Billy Goat F6 Walk-Behind Blower: The Best Alternative to Backpack Blowers

Billy Goat F6 Walk-Behind Blower: The Best Alternative to Backpack BlowersBackpack leaf blowers beat raking, but they leave a lot to be desired. They’re noisy, heavy, and their two-stroke engines wear out quickly. With the Billy Goat F6 walk-behind blower, you don’t have to make these compromises. It’s small enough for residential use, tough enough for commercial use, and delivers two to three times more performance than the best backpack blowers.

Composite Construction: More than Just Weight Reduction

When comparing composites to metals, there’s one obvious advantage: weight. When Billy Goat made the switch to composite components, they were able to produce blowers that weigh 30% less than their steel equivalents. However, the benefits don’t end there.

Tolerances on steel blowers have to be big, leaving gaps between the housing and blades that create airflow-disrupting voids. There are also limits to how a metal fan can be shaped, further increasing turbulence. The result is less output per horsepower, more noise and more vibration stresses on the engine shaft.

By using composite construction, Billy Goat is able to make a tight-fitting impeller housing. Inside that housing, you’ll find a fan with 16 curved blades, twice as many as an equivalent steel blower. Closed faces on the ends of those blades improve the seal between the impeller and the housing. The result: more power, less noise, and longer engine life. Durability is better, too. Since the impeller is cast as a single piece, there aren’t any fasteners that can shake loose. That means there’s one less thing you need to worry about for maintenance.

Getting Air Where You Need It

The F6 comes with Billy Goat’s Aim N Shoot nozzle. Using a lever on the operator handle, you can move the nozzle up and down as you work. This lets you blow across the ground surface to peel off layers of compacted debris or send air upward to move leaf piles. If you work around buildings, you can add a 90-degree elbow to shoot air forward and pull debris away from walls.

By rotating the entire nozzle as a unit, Billy Goat was able to fit it with a small opening for increased velocity. As a result, blowing force is up to 50% higher than a comparable split door blower. Cross-shopping with a backpack blower? Between the bigger engine and high-performance impeller, you can expect jobs to take 40% less time.

What if you need to get into hard-to-reach spaces around bushes and landscape fencing? You can’t push this blower into those areas, but you can reach them if you add a hose kit. It uses a 10-foot hose connected to a long metal nozzle, letting it get into places that would normally require a backpack or handheld blower.

Models and Engines

Billy Goat makes two versions of the F6. Both models offer the same impeller design and output, despite using different engines.

The 601X is powered by a 208cc Briggs & Stratton Professional engine. It’s designed to be as easy to start as possible. In fact, the company guarantees the engine will start with the second pull for the duration of the warranty. It weighs just 83 lbs, about the same as a small walk-behind mower.

The 601V is powered by Briggs & Stratton’s new Vanguard single-cylinder engine. It adds features like an air filtration system with cyclonic pre-filtering and a fuel system that is resistant to stale fuel. This gives it an edge over the Professional when it comes to durability. Choosing this engine increases the blower’s weight to 89 lbs.

Warranty

Billy Goat guarantees the blade and housing for 5 years and the rest of the blower for one year of commercial use or three years of residential use. Briggs & Stratton guarantees both Professional Series and Vanguard engines for three years of commercial use.

Getting Parts and Accessories For The F6 Blower

Whether you have an F6, a Hurricane, or anything else from Billy Goat, you can get everything you need for it at Billy Goat Parts. As an authorized Billy Goat dealer, we carry the full line of replacement parts and accessories for these blowers. Need to work on your F6’s engine? We’re also a Briggs & Stratton and Vanguard dealer. Our site makes finding parts easy by offering sections for common replacement parts as well as a search engine that finds parts and factory diagrams specific to your equipment. To order, visit us at www.billygoatpart.com. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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Electrical Troubleshooting for Your Billy Goat Equipment

AGR1300H Landscape AugerIs the engine in your Billy Goat running poorly? Are you having trouble getting the electric starter to work, even though the battery is fine? Maybe it’s time to look at your equipment’s electrical system. These tips will help you troubleshoot common problems, so you can get your equipment back to work.

Check These Items First

These are the most common, easiest-to-check problems with small engine electrical systems:

Are all safety switches disengaged?
Your Billy Goat equipment may have a bail that needs to be closed or levers that need to be open for the engine to start. Make sure the cables for the controls are tensioned correctly and move smoothly when used. Stand-on blowers won’t start unless the operator is standing on the platform and the drive levers are in neutral.

Is there enough oil in the crankcase?
Most engines used by Billy Goat have a low oil sensor. When the float inside the crankcase gets too low, it cuts power to the ignition. This keeps you from running the engine and damaging it.

Are the spark plugs connected?
It’s good practice to disconnect the spark plug wires before working on your equipment. That way, if you spin the crankshaft, you won’t start the engine. Make sure you didn’t leave them disconnected after the repair.

How Does the Electrical System Work?

