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Designing a Wild Home

Tree-Trimming Tips for a Safe Winter

Megan WildWinter is coming. That means big changes for the citizens of Westeros — Game of Thrones shout out! — and for your home. As a homeowner, you should have a winter preparation checklist. Along with inspecting your furnace, replacing your air filters, and cleaning out the rain gutters, you should also consider tree trimming. All it will take is one ice storm or heavy rain to turn a docile maple tree into a fierce, destructive force. Before that can happen, you should trim.

Trimming vs. Pruning

Is trimming pruning and is pruning trimming? A good way to think about the difference is that pruning is meant to protect the tree, while trimming is meant to protect your property. You can always prune dead branches, but if you're looking to reshape a tree by pruning, then you should wait until after fall. That is the time of year when the "wounding" takes a bit longer to heal. Your tree is already going through a lot by shedding all those leaves. It might be best to give it a break. As for trimming overgrowth, that can be done any time of year, but is best before the temperature drops.

home grounds land
Source: Unsplash

Survey the Situation

Before you start trimming, you need to do a thorough survey of the tree and surrounding areas. Are power lines close or running through the tree? What is the weather like on your workday? If there is any chance of rain, strong winds, or other weather issues, it would be best to postpone the trimming. You should also step back from the tree to see how your trimming might impact the aesthetic. If you're protecting your roof or a power line, how your tree will look post-trimming might not be a primary concern. You should still consider the shape you're going to leave behind with any trimming project.

Protect the Drop Zone

As you climb up to trim a tree, you won't necessarily be keeping an eye on the ground. In fact, you shouldn't. That is why it is important to cordon off your drop zone. This is the area where your falling branches will land. A curious child could walk right up underneath where you're cutting. They can be stopped if you have traffic cones or tape surrounding your drop zone.

Work With a Trimming Buddy

If elevation is involved in your tree trimming, then you would be well advised to work with a tree-trimming buddy. This is someone who can stay on the ground while you're making the cuts up above. They can keep the area clear and help steady a ladder. They will also be a huge benefit in the event something goes awry.

Pick the Right "Elevator"

A ladder is an obvious choice for tree trimming, but it might not always be the best choice. A scissor lift can provide a lot more stability for the procedure, and it can handle up to about 1,500 pounds. You'll be able to make your cuts without wobbling on a ladder. The scissor lift will also come in handy lowering those branches down to the ground.

Don't Climb With Tools

If you are climbing up the tree, you should never climb with tools in your hand. You need to focus on getting up the ladder, not juggling a chainsaw. Just tie a rope to the tool and pull it up once you get into position.

Wear Gloves and Goggles

You'll never see a professional tree trimmer without gloves and goggles. Wood chip blow-back can not only cause eye irritation, but it can also make you lose your balance. If you're going with the chainsaw, you'll also want to wear earplugs.

Trim Before Bringing Down the Entire Tree

If you're bringing down the entire tree, you should still trim the branches to minimize the impact. Despite how easy it looks on TV, you need to be 100-percent clear as to which direction your tree is going to fall before you start cutting. That also includes positioning your ladder. You should never cut below your ladder. That's just asking for trouble.

Source: Unsplash

When in Doubt, Bring in the Power Company

A tree growing close to a power line might be the reason why you're busting out the chainsaw. Can you guarantee that your trimming won't bring down that power line you're trying to protect? You should consider reaching out to your power company. They will actually come out and do the trimming for you. That might just be the safest trimming option of all!

How to Protect Your Farm

Megan WildWhether you’re brand new to homesteading or an old farmhand with years of experience, protecting your investment is a big deal. Once you’ve invested in the right piece of land, livestock, and equipment to turn your property into a self-sufficient homestead or profitable farming business, you can’t afford to lose all that hard work to theft.

To protect what’s yours from criminals who target rural areas, and to avoid falling victim to farm crime, try these important tips to keep your homestead secure:

Old reports and records
Source: Unsplash

Keep Clear Records of Your Belongings – Including Animals

To help provide accurate information to law enforcement and your insurance company, it’s crucial to keep up-to-date records of your belongings. Take pictures of your farm equipment and record the VIN and any license and registration information. You’ll also need to keep track of your livestock. Tagging is important for large animals — especially those that roam to graze — but you’ll also want to get in the habit of making a headcount for the most accurate record of your property.

