The Golfdom Files: Equipment care that pays

By |  June 18, 2024 0 Comments

Caring for your equipment is crucial to ensuring the turf you manage lives its best life. How much has the routine for equipment changed over the last 95-plus years? Not much as it turns out. See what Jon MacGregor from Chicago Golf Club had to say in the February 1927 edition of Golfdom about keeping tractors, mowers and more in working condition. Click here to read the full article.

Equipment care that pays

By Jon MacGregor // Greenkeeper, Chicago Golf Club

Photo: Golfdom staff

Photo: Golfdom staff

The subject of golf course maintenance is receiving more attention than it has heretofore from the men who are responsible, so I believe it is well for me to remind my fellow greenkeepers at this time that there is one branch of our profession which has been given very little thought. It is the care of golf course equipment.

First comes machinery, which includes tractors, green, tee and power mowers, compost mixers, compost screens, compost distributors, seeders, wagons, spraying outfits, etc.

Treat this equipment as something of great importance. There should be an understanding that when a machine does not operate properly there is something materially wrong and the cause most usually is an accident, or that the operator does not fully understand the working of this particular machine.

When anything does break it should not be repaired with a piece of wire, but should be inspected by someone who understands machinery, and will, if necessary, secure the parts to repair it from the manufacturer.

The most important point is to teach the operator what he should personally do to keep the machine he operates in proper working order. There are a great many who need much instruction, and who do not appreciate the value of proper care in the operation of the particular machine.

I want to impress on everyone concerned that the operators of machinery be given a thorough understanding of their responsibilities. The importance of lubrication should be made clear to them. When they have finished for the day (especially cutting grass) the hose should be turned on the machines to free them from grit and grass. All bolts and nuts should be gone over every day and tightened where necessary.

Such instructions usually come with machinery, and should be followed more closely. When the equipment has been taken into the barn at the end of the season, work should be started immediately on the overhauling.

Overhauling pointers

The tractor should be the first to receive attention, the work to be done depending on the age of the machine. If the tractor has been in use for only one season all that is usually necessary is cleaning out the carbon and grinding the valves, going over the bolts and nuts on the chassis and body. All of the grease cups should be taken out and cleaned ready to be filled before operation. If the tractor is two years old or more, it is possible that you have had trouble during the season with fouled spark plugs, which is usually an indication of leaky piston rings.

The best way to remedy this trouble is to take the old rings out and replace them with new ones a little oversize, then the connecting rod bearings may need taking up. There may also be worn knuckles on the steering gear that may need replacing. If you are not familiar with this work it will pay you to spend a few hours in a garage once in a while. You will be surprised at what you can accomplish on your tractors.

Next comes the mowing equipment. Every unit should be taken apart and thoroughly cleaned. The cleaning can be done with kerosene and an old brush. Then all of the bearings must be examined as they frequently show a great deal of wear. If so, they should be replaced as it is impossible to set a mower properly with loose bearings.

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