The recalcitrant mower and the meaning of life


See the torn belt on the cutting deck?

This photo is for Robyn.  She asked for a photo of our baby.

Although this post is going to sound like a rant, I want to say at the outset, “I like my mower”.  We could have bought a nice car with what this guy has cost us but we bought a mower and would again.  Why?  Because this mower and the woes it presents are part of the life we have chosen.

As I mentioned in my last post, our mower has recently been at the repair shop.

The steering was sticking and we decided to try out the repair man in the next town.  When we rang, we asked whether we should stop using the mower as we didn’t want to cause any more damage.  We were advised that it was probably the bearings so no damage could be done.  Within 5 minutes of resuming mowing, there was an almighty ping and the steering cable snapped and we couldn’t steer it at all.  As it was going into the repair shop, we also decided to have the mower serviced.

This is the third time our mower has been in for repairs this season (and the mowing season has just begun).  The first time was because we noticed the frame of the cutting deck was broken and needed welding.  Then, when we were putting the deck back on, we noticed a part on the actual mower had snapped and that needed welding too.

Anyway, back to the current repairs.  It appears another bit had snapped (which coincidently) needed welding and that bit was catching the steering cable and eventually broke it.  We were also told that the belt that turned the blades was for a different model (as was the air filter) and had to be replaced and the blades had been sharpened incorrectly and so they also had to be replaced.  Ok … so be it.

Anyway, as you all know, when we got it home and started to mow, another belt snapped.  I was furious.  Logically, there could only have been two reasons.  It was going to snap and the repair man should have replaced it when he serviced the mower or it was a perfectly good belt and he did something to make it snap.

Maus rang them and they assured her that it was not the belt they replaced and neither of my proposed scenarios could be right but, as luck would have it, they had a replacement belt.  We had a choice: we could come in and buy the belt and fit it ourselves or bring the mower back for them to fit it.

Maus and I decided we would fit the belt ourselves.  First step was to take the existing belt off.  We tried and tried but could not do it.  We read this line from the manual over and over again but could not see how it would come off.

Take off the front belt from the centre pulley and remove the belt.

Seems simple enough but, we had to admit, we couldn’t do it (there was a bloody spring that had to be released but that was not mentioned in the manual).  Then the saga of taking the mower back began.  Maus had to organise some ramps from the guy who lent them to us before and she had to hire another trailer.

So what was the explanation for the broken belt?  You are going to love it.

Now that they have replaced the wrong belt (that worked fine) with the right belt, the mover is now working extremely efficiently and, therefore, it can’t be put under any stress.  If it struggles, it will destroy perfectly good belts.  So, it was all our fault for doing exactly what we normally do – mow the grass.

Because I wanted this post to have a happy ending, we haven’t tried to do any mowing since the new belt was fitted.  I am sure it is going to be perfect 🙂

The mower saga led to the consumption of more wine and for us to discuss the meaning of life more keenly than usual.  We probably could have gone to Bali for a week with what we have paid for that mower in the last month.  And this situation is not unusual.  If it is not the mower breaking down, it is sure to be something else.

I often say to Maus, we could live in a nice house in Perth and go to restaurants and the movies and plays and travel rather than spend our time mowing and brushcutting and spraying and pruning and weeding and cooking and preserving, etc.  But we don’t want to go to restaurants, etc.  It is strange why we all take different routes.  We would much rather spend our time on that never-ending list of jobs than live an easy life.  And because of that, the mower saga is part of our life.

We all make decisions that mean our life is harder but it is also, most likely, richer.


23 thoughts on “The recalcitrant mower and the meaning of life

  1. That’s one heckuva mower, Glenda, but you’ve great need for it. My little mower would probably die just as I brought it to the edge of your property. You must have proper equipment for the life you’ve chosen. This is the time of year when I pull out the snow blower and test it out. It means nothing, of course. Many a machine will run effortlessly now, in warm fall temps. It’s a completely different story a couple months from now with temperatures far below freezing.

