Inventory and inspect all of your equipment before the spring rush hits. Decide if any of it should be replaced. You may also want to give some thought to potential new equipment needs. Are there projects that you have decided to start this year that will be enhanced with specific equipment?

For instance, if removal of small trees or shrubs is planned, would your own chain saw be a good investment? Would a combination wet/dry vacuum and leaf blower save enough time to pay for that purchase? Make a list of potential equipment needs and develop your budget. Start looking for the best values as you head towards spring. Make your purchases before you are ready to use the equipment so you will be prepared and not have to pay a premium to obtain something in a hurry. The more time you have to shop around and compare features, benefits and price the better chance you have of getting the best tool for your needs at the best value. Having time to learn how to use new power equipment properly is another advantage of obtaining it before it is needed.

As you inventory and inspect your equipment, make a list of any items that need repairs. Make sure that all hand tools such as pruners, shears, shovels and rakes are clean and ready to go. Sand any rough spots on wooden handles. Sharpen the blades of tools that need it. Equipment requiring dealer servicing should be taken in as soon as possible to avoid the spring rush.

If you did not clean and service outdoor power equipment before storing it for winter, get that done now. Remove any fuel from the tank by draining it or running the engine until it is dry. If you drain the tank, you should still run the engine to burn the remaining fuel in the system. As an alternative, add a stabilizer to the fuel. If you do, be sure to run the engine long enough to get the stabilizer into the whole system.

Don’t forget to clean or replace air filters on mowers, trimmers and other outdoor power equipment. Check the oil, too. Oil should be changed at least annually on 4-cycle engines. It is a good idea to change the oil filter at the same time. Check the spark plug and replace if necessary. Sharpen blades and complete a thorough cleaning of the equipment. Tighten any loose bolts or screws and replace any that may be missing.