August 29, 2014

Keep Your Lawn Mower Running Smoothly

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) offers their advice on maintaining your lawn tools for a greener yard and a greener world. Proper maintenance will also extend the life of your mower, trimmer or tiller.

  • Change your equipment’s oil seasonally and be sure to recycle the old oil.
  • Replace the spark plug and air filter, and check for proper carburetor adjustment … a properly tuned engine helps burn fuel more efficiently, thereby reducing emissions.
  • Be sure to use replacement parts recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Avoid gasoline spillage when you’re refilling the tank. Also, keep fuel tanks and containers sealed tight, leaving room (approx. 3/4 full) for expansion.
  • Tighten loose nuts, bolts and belts so that your mower runs a little quieter, too.
  • For mowers, sharpen cutting blades and keep decks cleared of all grass clippings to further enhance performance.
  • Replace old worn out equipment with the latest models offering low-emission engines that run 70% cleaner than 1990 models. Electric or rechargeable battery power is also available.

Today’s lawn mowers and power equipment are designed for lower emissions, you can help by practicing proper maintenance.

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Eight Basic Safety Rules For Outdoor Power Equipment

Here are some rules everyone should be aware of before using outdoor power equipment. They come straight from the folks who know how to use them, The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI).

1 . Know how to operate the equipment.
Read the operator’s manual before using any power equipment. Know where the controls are and what they do. Follow safety instructions.

2. Dress properly for the job.
Wear long pants, close-fitting clothes, sturdy shoes, and safety glasses.Don’t wear anything that could get caught in moving parts (loose jewelry or clothing; be careful of long hair).

3. Handle gas carefully.
Fill up before you start, while the engine is cold. Don’t spill when you fill. Store gas in an approved container in a cool ventilated area. Never smoke around gasoline.

4. Clear the area before you start.
Pick up rocks, twigs, cans, golf balls, anything that could be thrown by mowing equipment.

5. Keep children and pets away from the area until you’re finished.
Never allow children to operate a mower. And never carry children as passengers on a riding mower.

6. Operate equipment carefully and follow recommended procedures.
Always turn off the engine and disconnect the spark plug wire before attempting to unclog or work on outdoor power equipment. When leaving equipment unattended, turn off the engine and remove key.

7. Keep hands and feet away from moving parts.
Never work on equipment while it is running. Never remove or tamper with safety devices and labels… they’re provided to protect you and your family.

8. Wear hearing protection.
When working with equipment that generates increased sound levels be sure to protect your ears. Wear hearing protection such as special earmuffs to prevent potentially damaging sounds from reaching your ears without eliminating the sounds you’ll NEED to hear. So protect your ears from sounds that are too LOUD and too CLOSE for too long.

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