Exmark Walk-Behind Commercial Mowers: Pro Performance in a Small Package

Exmark Walk-Behind Commercial Mowers: Pro Performance in a Small PackageCommercial riding mowers are great for covering lots of ground, but sometimes you need a smaller mower to get into tight spaces. That doesn’t mean you have to settle with a residential mower. Exmark’s walk-behind mowers are built with the tall, reinforced decks and commercial-grade equipment to withstand the rigors of professional use. That means you can get into tight spaces while getting the same high-quality finish, and you don’t have to worry about frequent breakdowns.

Deck

At first glance, it’s easy to see what sets these models apart from a run-of-the-mill residential walk-behind. The mowing chamber is 5 inches deep to maximize vacuum. This gives these mowers the mulching capabilities of a commercial riding mower. Since the discharge chute is equally tall, a single blade design can be used for mulching, side discharge, and bagging.

To keep weight down without sacrificing durability, Exmark makes these decks from ¼ inch thick die-cast aluminum. Depending on the model, a complete mower weighs between 112 and 185 lbs. That’s the same or less than an equivalent steel deck residential mulching mower.

Changing the cutting height is easy thanks to Exmark’s patented height adjuster. Using a single lever, you can set the height of both the left and right front wheels at the same time. Since the rear wheels are linked by the drive axle, it only takes a few seconds to change the deck height.

Most models come from the factory with a clipping collection system that uses a bag with a 2.5-bushel bag capacity. Exmark offers a toolless mulch plug for users who frequently switch between cutting modes.

Drive System

The Commercial Series uses a variable speed drive based around a wet clutch transmission. This offers the same speed adjustment as a hydrostatic drive without the complexity. This system is easy to learn and lets the operator match the speed exactly to the terrain conditions for faster mowing.

An optional blade brake clutch cuts the connection between the blades and the engine when the operator presence bail is disengaged. That means you can step away from the mower without shutting off the engine.

Single Blade Models

Commercial 21 S-Series: This line of small mowers comes in three versions, letting you choose between a Honda GXV160, a Kawasaki FJ180V, or an FJ180V with a blade brake clutch. Each model has a 21-inch cutting deck and a top speed of 4.2 mph. Mowing height can be set from 1-4.5 inches in ½ inch increments.

Commercial 21 X-Series: This beefed-up mower adds wear strips along the sides of the deck to protect it from scrapes and bumps. Engine choices are the same as the S-Series, letting you pick between a Honda, a Kawasaki, or a Kawasaki with a blade brake.

Twin Blade Models

Commercial 30 S-Series: A 30-inch mower blade isn’t that long, but Exmark chose to split mowing duties across two blades to improve performance. In Exmark’s own tests, this twin blade system increases cutting efficiency by 40%. That means this mower performs and feels like their 21-inch models without needing more power. It even uses the same FJ180V without any discernible loss in performance. A blade brake clutch comes standard.

Power is sent to the blades using a belt drive system that can be accessed via a cover on the top of the deck. Mowing height can be set from 1-5 inches in ½ inch increments. A positive engagement transmission keeps the mower from rolling backward on hills while delivering a top speed of four miles per hour.

Commercial 30 X-Series

Unlike the 21 X-Series, this model isn’t just a more durable version of the S-Series. Instead, Exmark designed this mower specifically for tackling hilly terrain.

The Kohler CV200 Command Pro engine used in this mower provides 30% more torque than the Kawasaki. To take advantage of this power, it also comes equipped with a heavy-duty transmission. Top speed is down slightly at 3.8 mph, but this lower gearing helps the X-Series climb hills. There’s also a built-in parking brake to keep the mower from rolling on steep slopes. A blade brake clutch comes standard. Unlike the other mowers in this lineup, the clipping collection kit is optional.

For Everything in Lawn Care, Visit Shank’s Lawn Equipment

Shank’s Lawn Equipment carries a wide range of mowers from residential walk-behinds to the biggest commercial ZTRs. We carry most major brands including Exmark, Cub Cadet, Wright, and Scag. Need parts or service for your mower? We can help you with that, too. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.

