Prepping Your Mower for a New Season

After your mower has spent the winter stowed away in your shed, it’s important to give it a tune up and make sure it’s properly conditioned before starting it up in the spring.

1. You should change the oil in your mower at the start of every mowing season. You wouldn’t think of going too long without changing the oil in your car’s engine, and the same should apply to your mower’s engine.

2. Change your spark plugs. Spark plugs take quite the beating throughout a full spring, summer, and fall. Replacing the corroded spark plugs with fresh ones will help your engine start up and run more easily.

3. Replace your air filter. It’s important to keep your engine clean, and the air filter does exactly that. By replacing your old dirty air filter with a clean new one will help filter out particulates like dust and mold that are capable of doing some major damage to your engine.

4. Add fuel stabilizer to your tank to make sure the gas doesn’t gum up and clog the tank or fuel lines. Fuel stabilizer will help your engine start much more easily.

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How to Change Your Lawn Mower Blade

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When lawn mower blades get dull, they need to be replaced or sharpened. This is a common yet important part of maintaining your mower. To change your lawn mower blade, there are safety precautions you must take, and a few specific steps recommended for making it easier and more of a success.

1. To be safe, it’s important that you either unplug or remove the spark plug from your mower’s engine. The last thing you want to do is accidentally start the mower while you’ve got your hand wrapped in the blade!

2. Drain or siphon out all of the gas from the gas  tank into a portable gas can so you don’t end up spilling it out all over yourself. You can use a simple siphon pump to do this.

3. Once the gas is drained or siphoned out, turn the lawn mower on its side or upside down to access the undercarriage.

4. Using a stiff brush, an air compressor, or a pressure washer, clean the stuck-on grass clippings from the blade and undercarriage of the mower.

5. Use a piece of wood or other similar scrap material as a wedge between the blade and the mower housing to block the blade’s rotation.

6. Attach a socket and ratchet to the nut/bolt that holds the blade in place. Turn it to the left to loosen and remove the blade. If it’s stuck on, try using some penetrating oil to loosen it.

7. Remove the blade from the lawn mower.

8. Replace with a new blade, and be sure it’s settled into place the same way the previous one was. Tighten the nut/bolt back into place.

9. Set the mower back up on its wheels and refill the gas tank and oil.

10. Replace the spark plug and be sure it’s plugged in properly.

11. Start your mower, and cut some grass!

 

What’s a Zero Turn Lawn Mower?

MaxZoom60_500A zero-turn riding lawn mower is a standard riding lawn mower that can practically “turn on a dime.” Different brands and models achieve this in different ways, but hydraulic speed control of each drive wheel is the most common method.

Both commercial duty and homeowner models exist, with varying engine power options, size of cutting decks, fuel type (gasoline or diesel), and prices. A z-turn mower typically drives faster and costs more than a similarly sized conventional riding mower that has steerable front wheels.

Most current models have four wheels: two small swiveling front tires and two large drive tires in the back. Instead of controlling the swiveling tires to steer the machine, the large drive tires rotate independently of each other based on the driver’s input.

They may rotate in opposite directions, which means that the mower can pivot around a point midway between the drive wheels (the classic z-turn), or it can pivot around either one of the drive wheels if one is stationary, or it can turn in a circle of any radius. Reversal of the direction of travel can be accomplished by causing both wheels to rotate in reverse.

Steering controls differ on z-turn mowers. Instead of a steering wheel, most z-turns have two throttles that control the rotational speed and direction of each drive wheel. The throttles are typically moved by a seated driver who operates levers mounted waist to shoulder high. The mower’s engine throttle is controlled separately, if at all. Some zero turn mowers are steered by a joystick or a steering wheel, the advantage of either one being the location of the hands may permit less fatigue during prolonged mowing and the use of a single hand for steering.

Lawn Mower Air Filter Maintenance

A lawn mower’s air filter keeps dust and other particles from entering your engine.  The mower filter should be replaced every three months to keep your lawn mower engine and parts running smoothly.

Add changing your mower’s air filter to your maintenance checklist for the end of summer.  Here are a few steps to changing the filter on your Mower.

All mowers have different engines so consult the owner’s manual for proper sizing for you Mower.

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Step 1: Prepare your lawn mower before removing the air filter

Remove the spark plug wire and ground it against the engine as a safety precaution.

Step 2: Remove the mower filter retaining bolt

Use a flat head screwdriver to remove the retaining bolt from the lawn mower‘s air filter housing.

Step 3: Take out the mower’s filter

Separate the two housing halves and remove the foam filter from the housing.  Note the orientation of the housing.

Step 4: Clean the housing for the mower’s air filter

Clear away any debris from the filter housing to ensure the new filter will not collect any of the left over debris.

Step 5: Prepare the new air filter for the lawn mower

If your mower takes a soft foam style air filter, saturate it in clean engine oil. Squeeze the filter to remove as much of the oil as possible. The more rigid accordion style filters do not require this step.

Step 6: Install the new air filter

Place the new filter into the filter housing base.  Be sure you install the filter with the proper housing orientation.

Step 7: Close the mower filter housing and re-attach the retaining bolt

Place the cover over the base and re-install the retaining bolt.  Tighten the air filter housing with a slotted screwdriver.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are Almost Here!

