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Mowing and snipping - all the stuff the dude in the shop you bought your equipment from, didn't tell you

I realise I don't actually hate mowing and whippersnipping. I love admiring the finished job - great pity it only lasts such a short time, but the grass is great for the compost pile so there's plenty of pluses.

I just hate the equipment.

It's heavy (whippersnipper and humungous long cord), awkward to hold and hurts my hands (whippersnipper), doesn't start when it's supposed to (mower) and seems designed to drive people crazy instead of being reliable trusted gardening friends.

I bought both new this time last year (Briggs & Stratton mower and Stihl snipper). Mower has been recently serviced (a chore in itself as it is impossible for me to lift it into or out of my boot - have to wait until big strong son is around).  Both bought on recommendation from the big strong guy in the Mower Shop.

When I asked the guy if there were any lessons I could take part in he looked at me like I was stupid. His look said it all, everyone knows how to mow and snip! Don't they?

I "taught" myself to mow at some point a few decades back when I was young, lean and energetic. My husband was away for some reason and I needed the lawn tidy for a garden comp. I had one of those push edge trimmers in those days. It became my husbands job again though. I also used to do a bit of whippersnipping in the Kindy yard and I can remember hating that machine back then for always fouling up and running out of cord.

I had seen my Dad mowing, had seen my husband nowing. Nothing to it. The mower men I hired for years make it look so easy and quick.

But what do I do if the mower won't start? (all psyched up, weather is right, but it won't start despite having put the lever down, primed it carefully three times and just about given myself a hernia pulling that damned cord - suspect it's flooded, but why!!?? I did it all to direction - all I can do is walk away for an hour and come back and try again)

...what do you do if the grass is wet? (I just leave it until it dries another day - repreive) do you make sure the cord keeps running smoothly out of the snipper? (know now to bump it on the ground) to stop the electric cord from falling off the snipper every time you take a step? (young neighbour came over and tied them in a knot around each other - that one almost drove me crazy in the beginning) do you change the cord in the snipper? (keep the cord in the fridge! one thing the guy did tell me - but why are the bits you have to remove so awkward to get hold of and designed only for mens strength!)

...what to do if the b. mower still won't start!!?

...that you should wear protecitve goggles so you don't get stones in your eyes/ or chip your $1000 tri-focals (too late for that one)

....that you shouldn't wear thongs (not only from a chop-your-toes-off point of view, but also the Green Ants that get flung back on to your near naked feet are very angry and it stings for a long time after)

...which direction should you walk and how to hold the snipper to achieve best results? (still working on that one)

Is there truly reliable equipment out there that starts every time? Should I have bought an electric mower?

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Comment by Lissa on January 7, 2013 at 4:40

I don't think it needs "fixing". It's just had a service from the folk I bought it off.

It's just difficult and moody starting. I'm getting the job done at the moment with lots of swearing and patience - when it's due for a service again, or when it starts to really play up to the point of distraction, that's when I'll be looking for Kevin's help. Rough around the edges is fine by me. Think I'm getting a bit the same as I get older ;)

Comment by mark sturdy on January 6, 2013 at 13:52

kevin said that if its only just out of warrenty try where you brought it from they might fix it for free if its just out of warrenty but a lot of the newer mowers are not set up right and need a bit of adjustment

but if you need to contact him you can give me a call and ill pass one his number to you

be warned he is a bit rough around the edges! but has a good heart.

my nunber is 32848070 we have a answering machine  to catch the calls if iam a bit slow answering it

good luck


Comment by Andrew Cumberland on January 4, 2013 at 19:11

In the old days, that was true. 

Comment by Lissa on January 4, 2013 at 18:56

I'll try more than the recommended three pumps next mow then. I always thought that was how I flooded the rotten thing!

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on January 4, 2013 at 18:40

I bought my stuff from Bunnings.  In relation to the whipper snipper - the battery does my whole yard, Lissa but only just (and avoid a line one - go with the blades).  Elaine is right - the batteries have come a long way.  I wouldn't have touched one 5 years ago.  Mine's a Bosch but was quite cheep.  If your mower is a four stroke, then it should be okay - except the good sturdy metal ones are heavy.  Get the old fella to have a look - and don't believe that 2 or 3 pushes on the primer button rubbish.  Elaine's right with that as well - I give her a go0d 5 or 6 shoves (and she prefers that, because then I don't get angry and swear at her when she won't start!).

Comment by Lissa on January 4, 2013 at 18:27

Goodness, that's good of you Mark. Didn't want you to go to any trouble so thank you.

Comment by mark sturdy on January 4, 2013 at 15:46

ill duck down this afternoon and see him when i take the dogs for a walk around 6.30 ish and get his phone number

Comment by Lissa on January 4, 2013 at 14:44

Can you share the name and contact details for the old bloke please Mark? He sounds like the man for me, mower wise.

Comment by mark sturdy on January 4, 2013 at 13:38

there is an old bloke called kevin in duffield road that fixes mowers in his spare time he has got me out of trouble a few times i have a rover mower with a brigs and stration motor 4 stroke just press the primer 5or6 timespull the throttle full on and usually 2 pulls and were off it the best mower i have evre had

Comment by Lissa on January 4, 2013 at 9:39

Then mine is a 4 stroke. Out of warrantly now as just over a year old. I just think it's tempremental.

I'll keep looking and asking and when I can afford to replace it I should have some research on a good reliable mower that's not too difficult for a woman on her own to handle.

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