  2. Chin up & keep smiling Glenda & Maureen. All part of country life, which you both love.
    As they say, life was not meant to be easy!!!!

  3. I think the only thing to do with this sorry ride-on saga is to find a second- best- friend- next- door neighbour (see how the text is all linked) who will be swayed by swanky soap and vegetables (excluding avocado cake) in exchange for knowledge about ride-ons. There must be one out there! Failing that a road side sign that invites passing grey nomads to offer their ride-on services (they always want to show you that they haven’t always been aimless wannabee truckies.) in exchange for sourdough or scones. Would that we were one of them!

  4. Oh dearie me. The travails of technology etc. I have been having a bad trot this year with all sorts of everything going bung. I just hope it gets better soon. Bring on 2017 I say.

  5. I dream of the day (working hard on making it a reality too) when Pete and I can have a ride on mower. 😀 Nothing on a scale of what you and Maus cover though.
    Have a fabulous day Glenda.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  6. I am fairly sure that the literal translation of the word “Husqvarna” is “No-one knows why garden equipment used for 50 hours a year costs more to service than a car driven 50,000km” and that “Stihl” is a Norwegian acronym for “Should have employed a gardener”.

  7. ‘Hard life’ … yes, Glenda, but then relativities enter the equation. I struggle with similar debates myself! ‘Richer life’ … perhaps … impossible to really know though.
    I can relate to your frustration. Life is full of it.
    I had thought the other day that the mower had not received equal attention in your blog, and so now you address that! What awful, no-go experiences. These kinds of things seem to often happen, especially in those other worlds that I think of as ‘from another planet’, e.g., cars, mechanics, tradespeople. Whenever things break I try to repair myself, because to venture into those other worlds will inevitably subject me to unaffordable costs and communication problems. So, Nevertheless, I still then (often) fail in my alternative efforts (of avoidance or sensibleness, whatever way it is spun).
    That bloody mower, Glenda – I can understand your protest that you are now reluctant to use it for what it is meant to be used for (in the usual ways), and to think that the reason given to you is merely obfuscation really!
    Love the word ‘recalcitrant’. I’ve been using it myself to describe one of my Guinea Fowls, most particularly of late. Since Sunday, her latest is that she has taken to wandering far and wide, and can’t seem to be tamed now that the genie is out! it is annoying me considerably.
    Nature forever poses challenges though. I’ve also been battling with crows for many weeks. Masses of them. All day long, every day. They are stealing all the chicken eggs unless I closely monitor and they are destroying my seedlings and particular plants I’m nurturing and the garden in general. The squarks have become an obsessive focus for me. I feel helpless. Then, just yesterday, I had a swarm of bees occupying my entire front yard. Eventually they passed but not before I panicked and all sundry of the world seemed to collapse in on me, within my scheme of things (if you get my drift?).
    Another new day. Afresh. Start again! I say this most days.
    Will be watching the third encounter between the US presidential candidates today. It is only about 3 hours away from direct broadcast on 24. A small thing to look forward to (another relativity). It will be appalling as usual again, of course. Though, to see is probably de rigueur.
    Do hope today is better for you and Maureen, Glenda, and that that bloody mower does what it is meant to do!

    • Oh Maitland, too many thoughts to comment on except … you are so right, it is relativities – these are first world problems that we are lucky to have.

  8. Sadly, these things seem to happen with mowers. The fellow who mows my son’s backyard got about a metre into the back gate recently and his mower died.

  9. Glenda, I find myself having the same conversation with Mr T over a bottle of wine at the end of a day- if it;s not the ride on mower or the other mower, or the brushcutter, it’s the chainsaw, or the fence, or one of the cows has escaped, or we need to buy more chookfood, or the rabbits have ringbarked a lemon tree and we need to do more fencing or the water pump is blocked… on and on it goes. In the inner city, I would cruise about on trams, read more, walk more, have a minimalist and uncluttered fridge ( because the shops are close) and still have money left over. You have hit a nerve.

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