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Unlike some retailers, we will not be calling employees in on Thanksgiving Day at 8 to start selling early. Thanksgiving is a day to be with family and give thanks. However, we will be offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

If you’re not familiar with it, Cyber Monday is similar to Black Friday. It’s a day when web stores drop prices and put their products on sale for those who don’t want to stand in line in the snow waiting for the opportunity to trample strangers. It’s a day when millions of online shoppers can get Black Friday prices without the hassle of fighting traffic and crazy soccer moms over the last ninja turtle toy.

We will be celebrating Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as well as the weekend between them, with deals on all of our power equipment sites.

However, we will not be here for Black Friday! While other places will make employees work nights and weekends to capitalize on the buzz of Black Friday, we will be sending our employees home to enjoy the weekend and get some shopping of their own done. Come Cyber Monday, we’ll all be back to our regular office hours to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.

All of our power equipment sites (listed below) have Buyer’s Guides to assist by walking you through choosing the equipment that’s perfect for you, so while you can’t reach us by phone, we’ve done what we can to provide you with any and all information you might need. If you want tips on how to use your power equipment, you can click on “How-to Library” at the bottom of the screen. There, you can find many articles written by myself and other power equipment experts.

In addition, the product pages on our site feature customer reviews and unbiased up-to-date product ratings generated by an incredibly accurate algorithm to give you a very good idea of which models are better than others.

If you have questions or concerns about your order, feel free to contact us on Cyber Monday, December 2nd, 2013.

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Find Cyber Monday Deals at the Following Stores:

Snow Blowers Direct

Electric Generators Direct

Leaf Blowers Direct

String Trimmers Direct

Chain Saws Direct

Chippers Direct

Log Splitters Direct

Air Compressors Direct

Pressure Washers Direct

Sump Pumps Direct

Water Pumps Direct

Mowers Direct

Tillers Direct

Meet The PED Family

So you’re familiar with Mowers Direct, but how familiar are you with the rest of our PED family? Allow me to introduce to you the other all-stars:

Air Compressors Direct – For all of your air compressor needs.

Chippers Direct – Brand-name chipper shredders at an online price.

Chain Saws Direct – Cutting costs and improving service on your chainsaw needs.

Electric Generators Direct – Power when you need it!

Leaf Blowers Direct – Creating leaf piles for your children.

Log Splitters Direct – Split more than enough firewood while the weather’s still warm.

Pressure Washers Direct – Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

Snow Blowers Direct – So you can see your driveway in February.

Sump Pumps Direct – Keeping your Christmas decorations dry in the off-season.

String Trimmers Direct – Pick up where your mower left off.

Tillers Direct – Because a hand-operated easel just doesn’t cut it.

Water Pumps Direct – Put water in its place.

Lawn Stripes

Want to add stripes to your lawn?

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Who doesn’t? It’s the perfect way to make your nosey neighbors jealous.

The stripes are created by bending the blades of grass in different directions as you cut. If you’re creative, you can create unique designs like the one above.

But how do you bend the grass so perfectly? Well, you could take to the yard with a pair of needle nose pliers and carefully bend each blade individually, but that might take you a while. A better way to do it is to invest a little money into a striping kit. Professional ball diamonds use these to create beautiful bold stripes in their outfields.

Make your yard the nicest in your neighborhood, and have fun doing it. After all, you paid big money for your property, so why not take some pride in it and show off your lawn care skills.

How To Deal With Lawn Thatch

So, what the heck is lawn thatch?

Thatch is a layer of dead organic material that occurs naturally between the soil and the blades or leaves of the grass itself. If your lawn is relatively healthy, you may have not even noticed it before. Look closely, and you’ll see it. It looks like dead grass embedded around the roots, just above the soil.

Before you start crawling around pulling all of your grass out, understand that a little bit of thatch is natural in any lawn.  In fact, the right amount of thatch can actually help protect your lawn’s roots from heat and sun damage during hot summer days.

However, too much thatch can be a problem.  A thick layer of thatch can block the movement of air and nutrients to the soil. Grass roots will grow upward from the soil into the layer of thatch in search of air and nutrients. This can cause the roots to become weak and damaged by harsh temperatures, disease, and pests. Too much thatch can also cause moisture problems in your lawn, holding too much water during wet periods and repelling water during dry periods.

So who are you going to call?  Ghost Busters? Of course not, because they’re fictional characters. Just call me at Mowers Direct and I’ll help you pick out the perfect dethatcher to break up and remove excess thatch from your lawn. The tines of a lawn dethatcher will pull the excess thatch out of your lawn similarly to how a comb or brush collects and removes loose hair.

You can get different kinds of dethatchers depending on the size of your lawn as well as your personal preferences. If you have a riding mower and a large lawn, you can choose to get a tow behind dethatcher. This type of dethatcher will attach to the back of your riding mower and dethatch as you ride. If you don’t use a riding mower, or would just like something that does a more quality job, you can get a walk-behind dethatcher. This type of dethatcher operates similarly to a walk-behind mower and comes in either gas or electric.

The best time to dethatch your lawn is in late summer or early fall.  It’s easiest to dethatch when the ground and the grass are slightly moist, because the moisture will help the thatch stick together on the tines. Before dethatching, mow your lawn at a slightly lower height than normal. It’s best to make two passes over your lawn with the dethatcher, using a different pattern each time.  After you finish dethatching, you’ll want to sweep up or rake up the debris.

You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. Happy dethatching!

Husqvarna DT22 Walk-Behind Dethatcher

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