Archives For Howard Brothers Blog

We’ve been a Big Green Egg dealer for over 3 years now.  This is the first time that we have been able to offer something like this. We’ve mentioned how the new True Value Credit Card makes purchases with us easier. Back then the deal was 0% interest for 6 months on purchases $299 and up… but from now until the end of August, 2013, you can get 0% interest for 12 months on purchases $699 and up!

So let me walk you through this.

You’ve wanted a Big Green Egg Combo package.

Maybe this one… of course you’ll have to add a few extra eggcessories to get it up to $699.

Big Green Egg Small Combo

Big Green Egg Small Combo

Or this one.

Big Green Egg - Medium Combo

Big Green Egg – Medium Combo

Perhaps this one.

Big Green Egg - Large Combo

Big Green Egg – Large Combo

Maybe even this one.

Big Green Egg - XL Combo

Big Green Egg – XL Combo

But you’ve also had your eye on this one.

Big Green Egg - Large Table Combo

Big Green Egg – Large Table Combo

You know that these prices aren’t gonna last long (they are subject to change), but you just don’t have the cash to make it happen right now. With this offer, you can go ahead and pick it up today and make payments for the next year and pay no interest as long as you pay off the card on time.

You’ll not only be cooking tonight on the grill, but you’ll earn on future purchases with the card. You can get 3% back on purchases made at any True Value, you’ll earn 2% on gas and groceries, and you’ll earn 1% on all other purchases. Check it out for more information.

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This offer is only good July 1 – August 31, 2013.

Come into either our Duluth or Oakwood store and let us know that you’re interested in applying for a True Value Discover Card today.

By the way, this card can be used on anything in the store that is $699 and up. Lawn Mowers, 2 cycle STIHL equipment, Honda Generators… Think about the options.

See you soon.

180 gallons of propane each time this guy comes in.

You’ve got your small group from church over and have 16 hamburgers on the grill and have the hotdogs on a plate ready to go as soon as the burgers are ready, and all of the sudden the flame goes out. Panic ensues. You immediately realize that your wife told you that you needed to make sure that there was enough propane in the tank, but you assured her that there was plenty of LP in the 20lb propane tank.

You were wrong.

These days it seems like you can exchange your empty propane tank just about anywhere. Gas stations, supermarkets, drugstores… they all seem to be getting in on the action of propane tank exchange. And for homeowners, this seems like the best solution for your gas/propane needs. Exchage service does make it quick and easy to get back to your grill, but are you really getting the most for your money?

The biggest issue with exchanging propane tanks is that you probably are not getting a full tank. Most cages will say that the tanks are filled to 15lbs. Standard “Gas Grill” propane tanks hold 20lbs. They tell you that the reason they only fill to 15lbs is for safety reasons. If that is the case, then why have the tanks always been safe at 20lbs. There is still about 20% space left for expansion at 20lbs.

Not only that… a few years ago the government changed some of the regulations and safety features on propane tanks that require a specific type of valve that ensures that overfilling is not possible. It shuts off if you try to overfill.

OK, but even with 15lbs, that isn’t THAT bad. We’re still getting 3/4 of a tank each time. Right?

Well, MOST people don’t wait until the tank is absolutely empty to go get it exchanged. In fact, most people will refill or exchange when there is about 5lbs left in the tank.

See where I’m going. You paid for 20 but got 15 and then you used 10 before you decide it is time to go back and buy 20 again…

The Math Don’t Add Up!

From our stand point, we fill your tank every time. Our trained employees will inspect your tank and make sure that it is still safe to use. Propane tanks are certified for 12 years. Even if it looks brand new, if the tank has gone past the date stamped on the neck of the tank, we will be unable to refill it. At that point, we DO recommend taking the tank to an excahange facility and exchange it out for one that you can have refilled. Try to find the newest one you can and then come back to us when it is time to have it refilled.

This whole article has focused on “gas grill” propane tanks, but being a refilling station, we also refill any size propane tank. We refill the 33lb “forklift” propane tanks (these tanks are actually being used on some commercial lawn mowers and tractors now… we get some of those customers.) We also fill RVs or Campers. We refill propane for roofing and asphalt companies who use the big tanks on their trucks.

Refilling propane is still very much needed. Can you imagine this guy having to go and exchange his two 100 gallon propane tanks everytime he needed a refill? That would be rediculous.

This is why we still fill propane at our Doraville, Duluth and Oakwood stores.

180 gallons of propane each time this guy comes in.

180 gallons of propane each time this guy comes in.

 

 

scag-logo

Yesterday, we had an opportunity to take a look at some of the new products that will literally be “sweeping the streets” later this fall.

We’re definitely interested in this merger because it strengthens both brands, but also ensures that our customers who have purchased Giant-Vac products from us in the past, continue to receive the parts and service that they need to keep their equipment running.

