Wednesday 30 April 2014

Lawnmower joy!

Grass is a wonderful thing and I can use it to feed our growing collection of animals on the cheesefarm. However, one of my continual banes has been finding a machine to cut the grass. Also, the mixture of April rain, warm and sunshine means that patches of grassland have been a knee-high jungle which is home for flies, ticks and wet legs when walking in the garden early in the morning.

So, Mower news time

  1. Bio-Mowers - We've recently increased the number of mowers to 5 (see here) but unfortunately, they are quite picky and are slowly and reluctantly munching the grass. The rate of mowing is quite slow and highly affected by rain, unlike sheep who are unaffected by all weather. However, the mowing is cheaper than feeding them grain! These are also the quietest mowers
  2. Scissors Mower - We've resurrected The Mother-in-Law's old Lawnmower which looks a bit like this one.
    (Actual photo pending home internet - see here for reason why) by installing a new petrol engine upon the base. The engine was about £160 (cmp with >£500 for a new machine) with the installation costs about £15. The machine is basically a two-wheeled hedge trimmer. It goes very slowly, makes a terrible loud noise but is virtually unstoppable . The oscillating cutters chomp at  ground level anything up to 10cm in diameter. It is very effective at making long grass short and all-terrain cutting but it's not very good at a fine lawn finish and that is where ...
  3. Sit-down lawnmower - This is the finishing machine especially as it pulls the lawn sweeper and collects the grass in big piles. This machine has been broken more times then i can remember. Starter motors; ignition switches, wheels. tyres, the machine has virtually been rebuilt. The latest woe was a slipping drive belt when starting and changing gears. The expensive drive belt has taken some punishment and I was expecting a trip back to the repair shop when I had an inspired moment. The problem wasn't with the belt as issues happen when the cluch is depressed (a safety requirement to start the engine). The clutch works by reducing tension in the driving belt, reducing the  motor speed, thus enables gear changes. The problem  was I was looking for the problem in the wrong place as source of my troubles was the hook which kept the slack drive belt on the pulley system. It had been bent away and thus when the clutch was depressed, the slack drive belt fell out of the drive system and the mower stopped moving. One quick bend and everything now work :)
The breaking news is that we have all the tech ready to cut the grass, the ear plugs are primed (so I can still hear in my later life) but now need the good weather to get mowing!

No comments: