Getting Your Snowblower Ready for the Season

getting your snowblower reader

Winter is here, which means snow is on its way. Don’t wait for the first storm to get your snowblower out: pulling it out of storage now will give you a chance to fix any problems so you’ll be ready for the first winter storm.

Before You Begin

Before you move your snowblower out of storage, take a moment to inspect the area. If you notice a wet spot on the floor, it may be an indicator of leaking oil, fuel or transmission fluid. Matching the spot with the snowblower now will make it easier to find the leak.

Fuel

Before you add fuel, inspect the fuel lines for cracks and make sure they haven’t been pulled loose from their fittings.

Some manufacturers recommend storing the engine without fuel, while others recommend filling the tank with stabilized fuel. If the engine has a fuel valve, leave it open for a couple minutes after refilling the tank to fill the carburetor.

Snowstorms are unpredictable so your snowblower may go days or months between uses. Treating the fuel you use in your snowblower will ensure that the engine will be ready to start the next time you need to clear your driveway.

Oil

If you didn’t change the oil before storing, do so now. Oil can collect fuel and engine deposits, making it acidic enough to damage metal components over time.

If your model has a hydrostatic transmission, don’t forget to check the oil level. Instead of a dipstick, these transmissions usually use a sight glass located somewhere on the rear side of the snowblower.

Chute Controls

Move the chute controls and make sure the chute goes through the full range of movement. Stiff cables can be loosened by using some penetrating oil, but they’ll need to be lubricated with a regular lubricant afterward to provide long-term protection. If the cables seem to move freely, inspect the chute for dents and make sure the bolts are tight.

Grease Points

Check your owner’s manual for areas that need to be greased before use. Typically, zerk fittings can be found on the wheel bearings and auger shaft of larger snowblowers. Always clean the fitting before adding grease to prevent dirt from being pushed into the bearing.

Skid Shoes

Check the shoes for wear and make sure they’re even side-to-side by measuring the distance from the bottom of the shoe to the base of the auger housing. It’s a good idea to have an extra set on hand to replace worn shoes through the season.

Augers, Shear Pins, and Belts

Check the auger blades and shaft for damage. If your auger has rubber paddles, inspect them for cracking and shrinkage and replace them as needed.

Like the fuel lines, the belts can age during storage. A belt should be replaced if it’s too loose to be engaged by the idler pulley or it has visible cracking.

The belts and shear pins are designed to break if there’s a jam in the auger, cutting power and preventing damage to expensive components. You should always have some spares on hand so you can get your snowblower running again after one of these incidents.

Power Cord

If your snowblower comes with an AC electric starter, it will need to be plugged into an outlet using an outdoor-rated extension cord with a three prong plug. If the insulator is damaged or the cables are frayed, the extension cord should be replaced.

The First Start

Start the engine the same way you normally would. If the snowblower was put into storage correctly and you’ve done everything on this preparation list, it should fire up easily.

If the engine seems to stumble, let it run. There is probably some stale gas left inside the fuel system that needs to burn off. If you lubricated the cylinder before storage, it’s normal to see some black smoke in the exhaust as this oil is burned off.

If the engine doesn’t want to start and you know the carburetors are getting fuel and there’s plenty of oil in the crankcase, check the spark plug. If it’s fouled or the insulator is cracked, it will need to be replaced. Make sure the gap between the electrodes is within specifications.

Getting Parts for Your Snowblower

Find something wrong with your snowblower while you were getting it ready for the season? Need to pick up some extra shear pins and belts? Shank’s Lawn Equipment is a certified dealer for most major brands of snowblowers and small engines, making us your one-stop shop for parts and service. We’re located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s just off Route 11, one mile east of I-81 via Exit 10/Marion.

Don’t live nearby? We ship across the U.S. and Canada. To order, visit www.shankslawn.com.

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Winter Yard Care

winter lawn care

Winter means an end to mowing, fertilizing and irrigation, but it doesn’t mean you can forget about lawn care. As temperatures drop, your lawn is susceptible to damage and mold, while your equipment can be damaged by improper storage. These tips will help you get through this season and be ready for spring.

Ground Contact and Turf Damage

Turf is fragile when it’s in hibernation, especially when it’s encased in ice, which makes the blades brittle. Keeping your driveway and sidewalk clear will encourage people and animals to stay off of the grass.

