Your lawnmower and gardening equipment will last longer, and perform better if it is kept in good working order. Taking your machinery to your local dealer for a service and check-over annually is a good idea, but developing a regular maintenance schedule yourself (particularly for machines with petrol engines) will make it run sweeter, and will cut down on exhaust emissions and reduce noise (and always check your operators manual for specific recommendations for maintenance)..
- Change the engine and transmission oil seasonally (and recycle the old oil) - Replace the spark plug and air filter, and check for proper carburettor adjustment - a properly tuned engine helps burn fuel more efficiently and reduce emissions - Be sure to use replacement parts recommended by the manufacturer - Avoid petrol spillage when re-filling the tank - and keep fuel tanks and containers sealed tight (leaving room for expansion eg fill to three-quarters full - Tighten loose nuts, bolts and belts so that your mower runs quieter - For mowers, sharpen cutters blades and keep the underside of the cutter deck cleared of grass to ensure peak performance - Consider changing older equipment as newer machines are fitted with low-emission engines that run up to 70% cleaner than many models produced in the 1980s and 1990s
Regularly check all leads and plugs to ensure that they are not split or damaged, and that the connections are sound.
Know How To Operate The Equipment
Read the operators manual before using any piece of power equipment. Know where the controls are and what they do. Follow all the machines safety instructions.
Wear long trousers, close fitting clothes, sturdy shoes - and safety glasses when using trimmers, hedgecutters and other items of hand-held equipment. Don't wear anything that could get caught in moving parts (loose jewellery or clothing, and be careful with long hair).
Handle Petrol Carefully
Fill up with petrol before you start mowing and while the engine is cold. Don't spill whilst you fill. Store petrol in an approved container in a cool ventilated area. Never smoke around petrol containers.
Clear The Area
Pick up any stones, twigs, cans or other items that may be thrown by mowing equipment.
Keep Children & Pets Away
Never allow children to operate a mower. Keep pets out of the way whilst mowing, and never let children ride on lawn tractors.
Always turn off the engine and disconnect the spark plug - or disconnect the machine from the mains electric - before attempting to unclog or adjust any machine.
Watch Your Hands & Feet
Never work on equipment whilst it is running. Never remove or tamper with safety devices or labels... they are there to protect you and your family