How to winterize a reel mower?
Luckily, preparing a Swardman lawnmower for the winter is very easy. For Swardman Edwin models we recommend only using 100 octane fuel with no or minimal biofuel. Unfortunately, however, today a lot of ‘premium’ high-octane fuels contain a relatively large amount of biofuel, which is sticky, greasy and clogs the carburettor. What’s more, during long-term storage it absorbs water and degrades the quality of the fuel. Therefore, for all Edwin models it is essential to drain all the fuel from the tank. Only then can you be sure that the lawnmower will start without any problems in the spring.
The next important step is cleaning out the mower. It stands idle for several months over the winter. It’s not good to have the reel, side cover and body of the mower full of damp, decaying grass. At the end of the season, clean it thoroughly and preserve the reel blades with biodegradable oil. It’s always best to store the lawnmower in a clean, dry place. You can also use a Swardman tarp, which will protect it from dust and other dirt.
The winter storage method for the Electra model depends on what type of battery is installed in your lawnmower.
STANDARD and PLUS batteries
If your Electra has a lead-acid battery, i.e. “STANDARD” or “PLUS”, it is possible to leave it permanently connected to the charger over the winter on a holding current of 1 A. If you don’t want to leave your lawnmower connected to the charger over a long period, store it at a temperature of no lower than 10 °C and recharge it every month. In this way you will maximise the lifespan of your battery and prevent it from becoming fully discharged.
Swardman Electra lawnmowers with a battery marked “EXTRA” are fitted with modern LiFePO4 batteries. Lawnmowers with this type of battery should be fully charged before the winter and stored at a temperature of no lower than 10 °C. In contrast to lead-acid batteries, the lithium iron phosphate battery barely loses capacity through disuse. Despite this, we recommend recharging the battery every 8 weeks. Make sure that the charging takes place in conditions no lower than 10 °C! Regardless of the type of battery, we recommend cleaning the lawn mower thoroughly and preserving the blades with biodegradable oil.
* All lawnmowers made from 1/2020 onwards are fitted with “EXTRA” batteries (LiFePO4).