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21.01.2014

A Thought About Your Generator During Summer Months

Subaru-GeneratorFrom landscaping to home renovations and many other projects, construction activities are typically busiest in the summer. And, lets not forget that it’s not just the labourers who feel the effects of more jobs and extended hours. Tools and equipment run longer hours and are pushed to their limits during the summer months.

Between longer days, busier schedules and hours of overtime, routine maintenance quite often falls by the wayside.

While construction certainly doesn’t come to a halt when summer ends, autumn is an ideal time to give equipment some much-needed TLC. Beyond the likelihood that it hasn’t seen a new air filter or oil change in months, some equipment may require minor adjustments to prepare for the colder temperatures and wet conditions that are coming with autumn and winter seasons.

Considering how much our equipment is counted on to provide power to other jobsite tools, the portable jobsite generator is one piece of equipment that deserves a seasonal tune-up.

Continuous, uninterrupted operation from a portable generator is necessary in keeping the workday productive, so it must be reliable and able to handle whatever Mother Nature throws its way. Fortunately, generators don’t require complicated, time-intensive maintenance, and most are designed to operate quite well in various weather conditions. However, they do need regular attention year-round, and a little extra care to prepare for seasonal changes.

The number one rule of portable generator operation must be observed year-round: Never operate indoors or even a partially enclosed space. When the temperature drops, it may be tempting to move the generator to a warmer area such as a shed, garage or covered area.  Let’s not forget that this is a dangerous mistake, as it can lead to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.

The best way to prevent accidental poisoning is to only operate a generator outside in a completely open area. Remember, that this is designed to run outdoors and built tough to handle the elements.

Note that the it is a daily preventative generator maintenance to check the oil before every use and a seasonal tune-up takes this one step further. When colder temperatures are on the horizon, the oil must be changed to the appropriate viscosity.

If the temperature drops unexpectedly, before the oil has been changed to the ideal viscosity, no need to panic. Simply turn off and move the machine to a warm space, and then change the oil.

To save time and eliminate potential issues from having the incorrect oil, many manufacturers recommend using multi-viscosity oil, which is designed to recognize the outdoor temperature and adjust viscosity accordingly.

Regardless of what type of oil is used, regular oil changes will keep the engine going and the power flowing.

Checking the fuel level is also a daily, pre-operation practice, and especially important during cold weather operation. Condensation can occur inside the fuel tank and cause engine problems – especially in colder temperatures – so top off the tank and make it a habit to do so before daily operation. Be sure the generator is shut off before refueling and use caution to prevent spills.

If the air filter hasn’t been cleaned or changed all summer, take the time to do so now that this is top of mind. Check to see if it’s dirty or clogged, and change or clean as necessary. Ideally, filters should be cleaned about every 100 hours or so and changed on a monthly basis.

Hyundai-HHD3500-Generator

Finally, conduct a seasonal inspection of the spark plugs. There aren’t special spark plugs designed for colder weather, so just check that they’re clean and free of dirt, carbon build-up or damage. A wire brush or spark plug cleaner may be used to remove any excess dirt or carbon, and be sure to replace any damaged or cracked plugs immediately.

Even with adequate pre-season preparation, normal generator operation can be interrupted due to sudden weather conditions. Knowing how to react and troubleshoot problems will prevent excessive downtime.

As stated previously, generators actually run very well in cooler weather. However, the damp conditions that often come with rain and frosty days (snow in areas where this can fall) can cause problems for the carburetor, crankcase and breather system.

If cold or freezing rain begin to fall, place a protective awning or tarp a few feet above the unit. This will protect it from snow and ice intrusion and potential damage to the engine – while still allowing adequate ventilation and eliminating the risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

If the generator’s operation slows or stops completely, or it begins to smoke, it’s likely moisture has built up and created icing around the carburetor. This is a fairly common problem during severe weather operation, especially in cases where the generator is being used as back-up power during a snow or ice storm. If this happens, shut down the generator and move to a warm, dry place until the ice has melted. Be sure to wipe off any excess moisture to prevent electrical shock hazards.

If it’s known at the time of purchase that the generator will be running in cooler, damp weather, it will beneficial to choose a model from a manufacturer that offers a cold weather kit.

