Category: Equipment Tips

Battery Operated Lawn Equipment

When you think lawn and landscape company you think large – heavy duty gas powered equipment, at least I always did. But is it always necessary? There are jobs that require gas powered engines, but for the day to day mowing – does it all need to run on gas?

We are giving something new a try this year. Battery powered leaf blowers for day to day lawn care services. We still need our large back pack blowers for leaf clearings of course, but to clear off sidewalks and driveways it always seems like over kill. The goal is to cut down on gas usuage, save some time (pull a trigger and go vs start a gas engine, and we all know sometimes they don’t want to start) and reduce noise (ever heard a br600 Stihl blower?). 

What did we notice so far?

The noise difference is night and day. You barely hear the battery powered blower compared to a gas model. Large back pack blowers are being banned in certain cities due to noise – this could be a game changer for day to day operations.

Quick and easy — you literally flick a switch and go vs pulling a string, priming, choke etc. It saves about a minute on each job. The weight difference is great too – no more shoulder pain at 5pm.

Maintenance cost savings. There no fuel filter, no spark plug, no air filter – just a battery. We normally tune up gas equipment twice a year for around $30 each time, so that’s $60 a year per machine (we have 10).. big savings there!

Getting your lawn mower ready for spring.. What you should consider.

Honestly, most of these should be completed at the end of the mowing season – if not during it. But if you are behind on the schedule, follow these tips to keep your equipment tip-top.

Remove the spark plug

First thing is first, for safety reasons you are going to need to remove the spark plug. This prevents the mower from turning on and stops anyone from loosing any fingers. It is better to be safe than sorry, so do not skip this step.

Change the oil

Changing your machines oil is critical to the upkeep of your mower. Consider it a car – would you keep driving for over an entire year before changing the oil? Don’t neglect the mower, change the oil. It is pretty inexpensive and it keeps things moving at there best. Some Troy Bilt tune up kits cost as low as $10.00 at Lowe’s.

Clean the deck of your mower

Cleaning under the deck of your mower helps prevent uneven cuts, strain on your equipment, and gives you a chance to check the condition of the blades. All season long you should clean grass clippings from your machinery – grass clippings contain moisture, moisture creates rust, rust destroys metal. Keep your equipment longer and clean it out. Most mowers come with an hose attachment these days for easy lower deck cleaning.

Sharpen the blades

Getting the blades sharpened is essential. Dull blades will cause dead grass, it’s a fact. Sharp blades cut the grass smoothly and evenly. Dull blades rip and generate uneven cuts. Ripped grass blades results in brown patches and an ugly lawn. Sharpening can be done yourself, but it is recommended to have a professional sharpen the blades for you. If they are too damaged and nicked, consider replacing them altogether. Sharp blades are the number 1 factor in having a beautiful lawn. Don’t cheat and use the same dull blade.

Lubricate the mowing parts

Keep everything moving smooth. Oil the bearings ant all over rotating parts on your mower. Lubricated machines last longer and run better. Take a simple glance at your owners manual to see what the manufacturer recommends as far as lubricants – sometimes things are over looked.


Cared for machines last longer and perform better. We have had a John Deere mower for over 12 years – runs like new. The key: we take the time to care for it. We all know outdoor equipment is not cheap – put the time into your investment and it will last until you are ready for a new one.

Technorati Tags:

Stihl – Frys Power Equipment, Altoona PA

Springs coming, and with spring mean new projects around the house. Outdoor projects often require the use of power equipment. Whether you need to purchase equipment, rent, or higher a professional, we want to make sure you check for Stihl power equipment first!

Best Bang for the Buck
Stihl’s power equipment provides the best bang for the buck. I have tried other power tools from craftsman, Troy-Bilt, John Deere (do not get us wrong, we love John Deere mowers!), and many other brands. None of them compare to the reliability and power that you receive from Stihl. The Yard Boss can be transformed into an aerator, tiller, dethatcher, and even a high powered brush that is gentle enough to clean out flower beds. The BR600 Magnum remains unmatched when it comes to a backpack blower. It is strong enough to move snow with little problem, and it is not even the highest model available. And the weed whackers, forget bog downs. And we are not even going to get started on the chain saws!


Fry’s Power Equipment

After shopping around for outdoor power equipment, we here at Lego Services would like to give a personal recommendation for Fry’s Power Equipment.

Exceptional Service
Fry’s has exceptional knowledge on every single piece in the store. They have the answers from repairs to the simple how do I .. questions that might come up.

Warranties are honored, and most repairs are completed at the shop.

Family Business
At Fry’s you get the feeling that you are dealing with an old fashioned ma-and-pap operating. Friendly and Professional at the same time, with hands on demonstrations of how to properly handle the equipment – Fry’s makes sure that you are comfortable before your purchase. The equipment that we purchased even came with a full tank of gas!

Lego Services Sticks with Stihl Equipment!
Visit for a list of all services available and get that project completed, the right way.

Have you shopped at Fry’s in the past? Have a review, or want to add a comment to this post? Please do so below.

Leaf Removal

Leaf Removal
Leaf Mulching
Leaf Mulching is one of the more organic methods of leaf removal. And, it is very lawn friendly.

If you have a push mower, it is more than likely that it is already mulch-capable. Most of the time, there is a plastic shoot where grass exits the push mowers deck. You should be able to remove the plastic shoot, and block the hole in the mowers deck. Most newer lawn mowers come with a mulching blade as well. If not, one can easily be picked up for around the price of $20.00.

