Cleaning Your Billy Goat Equipment

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Mechanical maintenance may get the most attention, but if you want to get the most from your Billy Goat equipment, you also need to keep it clean. Dirt buildup can hide damage, reduce performance and lead to overheating. These tips will help you safely clean the engine, body, and tools that make up these machines.

Engine

Most engines should be cleaned after 25 hours of operation, while motors exposed to high levels of dust such as those on debris vacuums will need to be cleaned more frequently.

Before you start cleaning, the engine needs to be cold: the head and exhaust may retain heat for up to a half hour after the engine has been shut off. The spark plug wires should be disconnected to prevent accidental starts, and the engine shroud needs to be removed for full access to the motor.

Wipe off any debris that has gathered on the cooling fins and flywheel screen using a thin bristled brush. Engine and parts brushes work best: they’re strong enough to lift dirt, and since these surfaces are bare metal, there’s no danger of leaving scratches.

If there is still material left on the surface, use a non-flammable solvent to loosen it; water should never be used as it can seep into the engine and contaminate the oil while using compressed air can force debris into inaccessible areas on the motor.

Check around exposed moving parts including the throttle cable and governor, making sure they move freely. These can be cleaned using the same brush and solvent method.

If there is grease or oil buildup on the outside of the motor, use a paint-safe degreaser to remove it. Household degreasers, cleaning formulations designed for removing stickers and light penetrating oils like WD-40 work well for this. After wiping off the treated area, use a damp towel to remove any remaining residue.

Body

The deck and handle can be cleaned the same way you would wash a car. If you’re using a pressure washer, never aim the nozzle directly at anything filled with grease including wheel bearings and joints. As with the motor, the water contamination can cause premature failure.

Tips for Specific Equipment

If you spray water into the intake of a wheeled blower, make sure the impeller and housing have had time to dry completely before use. If the impeller blades hit water that has pooled in the base of the housing, the impact could damage the blade surface.

Weeds and other materials that have wrapped themselves around brushcutter spindles and impeller shafts should be cut away to prevent binding. Thick buildup inside brushcutter decks can be scraped off using a putty knife.

Aerator tines are self-cleaning: if there’s dirt or mud on them, this will be pushed out once they cut through soil again. If the tines want to clog, the cutting surface may be dull and due for replacement. Leftover dirt should be washed off before putting the machine in storage for the season.

Pressure washers have filters on the detergent hose and water inlet that need to be cleaned before each use. Usually, a simple rinse will be enough to remove debris, while stubborn buildup can be safely removed using a toothbrush. To clear clogged nozzles, use a small pin to push through the hole from the outlet side, being careful not to widen the hole. Always draw clean water through the detergent hose to flush chemicals from the soap system after use.

Keep Your Billy Goat Working

Find something broken while you were cleaning? Need parts to maintain your Billy Goat? You can get everything you need at www.billygoatparts.com. We’re a certified dealer for Billy Goat as well as Briggs & Stratton, Kohler, Honda Engines and Subaru Industrial Power Products, so we stock parts to replace everything on your equipment. Our site makes it easy to find parts by integrating factory parts diagrams and descriptions into our search system, and we can ship your order to any address in the U.S. and Canada.

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Washing Vehicles and Equipment with Your Pressure Washer

pressure washer billy goatNo matter what you originally bought your Billy Goat pressure washer to clean, at some point you’ll want to use it to clean vehicles and equipment. With the right technique, you can remove dirt and grime quickly and with less potential damage than hand washing.

Can a Pressure Washer Damage Paint?

While there are pressure washers out there designed specifically for vehicle detailing, Billy Goat’s models are designed for general washing duties, providing a wide range of options when cleaning. That means it can produce water pressures that can do paint damage, but only if the washer is used incorrectly. While a portable pressure washer makes cleaning equipment easier, it can also get superior results to a hand wash: since no fabric touches the paint, there’s no chance of picking up grit that can scratch the surface.

Even with the right techniques, there is a chance of doing damage if some issues aren’t addressed beforehand:

– If the paint has been weakened by damage or is bubbling up from rust, the pressure washer might remove it.
– If a trim piece is loose, the force from the water jet may be enough to pull it off.
– If a door or window seal is in bad shape, the water could come through and soak the interior.

Do a thorough inspection before you start cleaning to avoid any issues.

