Thursday, August 18

Disposable Lawn Mowers

"Our lawn mover of 6 years has died. You would think that something as major and expensive as a lawn mower would last more than 6 years, but I have been informed by Roy and numerous sales people at Tractor Supply that mowers are not built to last. The fact that this made me seriously mad was evident in that such a major purchase should last longer than a pair of jeans. No, I was not racing my mower or participating in demolition derby's with it. I was mowing the lawn. I thought that was what one did with a lawn mower but apparently I was supposed to keep it in the barn under a big heavy tarp and not even breathe on it. More on this in a later post...."

Here's the rest....

When we moved to our homestead, we bought a rider lawn mower. It was not cheap, but it was not top-of-the-line. Given that it was not cheap and that it was, well, a lawn mower, not a box of crayons, I was under the impression that it would be something that would last. My neighbor has two lawn mowers that look like they are from the 70's and they are still running strong. So I really didn't think that one of the adjectives I would later use to describe my mower would be 'disposable'.

In his "you should be known this" voice, Roy has informed me that mowers don't last long. And that is where my problem lies: I 'assume' things. I function on the premise that everyone operates with a baseline of common sense. Granted, this could be considered the lowest common denominator of common sense, but it is a standard that I can base things on. The same applies with things that I purchase. I know that there is a lot of cheap junk out there and I am usually good at spotting it and avoiding it.

But I think that any normal person, with common sense, would assume that such a big purchase as a rider lawn mower would be something that would last. It is a machine - like a car or a tiller or a table saw. It should last longer than the scrubber thing I use to clean the little man's juice cups with.

Bottom line is that (besides that my neighbor has an ability to resurrect mowers from the 1970's) nothing is made to last.

Get ready, I am going to sound like I was born in 1919 now: Things used to be made to last. They were not cheap plastic junk and people took care of things because they knew the cost of replacing them. People knew how to fix things. Ever wonder why there is a lack of local hardware stores that sell 'parts'? Because now it is cheaper and easier to just buy a new mixer. Hey, it only cost $5.99 at the day-after-Thanksgiving sale and it will only cost about $6.99 for a new one. Just toss it and get another one. But wait, didn't that mixer never work well anyway and it didn't have enough power and the cheap paint kept flaking off into your food?

While on the topic of mixers, I found an older Sunbeam Mixmaster at a garage sale for $15. It came with a juice attachment and two ceramic mixing bowls. It works perfectly. It is heavy and durable.

We now have a new rider lawn mower. The old one was totally shot - the motor seized up and gas and other things were leaking out. And even with my promises-to-myself of being extra careful with it and taking very good care of it, I am still skeptical that it will see 2015. But I will give it my best.

Note to self: Buy a book on small motor repair.

I do have a nice back-up however. A beauty like the one pictured below that I salvaged from my husband's Grandparents farm liquidation.

Look how easy it is to take apart. Even I can do this!:

Come to think of it, we salvaged a lot of stuff from that place and most of it has a useful place in our home. And it STILL WORKS!!!! Stuff from the 1940's and earlier.

So if this new mower dies, then I will have the leg and arm muscles of a lumberjack since I refuse to buy another mower and I have over an acre to push my antique beauty over.

1 comment:

  1. Our mower died this summer too. We had had since 1997 though. DH takes excellent care of all the tools but it just wouldnt start so had to buy a new one. He's still tinkering with the old one though. You're right about things used to last longer. You need to watch on Youtube a documentary on light bulbs. Cant remember the name of it but it is all about how a committee of light bulb manufacturers got together and decided to make the light bulb burn out faster. When they first made light bulbs they could last 40 years. It's all about the money isnt it?