Build Your Own

STORING YOUR MOWER FOR THE WINTER

David Jackson | Maintenance | November 17, 2020


Fall is falling, the temps are lower -

Don’t forget to store the mower!


The leaves have found their way to the ground and colder weather is already here. Before you park your Spartan Mower for the last time this year, there are a few things you can do to keep it safe during the winter months, and help to prepare it for the spring mowing season! These tips and more can also be found on our website in the operator’s manual section. You can also obtain more detailed information in your specific user’s manual.


As a reminder, remember that anytime you are servicing or adjusting the mower in preparation for storage or use, be sure to take all of the necessary precautions. Disengage all clutches and implements, set the parking brake, stop the engine, ensuring all movement has stopped before beginning any maintenance! 


SHARPEN THE BLADES

The key to a clean, professional cut is sharp mowing blades. This not only enhances the quality of the turf, but also allows the engine to function at maximum efficiency. Sharpening or replacing them now before the mower is stored for the winter will give you a jump start next year. Before you attempt to remove the blades, remember they can be dangerous and can cause severe injury. Always wrap them with a heavy cloth and/or wear gloves while servicing them.


  1. Hold the blade in place and remove the ⅝” bolt at the bottom of the blade spindle with a 15/16” wrench.

  2. Utilize a bench grinder, or angle grinder with a sturdy vise to sharpen the blades. 

  3. Follow the existing bevel, and only sharpen the blades from the top. 

  4. DO NOT grind the blade down past ⅓ of its original depth.

  5. Lay each blade on a flat surface to ensure that it is flat after sharpening. Any distorted blade must be replaced.

  6. Reinstall the blade, torquing the bolt to 115-120 ft-lbs. The curved section of the blade must point up and into the mower deck.

  7. Do not reuse any hardware that is cracked, flattened, stripped, or excessively worn.

  8. Spin the blades manually before any mower operation to ensure that they will not hit each other or any other part of the deck.



BLADE REPLACEMENT

It is always good to replace the blades every year using Spartan OEM blades for maximum performance. 


  1. Place the mower blade onto a vertical ⅝” bolt and observe any imbalance. Always correct imbalances before reinstalling them. Balancing tools can be found at most hardware supply stores, and are the recommended method for balancing blades.

  2. Install the blade, torquing the bolt to 115-120 ft-lbs. The curved section of the blade must point up and into the mower deck. 

  3. Do not reuse any hardware that is cracked, flattened, stripped, or excessively worn.

  4. Spin the blades manually before any mower operation to ensure that they will not hit each other or any other part of the deck.


LUBE IT UP

Lubricating your Spartan Mower before storage is essential. Use an SAE multi-purpose grease for lubricating the deck lift block, anti-scalp wheels, deck idler pulley, pump idler pulley, as well as any other moving parts as instructed by your owner’s manual. 



BATTERY PREPARATION

When the mower will not be used for extended periods, it is best to disconnect the battery and store it separately from the machine. The last thing you want to do is jump on your mower in the spring to discover a dead battery. Since it is very important to keep your battery fully charged during winter months, you may want to hook it up to a trickle charger. A trickle charger is designed to charge a battery for a long period of time by slowly adding a charge. Look for trickle chargers with automatic shut-offs so that you don’t end up overcharging your battery. 


  1. Disconnect and remove the battery from the mower.

  2. Clean the battery, connectors, and terminals of any debris or corrosion.

  3. Charge the battery, if necessary. Always keep the battery fully charged, especially when the temperature is below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit).

  4. Store the battery where it will not be exposed to extreme temperatures or water. A cool, dry place is ideal.


Note that lead-acid batteries produce flammable and explosive gases. Provide proper ventilation and DO NOT expose the battery to any kind of flame, arc, or ember. Battery posts, terminals, and related items contain lead which is known to cause cancer and reproductive harm. 


PUT ON THE SHINE


Keeping your mower clean is always a great idea regardless of what time of the year it is. But when it comes to storing your Spartan, it is especially important to tuck it away as clean as a whistle. 


  1. Clean the mower using mild soap and water, removing all grass, dirt and trash. Make sure to remove all caked on grass clippings that have accumulated on the underside of the deck. Rotting grass can become acidic and eat away at the paint and metal.

  2. Clean both the top and the bottom of your deck. 

  3. Do not pressure wash the machine. 

  4. Avoid washing the control panel and electronic components with excessive water.

  5. If you have access to compressed air, you can use it to assist in removing unwanted debris. 

  6. Touch up any spots where the paint has worn away and bare metal is exposed.

  7. Check the mower for any components that need to be replaced and order them from your authorized Spartan Dealer.


TRANSPORTING

Be sure to always use extreme caution while executing all operations involved in the hauling of your Spartan mower. Use only a single, full width ramp. Do not use individual ramps for each side of the machine.


  1. Utilize a trailer that is properly rated to haul the weight of your mower.

  2. When loading and unloading, make sure the ramp angle does not exceed 15 degrees between the ramp and the ground.

  3. Make sure the control arms are in the neutral position.

  4. Engage the parking brake.

  5. Block the wheels.

  6. Unload the mower, storing it in a clean, dry place that is protected from the elements.


LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: STOP YOUR ENGINES!

Once your mower is moved to its winter hibernation location, the last thing you will need to do is prepare the engine for dormancy. Draining the fuel or using a fuel stabilizer is critical, as fuel can become stale after 30 days, damaging various parts of your engine. Be sure to follow these guidelines, as well as instructions from your specific owner’s manual:


  1. Drain the fuel into an approved container.

  2. If you are not going to drain the fuel from your engine, a fuel stabilizer must be used. 

  3. Add the stabilizer according to instructions. 

  4. Run the engine for 2 minutes to circulate the stabilizer throughout the fuel system.

  5. Run the engine until it stalls from lack of fuel. 

  6. Change the oil and oil filter while the engine is still warm. 

  7. Replace the fuel filter if it hasn’t been replaced in the previous 200 hours.

  8. Remove the spark plugs and pour a teaspoon of clean engine oil into each spark plug hole.

  9. Replace the spark plugs, but do not reattach the leads.

  10. Crank the engine with the starter several times to distribute oil throughout the cylinders.

  11. Clean cylinders, fins, blower, housing, and muffler to remove dirt and chaff.

  12. Wipe the exterior of the engine with a clean oily cloth.

  13. Ensure that all caps are secure.


LET US DO THE WORK

These tips are just a few things that you can do to help your Spartan mower to be ready to go when spring and warmer temps come back around. If you don’t have the time, or you need some assistance, be sure to call your local Spartan Dealer. Our professionally trained mechanics can give you advice, and can even take care of the dirty work for you, ensuring your mower is ready to rock and mow next spring! When you take care of your Spartan it will take good care of you!


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