A quick seasonal tune-up can be the difference between worry-free generator operation and a lot of frustration and downtime in the coming months. Taking the time to perform a little preventative maintenance and prepare the unit for the upcoming season will pay off and ensure the generator is able to handle continued heavy workloads – and even the most extreme weather conditions.

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18.12.2013

Why use a wheelbarrow when you can use a Cormidi mini loader/dumper?

We all have the desire to make the backyards of our homes our own – yet not all properties are created equally. Whether you desire a beautifully landscaped garden, a basic patio or even a pool, there are often times when what we want is limited to what is already on your property. Tight spaces and narrow or difficult access can be a major headache when you have big plans! Of course there is always the shovel and wheelbarrow, but that can be extremely labour intensive and SLOW! Not to mention – time is money, especially these days when the cost of living is increasing, and the time we have is more valuable than ever.

Rikishi-7.0With all that in mind, what is the solution? From weekend warriors to the qualified tradesmen, you needn’t look any further than the Cormidi range of mini loaders and mini dumpers. They have a wide variety of models and sizes that make them ideal for a just about any job (especially when there is limited access). The range begins with the Cormidi 50 mini dumper and the Rikishi mini loader. Both these machines are only 700mm wide, which makes them small enough to fit through a standard doorway! This means that sites with very limited access no longer have to be done entirely by hand as the Cormidi range caters for many of the tasks previously done with a shovel and a wheelbarrow.

A big advantage of these mini loaders and dumpers is their rubber tracks. The tracks provide excellent traction in all weather and terrain. We note that Cormidi’s proprietary sprockets provide superior traction compared to tyres and non-track machinery like skid steer loaders. It’s true this traction is really hard to beat. Also, one should consider that muddy surfaces are not a problem, as the tracked carrier only has a ground pressure of around 3.75 psi (0.179 kPa), compared to the 10 psi (0.478 kPa) exerted by the average person.

With its big load capacity and use of the self-loading Cormidi-80bucket, A Cormidi mini dumper is better at moving dirt and other bulk material when compared with skid steer loaders or mini loaders, with their capacity limited to the size of the bucket.Further it’s good to note that a Cormidi unit has the ability of being fitted with optional attachments like an auger, trencher and mixer. Thus, the user can extend the unit’s flexibility into other uses around the yard. Remember that this highly functional workhorse is ideal for all types of carting and tipping work. Get in touch with us if you want more information.

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8.10.2013

A look at scaffolding hire in Sydney area

Let’s face it, scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support people and material in building sites for construction, repair or other work. The accent is on the word temporary. While this structure is eventually pulled down, it must by its very nature, be sturdy and safe. After all, it is for supporting people (and materials/tools).Aluminium-Mobile-Scaffolding-Safety

Hence scaffolding is primarily used during the construction stage or for repair work. So, is it worthwhile investing in scaffolding through purchase, or is it better to hire?

If you’re in the Sydney area, Aztex Equipment can assist you with your scaffolding hire needs. Our scaffolding range offers both mobile aluminium towers and steel scaffolding.

Our aluminium towers are ideal for light to medium duty use. They are easy to erect and lightweight for easy transport and stacking. Working platforms range from 1.2m, 1.8m, 2.4m & 3.0m long. Frames are available in single platform wide (700mm), two platforms wide (1300mm), three platforms wide (1900mm) and four platforms wide (2500mm). The frames come in both 1.0m & 1.5m heights.

For heavy duty needs, we recommend our steel scaffolding — from 225kg – 675kg depending on duty classification as specified in ASNZS 1576.1. Bays are 1.8m long. Frames are three planks wide (700mm) & five planks wide (1200mm).

Frames are also 1.0m & 1.5m high and planks are available in 2.4m, 4.2m and 4.8m lengths. Captive planks are 1.8m long.

Our scaffolding is ruggedly built for the toughest requirements and is made to Australian Standards. They are also designed for DIY erection (for towers where a person could fall 4.0m or more, a qualified scaffolder must install). We also have mobile scaffolds with wheels for easy movement around worksites.

IMG-0840All our scaffolding components are easy to stack and are also transportable.

