Friday, March 30, 2012

Taking A Break

Parts for the Smithco trap rake are in . Reassemble the steering and replaced the chain . Installed a new park brake caliper and pads . Kept the old set and will look into buying brake pad material stock and making my own brake . It's not a cheap set up to have to replace as a complete unit every time . I have the Toro trap rake in for regular service . Now is the perfect time to catch a few days off before the season starts . I never take time off during the cutting season . With daily greasing and cut adjustments and factoring 10 to 12 students I'm way to busy for time off . Back to work on Tuesday and will take a little extra time at Easter if it's possible .

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Equipment Lift pads .

After a season of working around a lift for the first time I'm very use to where the position of the lift is most time . My biggest fear is having somebody walking through the shop ( not paying attention )  and getting a nasty gash to their head or getting knocked out . At first I got a few bumps here and there and started wearing a bump cap . I did paint a bright yellow line around the lift which didn't seem to help . I try to get after the staff for passing through the shop and to use the hallway instead . With the constant staff changes every year it's an endless battle . The majority of the staff here are college students .   Above pick is the end I'm protecting .

 We have some 2" Styrofoam that I traced the shape on .
 This spray glue worked great for attaching the Styrofoam to the lift . Didn't react or melt .
I used a piece of tape to hold it in place till it took well . Using a hacksaw blade and rounded of the corners . 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Busy Busy

 The guys started removing ice shields and tarps last week . Greens weathered well this winter. Super checked the greens on wensday with the prism and we were able to cut at .185 to start . Had a little reel blade mishape on the greens king IV that we use for approaches . I repaired it today . Last touches on the office and back to business tomorrow . My Smithco Trap rake parts are still in limbo . Won't be long and will be back to the summer routine . Plow gear is all serviced and put away and cross our fingers that we don't get a freak snow fall of 20 + cm .

A couple of finished office pics.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More Office picks

 Spent most of yesterday pulling spikes out of 2x4 . Today I spent the day sheathing the office inside and out .
 Using 1/2 " drywall inside and ceiling and only the top half on the outside .Ceiling was a little hard to do alone but I managed by screwing 3.5" deck screws part way near the roof line this held the other end of the drywall so that I could get it in place .
 Using 1/2" ply on bottom just like the rest of the shop .
 Going to put my desk and files here .
 Over all it went pretty well .Going to get my gear from home to do the taping tomorrow .

Monday, March 19, 2012

Approved for an Office (moving shop around )

 I took down the mounts for the salter and using this area for paint cabinet and pumping gear ,also hung up the PTO shafts and top links . I had a bench sticking out in the shop and put it back where the bed-knife grinder was .Grinder is going against one of the office wall . The opposite wall will have some more peg board to hang up more parts or gear .
 The wash bin I decided to put by the door . The smell from it is pretty strong . It will be easier for the service company to replace the drum instead of routing through the shop to get to it .
 The new office will only be 8x8 . Plenty big for what I need it for . It will be a good place to keep dust and debris of the computer and files/manuals . Putting up nailers on wall studs .
 Top nailer is getting bolted to wall studs to support ceiling .
 Breathable and ice shield tarps coming off greens today . We hold everything down with 2x4's and 12 to 18 " spikes . With our windy conditions it seem to hold them down for the duration of the winter . Recycling some of the lumber for framing .
 Pretty much a day job .
 Stiffening up the ceiling rafters .

So far so good .

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Springs Coming

Our weathers is fluctuating up and down with a mix of rain and snow every other day . Temperatures were hovering around freezing most of the time with a few exceptions of spring like conditions  . Next week is looking up with temps in the double digits . Some of the staff are making it back to work and repairing our nets that protect the homes at the back of the course . The ball washers are getting some final touches and the new benches are all assembled . Next week the ice shields and breathable tarps are coming off to get the greens acclimatised a few weeks before the first mow . Might be earlier, we had a pretty mild winter .Some of the techs down the East Coast in the US are mowing 2 weeks earlier this year . I'm working on the Smithco trap rake and in need off a few steering parts ( waiting for parts ) and a little bit of welding on the machine .The lift cylinder is leaking and was sent out to one of the local hydro shops .I have repaired these in the past but find it is much cheaper to send out to repair or replace in my area . Out traps are hand raked here so it gets very few hours on this machines . Just some regular maintenance. While I have some down time I'm making a list of filters etc, and parts needed to service and repair all the Stihl products . The pro gator went out to the spring shop and was repaired for less than 350 $. We primarily use it with the pro pass top dresser and it sits nice and level now plus the rear springs got a little beefing up . Making a few more changes in the shop . I had changed it around last season because of the new lift . Now I think I can get things where I want them and have enough room to build a small office . With the superintendents approval I can frame it up once the tarps are hauled in . The framing material is out on the course holding down tarps . Aside from framing I should be able to make a finished office for under 500$. Winters winding  down fast . Hope you enjoyed getting a view of what a tech does in the off season . 90 % of equipment is done 100% of mowing gear is ready to go .If it's nice next week all the gear is getting hauled out of the cold storage and will let them run up to operating temperature .  The remainder I'll finish off in between mowing jobs till the full crew is back . Then once I get back to the servicing and adjusting mod I'll mostly be posting items off interest .

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cushman dented oil pan .

