Winter is here, leading many professional landscape contractors to pack up their businesses for the year. However, warmer weather is around the corner and John Deere wants to ensure these contractors take the steps necessary to maximize their uptime in time for the first mow of the season.

Take advantage of winter downtime with these five tips from John Deere:

1.     Clean Your Machines – Prior to storing your equipment for winter, give your machines a good wash to remove any buildup or debris, which can be damaging if left untouched for a long period of time. As you are cleaning, look for any chips or scratches and repair as necessary. Your machine will be spotless and ready to go when spring arrives.

2.     Give Your Machine a Tune-Up – Winter downtime provides a great opportunity to perform necessary maintenance, whether it is routine or a machine repair that will lead to downtime. Give your machine a once over, checking to ensure there are no missing nuts and bolts and for any loose or worn parts.

3.     Pay Attention to the Tires – Give tires a once over. Winter weather can affect tire pressure, particularly if machines have been stored for months. Check the tire pressure and examine treads for wear. Replace tires if necessary.

4.     Pay Attention to Your Mower Deck – It is important to pay attention to your mower deck and blade, as the longevity of your machine is dependent on the upkeep of these parts. Check your blade for dullness and corrosion. Sharpen the blade if it is dull, and replace any blades that have logged too many hours. Check the mower belt to ensure it is taut and in good condition – replace it if damaged.

5.     Evaluate Your Fleet Examine your mower fleet, as well as your business, and consider what you may need for the next season. Audit your equipment and note any aged equipment that may need to be replaced. Also, consider your business growth, and any machines you may need to bolster your fleet. Connect with your dealer who can assist you determine what equipment you need and guide you through the purchasing process.

Spring will be here in no time, and by taking advantage of the off-season to prepare the equipment and business, you will be ready to roll when it arrives.