Take Nighttime Precautions

You may have fallen in love with that starry country sky, but the lack of lighting on rural roads can also have its downsides. With lots of darkness to hide in, thieves can make their way onto your property unprotected, especially during a new moon or under cloud cover. Make their job harder by getting motion-detecting lights or a trusty guard dog with a loud bark, and you’ll scare away many nogoodniks before they get anywhere near your house or barn.

Fencing for homestead
Source: Pexels

Add Fencing as a Theft Deterrent

A good fence won’t just keep your animals in — it will also keep criminals out. Deterring crimes of convenience by making it difficult for thieves to get at your valuables is a good strategy. You can consider high fencing around pasture to protect livestock or around your whole perimeter for added protection. When choosing a fence, be sure to research a custom gate fit to your farm’s needs as well.

Go High-Tech

Modern technology provides a few more ways to outsmart potential thieves on your farm. You can consider adding surveillance cameras in a visible location on your farm, such as entrances and exits, plus any less-obvious gates. These cameras will act as a deterrent to make crooks think twice, and they’ll also provide valuable information to the police in the event that you do get robbed. They just might help you recover your stolen items.

Be Unpredictable

Keeping lights around your farm on variable timers can help it look like your homestead is more active than it really is. Instead of feeding your animals at the exact same time every day, vary your routine so you don’t give clever criminals a chance to track and predict your movements. Having lights in the barn, workshop, and house click on and off at different times each day will also help keep thieves guessing.

Rural farm homestead
Source: Pexels

Hide the Good Stuff

It’s important to remember that what you consider most valuable might not be what criminals are most interested in, so take a look around your homestead from a different point of view. Many thieves are looking to strip copper fittings for their high value, so replace copper pipes or keep your materials out of sight. Still, others are looking for fertilizers or other chemicals like anhydrous ammonia to cook meth.

Though it’s unlike to occur to small homesteaders, some farms are vulnerable to protesters looking to destroy GMO seed or chemical fertilizer to take an environmental stand. If you own any of these items, take extra care to keep them under lock and key at all times, and keep them out of view.

Cooperate With Police

The trouble with owning a large piece of property is that it may take time before you notice a breach in the perimeter or missing valuables or animals. If you do suspect you’ve been robbed, call the police right away, and do your best to present all the evidence, supporting photographs, and paperwork you can. You’ll also need to refrain from altering the crime scene at all, so work to corral animals elsewhere and limit access until the police arrive to help.

If you put these seven precautions into place, you’ll greatly diminish the odds of falling victim to farm crime. Life in the country is mostly peaceful and satisfying, but sometimes trouble does occur. By being aware of potential problems and working to proactively prevent them, your homestead will be a much safer place.

How To Go Green On Your Farm

Megan WildIf you follow the latest developments in homesteading and farming, you're certainly familiar with the booming popularity of eco-friendly operations and other greening trends. According to studies from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organic farms have increased their sales by 72% between 2008 and 2014.

These numbers provide a rather convincing argument in support of green and organic farming across the United States, but there are a number of factors to consider before making the conversion for yourself.

Pest Control

Groundhog in Yard
Source: Pixabay

The issue of pest control is a huge concern when planning an eco-friendly farm or homestead. Pesky critters were once regulated through toxic chemicals, some of which are equally as poisonous to the environment and ourselves as they are to the pests they’re meant to control. Green farmers and homesteaders are left to seek alternative forms of pest control.

Fortunately, plenty of organic solutions are readily available. Various types of eco-friendly soap, dormant oil, and herbs can help with insect control within a green farming operation, as can some petroleum-based products. Additionally, certain insect extracts, ground crustacean shells, and even sulfur can be used to keep pests in check naturally.

Organic pest control helps the environment in a number of ways. You can effectively divert more chemicals from the land, water, and your crops if you reduce the amount of chemical pesticides needed for your farming operation.

In some cases, however, organic pesticides simply aren't enough, especially when serious or repeat infestations are involved. As such, you might resort to a chemical pesticide or a synthetic relative after all. A number of synthetic pesticides are permitted by the USDA for use in organic farming operations.

Wastewater Diversion and Processing

According to some reports, landscaping irrigation comprises nearly half of all water consumption within the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency has recently indicated the presence of animal waste — a result of large-scale animal farming — in more than 35,000 miles of rivers throughout 22 states.

