ProParts Direct

Four Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Lawn

Girl on lawn
A healthy-looking lawn does wonders for your property. Not only does it make your house stand out on your block, but it can also provide flood control, dissipate suburban heat, reduce fire hazards and if you’re trying to sell, definitely gives your home some curb appeal. Lawn care is big business, too. In 2015 alone, U.S. households spent almost $16 billion on lawn care and gardening services, which includes supplies, equipment, and lawn and landscaping services. Clearly, we spend lots of money to have great-looking lawns and landscaping, but could all the pesticides, fertilizer, and growth and greening additives we use be harming the environment, too?

It’s easy to go overboard with all the products when trying to keep a nice-looking lawn. However, you can still have green, thick grass, along with healthy trees, shrubs, and a garden, and fewer or no weeds if you follow these steps to creating an eco-friendly lawn.
1. Keep Your Lawn Green Without Chemicals
Paul Tukey writing for Popular Mechanics suggests some ways to mow your lawn that will keep it green, including keeping the mower’s blades sharp, using a push or electric mower to cut back on pollution, and leaving clippings on the lawn to create a natural fertilizer. He also suggests using compost as a natural, root-level fertilizer for lawns, gardens, shrubbery, and trees.
2. Water Wisely
While an oscillating or spinning sprinkler is a symbol of summer lawn care, both of those can waste a lot of water if you don’t monitor their use. Another option for watering is using low-pressure drip irrigation, where nozzles are placed at the base of plants, trees, or shrubs and water is applied slowly. This method can lower your water use. While a drip irrigation system might initially be expensive, it does reduce water usage and energy costs and improves seed germination. Regardless of whether you use drip irrigation, a sprinkler, or hand-watering, the key to using any type of system to water your lawn or your garden is to soak the ground to the depth of the roots.
3. Use Our Friends, The Bugs
Why spray your garden and foliage with aphid and other control products when nature provides its very own: bugs! lists several species that can keep your greenery free of damaging pests, such as aphids, caterpillars, and Japanese beetles. These natural pest killers include ladybugs, ground beetles, soldier beetles, and tachinid flies. Many of these same bugs also help keep lawns free of pests, too.
4. Consider Using Plants As Ground Cover Instead of Grass
Unless your home is on several acres of land and there’s nothing but a wide stretch of lawn between the street and your front porch, consider using plant life as ground cover instead of grass. You can use flower and shrub beds, clover (just don’t step on the bees), or even several varieties of moss. Many of these and others, especially the mosses, grow easily in the shade, are easier to water (which is where the drip irrigation system can work better), and you won’t have to drag out the lawnmower every weekend. However, the ground cover does invite a number of unwanted pests and will have to be weeded frequently before fully grown. But once your insect friends make their home in it and you keep weeds from becoming a problem naturally with compost and organic mulch, ground cover will make your whole front yard look like a garden.

It doesn’t take a lot of chemicals to have a nice-looking lawn, just sensible use of mowing and organic fertilizer, the wise use of water, putting nature’s pest controllers to work, and using alternatives to grass. So, get out your gardening tools, pull on your gloves, and go play in the dirt to create an eco-friendly lawn you’ll be proud to call yours.

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Time is Money - Keeping Extra Parts On Your Trailer

If there is one thing experience can teach us in running a landscape business it is the importance of time.  It doesn’t matter if you run a multi truck operation or you are just a one Truck one trailer kind of guy.  Your time is worth money. 

If you’re the one truck one trailer I would think your time is even more valuable as you do not have the same resources a large scale operation would have. In most cases landscaping is a part time job for you so the days you are out mowing you cannot be dealing with down machines or something breaking on the job.

If you are the mid to large scale operation every time your crews are spending more time hanging out at the dealership versus on the job site the money you are billing for is going right out the window.

Think about this for a second. You are on a lawn and break a belt or recoil.  If you are lucky it happens as you are putting the machine back on the truck but if it happens when you get there or in the middle of the job your whole day just changed, causing you to lose time which equals money. A trip to the dealer to pick up the repair part could be 30 minutes, because as you know when you have to be somewhere you will get stuck behind someone who hasn’t figured out yet how to push the gas pedal. So now you are at the dealership, it could take another 15 to 20 minutes to get the part provided it is in stock. Then another 30 minutes back to the job. So if you are lucky you only wasted and hour and a half getting the part never mind installing it.

So where does that Hour and a half maybe two go?  Well, you either need to hustle to make it up or it is lost forever. What do you bill an hour?  Does throwing out $60 maybe $75 dollars sound good?

