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Since 1949

Shipton’s Big R is locally owned and managed, influencing our efforts to stay rooted in the community that has supported us since 1949. Our commitment to our community forms the solid foundation from which we do business to this day.

Throughout the year, we proudly host in-store events, sponsor local groups, contribute to local causes and of course, generously providing knowledge, expertise and exceptional customer service.

Shipton's Big R Blog

Nov 29, 2021

Winterizing Your Vehicle

Winterizing Your Vehicle

November 29, 2021

Don't get caught off guard with pesky and preventable car troubles this winter! Whether your vehicle runs on gas or diesel, it is important to be aware of potential cold weather issues. Read on for some tips on how to keep your vehicle performing well in the winter months!

Diesel Engines

One of the most common problems faced by diesel vehicle owners in the cold months are diesel gelling and startup issues. Diesel fuel must pass through a filter to strain out any impurities and water before entering the engine. The hydrocarbon makeup of the paraffin wax found in no. 2 diesel fuel is liquid under normal conditions, but starts to solidify and bind into crystals at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. When this happens, the fuel becomes thick and gelatinous, making it difficult to pass through the filter. Known as the cloud point due to the white hazy appearance of the wax crystals, diesel fuel will start to gel and solidify at 14 degrees Fahrenheit. While you can’t change the cloud point, there are ways to prevent your filter from plugging in the cold.

When caught off guard in particularly harsh conditions, it can be a good idea to keep your engine idling when possible, as it will prevent fuel from cooling and gelling. When cold starting your diesel vehicle, check the dipstick to see if the engine oil is fluid. If it is completely solid, attempting to start the vehicle could damage the engine. An external heat source such as a blow heater can help return the oil to a liquid state. It is important to keep additives and fuel treatments on hand in your vehicle in the winter months as many anti-gels will work even if your fuel has completely gelled. Just pour the additive into your fuel tank according to the product instructions and let it do its job.

Diesel fuel anti-gel - This fuel additive will enhance cold temperature performance by preventing paraffin wax from clogging lines at temperatures below freezing. The chemical works to dissolve bonds in the wax and break up crystals into smaller parts, allowing them to pass through the filter smoothly. Anti-gel will also mitigate filter freeze-ups in the fuel lines due to accumulation of water, and decrease wear between metal parts through increased lubricity. Cold flow improver is generally effective down to around zero degrees Fahrenheit. As temperatures drop below zero, along with continuing to use a cold flow improver, you will want to gradually transition to a mix of no. 2 diesel and no. 1, which is paraffin wax-free. If you find yourself in temperatures below -30 degrees Fahrenheit, use straight no.1 diesel without the no. 2.

Diesel Fuel & Tank Cleaner - A fuel and tank cleaner will remove water and slime, and disperse fuel contaminants. Since diesel absorbs water and grows bacteria and algae more readily than gas, a fuel and tank cleaner can help by bonding with water particles, stopping bacterial growth, and prevent clogged filters and injectors. In addition, it stabilizes fuel for long-term storage to keep your fuel fresh. This makes it particularly ideal for vehicles or RVs that sit for much of the winter. Fuel and tank cleaner can be used quarterly or as needed.

Gas Engines

Fuel Stabilizer - Fuel stabilizer can prevent deterioration and separation of fuel in any gas powered vehicles remaining idle for prolonged periods of time. Stabilizer will protect your vehicle's fuel system from rust, corrosion, and buildup. Using a good fuel stabilizer eliminates the inconvenient step of draining fuel tanks before storage.

Fuel Line Antifreeze - This type of fuel additive removes water from your car's fuel system, which can cause frozen fuel lines in cold weather. When the weather outside is below freezing and there is water in your fuel system, that water can freeze and block your fuel lines, preventing your car from starting. A fuel line antifreeze, largely made up of alcohol, can absorb and break up the water into small enough droplets to allow them to combust in the engine. To prevent fuel lines from freezing in humid conditions, it is recommended that you pour fuel line dryer such as HEET into your fuel tank every time you fill up when it is consistently below 30 degrees, and closer to once every two to three fill-ups in higher temperatures. It is important to note though that if your fuel already contains ethanol alcohol, there is generally no need for extra additive. Used year-round, this additive can prevent general rust and corrosion of your vehicle's fuel system.

