BCS Tractor Operation Guide

When you need a lot of power in a compact space, BCS America’s walk-behind tractors deliver. This guide will walk you through operating their equipment, whether you have a Harvester or Professional Series tractor.

Before Use

Check the engine oil level: Lift up the tractor so that the engine is parallel to the ground. Remove the oil plug/dipstick, located on the left side of the engine near the bottom. Oil should be visible at the top of the filler neck; add 10W-40 oil as needed. Continue reading

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Tips for Troubleshooting Your Mower

mowerMost mowers are built to be easy to operate and maintain, but you’re bound to have problems with even with the best equipment. For walk-behind mowers, at one time or another, you’ll find that the engine just doesn’t want to start. Fortunately, there are a few common causes for this that are easy to fix.

Temperature

Most small engines use a splash lubrication system with the crankshaft pushing the oil around inside the motor’s bottom end. At temperatures under 50°F (10°C), the oil inside the engine is thicker, which means it takes more effort to spin the crankshaft through it. Usually, it just takes a couple of extra pulls to get the engine running, but if you’re still having difficulty, roll the mower outside so it can warm up in the sun.

If you regularly use your mower at low temperatures, switch to a synthetic oil, which doesn’t thicken as much in the cold. Continue reading

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Prepping Your Lawn in the Fall

A photo by Vectorbeast. unsplash.com/photos/rsJtMXn3p_cWhen the weather starts getting cooler, leaves fall, turf turns brown and weeds finally stop popping up. However, that doesn’t mean you should be done with landscaping: fall is a great time to get your lawn ready for the next year.

Keep the Leaves Off Your Lawn

Thatch from cut grass is bad, but it pales in comparison to the thick mass left by decaying leaves. Keep your lawn raked or blown off through the fall, and make sure the leaves don’t have a chance to gather around trees, fences and other barriers. This will give existing grass the sun exposure it needs to prepare for winter and new grass seed a chance to take root. Continue reading

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Which Echo Chainsaw is Right for Me?

EchoDeciding to buy an Echo chain saw is an easy decision since they have a reputation for reliability, performance and easy maintenance. Deciding which model of Echo to buy is a little more difficult with a choice of over a dozen, or 51 if you factor in all of the different bar lengths. This guide will help you understand the differences so you can find the right saw to fit your needs.

What You Get with All Echo Chain Saws

Every Echo chain saw comes with a professional quality engine and is backed by a 5 year consumer warranty, one-year commercial warranty and 90-day rental warranty. Rest assured: choosing a residential model doesn’t mean you’re buying something that’s disposable. These chain saws are easy to work on, too: the air filter can be removed without tools, and the tensioner is exposed on the side of the chain saw. Echo’s engines also use digital ignition, so they’re easy to start and keep a steady idle. Continue reading

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What Can You Expect From Little Wonder Edgers?

little wonder pro edgerNot all commercial equipment is big: Little Wonder has been building industrial grade walk-behind and hand-held lawn care equipment since they invented the first hedge trimmer over 90 years ago. In that time, they’ve single-handedly created entire markets by inventing high-performance compact devices from mini tillers to blowers. Their Pro Edger is no different, delivering serious cutting performance without serious weight and size.

Power without Bulk

The Pro Edger has a 10-inch steel blade that can cut up to four inches deep for a clean finish. This blade is sharpened on all four sides, so you can simply flip the blade around when one side gets dull. Power is transferred to the blade using a pair of shielded belts to ensure minimal debris and slippage. Depth, belt tension, and blade engagement can all be adjusted from the control panel at the operator’s position. Continue reading

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The Versatility and Features of the Little Wonder Gas Hedge Trimmer

GasTrimmer2

The Little Wonder gas hedge trimmer offers plenty of versatility for almost any trimming project a homeowner encounters. The features of this trimmer, along with the innovative design, make hedge trimming a breeze. These are some of the features and versatility that make the Little Wonder Gas Hedge Trimmer a favorite:

  • Positioning
  • Gear Design
  • Blade Design
  • 13 Ounce Fuel Capacity
  • Commercial Grade Quality
  • Electronic Ignition
  • Convenient Position of Triggers and Switches
  • Added Safety Features

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How to Quickly and Easily Trim Overgrown Shrubs

Hedges_and_lawn_Santa_Clara_CaliforniaBushes and shrubs typically found in landscaping are different from trees in that they have multiple stems and a shorter height. They are usually perennial and may get as high as 20 feet depending on the plant. Once they become overgrown, they can be problematic in any well-maintained landscaping, and cutting them back is vital for the overall health of the plant.