Never park a car or trailer on the grass in the winter. The weight of the tires will damage grass down to the root, creating bald spots come spring.

Snow Removal

Snow plows should only be used on wide, paved surfaces: if they go off the edge of the pavement, they’ll pull up the grass and soil, leaving bald areas. A snow blower’s auger will only damage the grass on the surface, but it’s still a good idea to mark off paved areas before the first snowfall so you can keep the turf intact.

Snow mold infections become more likely the longer the snow contacts the ground. Try to set the pitch of the chute to send snow as far out as possible when starting and keep it there. As you work across your driveway, the line of snow deposited by the chute will work inward instead of ending up in the same spot, helping it melt faster.

Reducing Frost Damage

Gradual temperature changes will give your plants time to go into hibernation, but temporary drops at the start of winter and beginning of spring can cause major damage. While there isn’t much you can do for grass, there are preventative measures that can be taken to protect bushes, flowers and other plants around your lawn.

The greatest threat to plants comes in the early spring when warmer temperatures can trigger the growth of new leaves and blossoms. These parts of the plant are soft, causing them to burst when frozen. Several hours of temperatures below 28°F can do serious damage, but this can be prevented by moving the plant indoors or covering it with a tarp, pot or mulch. Remember to uncover the plant after the danger has passed.

If temperatures stay below 25°F for several hours, any plant that hasn’t gone completely into hibernation or is coming out of it can be damaged by desiccation: it’s not the cold itself that is damaging, but the extremely dry air which sucks the moisture out of the plant. Watering the plants beforehand acts as a buffer for both water loss and cold.

Store Your Equipment Correctly

As you shift from fall to winter lawn care, you need to prepare your equipment for storage so it can be put back into service next spring with minimal effort. Full instructions should be found in the owner’s manual and engine manual that came with each piece of equipment, but there are some preventative steps that apply to everything from mowers to string trimmers.

All surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent moisture retention that can lead to rust. Bare metal surfaces should be coated with light oil while scratched areas on paint should be fixed with touch up paint. Some manufacturers also recommend lubricating the control cables.

On some engines, the fuel system needs to be completely drained, while others need to be filled with fuel treated by a stabilizer. If the fuel isn’t being drained, the tank should be kept full to reduce the contact it has with air, reducing oxidation and aging. As long as it hasn’t been mixed with oil, drained fuel can be poured into your car’s fuel tank.

Batteries need to be charged periodically, either by running the equipment now and then or by hooking the battery up to a trickle charger.

Never put a tarp over your equipment: moisture can gather underneath, promoting rust. Instead, use either a purpose-built cover or keep your equipment inside. Even a drained tank may release some fuel vapors, so the equipment should be stored away from furnaces, power tools and other sources of ignition.

Getting Parts and Service for Your Equipment

Whether you need shear pins for your snowblower or found some damage when getting your lawn mower ready to store, you can get everything you need from Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We’re a certified dealer for most major brands of residential and commercial outdoor equipment as well as the engines that power them. Visit our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s just off Route 11, or one mile east of I-81 via Exit 10/Marion.

Not in the area? We ship parts and accessories across the U.S. and Canada. To order, visit www.shankslawn.com.

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Choosing the Right Backpack Blower

backpack blower

Which backpack leaf blower right for you? With models ranging from small residential units to commercial powerhouses, there’s a lot to consider from engines to features like remote throttles and interchangeable nozzles. Here’s what you should look for to find a blower to fit your needs.

Why Choose a Backpack Blower?

Backpack blowers fit between handheld and walk behind blowers and are available in a wide range of models. These can be separated into two major categories:

Residential models are designed for low weight and a low price. These are mainly intended to serve as an easy-to-use replacement for handheld blowers, taking the strain and vibration off of the operator’s hands and joints. The smallest of these blowers match the performance of the best handheld models.

Commercial models designed for maximum durability and performance. Since it’s easier for the operator to carry weight on their back, this design allows for much larger engines and impellers. Some models can be as much as 5 times more powerful than the best handheld models.

Measuring Power

Leaf blower performance is measured in air speed and volume. Higher speeds increase force, allowing the leaf blower to move heavier material like wet leaves. Volume increases the amount of material that can be moved, cutting the time it takes to clear large areas.