Magnets attached to the inside of the flywheel pass by a stator made of a series of copper wire windings. This generates an alternating current. Electrical systems on the smallest engines send that current directly to the ignition coil. However, most engines used by Billy Goat pass the electricity through a rectifier or diode, turning the stator’s alternating current into direct current. If the engine uses a recoil starter, the electricity goes directly to the ignition system and any accessories. On electric start models, the current goes to the battery, then the rest of the equipment.

Modern small engines use a solid-state ignition system. As the engine spins, magnets on the outside of the flywheel pass by a coil or armature. This activates the coil, sending electricity to the spark plug.

Diagnosing Spark Plugs

Even with regular maintenance, the spark plugs can fail prematurely. Vibrations and impacts can break the ceramic insulator, causing the plug to short out on the head. If the fuel mixture is off, it can form deposits on the electrodes, limiting spark.

Check the condition of the plug’s electrodes. Their appearance can tell you what’s going on inside your engine, and why your spark plugs aren’t working:

Wet – There’s too much fuel in the combustion chamber. This usually happens when the engine is over-primed, or the equipment was tilted on its side with the carburetor facing down. Let the engine sit for a few minutes to let the fuel evaporate before trying to restart.
Black – The engine is running too rich. Vanguard EFI engines can adjust the fuel mixture to match incoming air, but other engines may need a high altitude kit. These kits include smaller jets that reduce the amount of fuel mixed with the thinner mountain air.
White – The engine is running too lean, leaving a layer of ash on the plug. This is usually caused by a leak in or around the carburetor. Check the carburetor for cracks and install a new seal between the carburetor and engine. If you installed an altitude kit and are now working at a lower elevation, install the old jets.

Problems Caused by a Poor Ground

If the ignition module doesn’t have a solid ground connection, it can cause the ignition module to overheat and fail. Use sandpaper or a file to remove any corrosion on the mounting points for the coil.

Having a problem with your electric starter? Follow the negative battery wire to the ground connection. Check the bolt for tightness, and sand or file off any corrosion.

Flywheel Misalignment and Stator Issues

Ignition timing is handled by the flywheel, so if it’s not in the right spot, it can throw off engine performance, make it hard to keep a steady RPM or prevent the engine from running entirely. This is usually caused by a worn or damaged flywheel key.

To check the key, you need to remove the flywheel with a puller. With the flywheel off, you can inspect the key and keyways on both the flywheel and crankshaft for damage.

With the flywheel off, you can check for continuity between the stator body and the wiring for each phase connector on the plug. If you get any reading other than “OL,” there’s a short in the wiring and the stator is bad.

We Have the Parts You Need for Your Billy Goat

Billy Goat Parts is more than a Billy Goat dealer. We’re also a certified dealer for Subaru, Honda, Briggs & Stratton, and Vanguard. That means we have the OEM parts for whatever is powering your turf equipment. If you need something for your debris loader, overseeder, blower, brushcutter, auger or vacuum, visit us at www.billygoatparts.com. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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Managing Winter Turfgrass Diseases

Managing Winter Turfgrass DiseasesAs winter draws to a close and temperatures rise, your lawn may not grow like you hoped. Wet winter conditions are perfect for harboring molds that can kill your grass, and by the time it appears, there’s not much you can do. These tips will help you identify the underlying causes of these diseases and address them with changes to your lawn care.

What Causes Winter Turf Diseases?

These diseases don’t appear in winter, but they’re directly caused by high levels of moisture during the winter months. Mold growth mostly happens when there are heavy snows before the ground freezes. When the snow thaws, it completely soaks the soil. This creates the perfect conditions for mold growth. These diseases mostly show up in the upper Midwest. However, a mild winter in more northern states or heavy rain in warm climates can create the conditions these molds need to thrive.

While you can’t control the weather, they are ways you can adjust your lawn care strategy to reduce infections. Overfertilizing in fall makes grass hold more moisture, which can feed mold. The issue usually isn’t applying too much fertilizer, but applying fertilizer that acts too fast. Even cool-season grasses grow slower as temperatures drop, slowing nutrient absorption. Shifting away from synthetic to organic fertilizers will usually solve this problem. Remember to check the hopper settings on your Billy Goat overseeder if you’re spreading pelleted fertilizer. If you’re making two passes for coverage, it should be set to half of the recommended drop rate.

Cutting the lawn short before the first snow helps water evaporate. However, cutting too low damages crowns, making the grass more susceptible to infection. Approach the end of the growing season the same way you would when aerating or dethatching your lawn. You want to maximize soil exposure while leaving the leaf structure intact, and you want to work toward this height while trimming no more than 1/3 of the grass’ total length.

There are two main types of winter molds: snow mold and red thread. Here’s how you can identify and deal with each mold.

Snow Mold

Gray and pink snow mold appears at the end of winter or early spring as the snow begins to thaw. This damage appears as large rings of dead grass. Gray mold only attacks leaves, while pink mold attacks the entire grass plant. These molds mostly affect cool-season grasses, particularly fescue and Kentucky bluegrass.

