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Get the most from your machine

Get the most from your machine: Nothing is more important than keeping machines running, which is why the role of servicing and maintenance is key to the success of every business. From the correct way to tilt the mower, to the wrong way to clean spark plugs, Kawasaki Engines looks at how to get the most from your machine.

Martin Cook, parts and technical manager and Dave Dunwoody, technical and after sales specialist, both from Kawasaki Engines have decades of engineering experience and provide advice on common mistakes, tips and ideas for keeping your machinery, and your business, running.

Get the most from your machine

Get the most from your machine

No one knows a mower better than the person using it, so trust your instincts, says Dave: “We’ve been called out to a premiership football club to service a pedestrian mower because the operator could sense a change in the precision of the cutting through the vibrations of the machine. The mower was hesitating and the blade slightly slowing down. We found an issue with the carburettor and while it didn’t affect the mowing quality as such, it did affect cutting the pattern into the pitch.

“So, while it sounds simple, maybe even obvious, it’s important to use your senses to detect changes in the machine. Is there a new or unusual smell, noise or feeling such as vibrations? In the case of two-stroke engines, it could be that the fuel to oil ratio isn’t right. The ratio should be 50 to 1 (50 parts fuel to 1 part oil), so, for example, five litres of petrol will need 100ml of the correct two-stroke oil adding to it. We recommend using a two-stroke mixing bottle. Too little oil lubricating the engine, and it will dry and seize. Too much and there will be smoke, soot and fumes. It doesn’t take long for either to happen!

“We’ve seen cases where the fuel for a two-stroke engine was put in a four-stroke engine, and vice versa, an easy mistake to make when the job is busy and the day is long. Therefore, we strongly recommend marking up the cans and putting them in separate places to reduce the chances of this happening.”

When it comes to servicing we’ve seen some common mistakes. For example, it’s important not to delay routine servicing or skip the daily oil and air checks. Definitely don’t clean spark plugs with a steel wire brush as it leaves metal traces and will cause the plug to short out.

When it comes to maintenance these simple things will make sure you don’t incur problems later says Martin: “Check liquid levels on a flat surface, an incline will show more/less depending on which way it’s tilting. During normal deck inspection, tilting the mower the wrong way will lead to a flooding of fuel! The carburettor should always be uppermost. When jet-washing the machines after a hard day’s work, make sure to dry off excess water as pooling can easily damage the electricals. Using WD-40 is great post-wash as it displaces moisture and protects against electrical short circuits.

“Always consider where you put things – if you take off a jacket and pop it on the back of a zero-turn machine, make sure you don’t cover the engine fan as that will lead to overheating and can cause the engine to seize.

“Fuel has changed over the last few years, ethanol is now added to all petrol up to 10 percent, the reason for this is to decrease CO2 emissions. But ethanol is highly corrosive and hygroscopic (absorbs water), that’s why we are constantly telling people to drain and purge equipment for the winter months. Many people argue that they have a 40-year-old chainsaw and they have never had to drain it so why now? This is where we remind them about the ethanol content of fuel and due to recent RoHS directives, we are restricted to the materials we use in the carburettors. Older machines made use of chromium cadmium and lead, thankfully we no longer have these hazardous substances in our equipment, but it is now more important to drain and purge equipment before the winter shut down.”

The importance of genuine quality parts can never be underestimated, continues Martin: “It never pays to shop for the lowest cost parts to save money. We’ve seen an engine destroyed because an oil filter from a motorcycle was fitted. The filter looked the same, but because the fit wasn’t exact, the oil pressure built up and blew the filter apart, taking half the engine casing with it! All that damage, all for the sake of a few pence.”

Following these simple guidelines will not only ensure the utmost productivity from machines but will go a long way to increasing the life of the machine, giving you the most from your investment now and in the future.

To find out more about Kawasaki’s technical support or to learn more about their full engine range, visit https://www.kawasaki-engines.eu/en/

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Introducing the most productive pedestrian aerator

Introducing the most productive pedestrian aerator: The new Air2G2 336 is the most productive pedestrian aerator on the market, with 36-inch probe centres allowing operators to cover ground quicker with the same industry-leading results.

