Due to the unusually warm weather (although with the freezing rain we had this mornig our teams were out salting) it enables our teams to address issues that are often sidelined in the busier periods. It is frequently underestimated how much equipment is needed for the landscape maintenance business, and how much time and upkeep are required to keep this equipment not only useable, but in top reliable form.
Jody's Lawn Care has a fleet of pickup trucks, mowers of varying size and power, hand tools and equipment, as well as salters and snow blades (did you know snow blades uses digital control boxes and wireless interfaces to relay commands - adding a whole new level of coplexitiy to their installation and maintenance?). All of these pieces of equipment are expensive to replace and worth their weight in gold when working well!
Jody and his manager Jeremy were clever this year. They both enrolled in a class offered through Mohawk College on small engine repair. This class has been amazing! Not only do they learn about small engines, repair and maintenance, but they are also encouraged to bring in equipment to work on in class under the supervision of their expert teacher! They both joke it has been worth the cost of the course in the savings of repairs costs alone! Their teacher has been able to help them identify and fix issues that had long been stalling the use of particular pieces of equipment, leading to not only one time fixes, but knowledge for future solutions.
We also spent almost two weeks repair/replacing parts of the cover that is loaded into our dump trailer to collect leaves during our Fall clean up. The plywood that had been used in its original creation needed replacing, and a slope added to ensure proper water runoff. It looks much sturdier now and is ready for another season.
The next thing that has been the talk of the shop is repair/maintenace of our Ventrac tractors, including repair of the weather cabs (to protect our drivers in the rain, wind and snow). We have also been examining our salters, ensuring the spin discs are rotating properly and well attached. The snowblades needed to be oiled, adjusted and the connection to their control pads ensured. Bolts and nuts are checked and tighted. Gears are oiled and their teeth inspected.
All the trucks have had their tires checked and pumped up, even replaced if necessary. Safety in Winter driving is a huge concern, as when our teams go out we often beat the plows. Road conditions are out of our control, but we do our best to be prepared. Our drivers know to check their truck's fuel guages before loading up to ensure they don't run out. Alot of work in the Winter comes down to being prepared!
Today our salt order arrived, and although the dreary grey rainy day is not ideal, our team were able to stock up our salt bins to be ready for any more temperature drops. Although our manager looked a bit damp, the job is done and we are ready for the next freeze.
It may be a bit quieter around here, but the shop is certainly not empty. Work is never ending when you have an industrious workforce!