Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
WILLIAMSBURG – With spring in the air, it’s time to crack out the old mowers and trimmers. Whether or not a machine has been winterized, Eastern Engine’s owner Wim Berghuis can help get this running smoothly.
The shop offers a variety of services and machinery to help keep lawns looking pristine. Berghuis recommends that every machine should have a tune-up done once a year for larger properties and at least once every two years for smaller properties. A tune-up includes blade sharpening, an oil change, greasing the fittings, pumping the tires and cleaning the deck.
Sharp blades are necessary for lawn maintenance machinery. Clean cuts to the grass will not only keep lawns looking nice but will also keep grass healthy.
Berghuis recommends keeping track of a machine’s fuel-life. He advised that standard at-the-pump fuel has a shelf-life of approximately 60 days. Berghuis said there are a lot of people who are unaware of this, since a tank of gas in a car is almost always used up in that time. It is a good idea to acquire smaller amounts of fuel at a time to ensure the fuel does not sit in a garage or shed for more than 60 days. Small engines such as lawn mowers that have trouble starting should be refuelled with new product, as old fuel can cause this problem. While premium fuel can last somewhat longer, it is still recommended that a machine’s fuel be changed regularly.
Berghuis said that battery-powered trimmers and lawn tools are becoming more and more popular every year. This trend may lend itself to the fact that small engine batteries are being made with lithium, a popular product for construction grade equipment. This change helps the batteries to last longer and perform better.
Also becoming more popular for two-stroke engines is a pre-mixed fuel blend. Eastern Engines carries the MotoMix brand. Berghuis said the fuel’s shelf-life can last up to two years after the container is opened and burns off cleaner due to the non-ethanol, high-octane mix, making it better for the environment. Since the product is currently sold in smaller quantities, it is not as popular for mowers but is gaining a reputation with trimmers and chainsaws.
Whether a machine is new or old, Berghuis’ final recommendation is to always take good care of the engine and make sure the machine is being serviced properly, regularly.