Need parts or accessories for your Exmark? 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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Woods Compact Super Seeders

Woods Compact Super SeedersWoods’ Precision Super Seeder line is great for farms looking to seed pasture, but they’re too big for most landscapers and hobby farmers. Fortunately, their new Compact Super Seeders address this problem. They pack most of the features of their precision models in a scaled-down package that works with garden tractors, ATVs and UTVs. It doesn’t just do precise overseeding, it also aerates and it can even till with the right accessories. Sound useful? Here’s what you need to know to see if these seeders are a good fit for your needs.

Putting the “Precision” in “Precision Super Seeder”

At first glance, operating these seeders seems the same as any other automatic seeder on the market. Look under the lid of the seedbox, and you’ll see recommended drop rates. The grass seed rate is controlled by a lever in front of the box, while the legume rate uses a lever behind the box. As these levers move, they slide control rods back and forth. These rods have measurement decals that line up with a large, calibrated pointer.

What makes these seeders different is their calibration mode. Removing a single pin deactivates the drive roller sprocket. This lets you place a calibration tray under the seed box and use a hand crank to dispense seed. Using a food scale and a few calculations, you can measure out exactly how much seed is being dispensed. From there, you can make fine adjustments to lay down exactly as much seed as you need. Seed stop plates can be added to limit the working width of the attachment. This is handy if you don’t want to waste seed by dropping it onto ditches and other obstacles.

Seeding Grass and Legumes for Lawns and Pasture

Both the CSS48 and CSS60 come with a cool-season grass box that holds one bushel of seed. The seeder can be set to drop anywhere from 0 to 700 lbs. of seed per acre. 6 windowed seed cups and clear tubes make it easy to monitor the flow of seeds from the seat of your vehicle.

By adding an optional seed box, these overseeders can plant grass seed and legume seeds in one pass. This combination can be used on pastures to plant annual grasses alongside alfalfa, creating thick lawns for grazing. This can also be used to plant two types of seed, with small seeds like Kentucky Bluegrass going in the legume box. Pulling one pin switches between no seeding, seeding from one box, or seeding from both boxes. The legume box holds one bushel and can drop between 0 and 30 lbs. of seed per acre. Drop rates for both boxes can be set to a 4:1 or 11.3:1 seedbox ratio. These seeders are designed to operate between 2-5 MPH. Since the mechanism is wheel-driven, drop rates are accurate across this range.

More than Just Seeding

As equipped, both models come with spiked rollers that prepare the soil for grass seeding. These rollers both cultipack and create openings for seed penetration. With the seedbox shut off, the rollers can be used to aerate soil.

Super seeders can be fitted with discs in place of the rollers, letting the machine till the soil. Disc angle is adjustable, letting you turn over the surface or aggressively turn over soil. Pairing the discs with a fast/slow chain drive lets you slow down disc speed for better tilling performance.

Equipment Compatibility

From the factory, both the CSS48 and CSS60 can use Cat 1 and Limited Cat 1 three-point hitches found on small tractors. When equipped with optional quick hitch bushings, both attachments ASABE quick hitch compatible.

If you want to use these overseeders with an ATV or UTV, you can add a towing kit. Couple this kit with highway lights, and you can take it on road, towing it between job sites.

The CSS48 is compatible with 15-35 HP tractors and both ATVs and UTVs with a 350cc or larger engine. It has a working width of 48 inches.

The CSS60 is compatible with 20-45 HP tractors and both ATVs and UTVs with a 400cc or larger engine. It has a working width of 60 inches.

We’re Your Lawn Care Equipment Headquarters

Shank’s Lawn Equipment has been in business since the mid-80s, providing both residential and commercial customers with the equipment and support they need to maintain their lawns. If you’re looking for a new overseeder, or you need repairs for your Woods equipment, visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also check out our current stock and order OEM parts and accessories for your equipment at www.shankslawn.com. Not in the area? We can ship your order to any address in the United States or Canada.

