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View Full Version : Whats in the TOOL BOX?


realhuntin
09-07-2008, 10:43 AM
How many think of the "WHAT IFS"

Most of you seem to be out there working with no help.

So lets go over the WHAT IFS and see if you're prepared for it.

Lets say you 're using a commercial grade 36" walk behind and the drive belt breaks. The next question is are you ready to fix it in the field or are you burnt toast for the day. Realize this if you can fix it in the field then you have only lost a hour or so, but if you're not then you're out about a day or two and you still have to push a 500+ lb broke down piece of equipment back to the trailer and load it, take it to the repair shop, hope they can get to it fast so you don't fall behind in your schedule.

Some things you should have on hand or in your toolbox;

Extra complete set of belts (Drive, Blade etc.)

Tire Patch kit with tube patches and large plugs

3/8" x 15' Chain or good strong tow rope with hooks

Hand cable ratchet winch

Small set of ratchet, sockets, and wrenches, couple of screwdrivers and some pliers.

A few Carter pins and loop locking pins (to fit the different sizes on your equipment)

A 3 lb hand sledge

2"x2"x3' wood stake

Small ratchet straps (no hooks) used for re-beading flat tubeless tires. NOTE hooks can be used but it makes it harder to get even pressure around the flat tire to re-bead it.

These are just some of the things I feel you should have at hand while in the field to do those quick fixes yourself that will save you time and money. You don't have to be an expert mechanic to do these types of repairs and should be able to fix it yourself.

This happened to us this season;
My younger less equipment repair crew was on a job and called me telling me that the 52" hydro walk behind weighing in at about 600 #'s was down and they couldn't move it nor would it move on it's own. The first thing I told them to look at was the hydro pumps belt drive located under the engine connecting the engine drive spindle to the pulleys of each hydro drive. They found the broken shredded belt, then I told them to get in the toolbox and get one and replace it, they replied they had no clue how to even begin to fix it. So I told them to release the hydro pump pressure valve located on each pump, using a pair of channel locks, get the chain and tow it back to the trailer with the Super Z and load it up, and finish the job using the 36 walk behind. Job completed only lost about hour on the commercial job.

We also had a rash of flat tires, equipment break downs this season and we keep excellent maintenance on ALL our equipment, it was just one of those years. I personally got a 72" Super Z stuck (this thing weighs over 1000 #'s) this spring (we had 15" + of rain fall OVER the norm) I got my ratchet cable winch, hammer, stake and got it out by myself in less than 15 mins.

So prepare for the worst and expect the best. It will save you time equaling money. We all know time is money. Most of us have about 8 months to make 12 months worth of money, so be prepared for as much as you can think of.

If you have any "THIS HAPPEN TO ME" stories I would love to hear about them.

Steve
09-08-2008, 05:03 AM
Excellent post Tim.

Some of the things I was wondering were, do you use any kind of lift to gain access to below your mowers?

Also, do you have an air compressor in your truck? How do you fill up the tires if they get flat?

I got my ratchet cable winch, hammer, stake and got it out by myself in less than 15 mins.

I am guessing you get a stake into the ground and winch it closer to the truck and then repeat the process?

realhuntin
09-08-2008, 08:58 AM
Excellent post Tim.

Some of the things I was wondering were, do you use any kind of lift to gain access to below your mowers?

Also, do you have an air compressor in your truck? How do you fill up the tires if they get flat?



I am guessing you get a stake into the ground and winch it closer to the truck and then repeat the process?

Good questions Steve,

Yes I have a power wench for lifting (4 ton) and a floor jack with safety stands so we can work under the decks and etc.

No the air compressor is to big to carry around with us, so I mounted transportable air tanks and rose reels on the trailers, We keep about 80#'s air at all times in the tanks that will fix most problems.

No not really what I use it for but I guess it will work in that application also. I only have had to use the stake and ratchet wench for pulling the mow free from being stuck. It was kinda my fault I got to close to a slopped ditch line and it was wet, sucked that big a$$ mower right into it like quick sand and there I sat. It was kinda funny after the fact because it all happened so fast but was like slow motion at the same time.

Steve
09-08-2008, 09:41 AM
You got me thinking, how much training should employees be given? For instance , do they need to be trained on how to change belts? Or is that just something that would be too much for most of them?

realhuntin
09-08-2008, 04:12 PM
You got me thinking, how much training should employees be given? For instance , do they need to be trained on how to change belts? Or is that just something that would be too much for most of them?

All employee's should be trained on every minor mechanical repair detail you can do in the Field. Belts, fixing flats, adjusting the drive alignments, changing oil, filters and keeping the equipment greased and blades sharpened. Most of this is VERY minor stuff and if not trained on it, they should be able to figure it out in minimal time.

Not only should they be trained on equipment repairs they should also be trained on how to properly operate the equipment they are using, to prevent unnecessary repairs and equipment brake downs. This includes all equipment, proper use of string trimmers, hand operated tools, right along with the mowing equipment. You would be surprised at how many people THINK they know how to run commercial grade equipment and as a BIG surprise to them they don't.

I think every LCO should properly train there employee's on how YOU want it done and used, everyone has there own way of doing things and I am one of those guys that want it done a certain way. Here is why; I have serviced EVERY customer multiple times and have tried different ways to do each of these customers and have already figured out the fastest and best way to get it done.

So in a nut shell YES I'm a firm believer in proper training in every aspect, EVERY NEW GUY rides shotgun with me before I send them out with any other crew. This way I feel better about other crews servicing my client.

All Aspects Landscaping
09-09-2008, 08:03 PM
and be sure to remember the condoms... for those customers that really wanna screw ya...lol

excellent post guys... I think alot of new guys get "caught with their pants down" (pardon the pun)... this will be a great help to them... How do you guys feel about Water Coolers?? Who fills them... who buys the ice?? thoughts?

realhuntin
09-09-2008, 08:21 PM
[QUOTE=How do you guys feel about Water Coolers?? Who fills them... who buys the ice?? thoughts?[/QUOTE]

I fill them with ice and let the crew decide on gatorade or spring water on my dime.