

Strato-Charged Technology: Two-Strokes with Modern Performance

Introduced 20 years ago, the Strato-Charged engine design addressed common emissions and starting issues with two-stroke engines. The carburetor injects a pulse of pure air before the air-fuel mixture, preventing fuel from exiting the cylinder before it can be burned. This alone is enough to keep emissions low enough to meet stringent regulations. Professional models are EDP A certified, which means they’ll conform to EPA emissions standards for at least 300 operating hours. They also meet CARB emissions requirements, so they’re 50 state legal.

The advantage of this design doesn’t stop there. By using better piston rings and a hemispherical combustion chamber, RedMax’s engines are able to use 20% less fuel than regular two-strokes and weigh 20-25% less than 4-strokes. They’re also easier to start than most two-strokes thanks to a self-purging carburetor.

Vibration Control: Keeping You On the Job

Experiencing constant vibrations through your hands and arms can cause permanent nerve damage, and few devices make more vibration than a chainsaw. The latest studies by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) recommends limiting exposure for an 8-hour shift to vibrations of no more than 5 m/s². Most RedMax chainsaws are below this threshold. However, there are a few models that should be used with vibration-dampening gloves on one or both hands.

Residential Models

GZ360
The smallest saw in Redmax’s lineup has a 35.2cc engine making just over 2 HP. It weighs 8.6 lbs. It’s only compatible with a 16-inch bar. The chain oiler is adjustable.
Vibration: 8.0 m/s² at the front handle, 5.2 m/s² at the rear handle

GZ381
RexMax’s most basic model has a 40.9 cc engine that produces 2.5hp. It weighs 9.5 lbs and can be used with a 16 or 18-inch bar. It has a fixed flow chain oiler that stops automatically when the engine is at idle.
Vibration: 2.9 m/s² front, 4.3 m/s² rear

GZ500
Need more power than the GZ381? A 50.2 cc increases power to 3.2 hp, but weight also increases to 11.2 lbs.
Vibration: 3.4 m/s² front, 4.0 m/s² rear

GZ550
For bigger jobs, this saw works with a 20-inch bar and has a 55.5cc engine making 3.49 hp. It weighs 12.8 lbs. The chain oiler is adjustable.
Vibration: 2.8 m/s² front, 3.4 m/s² rear

Commercial Models

All commercial chainsaws come with an adjustable flow chain oiler.

GZ3500T
This commercial counterpart to the GZ360 has the same engine and works with bars ranging from 12 to 16 inches. It weighs 7.5 lbs.
Vibration: 5.1 m/s² front, 4.6 m/s² rear

GZ4350
A 43.1cc, 2.95 HP engine, and compatibility with bars ranging from 13 to 18 inches make this a good limb saw. It weighs 9.92 lbs.

GZ5000
This model is right at the center of the range with its 50.1cc, 3.35 HP and compatibility with 16 and 18-inch bars. It weighs 11.02lbs.
Vibration: 4.4 m/s² front, 4.3 m/s² rear

GZ7100
A 70.7cc, 5.6 HP engine, and compatibility with bars ranging from 18 to 28 inches make this one of the most versatile saws in the lineup. It weighs 14.1 lbs.
Vibration: 4.0 m/s² front, 5.9 m/s² rear

G9000
Need serious tree-cutting power? The 87.9cc engine is RedMax’s most powerful at 6.44 HP. It works with 18 to 28 inch long bars. However, at 16.1 lbs, you may want to look for something smaller unless you’re sure you need the extra capacity.
Vibration: 4.3 m/s² front, 6.7 m/s² rear

Warranty

RedMax guarantees the GZ381, GZ500, GZ550, and GZ360 for two years of residential use or 90 days of commercial use. All other chainsaws are guaranteed for two years of residential use or one year of commercial use. When used for rentals, all chainsaws are guaranteed for 90 days.

Shank’s Lawn Equipment is Your Chainsaw Headquarters

Shank’s Lawn Equipment sells and services all types of outdoor equipment from UTVs and mowers to chainsaws. As an authorized RedMax dealer, we don’t just sell these chainsaws, we also have the accessories and parts you need to keep them running. If you need a new saw, visit our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. We’re just one mile from I-81.

Need parts for your RedMax? Visit our website, www.shankslawn.com. We can ship what you need to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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Echo Chainsaws

Echo CS-2511TIt’s easy to see why Echo is a leader in chainsaws. Every model they make is professional quality with long-lasting two-stroke engines and features that simplify maintenance. With a range of models that work with bars ranging from 12 to 36 inches, they fit the needs of everyone from landscapers who need to do a little trimming to professional arborists who manage large areas of forest.