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Woods Rotary Brooms: Making Pavement Cleanup Easier

Woods Rotary BroomsSometimes, the last bit of cleaning can make a world of difference. Dirt and debris on pavement can lead to cracks, while even a light layer of snow can turn a parking lot into a skating rink. To make pavement cleaning easier, Woods offers rotary brooms as part of their Alitec line of skid steer attachments. Made for lightweight equipment, these brooms make quick work of leaves, snow, and dirt, leaving surfaces clean without causing damage. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right broom for your needs.

What Can I Use These Brooms For?

A rotary broom is a great tool for cleaning concrete and asphalt. The bristles scrub away dirt and soil buildup, as well as surface dirt and exposed vegetation from cracks. A rotary broom is the easiest way to remove moss from pavement. They’re also great for cleanup around construction sites, pushing away or picking up dirt, debris, and stray materials, including screws and nails.

In the winter, rotary brooms can remove the last layer of ice and snow from parking lots and driveways without damaging the pavement. This makes these surfaces safe to drive on while reducing the need for ice melting and traction products. By leaving the last layer of snow and ice for the broom to pick up, you can save significant wear and tear on your other snow moving equipment.

While some companies advertise their rotary brooms for dethatching, you’re better off using a tine dethatcher instead of one of these units. The fine, high-density brush structure that makes these tools great for cleaning will also pull up dirt if used on turf.

Woods makes both angle and pick-up broom attachments. Angle brooms push dirt to the side, making them ideal for cleaning up flat areas. Pick-up brooms draw dirt into a hopper for dumping. These work great for picking up heavy debris. Woods’ pick-up brooms can be fitted with a gutter broom that sweeps dirt out of gutters and away from curbs. All models have an adjustable broom height to keep the bristles in contact with the ground as they wear down.

Angle Brooms

These brooms can rotate 30 degrees left or right using either mechanical or hydraulic power. The broom itself is hydraulically driven, spinning between 100 and 200 RPM during operation.

Woods makes two angle broom models. The AB720-2 has a 72-inch working width when used at a zero degree angle. When turned a full 30 degrees, the broom has a 64-inch working width. The attachment is 82.5 inches wide and weighs 852 lbs. The AB840-2 has an 84-inch working width when used at a zero degree angle. Working width only decreases to 82 inches when the broom is tilted left or right. This attachment is 94.5 inches wide and weighs 915 lbs.

Pick-Up Brooms

These brooms sweep debris back into a hopper that can be dumped like a front bucket. The broom spins at the same 100-200 RPM rate as Woods’ angle brooms, delivering similar cleaning power.

These brooms come in two sizes. The PB600-2 has a 60-inch working width and a total width of 66.6 inches. It comes with a hopper that holds 13.9 cubic feet of debris. This attachment weighs 817 lbs. when empty. The PB720-2 has a 72-inch working width and a total width of 78.6 inches. To accommodate the larger broom, it uses a 16.8 cubic foot hopper. This attachment weighs 925 lbs.

The optional gutter brush attaches on the left or right side of either pick-up broom attachment. It’s powered hydraulically, tapping into the attachment’s built-in fluid lines. As the brush spins, it forces debris into the main brush, which then pushes the debris into the hopper.

Attaching a Broom to Your Skid Loader

All four brooms are hydraulically powered, requiring a connection that can supply fluid at a rate of 12-25 GPM at 3,000 psi. Thanks to their low weight, these attachments are compatible with most small frame skid steers.

To mount a broom, your skid steer needs to be fitted with a flush face quick coupler. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. You’ll need to check the owner’s manual to find the right coupler that will work with your loader and connection setup. For most applications, angle brooms will need a different plate depending on whether the angle drive uses a hydraulic or mechanical connection.

If You’re Serious About Equipment, Visit Shank’s Lawn

Shank’s Lawn Equipment has helped commercial and municipal operators with their outdoor equipment since 1984. We sell equipment from top quality brands including Woods, Yanmar, and Scag, and we provide the service and parts support you need to keep this equipment working. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also check our current stock and order parts at www.shankslawn.com. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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Scag Windstorm Stand-On Blower

Scag Windstorm Stand-On BlowerLeaf blowers keep getting bigger to meet the power and operating cost demands of landscapers, and the Scag Windstorm Stand-On Blower is no exception. Using a Vanguard Big Block EFI in a stand-on blower is notable in itself. However, what really makes this model stand out is its practical design that addresses most of the annoyances of debris blowing use.