Aztex Equipment provides delivery throughout the Sydney area. Our rates for hire and delivery are very reasonable, extremely competitive in today’s market.

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30.09.2013

Our Cormidi mini dumpers hold their own against skid steer loaders

Working at any building site is pretty hard as it is. Made worse if one has to contend with uneven, or wet ground, to collect dirt or move other bulk material is not only backbreaking work, but fraught with OH&S traps. Using a wheelbarrow just won’t cut it.

Made in Salerno, Italy, Cormidi range of tracked mini dumpers or carriers from Aztex Equipment is just the ticket for this type of work. (Aztex Equipment is a local dealer for Cormidi mini dumpers).

Cormidi-PicThe use of rubber tracks gives this unit excellent traction in all weather and terrain. Cormidi’s proprietary sprockets provide superior traction compared to tyres and non-track machinery like skid steer loaders.

Wet and muddy surfaces are not a problem, as the tracked carrier only has a ground pressure of around 3.75 psi (0.179 kPa), compared to the 10 psi (0.478 kPa) exerted by the average person.

With its big load capacity and use of the self-loading bucket, A Cormidi mini dumper is better at moving dirt and other bulk material when compared with skid steer loaders or mini loaders, with their capacity limited to the size of the bucket.

Cormidi tracked mini dumpers come in several models: Cormidi 50, Cormidi 65, Cormidi 80, Cormidi 100. These units start from 700 mm width to 950 mm for the largest unit, the Cormidi 100. The latter unit is able to carry load of up to 1000 kg.

There are many advantages to Cormidi dumpers. For instance, there’s the ability of being fitted with optional attachments like an auger, trencher and mixer—to extend the unit’s flexibility in construction, landscaping, or agricultural use.

Rikishi-PicThe Cormidi 50 and the Rikishi 7.0 are narrow enough to be able to go through a standard width doorway of 700 mm.

And on the latter unit (Rikishi 7.0), this is an unusual model in the Cormidi range that looks different from the other models. With an arm mounted directly on the frame, this mini transporter is a nimble mini loader.

Highly functional and reliable, this unit is ideal for all types of carting and tipping work. Just like the other models in the range, this transporter has sturdy undercarriage, rocking rollers and rubber tracks to allow it to work on all ground surfaces.

Features include hydrostatic transmission, with three pumps, and simple controls, to make this unit easy to operate.

Another feature of Cormidi dumpers is the ability to tip material in large dumpers. Take the Cormidi 80, for instance. Being a high tip unit, the Cormodi 80 is able to dump its load of up to 800 kg easily into standard skip of 1.3 m high, with its 1450 mm high pivot.

Where required, Cormidi long-life undercarriage can be fitted with steel rocking rollers to improve traction on uneven ground, as well as a two-speed transmission, which provides a travel speed of up to 6.0 km/h.

Cormidi units can be supplied with either a Subaru petrol engine or a diesel engine. The upper structure of the unit is built from high-quality Swedish steel.

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7.08.2013

Preventative Maintenance – Air Filters

Cleaning the air filter is another maintenance task that needs to be done to keep your engine running smoothly. It should be cleaned every week and changed monthly – regardless of how dirty it is. If this is overlooked, it will become prone to clogging which will in turn cause a loss of power and reduce the life of your engine.

Foam-Filter

When it comes to cleaning a foam filter, most manufactures recommend using soapy water. Alternatively, a mixture of kerosene (3 parts) and engine oil (1 part) can be used. After cleaning, rinse the filter thoroughly, squeeze out excess water and blot dry with paper towel (or a clean dry rag). Once dry, work a small amount of engine oil into the filter and blot away the excess.

For cleaning a paper filter, first remove it from the engine and tap it on a Paper-Filterhard surface to knock off any dirt (don’t use compressed air as this may cause the paper to tear). Whilst many manufactures recommend replacing paper filters every 50 hours, if your engine is working in dusty environments it is good practice to change them more frequently.

If you aren’t sure of the correct cleaning method, it is recommended that you consult the owners manual. If the filter still appears to be dirty/clogged after cleaning, it should be replaced. Remember, checking the filter regularly will ensure that replacement is done when it is actually needed.

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