What Not to Do with Your Pressure Washer

Always flush the soap system with water before switching chemicals. Never let alkaline and acid cleaners come in contact with bleach. These chemicals will react with each other creating high pressures that can rupture pressure washer components, and the resulting gases from the reactions are poisonous.

If it contains grease or oil, assume it’s not watertight. Spraying at seals and seams in engines, transmissions, axles, and spindles can force water inside, reducing the effectiveness of lubrication and causing premature failure of equipment.

If dirt won’t come off using the methods outlined below, try changing your cleaning chemicals instead of increasing the force of the water jet. Using a narrower nozzle or moving closer to the surface could flake away paint.

Rinsing

When rinsing a vehicle or equipment, use the green 25-degree tip. As you spray, keep the tip two to four feet from the surface of the equipment and at a 45-degree angle. This ensures a safe surface pressure, a wide cleaning area and water movement that will help push dirt off of the surface. Move the nozzle constantly to ensure the water doesn’t have time to penetrate any seals.

Starting a cleaning job with rinsing will knock off loose dirt that can get in the way of detergents. Chemicals should be rinsed off after their specified dwell time: most soaps can be removed immediately after application, while others need to sit for a few minutes to act on dirt and grime.

Soaps and Detergents

Attaching the pink nozzle to the end of the wand will let the pump draw from the detergent hose and mix it in with the water. Soap is drawn after the pump, so there’s no worry about damaging seals with cleaning chemicals. Since it’s using the chemicals to clean instead of water pressure, it also has the widest, gentlest spray pattern. Use the same distance and angle as you did when rinsing, making sure to get an even coat across the surface.

For the best results, use detergents and soaps made specifically for pressure washers, since they’re made in concentrations that will mix correctly with the water. While there are a lot of options out there, they come in three main formulas:

Car wash detergent removes dirt while leaving the underlying protective surface intact.

Heavy duty degreaser will remove grease, tar, pollen and other hard-to-remove surface contaminants. These will also strip away wax. This is a great option for equipment and heavily soiled cars and trucks.

Pre-rinse loosens surface dirt to be rinsed off before using regular detergent. This is less harsh than a degreaser, although it does add a couple steps to the washing process. Pre-rinse agents usually need to dwell for a few minutes before being rinsed off.

A Maintained Pressure Washer is an Effective Pressure Washer

Whether you lost a tip, need parts for a tuneup or have to do some major repairs on your Billy Goat pressure washer, you can get everything you need at www.billygoatparts.com. We’re a certified dealer for Billy Goat and the manufacturers who make the pumps and engines used in them including AR and Honda. We can ship those parts anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.

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Brushcutting Tips

brush cutting tips

Sometimes, growth can be too thick for a mower to handle, but it’s also not widespread enough to need cutting with a tractor-operated brush hog. Billy Goat’s walk-behind brushcutters are designed to fill in the gap between this equipment, providing serious cutting power in a walk-behind package. These tips will help you get the most out of these machines so you can clear land with ease.

How does a Brushcutter Differ from a Mower?

At first glance, a walk-behind brushcutter just looks like a beefed-up walk behind mower. In some cases, that may be true: some manufacturers just take a basic mower design and add a thicker blade and a tougher drive system. However, with a Billy Goat brushcutter, you get a deck that is essentially a miniaturized brush hog. This changes the overall design of the mower and how it should be used.

The blade is shaped like a mower blade, but it’s much thicker to cut through thick weeds and small trees. The surrounding deck is built to deflect debris so it won’t mulch or vacuum grass straight to be cut by the blade. This leaves a rougher cut than a finish mower. Cut materials exit out of the back of the deck, so mowing direction is less important; this lets you mow over inclines based on which approach will keep the machine stable.

The blade isn’t driven directly by the motor. To get a better weight balance, the engine is placed directly over the axle. The motor shaft extends into the axle and has a clutch to engage the drive pulley. When engaged, a belt transfers power to the deck. If you hit something with a blade, the impact is taken up by the belt and bearings instead of bending the motor shaft, much like the drive system on a snowblower. This also allows Billy Goat to use a floating deck design on some models so the blade can closely follow uneven terrain.

Brushcutting takes place on all kinds of terrain, so the drive system is built to cope with extreme conditions. This includes a low center of gravity and wide platform to handle steel slopes, multiple drive gears, and even hydrostatic drives to get the right travel speed, and, in some models, an electronic locking differential to prevent wheel slip.

All that power makes brushcutters heavy with Billy Goat’s latest models weighing in at around 350 lbs. To make steering more manageable, the handles use a plow design for more leverage.