The Most Flexible, Easiest-to-Aim Blower Available

This model is more than just a larger version of the Extreme Pro blower. Scag’s new Nozzle Direction System uses an adjustable elbow on the end of the impeller outlet to control airflow. Mounted forward of the impeller housing, it can turn 180 degrees, letting you aim air left, right, forward, or anywhere in between. It also has an automatic mode that moves the nozzle from side to side as you turn around for the next pass. Point the nozzle forward, and it can blow leaves and dust away from buildings. The nozzle also moves 16 degrees up and down, letting you direct air at large piles or skim the ground surface to get the last of the debris. Both the pitch and angle are controlled using levers at the operator’s position.

Maximum Power and Fuel Efficiency

Hate having to make trade-offs between power with operating costs? With the Windstorm, you don’t have to. To power the Windstorm, Scag went with Vanguard’s Big Block EFI V-Twin. At 37 horsepower, this is one of the most powerful small engines available today. However, since it uses fuel injection, it uses about 20% less fuel than an equivalent carburetor-equipped engine. EFI also makes the engine easy to start in cold weather and less susceptible to stale fuel issues. Moving leaves and debris is dusty work, so an auxiliary canister air filter comes standard to protect the engine.

Great Real World Performance and Reliability

Inside the 12 gauge steel impeller housing, you’ll find a 23-inch, 8 blade fabricated steel impeller. This impeller is dynamically balanced to reduce noise and vibration. It attaches to a taper locking hub, so it won’t loosen over time.

Most manufacturers will publish the highest number possible to make their products look better. Theoretically, this blower can output 7,500 cubic feet of air per minute. Scag publishes this number to let buyers to an apples-to-apples comparison with other blowers. However, in real-world conditions, performance will be lower. Scag expects owners to get 6,000 CFM of effective output from the Windstorm. That’s more powerful than half-a-dozen backpack blowers.

Fast and Easy to Transport

This blower is fitted with a pair of 14 cubic inch cast iron wheel motors. These motors can propel the Windstorm to a top speed of 10.5 MPH going forward, and up to 5 MPH in reverse.

The impeller connects to the engine using an Ogura PTO clutch. That means you can turn the impeller off while leaving the engine running for transport. The built-in Softstart controller ensures smooth engagement, saving wear and tear on the clutch and connected components

Comfortable and Easy to Use

The Windstorm comes with the same Tiger Eye on-board monitoring system found on Scag’s ZTR mowers. This gives the operator an overview of the blower’s operating condition, including hours of operation and voltage. The fuel gauge is mounted on top of the tank within view of the operator’s position. This tank holds 8 gallons of gas, so it can go through a full workday without refueling. A self-adjusting belt system maintains tension and reduces maintenance.

The operator’s system is built just like Scag’s stand-on mowers. A large leaning pad and a wide, non-skid footplate mounted to a suspension system make the Windstorm comfortable enough for all-day use.

Accessories

For most users, the Windstorm comes with everything they need out of a debris blower straight from the factory. However, if you want a little more time to work as the days get shorter, you can install a 1,400 lumen LED lighting kit. Wish you didn’t have to check the air filter for debris? An air filter monitor lets you check the condition of the filter using the Tiger Eye gauge, so you’ll always know when you need to fit a replacement. Style may not be your top priority, but if you want to dress up your Windstorm, you can add chrome hubcaps to the blower’s rear wheels.

We’re Your Source for Outdoor Equipment, Parts, and Service

Shank’s Lawn Equipment has helped commercial operators and homeowners alike with their landscaping equipment since 1984. We’re an authorized dealer for Scag and Briggs & Stratton Vanguard, which means we don’t just sell these blowers. We also provide the parts, accessories, and services you need for your equipment. Visit us in person at 4900 Molly Pitcher Hwy in Chambersburg, PA, or online at www.shankslawn.com. We ship parts and accessories across the United States and Canada.

