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BCS Tractor Introduces New Buddy Cart

This self-propelled barrow hauls up to 450 pounds and 10 cubic feet of volume with ease!

BCS, makers of quality tractors and attachments, continues to fulfill its mission to increase its customers’ productivity while reducing physical effort by introducing its latest attachment, the new Buddy Cart.                       

BCS Buddy Cart Overview

BCS’ Buddy Cart is a self-propelled barrow that hauls up to 450 pounds and 10 cubic feet of volume. The Buddy Cart makes the back-breaking chore of hauling firewood, compost, or rocks by pushing a traditional wheelbarrow a thing of the past! You will delight in how well the Buddy Cart handles in even the most uneven terrain. It’s small enough to easily store, yet large enough for just about any medium-sized hauling jobs on your property!

The Buddy Cart makes the back-breaking chore of hauling firewood, compost, or rocks by pushing a traditional wheelbarrow a thing of the past. You will delight in how well the Buddy Cart handles in even the most uneven terrain. It’s small enough to easily store, yet large enough for just about any medium-sized hauling jobs on your property.

BCS Buddy Cart Features

The BCS Buddy Cart attaches to BCS tractor models 722 and up. You simply attach it to the PTO connection point. This barrow is compact in size. It was intentionally designed to easily fit through any common 36” inch fence gate. Actual measurements are 33.5” wide, 72” long (including tongue) and 27” high. You will appreciate the fact that while the payload allows for carrying up to 450 pounds or 10 feet of volume, it won’t take up much storage space.

The Buddy Cart is practically weather-proof, so forget about problems with rusting. The tub is made of rustproof poly and the tongue is powder paint-coated. Special attention was given to making the Buddy Cart flexible enough to navigate even the most uneven terrain. For instance, the frame of the cart has a low center of gravity. This is an important design feature, making it less prone to tipping on hillsides or uneven ground.

BCS knows any barrow has to both steer and dump with ease while carrying a heavy load. The specially engineered tongue of the Buddy Cart ensures both maneuverability and dumping is a breeze. Steering is feather-light because the pivot point is located on the tongue near the PTO connection point. The pivot point even allows for the hitch to be repositioned to allow for larger wheel sizes if desired.

When it comes to dumping, we’ve made it easy. A dump lever located on the tongue activates the cart to tilt, dumping the load effortlessly. In fact, attaching a rope through a hole in the lever lets the operator activate the dump from a standing position.

The Buddy Cart is designed with flexibility in mind.  We know you will enjoy using your Buddy Cart frequently as you collect yard debris, tote mulch, or haul just about anything else you might need to enhance your outdoor space. We made the cart attachable to the tractor in either “rear-mount” position or “front-mount” position. Switching from one mount to the other is achieved by simply rotating the BCS handlebars and offsetting the handlebars to the left or right. Most owners seem to prefer placing the handlebars in “rear-mount” mode since that facilitates reaching the cart without having to walk around the front of the tractor.

You will find the Buddy Cart extremely versatile and fun to use. Chores that previously were hard work will become a cinch when you use your “buddy.”

Ida Supply is proud to be your local Canada BCS dealer for the new BCS Buddy Cart. Their line of two-wheel tractors and attachments are the preferred choice of gardeners, farmers, and nurseries everywhere.

Give us a call or browse the BCS Tractor Catalog for more information.

Tips for Cutting Firewood This Winter

tips for cutting firewood

tips for cutting firewoodWith the arrival of cold weather, it’s time to think about cutting and stacking firewood. It’s a rewarding job! There’s no better way to spend a cold night than lounging in front of a warm fireplace or wood stove. Whether it’s your first time stacking a woodpile or you just want a refresher course on proper splitting technique, we at Ida Supply would like to offer a few tips for tips for cutting firewood.