Most organic farms include their own systems for diverting, processing and storing wastewater. Also known as greywater, this can be diverted from your home's sinks, bathrooms, or laundry room for reuse on your farm. It was once a laborious task that was reserved for large businesses and industries, but now strategies in green building are used in residential homes, farms, and homesteads.

There are a number of environmental benefits to recycling and reusing wastewater. Apart from lowering your overall utility bills, you can divert water from nearby lakes and streams and help decrease the overall water consumption of our country.

Grants and Funding

Wind Farm in Field 
Source: Unsplash

Another benefit to green farming is the availability of certain grants and funding opportunities. Various federal loans are available through the USDA Farm Service Agency, as well as a number of other governmental sources. The USDA's own Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, or SARE, has already made more than 5,000 different investments in eco-friendly farming since the 1980s.  

If you’re pursuing third-party funding for your farm or homestead, it's important to understand the terms and conditions of the monies you will receive. Grants will typically be available to you with no obligation to repay, but loans are an entirely different story.

It's critical to make the distinction between a farming grant and a farming loan. If you’re pursuing a loan, it's equally important to understand interest rates, deadlines, and other nuances associated with the contract.

The benefits of government grants and loans are obvious. They provide you with a quick and easy way of establishing your green farm or homestead. But your future is at stake. You should always read any contracts in their entirety and avoid those that include high-interest rates, unreasonable payment deadlines, or other stringent regulations.

Maintaining Your Greening Effort Over a Long-Term Basis

The process of converting a traditional farm or homestead into a self-sustainable and eco-friendly operation isn't one that should be taken lightly. But with the proper framework in place, a little bit of knowledge, and a whole lot of determination, you can upgrade your property, and meet organic farming standards, and contribute to the current environmental rebirth.

How to Make Extra Money From Your Farm

Megan WildMost people have no idea what challenges face a small farm each year. Yes, they might appreciate the occasional trip to a farmer's market, where fruits and veggies always seem to be in abundant supply. That's not telling the whole story. It only takes one lousy growing season to create a downward ripple effect that can last for several years.

That is why many small farms are branching out and finding ways to make extra money from their farm. Many of these suggestions are low-cost options that can yield a decent return. Have you thought about these ways to make money from your farm?

Rent Out Rooms

There is a large swath of the "city slicker" population that would love to embrace the farm experience, even if just for a weekend. You could rent out rooms in your home through rental sites like AirBnB. That is a simple approach.

The other thought would be to go full on bed and breakfast. That would probably require a lot more time and effort, but it is worthy of consideration, especially if your farm is in an ideal setting, like near a popular tourist town or wine country. You could also consider renting rooms out to traveling students. Quick cash, and you might even get them to do some work around the place!

Campers in Field
Source: Pexels

Rent Out Fields For Campers

Campers are always looking for a fresh spot to pitch their tents. Rolling pastures could be a great place for these outdoor enthusiasts. It might help if you provide some campground staples like a fire pit and/or grill. An outdoor privy wouldn't be a bad way to go, either.

Rent Out As an Event Venue

If you've spent a lot of time, effort and money maintaining your property, then you could share it with the community as an event venue. Depending on the location and parking availability — a field will do! — there could be many companies that would enjoy throwing a company picnic on a farm.

There are also couples who might be looking for a unique spot to get married. Throw in family reunions and other outdoor events, and you could generate a decent amount of business. However, these kinds of events typically require special setups, such as lighting for a wedding. To support those events, you should consider renting generators so as not to drain on your home energy bill.

Red/Yellow Tulips in Field
Source: Pexels

Grow Flowers

There is a wide world of flora to grow that can create a positive and fragrant revenue stream. There are probably dozens of local florists who would appreciate a fresh supply of flowers. Before you start planting, visit those florists to find out what they could use the most. It won't take up much land to grow a lot of flowers.

Rent Land to a Service Company

There might be a corner of your property that would be the perfect fit for a wind turbine or huge antenna. These are the types of structures that could present a small footprint but provide a steady income with a land lease option. The higher the elevation of your property, the more attractive it would be to those companies.

