Tips for Trimming and Pruning Trees

Do you want to shape your trees to better fit your lawn’s layout? Are you worried about broken limbs and low-hanging branches? These tips will help you prune and trim your trees to get the results you want while maintaining the health of your plants.
 
 
Cutting Off Branches
 
Cutting in stages helps the tree develop a callous over the bare wood. Shortening the branch first takes the weight off of the tree, so you can make a clean final cut.
 
Start by making a cut half way through the underside of the branch about 18 inches above where the branch meets the trunk. Next, make a cut on the top side of the branch one inch farther from the trunk than your previous cut. The resulting L-shaped cut will remove most of the branch without splitting the wood. Finally, make a 45 degree angle cut against the branch collar. This area has thicker bark than the rest of the branch. The finished cut should sit flush against the collar without a stub sticking out.
 
 
Pruning
 
Pruning can begin as soon as the tree is planted. During the plant’s first season, pruning should be limited to removing broken or diseased branches. After the first winter, you can start pruning the plant to give it shape. Pruning can be divided into four categories.
 
Crown thinning: This reduces branch density, which improves air and sunlight penetration. It also takes weight off of long branches. Never remove more than 20% of the branches from the canopy.
 
Crown reduction: This is like crown thinning, but only lateral branches are removed. This pruning method encourages new growth.
 
Crown raising: Removing low-hanging limbs makes it easier to walk under the tree. It’s easy to trim too much. The total thickness of low branches should be at least 60% of the trunk width.
 
Crown cleaning: This is the removal of dead and damaged branches.
 
When should you prune? It depends on the situation and the type of tree.
 
– Always remove damaged and diseased branches as soon as possible.
 
– The best time to trim and shape most trees is in mid to late winter. Once the tree comes out of dormancy, it will recover quickly from the cuts. Don’t worry if the tree leaks sap. This is natural, and won’t harm the tree. The flow of sap will usually stop once the tree starts budding.
 
– Trimming in late summer after peak growth can be useful for managing branch growth. Removing leaves reduces the amount of sugars the plant is able to generate for growth.
 
– Tree varieties that bloom early, like apricot and magnolia, are fueled by growth from the previous season. If you trim these plants in the winter, they won’t bloom. Instead, trim these plants right after they bloom in the spring.
 
– Late blooming trees like dogwood and hawthorn bloom better if they’re trimmed early in the season. This takes some of the nutrient load off of the tree, so it can focus its energies on making flowers for the remaining branches.
 
 
Get the Tools You Need for Better Landscaping
 
Shank’s Lawn Equipment is the best place to get any type of landscaping tool, from groundbreaking implements to mowers. We carry multi-tools, hedge trimmers and chainsaws from most major brands, including Echo, Shindaiwa, Bear Cat and Honda. If you’re looking for tools to help you take care of your trees and shrubs, or you need service for your current equipment, come see us. We’re located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.
 
Need parts or accessories for your lawn care equipment? We can ship what you need to any address in the United States or Canada. To order, visit us at www.shankslawn.com.

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Woods Augers and Post Hole Diggers

Even if a one or two man auger can dig the holes you need, they take a lot of time and effort to use. Augers and post hole diggers from Woods Equipment don’t just let you drill bigger holes, they let you drill faster. These augers are made to fit a wide range of vehicles, including tractors, skid steers, backhoes and excavators. Using these tools, you can prepare land for fencing, create holes for foundation piles and more.
 
 
Post Hole Diggers
 
These augers are designed to be mounted to a three point hitch and driven by a tractor PTO. Twin supports mounted to the gearbox create three points of contact, while a long handle at the top of the swivel joint helps line up the auger. If you have an open tractor, this handle will usually be within reach of the operator’s position. This makes it easy to drill at an offset, whether you need to drill a hole at an angle, or make up for tool movement when drilling a straight hole.
 
The booms on these diggers can be set to four positions, so they’ll work with most tractors. The gearbox is designed to work with a 540 RPM PTO. If the auger bit gets hung up, a shear bolt stops torque transfer, protecting drive components. All models can be fitted with an optional 12 inch auger extension for digging deeper holes.
 