Now imagine if you had kept a few repair parts on your trailer.  In the case of a belt breaking simply walking to the trailer and putting on a new one just saved you an hour.  Not only did you save time and money by not leaving the job you also maintained a level of professionalism that does not go unnoticed by your customers that could lead to future business.  So Not only did you save that $60 dollars in waste travel but you may have also preserved future income.

This just scratches the surface of the other hidden little costs that you saved on just by having a few parts in stock. Wear and tear on the truck, traffic, gas, professionalism and your own sanity for the long haul are just some things to mention.

Take a small inventory of your machines, Look at the stuff that could break, items you always replace and keep and extra one or two.  In most cases if you buy in bulk you will save a few extra cents here and there. Most big companies think like this and make great profits, No reason you can’t do the same.

As the saying goes. Time is money. Corny but seems to make sense here.

Easy Summer Lawncare Tips to keep Your Lawn Green

The summer is here! Because the summer heat can be so damaging it is crucial you change your lawn care routine accordingly. Here are 4 easy things you could start doing now to protect your lawn this summer.

1. Be sure to raise the deck of your lawn mower. This will make your grass blades longer. The extra density will protect the root from burning in the sun. Nothing ruin's a summer party like brown dead grass!

2. Water your lawn only in the morning or at night time. If you water your lawn at midday you will burn your grass. The beads of water will act like a magnifying glass and burn your lawn at the height of the day.

3. Control the weeds with all natural pet safe solutions. Did you know you can create your own weed killer? All you need is some vinegar. Douse weeds with white vinegar (or even the leftover liquid from a jar of pickles) and they'll be dead a few days later. This is a good method for exterminating weeds with long taproots, like dandelions, dock, and plantain.

4. Sharpen your lawn mower blades now. This will not only cut your lawn mowing time in half. It will also slice your grass clean, allowing it to recover quickly.

8 Tips and Tricks to the ProParts Direct Website

Below are some of the Cheats and Tricks to make using the ProParts Direct website even easier when searching for a part for your beloved Bertha, Cindy Sue or whatever you call your machine.
1. The search tool at the top of the page.
This tool searches our product catalog when you type in a part number. You can also type in a name of the part and it will also search for it. The real secret is the little box to the left of it that says brand on it. If you select a brand first then enter your part number the tool will also search our parts diagrams. Make sure you include dashes in your part number if it has them.
2. Using the Parts Diagram Look Up tool.

There are a few different ways to get to this tool but the most efficient way is to choose a brand from the Shop by manufacturer tab at the top of the page. That will select the brand for you.

- Go right to the Quick Part search and enter your model number. The Trick here is to enter it SLOWLY. The site will search every option and display it underneath allowing you to choose your model or something close. You can also enter in the name and search that way for example under MTD enter in Ranch King as your model number.

3. Loyalty Points
When you order online, you earn loyalty points. Once you collect 75 points they automatically deduct from the total on future orders. It’s always nice to get something in exchange for your repeat business. We track point balance with your customer login – so make sure to sign in with username or Facebook when you shop.
4. Facebook Login
ProParts just added a new way to log into the site through Facebook. Most people nowadays are always logged into their Facebook account so ProParts made it seamless to access your account online on the site. No need to make up a new username or password and your parts stay in your cart for up to 30 days. I can’t think of how it could be easier. Don’t worry ProParts does not post anything to your Facebook account Sign in to ProParts using your Facebook account.
5. Previous Orders and order Status
This feature only works if you create a login, but use the “Your Account” tab, view your old orders and check the status of current orders. It is in the order details you can see your tracking number, re-order a past order if you don’t remember the part numbers and you can even apply for a parts return. If you need to print a receipt you do that there as well.
6. Live Chat Help
Not many replacement part sites have a live chat with a parts specialist, but ProParts offers the highest rated part support available. No cut and paste, canned replies – just real-time help from experts that want to get you the right part. Simple and easy.
7. Quick Order Tool
On the Home page they have a tool called the Quick Order Tool. This tool is very helpful if you know your part number already. Just enter in the part and the Quantity you want. It will add it to your cart right away. No need to search around for the part. They keep adding parts everyday so if it does not add the part. Let them know using live chat and they can add it.
8. The Refer a friend Program.
Refer a friend and they will send you a coupon for $25.00 off your next order. Word of mouth is always helpful to any business so if your friend buys over $100.00 of parts and mentions you, they will send you a coupon for your next visit. The second thing I have found on this site that gives back to the customers!

Thanks for Reading and making it this far. Share this article on Facebook or Twitter and ProParts will send you a coupon code, use #shoplikeapro. Trust me, Try it!

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