If you have a riding lawn mower, attachments can be purchased (for most) to block the hole in the mowers deck. Mulching blades can also be purchased for a price in the area of $40.00. The prices and attachments vary by mower type, but most of the time the attachment is a small plastic cover with gumby straps that hold it to the deck. It simply fits of the exit hole on the mowers deck, blocking anything from escaping and in return mulching it.

So why should you mulch?

Well there is a few good reasons. The first, it is a lot easier than manually raking your leafs with a leaf rake. Depending on your yard size, leaf raking can be a long, pretty intense task. And with the technology available in this day and age, it is not a “must do” task.

The second, mulching leafs and returning them back to the soil is an excellent organic lawn care method. It return rich nutrients and iron to your lawn that grass strives on. By returning these nutrients back to the soil, you will notice a thicker, greener, all around healthier outcome within your grass.

The third is the cost factor. Tools like leaf blowers and vacuums can get very expensive. With some leaf blowers costing $300-$500 and up, and some vacuums costing $300-$1000 dollars you can easily see why mulching is extremely less expensive. You should replace blades every season depending on the use involved. So at the worst conditions, and the cheapest leaf removal tool it would take almost 8 years of purchasing mulching blades before you would reach the cost of a low-end leaf vacuum! Leaf Blowing
Leaf blowers are a very effective, but also very expensive method of leaf removal depending on the size of your yard. Small leaf blowers can run $140 to $300 dollars. While they are good for small leaf removal projects, sidewalks, and driveways, people with larger, tree filled yards will quickly become disappointed with the limitations on the smaller blowers.

For larger, leafier yards, I personally recommend the BR600 from Stihl. While there are more powerful models available, the BR600 packs a punch and is able to move large piles of leafs, wet or dry. It also moves snow with little problem.

Depending on if you live in a city, and what city that is, normally there are scheduled leaf pickup services. By blowing your leaves to the curb side or street side, large city trucks with vacuum hoses will come and remove you leaf piles as long as they are in an acceptable area. The city than compost or mulches the leafs for recycled use at a later time. And normally this is done free of charge! Leaf Vacuuming.. Compressing
Leaf vacuuming also provides a method of mulching or compressing your leaves.

My favorite leaf vacuum is the stihl hand held model. It is light weight and compresses leafs at a 14:1 bag ratio. The bag straps onto your back and has an easy unzip and dump feature. They run around $300 but are worth the money if you need to go this route. I normally use the BR600 to blow the leafs into a pile and then use the leaf vacuum to mulch and compress the pile. The mulched leaves can then be used for a compost or a cheap-organic fertalizer where needed.

Another type of leaf vacuum is the walk behind model. Troy-Bilt and Craftsman make notable versions of these. They basically look like a push mower, except they have a vacuum attached to the front and a fairly large bag attached to the back. They do what they are supposed to, however I am not a giant fan of these models. I would rather purchase the mulching attachment for a push or riding lawn mower and mulch the leafs. These pieces of equipment can run in the area of $500 depending on versions.

The other type of leaf vacuum is the riding mower attachment. It is the same principle as the push mower version, except for use with a riding lawn mower. I am not a giant fan of these models either and they are more for professional use. They are also very pricey, $600+.

Zero Turn Lawn Mowers

Zero Turn Mowers – Now Thats a Lawn Mower
The volume of zero turn lawn mower sales has been growing over the last few years while the number of conventional riding lawn mowers has been declining. In fact, the demand for zero turn lawn mowers has increased so dramatically that some companies no longer even make the conventional riding models. When comparing rear-engine riding lawn mowers, conventional and zero turn are the two types. While the older conventional rider models are relatively agile and nimble, they do have some disadvantages, particularly in turn radius. Depending on the model, a conventional rider will actually use as much as 28 inches and as little as 4 inches to make a 180 degree turn. Mathematically this is wasted movement that cannot be avoided in a conventional rider, at the end of each directional cut.

In comparison, a zero turn lawn mower does exactly as its name implies. It turns with no wasted movement or surface area coverage. A zero turn lawn mower actually turns around within its own track so that no movement is wasted at all. Not only that, but many zero turn lawn mowers also operate and travel at nearly twice the speed of a conventional rider lawn mower. The Main Primary Different Between Zero Turns and Convential Riders
One of the primary operational differences between these two lawn mowers is in how the steering system is designed. Conventional lawn mowers have a steering system where the wheel is placed in a position which enables the front wheels to turn with the radius controlled by the physical design of the lawn mower. Meanwhile, zero turn lawn mowers actually have two steering grips which independently control each of the two rear wheels. If the controller moves one of the grips forward while simultaneously putting the other one in a reverse position, the entire zero turn mower will make a complete rotation in one single spot.

The Cost Factor..

As convenient as it is to have a zero turn lawn mower, another factor that many people consider when choosing which rider to purchase is the cost of each lawn mower. There is a considerable difference between the two different types. A conventional riding lawn mower will range in price between $1,600 and $3,000, while a zero turn lawn mower will range in price between $2,600 and as high as $7,200. Many people would argue that that’s a substantial amount of money to spend on a machine that runs only one hour every week. Obviously there is another factor that buyers take into consideration when choosing which lawn mower to purchase – the fun factor. Up to 8 MPH…
Zero turn mowers are arguably much more fun to drive and operate than conventional models. They nimbly move and cut around trees and other lawn obstacles. Driving a zero turn lawn mower has been compared to driving a bumper car, except without crashing into other bumper cars. Also, like anything that is driven, speed is a factor that everyone takes into consideration. Conventional lawn mowers only move at about 4 miles per hour, while there are some zero turn lawn mowers that go nearly double that speed. Although people continue to buy conventional riding lawn mowers, sales for them are declining every year. It appears as though pretty soon all anyone will want are zero turn lawn mowers.