Fungicides are ineffective once the mold starts killing grass in the spring. If you’ve had problems in the past with snow mold, apply a fungicide in the fall to stop spores. The application needs to be at least two weeks before overseeding. Otherwise, grass growth may be hampered, and you could end up spreading surviving spores during soil preparation.

As the snow thaws, gently rake the grass gently to remove matting. This helps the grass and soil dry out faster. If you use a power rake, keep it at the highest setting and go slow to keep from pulling grass out of the wet soil.

Red Thread

Red thread mostly affects cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, red fescue, ryegrass, and bentgrass. However, this fungal disease can grow on almost any grass variety. Spores usually appear when temperatures are in the mid-60s to low 70s.

At first glance, the grass may look dead, but it’s just spore coverage. In its first stage, the fungus appears as thread-shaped branches across the grass blades. In its second stage, the threads are replaced by fuzzy pink growths at the base of the grass blades. This can be confused with pink snow mold from a distance. Look closer, and you should see branched structures on these growths.

If you see spores, stop their spread by using a bagging mower when cutting grass, or by picking up clippings with a lawn vacuum.

Use a soil test to check your lawn’s nitrogen and pH. Low nitrogen levels slows grass growth, opening up plants to the disease, while acidic soil promotes fungus growth. Getting soil pH to between 6.3 and 7 seriously hampers mold growth.

Red thread stays dormant in thatch. While removing thatch won’t remove all the spores, good thatch management will keep infections at bay. Removing leaves in the fall and mulching grass clippings can help micronutrients break down thatch. Overfertilizing can lead to excessive thatch. This will boost the spread of spores, even if fertilizing brings nitrogen levels back in line.

We Can Help You Get More from Your Billy Goat Equipment

For dethatching, aerating, lawn cleanup, overseeding and fertilizing, your Billy Goat equipment is critical to the maintenance of your lawn. When you need to fix this equipment, you need Billy Goat Parts. We’re an authorized Billy Goat, Honda, Subaru, and Briggs & Stratton dealer. That means we offer OEM replacements for everything on your equipment. Visit us at www.billygoatparts.com. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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Choosing Between Reciprocating, Rotational and Drum Aerators

Reciprocating vs. Drum AerationWhen it comes to soil aerators, you have three choices in design: reciprocating, drum and rotational. Which technology works best for residential lawns? Which one works best for large areas like parks and campuses? Is it worth the extra cost to go from a drum aerator to a reciprocating aerator? Here’s what you need to know to pick the right Billy Goat aerator design for your needs.

The Types of Aerators

Drum Aeration

A drum aerator is a large cylinder covered in tines. Some aerators are heavy enough on their own to force the tines into the soil, while others can be filled with water to add weight. This is the oldest design on the market, and thanks to its mechanical simplicity, the cheapest. Billy Goat’s AET60 functions like a drum aerator, but it uses tine stars instead of a drum. Weight is added by folding in the extensions or placing bricks or water jugs on top of the aerator platform.

Rotational Aeration

The aerator is supported on wheels connected to a chain drive. This drive system spins tine stars. This increases the number of holes that the tines can make. It also separates the weight of the aerator from the tines, making them easier to lift out of the ground. Billy Goat’s AET48 is a rotational aerator.

Reciprocating Aeration

A reciprocating aerator has tines that move up and down. Since the tine motion is independent of the aerator’s speed, it’s easy to change the hole density. Reciprocating aerators only need a few tines. This concentrates wear, requiring more frequent tine replacement. However, the tines are easier to access and replace than drum and rotating aerators. Billy Goat’s PLUGR and AE-Series models are reciprocating aerators.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Type of Aerator?

Reciprocating

Advantages:
– Increasing hole density makes it possible to aerate an area in one pass, while other machines need to make two passes.
– The tines don’t need to be lifted out of the soil when turning, reducing turf damage and greatly speeding up work in small areas and around landscape features.
– It’s the only design that can aerate in reverse.
– Density can be varied by changing ground speed. This is handy for making more holes in areas that need to be reseeded, as well as relieving compaction in high traffic areas.

Disadvantages:
– Only practical for small machines.
– More expensive than other aerators.

Drum

Advantages:
– Works faster than a reciprocating aerator when covering large stretches of ground.
– It’s easy to scale up the size of an aerator. There are stand-alone walk-behind and stand-on ZTR models as well as trailers ranging in sizes that can be pulled by anything from a lawn mower to a large tractor.

Disadvantages:
– Tines must be lifted out of the ground, either physically or by using a hydraulic lifter. Failure to do so can damage turf and sprinkler systems.
– Lots of tines to maintain.

Rotational

Advantages:
– High hole density, requiring fewer passes than drum aerators.
– Easy to adjust weight to get the right amount of soil penetration.
– Billy Goat’s AET aerators mount tine stars on supports that can swivel. Once unlocked, the trailer can turn in the soil. However, the supports have to be locked back into place before the next pass.

Disadvantages:
– Only available as a trailer attachment, so it’s not a practical option for small jobs.
– Needs considerable power to pull, requiring a tractor.
– More expensive than drum aerators.

