A workman can blame his tools and still retain dignity

I know the old saying about a poor workman blaming his tools but, when the lawn is growing like blazes, you’ve just spend a couple of hundred pounds having your mower serviced and it conks-out less than half way through its first cut, I seriously think the saying does not apply.

It’s a tractor mower that works hard.   Our garden is on quite a slope and for ten years I’ve been driving it up and down for approximately three hours each weekend.  So, over a 40 week growing season, that’s 50 solid days of mowing – and sometimes I mow twice a week during the real heart of the growing season or we are having guests!

All fondness for the machine quickly evaporated, however, when, without warning, it simply stopped.  I checked the belts and all of the usual suspects for interfering with normal service, but all appeared to be working properly.  This was around 12.30pm on Sunday so not help was available.    Throughout the afternoon I kept returning to see if it had developed a guilty conscience – it had not!

Despite extending my vocabulary into rarely used territory, that mean, little red tractor did not budge.   In the end I wheeled out the trusty 30” Atco Royale, took off the grass collecting box, and walked behind it for, what seemed like hours.    My wife had to admit that the striping achieved with the old machine did look terrific and much better than that produced by the rotary cut with the tractor – but it was jolly hard work!

I was up at the crack of dawn and out again to see if that conscience had been pricked – but it hadn’t.  So I called up the man who had just serviced it.   In his defence he was out within half an hour and as confused about its lack of mobility as I.  We pushed and shoved it off the lawn and up into his van.

A couple of hours later he reappeared and still seemed confused as to why it broke down.  He thought it was something from the coil shorting out so he isolated that piece of kit.  I now have a shiny new silver button on the dash-board of the little red tractor.   It starts with the usual key but now, to turn the engine off, I simply push the button.

To test it thoroughly, I cut the lawn again.  And do you know what?  My wife simply said it looked far better with the Atco.  There’s gratitude for you.



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