Keeping Your Pet Safe While Doing Yard Work

Every summer millions of Americans get out the lawn mower and start on their yard work, and for a lot of people their dogs are right beside them helping them out. While some yard work is totally fine to do while having an animal around, there are some times that it is best to leave them inside even if you do get puppy dog eyes through the window.

While jobs like fertilizing and spraying weeds are best done with no dogs running around, there are still some tasks that even the dogs can enjoy. If you dog insists on helping you with the yard work, here are a few tips from us.

Clean up the yard

While this should be done every time before you mow, with pets it is extra vital. Large sticks or rocks become projectiles when mowed over and you do not want your dog to be on the receiving end. You will also want to clear and dog toys, leashes, yard cables, or bones from your path to reduce the chance that your dog will dart for these items while you are mowing.

 Make sure everything is turned off

Again, this is good advice regardless of if you have a pet or not, but when you are not using yard equipment make sure it is turned off and/or unplugged. You never want to leave unattended machines running, especially yard equipment that is specifically made to cut and chop.

Be careful of the mulch you put down

Carefully read the mulches packaging before you purchase it. Believe it or not, some mulch may be harmful to your dog, and with a strong odor it can be difficult to keep your dog out of it.

Ease up on the fertilizer

With the same as the mulch, make sure any fertilizer you put down is pet friendly. The yard is essentially your dog’s domain, they run around and play in the yard as well as go to the bathroom. You don’t want to spread harmful chemicals all over the place where your pet can get into it.

Safely store chemicals

Again, this is good practice whether or not you have a dog. Make sure no harmful chemicals are on the floor or easily accessed by a curious dog.

Understanding Your Engine’s Oil

The best way to think of your engines oil is that it is your engine’s life blood. Without oil your engine would stop running. The oil travels throughout all parts of the engine and lubricates all of the components to run properly, a good rule of thumb is that the cleaner your oil is, the better your engine will run.

Oil in your lawn mower needs to be changed every 20-50 hours, and you should check your owner’s manual to see which oil type you should use, but if you have been to the store to buy oil, you know there are tons of different kinds, so what the difference?

It is important to understand what all of the different oils are. When shopping for oil you probably noticed a bunch of different numbers and letters on the bottles without much explanation of what they mean. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) developed a way to categorize oil based on their viscosity. It is easiest to think of viscosity as the liquids “thickness”, think water versus syrup.

For example, we will use SAE-5W-30. The higher the initial number of the oil, the thicker it is, 0 is like water and 10 is like syrup. The W stands for winter, meaning that is the viscosity of the oil in cold temperatures. The last number, in this case’30’, represents how well the oil flows after being heated to 212° degrees Fahrenheit. 0W-30, 5W-30, and 10W-30 all perform the same when heated up to 212° degrees Fahrenheit, but at lower temperatures the 0W-30 is the least viscous, and 10W-30 is the most viscous.

So what does all of this mean for you? Basically, just that you have to know the environment that you will be working in. if you are working in colder temperatures, 5W-30 may help you start your engine easier, but it will us more oil in higher temperatures. If your mower will get prolonged use in a commercial setting, then it is best to use a 15W-50 oil.

If you have any questions always refer back to your owner’s manual. If your outdoor power equipment needs maintenance, or for some expert advice, give us a call to set up an appointment today!

Toro History

Today, Toro is a leading name when it comes to turf and landscape maintenance and snow removal. From what we have seen from our other company spotlights, all big companies have humble beginnings. The Toro Motor Company was founded on July 10, 1914 to provide engines for one of the early leaders in the tractor field, The Bull Tractor Company of Minneapolis. Although Toro was established as an independent company, the name was chosen due to its association with the Bull Tractor. The Bull Tractor Company revolutionized the farm tractor business by introducing the first small tractor. The Bull Tractor’s size and price was less than that of a team of draft horses, and matched the needs and budget of the average farmer.

In 1916, the Bull Tractor Company fell on hard times, and Toro knew it had to do something if it wanted to survive. Toro pivoted and began producing engines and other components for the farm and truck industries. They also produced steam steering winches for merchant marine ships during World War I.

It was in 1919 that Toro produced their very own piece of equipment, the revolutionary farm machine that could be converted from a tractor, to a two-row power cultivator. It was also in 1919 that Toro was approached by the Minikahda Club in Minneapolis to create a motorized fairway mower to replace their horse-drawn equipment. Toro mounted five lawn mowers onto the front of a farm tractor, thus creating the motorized golf course equipment industry.

Throughout the 1920’s and 30’s, Toro kept pushing out revolutionary golf course equipment, from fairway sprinkler systems, to push mowers. Production ceased all domestic mower manufacturing in 1942 to assist in the war effort, building tank, cannon, anti-aircraft gun, and other components vital to the U.S. It was during WWII that Toro made plans to expand manufacturing in preparation for the post war boom that was soon to follow.

In 1951 Toro marketed the first snowblower, the Snow Boy, which was said to take the place of 50 men clearing streets by hand.

Since then, Toro has been a leading name in the golf course maintenance, snow removal, and turf maintenance industry. Toro continues to provide revolutionary products to this day. Stop in today to see our entire line of Toro products and see why Toro has been and industry standard for over 100 years.