Proper protective gear

When cutting wood, you need to wear protective apparel such as chaps, hearing protection, and gloves. Cold wood can splinter, so protect your head with a helmet and always wear eye protection! Winter pants are available which are made of a material that is cut-retardant, yet resistant to moisture. They are a great way to protect your legs 

Maintaining Your Chainsaw in Winter

As the largest STIHL dealer in the interior of British Columbia, our highly trained, experienced technicians are ready and willing to acquaint you with the best ways to maintain your chainsaw through the winter months. We offer these suggestions for STIHL chainsaw owners:

  • If the temperature is below 40° F, be sure to switch the winter/summer shutter on the saw to “winter” to activate the pre-heater system.
  • Be sure to keep the sprocket cover clean of freezing sawdust and oil.
  • Clean the chain brake more often.
  • Remove snow around the fuel tank opening before refueling. You don’t want moisture to get into the fuel.
  • Keep the anti-vibration system free from snow and ice.
  • Wipe away any snow, ice, or water droplets from around the throttle trigger and throttle trigger interlock to ensure they remain operational.
  • Keep the cooling air intake clean and free from snow, ice, sawdust, and even bulky winter clothing to prevent your engine from overheating.
  • Keep all other risk-reducing features and control mechanisms on your chainsaw clean of snow, ice, and sawdust 

Selecting, Splitting, and Stacking Firewood

When selecting wood, remember the three “R”’s; buy the right wood at the right time in the right amount. Wood types fall into the soft woods or hardwood categories. Hardwood burns hotter and cleaner, leaving less creosote residue behind. It’s going to be cheaper to buy your wood supply in the spring or summer. Make sure the wood has been “seasoned,” meaning it has dried for at least 6 months to ensure optimal burn. Wood is usually sold by the cord (8’ long x 4’ high x 4’ deep). Smaller amounts are sold by the “face cord” or “rick” which is about 1/3 of a cord

Splitting wood is a two-step process of first measuring to cut the desired length (called a round), then splitting the wood using an axe or a splitting wedge for larger pieces. Be aware that the ground might be frozen and slippery. Always ensure you have solid footing with good traction before swinging an axe!

Stacking firewood can be done using a pre-built wood rack or simply stacking on the ground.  If doing the latter, be sure the ground is level and dry and has proper drainage so water will not pool around the wood. Ideally, place a base of treated two-by-fours under your pile to elevate it off the ground. Cover the woodpile with a tarp.

Ida Supply technicians are ready to answer any question you might have related to firewood and the equipment needed as you prepare for Ol’ Man Winter. Give us a call or stop in and let us put our 45 years of experience to work for you.


5 Last-minute Gift Ideas for the Do-it-Yourself Homeowner on Your Holiday Shopping List

Santa with tool belt

This holiday season, Ida Supply wants to thank all our customers for their continued patronage.

It’s your loyalty over the last 45 years that has made us the largest STIHL dealer in the interior of British Columbia. We would like to remind everyone that when you shop at a local business this holiday season, you also give back to your community in surprising ways.

As your locally-owned power equipment store, your business helps support the local community. Ida Supply is an active sponsor of local outdoor clubs including the Barrier Outdoor Club, local kid’s softball leagues, and the annual Pumpkin Run.

During this holiday season, Ida Supply has lots of last-minute gift ideas perfect for anyone’s holiday shopping list. And, if that list includes one or more do-it-yourself homeowners who are outdoor power equipment enthusiasts, consider a gift from STIHL. It’s a brand that’s guaranteed to bring a smile! From chainsaws, blowers and trimmers to quality accessories and apparel, there’s a STIHL gift for almost every home and budget. Are you ready to give the gift of STIHL? Check out these five gift ideas from Ida Supply:

Chainsaws   When you think of chainsaws, you think of STIHL! Customers everywhere say the same thing… “The best chainsaw made.”  Stihl’s chainsaws are known for their high performance, dependability, ease of starting, and ease of operation and maintenance.

Blowers and Shredder Vacs – Your landscape, your rules. Keep leaves, clippings and other yard debris under control with STIHL handheld blowers, backpack blowers, or shredder vacs. Each model is designed for efficiency, ease of use and exceptional power. Whether you maintain a small urban lot or acres of land, there’s a STIHL handheld or backpack blower ready to exceed your expectations.

