Understand the issues our products prevent to prevent problems and extend the life of your equipment.
This months AMSOIL Tech Talk was directed specifically toward AMSOIL Dealers. Because of that I have modified it and added additional information more applicable to landscapers and homeowners.
If you have read the AMSOIL information regarding their 2 and 4-stroke power equipment products, you should be familiar with the benefits they provide for your equipment. AMSOIL products help both homeowners and professionals solve the problems that erode efficiency, increase service requirements, cause premature equipment failure and affect your bottom line whether you are a homeowner or landscaper.
One of the top products for both homeowners and landscapers is SABER® Professional Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil (ATP). It fights power-robbing carbon to help two-stroke equipment start easier, run better and last longer. Mixing at 100:1 also cuts oil costs by 50% or more. (Maybe not significant for a homeowner but for landscapers who can go through gallons of 2-cycle fuel every week, the costs mount up.)
Want a quick way to calculate the oil needed for a specific mix ratio? While AMSOIL recommends the Saber Mix Ratio at 80:1 or 100:1, it can be mixed at any ratio between 32:1 and 100:1. I knew someone who used to build high performance jet-skis. He used the Saber Professional mixed at 72:1. You probably won’t find that ratio listed on many charts.
Start with the size of your gas can in gallons. (1 gallon, 2 gallons, 2.5 gallons etc) Multiply the size in gallons times 128. (the number of ounces in a gallon) Divide that answer by the first number in your mix ratio and you have the number of ounces of 2-stroke oil needed for that container at that mix ratio.
Example: 5 gallons of fuel mixed at 72:1. 5 (gallons) x 128 (ounces per gallon) = 640 ounces. 640 (ounces) / 72 (mix ratio) = 8.88 ounces of 2-stroke oil for a 72:1 mix ratio in 5 gallons of fuel. To make the measuring easier use 9 ounces. That will give you about a 71:1 mix. As someone once told me, “Close enough for government work.”
The following are 4 Technical Studies that were done on the SABER® Professional Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil (ATP)
- ECHO String Trimmer Technical Study (G3455)
- Lucas Semi-Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil In ECHO String Trimmers (G3466)
- ECHO 100:1 String Trimmer Technical Study (G3470)
- Redmax 100:1 Trimmer Technical Study (G3522)
Another key product is AMSOIL Synthetic Small-Engine Oil (AES, ASE, ASF, SEF). A zero-turn mower is a landscaper’s top expense after his or her fleet trucks. A new unit can surpass $10,000, and these mowers are vital to quickly producing professional-looking lawns and grounds. Running all day, every day in hot, wet and dirty conditions increases heat and stress, which breaks down inferior oils. Excessive engine deposits can form, which cause the valves and piston rings to stick, reducing power and eventually causing the engine to quit.
Most landscapers change the oil in their mowers every 100 hours. Kohler recently introduced the Kohler Pro 300 Hour Oil Change Kits. That’s a significant reduction in down time and labor costs doing oil changes. Instead of changing oil in his mowers every two weeks, a busy landscaper can now go five or six weeks between changes. That’s what a quality synthetic oil and filter can do. Guess who makes Kohler’s oil for these kits. (The AMSOIL name is on the Kohler box.)
As a homeowner you probably don’t have a $10,000 zero-turn mower but, unless you can afford to hire a landscaper, there is a good chance you have either a walk behind mower or lawn tractor. How often do you change the oil? Once a year? How many hours between oil changes, maybe 25 or less if you are in one of the northern states. When oil sits it accumulates moisture which reacts with combustion by-products causing acid to build up and the oil to begin breaking down causing sludge, varnish and corrosion of steel surfaces. A quality synthetic oil is much less reactive and doesn’t break down as readily which means little or no sludge, varnish or corrosion. (It’s still a good idea to use a good “Fogging Oil” on all equipment that sees seasonal use and long storage periods since oils by themselves will loose some of their anti-corrosion properties over time.)
While most landscapers do at least some of their own equipment maintenance, many homeowners don’t. If it doesn’t work it either goes to a shop for repair or gets replaced. Even consumer level equipment can last for years if simple care is taken to maintain it.