Feeding a Goat
Source: Pexels

Conduct Public Tours

"Farm to table" is a concept that connects local growers with restaurants. Hopefully, you're already plugged into that network but you could also take it to the next level by flipping it around. "Table to farm" would allow groups to tour your property, for a small fee, of course. You can have a petting zoo area for school kids and sell feed for the animals. It's also a good opportunity to set up your own fresh produce stand. Throw in some baked goods, and you've got a decent business.

Rent Out to Photographers

Finally, your farm could become an amazing backdrop for a photographer. Look for "location services" in your area, and you could rent your property to photographers and the occasional movie crew. Just don't go all "Hollywood!"

No matter which option you want to explore, keep in mind that marketing will be essential. Thankfully, with Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter, you might not have a hard time creating a following.

How to Prepare Your Cabin for Winter

Megan Wild

How to Prepare Your Cabin for Winter

A gentle breeze rustles through the trees. Stars fill up the sky. An owl hoots in the stillness. Experiences at your cabin are unmatched by anything that happens at your year-round home. Unfortunately, it’s time to start thinking about preparing the cottage for the winter.

Though it’s a little sad to close up your haven, you need to be thorough. You want the cabin in great condition inside and out when you come back next year. Check out the following list for shutdown advice that’ll protect your home away from home.

Deck overlooking mountain
Photo: Pexels

Up Top

Make sure your roof is ready for winter:

• Check shingles and flashing caulk, and repair damaged areas.

• Clear the gutters.

• Trim tree branches that extend to your cabin.

Out and About

Prepare the outside of the building:

• Search for holes in soffits, door and window frames and vents. Make repairs, if necessary. Check under the cabin for holes. Block any you find with steel wool. Otherwise, you risk having critters set up house inside during the winter.

• Bring your grill indoors. Disconnect the propane tank. Store most outdoor furnishings inside. If you leave out any furniture or equipment, covering it provides protection from the elements.

• Board up any windows that are covered only by screens. Without this, animals may assume you have an open-door policy.

• Pull out your dock. Before storing it, label sections so setup is easier in the spring. If you don’t want to deal with this chore, hire professionals.

• Run any gas lawn equipment ‘til the fuel tanks are empty. Clean the machines, and then spray moving parts with a lubricant. Store the devices indoors.

• Protect your boats. Raise canoes and kayaks off the ground and secure them with chains. Drain gas-powered boats before storing.

• Clean and organize your garden or storage shed. Take inventory to see if you need to replace anything next year.

Check for any warping, twisting, or shrinkage, which is common in older or poorly-made log cabins.

• If you have a septic system, check to see if it’s time to have it pumped. If not, add a product designed to help waste decompose.

• Hire a local company to plow the driveway and sidewalks during cold-weather months. Access will be easier if there’s an emergency. The roof should be cleared if accumulation is heavy. Snow removal also helps keep your cabin from looking vacant. Empty houses attract thieves.

Photo: Pexels

Indoor Activities

• Clear everything out of the refrigerator and freezer. Clean and dry them. Put an open box of baking soda inside each. Prop the doors open slightly to let air circulate.

• Remove all food from the cabin.

• Cover mattresses and upholstered furniture with plastic to keep mice from moving in. Leave sheets of fabric softener where rodents might congregate, such as in closets or drawers and on furniture.

• Clean out your wood stove or fireplace. Close the damper vent and cover the chimney flue.

All About Water

Water systems need preparation to prevent the mess and expense of burst pipes. If you aren’t familiar with the process, you’re probably better off hiring a professional to show you the ropes. Then you can safely handle the job in the future.

• Turn off the valve that lets water into the cabin.

• Drain water from the pump, water heater and water softener.

• Open all the water faucets, and leave them open. Let all the water run out.

• Empty your well’s pressure tank.

• Flush toilets, and bail out any water left in the tanks.

• Drain all water hoses. Remember ones for the bathtub, shower, dishwasher and washing machine. Introduce specialized antifreeze — not the vehicular version! — to sinks, tubs, showers and toilet drain traps.

• Introduce specialized antifreeze — not the vehicular version! — to sinks, tubs, showers and toilet drain traps.

Anywhere and Everywhere

Not to be pessimistic or anything, but take photos of your cabin, inside and out. That way you’ll have a record in the — unlikely — event something goes wrong.

Before Heading Out

• Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on the place and let you know if anything seems amiss. Inform the local police station or sheriff’s office that you’re moving out for the season.