Before Mowing

Before you cut, walk through the area and remove any obstacles including rocks, tools, branches and loose fence wire. You probably won’t get everything, but a little preparation can make a big difference both for the protection of the brushcutter and for your own safety.

While you’re less likely to be hit by debris using a walk-behind brushcutter than a hand-held unit, it’s still a good idea to wear clothing and eye protection. Non-slip shoes are also important since wet, freshly cut stems can be extremely slippery, especially on inclines.

Deck Height

Brushcutters are intended for mowing of rough ground cover, leaving finish mowing to a traditional mower as needed. If you’re mowing in an area you’ve never cut before, start with a pass at a high deck height so you can avoid most hidden obstacles. Inspect the ground again and remove these obstacles before making a closer pass.

Blade Care

Like a regular mower blade, the blade on your brushcutter needs to be kept sharp for maximum cutting performance. While you might not care if the tips of grass get ripped by a dull blade, it takes more energy to tear grass than to cut it, hampering the mower’s performance.

Striking rocks is almost inevitable, and these impacts can take chunks out of the blade surface. While it’s possible to sharpen the blade while still mounted on the deck, it’s better to remove the blade so it can be balanced before being put back into use. Never use a blade that is cracked, bent or out of balance. It’s a good idea to have a spare blade on hand in case a major impact damages your current blade.

A Fully Functioning Brushcutter is a Safe, Effective Brushcutter

When you need parts for your Billy Goat brushcutter, visit www.billygoatparts.com. We’re a certified dealer for Billy Goat as well as Briggs & Stratton and Honda Small Engines so we can provide you with all the parts you need to keep your equipment in top condition. Our site makes finding the right part easy by integrating factory parts diagrams and descriptions, and we can ship your order anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.

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Laying Down Sod

Laying Down Sod

Whether your lawn suffers from neglect or is torn up from new construction, sod can re-establish a thick layer of grass in a matter of weeks. A layer of sod can be laid down at any time from early spring to late fall in most of the U.S, and even in winter in places with mild climates. Whenever you choose to lay down sod, you need to take the right steps when preparing and caring for the soil to get the new grass to thrive and become part of your lawn.

Test the Soil

For the best results, the soil should be slightly acidic. Have the soil tested and get the amendments needed to bring the soil to a pH between 6 and 7.5 and any nutrients needed to get the right balance of potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.

Order the Sod

For the best results, you’ll need to be able to install sod the same day it’s cut to keep it from drying out.
When ordering sod, make sure you know what kind of foot traffic it will experience and if it will be installed in sunny or shady areas: the farm or retailer should have blends to fit your needs. Order at least an extra 5% to compensate for cuts made around curves.

Prepare the Soil

Start by using a sod cutter to remove the existing grass down to the roots. The ground needs to be wetted down first so the blades can penetrate through the soil and roots. By cutting out the current ground cover instead of tilling it, you’ll make the ground easier to penetrate by removing the existing root structure while taking out dormant weeds that could sprout once the sod has been placed.

Next, go over the bare soil with a tiller, cutting down at least four inches into the surface. Use the tiller to mix in the amendments and fertilizer. This creates a soft base for the new root structure to take hold.

Use an iron rake to smooth out the surface. Once it has been leveled, the soil should be about an inch lower than surrounding paved areas. Lightly water the soil to help it make contact with the sod.

Lay Down Sod

Start with the longest straight area in the yard, which is typically next to a fence. As you roll out the sod, smooth it down to remove wrinkles. Supporting your knees on a board will help spread your weight, reducing soil compaction. If you leave footprints on the exposed soil, smooth them out with the rake.

Continue rolling out sod, laying it down so the edges never meet. For the second row, cut the first roll in the middle to create an offset to these edges. When rolling over sprinklers and other obstacles, use the sod knife to cut holes so these objects can pass through the new grass. Using a lawn roller can help eliminate any space between the sod and the ground and smooth out the final surface. Roll over the lawn in one direction, then again at a 90-degree angle. Repeat until you can walk over the sod without having your foot sink into the ground.

Get the Sod to Take Hold

For the first few weeks, avoid foot traffic as much as possible to keep from pushing the sod around and breaking contact with the soil.

Water frequently, preferably in the morning to give the sod bed time to absorb the water without it evaporating or pooling and promoting fungal growth. Start with daily watering during the first week, then every two days during the second and just twice a week during the third week. Use a soil probe to ensure the ground is moist to a depth of three to four inches.

