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Pro-Users & Operators

What’s The Right Oil for My Outdoor Power Equipment?

Everyone who owns a lawn owns a lawnmower along with other power tools for lawn maintenance, and professional landscapers own more expensive equipment designed for the rigors of daily use rather than being in storage for the bulk of their lifetime.

Something nobody seems to agree on is how to maintain such equipment to get the most efficiency and the longest life out of it. There is no definitive answer to such questions because to some extent, it depends on the owner's knowledge and experience. There are, however, a few base rules to apply which will keep the machinery functioning and ready to use when it is needed.

Always Follow The Manufacturer's Recommendation

The first thing to do is to read the owner's manual and follow whatever instructions are provided. This is simply a matter of maintaining the warranty in case a great piece of equipment happens to have a defect which somehow passed through quality control before being sold. There are alterations which can be made to an engine which will prolong its life or make it work better, but those are best saved for older machinery to get a few more years of use before it becomes scrap metal. New equipment is designed to run with proper fuels and oils and the engineer who designed it provides the necessary information to get the best and most use out of it in the owner's manual.

Synthetic versus Traditional Oil

Conventional oil lubricates the moving parts of a machine and does its job well. It is inexpensive and when changed according to a proper maintenance schedule will prevent a machinery failure. Synthetic oil costs a bit more but offers advantages which justify its expense. The main advantage of synthetic oil is that although it needs to be changed, it doesn't need to be changed as often and if an oil change is skipped it won't lead to a disastrous failure of the machine. What is important to note is the two oils aren't always compatible with each other, so the landscaper needs to decide which is best suited for their needs and use the same system with all their machinery.

Routine Maintenance

Although proper oil changes keep machinery running well, it also needs routine maintenance. Small parts break, blades get dulled over time, and especially with commercial equipment employees use the tool in ways it wasn't intended for. The design of the machine will handle mishandling, but the design also expects routine maintenance, which is essential to continued proper function of the machinery as it serves the needs of the landscaper for years to come.

What oil do you use? What’s your favorite?

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