• Finally, before driving away, take another look at your checklist to make certain everything is done. Be sure:

• All appliances and equipment are unplugged and circuit breakers are off. Don’t forget connections to the washing machine, dishwasher and water pump, heater and softener.

• Water and heating systems are off.

• You’ve removed all garbage.

• You take any valuables with you.

• You have your keys.

• You’ve locked all doors.

Cabin swing
Photo: Unsplash

Properly preparing your cabin for the winter is time consuming … and a little sad. It also ensures the place will be in great shape when you return next year. Moving in will be easier, so you’ll be relaxing with your feet up and an iced tea in your hand much, much sooner.

How You May Be Pushing Your Farm Equipment to the Limit

Megan WildDown on the farm, there are a lot of potential problems that can cause a farmer to have a really bad day. Some of these events are out of their control, such as too much foul weather or not enough rain. Commodity prices set by Wall Street traders hundreds of miles away from the farm can have a huge impact on profits. All the farmer can do is ride out those "storms."

Then there are some issues that can put a damper on a farm day that could be totally preventable. That has to do with farm equipment use. Are you pushing your tractors to the limit? Here are some of the mistakes you might be making with your farm equipment.

Farm Machine With Hay
Source: Unsplash

Not Checking the Owner's Manual

Just as with your pickup truck, every piece of farm equipment comes with an owner's manual. Although you should keep it in a safe place to refer to, if you don’t, you can probably find it online. Beyond the basics of starting up and operating that equipment, those manuals can also provide guidance with regard to proper use. For instance, you might be using a planter with the wrong depth settings. The same can be true for a thrasher or baler.

Solution: A minor adjustment can make all the difference when it comes to grinding gears. That is a sound you never want to hear out in the field.

Running the Machine Beyond Performance Levels

Do you know how fast your tractor can ride? Despite what you might think, most farm equipment is not meant for street racing. Every machine has predetermined performance levels. Those aren't just quaint recommendations, but vital guidelines as to how "hot" you can operate that piece of equipment. To go beyond those performance levels is to invite breakdown.

Solution: Slow down while performing your equipment tasks.

Ignoring Maintenance Check-Ups

Getting a piece of heavy-duty farm machinery serviced is not as easy as rolling up in your car to your trusty mechanic. Too often, farmers will let these maintenance check-ups slide until the machine seizes up or worse.

Solution: Since you use your farm equipment on a regular schedule, it helps to set the same kind of schedule for routine maintenance check-ups. The money you spend on check-ups will come back many times over when you avoid a serious breakdown.

Skipping Parts Replacement

If there is one thing a farmer knows, it is that all things are connected. That applies to conditions for growing, and to keeping farm equipment running efficiently. Just because one thing breaks on a piece of equipment doesn't automatically mean you can replace that single part and the problem is solved.

Solution: Sometimes you need to look at the underlying cause that instigated the malfunction. That might mean replacing a few parts, but it will be money well spent.

Practicing Lousy Storage

The harvest is over. Time to put away the equipment until next year. Clearly, you'll want to secure that piece of farm equipment in a safe, dry place, but just parking it after a season of work might not be enough.

Consider the combine. This is a piece of equipment that could have bits of corn, wheat or other crops caked up in the carriage. That is going to be like a buffet for rodents during the winter. It's not a stretch to imagine those rats chewing through wiring to get at the bits of corn. They might even build a nest in there.

Solution: The better approach would be to thoroughly clean those machines before they get locked up for the winter. Two words: compressed air. If brushes or other cleaning methods aren’t getting your equipment as clean as it needs to be, use a compressor on a low setting and follow basic compressor safety practices.

Running Farm Equipment in Rain
Source: Pexels

Running in the Wet

There may come a time when the clock is running on the harvest and you can't wait for the acres to dry up. You make the call to push your equipment through the rain and mud. That is a call that could come back to haunt you. Those are the exact kinds of conditions that can put a strain on the mightiest of tractors and combines.

Solution: If you can wait a day, then it might make all the difference.

Turning a Blind Eye to Warning Signals

There are many motorists who go into a blind panic at the first appearance of the "check engine" light. That light pops on for a reason. It means something's up. Yes, you can still operate the vehicle, but you'll need to get it to a mechanic ASAP.