Aeration has always been an integral aspect of sports turf maintenance, and the introduction of the original Air2G2 revolutionised the process. The principle of laterally injecting air using three probes up to 12-inches below the surface has de-compacted countless greens, pitches, and courts at prestigious sporting venues around the globe from Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club to Emirates Golf Club, Dubai.

Introducing the most productive pedestrian aerator

Introducing the most productive pedestrian aerator

The factors of no surface disruption and the option to operate the machine in wet conditions have seen many rely on the Air2G2 as their go-to solution for game or course saving aeration across all levels of professional, semi and non-professional sport. The ability to aerate when needed rather than working at designated times, has also led to more regular aeration at locations such as Royal Selangor Golf Club, Kuala Lumpur, where the Air2G2 has become vital to their maintenance programme.

Consistent use of the machine is proven to create surfaces that are healthy, firm, and free draining. This happens over time because the pressurised air fractures the hardpan layers without disrupting roots while increasing pore space which promotes faster drainage and root development. In turn, this respiration forces oxygen in and pushes CO2 and other anaerobic gases out for root zone gas exchange.

Introducing the most productive pedestrian aerator

Introducing the most productive pedestrian aerator

Operators have used the Air2G2 to solve a variety of problems from simple decompaction to reducing salt build-up, increasing air exchange and to introduce winter aeration programmes. With the wider 336 model, the work needed to achieve these goals can be done in less time whilst always getting the same impressive results.

For more information on the Air2G2 336, visit www.campeyturfcare.com or contact your local Campey dealer.

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ECHO’s most powerful handheld blower

ECHO’s most powerful handheld blower: ECHO have introduced their most powerful handheld power blower to date. The PB-2620 is part of the ECHO X Series of best-in-class products, designed to be industry-leading in terms of power and performance.

Featuring a 25.4cc two-stroke engine with an output of 0.91kW and producing a maximum airspeed of 80.5m/sec when using the flat nozzle, the PB-2620 is, say ECHO, the most powerful handheld blower in its class. More than enough for clearing wet leaves and heavier debris. The premium-grade ECHO engine and dry weight of 4.4kg combine to give an excellent power to weight ratio.

ECHO’s most powerful handheld blower

Along with the power comes precision and comfort in the way the blower is designed. A secondary handle improves manoeuvrability and the ergonomically grouped controls, including a throttle with ‘cruise control’, are easy to reach. The throttle can be locked at a variety of settings for ease of use and added operator comfort. The overall design reduces the gyro effect on the wrist, adding another factor in lessening operator fatigue.

This is a power blower designed for professionals who need to be able to rely on their tools day in, day out and achieve maximum productivity. To ensure this, all X Series products are tested in the most extreme conditions, say ECHO, and the PB-2620 is packed with the most advanced features. The rubber grip and counterweight are designed for increased comfort and reduced vibration. A tool-less air filter cover allows easy access for changing the air filter, making a further contribution to reduced downtime and increased productivity.

ECHO state their tools are hardworking, tough and dependable and they carry a two-year professional or five-year domestic warranty to support this. You can find out more from your local authorised ECHO dealer. You can also visit www.echo-tools.co.uk or call 01844 278800 for more information

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GKB At “The Most Beautiful Ground”

GKB At “The Most Beautiful Ground”: Cricket Manager and former head groundsman for the Wormsley estate, Simon Tremlin heads the team responsible for maintaining the Wormsley Cricket Pitch in Buckinghamshire, which is often referred to as ‘the most beautiful ground in Britain’.

When Mick Jagger introduced Sir Paul Getty to cricket, the millionaire philanthropist formed such an affection for the sport he had a replica of The Oval built on the grounds of his estate. The pitch was completed in 1992 and the first match played there was attended by Her Majesty The Queen Mother, the then Prime Minister John Major, Sir Michael Caine and cricket legends Denis Compton and Brian Johnston. What is now known as ‘Sir Paul Getty’s Ground’, Wormsley has in recent years played host to England Women’s test matches against Australia and India.