Mow once the grass has grown to a height of three inches. Too much weight can tear the sod from the ground, so use a walk-behind mower instead of a riding mower. As always, only cut 1/3 of the grass height at a time.

After a month, the root system of the grass should be getting into the underlying soil. Reapply fertilizer to make up for what has washed away during the first couple weeks of watering.

Keep Your Sod Cutter Working

When you need to fix your Hydrodrive or SC, you can get all the parts you need for your Billy Goat equipment at www.billygoatparts.com. We’re a certified dealer for Billy Goat and Honda Small Engines, which means we can provide you with every part on your sod cutter, and we ship those parts across the U.S. and Canada.

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Transporting Lawn Care Equipment

transporting lawn care equipment

While Billy Goat does make some consumer products, chances are if you own their equipment, you use it professionally. Going to job sites can mean bringing a long list of items from devices to fuel containers, which means even a minor mistake during transport can turn into an expensive repair or a dangerous situation. These tips will help you ensure you can get everything where you need it while minimizing the chance of damage and injury.

General Tips

As always, check the manuals for instructions for specific equipment. Some devices need to have the fuel tank drained before transport. If this is the case, always unplug the spark plugs before draining to prevent accidental fuel ignition.

Engines can remain hot long after they’ve been shut down: it’s not uncommon for mufflers to retain heat for over half an hour. Make sure there’s nothing flammable near the engine, and never cover equipment in a tarp unless it’s completely cool.

Never store gasoline in an enclosed area like a trunk or the cab of a truck. Fumes from the fuel can gather inside, poisoning the driver and passengers. Worse still, if you have an accident, the gasoline can spill and catch fire turning a minor accident into a life-threatening situation.

All walk-behind equipment should be loaded sideways to keep the wheels from letting the equipment roll forwards and backward. While movement will be limited, this equipment should still be tied down.

When lifting equipment, always pick it up by the frame or handles. Picking it up by other components could break them.

Riding Mowers and Tractors

These are the heaviest pieces of equipment, so they need to go at the front to balance the weight of the trailer or bed. At least 10% of the total weight of the trailer needs to be on the hitch ball to keep the trailer stable when towing.

Start by position the truck or trailer in an area where it will be level while the ramps will at or close to a 15 degrees angle. When loading a mower, lift the deck to its maximum height to ensure the blades can’t snag on the ramps or trailer.

Drive up to the back of the trailer and check the positions of the ramps, making sure all the wheels will roll over them.

When loading the mower or tractor, position it as far forward as possible without touching any walls, stakes or other supports. Even when the mower is tied down, it will still move around a little and could scrape against these surfaces.

Shut off the engine and engage the parking brake. To secure the equipment, use a pair of ratchet straps, running them over the frame and attaching the ends to the sides of the bed or trailer.

Pressure Washers

Before loading, the hose needs to be depressurized and detached from the pump. Billy Goat pressure washers can carry the gun and hose onboard, but these mounts aren’t secure enough for transport. Either tie down these components on their mounts or transport them separately from the pressure washer.

Aerators

The tines can get caught on ramps, potentially sliding them off of the trailer or flipping the aerator. Always set the depth to the maximum height before loading and make sure the linkages haven’t been damaged, letting a tine hang low enough to catch on the trailer or ramp. If you have a towable aerator, remove the water weights before loading.

Debris Loaders

Billy Goat designs their intake hoses with quick release hose clamps and a simple chain attachment to the boom. This lets you easily remove the hose before transport. The impeller intake cover should be down and the boom should be locked into place. Swiveling exhaust chutes also need to be fixed in place using the locking pin before transport.

Maintenance

Broken equipment isn’t just dangerous to use, it can be difficult to load. If you need to fix your Billy Goat equipment, visit www.billygoatparts.com. We’re a certified dealer for Billy Goat and the engine manufacturers they use including Honda and Briggs & Stratton so we can supply you anything you need from aerator tines to spark plugs whether you live in the U.S. or Canada.

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Brush Cutting Tips

brushcutter

A Billy Goat walk behind brush cutter is an easier, faster and more powerful than a hand-held cutter, but they still take more care to operate than a walk-behind mower. These tips will help you use your equipment safely and effectively.

Wear the Right Gear

Having the right PPE is a must when using any small engine equipment, and this is no exception. Non-slip shoes and clothing that isn’t too loose fitting will lessen the chance of slipping or getting hung up on branches during operation, while eye protection will help protect against ricochets. Hearing protection is also a good idea since the engine will be producing enough noise to cause hearing damage over extended use periods.