Nov 18, 2021

Winter Is Coming - Snow & Ice Removal

Winter Is Coming - Snow & Ice Removal

November 18, 2021

As we get into the winter months, snow and ice removal tools can make our lives easier. Which methods are right for your home? Read on for some tips on proper snow removal and how to keep your pets safe from ice-melt chemicals while playing outdoors.

Proper Ice-Melt Placement

Anti-Icing – To prevent snow from bonding to the walkway’s surface, apply ice-melt before precipitation begins. Treating surfaces ahead of time will simplify the process and can help you use less product in the long run. Anti-icing is especially important before sleet and freezing rain to prevent ice build-up.
De-Icing – Apply ice-melt to preexisting ice and snow. While too little will be ineffective, too much can corrode walkways and roads, and harm vegetation. Avoiding piling product and spread the granules evenly. A general rule of thumb is to use 2-4 oz of product per square yard.

Pet & Human Safety

Clearing snow and ice ensures that sidewalks and roads remain safe during the cold winter months. However, these chemicals can be harmful to hands and eyes, as well as the environment. It is important to use ice-melt safely by wearing protective eyewear and gloves and check that you are using the proper product for the intended surface. Pet owners should be aware that not all forms of ice melt are safe for furry friends. Generally, a small amount of ingestion won’t cause serious problems, but it’s important to check that you’re using the safest ice melt possible! Ice-melt can cause topical irritation to the paws, and chemical toxicity when ingested.

Sodium Chloride – One of the cheapest and easy to find options on the market, regular rock salt products tend to be some of the least pet-safe ice melts available. Prolonged exposure can lead to skin irritation, while ingestion can lead to gastrointestinal irritation. In rare and worst case scenarios, ingestion of larger quantities can lead to elevated blood sodium levels, known as hypernatremia. Hypernatremia has been known to lead to poor GI health and neurological dysfunction. Some generalized toxicity signs to look out for are lethargy, weakness, behavioral changes, muscle twitches, and seizures. While rock salt is generally not the best option for pet owners, there are products formulated with less sodium chloride to help prevent irritation and sickness. The Near Zero Melt Down Pet Safe Ice Melt contains less sodium chloride, is 30% less corrosive to hard surfaces, and is safer for humans and pets than regular rock salt. It is still recommended to clean your pet's paws when exposed to any quantity of rock salt.

Ethylene Glycol  Another common type of melt is made with ethylene glycol, a compound containing the same active ingredient as anti-freeze. Ethylene glycol-based ice melts may be easier on your pet’s paws but are far more dangerous when ingested, and equally toxic for humans. It is recommended that households with pets and children avoid this one or use with extreme caution!

Safer Options – Urea-based ice melts and calcium magnesium acetate may not be as effective in extreme temperatures and thick ice as other options on the market, but are one of the safest for pets. It is important to note though that urea can cause damage to cat’s red blood cells in the unlikely event it is ingested in high doses, and can be harmful to vegetation. In addition, it is best to avoid urea-based melts for farm use as it can cause ammonia toxicosis in ruminant animals such as cows and goats, interfering with the fermentation process in the animal’s digestive tracts.

It’s best not to assume that your neighbors and surrounding businesses are using pet-safe products. To prevent chemical burns on dog paws, it is recommended to thoroughly wash and wipe off your dog’s feet after walks. Dog booties and paw wax can also help prevent contact with chemicals on the ground. Pay attention to behaviors such as licking of the feet and walking gingerly as they can be signs that your pet's paws are irritated.  

Getting Out the Big Guns with a Snow Blower

If ice-melt and a shovel just isn't cutting it, it may be time to invest in a snow blower! When picking out a snow blower, you’ll want to consider factors such as location, price, weather, and size to find the right fit for you.