Which One is Right for Me?

Reciprocating aerators are perfect for most lawn care tasks due to their small size and flexibility. These should be your first choice for professional landscaping or rental in suburban areas.

If you need to aerate large areas, including cemeteries, facility grounds, or play fields, drum and rotational aerators are your best options. The maneuverability of rotational aerators make them the best choice overall, if you don’t mind the added cost.

No Matter What You Choose, We Can Help You With Your Billy Goat Aerator

From tines to major components, Billy Goat Parts has the OEM parts and accessories to keep your equipment running. Despite our name, we’re more than just a Billy Goat dealer. We’re also an authorized dealer for Tuff-Torq, Honda Engines, and Briggs & Stratton, so we’re able to offer replacement parts for everything on your equipment. Ordering is easy, too. Our site has sections for common replacement parts, and our search engine can find compatible parts for your model. We even have factory parts diagrams built into our site, so you can see exactly what you’re ordering, and where it fits. We can ship your order to any address in the United States or Canada. Visit us at www.billygoatparts.com.

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Servicing the Vanguard EFI Engine

Vanguard EFIIt’s easy to see why Billy Goat equips their DL37 debris loader with Vanguard’s EFI big block. This engine delivers market-leading power while being fuel-efficient and easy to start in cold weather. Since this engine is equipped with fuel injection, caring for it is a little different from the carburetted engines you’re probably used to. Here’s what you need to know to keep this engine running.

Maintenance Schedule

Every 8 hours of operation or daily: Check the oil level. Clean off any debris around the muffler and controls.
Every 100 hours or yearly: Replace the spark plugs. Change the oil and replace the oil filter. Clean the air pre-cleaner and air filter. Check the exhaust.
Every 250 hours: Have a professional mechanic adjust the valve clearance.
Every 400 hours or annually: Replace the air filter and fuel filter. Clean the cooling fins and oil cooler.

Oil

This engine holds 78-80 oz of oil, which is about two-and-a-half quarts. Vanguard recommends oil that meets SAE SF or higher specifications. The oil weight you need to use depends on the outside temperature.

SAE 30: above 40°F
10W-30: below 80°F
5W-30: below 40°F
Synthetic 5W-30: All temperatures

Always change the oil filter when you change the oil.

To change the oil:

1. Run the engine long enough to warm up.
2. Shut off the engine and disconnect the spark plug wires
3. Remove the dipstick.
4. Unscrew the drain plug. Collect the used oil in a suitable container.
5. Screw the plug back into the oil pan.
6. Unscrew the oil filter.
7. Apply a thin layer of clean oil to the new filter’s rubber gasket.
8. Screw in the new filter. Once the filter seats, turn it another ½ to ¾ turn to get a good seal.
9. Add oil through the dipstick tube.
10. Check the oil level.

Air Filter

Open the clips on the cap at the end of the filter, then pull the cap off of the air filter body. Clean the pre-filter inlet on the cap.

Pull out the filter. Depending on your engine, the paper filter may be hollow, or it may have a safety filter inside it. Slide the safety filter out, if equipped. This inner filter should be replaced each time you clean the main paper filter element.

Tap the paper filter against a hard surface to remove dirt build up. Replace as needed. Insert a new safety filter (if equipped.) Place the filter assembly in the airbox, and reinstall the cap.

Fuel

This engine needs gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. 85 octane can be used if you’re at an altitude above 5,000 feet. The EFI system automatically adjusts the fuel mixture to match available air, so you don’t need to install a high altitude kit when using the engine at high elevations.

When storing. the fuel does not need to be drained from the fuel tank as long as it’s treated with a stabilizer. Keep the tank full to reduce oxidation, and run the engine for at least two minutes to flush the old gas out of the fuel lines and injectors.

If you need to clean or replace the fuel filter, drain the fuel tank by disconnecting the fuel hose next to the injectors. Collect the gas in a fuel container.

Spark Plugs

The gap for the plugs in this engine should be 0.030 inches (.76 mm). When installing, torque each plug to180 in-lbs.

Battery

Using a trickle charger will stop discharge and battery degradation during storage. Always disconnect the negative battery terminal before hooking the battery to a charger. Otherwise, you could short out the starter. Never try to start the engine with a charger connected to the battery.

Cooling System

The front cover is held on by two screws directly below the ignition and stop/start switch. With this cover removed, you can access the cylinders. Use a dry rag or a stiff brush to remove debris from the cooling fins. Be sure to clean thoroughly clean the tops of the cylinder heads and the screen around the flywheel.

