ProParts Direct

5 Tips to Properly Maintain Your Tools

You cannot maintain a decent home without having the proper tools. Unless you wish to call a handyman for every little thing, you will need to get a decent set of tools and use them periodically. Unfortunately, some devices can be pretty expensive. And while most homeowners understand the value of having proper tools, not all know how to maintain them. This is why we will use this article to give you five ways to properly maintain your tools and ensure they will serve you for years.
How to Properly Maintain Your Tools
Proper tools maintenance is by no means arduous. Once you understand the basics of it, you will be able to keep your tools in pristine condition with relative ease. What's important is that you always adhere to these methods, as forgoing them can cause your tools to deteriorate quite quickly.
Clean After Use
The first rule to adhere to is that you need to clean your tools after use. How much you will have to clean them depends on the tools and what you used them for. But a good rule of thumb is that they must be in the same condition as before usage.
Protect From Moisture
Moisture is the most common destroyer of household tools. Especially when it comes to metal ones, yes, they can break, bend, or chip. But nothing causes such irreparable damage as moisture. Therefore, if you wish to maintain your tools properly, it is paramount that you keep them away from moisture. If you keep them in a shed, ensure no rain can seep in. If you keep them in a basement, make sure that a sudden flood won't touch them. All in all, try to predict various circumstances and see that your tools won't come into contact with moisture. This is important to remember if you plan to store or transport your tools. Seeing that you won't be able to dry them off quickly, you need to know how to get them ready for transport or storage and pack your power tools so that poor weather won't cause problems.
Proper Storage
Moisture, temperature fluctuations, dirt, and even some common pests. All can cause damage to your tools. This is why it is paramount that you find proper storage for them. While it may seem that any old shed will do, we invite you to think again. Consider all the hazards that can come about and how they can damage your tools. In almost all cases, investing in decent storage is much more cost-efficient than risk damage. A tool shed can be enough. But it would help if you made sure to insulate it properly. If you have valuable tools, you might look to invest in some extra safety measures. A dingy old lock might not be as protective as you might think.
Properly Stored Tools
You need to have decent, well-organized storage if you wish to properly maintain your tools.
Learn How To Use Them Properly
Tools are meant to be used. And to make full use of them, you need to understand how and when they are meant to be used. You'd be surprised at how often people forgo doing basic research and misuse their tools. This causes them to waste their energy and puts their tools in danger. If you don't use your tools properly, you can hardly hope they will last a long time. So, whatever tool you have, and however confident you feel about it, try to do a bit of research. It is always best to use the tools as they were intended to be used.

* If you don't clean painting tools after using them, you can consider them ruined.
Even if you feel that some dirt won't harm the tool in question, we would still advise you to clean it properly. Doing so will keep your tool primed and ready for subsequent usage. And you will maintain the helpful habit of keeping your tools clean. The more you see this as something that has to be done, the more likely your tools will last for decades to come.
Keep Them Sharp
If a tool has an edge, that edge needs to be sharp. Regardless of how often you use the tools or how precise your cuts need to be, keeping blades sharp is in your best interest. Again, there are multiple reasons for this. The sharper the edge of a tool is, the less force you need to apply for it to be effective. As a result, you will save energy and put less stress on your tool.
Secondly, understand that sharpening is a skill. While there are sharpening tools that can aid you, none can substitute a sharpening stone. The more you use one, the better you will be at it. So, don't forgo a bit of practice simply because you feel you won't use the tool soon. Finally, it is essential to remember that you never know when you will need to use a tool and whether you will have the time to sharpen it. And regardless of what DIY project you have in mind, you will need a sharp tool.
Therefore, it is best to keep your tools sharp, then hope you will have enough time and patience to sharpen them before use.
Final Thoughts
As you can see, there is not much you need to understand or do to properly maintain your tools. What you need is just some common sense. And a bit of responsibility for your property. Therefore, we are still surprised at how often people ruin their tools simply due to a lack of care. If you've already decided to own and use tools, don't do so haphazardly. Make sure that you understand what they are about. And make sure that you know how to use them properly.

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.