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How to Winterize Your Commercial Lawn Equipment (5 Simple Steps)

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Old Man Winter is rolling around the corner…

And like it or not, for many of us, that means it's time to store away our lawn equipment.

But what is the proper way to store commercial lawn care equipment for the winter?

And what steps should you take to ensure your equipment will last for years to come?

Let's take a look at what lawn care pros need to know about storing your equipment in the winter.

Below are 5 easy to follow steps...

5 Steps to Winterize Your Commercial Lawn Mower

Here are five simple steps you can take to store your lawnmower this winter. Taking these steps will not only ensure that you can get your mower up and running without issue next lawn mowing season. It will also ensure you get more time out of your equipment. 

You want to take these five steps to prepare your lawn mower for winter storage: 

  1. Run out of gas, or use non-ethanol gas,

  2. Disconnect battery,

  3. Pull spark plug use treatment,

  4. Clean and wipe down,

  5. Service your mower.

Look, if you are using your equipment for 30 or more hours a week, you want to take care of it! Part of caring for your equipment and advancing your lawn care company, is proper winter storage

Unless you are like this guy…

Step 1: Use Non-Ethanol Gas

For small engines, in particular, ethanol can cause issues with lawn care equipment.

For one, Ethanol does not stay stable as long as pure gasoline. Which means that it is more likely to "go bad." Bad gasoline is not as volatile as it needs to be for an engine to ignite it successfully. While car engines are big enough that bad gasoline is not as 'big' of an issue, small engines have a more challenging time running when gasoline loses its volatility. And this gas should be disposed of properly

Two, ethanol can leave behind more residue because it does not burn as cleanly. This means that your engine is more likely to get engine gunk, leading to issues over time. 

While you can use a fuel stabilizer to extend the life of gas-containing ethanol, it is better to operate your equipment with strictly non-ethanol. 

Step 2: Prep Your Battery For Storage

By disconnecting the battery on your mower, you can ensure that its charge and the battery itself will last longer. Here's the deal, when a battery is connected to the mower, it will slowly drain over time. 

While an unplugged battery will also drain over time, it will do so much slower. 

Alternatively, you can get a trickle charger to maintain your battery over the winter. 

Or, you can start your mower once a month and let it run for 10-15 minutes to keep the battery charged when it is not in operation.

Step #3: Treat Your Spark Plug

Look, treating your spark plug isn't a big ordeal. Simply pull it out, add a few drops of something like Marvel Mystery Oil in, and crank the engine a few times. 

This will help protect the inside of the engine from corroding during winter storage. While many debate whether or not this extra step is worthwhile if you are looking to preserve your equipment for years to come...

It won't hurt. 

Step #4: Don't Forget to Clean Your Equipment Thoroughly! 

Perhaps most importantly, clean your equipment. If you are looking for your equipment to last for years to come, the last thing you want to do is leave grass caked on it, especially on your mower's deck. 

Be sure to give your commercial equipment a final bath before storing it away for the winter! Caked on grass will retain moisture, and corrode your lawn mowers deck, and other parts prematurely

Ideally, you will keep your mower clean all season long, but in the words of Sweet Brown "ain't nobody for time for that."

Step #5: Service Your Mower

Look, if you are looking to go the extra mile, why not do a complete service on your lawnmower?

Nothing will leave you better prepared for the next mowing season than ensuring that your z-turn will be running smoothly next season like doing a total service. 

Take the timer to:

  • Change your oil,
  • Replace your fuel filter, 
  • Sharpen your blades, 
  • Level your deck, 
  • And grease all your lawnmowers joints. 

Taking the time to handle these service points now, will allow you to hit the ground running next mowing season. 

Other Commercial Lawn Equipment Storage Tips

The last thing you will need to do is find a place to store your equipment where it is safe, secure, and not exposed to the elements. 

If you are fortunate enough to have a garage at your home that will fit all your equipment, then you already know what to do! If not, you may want to consider your options as far as building storage goes. Here is an excellent article with different storage ideas for your lawn care equipment this winter. 

Pro Tip! Consider renting a storage unit to free up space, or if you don't have enough space, to begin with. Depending on where you live, a few months of storage should be relatively cheap. And you can rest assured knowing it's safe and out of your way. 

Storing 2-Stroke Engines for the WInter

Commercial 2 stroke equipment like your weed eater and leaf blower will require nearly the same steps for winter storage. 

Be sure your equipment is clean, and be sure to use a fuel stabilizer, especially on your 2-stroke engines.

Winter Storage At the End of the Lawn Care Season

While you could just throw a tarp on your equipment and pray for the best, it will take care of you for years and years if you take the time to care for your equipment.

After all selecting the right lawn care equipment for your lawn care business was no minor decision.  

Just as oil is the lifeblood of your lawn equipment's engine, your lawn equipment is the lifeblood of your business. 

Taking these simple steps can help you avoid unexpected headaches down the road and ensure that you can get back to cutting grass the moment it starts to grow in spring!

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