Work at the Right Time

Always work when there’s plenty of daylight and the ground is dry. This doesn’t just make it easy for the blade to cut through plant matter, it also means you won’t have mud to slip on.

Do a Walk-through

Before you start cutting, look around the area for low stumps, trash, rocks and other obstacles that could damage your brush cutter or turn into a dangerous projectile when it meets the cutter’s blade. Even if the deflectors stop the object, the impact can dent the housing. Mark any stationary objects so you can avoid them, keeping in mind the maximum branch widths your model will cut. If your brushcutter can handle saplings that are up to two inches wide and you try to cut a three-inch wide trunk, you’ll only bind up the blade, damaging it and stressing the drivetrain components in the process.

Clear the Area

If something does get tossed out by the cutter, it can damage equipment and hurt people and animals in the area. Make sure pets, children, cars, and anything else fragile is away from the cutting area before you start work. It’s well worth taking a minute or two to move your vehicle out of the way if it means you don’t have to replace window glass.

Start High

If you have an adjustable height cutter and you’re not familiar with the area you’re cutting, go over it with the deck set at or near the maximum height. Once the top layer of growth has been removed, you can see how low it’s safe to trim.

Overlap and Slow Down

Cutting smaller swaths will improve your cutter’s performance. On heavy growths, using half of your brushcutter’s deck width at a time will get the best finish. If the cut is uneven, slow down so the blade has more time to cut.

Mow Across the Sides of Slopes

Side slope cutting will make the brushcutter easier to manage, it will be less likely to roll off, and if it does tip, it won’t fall on you. If you have a model with front casters, lock them into place to keep the cutter tracking straight.

Keep Your Equipment in Top Condition

Is a worn blade or a loose belt keeping your brushcutter from performing at its best? When you need parts for your Billy Goat equipment, visit www.billygoatparts.com. We’re a certified dealer for Billy Goat, Honda Small Engines, and Briggs & Stratton so we can provide you with everything you need for your equipment and the engine that powers it. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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Using an Outdoor Vacuum

billygoat outdoor vacuumWhether you’re cleaning up a construction site or a leaf-covered lawn, an outdoor vacuum takes the work and complexity out of debris removal by letting you collect and deposit materials with a single machine. No matter where you’re working, these tips can help you get the most out of your Billy Goat vacuum.

What’s the Difference Between an Outdoor Vacuum and an Indoor Vacuum?

The vacuum you use at home has a height-adjustable nozzle, a motorized brush that lifts up carpet, a motor with a fan that creates suction, and either a cyclonic system that uses centrifugal force to separate out dirt or a bag that lets air pass through it while keeping dirt inside.

An outdoor vacuum has a lot of mechanical similarities to an indoor vacuum, but it’s built to pick up heavy debris instead of fine dirt. Instead of a fan, it uses an impeller that can withstand impacts and can chop up debris for more compact storage. There’s no brush, and the nozzle is built to withstand heavy abrasion. There’s always a bag to store debris, even if the vacuum uses cyclonic filtration, and that bag is reusable.

What’s the Difference Between Hard Surface and Lawn Vacs?

Billy Goat makes vacuums designed for lawns, hard surfaces like driveways, and both hard and soft terrain. The difference between these two main types of vacs influences the design. Casters are more common on surface vacs since they need to maneuvered around walls, while lawn vacs use fixed wheels to stay on track when rolling long distances. Lawn vacs have a higher nozzle height to stay above the grass, while surface vacs are built to withstand occasional abrasion against cement. Multipurpose vacs split the difference, offering more flexibility with the nozzle so it can be effective anywhere.

What Your Vacuum Can and Can’t Pick Up

Your vacuum will have a maximum debris size it can handle, which should be clearly stated in the instructions. However, there are a few more considerations you should make when vacuuming.

A litter vacuum can handle cans, metal, glass and other trash, but only in small amounts since they can be hard on the impeller. Likewise, while you can pick up some sand with an outdoor vacuum, its abrasiveness can cause serious wear. Never use a vacuum on gravel: the rocks can cause major damage and can become wedged between the impeller and the housing.

Before vacuuming, you should look over the area and pick up any objects that are too large for the vacuum, including bottle and limbs. Some Billy Goat models have a built-in wood chipper to take care of limbs as you work.