The narrower the nozzle and pipe are, the faster the air speed will be at the expense of volume. Some models come with more than one pipe or nozzle to let you get the right balance for the material you’re moving. For example, switching from a round pipe to a turbo pipe on most Shindaiwa blowers will increase speed by around 15% and decrease airflow by around 10%.

Noise

Leaf blowers have a reputation for being so noisy that some areas have ordinances specifically banning these devices from being used during certain hours. To combat this, there has been a major industry-wide effort in recent years to tame this noise, which means you’ll likely notice a huge difference if your new blower is replacing a model built a few years ago.

The decibel scale is logarithmic so a blower rated at 80 dB will be twice as loud as one rated at 70 dB. While most outdoor equipment is rated by the amount of sound at the operator’s position, measurements for leaf blowers are taken from 50 feet away as a way to show how much you’re likely to annoy your neighbors. At the operator’s position, the blower will still be loud enough at the operator’s position to require hearing protection.

Comfort

While the performance advantages of this design may be what draws most buyers, it’s the comfort features that really determines the usability for long hours of commercial use and simplicity for residential use.

The engine and impeller are carried using a pair of padded straps like you’d find on a backpack along with additional padding around the shoulders and back to help spread out the weight. Some models also include a waist strap, which keeps the blower from moving around when climbing slopes. Commercial models also include some form of venting around this padding to cut down on sweat, keeping the operator comfortable through a full workday.

A backpack blower should have an outer frame or large top handle. This makes the blower easier to pick up when putting it on, loading and unloading when moving between job sites and keeping the engine steady when starting.

While handheld blowers have the operator grip handles around the impeller, the nozzle position on a backpack blower is controlled by moving the outlet tube with a top-mounted grip. Better blowers will use a swiveling tube connected to the impeller housing along with a piece of flexible hose to connect the straight tube and nozzle. Taking the effort out of moving the pipe makes it much easier to target airflow on lawn debris.

Some high output models put the throttle on a separate hip-mounted handle. This lets you adjust the engine speed while keeping your aim steady so the leaves aren’t blown away from where you need them. Echo also offers cruise control on some of their professional models, letting the throttle be set and then released for reduced hand strain.

Finding the Right Blower and Servicing It

If you’re looking to add a backpack blower to your lawn care arsenal, visit the experts at Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We carry most major brands including Echo and Shindaiwa, and we’ve been selling and servicing outdoor equipment for over three decades, so we know what models will best fit your needs.

Need to fix your blower or other outdoor equipment? We carry parts for a wide range of brands. To order, visit our website, www.shankslawn.com. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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Woods PTO Chipper/Shredders

Woods PTO Chipper ShredderWhen you have a lot of land to cover and need to get rid of trees and large branches, a run-of-the-mill chipper/shredder won’t be up to the task. Woods’ chippers and chipper/shredders are designed to attach to a tractor and use the PTO for power, making them mechanically simple and easy to move to work sites while delivering massive amounts of power. Woods has four models to choose from with designs for everything from gravity feed chipper/shredders for small tractors to devices that can auto-feed logs up to 9 inches wide.

5000

Designed to work with tractors producing 15-30 hp, the 5000 can chip branches and logs up to 5 inches in diameter. It also has 36 serrated knives housed in sheets of 7 gauge steel that can shred branches up to an inch in diameter. Woods offers an optional blower with 360-degree discharge chute to aim debris into truck beds and trailers.

This chipper/shredder attaches to a Cat 1 three point hitch and weighs 450 lbs.

8000

Built for tractors with 25-60 hp, this chipper uses four heat-treated chipper blades mounted at 90 degrees for lower vibration and smoother cutting. The blades are reversible for increased longevity and the housing is designed for easy access when it’s time to clean out the chipping chamber or make adjustments to the blades. The 8000 can handle wood up to 8 inches in diameter.

A 360-degree rotating blower chute is included. It has an adjustable cap, allowing both the vertical angle of the chute opening to be set to get the perfect aim when loading beds and trailers.

The 8000 can mount to a Cat 1 or 2 three point hitch and weighs 885 lbs.