PD25.20
 
Supports 6, 9 and 12 inch augers up to 36 inches long
Compatible with CAT 1 and Limited CAT 1 hitches
Works with 14-25 HP tractors
 
PE35.50
 
Supports 6, 9 and 12 inch augers up to 48 inches long
Compatible with CAT 1 three point hitches
Works with 20-35 HP tractors
 
PD95.50
 
Supports 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 inch diameter augers, up to 48 inches long
Compatible with CAT 1 hitches
35-95 HP tractors
 
 
Hydraulic Augers
 
These augers are designed to use hydraulic power from a backhoe, excavator or skid steer. Once mounted to the front arms of the machine, they can operate at a 40 or 50 degree attack angle.
 
The gearbox uses a planetary drive system, spreading out the load over multiple teeth. This makes these augers ideal for cutting through hard soil. Woods offers these augers with a choice of standard, hardface and carbide teeth, letting you balance cutting strength with durability. All models support auger diameters ranging from 6 to 36 inches. Woods recommends using the HA15E and HA20E for general construction use, while the HA30E and HA35E are built for heavy duty digging tasks.
 
 
HA15E
 
Maximum depth: 10 feet
Hydraulic fluid pressure range: 1,500-3,750 PSI
Auger speed
20 GPM: 104 RPM
25 GPM: 129 RPM
 
HA20E
 
Maximum depth: 10 feet
Hydraulic fluid pressure range: 1,500-3,750 PSI
Auger speed
20 GPM: 66 RPM
25 GPM: 82 RPM
30 GPM: 99 RPM
 
HA30E
 
Maximum depth: 20 feet
Hydraulic fluid pressure range 1,500-5,000 PSI
Auger speed
30 GPM: 92 RPM
35 GPM: 107 RPM
40 GPM: 123 RPM
 
HA35E
 
Maximum depth: 20 feet
Hydraulic fluid pressure range: 1,500-5,000 PSI
Auger speed
35 GPM: 87 RPM
40 GPM: 99 RPM
45 GPM: 111 RPM
 
 
We Have More than Just Mowers
 
Shank’s Lawn Equipment carries a wide range of outdoor power equipment for both residential and commercial use, including attachments from Woods. As a certified dealer, we service everything we sell, so we can help you keep your equipment running. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.
 
Do you need parts or accessories for your Woods attachments? 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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Choosing a Snowblower

Choosing a snowblower can be confusing with all the options available. Here’s everything you need to know to get the right model, from the size to the starter.
 
 
How Big Does the Snowblower Need to Be?
 
Generally speaking, you should buy something with a little more capacity than you think you’ll need. This lets you use less than the full capacity of your blower to compensate for heavy snow.  Expect to overlap at least 20% with each pass, and up to 50% if the snow is particularly dense, or it’s near the maximum height capacity of the snowblower.
 
 
How Many Stages Do I Need?
 
A single stage snowblower has a single auger that picks up, chops and throws snow. That’s a lot of work for one set of blades, so you’ll only see the smallest residential models use this design.
 
A dual stage auger adds an impeller that helps chop up snow and push it through the chute. This design is used by most large residential and commercial blowers.
 
Troy-Bilt and Cub Cadet make three stage snowblowers. They have a second auger between the main auger and the chute impeller. This added stage helps break up heavy snow and ice. These machines are a great choice if you frequently deal with heavy snowfall.
 
 
Wheels or Tracks?
 
A track drive is better at climbing slopes and has better grip on packed snow. This makes it a great choice for clearing snowbanks and picking up snow that has been driven on. Wheeled snowblowers are easier to turn, reducing the effort needed to clear driveways and parking lots.
 
 
What Drive System Works Best?
 
Small single stage blowers are pushed like a walk-behind mower. The action of the auger helps pull the machine forward. Since these machines are light, it doesn’t take much effort to move or turn them.
 
A gear drive is simple and inexpensive, but it can be hard to deal with. Most of the time, you’ll have to use a gear that is a little too fast or slow for the snow you’re clearing. The drive system does not assist with turning.
 
A hydrostatic drive lets you vary the speed infinitely, so you can go as fast as your snowblower can handle. Some models have dual hydraulic motors. This lets you engage the wheels separately, turning the snowblower like it’s a ZTR mower.
 
Honda’s HS1336iAS snowblower has a hybrid drive system. The engine only powers the augers, while the tracks use electric motors. This gives you extra torque for climbing hills, and it lets you transport the blower with the engine off.
 
 
Do I Need Drift Cutters?
 
