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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that I have your attention, the fact of life I want to talk about is the general safety guidelines we should all follow when doing maintenance work on, and while operating our outdoor power equipment.

Now that spring has sprung pretty much everywhere, and many of us are getting the lawn care equipment out from their long winter's nap, we should all take time to think, and review what needs to be done to get our machines ready for the upcoming months, and to keep them running like they should for a good long time. And, to take even just a moment to think about the safe operation of those machines while we, our family members or friends might be using them.

I invite everyone who has a tip to jump right in and share it with the whole MLF family. None of us are immune from making mistakes, forgetting something, getting a little lax maybe and overlooking things, or taking things for granted.

Let me start off with this one:

READ THE OWNER'S MANUAL!
Every machine came with one at one time. It's probably right where you left it last, back in the junk drawer, bottom of the tool box, up on the shelf in the closet. Hopefully you know right where it is and can get it out to read any time you think of it.

Maybe you lost it, or that used piece of equipment you picked up from the yard sale down the street didn't have one with it. Most manufactures offer free down loads of them online. If you don't have one, do your best to try to find one.

And read ALL of it. Even the seemingly mundane safety warnings at the front. Read the maintenance schedule and recommended products to use when doing the maintenance and follow the manufactures recommended procedures.

So, um, yeah, like I was saying, about the facts of life kids. Who else has something to add?
 

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always check the oil before running an engine. an engine running on low oil can be extremely dangerous to you and bystanders especially if it hits a bystander. make sure you pull the sparkplug wire before doing any work on an engine and know that kickback from an engine with the spark plug lead removed can be just as dangerous as a running engine
 

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Please verify the safety switches still operate after sitting! If God forbid you fall off or emergency, the blades and or engine stop!
 

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Remember to take care of yourself as well, i.e.
Dust mask if necessary
Hat and sunglasses/ safety glasses
Hearing protection
Closed toe shoes or even steel toe boots
Gloves
Bug spray
Dress appropriately for the job with nothing loose or hanging off of you.
Keep yourself hydrated
And common sense at all times :2th:
 

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Remove the spark plug connection(s) when you're performing maintenance; especially while removing/attaching blade(s).

Also, it is not a bad idea to wear gloves or use a rag when handling the blades (especially if you're holding them still while loosening or tightening the retaining bolts) to protect your hands against the sharp edges.
 

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Cleaning and lubrication

If you didn't clean the mower deck underside of grass clippings and change the blade(s) with sharp ones before putting away last fall now is the time to do so. A putty knife works well to scrape off the grass, dirt, and crud build up on the mower deck. If you can lift up the mower desk to readily see and access the surface then power wash it clean and apply some lubricant such as Fluid Film to make it more resistant to grass clippings sticking the surface. The build up of wet grass, dirt, small rocks and the like become a biological soufflé if left unattended, but the real reason is the mower works better if the area is clean so it can bag or discharge.

Also, lubricate the machine (grease fittings and rub points). I also apply Fluid Film to nuts, bolts, and other exposed fasteners and adjusters to keep them freed up and prevent corrosion.

Conduct a fastener torque check. A handful of wrenches is all you need. One and two cylinder mower engines vibrate like crazy and fasteners can back off.

And as mentioned in the first posts in this thread read the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual and perform the maintenance that is due.
 

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I Got a great idea for this 1. forget the mowers and get some cows to do the work for us. that way all the tree hugging hippies out there will not say we are depleating the ozone and endzone layers. that way we get to sit and watch them do all of the work. and we never break a sweat.:sidelaugh
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Besides checking that all safety devices, switches, and such are in working condition, don't bypass them.
 
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