Cold weather tips for machinery

Turf professionals have been offered some winter maintenance advice tip for their machinery by Reesink Turfcare.

The company says there are some simple cold-weather tips that can mean when it’s time to bring your machine out of storage, it should be as easy as adding fuel and checking the oil to quickly get up and running:

Check the manual

In an ideal world maintenance should always be done as per the machinery manufacturer’s instructions in order to keep standards high. If perhaps there wasn’t the time to do this throughout the year, now’s the time to rectify that. Toro say they include a recommended maintenance guide inside the owner’s manual for every piece of equipment which will provide machine specifics. 

Change the oil

Allowing contaminated and diluted oil to sit in the engine during months of storage can cause sludge that leads to corrosion and rust. When it comes to the start of a new year, always think “out with the old, in with the new.”

Drain the fuel tank

Modern fuel contains ethanol that begins to break down after about 30 days, leaving a varnish that can eat away at any aluminium it comes in contact with. Protect your fuel system by draining the fuel tank and running the engine to empty the carburettor. If you can’t drain the fuel tank, add in a good fuel stabiliser and then top off the tank. Run the engine for five minutes to circulate the stabiliser throughout the fuel system.

Clean inside and out

Dirt lowers performance, grass can cause rust. It’s time for a deep clean. Always remember to clean or replace the air filter before storing your equipment. If possible, cover the machine to keep out dust and damp.

Keep the battery charged

If your machine is equipped with a battery, check its electrolyte level and top off with distilled water if needed. Place the battery on a float type charger to maintain a full charge until the next season.

Sharpen cutting units

Sharp blades are essential for a quality finish all year, but cutting turf in wet conditions makes it more difficult to get a perfect finish, so in winter this job is even more important.

Change tyres and check stock 

Switching to new tyres to ensure you have improved grip in the face of unforgiving ground conditions as well as keeping a stock of replacement parts will ensure productivity remains high. Think about your high use performance parts and carry enough in stock to minimise downtime later.

Michael Hampton, Reesink’s parts manager, says: “Clubs may well not have the budget they thought they would for new and replacement machinery at the moment, but take good care of your machine and make sure all the parts are performing as they should be, and that shouldn’t be a problem."

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