View Full Version : Fire on Board!

09-04-2000, 10:21 AM
Well, I was mowing underneath a cluster of very large white pines the other day with my 60" Turf Ranger (completely eliminating the need for trimming underneath - hehe - try that with your Z) you know, sticking the deck way underneath, reversing out, repeating, etc.

Low and behold, about 30 seconds later, flames shot up in front of the Kohler 20. Couldn't tell what was going on at first but needless to say I was running scared...

Seems as if the mower "pruned" a dead white pine stem about 18" long with two or three tufts of dead white pine needles attached and the muffler had ignited it. It was burning right there next to the rubber fuel line. I estimated I had about 5 seconds to react so after shutting down the mower I jumped off and found a small section of not-yet-burnt stem to grab and toss away from the machine. Net result: no damage.

O.K., O.K., I'm trying to figure out what the moral of the story is....any suggestions?

09-04-2000, 10:35 AM
Get a Lazer Z?

little green guy
09-04-2000, 10:46 AM
I had something like that happen to me last fall. I was doing a fall cleanup and we where pushing big piles of leaves into the woods with my bobcat walkbehing. Some leaves got caught around the mufler and it caught fire. The flames where right near the fuel life and there was also a huge pile of leaves. The where to other people with me, one just ran away, the other ran to get some water and i grabed a rake and started smothering the fire, then we through some water on it and it was all good. We had no major damage but we almost burnt down a forest and blew up a mower. not a good thing. The moral- Mufflers are hot.

Eric ELM
09-04-2000, 10:50 AM
I thought you were a Z Master fan now.

09-04-2000, 10:55 AM
Some smarta** just emailed me and said

"next time, let it burn"


09-04-2000, 10:56 AM

The Z-Masters are purely a business decision, if I as much pride in mowing as you do, I'd get the Lazer Z.

--'course I got really serious, it'd be DC all the way! :)

Turf Kutter
09-04-2000, 10:58 AM
Don`t any of you carry a mini fire extinguisher on hand?????

09-04-2000, 12:53 PM
Hello Everybody:

I can't understand why you guys don't have fully automated Fire Extinguisher Systems on those mowers. Safety first!

If nothing else a bucket of sand, bucket of water, fire blanket & LOL have someone beez fire watch for ya, while mowing! Making that kind of money, you can't afford down time.

If nothing else maybe a safety quick disconnect so if the engine does catch on fire you can just pull over to curb leave the fire & quickly hook up another power unit!

I could never afford that so I just carried enough Beerze on my mower to put it out. If no fire by end of day if I'm still sitting on the mower, me & crew just drink them in front of last customers lawn.

Please don't get me wrong, we didn't drink just average Beer, we drank 24oz. Schlitz Malt Liquor, better known as Master Cylinders. The only beer that I drank that made me better looking, younger, twice as big & 10 times richer.

Here in JawJa we are required by law to carry a days supply of Beerze & at least 1 gun per person. If not we could get our K-mart driving license snatched in a Nu Yark minute!

BTW, How's it going ED?

09-04-2000, 02:37 PM
LOL GrassMaster, I'm doing fine.

Brilliant post....you are a funny guy!

09-04-2000, 03:10 PM
I was power edging last year during the drought. The sparks from the edger set the dried grass of fire. I danced all over it to put it out. It left about a 2' diameter circle. Now I have a fire extingisher mounted on my trailer.

09-04-2000, 03:34 PM

09-04-2000, 04:28 PM
While bull dozing leaves. The leaves get pushed against the muffler and then catch on fire. Next time i'll have to be more careful.

09-04-2000, 04:53 PM
I've had twigs get caught in the muffler shroud on my Exmark, never to the flame stage, but smoking. Also had a bagger with teh auxiliary engine and have had leaves get around the engine. I used to hang a 1 gal. sprayer, filled with water, on the bagger, just in case. Used it a time or two to put out smoldering leaves around the engine.

09-04-2000, 10:24 PM
Had two fires start off the muffler on my Walker while doing leaves last year. I always keep a close eye on it and I can smell smoke quick. And of course I am fully insured in case it gets away. Have to always be careful when driving through deep leaves.

09-04-2000, 10:28 PM
Cantoo we had the same problem with our Walker mowers in fall cleanups 2 close calls, we are now prepared. Still nothing beats those walker mower for those fall cleanups up here in Maine

09-05-2000, 12:14 AM
Originally posted by Lazer

--'course I got really serious, it'd be DC all the way! :)

Huh? When did this happen? I can't believe what I am reading. http://www.geocities.com/kyran_ward/Smilies/mean.GIF

The Mowman
09-05-2000, 12:58 AM
One time we were doing leaves with a truck mounted vacumn when some of the mulched leaves caught fire on the muffler of the vacumn. This was a little more serious due to the fact that there was a whole truck box full of ground up leaves sitting a foot away. I can't imagine what would have happened if there had been a fire in the bed of the truck.

09-05-2000, 03:02 AM
I have a FE, but now you have me wondering if it would put out a big fire. I put it behind the seat of the truck, but maybe it should be on the trailer. Both? It's a pretty cheap insurance policy, what do you guys think?

09-05-2000, 08:55 AM
Both!! My insurance agent told me that mowers burning is so common that a lot of insurance companies won't cover them for fire. You have to get a separate rider for replacement of mower if totalled. That woke me up to keeping an eye on them.

09-05-2000, 07:45 PM
How come you guys are so afraid of fire?

09-05-2000, 08:54 PM
Ok, I hate to admit anything about osha being a good thing, but at work, we are required to have a extiguisher on every gas piece of equipment, even walkbehinds technically (thats not enforced though). We have them on all our groundmasters, tractors, mules, etc.

I guess it does make sense after hearing all this........


09-06-2000, 01:09 AM
Your comment is the last I'd expect to hear from a fireman. They must keep you at the truck operating the pump :). While I've been in a few scary fires, I would say that I'm not afraid of, but certainly have a great respect for fire. You of all people should know what fire can do, and I wouldn't expect you to chastising anyone who is afraid of it. I wish I had more fear of it, because I have, & I know during the future will, put myself in harm's way by not having a lot of fear of it. Relating to this thread, I lost my first (and unfortunately only) plow truck to fire (heater fan) during the Blizzard of 96. Always have back up equipment!!

09-06-2000, 02:39 AM
That's funny Ed! I have 2, one at the side and rear doors.

09-06-2000, 08:27 AM
I guess my post above didn't go over the right way. Mayby you missed the inflection in my voice.

I have nothing but respect for fire. I have seen firsthand the devistation that it can cause.

I have spent much of my professional career as a firefighter and my question is one that I want people to ask themselves. It is a question that is meant to provoke more questions and hopefully educate.

Don't take it lightly - ask yourself Why you are afraid of fire?
Then you will start to think in the preventive mode?
Many occurances of fire are accidental, in other words you didn't want the result to be a fire but you didn't know that a fire would occur. Its something you have to think about and not learn by on the job experience.

So my question is not a smart a** comment and I ask everyone to think about it again, Why are you afraid of fire? Then go on to always think HOW can I prevent it.

Stay Safe.