Get the Parts You Need Straight from Your Smartphone or Computer

Billy Goat Parts is an authorized Billy Goat and Briggs & Stratton Vanguard dealer. That means we offer the same OEM parts used to build your machine, so you can maintain its reliability. Need spark plugs or an air filter? We have sections for these common parts, so you can find what you need quickly.  If you need something more specific, our search engine can show you compatible parts based on your equipment’s model and serial number. We even have factory parts diagrams and descriptions, so you can always be sure you’re ordering exactly what you need. When you need parts for your Billy Goat, visit us at www.billygoatparts.com. We can ship your order to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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Choosing the Right Bit for Your Billy Goat AGR1300H Auger

Billy Goat AGR1300H Auger partsThe new Billy Goat AGR1300H’s Z-Link drill mount makes it one of the easiest-to-use augers on the market at any price. This machine can handle 2-18 inch bits and works with 7/8 inch square, 1 ¼ inch square and 1 3/8 inch hex bits with the right adapter. With so many options, that leaves one question: which bit do you need to use? Here’s how you can break down your choice based on why and where you’re drilling.

How an Auger Works

An auger is made of four parts, with each one contributing to performance:

– The pilot bit creates a small hole to help line up the rest of the auger bit.
– The teeth shave off layers of soil, creating the hole.
– The flighting that wraps around the shaft lifts the dirt out of the hole.
– The top of the shaft has a hole that fits over the head of the auger’s drive system.

Auger Bit Types and Sizing

There are two ways to measure a bit’s width: strip width and total width. The strip width is the width of the flighting from the shaft to the outer edge. The outer diameter is the total width of the auger bit. This includes the shaft width and two times the strip width, once for each side of the bit.

The helix direction is the direction the flighting wraps around the bit. Think of it in terms of a bolt. If you need to turn the bit clockwise to screw it in, the bit has a right-hand helix. Most bits are right-hand, so spinning the bit clockwise cuts into the soil. If the bit needs to spin counter-clockwise, it’s a left-hand helix.

A 7/8 inch square bit adapter comes with the AGR1300H from the factory. It can be swapped out with a 1 3/8 hex adapter or a 1 ¼ inch square adapter to fit matching bits.

Choosing the Right Bit for Digging Post Holes

As a general rule of thumb, a post should be at least 1/3 as deep in the ground as its total height above the ground. For example, if you’re building a 6-foot high fence, each post hole needs to be at least two feet deep. Gate posts need to be deeper to handle the twisting forces of the gate. Height will vary depending on the gate design, but up to 50% is typical. If you live in an area that gets cold enough for the ground to freeze, the post needs to be below the frost line. Otherwise, frost heaving will gradually push the post out of the ground.

The hole width should be three times the post width. This lets you place the post in the ground and compact soil around it. Once you fill the hole, don’t be surprised if the post isn’t firm. It will take a while for the ground to settle and hold the post in place fully, even if you anchored it with concrete.

Choosing Bits for Other Uses

The AGR1300H can do more than just drill post holes. Here’s how you can match the right bit width to the job at hand.

2 inches wide: Boring under sidewalks, planting grass plugs, installing termite bait traps, soil moisture probes and stakes for trees
3 inches wide: Installing sand and snow fences. Mixing seeds, fertilizer, and other soil additions
4 to 5 inches wide: Planting three-inch potted plants, quart-size potted plants, shrubs, and large bulbs
7 to 9 inches wide: Planting one to two-gallon potted plants

In some situations, like boring under sidewalks, you may need to drill at an angle. This isn’t a problem for Billy Goat’s auger, but it does decreases efficiency. At 90 degrees, the bit will only drill 35-40% as fast as it would when drilling straight down.

Choosing the Right Pilot Bits and Teeth

The teeth and pilot bit do the cutting, so they wear out long before the flighting. That’s why these parts are made to be removable. Choosing the right material depends on the soil you’re working with.

Carbide is the hardest, most brittle material. It has no trouble breaking through rocks, but it also wears out the fastest.

Dirt bits and teeth use soft metal that is hard-wearing, but they blunt easily when striking rocks.

Hardface bits and teeth have hardened surfaces with a soft core. This balances the wear of dirt bits with the cutting ability of carbide bits.

We Have the OEM Billy Goat Parts and Accessories You Need

Do you need to get a new bit for your auger? Want an adapter to use 1 ¼ inch square or 1 3/8 inch hex bits with your AGR1300H? Billy Goat Parts has all that and more. We’re a certified Billy Goat and Honda dealer, which means we carry accessories for your machine as well as factory parts. Visit us at www.billygoatparts.com. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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Clearing Snow with Leaf Blowers

clearing snow with a leaf blowerYour Billy Goat leaf blower may not be a replacement for a snowblower or plow, but in some circumstances, it may be a faster, easier snow clearing option. Here’s how you can use your wheeled or stand-on blower for winter cleanup jobs.

What Type of Snow Can Be Cleared with a Leaf Blower?

Most of the time, you’ll want to use purpose-built snow moving equipment to clear driveways, sidewalks and parking lots. However, if you need to lift a thin layer of snow before it melts and turns into ice, a leaf blower is your fastest option. It can clear large areas with each pass, and you don’t need to resort to ice melting chemicals to keep the area ice-free. In some cases, you may be able to cut an hour-long job down to a few minutes.

For wide-open areas like parking lots, your snowblower will have no problem with dry snow that is less than four inches thick. For any other snow, you’re better off using a snowblower. Wet snow can’t be shifted by air, and thicker accumulation will just gather into drifts.