These blades mount on the sides of the snowblower, slicing through snow that extends above the auger housing. They’re useful for knocking piles of snow from snow drifts into the auger for removal.
 
 
Do I want AC or Battery Electric Start?
 
An AC starter plugs into a household outlet. You never need to worry about having enough power to turn the engine over. However, you also need ready access to an outlet. This makes it a great choice for home snow clearing, but not for commercial use.
 
A battery starter can be used anywhere, but this adds the trouble and expense of battery maintenance.
 
 
Get the Equipment You Need This Winter
 
Shank’s Lawn Equipment sells and services snowblowers from several major brands, including Honda, Cub Cadet, Troy Bilt and MultiOne. If you’re looking for a new snowblower, or need help fixing your current snowblower, visit our shop, located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s one mile off of I-81 from Exit 10. We also ship parts and accessories across the U.S. and Canada. To order, visit www.shankslawn.com.

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Shindaiwa Chainsaws: A Great Choice for Hobbyists and Professionals

While Echo may be more famous for chainsaws, their parent company, Shindaiwa, also makes some great saws of their own. Which one is right for you?
 
 
What Do You Get with a Shindaiwa Chainsaw?
 
Every Shindaiwa is designed for commercial duty. They aren’t just durable, they’re also easy to maintain. The air filter can be accessed without tools, and the chain adjuster is mounted on the side for quick tension changes. Their “Youcan” maintenance kits have all the parts you need for scheduled maintenance and common repairs, including tune-ups and fuel line replacements.
 
All engines used in these chainsaws are traditional two-strokes. Shindaiwa uses upgraded professional engines in their larger saws. These use better air filtration systems for a longer service life.
 
All chainsaws are backed by a one year warranty for commercial users, while residential users are protected for 5 years.
 
 
Models
 
305S
 
This compact saw tips the scales at 8.8 lbs. without the bar and chain. The 30.5cc engine comes with Shindaiwa’s i-30 starting system, which has a secondary spring built into the recoil starter. This helps kick the engine over, even on slow pulls. The 305 is compatible with 14-inch bars.
 
340S
 
Want more power without adding weight? The 340S has a 34cc engine and can use a 16-inch bar. Otherwise, it’s identical to the 305S, down to the weight.
 
358TS
 
This model is targeted at arborists, balancing weight and power to minimize strain over the work day. The top handle has a palm rest, and both handles are positioned to keep the hands in a natural position. This reduces hand and wrist fatigue.
 
The 358TS has a 35.8 cc professional grade engine and can be used with a 14 or 16-inch bar. It weighs 8 lbs.
 
 
402S
 
This is Shindaiwa’s value professional chainsaw. It has a 40.2cc professional grade engine with an i-30 starter. The G-Force pre-cleaner uses centrifugal force to push large dirt particles out of the air box before they reach the filter, extending service intervals
 
The 402S can use a 16 or 18-inch bar. It weighs 10.1 lbs.
 
491S
 
At first glance, the 491S seems like it’s just a beefed-up 402S. It comes with a 50.2cc engine, and it supports a 16, 18 or 20 inch bar. It also comes with a G-force pre-cleaner. However, you also get a dual post chain brake and a chrome-plated cylinder to extend the saw’s service life. A magnesium crankcase that helps keep weight down to 10.6 lbs.
 
591
 
This big saw is made specifically for cutting firewood The massive 59.8 cc engine give the 591 the power to run an 18 or 20-inch bar. A decompression valve makes the engine easier to turn over, while a G-force pre-filter and two-piece air filter protects the motor from excessive wear. The 591 has a translucent fuel tank, letting you check the level at a glance. It weighs 13.2 lbs.
 
600SX
 
Like the 591, but want more power? Tuning and gearing changes give the 600SX the power to run 20, 24 and 27-inch bars, while dual bumper spikes make it easier to control. It weighs 13.7 lbs.
 
 
Whether You’re a Pro or Hobbyist, Shank’s Has the Equipment and Support You Need
 
Are you looking for a new chainsaw? Come see the experts at Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We’ve been helping residential and commercial customers with their outdoor equipment for 35 years. Our shop is at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.
 
Do you need some parts or a tuneup kit for your Shindaiwa chainsaw? We can ship the OEM parts you need to any address in the USA or Canada. To order, visit us online at www.shankslawn.com.