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Yanmar Snowblower Attachments

Yanmar snowblower attachmentsAre you having trouble finding a snowblower that strikes a good balance between size and power? Walk-behind snowblowers aren’t good for large jobs, while most tractor attachments are either underpowered single-stage units or huge devices built for commercial users with giant tractors. Yanmar fills this gap with their line of two-stage snowblower attachments. While they’re built to work with Yanmar’s SA, YT2, and YT3 series tractors, they’ll work with any small or mid-sized tractor with a compatible hitch and PTO.

Why Should I Choose a Yanmar Snowblower Attachment?

The biggest advantage of these attachments is a clever design that maximizes auger performance and durability. The PTO connects to a gearbox mounted behind the auger housing. It directly drives the chute fan, while a jackshaft connected to a side-mounted chain drive drives the auger. This keeps the drive system out of harm’s way and lets the auger reach the entire length of the housing. Even with the housing’s thick steel sides, each attachment is only a couple inches wider than its total working width.

While other manufacturers use solid augers in their tractor attachments, Yanmar manufactures their augers using two-inch-wide flighting. This reduces weight and helps the auger slice through chunks of snow after the initial cut. The steel fan at the back of the housing breaks up snow even further, pushing fine powder out of the chute. These attachments work effectively at ground speeds ranging from 1.5 and 8 MPH. This gives you the option of crawling through thick snow, reducing the number of passes needed to get the job done.

The auger is mounted on shear bolts that break away when the mechanism gets jammed. Yanmar also uses a shear pin on the driveshaft, so jams don’t damage your tractor’s PTO.

The chute has 270 degrees of rotation. The angle can be adjusted manually using a factory-installed crank. If you want to change snow direction on the go, Yanmar offers hydraulic and electric chute rotators that can be used from the tractor’s operator position. The chute angle is controlled by a 5 position lever mounted on the chute.

The replaceable skids work just like the ones on a walk-behind snowblower. Once the mounting bolts are loose, you can slide the skids up and down to set a minimum height for the auger. That way you can transport the attachment and lower it to the same height every time. The mounting spaces have enough range for everything from skimming off pavement to removing snow on gravel driveways without picking up rocks.

Which Model is Right for My Tractor?

Yanmar makes three snowblower attachments ranging from 54 to 74 inches wide. All three connect to a Cat 3 Driveline and a three-point hitch. They’re also ASABE quick hitch compatible, letting you connect to the attachment by backing up to the mount points and lifting the snowblower as a single unit. If you want to add a quick hitch to your tractor, Yanmar makes an adapter that works with this application. All models are designed to operate with a PTO spinning at 540 RPM.

Depending on your tractor and snowblower model, you may need to add front weights to keep your tractor balanced. With the attachment mounted, at least 20% of the tractor’s weight should be on the front wheels.

YSB54S

Required PTO HP: 15-25
Hitch: Cat 1
Transport width: 56 inches
Working width: 54 inches
Working height: 24 inches
Weight: 415 lbs.
Fan: 22 x 6 inches

YSB64S

Required PTO HP: 15-35
Hitch: Cat 1
Transport width: 66 inches
Working width: 64 inches
Working height: 24 inches
Weight: 436 lbs.
Fan: 22 x 6 inches

YSB74C

Required PTO HP: 30-50
Hitch: Cat 1 and 2
Transport width: 76 inches
Working width: 74 inches
Working height: 26 inches
Weight: 592 lbs.
Fan: 24 x 8 inches

We Have What You Need to Deal With Snow

Shank’s Lawn Equipment carries everything you need to tackle winter weather, including snowblowers, plows and salt spreaders. We carry Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet and Honda snowblowers, Yanmar and Woods attachments, and Yanmar and BCS tractors. Need parts or service for your equipment? We do that, too. Stop by our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway, Chambersburg, PA for all of your outdoor equipment needs. To get here, take Exit 10 to Marion from I-81 and drive West one mile. You can also check our current inventory and order OEM parts and accessories at www.shankslawn.com. We ship across the USA and Canada.

