My new lawn mower!!!

Jon K.

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#1
Got a new lawn mower. Had it a few months now, and it tried to kill me Sunday.

Any of you guys who follow my exploits might enjoy the letter that I sent to the Exmark company.


Good evening!

I thought you guys might like to hear about my adventures with an Exmark 52" / 23hp zero turn mower.

I am quite pleased with the machine, and how well it cuts, though the 23hp Kohler engine is a bit of a disappointment. Feels more like 14 / 16 hp.

Regardless, my story concerns the roll bar. Nice touch, that roll bar, and I am sure that in a roll-over accident that the roll bar would protect the operator (me!). However, I do not believe I will survive long enough to experience a roll-over, unless I remove said roll bar.

Let me start from the first time I ever used the mower. About 20 minutes into the first usage, I was merrily mowing around my workshop, and over behind the drop shed. I turned the mower around, and snagged the roll bar into the corrugated roofing on the end of the shed. Before I figured out what had happened, I tore 20’ of roof all to "heck". Though "heck" is probably not the word I used at the time, truth be known.

OK, I will fold the bar down a bit so I don't snag things, and be more careful in the future.

The bar is behind the operator, as you might know, and out of view. I do not believe anyone, ANYONE!, can possibly keep the roll bar in mind when mowing around and under all of the obstacles in the average yard.

Next adventure, a few weeks later, I snagged a large tree limb that angles out from my Catalpa tree. The roll bar catches the limb, and rocks waaay back on it's rear wheels before releasing the limb and crashing back to the ground. Holy Mother of Jesus!! I'm not a young man any more, and really did not need that kind of impact. I guess I need to be even more careful eh?

Two weeks later and my wife (Mrs. K) has me putting her sister's clothesline back up. Yep, another victim of the roll bar. Mrs. K did this one, tearing the clothesline down, and dragging it around the yard for several hundred feet before even suspecting that anything was wrong. She says she needs to be more careful.

A month goes by with no incidents, and we make the mistake of thinking that we can handle the mower, roll bar and all. Wrong! This time Mrs. K again. She hangs into the guy-wire that anchors our light pole into the ground. Tore the guy-wire half out of the ground, and the wire imbeds itself into the "knuckle" of the roll bar so that we spend literally over an hour extricating the wire from the "knuckle". Mrs. K tells me at this point that no way, no how, will she ever climb back onto that lawnmower.

"But Honey" says I, "The roll bar will protect you if you flip the mower over"

"No it won't, Sweetheart, because it will never get the CHANCE to flip over with me on it, as I am never going to get back on the #%*^@er again!" she replied, with her charming, sweet smile somehow still intact.

So I suppose I am relegated now to mowing all of the grass, a task that takes 'round about 5 hours. Oh darn.

But fate again intervenes on last Sunday afternoon, the 17th of June (Father's Day!). I was mowing along on the north side of my shop, when I again snag the roll bar, but this time there is nothing even remotely humorous about the encounter.

I have an A-frame that I use to pull engines out of autos. It is constructed of 4" pipe, stands 12 feet tall, and has a 1 1/2-ton chainfall hanging from it. I really believed everything was clear, but as the roll bar (did I mention this before?) is behind me, and well out of view, I was mistaken. The roll bar snagged the pull-chain, and as I motored away, I pulled the A-frame over onto myself. Many hundreds of pounds of steel came crashing down.

The main cross-pipe strikes me on the head (a glancing blow, or I would NOT be typing this) as the entire structure falls onto my head and shoulders, folding me over like a greeting card. The chains from the chainfall have me tied down, and the mower is still trying to go, as the structure has the control handles pushed forward. I do manage to turn off the mower (the key switch is actually right in front of my face . . . think about that one for a second, it’s normal location is under the seat, sort of between the operators legs . . . ) and contemplate just how in Hades am I going to get out of this one.

I don't think I am really hurt, but can't see surviving more than a few minutes folded up like I am. I reach for my cell phone, but do not have it on my belt. There is no rescue in sight, and I am obviously going to have to figure this one out fast before I lose consciousness. The chains are my main problem, they have me chained down, pinned to the mower. I start working the chains, and find that I can get one of the four to move off to the side a bit and can turn my head enough to get the chain off of the back of my neck, and gain just a bit of freedom. Two more chains I somehow work off of my shoulders, and I can slide the last one down my back, and sort of "squirt" out from under the chains. Whew! Now I can straighten up, breath again, and assess the damage. Other than some cool bruises on my arms and back, a knot on my head, and a couple of abrasions, I seem to be in one piece!! Amazing!! The mower is a bit bent up, but that does not really concern me at this point.

The roll bar does not survive the day. I have removed it and placed it in the hallowed halls of my workshop. It will stay there until I die of natural, or (more likely) unnatural causes. It can not hurt anyone now, unless it tips over and falls on someone’s foot.

Sincerely,

Jon


I have yet to receive any response, not surprising.
 

Rich Rohrich

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#2
.....Note to self - Purchase 3200 yards of concrete, pour it in the yard and do something safe on the weekends like riding on MX tracks. :whoa:

Great story Jon.
 

BadgerMan

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#4
Is that Mrs. K in the background?

Man, I would have taken a blue-tip wrench to that thing after the first couple mishaps........thank God no one was seiously hurt!
 

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Papakeith

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#5
Nice read. Thanks for the chuckle. Not that I've eeeeever done anything remotely like that.

. . . :think: you keep quiet on this squeaky!
 

bsmith

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Great Story, and glad your OK. Makes one wonder about all this safety gear!
 

Jon K.

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#7
Papakeith said:
Nice read. Thanks for the chuckle. Not that I've eeeeever done anything remotely like that.

. . . :think: you keep quiet on this squeaky!
So come on, Papakeith, spill it! We want details!!
 

junkjeeps

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I was cutting with my Snapper ZTR the other day and a low branch pulled the gas tank off it without me noticing. At least not until I was about 150 yds from it and came to a puttering stop. Not as bad as your experience, but interesting anyway. Hope you heal up soon.
 

DougRoost

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#9
Thanks for sharing...well written, too. I agree that the blue-tip wrench or a Sawzall would have come out after the wife had the clothesline incident.
 

Jon K.

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#10
BadgerMan said:
Is that Mrs. K in the background?

Man, I would have taken a blue-tip wrench to that thing after the first couple mishaps........thank God no one was seiously hurt!
DougRoost, BadgerMan, to take the roll bar off was to admit defeat, something that I find very hard to do. It is both a strength and a weakness of mine.

And Badgerman, I don't appeciate you photoshopping that picture, removing Mrs K., and inserting a rather normal lady into the frame. I have attached the original.

Jon
 

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DWreck

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#12
I feel your pain.

I work on a golf course and we purchased a new mower that had a roll bar on it. I was not used to it and it snagged a branch that came back and popped me in the back of the head. I had to turn the mower off and just sit there for a few minutes as I was seeing stars and darkness.

I immediately lowered the bar and it stayed that way until we got rid of it.
 

BadgerMan

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#13
Jon K. said:
DougRoost, BadgerMan, to take the roll bar off was to admit defeat, something that I find very hard to do. It is both a strength and a weakness of mine.

And Badgerman, I don't appeciate you photoshopping that picture, removing Mrs K., and inserting a rather normal lady into the frame. I have attached the original.

Jon
Sorry 'bout that man but I could not resist. BTW, if that is what the real Mrs. K looks like, it is no wonder why you are running in to things with that mower. I would consider her to be quite the distraction!

:nod: