Landscape & Irrigation

January/February 2016

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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Page 19 of 35

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. And when it comes to making a purchase, investing time into research up front pays off in a quality, dependable product that consumers can count on for years to come. Products, such as power equipment, should offer long-lasting dependability and often require some research, as well as a lot of math to find the best solution. While machine features and the initial price tag are always factors, a wise customer will look be- yond those elements to consider the unit's total cost of ownership. When purchasing power equipment, the first thing to consider is the heart of the product — the engine. If long-term value and dependability is the goal, choose power equipment that features an engine with a proven record of exception- al reliability, increased durability and minimal required maintenance. An engine that minimizes maintenance and incorporates money- saving durability and design will pay dividends in the long run. Here are some things for consumers to consider to ensure that their engine offers the best value and performance for the life of their equipment. ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS Any equipment investment should always start and end with total cost of ownership. Customers need to know what to look for and ask the right ques- tions up front to ensure they have the information needed to get the best value for their investment. What is the purchase price? How much will it cost to maintain? And, of course, how long will it last? When buying equipment, consider the use and application. Will the product be used every day or just sporadically? Is the appli- cation demanding and dirty or a basic backup? Answering those questions will help frame the decision-making process. Then, take a close look at the design of the engine and the features that will affect life and performance. SUPERIOR LUBRICATION Keeping an engine running smoothly is a science in itself. While oil eliminates friction between the moving parts, it's the lubri- cation system that pumps oil where it's needed most. A proper lubrication system is key to overall engine health and lifespan. A lot of engines feature splash lubrication. This system gets the job done for the most part, but not without problems. For example, if there isn't enough oil in the trough, the amount splashed onto engine components — the cam, main bearings, rods and pistons — will be insufficient, causing the engine to seize. Too much oil in the trough will cause excessive lubrication, leading to fuel inefficiency or excessive heat. A reliable, consistent lubrication method plays a key role in maintaining peak performance and longevity. Engines that me- ter a direct supply of oil to the head of the engine offer superior lubrication, ensuring just the right amount of oil is delivered at all times. Pumping oil directly to every critical bearing reduces operating temperatures and friction between components, which means better performance and longer engine life. STAY COOL Along with poor lubrication, excessive heat shortens engine life, and is a major culprit in engine failure. Overheating can damage valve stems, seize pistons and even crack or warp cylinder heads, resulting in costly maintenance expenses. Engines that foster a 360-degree airflow around both the exhaust and intake valve stem areas will extend overall product life. This cooling system reduces oil temperatures as much as 20 degrees cooler than other designs. For further protection, some engine designs incorporate special heat dissipation fins built into the engine's mounting base, cylinder and both inner and outer crankcase surfaces to use every possible cooling area. Beyond the cooling system, consider other design elements of the engine that can either increase or dissipate heat. Look for de- signs that avoid blocking air flow with components such as gear covers. Find a design that mounts the gear cover at bolt points rather than flush against the surface of the power product. This design will allow air to travel between the engine and the prod- uct's rotor and stator, keeping the entire product cool. The Engine Investment 20 January/February 2016 Landscape and Irrigation Pay for quality and longevity rather than maintenance, repairs ■ BY DAVID FRANK PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUBARU INDUSTRIAL POWER PRODUCTS ENGINES ENGINES The reusable, washable air filter saves users time and money on filter replacements because they can be cleaned several times before wearing out.

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