Friday, August 26, 2005

Lawnmower heaven

My lawnmower died on me.

It was a slow and painful death for the old boy. Though reliable for many years, this summer he started to fall apart. Black, acrid smoke billowed from the engine, the wheels treads came apart, and the drive belt would pop off frequently. And once he got started, I couldn’t stop, because the engine would flood and I wasn’t sure when he would get back going again.

This became a problem because my dog likes to chase around the lawnmower, and though she never really gets that close (she just barks and growls at it from a distance) I’d occasionally have to stop before she put herself in front of my path.

This week, I gave the starter cord a yank and the engine gave a final wheeze before proclaiming, in lawnmower speak, “I give up. I’m done.” I tried to resuscitate him with a few more yanks of the starting cord, but it was clear he was gone. A small black cloud of smoke dissipating in the air symbolized his soul going to lawnmower heaven.

So now, just about one month after starting here at Landscape Management, I’m faced with a difficult decision, one that will put everything I’ve learned so far to the test. What lawnmower to buy?

Well, it’s not really that big of a deal. I have a pretty tiny yard. But what this decision makes me realize is how difficult it is for professionals in the mowing industry to pick which mower is right for them. I’ll spend maybe 15 minutes per week with the mower I buy, even less often in dry, hot summers like this one. But for professionals, they will spend 8-12 hours per day, 6-7 days per week on their mowers. The mowers they pick could help make or break their business.

Fortunately, in the September issue of Landscape Management, we will be looking at buying the right mower for your property. So in case anyone out there is facing a similar question to mine, although probably on a larger scale, this article should answer your questions. Keep an eye out for it.

As for me, I think I’ve figured out the best way to pick my mower. I’m going to bring my dog to the store with me. The one she barks at the most is the one I’ll buy.

— Mike Seuffert


Lawn Cafe said...

Googd to see Landscape Management putting some more great green industry information as usual.

From: Your fiendly lawn care forums.

Anonymous said...

why dont you just clean or adjust the carb it might even just need a spark plug?