Trimmers and Brushcutters – STIHL trimmers and brushcutters are made for those who truly appreciate a well-groomed landscape. If you’re like us, there’s nothing more satisfying than the sound of a whirring trimmer line and the smell of freshly cut grass. Spring will be here before you know it—make sure that the do-it-yourselfer on your list is ready!

Battery-powered equipment – It’s the power you need without the hassle! STIHL battery-powered equipment combine power, portability, and cordless convenience – all in an environmentally conscious package. Both homeowners and professionals appreciate their instant starting, quiet operation, and lightweight portability. The only thing missing is the fuel cost—and we’re sure you’re not sorry to see that go.

Stocking Stuffers – STIHL offers great stocking stuffer ideas.

  • Caps – Our caps include a great selection of materials and styles. From mesh-back to structured twill material – camouflage to designer accents, you’re sure to find the hat that will best suit anyone on your list.
  • Hand tools – STIHL Precision Series™ hand tools don’t run on gasoline, electricity or wishful thinking. They’re hand-powered.
  • Protective and Work Wear – STIHL offers a full line of protective apparel and work wear that works as hard as you do. From dense forests to urban sprawl, our apparel is designed to help keep you safe and stand up to tough working conditions.

This holiday season, forget the big-box retailers.  Only locally-owned businesses like Ida Supply have the line of quality products like STIHL that are perfect for your gift list. And, don’t forget the gift certificates available for purchase! They’re sure to please even the most discriminating person on that list.

Ida Supply Holiday Sale

Holiday Sale

If there’s a do-it-yourself type on your holiday gift list this season, then look no further than Ida Supply!  We have great deals on power tools, accessories, clothing, and much more.  Not only that, but everything in the store is on sale up until December 16th!  All you have to do is mention the secret coupon code HOHO2016 when you come in to the store, and we’ll give you 15% off any full price item.

Holiday Sale

Not sure what to get the tool lover on your list?  Talk to the experts at Ida Supply for great gift ideas, or visit the STIHL website to browse their full product catalog for inspiration.

How to Winterize Your Lawn Mower

winterize your lawn mower

You’ve probably mowed for the last time this season, and you’re ready to winterize your lawn mower. How can you ensure that your mower will be primed and ready to use next spring? Proper winterization will keep your mower running like new for years to come.

Clean the Mower

A thorough cleaning is the best place to start when you winterize your lawn mower. Before you start this task, remove the mower’s spark plugs and dispose of them. This will prevent the mower from starting accidentally as you clean it or throughout the winter.

  • Sweep the top of the mower, removing any debris such as leaves, grass, or sticks. Take the grass bag off and hose it out, and then allow it to dry completely prior to reattaching it.
  • Conduct a thorough inspection of the mower, including the belts, hangers and the deck for wear and tear. If something looks like it’s due to be replaced, you can replace it at some point during the winter so that you’ll be ready for the spring.
  • After you’ve removed the deck, you can then remove and sharpen the blades. Mowing with a dulled mower blade can be detrimental to your grass. If you’re not up to the task yourself, you can take them to a professional. Additionally, remove any rust from the blades, to lengthen their life and usefulness.
  • Remove and inspect the air filter, and clean it or replace it as necessary. Again, taking care of this now will be one less thing for you to do in the spring. Removing the clogs or dirt from the air filter will prevent engine damage.

Detail the Engine

Now that you’ve got the removable pieces cleaned, it’s time to turn your attention to the internal processes of your mower.

  • Drain the oil tank, as it could freeze, too. Frozen oil, like gas, will thaw with lots of condensation and it can cause the motor to stick when you try to start the mower in the spring if the mower starts at all. Start the spring with fresh oil, and you’ll be ready to roll. Change the oil filter as well.
  • Take out the battery. After you remove the cables from their terminals, you should gently scrub the connectors and the terminal posts with some steel wool; you can eliminate all corrosion with a couple of teaspoons of a high-quality battery cleaner. Once you’ve got it thoroughly cleaned, charge it to its full capacity, and then you should store it outside of the mower in a place that is far from heat or flame, and that’s warm and dry.

Once you’ve completed winterizing your lawn mower, you should find a cool, dry place to store it for the duration of the season. A shed or a garage is ideal, but be sure that the mower isn’t near any appliance with a pilot light, such as a furnace or a water heater.

Now that you’ve completed the steps required to winterize your lawn mower, you should be able to get it running in the spring with just a few minor adjustments.

Snow Blower Maintenance

snow blower maintenance

Winter is on the way, and in many places, snow will be falling well before it’s official entry on December 21st. Performing proper snow blower maintenance will save you time and money, and you’ll have it at the ready when you actually need it.

Preparing Your Snow Blower For First Use of the Season

Before you use your snow blower, you should take a few vital steps to be sure that it’s ready to operate at peak performance. (Note: Be sure to read your owner’s manual prior to performing maintenance. This will save you a lot of time!)

  • Inspect Belts — Remove the belt cover from your snow blower, and inspect the belt for visible signs of wear and tear. If you see that the belt is in bad shape, replace it. (Pro tip: Take a photo of how the belt is attached prior to removing it; this will help you remember how to place the new belt.) As you used your snow blower throughout the previous season, the belts stretched, so even if you don’t need to replace them, you should tighten them to ensure that they’re working properly.
  • Change the Oil — It’s likely that sitting still for the previous months hasn’t done your snow blower’s engine any favors. Check the oil level, and if there’s enough there, start the snow blower and allow it to warm up.  Letting it run for a bit will help the oil liquefy, and it will shake loose any dirt or impurities within the actual oil pan that need to be flushed out.  Once you’ve completed this step, unplug the oil plug and drain the old oil out completely, and then replace the plug tightly. Finally, add the new oil, and inspect the drain plug for leaks.
  • Check the Fuel — Prior to starting the snow blower for the first time, check the fuel tank. If you’re running low, be sure to add the fuel before you start the engine, or else wait at least two minutes after turning the machine off. The engine should be completely cool before you add gas to the tank. Hopefully, if there is still gasoline in the snow blower’s tank, you utilized a fuel stabilizer prior to storing it the previous spring; failure to do so could result in damaging gum deposits and acids.
  • Check the Spark Plugs — If you carefully cleaned the spark plugs before you put the snow blower into storage, they’re probably ready to roll. If you didn’t, take a minute to look them over. Check them for visible damage or deposits; if you see any, replace them, taking special care not to over-tighten them.

In-Season Snow Blower Maintenance

You’ve taken such care to get your snow blower ready for the season; you should continue to maintain it throughout the winter to keep it in top shape. Here are our top tips for maintaining your snow blower throughout the winter.

  • High-Octane Fuel — When you purchase fuel for your snow blower, spring for the high-octane variety. Additionally, you should treat the fuel with an ethanol fuel stabilizer if you’re not utilizing ethanol-free fuel.
  • Shear Bolts/Pins — If your machine has shear bolts/pins, you should check them before each use for tightness; if one should loosen, you’re more likely to break it off.
  • Skid Shoes/Plates — Check your skid shoes/plates or scraper bars for wear and tear before each use. Adjust them as needed, or replace them if you deem them too far gone for another use.
  • Run Your Machine — After you’ve used the machine, allow it to run for a few minutes longer. This will prevent freezing of the impeller and/or auger, and it will clear out any snow or debris. A clean machine is a happy machine, and one that will last you many seasons to come.
  • Tire Pressure — Prior to using your machine, check the tire pressure. Add air as needed to maintain the required pressure.

If despite your careful snow blower maintenance, your snow blower isn’t going to make it for another season, or if you’re ready for an upgrade, visit Ida Supply for 10% off a Simplicity Snow Blower.

Save 10% on Simplicity Snow Blowers at Ida Supply

Simplicity Snow Blower
Simplicity Snow Blower

Save 10% on Simplicity Snow Blowers up until the first snowfall of the season!

Simplicity Snow BlowersIda Supply is your go-to supplier for Simplicity Snow Blowers in Kamloops for the winter of 2016-2017, and up until the first snowfall of the season we’re offering them at 10% off!

Simplicity Snow Blowers provide powerful and efficient snow removal despite their compact size and light weight.  Features include:

  • Push-button electric start motor
  • A quick-adjust deflector handle
  • Chute-mounted rotation handle
  • 30-ft throwing distance

Stop by Ida Supply and mention this internet-only special to get your 10% discount!

Ida Supply and the Kamloops Pumpkin Run

kamloops pumpkin run

For many years, Ida Supply has been a proud sponsor of the Kamloops Pumpkin Run, an annual event put on by the Kamloops Street Rod Association.

About 50 or so cars leave Kamloops and head towards Grinrod, BC.  Along the way, they pick up other cars who want to join the caravan.  Yet more vehicles arrive from the Okanagan with about a total of 200 plus cars showing up.

For this year’s event, three members of the extended Ida Supply family participated, along with their classic cars.

Pictured below, from left to right, are a 1965 Corvette owned by Ken Barry (owner of Ida Supply) and driven by his nephew Shawn Barry, a 1978 Mini Cooper S owned and driven by Ken, and a 1966 Chevelle owned and driven by Keith Barry.

Kamloops Pumpkin Run

One of the ways that Ida Supply supports the event is by donating equipment for a benefit auction.  This year, we donated the STIHL blower pictured below.  Somehow, a classic piece of outdoor power equipment just seems to fit with all the classic cars pictured in the background.  After all, Andreas Stihl designed and hand built the first chain saw in 1926.  Surely he would appreciate the fact that equipment from a company bearing his name is being used to support an association dedicated to preserving other well-designed machines?

kamloops pumpkin run

How to Sharpen a Chain Saw Properly

How to Sharpen a Chain Saw

How to Sharpen a Chain SawLike any cutting tool a chainsaw needs to be kept sharp if it is to work effectively. A dull chainsaw requires more effort to cut through anything properly, and in some cases this can become a safety issue when you have to really work to force a dull chain through a heavy piece of wood.

Learning how to sharpen a chainsaw is relatively easy, but you still need to have the proper tools and technique to make sure that you have an effective and functional saw when you’re finished with the job. Here are the essential steps that you need to know when you sharpen your saw’s chain.

Selecting the Right File

Your first step in sharpening a chainsaw is making sure you’re using the right file for the saw. There are several types of files on the market that could suit your needs, but the best way to make sure you have the right file is to purchase something like the 2 in 1 filing guide from STIHL. This filing system comes with practically everything you will need to sharpen your chainsaw.

To determine the right size of round file you will need, look at the code digit for the chain pitch. This can be found on the outboard side of the depth gauge. If you aren’t sure what this code refers to, your filing guide should help you determine the pitch based on the number.

It’s very important that you only use special chainsaw sharpening files for your chainsaw. Using an all-purpose file or any other tool could damage your saw and prevent you from having a sharp chain.

Holding the File

To sharpen your chainsaw, hold the file firmly by the handle in one hand and guide the file across the cutter with your other hand. You should be using a firm and smooth forward stroke for best results. Start with the master cutter, and position your file so that it applies pressure evenly as you move it from the inside to the outside of the cutter.

As you file your saw, hold the file at a right angle to the guide bar, and rotate the file regularly to prevent one-sided wear. Also remember that the file will only sharpen the blades on a forward stroke. STIHL chainsaw blades are usually sharpened to a 30 degree angle, which is parallel to the surface mark of the filing angle.

Checking Your Results

If you’ve followed the directions about how to sharpen a chain saw closely, you should have a sharp chainsaw blade that can cut cleanly and smoothly through just about every type of wood. It’s still worth your time to check the results of your filing, however. To do this, simply look closely at the cutting edge. The cutter’s edge should be uniformly bright and clean if it is sharp. If you notice any dark spots on the edge, it isn’t sharp enough. Continue to file the cutter until you achieve the proper results. The cutters should also be filed to the same length as the master cutter.

Other Tips

To make sure that you are filing the cutting edge evenly, mark the cutter with a felt tip pen before sharpening. After you make a few strokes with your file, check the mark to see if it is coming off. If it is disappearing as you are filing away the surface, you know you are using the proper technique. You should also use the same number of strokes for each cutter to make sure you are filing them all to the same length. Count the number of strokes you are using for the main cutter, and match it when you move onto the other edges.

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