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Which Honda Snowblower is Right for You?

Honda Snow Blower Two StageIs your current snowblower not cutting it? Do you want something that has more power and better reliability? Maybe it’s time to upgrade to a Honda snowblower. They make models to cover every need, from sweeping off driveways to clearing large parking lots. Here’s what you need to know to pick a model that will fit your needs.

Single-Stage Snowblowers

These snowblowers use an auger with rubber paddles to scoop up snow and push it through the chute. As they spin, the paddles also pull the machine along the ground, requiring just a little pressure on the handle to move and steer. These machines are perfect for smaller jobs, like clearing driveways and sidewalks.

Honda fits their single-stage snowblowers with their residential grade 190cc GC-Series engine. The auger has a working width of 20 inches, and the housing can scoop up snow up to 12 inches deep. These models can move up to 1,800 lbs. of snow per minute and can propel that snow up to 33 feet away. Honda backs these models with a two-year residential warranty. Honda offers three versions of their single-stage snowblower:

– The HS720AM is the basic model. It has a manual chute.

– The HS720AA adds the Snow Director chute control, which lets the operator aim the chute from the handle.

– The HS720AS comes with the Snow Director and has an electric starter.

Two-Stage Snowblower

A two-stage snowthrower has a steel auger that picks up snow, chopping it up into a fine powder. From there, a fan pushes the snow through the chute. This two-step process improves performance in thick snow and increases throwing distances.

All of Honda’s two-stage snowblowers are built for commercial use. They come with GX-Series engines, and are warrantied for three years of residential or commercial use.

Each design comes in a standard recoil starter version and a “D” model with both an electric starter and a backup recoil starter. An onboard battery powers the starter, so there’s no need to plug the snowblower into an outlet.

Hydrostatic drive comes standard. Unlike geared drive systems, this transmission design has infinite speed adjustment, letting you get just the right clearing speed without having to slow down the engine.

Honda offers most of its two-stage blowers with tracks or wheels. Tracks offer superior traction, making them the best choice if you need to clear snow off the pavement or on sloping surfaces. Wheeled snowblowers are lighter, cheaper and easier to maintain. They’re also a little easier to turn.

All two-stage snowblowers have a 21.7-inch working height. A drift breaker kit can be added to cut tall snow and drop it into the auger housing. Chute angle is controlled by a remote joystick.

HSS724AT/ATD and HSS724AW/AWD
198cc engine
24-inch working width
1,500 lbs. of snow per minute
49-foot throwing distance
The AT comes with track drive, while the AW uses wheels.

HSS928AT/ATD and HSS928AW/AWD
270cc engine
28-inch working width
1,900 lbs. per minute
52-foot throwing distance
The AT uses track drive, while the AW uses wheel drive.

HSS1332AT/ATD
389 cc engine
32-inch working width
2,750 lbs. per minute
56-foot throwing distance
Honda only offers the HSS1332 with track drive

Hybrid

The HSM1336i is a two-stage snowblower, but its drive system gives this machine better overall performance. Instead of using the engine to directly power both the tracks and the augers, the drive-side end generates electricity. Electric motors turn the tracks, providing more low-end grunt for climbing hills and pushing snow. This drive system also works with the engine off, making this snowblower easy to transport.

The HSM1336i’s iGX engine is based on the GX-Series, but it uses an ECU to control the throttle. This helps the engine respond faster to load changes, so it’s harder to bog down the augers when hitting patches of compacted snow. Of course, electric start comes standard.

The auger has a 36-inch working width and can cut through snow up to 22.8 inches high. At full throttle, it can move 3,000 lbs. of snow per minute. This performance is in line with tractor-based snow moving equipment, without the added cost and weight of using a tractor.

Shank’s Lawn Equipment has the Tools You Need to Manage Winter Weather

Do you need better snow moving equipment? We carry snowblowers from Honda and Cub Cadet as well as attachments from BCS, Woods, and MultiOne. Need parts and service for your current snowblower? We do that, too. Visit our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or check our current inventory at www.shankslawn.com. We also ship OEM parts and accessories across the United States and Canada. To order, visit our website.