Why Echo?

Every Echo chainsaw is professional quality and comes with a 1-year warranty for commercial use or 5 years for residential use.

Maintenance is easy thanks to their YOUCAN kits. These include everything for common repairs including tune-ups, fuel system repairs and purge bulb repairs. All models have a side-access chain tensioner that lets you make adjustments without removing the case.

Innovative features make them easy to use. The G-Force pre-cleaner uses centrifugal force to separate large dust particles before they reach the filter. The i-30 starting system adds a secondary spring that helps kick the engine over when it reaches the top of the combustion chamber.

What Should I Look for When Buying a Chainsaw?

Bigger is not better. A one or two-pound difference may not sound like much, but after a day of cutting wood, the added weight can really take a toll on your body. The weights listed below are for a chainsaw without a bar, fuel or oil. Expect a bar to add between two and four pounds depending on its length, plus another pound or so for fuel and bar oil.

Echo’s top handle models end in “T.” These are compact and easy to control from the top when working in a tree or cutting low-hanging branches. All other chainsaws have a rear handle. This gives the user greater control for general use, including trimming branches, cutting firewood and felling trees.

Most models can use two or more bar sizes. Choose a chainsaw and bar combination that is an inch or two longer than the largest pieces of wood you intend to cut.

Models

CS-2511T
This is the lightest gas-powered chainsaw available in America at just 5.2 lbs.
The 25cc engine has a G-Force air pre-cleaner. This model is compatible with 12 and 14-inch bars.

CS-271T
Need more power? The CS-271T has a 26.9cc engine and the i-30 starting system, but only works with a 12-inch bar. It weighs 6.6 lbs.

CS-303T
With 12 and 14-inch bar support and a 30.1cc, this saw is a good choice for residential users. It weighs 7.7 lbs.

CS-310
A slightly larger 30.5cc engine and i-30 starting system make this an easier-to-use alternative to the CS-303T. It weighs 8.8lbs.

CS-352
Despite a larger 34cc engine, this model packs in all the features of the CS-310 and weighs exactly the same.

CS-501P
This new model has 20% more power than its predecessor, the CS-490. A 50.2 cc engine drives either an 18 or 20-inch bar. It weighs 10.4 lbs.

CS-620P and PW
This is Echo’s most flexible chainsaw, as it can use 16, 18, 20, and 24-inch bars. It has a 59.8cc engine and weighs 13.7 lbs. The PW has a wrap handle, giving you more options for hand positions.

CS-355T
This is Echo’s most powerful top handled chainsaw. It has a 35.8cc engine with a G-Force pre-cleaner and works with 14 and 16-inch bars. The CS-355T weighs 7.7 lbs.

CS-361P
Aside from the rear handle, this saw is identical to the CS-355T. It weighs 8.8 lbs.

CS-370 and CS-370F
This saw checks all the boxes for general professional use. It comes with a 36.3 cc engine, i-30 starting system and an adjustable oiler. The CS-370 supports 14, 16 and 18-inch bars. The CS-370F uses a FasTension tool-less chain tensioner and a 16-inch bar. Both versions weigh 10.1 lbs.

CS-400
This model is identical to the CS-370, but it uses a 40.2cc engine.

CS-4510
The 45cc engine drives a 16 or 18-inch bar. It weighs 11 lbs.

CS-490
The lightest chainsaw in its class, the 490 comes with a 50.2cc and G-Force pre-cleaner, yet it weighs just 10.6 lbs. This model is compatible with 16, 18 and 20-inch bars.

CS-590 Timber Wolf
With a beefy 59.8cc engine and support for 18, 20 and 24-inch bars, it’s no wonder this saw received the Handyman Seal of Approval. It weighs 13.2 lbs.

CS-690
A 66.8cc engine and support for 20, 24 and 27-inch bars make this chainsaw a great choice for tree felling. It weighs 14.8 lbs.

CS-800P
Echo’s most powerful saw comes with an 80.7 cc and works with 24, 27, 32 and 36-inch bars. It tips the scales at 16.8 lbs.

When You Need Landscaping Equipment, Go to Shank’s

Shank’s Lawn Equipment is an authorized dealer for a wide range of outdoor equipment from ZTR mowers to chainsaws. That includes Echo, so we sell their chainsaws and provide the parts and service you need to keep them running. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. Not in the area? We can ship parts to any address in the U.S. or Canada. To order, visit www.shankslawn.com.

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