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Choosing a Pressure Washer

With so many factors at play from multiple power measurements to nozzle designs, picking out a pressure washer can be confusing. This breakdown will help you understand what all these numbers and choices mean, so you can find a machine that fits your needs.
 
 
Power: GPM, PSI and CU
 
There are three measurements for pressure washer power:
 
– Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) is the amount of water pressure
– Gallons per minute (GPM) is the amount of water coming out of the nozzle
– Cleaning Units (CU) is GPM multiplied by PSI
 
Cleaning power depends on both pressure and volume, so CU gives you the best picture of the washer’s performance. This is easy to overlook, since most residential pressure washers emphasize PSI. For example, let’s say you’re comparing Vortexx’s light duty pressure washers. If you look at PSI, they seem to be about the same. However, there’s a big difference when you factor in volume.
 
2700LD: 2,700 PSI x 2.5 GPM = 6,750 CU
2750LD: 2,750 PSI x 3 GPM = 8,250 CU
 
The 2750LD makes only 50 more PSI than the 2700LD, but thanks to a flow rate increase of 0.5 GPM, it provides 22% more cleaning power.
 
 
Power Washer Nozzles: A Size for Every Job
 
Most pressure washers come with 5 nozzles.  The black nozzle can pick up detergent from the soap system and spray it on the surface you’re cleaning. The other four nozzles have different spray patterns from a 40 degree white nozzle to a 0 degree red nozzle. Each nozzle has a specific cleaning use, from washing cars to removing rust and dirt from bare metal.
 
Concentrating the spray increases force, but it doesn’t increase cleaning power. If you use a nozzle with too small of an angle, you can damage the surface you’re cleaning. If you need more cleaning power, you need a pressure washer with a higher output.
 
 
Pump Design: Triplex or Axial
 
While there are several pump designs on the market, most pressure washers use either an axial or a triplex pump.
 
An axial pump uses an impeller to move water. This pump connects directly to the engine shaft. These pumps are cheap, but their output is limited. They also wear out quickly, so they’re mostly used in residential pressure washers.
 
A triplex pump has three pistons that move up and down to pump water. This pump design connects to the engine using a gearbox. By changing the gear ratios, the manufacturer can increase the pump speed to deliver more pressure. These pumps last a long time, so they’re great for commercial use.
 
 
Hot Water or Cold Water?
 
Hot water is more effective at cleaning than cold water, but it also makes buying and fueling the pressure washer more expensive. With the heater turned off, the machine works like any other pressure washer. Turn it on, and the hot water coming out of the nozzle cuts through grease, oil, glue and tar with ease. Hot water systems are a great choice for cleaning vehicles and heavy equipment. They’re also the only effective way to remove old chewing gum from pavement.
 
 
We’re More than Just Mowers
 
Shank’s Lawn sells and services all types of small engine equipment, including pressure washers. We’re a certified dealer for Cub Cadet and Vortexx pressure washers, and we service pumps from popular brands, including AR and Cat Pumps. If you’re looking for a new pressure washer, or you need help with your current unit, visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.
 
We also ship factory parts and accessories across the United States and Canada. To order, visit our website, www.shankslawn.com.

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The 5 Most Common Lawn Care Mistakes

Not all of us work on landscaping for a living, but we still need to take care of our lawns. Even if you don’t know the difference between an N-P-K and a perennial, you can make some small changes to your lawn care routine to get better results. These tips will help you address the most common lawn care mistakes, so you can get a better looking yard with minimal effort.

Mistake #1: Not Testing the Soil Before Adding Fertilizers

Is your soil low in nutrients, like nitrogen or phosphorus? Is it too acidic or basic for your grass to thrive? Could your weed problems be caused by soil conditions that make your lawn easy for weeds to grow? The only way to find out is with a soil test. Attempt to fertilize your lawn without this information, and you’ll either get poor results from lack of nutrients, or damage your plants by adding too much.

To get the best results, get several soil samples across your lawn. Dig several holes 6-8 inches deep, and mix the soil from these holes together in a bucket. Spread out the soil and let it dry before sending it to your local extension office. Do this long before you plan on fertilizing your lawn: it will take at least two weeks to get the results. The report will tell you what’s missing from your lawn, including nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sulfur and trace minerals. It will also warn you about anything that may be hazardous to plants and people, including aluminum and lead. From there, you can choose the right combination of fertilizer and adjuncts to bring your soil’s nutrients and pH into balance.

