Wednesday, May 19, 2004

OW! My pancreas!

I have a riding lawnmower. If you saw my yard you may wonder why - it's easily handled with a standard push mower. The riding mower is a leftover from our previous house that was three long lots and comprised something like a half acre.

That's not the important part of this.

I stayed home from work today to get some things done around the house since I wasn't here over the weekend. One of the tasks was to mow the lawn, which I did... until I broke the lawnmower.

Yep, I broke the lawnmower. The 18 horsepower, twin-blade, 42-inch cut riding lawnmower.

It still starts fine. The engine still runs. There's a leak in one of the tires but it's not bad. The belt is intact as are the blades.

So, how did I break the lawnmower?

You know that curvy part of the curb at the end of your driveway? For those of you that don't have a driveway, go take a look at someone else's. You'll notice that the curb bends in where the "ramp" at the end of the driveway is. That's what I'm talking about.

I had already finished mowing the main part of the yard and was working on the "strip" on the West side of the driveway. I had maybe one more pass and decided to swing out into the driveway around the back of the truck to come at the remaining grass from the "top". Because of the way the grass had grown or something, I completely mis-guaged the gap between the ground and the top of the curb and the curvy part.


I hit it at full speed and the edge of the mowing deck connected. I hit so hard, it knocked loose six years of caked-on dirt and grass. It hit so hard that it dented the steel mowing deck that covers the blades.

That's what broke the lawnmower.

The dent was severe enough to impede the movement of the blade. I tried to bend it back out but remember I said it was steel. I'm fairly confident I can fix it (I can push the blade past the dent with my hands - albeit with much effort) but to do it safely, I think I have to remove the deck. I've done this once before to replace the drive belt and it takes a couple of hours - at least. Time that I didn't want to invest this morning.

I think I know what I'll be doing Saturday.

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