8100

At first glance, the 8100 looks little different from the 8000: it still works with 25-60 hp tractors, has the same chipper blade setup, comes with the same chute and works with Cat 1 and 2 hitches. Maximum log size is a bit larger at 9 inches, but the real difference is its automatic feeder. Instead of depending on gravity or the operator, it can draw in logs at a rate of up to 150 feet per minute, while an electronic feed control sensor adjusts this rate to chop up the wood quickly without causing the engine to bog or stall. This keeps the loading bay low so heavy chunks of wood don’t need to be lifted far to get into the chute.

Due to the added machinery, this chipper tips the scales at 1,300 lbs.

TCH4500

Designed with compact tractors in mind, this chipper can attach to tractors with up to 35 hp using a Cat 1 three point hitch. It can handle wood up to 4.5 inches in diameter and uses a drive system with a manual clutch to work with tractors that use an electric PTO.

At 392 lbs, it’s the smallest model in the lineup, but it still comes with a 7 gauge chipper housing. A discharge chute can also be added to direct debris for easy cleanup.

When You Think “Woods,” Think “Shank’s”

Shank’s Lawn Equipment is more than a Woods dealer: with over three decades of outdoor equipment experience and as a dealer for most major brands, we know how to match up one of these chippers to your current tractor for the best performance. If you’re looking to add a chipper/shredder to your lawn care arsenal, visit us at our shop, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s one mile east of I-81 via Exit 10 to Marion.

Need parts or accessories for your Woods equipment? We ship across the U.S. and Canada. To order, visit our website, www.shankslawn.com.

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Echo CS-2511T – The Lightest Gas Chainsaw on the Market

Echo CS-2511T

The Echo CS-2511T is the lightest gas chainsaw available in North America. That may suggest that it’s cheaply made, but Echo has managed to integrate features normally seen on larger saws while offering professional build quality, making it a great choice for arborists who need to cut while climbing on and through trees. Not a professional? While you may not appreciate its low weight as much, this model’s compact size makes it a great choice for cutting small limbs and maneuvering in tight areas.

How Much Does It Weigh?

Without a bar and chain installed, the CS-2511T weighs 5.2 lbs, which is over a ½ lb. less than its nearest competitor. Every ounce counts when you’re up in the air removing dead branches or shaping a tree, but what really makes this model stand out is its no-compromise approach to reaching that weight.

Engine

This chainsaw uses a 25 cc two-stroke engine where competitors’ models use smaller displacement motors to shave weight. This commercial quality engine has proved itself in a wide range of Echo products, and it provides ample power for felling limbs. To make starting easier, the effort needed to turn over the motor has been reduced and setting the choke also engages a fast idle mode to keep the engine running until it’s warm. While in use, a fine grid starter cover keeps the saw cool while blocking small wood chips and fibers from building up around the bar and motor.

Air going to the engine first enters Echo’s G-Force pre-cleaner which uses centrifugal force to remove most of the dust and debris before passing through a two-piece air filter. This provides much cleaner air than the simple foam and paper elements usually seen on two strokes, decreasing engine wear.

The fuel cap and bar oil caps are shaped so they can be twisted off using the starter handle, giving you extra leverage without having to carry a separate tool.

Bar and Chain

This saw is designed to accept a 12 or 14-inch bar. Like the engine, the chain’s size is unusual in this segment: 0.050-inch gauge and 3/8 inch pitch. The saw uses a roller chain catcher instead of a plastic part to shield the operator in case the chain comes apart, while a dual post chain brake helps tame kickback. A side access chain tensioner offers easy adjustment, and it uses a captive bar nut that you won’t lose in the field. The automatic oiling system holds 4.7 ounces and can be adjusted to lay down the right amount of lubrication for your current needs. Since it’s clutch driven, oil is only applied when the chain is moving.

Warranty

Echo guarantees the CS2511T for 5 years of residential use, one year of commercial use or 90 days of rental use.

Parts and Service

Shank’s Lawn Equipment has been helping amateurs and professionals with their outdoor equipment for over 30 years, giving us the experience to help you find the right chainsaw for your needs, and as a certified Echo dealer, we’re able to provide quality parts and service for your equipment. If you’re looking to buy a CS2511 or you need your Echo equipment worked on, visit us at our shop, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s one mile east of I-81 via Exit 10/Marion.

Need parts or accessories for your Echo chainsaw? Visit us on the web at www.shankslawn.com. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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Bennche Warrior 700/800 UTV

Bennche Warrior 700:800 UTV

At first glance, Bennche’s new Warrior UTVs look like baby Humvees, but that squared-off styling isn’t just to look tough: they have an all metal body and a cargo area on the front of the vehicle, making these some of the most versatile and durable side-by-sides on the market. With two models to choose from, this UTV is a great choice for buyers looking for maximum utility and practicality and those who want some added performance with their workhorse.

Built for Off-Road Performance

While the focus for these UTVs is on utility, Bennche went with equipment to make the Warrior well suited to technical trails. Power is sent through a CVT connected to a selectable all-wheel drive system and a locking rear differential. The Warrior uses independent dual A-arm suspension front and back with sway bars to control body roll for better high-speed stability, while stopping is handled by hydraulic disc brakes on all four corners. Body-color alloy rims with 27-inch tires that provide 12.5 inches of ground clearance, and there are skid plates over everything on the underside including surrounds for the A-arms with “Bennche” stamped in them.

The cab has bucket seats to accommodate up to three people. The driver can keep an eye on the vehicle thanks to a center-mounted analog speedometer and tachometer paired with a digital display for fuel, drive mode and other information.

Cargo

The entire body of the Warrior is made from steel. In the back, there’s a 49×50 inch bed that can carry up to 500 lbs. This bed has tie-down loops and the sides can be folded down to turn it into a flatbed. Up front, there’s a second bed. It doesn’t fold down like the rear, but it does have tie-down loops on the sides and on the bed surface as well as a rail to help secure odd-shaped cargo.

Like Bennche’s other models, the Warrior comes with the lighting and turn signals to meet neighborhood vehicle requirements. In most areas, this makes it legal to drive this vehicle on the street for short distances.

Both the 700 and 800 have a 1,500 lb. towing capacity when outfitted with a trailer hitch, currently, the only accessory offered for this UTV.

More Differences Than Engine Sizes

At first glance, the Warrior 700 and 800 may seem to differ only in displacement as towing, seating and cargo capacity is the same for both models. However, the engines themselves are vastly different in design and power output. The 700 comes with a 686cc single-cylinder engine producing 34 hp, while the 800 uses an 800 cc V-Twin producing 60 hp.

To fit the V-Twin in the Warrior’s frame, the fuel tank capacity drops from 7.6 to 6 gallons, and the exterior dimensions have been altered, making the 800 9.5 inches longer, 5 inches wider and 5 inches shorter than the 700 without altering the size of the cab or bed. Opting for the 800 completely changes the character of the vehicle, pushing it into sporting territory, while the 700’s better fuel consumption and smaller body make it a better fit for work and tackling technical trails.

Want to Learn More?

Shank’s Lawn Equipment isn’t just a certified Bennche dealer, we also have over 30 years of experience helping our customers with their outdoor power equipment. Whether you’re looking at a UTV for work or play, we can help you find a model that will fit your needs. Need parts or service for your Bennche? We do that, too. Visit us at our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. To get here from I-81, take Exit 10 to Marion.

Need parts or accessories for your Bennche UTV? We can ship what you need to any address in the U.S. or Canada. To order, visit us online at www.shankslawn.com.

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Briggs & Stratton EXi

Briggs & Stratton EXi

Commercial operators make a big deal about power, but when it comes to residential products, you just want something that’s easy to use so you can get lawn chores done as quickly as possible. Briggs and Stratton’s EXi motor is built for these owners, eliminating the need for oil changes while making everything from starting to fueling as easy as possible.

The Engine

The EXi uses an overhead valve design that decreases fuel consumption and vibration, making this motor cheap and easy to use. Briggs and Stratton makes three versions producing anywhere from 6.25 to 7.25 lb-ft. of torque, which is par for the course in this market. However, they’re able to deliver that power with less weight than anything in its class at just 17.5 to 18.8 lbs, making whatever equipment it’s mounted in more maneuverable.

Fuel

The onboard fuel tank holds 0.27 gallons of fuel fitted with an angled, oversized filler neck to make it easy to fill without spilling Like other modern small engines, the EXi runs fine on regular gasoline with up to 10% ethanol. The carburetor is made out of an automotive-grade polymer that is corrosion proof and resistant to varnishing, making it a better fit for modern fuel formulations, but the company still recommends using a fuel stabilizer to keep the fuel fresh.

Starting

There’s no choke or priming bulb on this engine, and Briggs & Stratton guarantees that it will start in two pulls.

Air Filter

For this redesign, the company ditched the oil-soaked foam element for a paper element with dual seals. This filter removes finer particles, reducing engine wear while keeping the oil cleaner. The top of the air cleaner box can be removed without tools for quick access when cleaning or replacing the filter.

Oil

Between improvements in cooling, air filtration, and tolerances, as well as a debris-deflecting filler neck, Briggs & Stratton have designed an engine that can use the same oil its entire life, requiring only occasional checks and top-ups. Regular 5W-30 small engine oil can be used in the EXi, and improvements to the cylinder bore finish and oil control ring greatly reduces oil burning, so oil needs to be added less frequent than older designs.

Maintenance

There isn’t much to do on this motor: just check the oil occasionally and replace the air filter and spark plug once a season. Even the gas cap and dipstick are easier to use thanks to a seal design that requires just a quarter turn for removal.

Parts and Service

Shanks Lawn Equipment has been helping everyone from homeowners to lawn care professionals with their outdoor equipment for over three decades, and as a certified Briggs & Stratton dealer, we have the factory training so you know your motor will be fixed right the first time. Whether you just need some oil or need a complete overhaul, visit our shop, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. To get here from I-81, take Exit 10 to Marion.

We also ship OEM parts across the U.S. and Canada. To order, visit us at our website, www.shankslawn.com.

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Classen Stand-Aer ZTR Aerator

Classen Stand-Aer ZTR Aerator

Aerating with a roller or a walk-behind is fine if you don’t have a lot of ground to cover, but if you’re a commercial operator, they can really slow you down during the fall rush. Classen PRO’s Stand-Aer solves this problem by building an aerator around a stander mower design, greatly increasing speed and cutting width. Have a rental business? The design of the Stand-Aer doesn’t just make it quick, it’s also easy to operate, earning it a Rental Magazine Editor’s Choice Award.

An Aerator with the Heart of a Commercial Mower

The Stand-Aer is powered by a Kawasaki FS541V. It has all the features you expect from a commercial motor including full pressure lubrication and a dual element air cleaner. 15 hp may not sound like much, but since it only needs to power the hydraulic system and the tine reel, it’s a good match for the Hydro-Gear ZT3200 transaxles used in this unit. Hydro-Gear uses thick axles and shock valves to improve durability, and the oil filter is external for easy maintenance. Classen takes reliability a step further by fitting the hydraulic system with their Hydra-Cool system to keep fluid temperatures under control.

The tine reel uses a chain drive with an automatic tensioning system to reduce maintenance. Working on this aerator is simple thanks to integrated jack stands lift aerator two inches for maintenance access.

Easy to Use for Beginners and Landscape Professionals

The controls on this aerator work like any stander ZTR mower: there’s a control panel in front of the operator with a grip for balance and a pair of levers to control the speed of the hydraulic motors. A thumb switch engages and disengages tines, going from transport to aerating over 25% faster than the leading stand-on. A tine depth stop allows the core depth to be set at one of 7 depths between two to 5 inches to fit soil conditions.

The rider platform is mounted on shock absorbers for comfort and stability. It can be flipped up to use the Stand-Aer as a walk-behind in tight spaces and to make the unit more compact when storing or transporting.

18 inch Grass Master tread drive tires in the back and a set of large caster wheels in the front reduce scrubbing to protect the turf. With the tines fully raised, this aerator has 6 inches of clearance, letting it drive over most curbs.

Performance

Obviously, the Stand-Aer has a huge advantage when it comes to speed: with a top speed of 7.4 mph going forward and up to 3.5 mph in reverse, it covers three times as much turf as a walk-behind aerator. However, the design also brings with it superior maneuverability. With the tines engaged, the Stand-Aer has a turning radius of just 48 inches, in many cases eliminating the need to stop and line up for the next pass. Lift the tines out of the ground, and it steers just like a ZTR, letting you get just the right position in tight spaces.

The tine reel spreads the work across 48 ¾-inch (19 mm) hollow core tines. With a width of 30 inches, the reel leaves behind a 3 ¾ inch by 7-inch (95 x 178 mm) pattern at 5.1 holes per square foot.

Warranty

Classen guarantees this aerator for two years when used for either commercial or rental use, while Kawasaki covers the engine for three years.

Get the Help You Need to Provide the Best Lawns

Shank’s Lawn Equipment is more than just a Classen dealer, we’ve been helping professionals with their lawn equipment for over three decades, so we can help you get the tools you need and keep them running. If you need anything for your Classen PRO, visit our shop, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway, Chambersburg, PA. To get here from I-81, take Exit 10 to Marion.

Need parts for your Classen PRO equipment? We ship parts and accessories across the U.S. and Canada. To order, visit our website, www.shankslawn.com.

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Scag Turf Tiger II

Scag Turf Tiger IIAre you looking for a top-of-the-line commercial mower? The Scag Turf Tiger II improves upon the standard Turf Tiger, providing a flexible, high-speed mowing platform. With several powerplant and deck options, this mid-deck ZTR is bound to fit your needs.

Power

Scag offers 6 different powerplants from air-cooled gas V-twins to an inline diesel:

The Liquid-cooled Kohler Command Pro EFI V-Twin has made a name for itself by offering low fuel consumption and easy starting. This 26 hp motor is available with 52, 61 and 72-inch decks.

Kawasaki’s FD-Series has been a mainstay of commercial mowers for years; a 25 hp model is available with the 61-inch deck, and the new DFI (Digital Fuel Injection) equipped version is available in 26 and 31 hp versions on 61 and 72-inch deck mowers.

Briggs & Stratton’s Vanguard Big Block may be air-cooled, but it’s the most powerful engine option at 35 hp. It’s available with 61 and 72-inch decks.

Prefer diesel? Scag offers a 25 hp Kubota with 61 and 72-inch models.

These engines have all the features you expect from a commercial-grade motor including electric start and full pressure lubrication. Scag also adds an auxiliary canister air filter for longer filter life and easier service and mounts the radiator on liquid-cooled engines behind the seat to protect it from impacts. Fuel is provided by a 12-gallon tank with a top-mounted fuel gauge.

Hydraulic Drive

The drive system uses a pair of 16 cc Hydro-Gear pumps coupled to Parker wheel motors and a large auxiliary oil cooler to increase durability. Gas-powered models can reach a top speed of 12 mph, while diesels can hit 10 mph.

Deck

The Tiger has Scag’s signature Velocity Plus deck which is constructed from steel sheets of varying thicknesses to provide strength where it’s needed including a nearly ½ inch thick top plate to support the spindles. Scag uses cast iron spindles with tapered roller bearings, grease fittings mounted on top for easy access, and a relief port to prevent over-greasing.

Power is transferred from the Ogura GT 3.5 PTO clutch to the deck via a shaft drive. The clutch can be adjusted to compensate for wear, and it’s easy to access via the mower’s rear panel. This clutch rated at 250 ft lbs. for the Kohler and Kawasaki engines, and 350 ft-lbs. for models powered by the 35 hp Vanguard engine.

The deck can be set to a mowing height between one and 6 inches. Adjusting the height is simple: just push down on the adjustable foot pedal, then move the pin to one of the clearly-marked holes next to the seat.

Comfort and Ease of Use

The operator sits in a suspension seat with four iso-mounts that can be adjusted using a dial to match the rider’s weight. The seat position, back angle and armrest angle are also adjustable, while the lap bars can be positioned without using tool to match the operator’s reach.

The Tiger II comes with a new digital version of the Tiger Eye display, putting all the engine controls and information within easy reach. Opposite of this display is a 12-volt accessory plug for powering accessories and charging phones and a cup holder.

This equipment sits in a double tube welded steel frame designed to keep the center of gravity low for hill stability. Giant 26 inch drive tires provide traction with minimal scrubbing, while flat-free front caster wheels reduce maintenance. The caster extension is replaceable should it become dented from an impact. A built-in hood on liquid-cooled models and access panels on air-cooled models provide protection without getting in the way during servicing.

Accessories

There are several ways to set up the Tiger II to fit your mowing needs:

  • Set up the deck for mulching with the chamber-shaping Hurricane Plus mulching kit and either a mulch plug or operator-controlled chute that can be opened and closed as needed.
  • Collect clippings with a 16-bushel bag system or an easy-to-unload 12-bushel clamshell loader.
  • Get a ballpark finish with the Tiger Striper.
  • Know when to change the air filter by adding a monitor that sends information to the Tiger Eye display.