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Pressure Washing in Winter Weather

Pressure WasherWhile pressure washing is the last thing most of us want to do in the winter, cleaning is critical this time of year. Salt corrosion is a serious issue, especially if you’re managing a fleet. These tips will help you use your pressure washer safely and effectively as temperatures reach freezing.

Don’t Work at Temperature Below Freezing

The water you use may be warm, but it only takes a little wind for cold air to draw that heat away. If water freezes inside your pressure washer, the expansion will destroy your pump. If you need to clean when it’s near freezing, keep a thermometer on hand. For cold water washing, stop when the temperature reaches 34°F. This gives you a bit of a buffer to empty the pump and lines. Hot water systems can run at a wind chill of 25°F. Once the temperature is below freezing, adding wind speeds up the transfer of heat from the pump to the air.

Whether you run hot or cold water, plan to do your washing in the afternoon during peak temperatures.

Work Indoors Where Possible

Obviously, if you have a heated garage with a dedicated wash bay to work in, it doesn’t matter what temperature it is outside. However, even a portable bay will help. The walls block the wind, and the drainage system helps keep runoff from freezing on pavement.

Work in the Sunlight

If you have to clean outdoors, try to do it out of the shade. Sunlight heats surfaces, making them easier to clean.

Use More Detergent

Cleaning chemicals become less effective as temperatures drop. Expect to mix in more detergent when cleaning than you need during the summer.

Use Hot Water

If your pressure washer has a heater, turn it on. Hot water will run off before it freezes, and it helps detergents do their job.

Wear Waterproof Clothing

Clothing stops holding in heat once it gets wet, making hypothermia a serious risk when pressure washing. Use rubber overshoes, slickers, and other waterproof clothing to create a protective layer around your winter clothing.

With so much water around, ice is always a danger. Add in the force of your pressure washer’s wand, and you have a high chance of falling over. Spiked shoes or a set of ice cleats will help you keep your grip on the ground.

De-Ice Ahead of Time

All the water you’re spraying will end up on the ground, turning the area into an ice rink. Lay down some salt before you start working to keep ice formation down. Be sure to match the de-icer to your current weather conditions. Magnesium and calcium chloride work well in sub-zero temperatures, preventing ice formation over cold nights. However, they can leave a slick film if temperatures hover just above freezing.

Protect Hinges, Levers, and Locks

Be careful where you spray: you want to clean dirty surfaces without forcing water into crevices. Avoid direct spray around door gaps, levers and mirrors. After cleaning, move these parts around to push out trapped moisture and wipe away water to keep them from freezing. Spraying lock cylinders with a water displacer like WD-40 will keep water from collecting inside and freezing.

Use Narrow Tips to Remove Ice

Used correctly, a 15 or 0-degree tip can slice ice into small chunks that can be pushed off with wider spray tips. Skip the 0-degree tip if you’re working around wood or paint.

Keep Your Pump from Freezing

When you’re done cleaning, extra care needs to be taken to protect the pump from freezing. After going through your usual drainage routine, spray compressed air into the pump inlet can help flush out any remaining water. Fill the pump with antifreeze as you would for long-term storage. If you used detergent, be sure to flush the chemical line. If pressure washer antifreeze isn’t available, RV antifreeze or winter formula washer fluid can be used to flush out water.

Where possible, store your pressure washer indoors to prevent freezing.

Keep Your Equipment Running through the Toughest Conditions

Do you need a better pressure washer that can tackle the cold? Shank’s Lawn Equipment carries a wide range of residential and commercial-grade machines from Cub Cadet, Billy Goat and Vortexx. Need parts, accessories, and repairs to keep your washer at peak performance? We do that, too. Stop by our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. We also ship parts and accessories for every brand we carry through our website, www.shankslawn.com. We can have your order delivered to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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Techniques and Tools for Dealing with Ice

dealing with iceGetting rid of snow is easy: just get a shovel or a snowblower and move it out of the way. Getting rid of ice is a lot harder. It sticks to cement, and it’s dangerous to walk and drive on. If you try to scrape it off, you might take some of the pavement with it. If you apply the wrong deicer, it won’t melt. Even if you apply an effective deicer, you may damage your property. Here’s how you can be sure you’re picking the right equipment and chemicals for ice removal.