Mistake #2: Cutting the Grass Too Short

The shorter you cut the grass, the less often you have to mow it, right? While technically true, you’ll probably end up mowing less often because you damaged the grass. Do a little research into the grass varieties you have on your lawn. Each type of grass has its preferred minimum height, which can range from ½ inch to two inches.

When mowing, never cut more than 1/3 of the total height of the leaves at one time. Cutting any more is too much of a shock to the plant, stunting its growth. If you’re dealing with tall grass, mow in stages, giving the grass a couple days between cuts to recover.

Mistake #3: Mowing with Dull Blades

A dull blade tears instead of cuts. These jagged edges are effectively wounds that offer a pathway for diseases to enter. Your mower’s blades should be as sharp as a butter knife and have a consistent edge from center to tip.

How often do you need to sharpen your mower’s blades? That depends on where and how you mow. A typical homeowner may only need to sharpen once per season, while landscapers may need to sharpen their blades every week. Running over rocks and scalping the ground wears the edge down prematurely. It’s a good idea to inspect your blades after either of these happens. Likewise, you should always sharpen your blades after using your mower to cut up soil plugs left over from aerating. No matter how carefully you mow, blade wear will always be faster in areas with sandy soil.

Mistake #4: Always Bagging Lawn Clippings

Bagging leaves the best finish, but it’s rarely the best method for keeping your grass healthy. For most mowing, you should mulch. By slicing grass up into small pieces, it can be broken down quickly, returning nutrients to the soil.

Bagging should only be used if you need to eliminate weed seeds, or you’re getting ready to cut away the turf to replace it with sod. It’s also useful for removing excess leaves in the fall.

Side discharge mowing is a good option if the grass is too thick to mulch properly. However, it doesn’t mean you have to leave lines of clippings on your lawn. Make a second pass to chop up the clippings, so you can return them to the soil.

Mistake #5: Using the Wrong Equipment

Buying the cheapest thing on the shelf at your local home improvement store is a surefire strategy for frustration. The next time you need outdoor equipment, visit Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We’ve been in the power equipment business since the 1980s, helping homeowners and professionals with their lawn care tools. We carry most major brands, including Honda, Cub Cadet, Echo, Billy Goat, and Troy Bilt, so we have exactly what you need to get the job done. We also have a full service department and a massive parts warehouse to help you keep your equipment running. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or online at www.shankslawn.com. We ship parts and accessories across the U.S. and Canada.

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Keeping Your Lawn Green During Peak Summer Temperatures

Watering Your Lawn in the SummerIs it possible to have a great looking lawn through the summer? Yes, but it takes some planning. Using the right mowing and watering techniques, you can help your grass survive the hottest, driest parts of the summer, and still stay green. These tips will help you address common summer lawn issues, and let you know when it’s time to step back and let your lawn turn brown.

Why is Summer Stressful to Grass?

In most areas, there’s less rain in the summer, which means more irrigation is needed to make up the difference. Heat stresses grass directly, but it also increases evaporation, drying the soil out further. To keep grass healthy, lawn care should focus on keeping the soil moist, while removing factors that can strain grass growth.

Use Your Grass to Shade the Soil

Let your grass grow longer in the summer. The blades shade the ground, protecting the root system, and reducing evaporation. Most warm-season grasses remain healthy at heights up to three inches. Bermuda thrives at a maximum height of 2 ½ inches, while Bahia and buffalo varieties can grow up to four inches high.

Water to Keep Soil Moist

The deeper you can get water to penetrate the soil, the better your grass will be at handling the heat. For most grass varieties, you want to add 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. Dividing this up into one or two applications each week will help saturate the soil across the entire root system.

Timing irrigation is a balancing act. On one hand, you don’t want the water to evaporate. On the other hand, putting down so much water at one time encourages fungal infections. Ideally, you should water early in the morning, just before the sun comes up. This gives the time for the soil to absorb the water while letting any standing water evaporate once the sun is up. If you have an irrigation system with a timer, set it to activate around 5-6 am.

Protecting the Grass from Other Sources of Stress

A dull mower blade breaks off the ends of your grass instead of slicing them. This opens up your lawn to infections. If you see jagged tips on your grass after you mow, you need to sharpen your blades.