The cutting and compaction done by the impeller works best on dry materials. If you vacuum wet leaves and clippings, you’ll fill up the bag far more frequently.

Using and Cleaning the Bag

All the air that enters the nozzle eventually makes its way out of the vacuum through small pores in the surface of the collection bag. Over time, these pores clog with dirt, limiting the movement of air and the suction power of the vacuum. How long this takes can vary a lot depending on how dusty your work area is. If you notice a drop in performance, wash the bag and let it dry before using it again. If you frequently work in places with dust or sandy soil, it’s a good idea to have an extra bag on hand so you can have one ready to use while the other one is being cleaned. Still having air flow problems after cleaning a bag? The pores can be flushed out using a pressure washer.

Overfilling the bag can also keep air from getting out. As a general rule, the bag should be unloaded once it’s about 3/4 full.

Engine Maintenance

With all the dust flying around when the vacuum is operating, it should be no surprise that air filters get dirty faster on these machines than just about any other type of small engine equipment. Always inspect the filter before each use and clean it frequently. Likewise, oil should be changed more often to deal with contaminants that make it through the air filter.

Getting Parts to Maintain Your Billy Goat Vacuum

Whether you need an extra bag or some engine parts, you can get it from www.billygoatparts.com. We’re a certified dealer for Billy Goat as well as the manufacturers of the engines used in their equipment so we can provide you with everything you need to maintain your vacuum. Our site makes it simple to find parts by integrating factory diagrams and descriptions so you can see exactly what you’re ordering. We ship to both the U.S. and Canada.

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Overseeding – How to do it the right way

billygoat overseederUsing a Billy Goat overseeder is easy: just load it with seed, set the seed drop density and cutting depth, and engage the bail when you’re rolling over places you want to seed. However, there’s a lot more to effective overseeding, from choosing the right grass to getting it to take root.

What’s the Point of Overseeding?

A blade of grass lives for about a month and a half. During that period, it extends the roots and sends out new blades of grass, called tillers. Hundreds of these tillers can be produced by the original plant, but as this root network matures, the death of grass blades can out-pace their replacement with new tillers. This causes the lawn to thin out.

When you overseed, you’re starting the growth process over again with new plants. This maintains the replacement of mature blades, keeping your lawn thick and healthy looking. The establishment of new grass also helps push out undesirable weeds like crabgrass.

When Should I Overseed?

The best time to put down grass seed is late in the summer or early in the fall. This gives the new grass time to germinate when it’s still warm, then grow and put down a solid root system as the temperature drops. This helps it survive the winter while taking advantage of fall’s higher soil moisture. When the grass comes out of hibernation, it grows as temperatures warm up, further extending its reach and blocking spring weeds as they germinate.

Preparing Your Lawn for Overseeding

To germinate, the seeds need to make contact with the soil. To get the best results, as much material should be cleared between your seeder and the ground.

Dethatch the grass to remove the layer of decomposing clippings.

Cut the grass to a height of two inches or less. Use a collection system to pick up the clippings and the material lifted up by dethatching.

Aerate the soil to help the seeds penetrate and give them better access to air and water. If you’re using a plug aerator, you will probably want to dethatch and cut the turf first so your mower blades will only need to deal with the core plugs.

If you have lawn issues like bald spots or poor soil quality, these should be corrected before overseeding.

Which Seed Should I Use?

It’s best to match the winter grass you’re laying down with the summer grass currently on your lawn: if you have fescue, get more fescue. Have Bermudagrass? Ryegrass, Bluegrass, and Tall Fescue will work with your turf.

Most fine fescue sold in North America is shade gras so it won’t grow well on open turf. If you want to overseed with this variety, look for something without this label. Ryegrass is available in both annual and perennial forms, so plan your planting accordingly.

How Much Seed Should I Use?

Golf courses use as much as 30 lbs. per acre to deal with the unique needs of course turf, including heavy foot traffic and ball speed consistency. This has led to the misconception that lawns need several times the recommended amount of seed.

As a general rule, you should follow the recommended maximum stated on the seed package if it’s the first time you’re overseeding, and somewhere between the minimum and middle recommendation if you’re reseeding. Most overseeding failures are due to improper care after seeding, not from a lack of seed.

Caring for an Overseeded Lawn

If you’re going to spread fertilizer, do it before seeding so that the seeds stay close to the surface.

