In the fourth video in our How To series, Johnny Bowker talks us through his tips for storing machines away over the winter months so they're ready for the start of the next cutting season.
The machine used in this video is in for a service so the cylinder has been removed. You do not have to this, but we have used this machine for demonstration purposes.
Remove the guards that cover up the drive trains and clutch (shown in the two images below). Remove any debris that has gathered around the sprockets, belts and clutch; this can be done with an airline, brush or a scraper. (Try to avoid washing down with water as you want to avoid storing your machine away damp). Oil and re-grease before putting the guards back on.
Photo 3 shows the cylinder and bed knife in this machine have rusted and there is a lot of pitting. We would advise getting this re-ground and sprayed.
The engine (photo 4). Check the air filter is clean and remove any debris with an airline or brush. If you're storing the machine away in a damp shed, make sure that the fuel tank is filled to the brim as this will stop condensation forming in the tank. If any water droplets get into the petrol, this will go through to the carburettor and stop the machine running. Check the engine oil levels.
Photo 5 shows the carburettor; this as a drain. Turn off the fuel tap, drain the carburettor and leave the fuel tap off until you come to start the machine back up.
Left: Photo 5. Right: Photo 6
Use a scraper or airline to remove any grass built up on the leading edges of the knives and the bottom blade (photo 6). Then, spray WD40 all over the cylinder and the bottom blade. This will help repel any moisture and stop them from rusting.
There are other videos in the How to Series including:
Setting cylinder mower on cut
Pre-start checks for a ride-on mower
Pre-start checks on a pedestrian cylinder mower
Setting height of cut on a cylinder mower
Back-lap a pedestrian cylinder mower
The importance of using the correct sprinkler nozzle
Step by step guide to strip down a sprinkler