Leaf blowers are also a great option for moving snow in areas that can’t be reached directly. This includes underneath vehicles and decks as well as next to buildings. Left your car outside during a snowstorm? After using your blower, you won’t have to back up over snow. Need to control snowdrifts around buildings to keep entrances open? Looking to prevent moisture issues that can affect exterior walls and foundations? You can clear out snow piled against walls without resorting to shovels.

How Do I Use My Blower to Move Snow Effectively?

Treat snow like a layer of compacted leaves. You need airflow to skim the surface to push and lift the snow off of the ground. To do this, keep the nozzle set at its lowest angle. Keep in mind that wheeled blowers can only blow snow to the right. Plan accordingly to make sure your passes direct snow where you want it. Once you build up a snowdrift, you will need to use other means to move it.

Make several passes close together. While the air may be pushing snow across a long distance, it will only completely clear an area a few feet from the nozzle. By making multiple passes, you get all of the ground within that sweet spot. This works far faster than going slow and waiting for the air to push snow back over a wide area.

If you need to clear the side of a building, consider installing a 90-degree nozzle on your walk-behind, or use the front vent on your stander. This pushes the snow away from the building instead of moving it up the side of the wall, where it will settle back on the ground next to the building.

Using Your Leaf Blower in Cold Weather

Before you put your blower to work, check the tire pressure. Tires will naturally leak some air during storage, and low temperatures reduce tire pressure, even if the amount of air inside remains the same.

Don’t be surprised if you need to use the pull start on your electric start engine. Lead-acid batteries output fewer amps as temperatures drop: at 20°F, your blower’s battery is outputting about half the power it would at 50°F. Even a fully-charged, healthy battery will struggle to turn the engine over.

The engine needs more time to warm up before it will be ready to use. Wheel your stand-on or walk-behind blower outside away from buildings.

If you’re having trouble with the hydrostatic drive on your Hurricane stand-on blower, it may be due for a fluid change. Over time, the hydraulic fluid will absorb water. This won’t have a huge impact when using your blower in the fall. However, once the temperature drops below freezing, this water turns into ice and slush, restricting flow across the system.

Get Everything You Need for Your Billy Goat

Billy Goat Parts makes it easy to get the parts and accessories you need to keep your Billy Goat equipment running. We’re an authorized dealer for Billy Goat and their manufacturing partners including Hydro-Gear, Honda Engines, and Vanguard. That means we carry replacements for every part of your leaf blower. Not sure where to start? We have sections for common replacement parts like bolts and filters, or you can use our advanced search engine. Once you select your model and serial number, it will show you factory parts descriptions and diagrams for your machine. To order, visit www.billygoatparts.com. We ship to both the United States and Canada.

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Upgrades and Repairs You Can Do This Winter

OS500Thinking about starting the year with better lawn care tools? Now is the perfect time to look over your equipment and think about making some repairs and upgrades. Addressing these issues now will ensure an easy start when the spring rush hits. Here are some tips for repairing and improving your equipment.

Lawn and Construction Vacuums

– Check the nozzle for wear. A nozzle wear kit has the replacement plastic pads and hardware to replace the bottom edge of the nozzle.

– Inspect the intake hose. Billy Goat recommends rotating the hose ¼ turn every 20 hours to even out wear. If you find a hole, it’s time for a replacement.

– Working on hard surfaces? A front caster kit makes your vacuum easier to turn and reduces wear on the surfaces you’re working on.

– Check the debris bags for holes and replace as needed. If you work in dusty areas, consider getting a felt bag or a bag liner. These need to be cleaned more frequently than standard bags, but their fine mesh keeps dust from pouring out of the vacuum onto the operator.

Leaf Blowers

– If you want to cut down on maintenance, consider upgrading to a foam-filled front tire. It doesn’t offer quite as much shock absorption as a pneumatic tire, but you’ll never have to worry about airing it up or pushing the bead back onto the rim.

– Wish you could make sharper turns? The caster wheel kit replaces the fixed front wheel, making it easy to swivel your machine in place.

– The parking brake kit clamps down on the tires, keeping your machine from rolling away when you park it on hills.

– If you have an equipment trailer, you can make loading faster by adding a quick hold down. This bracket locks your leaf blower into place, so you don’t have to worry about straps.

Debris Loaders

– Billy Goat’s loaders use the same type of hose as their vacuums. That means they need to be inspected periodically and replaced if the plastic has a hole in it.

– After using your loader to get through the fall leaf rush, you should know the problems you have with the exhaust placement. Fortunately, this is easy to remedy. Billy Goat makes extensions, deflectors, and hoses that help you get debris from the loader to your truck bed or trailer.

– Now is a good time to open up the impeller chamber and clean it out. Check the condition of the liner, and replace it as needed. If you need to remove the impeller, be sure to pick up a new bolt. This bolt is made from spring steel that stretches when torqued, making it a one-use item.