Once the grass has been spread, the lawn should be lightly watered two to three times a day to keep the soil moist, but not damp. This will help the seeds germinate. Once the grass starts sprouting, add more water at a time, but do it less frequently so the moisture penetrated deeper without making the ground wet enough to promote root rot.

The existing grass cover should provide enough sun protection for the new seed, but if you have bald spots, these should be raked over with a light later of soil or another covering like straw.

Fertilizer may need to be applied with or directly after overseeding, especially if the soil is low in phosphorus. New seed needs this mineral to grow, but since it doesn’t leach into water like other minerals, it may not be accessible to these new plants. This mineral will be labeled “P,” and it will be the middle number on the fertilizer bag’s content label. Most fertilizers designed for overseeding will include extra phosphorus.

The lawn shouldn’t be mowed again until the new grass is at least two inches tall, which should take two to three weeks. At this point, you can resume your normal watering.

Keeping Your Billy Goat Overseeder Ready for Planting

Need to work on your overseeder? You can get everything you need at www.billygoatparts.com. We’re a certified dealer for Billy Goat and all the engine manufacturers they use including Subaru, Honda, Kohler and Briggs & Stratton, and we ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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Pressure Washer Use

billy goat pressure washer useNo matter how big or small your Billy Goat pressure washer is, it can make it easy to clean almost any surface. However, it can also easily damage those surfaces and even cause serious injuries. Here’s what you need to know to use your pressure washer safely and effectively.

Safety

Even a residential power washer can spray water at pressures that you won’t see even at a DIY car wash, so extra care should be taken when using these devices.

Always wear protective eyewear, gloves, and non-slip shoes when operating your pressure washer.

Never point the nozzle at a person. The high pressure can allow the water to penetrate skin causing blood poisoning. On that note, if you see any leaks in the hose, gun or wand, shut down the pressure washer immediately. A small leak can very quickly turn into a dangerously high-pressure spray.

Alkaline and acid cleaners should never come in contact with bleach. The resulting chemical reaction can cause fires, release poisonous gasses and create high pressures that can destroy anything trying to contain them, including parts of your pressure washer. Always flush the detergent system before shutting down the pressure washer to prevent accidental mixing of dangerous chemicals.

Getting the Most Out of Each Nozzle Tip

Billy Goat includes 5 nozzle tips with their pressure washers including 0 (red,) 15 (yellow,) 25 (green) and 40-degree (white) tips as well as a soap nozzle (pink.) The pressure is the same coming out of every tip, so the wider the angle, the gentler the spray will be.

For the best results, the same distance between the nozzle and the surface should be maintained throughout the cleaning process. To find the right distance, start about four feet away and slowly move forward until you find the right balance between the force and spread of the spray. Working from the top down will help prevent streaking.

The 40-degree tip works well on delicate surfaces like siding, stucco, and wood. Cleaning a deck? This is tip is gentle enough to clean without damaging the wood. If you do accidentally get the tip close enough to fur the surface, you can sand it back with a fine sandpaper or steel wool.

The 25-degree tip is the best choice for washing cars and boats as well as cleaning off bricks and patio furniture. It’s also great for sweeping surfaces, pulling off leaves and mud from sidewalks and driveways.

The 15-degree tip is for heavy duty cleaning including concrete, roofing, and drains. It can be used like a chisel: simply spray at a 45-degree angle to the surface, and you’ll be able to peel back layers of dirt. Using it this way is great for taking off graffiti.

The 0-degree tip is so powerful that it can easily damage most surfaces. It should only be used to remove caked on dirt and mud from concrete and metal surfaces, remove weeds from cracks in paved surfaces and take off the layer of compacted grass clippings on the inside of mower decks.

Using Soap and Detergents

Billy Goat pressure washers are fitted with a downstream detergent injection system, adding chemicals drawn from the detergent hose after the pump, preventing damage to the pump’s seals. This system only functions if the soap tip is fitted to the spray wand. This tip has the widest spray pattern, making it safe to use on any surface.

There are many options for cleaning chemicals, including formulas designed for washing cars, heating coils, aluminum and vinyl siding. Some metal cleaners and de-liming agents can also be used to remove stains from concrete. Whatever you decide to use, make sure it’s designed specifically for pressure washers.

Check the instructions before use to see if the detergent needs to be diluted. Most liquid concentrates are designed to be drawn directly into the pressure washer where they’re diluted by the incoming water, while most powder concentrates are designed to be mixed with water, typically at a 10:1 ratio, before being drawn into the pressure washer.

