Maintaining a large number of small engines requires just as much care as maintaining the bigger engines found in cars and other vehicles. Landscaping companies know this all too well, as these businesses often need to maintain chainsaws, stringer trimmers, lawnmowers, and more. Poor maintenance and operating habits can quickly lead to expensive failures, repairs, and downtime.
Since these engines are relatively straightforward, proper care often comes down to a few simple factors. The fuel you use and how you manage it is among the most critical, so it's important to keep this in mind. These three tips will help ensure that your fuel choices don't result in excessive wear and tear and a reduced lifespan for your equipment.
1. Know Your Fuel
Most drivers don't pay much attention to the fuel they put in their cars. They may know that their car needs 87 or 93-octane gasoline, but the other details aren't as important. While many gas pumps will list the ethanol content in their gasoline, this value isn't a concern for most drivers with modern, road-going vehicles.
On the other hand, ethanol content and other elements of the blend can be more important for small engines. Managing your fleet's fuel starts by knowing what's in your gasoline. If you're stocking up for a job or storage, make sure that you (or your employees) are always aware of the ethanol content of the gasoline that you're purchasing.
2. Know Your Manufacturer Requirements
Whether they produce engines for large trucks or small chainsaws, every engine manufacturer will list the acceptable range of fuels for use in their products. If you check the manual for the small engines in your fleet, you'll likely find a minimum octane rating and a maximum ethanol content, such as E10 or similar.
Always follow your manufacturer's recommendations for fuel usage, especially when dealing with ethanol content. The chemical composition of ethanol will add extra oxygen to the air-fuel mixture. Since small engines typically lack the emissions equipment to compensate for this, excessive ethanol will cause a lean burn, potentially resulting in engine damage that your warranty will not cover.
3. Consider Ethanol-Free Fuel
Although the most important thing you can do is stay within the manufacturer's recommendations for your engine, using ethanol-free fuel is the safest option. Gasoline with zero ethanol content will not add any extra oxygen to your air-fuel mixture, ensuring that your engine can burn as close as possible to its ideal stoichiometric ratio.
Since ethanol contains less energy than gasoline, this approach can also help you achieve better fuel efficiency. Along with the reduced risk of engine failure and warranty compliance, these advantages make ethanol-free gasoline an excellent choice for any company that needs to maintain a fleet of small engines.
For more information, contact a local ethanol-free gas provider.