Aerators

– Billy Goat offers new tines to let you pick the best fit for lawn conditions. This includes 3/8 and 7/8 inch spike and hollow tines. They’ve also added Zoysia transfer tines, letting you pull plugs from established grass to start a new lawn.

– These aerators use belts to drive the tine cam. If you can’t get the belt to tension, or it has surface cracks, it’s due for a replacement.

Sod Cutter

– Billy Goat’s sod cutter blades are made from a hardened steel. While this helps them slice through soil, it also makes them brittle. Replace the blade if it’s chipped, bent or damaged. When you replace the blade, you also need to replace the nuts and bolts, as these wear down as they scrape against the soil. Replacement blades come as a kit that includes new hardware.

Auger

Most of the wear on your auger will be the pilot bit and teeth. Billy Goat offers replacements in three materials. Choosing the right material is a matter of balancing strength against wear:

– Carbide is the hardest, so it cuts quickly through hard ground and rocks. However, it’s also brittle, so it chips easily and wears down faster than other materials.
– Dirt teeth and bits use the softest steel. They take the most damage when striking rocks, but they last longer than other materials when cutting through soil.
– Looking for something between these extremes? Hardface bits are strong enough to stand up to rocks, but they last longer than carbide bits.

Get the Billy Goat Parts and Accessories You Need Sent Straight to Your Door

Billy Goat Parts is an authorized dealer for Billy Goat and their manufacturing partners, including Briggs & Stratton, Honda Engines and Tuff Torq. That means you can get anything you need for your equipment and have it mailed to your door. Our site has sections for common replacement parts, and a search engine that can show you factory diagrams and descriptions specific to your equipment. Best of all, we ship across both the United States and Canada. Visit us at www.billygoatparts.com.

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Why is EFI a Good Choice for Debris Loaders?

Why is EFI a Good Choice for Debris Loaders?Carburetors may be simple, but they come with a lot of disadvantages. They need a lot of fuel, they’re temperamental, and they have problems with modern gasoline. That’s why Billy Goat chose to equip their DL37 debris loader with Vanguard’s Big Block EFI engine. If you’re looking for a high output debris loader, there are plenty of reasons why you should choose this fuel-injected model.

How Does it Work?

For the most part, Briggs & Stratton’s EFI system works like the one used in your car. In fact, it was co-developed with Delphi, one of the world’s largest automotive parts suppliers.

An electronic control unit (ECU) gets information from an engine speed sensor and a manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor. This tells the ECU exactly how fast the engine is running, and how much air is entering the engine.

A high-pressure fuel pump attached to the side of the engine pushes fuel into the injectors. The ECU activates the injectors to get the right amount of fuel to match the incoming air while maintaining engine RPM. During the exhaust cycle, an oxygen sensor tells the ECU how much fuel is being burned. This lets the computer make adjustments to keep the air/fuel ration balanced.

What are the Benefits of EFI?

For commercial lawn care businesses, fuel is the biggest operating cost next to labor. By delivering just the right amount of fuel at all times, EFI engines use about 25% less fuel than their carburetor-equipped counterparts. Using the onboard sensors, the ECU can lean out the fuel mixture under light loads without increasing engine temperatures, saving even more fuel on equipment that idles frequently, like a debris loader.

If you work in high altitudes, you don’t have to install a high altitude kit to get the engine to run. The ECU automatically trims fuel to match the incoming air.

Fuel injectors spray fuel to mix it with air, while carburetors depend on airflow to atomize and mix fuel into the air. In cold weather, this makes it much easier to start a fuel-injected engine.

By better matching the fuel mixture with operating conditions, an EFI engine can make more power. While peak horsepower is only a little higher, the torque curve is much wider than a carbureted engine. Since the ECU can react almost instantly to load changes, there’s also less throttle droop.

Precision fuel control also reduces exhaust emissions, so the engine meets the most stringent regulations.

The added electronics also make engine problems easier to diagnose. Basic error information can be displayed using blink codes. In diagnosis mode, the “check engine” light blinks a number of times to indicate the error. For major repairs, a shop technician can use a scanner to get error codes from the ECU or hook it up to a computer to get a full readout of engine information, including fuel pressure and RPM.

Why is EFI the Right Choice for a Debris Loader?

The Vanguard EFI Big Block was designed with large mowers in mind, but it’s perfect for use in Billy Goat’s DL37:

– Debris loaders are used infrequently, making stale fuel resistance a major plus.

EFI is better at burning stale fuel, which simplifies storage. Instead of draining the tank and running the engine until the carburetor is dry, this engine can be stored with fuel in the tank. Just add a fuel stabilizer, run the engine for 10-15 minutes, and top off the tank.

– Loaders see peak usage in the fall for leaf cleanup. An EFI engine is easier to start on cold autumn mornings.

The ECU automatically adjusts the fuel mixture, so there’s no choke to deal with. The engine always gets the exact amount of fuel it needs, making for easy starts whether the engine is warm or cold. This also takes the load off of the battery and starter, since it takes less cranking to get the engine going.

– Due to its size, a debris loader is one of the most demanding pieces of equipment that most landscapers will own. Better fuel economy can mean significant cost savings for the entire operation.