How, Why and Where Ice Forms

For ice to form on pavement, the air temperature needs to be below freezing and there must be some form of water on the pavement surface. This moisture can be from frost, fog, freezing rain or snow.

The local landscape influences which areas ice over. Lower areas will have cooler, denser air, while trees, buildings and other objects can block the heat from the sun. This can leave spots of ice in some areas while the rest of the pavement is clear.

What makes ice slippery isn’t the ice itself: it’s the thin layer of water on top of the ice. This layer is thickest between 26 and 32°F, when the ice is almost warm enough to melt completely. Preventing and reducing ice formation cheaply and effectively requires a strategy that uses the right kinds of deicers and applications.

Choosing a De-Icer

Deicers can be broken down into three main chemical categories: chlorides, acetates, and carbohydrates. Each type of chloride is effective down to a minimum temperature.

Chlorides
Sodium chloride, AKA dry salt or halite: 15°F
Magnesium chloride: -10°F
Calcium chloride: -20°F.

All three chemicals can corrode metal, and they can cause scaling, especially magnesium chloride. Over time, temperature differences between salt-treated and untreated cement alongside crystal formation in cracks will break down pavement. Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride can pull moisture out of cement, making surfaces slick if the pavement is over 35°F.

Salt runoff inhibits root and leaf growth, killing plants. Additives can increase the tackiness of salt brine, reducing run-off and associated plant damage and corrosion.

Acetate

Calcium magnesium acetate: 20°F
Sodium acetate: -10°F
Potassium acetate: -15°F

Calcium and potassium acetate can cause scaling, but acetates do little to cause rust. They also don’t cause damage to plants if they reach the soil.

Carbohydrates

Beet juice, molasses and corn syrup are pitched as green alternatives to salts due to their low environmental impact. They aren’t well documented when it comes to freezing points. Cement, metal and soil impacts are minimal. This makes carbohydrates a great choice for de-icing in areas with sensitive landscaping, or where pavement repairs would be prohibitively expensive. However, once they reach waterways, they can cause algae blooms.

Methods of Application

Icing conditions vary greatly, even across a single parking lot, so you’ll need to do your own testing to find out what works for the area you’re clearing.

Anti-Icing

If you put down ice melting products before snow falls, the snow and ice will have a harder time bonding to asphalt and pavement. This makes it easier to clean up snow and ice after a winter storm, and it reduces the chance of slipping.

On average, it takes ¼ as much ice melting agent for anti-icing than it does for de-icing, while reducing the labor needed to keep ice under control. This can mean significant savings in materials and labor.

Pre-Wetting and Spraying

Salt only melts ice when it’s in a solution. This can be done in one pass with a spray bar by using a liquid solution, or in two passes by laying down water followed by the deicer. Salt doesn’t bounce on wet surfaces like it does on dry surfaces, keeping it exactly where you want it. This can cut deicer usage by up to 30%.

Spreading Solid Deicers

Why pre-wet and spray when you can apply a liquid de-icer? Rock salt processing is relatively crude, leaving bits of grit and gravel in the final product. This improves grip for people and vehicles crossing the ice. A spreader lays down salt evenly for consistent results. Ideally, enough deicer should be applied to break the bond between the ice and pavement. Once loose, the resulting slush can be scraped off without harming the pavement. Rotary brooms and snow buckets with plastic blades work great for this purpose.

We Have the Snow and Ice Equipment You Need This Winter

Whether you’re clearing a driveway or several parking lots, Shank’s Lawn Equipment has the tools you need for ice removal. This includes handheld, backpack and powered sprayers and spreaders from Shindaiwa, Echo, Exmark and Multione. If you’re looking for new equipment, or you need your current equipment serviced, visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also order parts and accessories from us at www.shankslawn.com. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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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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