GKB At "The Most Beautiful Ground"

With such a reputation to live up to he’s naturally very selective about the machinery he uses and a requirement for a scarifier and seeder led him to official GKB dealers RT Machinery near Aylesbury.

“We do a lot of contracting work as well as looking after Wormsley,” says Simon “and it’s important to know the machines we use are sturdy enough to meet our needs. Last year we did forty- two cricket squares as well as rugby and football pitches.” RT Machinery arranged with GKB Machines’ Tom Shinkins for demonstrations of GKB’s VStrong and Combiseeder at Wormsley. “We wanted a scarifier that collects as well and the VStrong showed us it’s ideal for that, leaving a tidy finish and saving time, especially in damp conditions.” Simon adds.

The VStrong follows in the tradition of GKB’s Combinator and employs generically developed 3mm carbide scarifying blades attached to the rotor using their Quick-Lock system. An operating depth of 5cm is easily attained without missing any areas. The operating speed of up to 12km/h is a real benefit for the professional contractor, with fast removal of thatch and weed with the ability to collect at the same time.

The GKB Combiseeder can be used for overseeding and initial seeding and features two spiked rollers that open up the soil for the seed to then be spread accurately across the full width, in and around the holes. Creating over 1500 holes per m² the Combiseeder provides accurate seed application at various rates to suit different seed mixes, with drag brushes to incorporate seed and topdressing for minimal surface disruption.

“We’ve gone with the GKB machines for the way they perform and they are robust enough to withstand the punishment of contracting work,” says Simon, “and we have plenty of that ahead as well as maintaining Sir Paul Getty’s Ground.” GKB machines can be seen at work in an open day at RT Machinery, Nether Winchendon near Aylesbury on the 5th September 2018 and local demonstrations can be arranged.

For more information, visit: www.gkbmachines.com

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The most northern RANGER EV in the world?

The most northern RANGER EV in the world?: Known for its remote, unforgiving terrain and polar bears, Svalbard is a Norwegian island situated between mainland Norway and the North Pole – it’s one of the world’s most northernmost inhabited areas and also home to a RANGER EV…

The RANGER EV belongs to Hurtigruten, the biggest travel company in Norway and the largest employer in Svalbard. Owning three hotels on the island, a number of restaurants, a lunch bar, two shops – which sell expedition and safety equipment – and the Polaris dealer, IGP. Hurtigruten Svalbard is also responsible for operating the Culture House.

The most northern RANGER EV in the world?

Kjetil Viklund, General Manager at IGP, said: “We used the RANGER EV a lot for moving things from our storage unit to the shop and vice versa. We also use it as a demonstration unit for our customers. It also is handy when we have special guests to the island who can borrow it as a form on transport.”

The features of the RANGER EV lend themselves to making it a useful machine for the company.

“It has a good loading capacity and is perfect for bringing goods from our storage unit to our shop. It’s very comfortable for the driver and a passenger and gives us shelter from the weather – with average temperatures between minus 9 and minus 16 degrees Celsius cover is appreciated. It’s also very quiet and often it’s easier to use the RANGER rather than a car.”

With the importance of maintaining the biodiversity of the island at the centre of inhabitants minds, the focus on the environment and limiting humans impact is key.

With stunning scenery, a highly diverse and concentration of wildlife and amazing experiences on offer, Svalbard is quickly cementing its place on the tourism map, but with this is the responsibility of ensuring that the environment remains central to operations.

“For me, electric powered vehicles are the future and an environmental focus is very important – as well all know that fossil fuels will not last forever. In my mind, it will take many many years for the market to completely change, but I’m happy that we’ve started.”

Also offering petrol and diesel engines for the RANGER, Polaris celebrated rolling the one-millionth RANGER machine off the production line in 2017 and 2018 marks two decades since the utility vehicle was introduced to the Polaris line-up. Forming a key part of the Polaris product line, the RANGER® is used all over the globe for a variety of tasks.

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