Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Workshop Wednesday-Propane Mowers

 I've been involved with lawn mowing and landscaping all my life. My first job out of high school was working for a local contractor fixing lawn mowers. Eventually I ended up on a crew, and then running a crew. He sold the business and I trained the new owners to cut grass. Ya I know its just cutting grass but like anything else you need to be efficient if you want to make money. They sold to someone else that I had to train and when they had enough and wanted to sell, I got out. That was eleven years or so and I wasn't interested in training another owner. Its kinda awkward actually. The next guy I went to work for was starting a new landscaping business and was looking for someone to handle the cutting, fertilizing and spraying. I ended up with enough accounts to create two cutting crews and a spraying crew. That ran for 17 years. I did a year for another contractor and now three years for my current employer.
 My point is, I'm no stranger to lawn and landscape equipment.

Husqvarna ztr on propane. This is a similar setup to what we run today. No, I don't wear a riding jacket when I mow grass. I rode the bike to the event. I can't believe I had to clear that up :-)
 One day many years ago, a local LP gas company was sponsoring a field day to show the benefits of running propane in a lawn mower. Obviously they were doing it to sell LP, but it was also an excellent chance to demo the latest equipment from most major manufacturers.
 When I decided to try out the Dixie Chopper zero turn mower I ran into a little problem. The mower deck raises and lowers with a single foot pedal. I couldn't get the deck to lower. Even though I wasn't familiar with this machine it was obvious to me the damn thing was broke.
 I continued to fight with the pedal but couldn't get anything to happen. The DC rep came over and started trying to explain to me how it worked. I showed him I was doing it like he said but it was broken or jammed.
 I should paint the picture a little better. Here we have reps from many major manufacturers who all claim their machines are better than the competition. These machines are lined up side by side in front of a field of long grass. They all wanted to prove their product was better than the next. The Dixie Chopper guys were bragging how fast their machines can go. They may even hold some kind of record, I don't know or care because it has nothing to do with real world lawn maintenance. Most people don't want to see you hauling ass across their yard. These Dixie Chopper guys showed up in the biggest, shiniest truck and thought their crap didn't stink so when I made the claim that their precious machine was broken, they started freaking out. "just do it like this" "do that" "you're not doing it right". By now they had three reps belittling me. One guy explained to me that I wasn't mechanically inclined enough to figure it out.
 I calmly explained to him that I fix lawn mowers for a living, run a crew and build some of my own equipment. I work with equipment every day. If you guys designed it in such a way that I can't figure it out then Joe Homeowner will never figure it out.
 That pissed him off and I was asked to dismount the machine. When this gentleman who claimed to have designed the deck lift couldn't make it work either I heard a few laughs from the competition. I stood there long enough to give them the opportunity to apologize but that never happened.
 They were still dickin around with it a half hour later.

 Dixie Chopper may or may not be a good machine...I don't know because I never got to take that test mow. I'll never know because after those three reps treated me like shit I decided they weren't an option, ever.


1 comment:

  1. I really liked reading this post. Your story is very interesting dear. Well, I am very confused about the selection of Lawn Mower. I think you have enough experience to help me by sharing tips and guidelines to choose best Lawn Mower. Also provide details about popular Lawn Mower Sales Roswell store.