That same principle applies to farm equipment. Too often, a farmer will not only ignore those warning signals but also find ways to shut them off. That never fixes the problem. There could be serious mechanical wear and tear going on, which could create a dangerous situation or expensive fix.

Solution: Be preventative. Seek assistance immediately at the first sign of a problem.

All of these suggestions are meant to help make you a smarter farmer. There is always a lot going on between planting and harvesting. By getting into the routine of regular maintenance check-ups, paying attention to the warning signals, and using the equipment as it was designed, you'll be able to focus on the crops and not your machines.

5 Ways to Prevent Equipment Breakdowns

Megan WildTake a look around the garage, pole barn or shed on your property and you'll see any number of tools, farm implements and other sorts of equipment that are used on a day-to-day basis. Although some may be more vital to the operations of your homestead than others, they all have a time and place.

With that in mind, it's important that you take the necessary steps in order to prevent breakdowns and preserve your equipment for years to come.

1. Maintain Adequate Records and Documentation

Pile of documents
Photo by Fotolia/ki33

Receipts, proof of ownership and other forms of documentation that are included with your equipment should always be kept somewhere safe. You never know when you'll have to refer to that proof-of-sale or warranty card, so it's important that this information is accessible when you actually need it. If possible, you may even consider digitizing this information for long-term preservation.

Moreover, it's always a good idea to keep detailed records regarding any upgrades, repairs or even preventative maintenance you've performed on your equipment. Not only does this help you maintain a regular schedule of maintenance, but it can also be called upon to help troubleshoot and identify any future problems.

2. Preventative Maintenance and Storage

Proper preventative maintenance is critical to safeguarding your equipment from stress or damage. What exactly constitutes proper preventative maintenance depends on the specific type of equipment you’re working with, but there are a few generalities to keep in mind.

Hand and power tools, for example, should always be stored properly. Before putting your tools away for storage, however, make sure you give them a deep cleaning with a high-pressure hose or washer. Apart from aesthetic appeal, cleaning away dirt and debris can help prevent rust and other types of damage.

Equipment that features any moving parts should be shown extra attention during the preventative maintenance phase. Ensure all bolts are tightened, any hoses are leak-free and belts are free of any damage. Finally, verify any necessary fluid levels within the engine.

Furthermore, ensuring the proper storage of your farm equipment can also affect the value of your equipment when the time comes for a trade or sale. According to some studies, farm tractors that are stored indoors typically boast a trade-in value that is 10 to 15 times greater than that of comparable equipment that is permanently left outside.

3. Read Equipment Instructions or User Manual

Stack of thick books
Photo by Fotolia/279photo

Nearly every sort of self-propelled farm implement includes a user manual by default. Likewise, most powered and hand-operated tools include a set of detailed instructions regarding the safe use, proper storage and preventative maintenance techniques for ensuring the longevity of your equipment. Unfortunately, many consumers, including farmers and homesteaders, have a tendency to disregard this information altogether.

However, reading and understanding such documentation can go a long way toward preserving your equipment and avoiding accidents in the field. Moreover, some user manuals provide helpful tips and techniques to maximize your productivity in the field.

4. Pursue Training or Certification

Advanced training or certification may be available for certain machinery, especially for some heavy-duty farm implements. Courses and classes are available from a number of different resources, including schools and institutions, community co-ops and even equipment dealerships.

The costs associated with such training vary greatly from source to source and even from region to region. However, some classes, particularly those concerning operator safety, are typically made available at no cost to you.

5. Use Your Equipment Correctly

Equipment hosing a field
Photo by Fotolia/chas53

Finally, make sure you use all of your equipment in the correct manner. Mis-using tools, vehicles or equipment is not only a hazard to the equipment itself, but it can also be dangerous for you or anyone else who happens to be in the vicinity.

If you are unsure how to use a particular tool or machine, don't be afraid to delegate the task to a professional. Apart from preserving your equipment and personal safety, seeking the help of an expert can bolster productivity to levels you never even imagined.

Protecting Your Equipment for Years to Come

While all equipment is susceptible to failure or damage, there are a number of steps you can take in order to prevent machinery breakdowns, preserve the value of your hardware and ensure productivity for years to come. Although you won't be able to eliminate the risk entirely, you'll certainly be able to rest easier knowing that your equipment will be ready and waiting for you in the morning.