Monday, March 14, 2011

What a storm it was in Douglas County!

    Well it certainly was a windy cold one. Many are still without power, we rented every generator we have, and fixed at least a helf dozen others for the owners who had them but couldn't get them started. I thought it might be nice to discuss some of the generator options out there.
   When it comes to choosing a generator, there's really a lot that goes into getting it right. Some things to ask yourself are;
  • What are you going to want to power with it? Most crucial are typically a well pump for water. Some lights for safety, especally if there are kids in the house. Refridgerator and freezer to keep food from spoiling.
  • The things that help keep life somewhat normal are computers for communication, TV to keep the kids calm, and heat can be nice. Heat is a real power hog, it isn't too hard to run a circulation system, it is creating the actual heat thats the hard part. Gas stoves, pellet stoves, wood heat, oil stoves are all examples of heat sources you could run off of a typical mid sized portable generator, though you wouldn't have a lot of power for anything else while some of these options were running.
  • Other handy circuits are; the garage door opener, water heater (again a power hog, but its nice to be able to take a warm shower).
  • Do you want the generator to be automatic? Should it start itself and transfer power away from the power lines which is critical for the safety of the lineman working to repair your power lines? Should the fuel source be regular gasoline, propane or natural gas? Unless your running your generator frequently, gasoline powered generators tend to have the fuel go bad, and not work when you need them.
   Once you know the answers to these questions you can quickly narrow down your choices. If your looking for the most inexpensive method, a portable gas generator, appropriately sized can work. Plan on frequently running the generator to keep the fuel fresh, and running the appropriate sized extension cords to your appliances when the time comes to use it. The more significantly dependable method is a permenant standby generator. These systems can be professionally installed, and run either just the basics or nearly a whole home depending on size. The more common systems will exercise themselves as scheduled once a week, and run off either natural gas, which has an endless supply as long as the gas infastructure is functioning, or propane which is stored in a container on site. Container size dictates how long the generator will run.
   Tim Allen Equipment is an authorized Kohler Home Generator Dealer, we'd be glad to discuss how a standby generator can bring some peace of mind for your household. We're also able to perform service and repairs on most other gas or propane powered generators either at your site or in house.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I know the weather has been wet and cold lately; but now is the time to dust the cobwebs off of your yard equipment.

Here is a simple check list for you to go over with your equipment before you start it up:

1. Check the motor oil - Is it low or dirty? When was the last time you had the oil changed?
Outdoor power equipment engine manufactures recommend  you change the oil every 100hrs or at least once a season. At 100 hours, comparing to your car driving at 60mph, you've put on 6000 miles. These engines work a lot harder than your car or truck and require more attention.

2. Check the gasoline - How long has the gas been in there? Did you store it with a fuel stabilizer?

These days, gasoline is only good for about 30days. If the gasoline in your equipment is older than that you should drain the tank and add fresh gasoline before you attempt to start the equipment.

3. Inspect the filters - When was the last time it was changed or cleaned?

A lot of this stuff is working in the dirtiest conditions. Other than running your engine with out motor oil; a dirty air filter can do the most harm to an engine. Once your air filter plugs up, your engine can no longer get the fresh air that is needed to run correctly. This will cause the engine to run overly rich and build up carbon deposits, foul spark plugs, and cause poor performance. On top of all that, the dirt and debris starts to get past the filter and enters the engine. Once this debris is in the engine, its acts like an abrasive and wears out internal engine parts

4. Check out the overall condition of the machine - look for: lubrication points, belts/roller chains, pulley, blades, etc.

Its a lot better to catch some of this stuff sooner than later. If you can catch something wrong before it actually fails, the repairs will be minimal and you won't be left waiting for more expensive repairs to be done in the middle of the season, when you need it the most.

If you don't feel comfortable doing this inspection or service work yourself; please feel free to bring it in. Or, if you cant get the equipment to us, we are more than willing you come out and pick up your machine.
We are certified technicians that have the tools and the skills needed to repair your equipment. We are proud of our work and will look over you machine from  top to bottom, assuring you a season free of equipment failure due to improper maintenance.

Beat the spring time rush and take the time to go over your equipment today.

- Steffan

Monday, March 7, 2011

Douglas County Oregon Small Business Survey

While I am a representative FROM the small business community, I
don’t feel I have the data to be a representative OF the County's
small business community. I have put together a very short survey that
I hope you will consider helping disseminate to your contacts
throughout the County. The questions are somewhat vague, and the
opportunity to comment, while available, is somewhat limited by
character count. Please don’t read too much into this. I am merely
trying to establish what three things business owners feel stand in
the way of growing their business, and three things they feel are
helping to grow their business. I believe some if not all of the
results may require further research on my part, but if I can get
enough responses, a few are likely to migrate toward the top of the
list. I can do further research on these instead of making
assumptions, wasting my time on non-issues. This is the information I
feel I need to accurately become a representative OF small business in
the County.
        I feel it is important to have timely information to use in
representation. I also haven’t found where small business owners
specifically were separated out for their thoughts in our County to
any great degree, and beyond that, filterable to certain communities.
If you take the time to view the survey you will see the survey isn’t
focused entirely on small business owners. The community’s perspective
on these questions could be valuable also, and opportunities for their
feedback are in the survey as well. I’ve included options to separate
out by community, work status and more. All of the questions beside
the two main questions are for filtering purposes only.
        The survey very likely has room for improvement, and I would
appreciate any feedback you may have regarding ideas for future

        Thank-you for your consideration in this matter,
        -Tim Allen-

UCC SBDC; Advisory committee chairperson
Think Local Umpqua; Acting President
Local business owner
UBEA volunteer member
I also particpate with the "Lunch Bunch" and the Roseburg Area Think Tank


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Free equipment maintenance and rental equipment classes coming soon!

    We've been brainstorming some idea's to help bring more value to our customers. A thought that continually came to the top is to offer free classes on both small engine powered equipment maintenance, and how to use our rental equipment on a mock project.

    The small engine maintenace class will start by going over basic small engine maintenance, we plan to cover the following;
  • Checking and changing oil
  • Checking air filters and identify how to clean each type of serviceable filter
  • Changing spark plugs, checking spark condition and plug gap
  • Checking pull cord condition
  • We will then discuss some of the more common repairs we do in our shop.
Following the basic engine maintenance class we're going to dig into specifics around certain equipment. Our thoughts so far are;
  • Lawn mowers, both riding and walk behind.
  • Portable generators
  • Pressure washers
  • Hand held equipment including string trimmers, chain saws, blowers, and hedge trimmers.
   We're open to other idea's as well, to offer or request something particular you can comment at our facebook page for Tim Allen Equipment, call 541-672-3409, or stop by and share your thoughts.

For our rental equipment we're going to be offering classes revolving around a project. Idea's so far include;
  • A custom stone patio
  • Gardening and soil preparation
  • Trenching for landscape irrigation
  • Hard floor refinishing
  • Carpet installation
    The idea here is to help the customer guage the complexity of a project, and to get some hands on equipment familiarity on our time rather than having to learn it on your time at the project site. To comment or make a request for a project you can visit our Roseburg Rental facebook page, call 541-492-RENT (7368), or stop by and share your thoughts.

   All of these classes will be free and open to the general public. The value to the community wiill be greatest with your input, so please feel free to talk to us about these.