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New Lawn Mower!

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Ever since Easter I've had a hankering for a bigger better lawn mower. I've been using a 22" 4.5hp joe-powered pushed mower that was pretty lightweight so it wasn't terrible to mow my 0.3 acres. I could usually get it done in just about an hour. When it's 90°+ outside that time increases dramatically along with the dramatic decrease in my lifespan.

I was dead set on the idea of getting a riding tractor mower. I liked the idea of being able to sit on my ass with a drink in one hand while puttering around the lawn. That wouldn't decrease the time involved but certainly would decrease the effort required. Sure I could have just gone out a purchased one, but I'm way too cheap for that.

My dad ended up finding me an old 32" commercial walk-behind. It does have a newer 8.5hp Briggs and Stratton industrial/commercial engine on it, which is designed to run 12 hours a day every day, so it should last forever doing my lawn once a week. I hadn't found a rider yet so I asked my dad to bring it up when he came up for Claire's baptism. This thing is pretty ugly and old, but it cuts really well and hauls ass! It's got 4 forward gears and 1 reverse. In 4th gear my tongue was dragging on the ground as I ran behind it.

giant mow 32" walk-behind mower

This mower is so old it really doesn't have any modern safety features. Each handlebar has a level that controls the wheel on that side. Since you can control the wheels independently, it's basically a zero-turn as you can lock one wheel and it'll spin around in circles. Modern mowers will require you to squeeze the handle to make the wheels move so if you let go of the machine it'll just stop on its own. This mower is the opposite of that, you squeeze the handles to stop the mower. So if I trip in a gopher hole and fall on my face, the mower will keep on going destroying everything in its path. I can live with that, I just need to be careful.

giant mow 32" walk-behind mower 2

This mower decreases the effort involved because it's self-propelled and you can steer it by tweaking a lever on one side to slow one wheel down. The big thing with this mower is the fact that it goes so fast I can do the entire lawn in about 20 minutes!

I just need to work out the best path to take to minimize the amount of turns while not blowing cut grass all over the house and front garden. The less turns I have to make the faster I can go without worrying about things like driving through the house or mowing down my hydrangea.

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