If you had a neighbor with a mint-condition car from the 1970s in his driveway and you asked him how he kept it in such great shape, the first words out of his mouth would probably be “I took care of it.” He had to perform maintenance on a regular basis.

It may sound basic, but that’s also one of the most important things you can do to help your Toro® equipment last longer.

Manufacturers’ recommended maintenance schedules aren’t just arbitrary suggestions. They’re based on extensive testing of what’s required to maintain the integrity of your machine. And these recommended scheduled events need to take place in order to get the best quality out of your unit.

So, where do you find this information? The first place to look is your operator’s manual. If you don’t have yours handy, you can go to Toro.com, click Parts & Manuals at the top and look up your model number or serial number to find the operator’s manual and other parts and service details online. Service manuals and machine decals also provide some guidance.

Here are some additional tips to help you get the most out of your equipment investment:

1.   Make a list of daily operation checks and use it. Some maintenance items are based on hours of operation. But your operator’s manual will also recommend checking certain things each time you use your machine. Recommendations vary by model, but examples include checking the engine oil level, hydraulic system, cooling system, etc.

2.   Use the proper engine oil classification for your machine. This may not sound like a big deal, but using the wrong viscosity grade or weight of engine oilcan be serious enough to void your warranty.

3.   Don’t exceed the specified service interval. You can always perform regular maintenance sooner than required, but skipping or delaying tasks may shorten the life of your machine. Also beware of products and manufacturers that make claims that conflict with the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. These claims don’t always hold up, and cutting corners can lead to costly problems. Choose quality products and follow the timing the manufacturer recommends for your operating conditions.

4.   Document everything. Keep records of the maintenance you’ve performed and parts you’ve ordered. This gives you a timeline to keep your maintenance on track and helps answer questions if you need to make a warranty claim. You may be surprised how often owners estimate they changed the engine oil “a couple months ago,” when in reality it has been a couple of years.

Logging maintenance can be as simple as keeping a notebook where you write down the maintenance performed and what was used, including oil weights and part numbers. Or for an easier alternative, check out Toro’s myTurf® Pro fleet management system. This web-based system can be used to track equipment hours automatically, order parts, schedule service and more — saving a lot of time compared to tracking these things manually using spreadsheets, binders or whiteboards.

5.   Don’t forget to do a functional pre-maintenance safety check. Before you perform any maintenance tasks, make sure all the safety items are working properly. For example, can you disengage the drives and lower the cutting unit? These “preflight” inspections can give you an indication if you have leaks (such as bearings leaking grease) or help you identify and repair early failures before these issues become more costly problems.

6.   Stick with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. It may be tempting to grab a filter from the local auto parts store when you need one, but an off-the-shelf product may not have the same specifications as the OEM part. It may look and fit the same but still vary in specification (for example, if a hydraulic filter doesn’t have the bypass valve specified in the OEM version). Small differences can result in equipment damage, which can end up costing much more to repair. Why take that chance just to save a few dollars up front?

With Toro Genuine Parts, you know you’re getting the right part with the exact specifications for your equipment. They’re the same parts we use on our production lines to build the original machines, and they’re all manufactured with reliable, high-quality materials for maximum performance with less downtime. In addition, all Toro parts have been rigorously tested to make sure they can withstand the demands of daily use.

Minimizing Total Cost of Ownership
Toro offers one of the best commercial product warranties in the business, but that warranty is only good if you have performed the required routine maintenance set forth in your operator’s manual. These recommendations have been developed to not only maximize your machine’s performance but also help minimize your total cost of ownership over that machine’s life. To that end, we never stop looking for ways to save you time and streamline maintenance tasks.

For more information about Toro Genuine Parts as well as service and support, visit the Toro website or contact your local Toro distributor.