Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Archive for May 11th, 2018

Mowing Again

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Last Tuesday, my 2018 lawn mowing season officially began. I had a little time, it was between rain showers, and it was dry enough that I was able to do a brief test cut on the small patch of grass on the south side of the barn. The grass there seemed to have a serious head start compared to everywhere else.

The reason it was a ‘test’ cut, is the mower. You may recall I bought a new yard tractor to replace the old Craftsman that was giving multiple end of life hints. When the new one arrived last fall, I barely had time to run it before winter took over. I hadn’t taken time to read the manual, so for the maiden voyage I couldn’t figure out the interlock to keep the mower blades spinning when backing up.

I just kept restarting to hastily finish the back hill before it got dark.

When I finished, I looked through the manual and learned the yellow triangle warning symbol was also a button to be pushed. D’oh!

This brings me to Tuesday, when I was doing horse chores and walking Delilah, but not prepared to mow. Except, the grass was so long out there and the rain seemed to be holding off. What the heck, I decided to go for it.

I didn’t actually remember how to keep the mower on when backing up, but I remembered that it was head-slap simple when I discovered the trick in the fall, so that was my primary focus. The other issue was seeing if it would start easily, after sitting so long with old gas in it.

I clipped Delilah’s leash to the railing and opened the garage. She had no idea what I was up to.

After topping off the tank with some less-old, but not necessarily fresh gas, I was ready to try. But, this new tractor doesn’t have a separate choke control like the old one. The throttle was all the way up, so I just turned the key and hoped.

Somewhat begrudgingly, it coughed to a start. I figured a little black smoke and rough run was a reasonable response after the long winter, so I forged ahead, proud that I quickly figured out the interlock for backing up.

I mowed for ten minutes or so, hoping the engine would warm up and settle down, but it seemed to chug the entire way through. After finishing the small area, and before the rain started to fall, I rushed the tractor back to the garage.

Since it was still running rough, I decided to pull the throttle down to a slow idle and then ramp it back up, to see how it might respond before shutting it off.

As I pulled the lever down, it popped out of the choke position and into the normal operating range and the engine purred like brand new.

I found the choke control. I had just mowed with it on the whole time.


At least the rain is bringing spring flowers.



Written by johnwhays

May 11, 2018 at 7:57 am