If you have a pet in your yard, their urine can take a toll on your grass. Urine has a high nitrogen content. Between a lack of water in the summer and your dog or cat’s habit of using the same spot for potty breaks, there’s a high chance of having burns. Spray down the area with water to dilute the nitrogen as soon as possible, and keep the area watered to help plants bounce back.

Now is not a good time to fertilize your lawn, or treat it with herbicides and insecticides. If you have a weed problem, stick to contact herbicides. Since they’re only applied directly to the weed, they’re less likely to affect the surrounding grass.

My Lawn Turned Brown. Now What?

Your lawn probably isn’t dead, it’s just dormant. In times of drought and heat stress, your grass will shut down its leaves to focus nutrients and water on the roots to keep the plant alive. How do you tell the difference between dormant and dead grass? Dormant grass turns brown across your lawn, while grass will die in patches. However, if your irrigation system doesn’t have good coverage, you may have dormant spots outside of the water’s reach.

Usually, grass can stay dormant for up to a month before it starts to die. Trying to revive grass immediately after it goes dormant adds more stress, which may end up killing it. Instead, wait until the weather is more favorable, either because of increased precipitation or lower temperatures. If you see some green reappearing, it’s safe to resume watering and mowing your lawn.

Shank’s Lawn Equipment has Everything You Need for Lawn Care

From mowers to towable spray tanks, we carry every type of outdoor equipment you may need to take care of your lawn. Need help with your equipment? Shank’s is an authorized service center for most major brands of residential and professional equipment. We also have a massive parts warehouse, and we ship parts and accessories across the United States and Canada.  Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or online at www.shankslawn.com.

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Yanmar SA Series Tractors: When Lawn and Garden Tractors Just Won’t Cut It

Yanmar SA Series TractorsIs your garden tractor not cutting it? Do you wish you had a tractor, but can’t justify their high price? Maybe what you need is a Yanmar SA series. These compact tractors bridge the gap between tractors and lawn equipment, offering a mix of features that make them flexible, powerful, and easy to use.

Attachments: What Makes a Tractor a Tractor

No matter how big a garden tractor may be, attachment use is limited. At most, you may be able to add a snow blade or pull a grass seeding trailer. With the SA Series, you get three places to attach implements, either built for these tractors by Yanmar, or by third parties using industry-standard fittings.

At the rear of these tractors, you’ll find a standard three-point hitch. The PTO has a 35mm (1 3/8 inch) outside diameter with  6 splines, and it can spin at 554 or 3,200 RPM. This makes it compatible with a wide range of aftermarket equipment, including everything from brush mowers to snow blowers.  Yanmar makes a backhoe that fits this hitch.

There’s a second mid-mounted PTO designed for under-frame attachments. It has an SAE 16/32 inch PTO with 15 splines, and it can spin at 2,057 or 3,200 RPM. Yanmar offers a 60-inch mowing deck for this attachment point, making the SA Series a great replacement for a lawn tractor.

The SA series also supports front-mounted attachments with connections to the tractor’s hydraulic system. The hydraulic pump moves up to 4.3 gallons of fluid per minute, giving it the power to operate attachments including front loader buckets, forks, and hay spears. Yanmar even offers their own boom loader for this hitch, as well as a grading blade, snow blade, and rotary broom.

Lawn Tractor Usability with Tractor Capability

These tractors use a hydrostatic drive that’s just as easy to use as the units on lawn tractors. It uses two pedals to control forward and rearward motion, with no need to use a gear shift or hand throttle to set the speed. Top speed is 8.6 MPH going forward, and 6.3 MPH in reverse. Selectable four-wheel drive gives these tractors added grip on soft surfaces. Yanmar designed every part of the drivetrain in-house, so these components are built to work together for maximum efficiency.

Since there are no shifters, the operator position has a large, flat footboard. Coupled with the high backed seat and armrests, this makes the SA more comfortable to use than most full-size tractors.  Like a full-size tractor, these models have hydraulic steering. Instead of spinning a steering shaft, turning the wheel controls valves that move the steering rack left and right. This eliminates bump steer and reduces vibration. A full-frame quells vibrations before they can reach the seat and controls.

The ROPS protects the operator from rollovers, and it folds down, reducing the tractor’s total height by 20 inches for storage. The SA Series comes with front and ROPS-mounted work lights, as well as side marker lights for visibility.

The SA Series is powered by Yanmar’s famously reliable liquid-cooled diesels. They’re guaranteed with a 5-year powertrain warranty. The built-in 6.1-gallon fuel tank will keep this tractor running all day.

