Top four things people overlook with turf equipment during the winter.
In most parts of the country things are slowing down on the courses and the sports fields. People are starting to close down for the holidays. The weather’s getting colder. Snow will be on the ground in a lot of places especially up north. Grass is becoming dormant in the south. There’s work being done in Florida but for the most part, places are slowing down. Slowing down on activity outside doesn’t mean it should be a good time to slow down on the inside. It’s a good time to get machines inside. Get them cleaned up. Spend a little TLC and make sure they are getting proper maintenance.
Check Your Slip Clutches
Check your slip clutches. It’s usually the main thing to check on all of the machines. Slip clutches are one of the biggest issues we see. When left under tension over the winter, they can seize up when you go to use the equipment in the spring. A broken slip clutch is preventable. This time of year it’s a good idea to undo the bolts and release the pressure off the slip clutches. Grease up shafts. Protect the conveyors from the elements.
Belts. If you’ve got a machine that is belt driven, take the tension off the belts. Heat and cold affects the belt. Letting the tension off the belt allows them to relax and creates less wear. When Spring starts. Tighten them back up and you’re good to go. You’re saving the longevity of the belts by doing this simple maintenance practice. In the long term it will definitely save you money when things last longer.
Cleaning off the machines. A lot of times it just gets overlooked and the machine gets put back and you’re on to the next project. Unless you make it part of your maintenance routine it’s not something you’ll remember until you go to fire it up the next time you need it. Look at your trenchers. Look at the teeth. A lot of trenchers we see never get cleaned out. Dirt left inside of the machine can freeze and cause issues. It’s good to wash them off and clean them up properly
Check your parts inventory. While you’re doing all this maintenance it’s a good idea to check to see what parts you’re going to need. We always offer a discount on parts this time of year. Get yourself a couple of blades. Put one on the machine and one on the shelf so you’re ready to go in the Spring. It helps us out as well when equipment owners review and check on parts. Any amount of lead time we can get especially with the Covid-19 situation and a stretch on resources is always a good thing. Vendors can get behind on parts during this time and that means backorders. We know this and we are proactive on getting parts in the shop but we are still affected by the vendors issues as well. January will be here before you know it. It’s a great time to start looking ahead. When don’t know what the situation will be next year so it’s always a good idea to plan. Taking a minute to look at these things now will save you time and headaches later.
Good Winter Maintenance
Good maintenance during the winter allows you to really take care of your investment. Look at the bearings. Check the grease on them. Keep things clean and dry. Flush out the lines. The VGR Topchanger uses water. Make sure you blow out the water and put antifreeze in the system. Keep machines in a warm area avoiding in unnecessary freezing. Following your maintenance best practices is better for you, the owner, and most importantly the turf and courses you maintain.