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Old 11-05-2013, 10:50 PM
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MOturkey MOturkey is online now
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Could Have Been Worse!

Went to mow the last time for the season on a few properties Monday. On one lawn, the wind had piled up perhaps the equivalent of a couple of pickup loads of dry leaves in one spot. Like I have dozens of times in the past, I began to make passes through the pile, attempting to mulch and disperse them.

After a couple of minutes, I noticed the smell of smoke. I really didn't think much of it, assuming a leaf or two was smoldering against the exhaust. When I turned the mower around for another pass, there were flames in the pile perhaps a foot or so in diameter. Fortunately, I was able to quickly smother them out using the caster tire. The wind was blowing about 15 mph, and I thought afterward I could have had a real problem on my hands if I had not noticed the flames when I did, or if I had been in another area. There really wasn't much else to fuel the fire except the leaves at that spot in the lawn.

Has this happened to anyone else? We had a lot of rain last week, but the leaves had fallen recently and were extremely dry. Makes me think twice about using my mower as a mulching machine in the future if the leaves are really dry.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:55 PM
Hawkshot99 Hawkshot99 is offline
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My walkbehind can be a great plow of the leaves. Several years ago I was pushing piles, and got a bit carried away. The leaves spilled over the deck, and engulfed in flames on the exhaust... I was able to stomp out the flames, but I was pretty scared for a bit.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:42 AM
PenningsLandscaping PenningsLandscaping is online now
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Been there done that! I was bagging leaves with a 61" Ferris ZTR, couple of leaves caught fire at the exhaust, and it started smoking like crazy, then proceeded to burn the bagging system. Smothered it in time before it destroyed the bagging system though! Crazy day.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:21 AM
herler herler is online now
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It's a good thing where I live we're up to date on rainfall, not saying a fire can't start but at least everything isn't bone dry.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:35 AM
larryinalabama larryinalabama is online now
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Just let the leaves burn lol
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:10 PM
StanWilhite StanWilhite is offline
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While mowing in the fall a few years back, a pile of leaves accumulated on and around the muffler of my "tow" mower, and almost start blazing before I smelled them. I was about 800 ft from my house/shop and the nearest place to get water.

So, I decided right then and there to not mow again until I could mount a fire extinguisher on my ZTR. I feel much better after having mounted the extinguisher. Sure would be worth a LOT more than it cost if you ever need it!
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:50 AM
DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING is offline
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I had a street blower go up in flames! You have never seen a 230 lb guy move so fast!
I was at my truck and fire extinguished in under 15 seconds.
Scared me to death.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:44 AM
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Richard Martin Richard Martin is online now
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It sounds like a small piece of red hot metal may have come out of the exhaust.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xm-ukCDRHSI
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:44 AM
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MOturkey MOturkey is online now
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Richard, you are probably right. I know spark arrestors are installed on a lot of outdoor equipment. When you think about it, it is odd they aren't on mowers. I have mowed overgrown dry grass in dry conditions more than once. This incident makes me a little concerned about doing so again.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:20 AM
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Richard Martin Richard Martin is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOturkey View Post
Richard, you are probably right. I know spark arrestors are installed on a lot of outdoor equipment. When you think about it, it is odd they aren't on mowers. I have mowed overgrown dry grass in dry conditions more than once. This incident makes me a little concerned about doing so again.
There are tons of adaptable spark arrestors out there ranging from about $15 on up. Lincoln Electric has a few that slip over the muffler exhaust tip and are perfect. They're priced at around $55 give or take.
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