Models

Yanmar makes three versions of the SA Series: the 221, the 324, and the 424.

The 221 is built to be a low-cost upgrade from lawn and garden tractors. It comes with an engine that makes 19.4 HP.

The 324 is targeted at 3-5 acre properties. It has an engine that produces 21.7 HP, so it can handle larger implements than the 221.

The 424 is a 324 outfitted for earth moving. Bigger tires give it 9.9 inches of ground clearance, 1.4 inches more than the 324. It comes with a YL210 front loader attachment from the factory.

Looking for Better Lawn Care Tools? We Can Help.

Looking for something with more flexibility than a standard garden tractor? Shank’s Lawn equipment carries Yanmar tractors, BCS America two-wheel tractors, and MultiOne mini loaders. Looking for implements? We also carry OEM attachments from these brands, as well as products from Woods Equipment. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also see our current inventory and order OEM parts and accessories at www.shankslawn.com. We can ship your order to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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The New Echo CS-3510 Chainsaw: Consumer Performance Without Compromises

Echo CS-3510 ChainsawMost of us aren’t arborers or lumberjacks, but that doesn’t mean we’re stuck using terrible consumer-grade chainsaws. The new Echo CS-3510 chainsaw is aimed at the consumer market, but it comes with a lot of the features that make their pro chainsaws great to use. This makes it a great choice if you’re looking for a saw for occasional use for home cleanup, cut firewood for camping, or manage small trees and branches.

Performance

The CS-3510 follows in the footsteps of the CS-4510, utilizing new design features to reduce weight and deliver more power than its predecessor, the CS-352. According to Echo, owners can expect 20% better cutting performance, 12% more power and a weight reduction of over half a pound compared to the chainsaw it replaces.

The CS-3510 is powered by a new 34.4cc commercial grade two-stroke engine. It uses Echo’s i-30 starter, which has a spring assist to reduce starting effort by 30%. The handle is mounted on a three point spring system, helping separate it from the vibrations coming from the engine and chain. The CS-3510 has the highest power-to-weight ratio in its class, tipping the scales at just 8.2 lbs. without the bar and chain. Expect a complete chainsaw with fuel and oil to weigh two to three pounds more.

While the CS-352 is compatible with 14 and 16-inch bars, the CS-3510 only works with a 16-inch bar. This chainsaw has enough power for cutting down small to medium sized trees. It’s also good for light firewood cutting, pruning, thinning, and general lawn and storm cleanup. Thanks to its compact size, it also makes a great camp saw, making quick work out of chopping firewood or cleaning up branches on the trail.

Maintenance

The CS-3510 has a 7.8 oz. bar oil tank and a 9.5 oz. fuel tank. Both tanks are translucent, so you can check the amount of fluid in them at a glance. The oiler isn’t adjustable, but it uses an automatic clutch drive. This drive only lubricates the chain when it’s in motion, reducing bar oil consumption.

A new air injection air cleaner reduces maintenance by separating out large dust before air reaches the filter. This saw has toolless filter access thanks to a cover held down by two metal tabs. Fuel line replacement is easy, too. The line has a fixed grommet, so you know the line is reaching the bottom of the tank when you install it. You can expect Echo will release YouCan maintenance kits for this chainsaw soon. These include all the parts you need for common repairs, including tune ups and fuel system rebuilds.

The bolts for the bar and the chain tensioner are next to each other underneath a side cover. This makes it easier to replace the bar and chain. These are both positioned away from the exhaust, so you don’t need to worry about burning yourself if you need to work on this saw shortly after using it.

The air purge bulb, choke and off switch are mounted on the back side of the engine cover, next to handle. The choke automatically disengages when the throttle is used, keeping you from leaving the choke on when you make your first cut. The ignition switch is spring-loaded, so you’ll never crank the engine with the ignition off, flooding the engine.

Warranty

The Echo CS-3510 is guaranteed for one year of commercial use, or 5 years of residential use.

When You Need Help with Chainsaws, Talk to the Experts

Shank’s Lawn Equipment covers all types of outdoor and lawn care equipment, including everything from mowers to chainsaws. If you’re looking for a new chainsaw, or you need help with your Echo, visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. We have a massive parts warehouse with everything you need to fix your saw, as well as a service department that can help you with difficult repair work. You can also check us out online at www.shankslawn.com. Our site lets you browse our current equipment inventory, and order everything you need for your chainsaw. We ship parts and accessories across the United States and Canada.