Starting the cleaning process by presoaking the surface with the detergent will make dirt easier to remove, but the cleaning chemicals should be sprayed off before they’re allowed to dry. To find the right mixture concentration, start with the metering valve 1/4 open, then gradually increase the mix until you get the results that you want.

Where to Get Parts for Your Billy Goat Pressure Washer

www.billygoatparts.com is a certified dealer for Billy Goat as well as the companies that make the engines and pumps used on their pressure washers. That means we can provide you with any part you need for your equipment, and we can ship that part to any location in the U.S. and Canada.

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Pressure Washer Maintenance

Billy Goat Pressure Washer OverviewBilly Goat makes quality equipment, but even the best machinery needs to be used and cared for properly. If you recently purchased one of their pressure washers, there are some things you should know to get the most out of it.

Before Each Use

Cleaning the pressure washer: Debris buildup should be removed before each use or each workday if you use your pressure washer constantly. The linkages, springs, and controls should be clean as well as the muffler and the cooling fins on the engine and pump. These parts can be wiped off with a damp cloth. Caked on dirt and can be safely removed with a soft bristle brush, while piles of loose debris can be removed with a vacuum cleaner. Never use the pressure washer’s high power spray to clean the pressure washer itself: water can leak into the crankcase and intake, causing damage to the engine.

Checking the inlet screen: Examine the water inlet screen and remove any debris. If the screen is cracked, replace it before using the pressure washer.

Inspect the washer: Check the high-pressure hose, spray gun, detergent siphon hose, and detergent filter for cracks and damage. While a cracking detergent hose will just keep the pump from drawing soap, damage to high-pressure components can lead to dangerous leaks. Replace damaged parts before using your pressure washer.

Changing the Pump Oil

Changing the oil inside the pump is just like changing oil in the motor: there’s a drain plug at the bottom to remove the oil and a cap with a dipstick covering the filler neck.

Only use non-detergent SAE 30 oil. Oils with detergents in them like multi-weight motor oils can leave deposits that will keep the pump from working correctly. Both CAT Pumps and Annovi Reverberi recommend using their own hydraulic oils, although standard 30 weight oil can be used in a pinch so long as they’re changed frequently.

How often should pump oil be changed? Unfortunately, it’s hard to provide a specific interval.
Under ideal conditions with OEM oil, an oil change may only be needed every 500 hours. However, internal leaks, heavy loads, and lower quality oil can cut that time significantly. It’s best to check the oil occasionally and change it if there is any sign of cloudiness or other degradation.

Keep in mind that even with the best lubrication, the seals inside the pump will fail after a few years. Fortunately, both pump manufacturers offer rebuild kits.

Storing During the Winter

If there is any water left inside, it can freeze and damage the pump. Both AR and CAT Pumps make special “pump saver” antifreeze with a blend of lubricants designed specifically for long term storage and freeze protection of pressure washer pumps. If this specialized antifreeze isn’t available, an alcohol-free RV antifreeze can be used. Disconnect the spark plug to keep the engine from starting. Using a three foot (one meter) length of hose, pour the antifreeze into the inlet. Pull the recoil starter twice to cycle the antifreeze through the pump. Reconnect the spark plug.

Water Supply

Problems with incoming water can cause problems that initially seem to be coming from the pressure washer itself. Your pressure washer’s manual should specify the water supply rate needed to run the pump. Usually, this isn’t a problem if you have water from a local utility, but well water systems may not be able to supply water at the rate needed for the pump.

Billy Goat pressure washers are not designed to be run with hot water. Using water that is over 100ºF (38ºC) can cause chattering, erratic performance, and loss of pressure. Sometimes, using a hose that has sat in the sun can cause problems until the water cools it down.

Releasing Pressure

Once you’re done using your pressure washer, the pressure inside the system needs to be released:

Let the motor idle for a couple minutes.
Move the throttle to “slow.” Once the engine holds a steady speed, shut it off.
Point the spray gun toward a safe area and squeeze the handle to release the water and reduce the pressure inside the pump, hose, and gun.

The hose and gun should not be disconnected until they have been depressurized in this manner.

Getting Parts for Your Billy Goat Pressure Washer

www.billygoatparts.com is your one stop shop for everything Billy Goat. We’re a certified dealer for the brand, as well as Honda, Briggs & Stratton, AR and CAT Pumps, letting us supply you with parts for everything on your pressure washer including the engine and the pump. We can ship parts across the U.S. and Canada.

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