 This is the gardeners Cushman that he uses daily , unless we need it to haul for a project on the course. I'm noticing that the motor mount bracket is denting in the oil pan . I'm assuming it's happening when it's over loaded and driving to fast to get to an area to dump .
 I used a 4.5 " cut off wheel and trimmed some of the mount to get more clearance . This is the same Cushman that I replaced the transmission in . The frame must have a little sag because I had replaced all the motor and transmission mounts when the oil pan was replaced a few years back . This machines can haul really well but if their overloaded and start bouncing the rear axle seals will start leaking and the long axle tube will start bending over time .
Winter service is almost done . Had to do similar repairs to the dump box as the gators . It's a 1998-99 and starting to show her age . These units will provide a good bang for the buck . Their made for hauling and do it well . Even over loaded the brakes work very well and feels stable and safe when driving . CAUTION if you over load and are going up a steep hill it may wind up on the tailgate and you will be looking at the sky . It happened once here but the operator was just a little guy . Things to keep an eye on is the frame and front frame where the upper control arms bolt on . Not sure if it's the quality of the metal ... design ...or just being on the East Coast but if you keep an eye on it and rust check it once a year you should get a lot more years out of them . The other one is keeping them out of the woods, lots of cables hanging down to get ripped off .
A small 10 minute project . As a golf course tech. you may get to do some little side projects in between jobs .

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Toro 1250 with WindFoil Review

 Sorry about the pic's the red sort of took over the images . Do to our windy conditions we purchased the Windfoil and a new Toro 1250 last season . Now we can spray even if it's windy . Width and spray wise works great . When the booms are down and your driving forward they have a break away design to help prevent damage to the boom . "CAUTION" When backing up there is NO break away If you hit something the boom will bend .Read the operators manual pay attention to slops . If you stall on a hill with a loaded sprayer the brakes may not hold you . So be in the right gear before starting up or down a hill . Drive straight up or down hills not on the side of a slope .
Before purchasing you may want to measure your bay doors ( your going to need 11 to 12 feet wide ) . At the moment we have to break away the booms to get it in the cold storage shop it's pretty much a two man operation not to damage anything plus you need the room once your inside to raise the booms up afterwards . . During the summer months I have to leave it my shop ( very large bay doors ). That way the spray tech can easily get it out alone after hours if I'm not around . I bit of a pain for me to have it the shop but not to bad overall ,just my way of preventative damage . When driving from area to area you have little side vision and zero rear vision , you have to constantly look out for obstructions . With the booms in this position (above) it is still just over 10 feet wide . If you have a choice stick your best spray tech on this machine . If not take your time till you get use to the width . The entire boom system rotates upright first then the booms are dropped as per normal . The boom system worked very well and smooth so far .Out of all the machinery on the course the sprayers should have the Roll Over Protection and SEAT BELTS should be worn at all times.Without the seat belt an if you lose control or slide your likely going to get thrown off the machine and then it may roll over you .  Loaded up with chemicals/water I think it's around a thousand pounds + heavier of sloshing liquid .
 The nozzle spacing are 16" instead of the 20" we have on our other unit . If your dealer didn't set it up for you your going to have to change a few settings ( spacing, boom length etc). My dealer (Veseys) had set it up for me but I went through the process to double check .
 In cold storage in the off season . Might have to budget for a bigger bay door in the future .
 No problem on the lift but the boom has to be tipped up and you cannot drive through . Not a real big issue just pointing it out .
Slightly bent boom . The only big problem here is that if it gets any worse It will have to be sent out to a shop that does aluminum repairs which will involve stripping it down to the frame most likely  . It's great for reducing weight but we are not set up to do repairs on this type of metal . If you try to heat and bend it it will either melt or crack . Leave this kind of repair to the experts unless your experienced in repairing aluminum .

 Above was my attempt to straight it out . I made up a tool .
 Wound the nuts out stretching it outward while heating it up with propane .  It straightened out a little but didn't want to push my luck .

Just a pick showing the 16" spacing .

Great machine . If you store equipment indoors it may be an issue getting it in and out without damage . If your course has lots of trees or tight cart paths you may have to plan how to get to your spray areas . A good spray tech will keep the damage down to the minimum. . The big plus and the reason for the Windfoil at this course was to be able to spray without waiting for perfect conditions .
This machine has under 200 hrs. now. Foamers works great . Just needed an oil and filter changed and the pre-air filter cleaned up and grease machine  . Checked fluids ,belts, etc. Checked the hoses and cleaned all the tank , screens and nozzles .

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Toro 1250 toe in alignment

After doing a lot of front end work I greased everything up. I only had an operators manual to go by for the toe in adjustment . The instructions were pretty vague but this is an older model . It says to mark the tires ( front and rear ) in the same location at axle height . Measure the front and rear tire centers and adjust tie rod ends to get the front measurement to be 1/8 th. less than the rear . 
On my machine the front ends were way off . So I'm trying something different . I centered the steering wheel and ran twine from rear frame across rear tire .

 Then rigged something up to wrap the twine around in the front that can be moved either way. I moved the twine so it was just touching both sides of rear wheel . This way I could get a zero measurement by using a measuring tape from the front rim to the twine (front and back at axle height  looking at wheel ).  I'm thinking the front wheels will track in the same direction as the rear this way.
Adjusting the right side it was toed in a lot . Using the tie rod adjustment I adjusted it to zero and after that adjusted the front side of rim 1/16 th wider from rim to twine to give me a little toe in .

The left side was pretty close and had a slight adjustment done . Took it for a drive after and felt really good doing figure eights both ways and braking etc. 

 99% done . Cleaned the flow meter and nozzles today and checked booms for bends and cracks. Not bad looking for 1564 hrs. 2001 sprayer . The tank was hand scrubbed using cheap toilet bowl cleaner (tip from on of the guys on the tech sites ) to get the soluble fertilizer stains out . Well most of it any way .Another tip is to spray the tank with WD40 to help keep it from getting stained .
 I moved the hose reel last season to the ROPs (bolted on with U bolts ) .
By doing this it made the hose area in the rear less cluttered and easier to do repairs . I put a rear bumper on a few years ago , hard to tell where the rear is and use to get backed up to far at times bending the nozzle tabs .

Review: alignment worked well . No visible wear on either tire since this post .