Single Stage – A single stage snow blower will generally be your cheapest, most compact, and basic option. Technically known as a snow thrower, the rotating augers expel snow through a chute and away from the machine. This type of snow blower can handle up to around 8” of snow. Because the auger makes direct contact with the ground, it does a good job of clearing paved areas without leaving a layer of snow behind. For this same reason, single stage snow blowers should not be used on gravel and loose debris, as it will get caught up in the auger. In addition, single stage snow blowers are unable to handle inclines. It’s best to use them on flat driveways and hardscapes. Check out our single stage snow blower options now!

Two Stage – The two stage snow blower has an impeller that forces snow up and out of the auger, into the chute, and away from the machine. The forced air allows the machine to discharge larger amounts of snow farther away. This type fairs better with deeper and more compact ice and snow and can be used on an incline. Because the auger does not make direct contact with the ground, it will leave a thin layer of snow behind, and can be used on gravel and loose debris. The larger and heavier two stage snow blower has its drawbacks though, being more difficult to maneuver and costlier than most single stage machines.

Interested in finding the right snow blower for you? Check out our many snow removal options now!

Nov 10, 2021

No Fowl Play – Tips for Safe & Delicious Turkey Frying

No Fowl Play – Tips for Safe & Delicious Turkey Frying

November 10, 2021

As the holiday season kicks into full gear, it's about time to get out those turkey fryers and put them to delicious use! Frying turkey requires large quantities of oil so proper safety precautions are paramount! Make sure to thoroughly read through the instructions on your turkey fryer before getting started, and check out these pointers on safe turkey frying below!

Check Your Fryer

Check whether your fryer is meant for indoor or outdoor use. Using an indoor fryer outdoors might make it difficult to heat the oil to the right temperature to properly cook the turkey. If using an indoor fryer, make sure to keep it in the kitchen away from pets and children!

Location is Key

When using an outdoor fryer, make sure to do your cooking at least 10 feet away from your house and any potential fire hazards! It’s important to stay on a flat and non-flammable surface to prevent any spills and accidents. A concrete surface is your best bet, while avoiding dry grass and wooden decks! While it may be tempting to try and whether the storm on a cold autumn day for the sake of a delicious dinner, never use a turkey fryer in poor weather conditions such as wind or precipitation. It just isn't worth the fire risk, so check the weather and plan ahead accordingly.

Preparing to Fry

To prevent spills, it's best to avoid overfilling the fryer with oil. A good way to see how much oil will be necessary is to first place the turkey in the fryer with water and mark the fill line. This can be done the day before to make sure your turkey is dry by the time it’s ready to be fried. The turkey must be fully thawed and dry, otherwise extra water will cause the oil to bubble and spill over onto the burner and create fire risk. Make sure to check the inside of the turkey and absorb any excess moisture with a paper towel. Once it's dry, you can inject the turkey with marinade for some extra flavor and juiciness. It’s best to cut the excess neck skin and the butt off the turkey before frying, as these parts tend to burn. Peanut oil is recommended for turkey frying as the high smoke point doesn't catch fire as easily. In general, look for an oil with a smoke point above 425 degrees. For great results, try the PIKNIK Turkey Frying Oil, specially formulated for frying turkey.

Monitor the Bird

Keep the burner off while lowering the turkey into the fryer, only turning it on once the turkey is fully submerged. Never leave the turkey fryer unattended! If your fryer doesn’t have a timer and automatic shut-off function, monitor the oil temperature regularly to prevent overheating. It's a good idea to wear heat resistant gloves, cover your arms, and protect your eyes from oil splatter with safety goggles.

Looking for a fryer with a hassle-free timer and automatic shut-off system? Check out the Masterbuilt 30 QT Turkey Fryer Kit!

Finishing Up

Once you're done, let the turkey sit for 20-40 minutes depending on the size of the bird. This allows for better distribution of juices. Time to dig in and enjoy! Finally, let the oil cool overnight before disposal or placing it into another container for reuse. 

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