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Be Careful! carry a fire extinguisher

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by danlawnser, Nov 23, 2002.

  1. danlawnser

    danlawnser LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 258

    today one of my guys was mowing with my super surfer and all of a sudden he noticed he felt heat on his hands. The lawn mower was on fire atleast he was close to the house and used a hose to get the fire down. A neighbor then saw what was happening and came and throw water on it. Then I got there and I cut off the gas. Then the fire was out and the fireman showed up. just alittle late. I think the fuel line came off. guys just be careful and check those fuel lines. The thing that really sucks is that my insurance company just dropped me November 1 b/c to many lawn services were having things stolen.
  2. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 681

    I started carryng extinguishers on all of my mowers about 3 years ago when my service guy showed me a brand new z rider completely burnt to a crisp. Leaves caught on fire under the muffler, found its way to the fuel line and 5 gallons of fuel. The rest was history. Thats all it took for me to invest less than $20 bucks per mower for peice of mind, exspecially around leaf season. Extinguishers are defininetly something we should all have.
  3. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,205

    i know what you mean. I was using a scag 61 inch when i was working for another lco before i went solo, and it tended to leak oil. they brought it into the shop a number of times. well they thought they had it fixed, but i was using it, and the thing caught on fire. luckily every truck they owned had a fire extinguisher. wouldve lost the whole mower if they didnt have the extinguisher. the next day i went out and bought my own extinguisher for my equipment. for $10 its the best safety measure you could buy.
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    "Then the fire was out and the fireman showed up. just alittle late"

    Not to be a ballbuster but what is your expectation? Did you think that they would be waiting down the block for your mower to catch on fire?

    It always amazes me that people say that it took a long time for the fire department to get somewhere. I do not know of one department that gets a tone and sits around for 5 minutes.

    I am probably reading more into it but I tend to take some things more personally.
    Yes it is a great idea to carry an extinguisher. That is what they are for, incipient fires that the untrained person can try to extinguish. They are made small so that when it is empty you either have the fire out or you get the hell away from whats burning.
    I will also say that you got lucky by having enough water to put the fire out despite the fact that you had a gasoline fire. Ususlly the water would not do a whole lot of good unless you can really dump on it. I am thinking the gas started other components of the mower on fire. A dry chemical extinguisher should be a nice early Christmas present.

    I am sorry you had a bad experience with the fire, not many people have good ones. The insurance thing really sucks. Now there is a hot topic:blob2: .
  5. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    I thought it was " manditory" to carry a fire extinguisher if you had a commerical vehicle.... Naturally, I aways do.......
  6. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    Mow Ed we get the same thing. We cover a 250 sq mile district out of one station with all volunteers. Can take 30 mins to get some where. Some of the county has even bigger districts, where if you got an emergency you better be able to handle if for an hour yourself.

    For the record I carry extingquisher too. Always.
  7. danlawnser

    danlawnser LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 258

    oh guys I am not bashing the firefighters at all. They where there in less than like 2 minutes. Do you guys think I should call Great Dane and complain? The Super Surfer is a 2002 and only has 220 hours on it. My warranty is off only by a month. I just don't know how far complaining will go.
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Dan I am glad you replied because I wasn't sure if you were bashing firefighters. That is one of the dangers of text based discussions like we are having. That being said I hope you weren't upset by my reply.

    I would absolutely call Great Dane and see what is up. On top of that mayby you can find if there were any service bulletins warning of fuel system problems. All that being said I would also take many pictures of the unit before you do anything else to it. Document everything. Hopefully the fire wasn't caused by an act or omission on your part. I am not saying that you did anything wrong but the factory and investigators in general are gonna look to see if clamps were tight, the fuel line wasn't crimped or pulled by accident, the filter was in its proper place. I am trained to look for the obvious as well as the not so obvious. I am not an investigator by title but 17.5 years in the business gives you a chance to see lots of things.

    I would contact the company tomorrow and ask for a customer service manager or better yet ask to speak to the President of the company. Its a shame that something like this has to happen to a guy, especially when the insurance company is a group of morons like yours was.

    Good Luck, keep us posted.
  9. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    even i carry an extinguqisher on my tractor and wagon, can never be to safe.

    and since we are talking about it i believe we average a 3 minute time before we get dispatched to the time we pull out.
  10. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    I am not telling you anything you don't know but with that few hours on the machine something was not right. You are very luck that everything worked out ok. I hope your helper was not injured.


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