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Echo X Series String Trimmers

Echo X Series String TrimmersThe idea behind Echo’s X Series is simple. Instead of having to look at a dozen or so models to find the best one for your landscaping business, they put this label on the best they have to offer.
What do you get when you buy one of their X Series string trimmers? Something that isn’t as heavy and awkward as a purpose-built brush cutter, but still has plenty of performance and design features that make it easy to use all day.

What Makes These Trimmers Commercial Grade?

Echo started with engines taken from Echo’s chainsaw lineup. These two-strokes have a magnesium fan housing to keep weight down. A bellows-style fuel transfer system prevents vapor lock, making it easier to start the engine when it’s hot. Air passes through a two stage air filter, keeping the inside of the engine clean for a longer service life. This filter can be serviced without tools, making it easy to clean and replace.

The main maintenance interval comes every three months, and it’s simple enough for owners to do themselves. Echo even makes tune-up packs with everything you need to keep your trimmer running. If the cooling fins get dirty, you only need to remove a couple screws to remove the engine shroud. While most repairs are relatively simple, Echo recommends having the carburetor adjusted by the dealer if you operate at altitudes over 1,100 feet.

Over-molded front and rear grips, like you’ll find on most power tools, provide better grip and absorb some of the engine vibration. Echo uses loop grips on all of their X Series models.

Models

SRM-2620

The smaller X Series trimmer comes with a 25.4 cc two-stroke engine that makes 1.35 HP. A 1.62:1 gear ratio keeps line speeds high to rip through grass. This model comes with a Speed-Feed 400 cutting head that reloads quickly without needing to be disassembled. It comes pre-loaded with Echo’s updated 0.095 Black Diamond line, but this head can handle line up to 0.130 inches in diameter. The cutting swath for this model is 17 inches. The 2620 tips the scales at 12.3 lbs.

SRM-2620T

Need more power to cut through woody growth? The SRM-2620T has a 2:1 gear ratio, giving it 28% more torque than the standard 2620. This larger gearbox increases weight to 12.5 lbs, but it’s otherwise identical to the SRM-2620.

SRM-3020

How do you follow up the success of the SRM-2620? Add more power. The new 3020 has a 30.5 cc two-stroke engine producing 1.8 HP. That added power cuts a 20 inch swath using a Speed-Feed 450 cutting head. This head handles up to 0.130 inch line, and comes with the same 0.095 Black Diamond line as the 2620. The gearbox has a 1.62:1 gear ratio. Without fuel, the 3020 weighs 13.7 lbs.

SRM-3020T

The high torque version of the 3020 has a 2:1 gear reduction and weighs 13.9 lbs.

Attachments and Accessories

Echo offers an edger, tiller and brush cutter for their X Series line. Currently, these attachments are only available for the SRM-2620 and  SRM-2620T.

The edger attachment uses a 0.090 inch blade to cut clean edges against pavement and redefine garden beds. It’s compatible with Echo’s Crack Chaser wire wheel. This wheel removes dirt and vegetation from pavement, preparing it for sealing.

The tiller attachment replaces the trimmer head with a pair of tilling blades for tilling and cultivating.

Echo also offers a blade conversion kit for brush cutting. It uses a 20 mm arbor, and is available with or without an 8 inch, 8 tooth brush blade. A harness and barrier bars are included.

Like the X Series, but want to use a different cutting head? Echo offers a high capacity manual head, a heavy-duty fixed line head and the ECHOmatic bump head. These heads can be used with all X Series models. The Maxi-Cut head uses heavy-duty composite blades instead of line, making it a good choice for cutting thick brush. It’s only compatible with the 2620.

Warranty

Echo guarantees the entire trimmer for two years of commercial use, and 5 years of consumer use.

When You Need the Best, Go to Shank’s

Shank’s Lawn Equipment has been in the outdoor equipment business since 1985. We offer residential and commercial grade lawn care equipment from top brands including Echo, Echo Bear Cat, Mantis and Honda. Looking for parts and accessories? Need to have your equipment fixed? Our parts and service departments can help you keep your equipment working. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or check out our website, www.shankslawn.com. We ship parts and accessories across the United States and Canada.

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