– Less throttle droop helps the engine recover as heavy clumps reach the impeller. This keeps performance consistent and prevents stalling.

If You Have a Billy Goat, We Have the Parts and Accessories You Need

Billy Goat Parts is a certified Briggs & Stratton Vanguard dealer. That means we can supply you with parts for your equipment as well as the engines that power them. Need something simple, like spark plugs or an air filter? We have a section for commonly needed parts. Looking for other components? Our search engine can show you diagrams and parts descriptions from the factory for your specific model, taking the guesswork out of ordering. Visit us at www.billygoatparts.com. We can have your order delivered to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

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Protecting Your Billy Goat from Rust

protecting your Billy Goat from rustIt’s one thing to have something break on your Billy Goat from wear and tear. It’s another to pull your machine out of storage and find you have frozen cables, sticky levers, and spark plugs that don’t want to leave their cylinders. How can you keep rust from damaging your equipment?

The Four Types of Rust and Their Causes

Not all rust is alike. Identifying the type of rust on your machine can tell you how it formed, and what you need to do to prevent it.

Red rust is a ferric oxide. It forms when iron is exposed to high levels of moisture and oxygen. Ferric oxide molecules are larger than iron, so it forms expanding layers on the surface of metal components. Eventually, these layers flake off, exposing more iron to oxygen. More rust is created, and more metal is lost. This makes it the most damaging type of rust.

Yellow rust is iron oxide-hydroxide. It forms when the iron is submerged, typically from water dripping into cracks and crevices on metal parts. This is common on poorly covered equipment and on cables surrounded by housings.

Brown rust is a type of iron oxide. This rust forms in spots on contaminated metal parts, usually in environments with high humidity. This type of rust is commonly found on unprotected bearings.

Black rust is another type of iron oxide. It forms on parts exposed to moisture, but not oxygen. This may show up beneath red rust, or on parts caked in dirt.

Manufacturing Strategies for Stopping Rust

The battle against rust starts at the factory.

If the oxygen can’t reach the metal, the metal can’t rust. Painting a metal part seals the surface. Chrome creates a hard layer on handles, but it’s expensive and doesn’t work well in all environments.

Stainless steel contains chromium, which bonds more readily with oxygen than iron does. The result is chromium oxide, which creates a protective layer. As long as there’s plenty of chromium left in the steel, the metal is rustproof. This makes it the best choice for control cables. However, stainless steel can’t handle high temperatures well, so it’s not used for engine components.

Lubricants don’t just reduce friction, they also block and absorb moisture. That’s why Billy Goat uses and recommends waterproof grease for their bearings and axles.

Preventing Rust on your Equipment

Stopping rust is easier than removing it. Here’s how you can keep your equipment rust-free during use and storage.

-Keep your equipment clean and dry
Lawn vacuums and debris loaders move dusty materials, so they need frequent cleaning. Never use a pressure washer on your equipment, and use only dry brushes and rags when cleaning the engine. Otherwise, you may contaminate grease and oil with water.

The core tines on your aerator should eject cores during use. If the tines are clogged with dirt after use, they may be worn out.

– Use touch-up paint
Briggs & Stratton and Honda Engines both offer small bottles of paint to cover up chips. If rust has already formed, remove it with a wire brush or apply a rust converting primer before applying the paint.

– Keep grease fresh
Dry grease shrinks and flakes away from bearings, exposing them to the elements. Contaminated grease can hold moisture against metal components. Adding new grease pushes out old grease and moisture.

– Apply oil to bare metal surfaces
Before you store your equipment, spray fogging oil over exposed metal. This oil leaves a protective film that blocks oxygen and moisture.

– Lubricate cables before storage
Water displacers like WD-40 do exactly that: they push water away from components. They don’t provide protection or lubrication. Instead, coat the cables in silicone lubricant or a non-detergent oil to create a protective barrier.

– Keep chains clean and oiled
Billy Goat walk-behind aerators use a partially exposed chain drive to the wheels. Use an aerosol chain cleaner and brush to remove oil and dirt, then apply a chain oil. Do not use chainsaw bar oil. This extra-tacky oil will make dirt cling to the chain, increasing wear.

– Seal the combustion chamber
When you’re ready to store your equipment, gently pull the starter handle until you feel resistance. This positions the valvetrain so that both the intake and exhaust valves are closed.

– Choose your storage location carefully
While storing equipment outdoors isn’t great, putting a tarp over it can be worse. This can trap moisture against metal components, promoting rust. If you can, keep your Billy Goat equipment in a shed or a carport.

Everything Thing You Need to Fix Your Billy Goat Straight from Your Browser

Billy Goat Parts is a certified dealer for Billy Goat and their partners including Briggs & Stratton, Subaru Power, and Honda Engines. That means you can get replacements for everything on your equipment from one place. Ordering is easy, too: just select your model and serial number, and our site will show you what will fit. There are even factory diagrams, so you can see exactly what you’re ordering. Visit us at www.billygoatparts.com. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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