When You Think “Scag,” Think “Shanks”

Shank’s Lawn Equipment is a certified dealer for Scag as well as Kohler, Briggs & Stratton, Kawasaki, and Kubota, so we can help you with anything on your mower. If you’re looking to buy a Turf Tiger II or need your mower serviced, visit us at our shop, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s one mile east of I-81 via Exit 10 to Marion.

We also ship parts and accessories for Scag and many other brands across the U.S. and Canada. To order, visit us at www.shankslawn.com.

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Choosing a Leaf Blower

choosing a leaf blower

While raking can be effective on small areas, even homeowners with small yards can save time by using a leaf blower. Which one is right for you? Here’s what you need to consider from flow ratings to engine designs.

Cubic Feet Per Minute vs. Miles Per Hour

More CFM means more power. The higher the CFM rating, the better the blower will be at moving leaves and handling wet debris. A high MPH speed indicates a more concentrated blast of air, which is easier to control when working around bushes, buildings and other obstacles. For example, a typical backpack blower will move between 500 to 1,000 CFM of air at 200+ MPH, while a wheeled blower will usually move between 1,500 and 2,500 CFM at 150-200 MPH. This makes a wheeled blower better for wide areas and a backpack blower better for areas with bushes and fences.

Two Stroke, Four Stroke, or Something In Between?

Two-stroke engines ignite fuel every time the piston reaches the top of the cylinder, so a smaller, lighter engine can produce as much power as a larger four stroke. They also don’t use valves, making them simpler and cheaper to build, and since they’re lubricated by oil mixed with the fuel, there’s nothing that can leak into the combustion chamber, making them ideal for handheld devices that are used at several different angles. However, two-strokes don’t last as long as four strokes, they’re harder to start, and less fuel gets burned inside the motor, increasing emissions and fuel consumption.

To get around the two stroke’s problems, manufacturers have come up with novel power plant solutions. Honda’s Mini 4-Stroke uses a baffling system to keep the oil where it needs to be, while Shindaiwa’s C4 Technology engines are four strokes that use mixed gas for lubrication like a two-stroke. Both engines can be used at any angle, bringing four-stroke performance to small power equipment.

Since wheeled blowers don’t have to be carried, weight isn’t a major design factor. These models use full-size four-stroke engines like the type you’d find in a mower or other large professional equipment to deliver maximum power.

Handheld Leaf Blower

Electric models are much quieter than their gas-powered counterparts, but they simply can’t match the power of an internal combustion engine. Battery-powered models are pricey and the least powerful, but their portability, low weight and simple maintenance may be a good fit for your needs. Even with heavy-duty extension cords, plug-in models are realistically limited to a distance of 100 feet from an outlet. They’re more powerful than battery-powered models and work just fine for homeowners that want to clear off a short driveway. Gas-powered models can clear areas in as little as a third of the time of an electric blower.

Backpack Blowers

By carrying the motor on your back instead of in your hands, it’s easier to handle more weight. This lets designers pack more power into a backpack blower than is practical with a handheld blower. Low-end backpack blowers can be cheaper than rechargeable handhelds, while professional models have been a mainstay of lawn care services for decades.

Wheeled Blowers

Need to clear a wide area quickly? A wheeled blower can do the jobs of several backpack blowers, saving considerable time on jobs. Push models can be hard to maneuver on hills, but some manufacturers now offer blowers with self-propulsion systems.

Wheeled blowers are available with metal or plastic housings. While plastic may be seen as cheap, it’s definitely the best choice. Because the housing can be formed for a tight fit around the impeller, it reduces turbulence and increases air pressure. The end result is lower noise, lower power requirements, and less vibration, reducing wear and tear on the engine and the operator.

Metal housings may be lacking, but they’re also cheaper to build. If you need big power on a tight budget, this may be the way to go.

Get What You Need for Fall Lawn Care from Shank’s Lawn

No matter what size of leaf blower you’re looking for, we can help: we’re a certified dealer for most makes of lawn care equipment including popular leaf blower brands like Little Wonder, Shindaiwa, and MTD, as well as the manufacturers of the engines that power these machines. To find the right equipment for your needs, visit us at our shop, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway, just off Route 11 in Chambersburg, PA.

We also ship parts and accessories across the U.S. and Canada for every brand we carry. To order, visit us online at www.shankslawn.com.

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