Scag Giant-Vac Tease Picture

Scag Giant-Vac Tease Picture

These new products look pretty exciting.

The Leaf & Debris management products are being teased by Scag Giant-Vac on their website. You still can’t click on any of the links in the navigation to get more information, but that will likely change soon. Looks like they will continue to carry:

  • Walk behind street blowers
  • Field/brush mowers
  • Yard vacuums
  • Surface vacuums
  • Truck loaders
  • Industrial debris loaders

And while I have some great pictures from some of the sample pieces that we saw yesterday at our store… I mean, I really would love to show them off… I’m sure that I’d get in trouble if I showed them off before…

(psst. don’t let anyone know that I’m showing you this… but here is one pic that I snapped from the “tow and show.”

scag-logo

 

Are you interested in Scag Giant-Vac Debris Products? Do you want to receive more information about them as soon as they hit the streets? Want to see or demo one of the products as soon as they’re out? Fill out the form below, and we’ll be sure to move you up to the front of the line.

Scag Giant-Vac Leaf & Debris Management

I am interested in the new products from Scag Giant-Vac and am interested in more information and possibly a demo. Please let me know as soon as they are out.

Scag Giant-vac manufactures leaf and debris management equipment. High performance, commercial grade blowers and vacuum systems for the landscape maintenance professional.

 

 

RED Onboard Intelligence from Exmark

 

Our customers are incredible. Thanks to online resources and even some print publications, our customers are more educated and more knowledgable about our products than ever before. There has been a lot of interest in the RED technology and Electronic Fuel Injection that is built into the Exmark Lazer X-Series mowers. Check out this video.

 

EFI with E-Gov and RED takes Exmark mowers to a new level. Electronic Fuel Injection with electronic governor and Exmark’s exclusive, new RED on-board intelligence platform debut on 2013 Lazer X-Series mowers powered by Kohler EFI engines. Mechanical governors use a spring that’s slow to respond to engine loads. To compensate, operators typically run engines at high RPM to maintain blade speed regardless of load, which increases fuel consumption and engine wear. EFI with E-Gov basically eliminates governor droop, maintaining engine RPM and blade speed under varying conditions. This improves fuel efficiency up to 25% without reducing cut quality.

Fuel efficiency is so important to our commecial landscape customers and Exmark has done a great job addressing this concern.

But there are other great features that are made possible with the RED technology.

  • System Monitoring Red tracks engine temperature and oil pressure. It places the machine in “safe transport” mode when critical thresholds are exceeded—allowing safe return for servicing.
  • Clutch Saver Clutch life is extended by engaging at 2750 RPM and disengaging at 2500 RPM, regardless of throttle position. This improves operator efficiency by enabling “on the fly” PTO engage/disengagement.
RED Onboard Intelligence from Exmark

RED Onboard Intelligence from Exmark

White Mountain Ice Cream Freezers Atlanta

I was reminded this past weekend that it is National Ice Cream month. Really.  Back in 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated the month of July as National Ice Cream month. He also third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day. I imagine that this is just one of the many things that causes people all over the world to look at America and shake their head.

Continue Reading…

Bag or Mulch?

We get all types of questions from folks who are looking to get new lawn equipment. You can quickly tell those who have ‘been there and done that’, and those who are perhaps brand new, first time home owners. Either way, when they come into one of our stores and see the selection of products within a particular category, we know that there will be some questions that almost everyone asks.

Bag or Mulch?

Bag or Mulch?

When it comes to mowing the lawn, one of those questions is: what do I do with the grass clippings?

  • Should you collect them in a bag?
  • Rake them up afterwards?
  • Leave them on the lawn to become mulch?

Some people swear by bagging and others say mulching is gospel. In actuality there are reasons for both.

Sometimes clippings should be bagged and not left on the lawn after mowing. For example, if your grass has been allowed to grow unusually high, or if mowed when the lawn is wet, then it is best to bag the clippings or rake them up afterwards. The reason for this is an overabundance of clippings or wet clippings will bunch together and create thick clumps that can smother patches of healthy grass. If your lawn has mold, fungus, weeds, or diseased grass, then the clippings should also be bagged to prevent potential spread.

However, while many people prefer to always bag the grass clippings, and many mowers come equipped with the tools to bag clippings as you cut, this is not always the best practice to achieve a healthy lawn.

A well kept lawn can benefit greatly from the grass clippings being left on the lawn, instead of being bagged. This practice is often referred to as mulching. For the health of the lawn and the best success with mulching, only the top third of the grass should be clipped off when mowing. This top part of the blade is mostly water and is filled with essential nutrients, such as nitrogen and potassium. When these short clippings are allowed to remain on the grass after mowing, they fall back into the lawn and quickly decompose into the soil, releasing their moisture and acting as a natural fertilizer. Mulching the grass clippings can provide a sort of sun block for the roots of your lawn and can also help keep the lawn from drying out during the hottest summer months of July and August.

But what about thatch?

The belief is that clippings left on the lawn contribute to the growth of lawn thatch. This is untrue as lawn thatch is actually caused by grass stems and roots that become intertwined and create a layer of living thatch that can prevent water and nutrients from properly reaching the soil. Lawn thatch is usually caused by overwatering and over fertilizing and can actually be reduced by mulching, since mulching encourages the presence of earthworms and microorganisms that keep soil healthy and prevents the development of lawn thatch.

In short, there are benefits to both bagging and mulching. The best thing you can do is get on a regular schedule for maintaining your lawn. For more information on best practices when it comes to grass clippings, visit your local Howard Brothers store where our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help with any questions you may have.

Bermuda grass is typically the kind used on the rolling hills of golf courses or those perfectly green lawns that makes most Georgians envious. With proper care and maintenance, this sturdy grass flourishes, even in the heat and inconsistent moisture (I guess we can say that this year has been anything but inconsistent) that is typical of Georgia summers. One of the most important steps in caring for a Bermuda grass lawn is aeration.

During the year, the soil of Georgia lawns, which are often heavy with clay deposits, become packed down by mowers, pets, and human traffic and baked hard by the intense summer heat. This gives the soil a brick-like quality and makes it difficult to have that perfect green lawn that we all want. The solution to this problem is aerating.

You may have noticed some of your neighbors rolling machines over their lawns that leave little dirt plugs everywhere. This is aerating. A good aeration machine will have hollow tines that pull out small cores of soil throughout the lawn. This will loosen up the soil, making room for grass roots to spread out and take hold and allowing easier access for water and fertilizer to soak into the soil and nourish your lawn.

The best time to aerate your is now, especially if you live in and around Atlanta. In early to mid summer Bermuda grass is actively growing and will greatly benefit from the added advantage that a well aerated lawn provides. In early summer the ground is softer, which means an aeration machine will easily perforate the lawn for maximum effectiveness. Aeration should be done about once a year. Without it the soil can quickly become too packed for even the toughest variations of grass to grow with any kind of real success.

After aerating, the lawn should be treated with a high quality fertilizer and watered well. If the lawn is in need of additional grass seeds, after aeration is the perfect time to do so. This will ensure that the grass has the best possible chance to take full advantage of the aeration. There will be little dirt plugs over the lawn after aeration. These can be cleared away by raking them into a pile for compost, or letting them first dry for a day or two, and then dragging a section of chain-link fence over the lawn to break them up. They can also simply be left to decompose and return to the lawn on their own which takes about 2 to 4 weeks.

Most homeowners will rent push aerators to use on their property. These are heavy machines that aren’t complicated to operate once you learn some of the basics. Other folks choose to contract with a reputable commercial landscape company to have the aerating done.

Perhaps if you do contract with one of those Atlanta Landscapers, you’ll see them use the Exmark Stand On Aerator that they bought from Howard Brothers!

This is a guest post by Sarah McIntosh, Project Coordinator, Independent We Stand

July 4th is right around the corner, and what better way to celebrate America’s independence than by supporting the independent businesses that make up the backbone of our country’s economy. Whether you need the freshest produce for your backyard cookout or the perfect assortment of red, white, and blue decorations for your home, there’s a locally owned business that has exactly what you’re looking for.

By shopping at local businesses, your money will directly help improve your community.  For every square foot that a local firm occupies, the local economy gains $179, whereas national chain stores contribute only $105 per square foot.* This is because small business owners are members of the local community, rather than distant corporations.  Small business owners also contribute to the community in other ways, like supporting youth sports teams and hosting free events.  You may even see your favorite small business owner walking in your town’s Fourth of July parade!

This Fourth of July, as we remember the entrepreneurship and innovation that our country was founded on, why not celebrate the small businesses that continue to represent entrepreneurship and independence in our society?  Stop by your favorite local business, or find a new one with Independent We Stand’s local business search or free mobile app, to turn this Independence Day into Independent’s Day!

Independent We Stand is a movement of locally owned businesses and people across the country dedicated to educating their communities about the importance of ‘buying local’.  STIHL Inc. sponsors this movement to support their independent dealers across the United States and to reinvigorate the economy from the ground up. Chrysler Group LLC has signed on as a co-sponsor of Independent We Stand in support of its network of independent BusinessLink dealers. Also joining the movement as a sponsor is Devoe Paint, America’s paint brand since 1754, which is only sold through independent dealers.

Independent We Stand offers a free business listing and a wealth of advertising materials to its members.  If you want to list your business and educate your customers about the importance of buying local, join today – it’s free!

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* Source: Civic Economics – 2004 Andersonville Study of Retail Economics