Colder weather is fast approaching and it's time for the semi-annual 'changing of the guard,' from mower to blower. Soon you will retire your lawn mower to storage and begin prepping your snow blower for brave winter conditions. Whether you have a push lawn mower or riding mower, performing a few basic winterization tasks now will pay off next spring and help to extend the life of your machine. And as for your Sno Thro, give it a good checkup before the winter storms roll in and you really need it. An Ariens dealer can help service your equipment each year as you enter the season of “Changing of the Guard.”
Use this checklist to help properly store your lawn mower and prep your snow blower, ensuring that your equipment stays tougher than the elements.
Good Bye Mower...
Add Stabilizer to the Remaining Gas in Your Lawn Mower - Most engine manufacturers recommend using a fuel stabilizer or draining the fuel system before putting the machine into storage. Mix the gasoline according to the instructions on the stabilizer container. Fill the machine's gas tank about 3/4 full (using low ethanol gasoline) and allow the machine to run for a few minutes to make sure stabilized gasoline is in the carburetor as well as the tank. If equipped, turn the fuel valve to the off position.
Clean the Blades and Undercarriage - Clean the unit: wipe or blow off the clippings and debris from the top of the unit and check the belt(s) and idler pulleys for wear. Check the blades, as now is a great time to replace or sharpen the blades. Remove the ignition key and/or the spark plug wire before working under the mower deck!
Annual Tune Up - (Optional - either now or in Spring) If you opt for maintenance before storage, take a look at our recommendations for tuning up your mower. Tuning up your mower - changing the spark plugs, oil, checking tire pressure and grease fittings - at least once every year will help your unit run smoother and burn fuel efficiently.
Change the Oil - Change the oil and filter if equipped. Replace with the engine manufacturer's recommended oil and filter type. Please refer to the engine manual that came with your unit. Some of the Ariens owner's manuals also have these recommendations. You can also find recommendations on most engine manufacturers web sites: Briggs & Stratton, Honda, Kawasaki, Kohler, LCT, Robin/Subaru.
Storing Your Mower - Let your lawn mower hibernate for the winter in a cool, dry place.
Take your Snow Blower Out of Storage - With another snow season underway (or fast approaching), it's time to move your Sno-Thro to the front of the garage where it belongs.
Drain any Old Fuel Still Sitting in Your Snow Blower - When a gasoline engine is stored for an extended period, it may not start easily. There are several reasons why this could happen, but the most common is that the gasoline in the carburetor has evaporated away leaving a varnish-like residue that is preventing the flow of fuel. If this happens, it will be necessary to disassemble the carburetor and clean it thoroughly.
Check Tire Pressure - Check the pressure of your snowblower's tires and adjust as needed to the pressure listed on the tire sidewall.
Check Auger Gear Case Oil - Over the years, Ariens has used several lubricants in auger gear cases including grease and gear oil. Modern auger gear cases on Sno-Thro and Sno-Tek models use synthetic gear oil. It is always best to check the owner's manual for a specific model to make sure the correct lubricant is being used. Here are some rules of thumb for checking auger gear case oil.
Fill Engine Fuel Tank - Fill your fuel tank. Do not use gas with more than 10% ethanol (E10). Higher ethanol fuel is dangerous to use in any small engine equipment.
Tighten the Bolts - After changing oil and finishing the visual inspection, check and make sure all nuts and bolts are tight on your machine. A snow blower vibrates during use, which may cause parts to become loose over time. Tighten any loose nuts and bolts to ensure optimal operation.
Test - Turn on your snow blower to make sure it's working and ready for the first snow.
For generations, Ariens Company has been building a family. A family of reliable products. A family of dealers. A family of employees. A family of customers. A family dedicated to Craftsmanship.
Let’s go back to 1933, to the beginning of our story, where four men, two $1,500 loans and one American-made rotary tiller represented the beginning of what would become Ariens Company. Due to the hard work and perseverance of many generations, 80 years later their family has grown into a global enterprise, a family of passionate employees and, most importantly, an extended family of astounded customers.
Any company surviving eight decades has had its share of ups and downs. Watch this video for a candid look at the launch of the legendary Ariens Sno-Thro® in 1960. In the video, Dan Ariens, president (4thgeneration), interviews his father, Mike Ariens, chairman (3rdgeneration). (Video link)
As part of our 80th Anniversary celebration, we are also recognizing employees who have contributed their time and hard work through several generations within their families as well. It was amazing to find that we have 28 employees whose families have been employed at Ariens for three or more generations. We have invited these employees to join us as special guests for our 80th Anniversary event scheduled for September 13 in Brillion, Wisc.
Join us on Facebook leading up to this event to see special posts from the past and to connect to our celebration streaming live from the Ariens headquarters. Visit our Ariens Facebook page for more details.
We’re excited for you to share in this milestone event because when you purchase a machine built by Ariens - whether it’s a riding lawn mower, a log splitter, or a snow blower - you’ll be passing on the power of our equipment on to your next generation. We’re proud to be a part of yours...
...thanks for being a part of the Ariens family for 80 years! Visit our websites to see our Ariens and Gravely products and to read more information about our history.
There are a number of differentattachments that add to the versatility of zero turn mowers.
Bag or Mulch Clippings - The most popular attachment is a bagging system that allows you to collect grass clippings. There are many bagger options available for zero turn mowers including two- and three-bucket designs. Ariens and Gravely offer powered and non-powered baggers. Powered baggers have a belt-driven powered blower that forces grass into the bags. Commercial-quality baggers dump from seat using a lever to tilt the collector so you don't have to get off machine to dump clippings.
Rear Attachments - Zero turn mowers can accommodate a variety of rear attachments, including a dump cart, spreader, plug aerator, lawn dethatcher, roller or sprayer.
Front Attachments - Some zero turn mowers can accommodate a front-mounted blade or even a snow blower or brush for clearing snow or debris.
Check out this youtube video talking about the options available for our zero turn mowers.
Most attachments can be installed with the accompanying instructions, but it is generally recommended to have them installed by a professional power equipment dealer. Some zero turn mowers may require you to add a hitch for rear attachments while others may come standard with a hitch. In some cases, front attachments may require an adapter kit or weight kit. "Quick hitch" mechanisms may also be available for fast and easy changeover.
Check out our Why Zero Turn site to see other reasons why a zero turn might be the mower for you.