When you visit a maintenance shop, you might see mowers, trimmers and other equipment lying on a scrap pile outside because they have quit running, many times due to heavy carbon, varnish and gum deposits. And while the equipment may need nothing more than a good cleaning to remove these deposits, the shop labor costs can be almost as much as purchasing new equipment. SABER® Professional and Synthetic Small-Engine Oils help keep equipment clean, long-lasting and running at peak power, giving you two great tools to help prevent problems.
There are a couple more great AMSOIL problem solvers:
Together with the two products already mentioned, they comprise the top four AMSOIL products for landscapers (and homeowners), and it pays to understand the issues they solve.
I bet I’m not the only one who’s seen workers running zero-turn and stand-on mowers in wet, drizzly weather. Crews need to complete jobs on time, and a little rain (and sometimes a lot of rain) isn’t going to stop them. It’s also common to start mowing early in the morning before dew has evaporated.
This exposes the mower-blade spindles, casters and other components to heavy moisture, which can wash away inferior greases and invite wear and rust formation. This erodes mower efficiency, which slows down work. It also leads to component failure and extra maintenance.
AMSOIL Synthetic Water-Resistant Grease is formulated with extra-durable cohesive and adhesive chemistry. It holds together when exposed to water and clings tenaciously to metal surfaces when wet, protecting components during prolonged exposure to standing or pressurized water. It protects spindles, casters and other components used in wet conditions, maximizing efficiency and mower life.
And this also applies to a homeowner’s equipment. He may not have the zero-turn mower, but many mowers and all lawn tractors have grease fittings. Failing to keep grease in the areas that need it can lead to some costly repairs. (Think parts & labor) Spending five minutes twice a year wiping off grease fittings and greasing the equipment could save you hundreds of dollars.
Another suffering point for landscapers is zero-turn mower hydrostatic transmissions. In many zero-turn
mowers, oil pressure drives the two-wheel motors, one at each wheel. A hydrostatic transmission is essentially a fluid pump. To deliver the speed and responsiveness workers need for peak efficiency, the transmission requires the correct oil pressure. Too little pressure slows operation.
Maintaining oil pressure requires the oil to retain its viscosity and fight wear. These units get extremely hot, and if the oil loses viscosity at high temperatures, it becomes thinner, which reduces oil pressure. In addition, fluid that fails to protect against wear can cause the tight tolerances in the wheel motors to widen, which reduces oil pressure. The operator soon notices the mower doesn’t respond the way it once did, affecting precision and speed. That’s why most of these transmissions require a high-zinc oil to protect against wear.
AMSOIL Synthetic Hydrostatic Transmission Fluid contains high levels of zinc-based anti-wear additives to help maintain those tight tolerances, while its synthetic base oils naturally resist viscosity loss in extreme heat. As a result, it helps maintain mower speed and responsiveness for increased productivity.
If you are a homeowner with a lawn tractor that has a hydrostatic transmission, you may or may not be able to easily change the fluid. Some manufacturers provide drain and fill plugs on the unit, some don’t. My argument with the “Filled For Life” manufacturers is that the “Life” of the unit is until it dies because the fluid broke down. You then have the option of replacing the whole tractor, replacing an expensive transmission or finding a rebuilt one (which may or may not be much cheaper). Wouldn’t it be much nicer to be able to change a quart or two of fluid instead of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars to repair or replace the equipment?
If your lawn tractor does allow for hydrostatic fluid changes just make sure you use the correct fluid. Some call for motor oil and some call for hydrostatic transmission fluid. No matter what fluid it needs, use a quality synthetic fluid. Quality synthetic fluids run cooler, have a broader operating range and don’t break down as readily as mineral / crude oil based products. That translates to longer, more efficient service life of the equipment and more money in your pocket. Doesn’t make any difference if you are a landscaper or a homeowner, more money in your pocket is always a good thing.
And don’t forget the AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer (AST)
- Helps keep fuel fresh up to 12 months
- Protects against varnish and gum buildup
- Fights ethanol corrosion
- Ideal for stored seasonal equipment such as snowblowers, snowmobiles, lawnmowers, motorcycles & boats
For more information or pricing on the quality line of AMSOIL Products contact SLS Associates. We will answer your questions and you take it from there. If you choose to try AMSOIL products we will give you our best price and you make the decision. No pressure. It’s your choice.
Click Here if you would like to browse the current AMSOIL Catalog
*All trademarked names and images are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use. All products advertised here are developed by AMSOIL for the use in the application shown.