When To Trim Overgrown Shrubs

Many landscapers trim bushes and shrubs to both keep the plant healthy and also to maintain its attractive appearance. Sometimes overgrowth will also prevent the plant from producing many blooms or flowers. Overgrowth can cause an increased risk of infestation and disease as well. Pruning the shrubs helps rejuvenate the plant, returns it to an attractive visual state and can be useful in training it to grow in a certain way.
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The Top 5 Pieces of Outdoor Power Equipment for a Beautiful Lawn

When maintaining your lawn, the types of tools and power equipment you use are important. You always want to work smarter rather than harder, so consider what you will need before beginning your projects.

Lawn Mower

It all starts with the lawn mower. You will first want to consider your needs. Do you have a large lawn or just a small area to mow? If you have a large area to cover, you may want to consider a riding lawn mower or a garden tractor. You will want to consider the width of the deck if you will be using it in smaller sections or passing through a gate. The comfort of the seat and steering wheel are also important factors to consider.
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How to Change the Blades on your eXmark Mower

There are a number of reasons you may be wanting to change your mower blades. In many cases, age and rust make the blades inefficient, and dull blades cause damage to your grass. Rocks, sticks and other debris can also damage the leading edge of your blades, leading to inefficient and uneven cutting. On the other hand, you may be upgrading your blades for mulching or extremely thick growths of weeds that need to be cut down. Fortunately, eXmark has made it relatively simple for anyone to change out their blades in no time and get back to mowing.

Safety First

Before you even think about getting under the mower to change the blades, you first need to ensure that there is absolutely no chance of the engine turning over or the blades rotating unexpectedly. Apply the parking brake so that the mower cannot move while you’re working, and go ahead and put a block behind the rear tires just in case. Remove the key from the ignition completely, and pull the spark plug wires off of the plugs, tucking them away from the engine. This will keep any spark from reaching the engine altogether.

Raise the Mower

The easiest way to access the blades is simply to adjust the mowing deck up to its highest position. On most eXmark mowers this is the 5″ cutting height, set by the handle on the side of the deck. We recommend using a MoJack lift, specifically designed for zero turn mowers to lift the front of your tractor the rest of the way. Regular automotive jacks and ramps are more difficult to line up with a tractor frame and do not provide the same level of security as the MoJack system.

Removal

Use a socket with a long breaker bar to loosen the center bolt. A properly torqued bolt will be very difficult to get loose, so you will need the leverage of a breaker bar in most cases. In addition, mowers that have been left to collect dirt or rust will be harder to work with. Loosen the bolt completely and remove the washer. Make sure to keep both together for reassembly. Remove the mower blades from the shaft, and be careful not to let them fall.

Inspection

Now that you have the blades off take some time to inspect them, along with the shaft for any signs of wear, damage or rust. Hopefully, even if your blade becomes dull over time, its remained in good shape otherwise. These blades can typically be sharpened and reused. However, a blade that has sustained heavy damage from rocks or other debris may not be reusable.

Installation

Put your new blade on the same way you pulled the old ones off. Make sure you have the blade on in the right direction and reinstall both the washer and the bolt. Check your owner’s manual for proper torque specifications. After the blades are safely installed, carefully lower your mower and reconnect your spark plug wires before testing it.

For more helpful hints about eXmark mowers, and other landscaping equipment visit Shank’s Lawn Equipment today. Their shop is located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, off of Route 11 in South Central Pennsylvania. If you live outside of Pennsylvania, Shank’s Lawn is happy to provide you parts and accessories over the web at shankslawn.com. They will ship any part throughout the US and Canada, and can help you find the right fit for your equipment.

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How to Keep Your eXmark Mower In Tip Top Shape

Lawn equipment is often one of the most neglected appliances around your home. Forgetting to do regular oil changes and other basic maintenance procedures will cause your mower to break down long before it should. The good news is that most maintenance on the eXmark mower is easy to do and should only take a few extra minutes of your time.

Cleaning Your Mower

One of the biggest problems homeowners experience with their eXmark mowers is trouble getting it started after a long period of sitting, or trouble keeping the mower running smoothly. In many cases, this problem can be resolved simply by cleaning your mower on a regular basis. Dust and debris builds up in and around your mower over time, getting into the air intake, and sometimes even building up around your fuel and oil filler caps, contaminating your fluids. The simple solution is to quickly clean off your mower after each use and at the beginning of the season when it has been sitting all winter long. Don’t use water, as this can also contaminate your fuel and oil, and cause rust. Instead, a quick brush with a rag or an air compressor can blow out all the cobwebs and keep your engine clean. You should also take a moment to check under your mower before you start it up to make sure no animals have nested between the blades and nothing has gotten lodged under the mower before you try to turn it over for the first time. Continue reading

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