I should have stayed home today

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by conepile, May 27, 2003.

  1. conepile

    conepile LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    I should have stayed home today. While mowing a large property and about 700 meters from my trailer I ran out of gas. I neglected to check it before I started (I always had before). After walking back to my trailer, glad I wouldn't have to carry the five-gallon can, because I have another two gallon one there as well. Gee, where is it? Oh sh**, I left it at home when I fueled up my power washer. Damn, this 5 gallon one weighs about forty- no!! It's empty too! I'm an idiot. I then recalled thinking I was going for fuel for the truck and equipment AFTER this property, 'cause it wasn't going to be a problem. Oh well, this only adds another forty minutes to a two-hour job (nearest station is fifteen minutes away). Start grinding teeth. I usually ensure I start the day with all tanks full. Note to self: this is where laziness gets you.

    I get gas and finish the job, and a few more. My schedule is light today, and with rain in the forecast, I decide to knock out some of tomorrow's schedule. I have a condo/housing complex that I do just the common areas. It takes me about two hours to get in and out. While mowing with my nearly new 52" Lazer HP, I start hearing a noise. Gee, that sounds like a belt delaminating. Maybe if I ignore it, it will go away... It continues. Motion control responsiveness starts to fade. "Gee, is there some correlation to the belt noise and the control?? I only have fifteen more minutes to mow here..." Well, guess what? My hydro drive belt breaks, and on a slope, thirty feet from a reservoir, facing it. Sh**! Now ask me if I have a spare. I'm an idiot. This thing only has eighty-five hours on it. Why would I expect to need a spare this early? Well, it's after 6 pm and there isn't a place open to get one now. I may as well finish the job with my walk behind. Well, while mowing along the retaining wall I notice goose droppings along the wall, but in the grass. I only mention this because I thought of it again while trimming along said wall. Did I mention that I was an idiot, and that I was shooting for the hat trick? I chose to walk on the wall, to avoid the droppings, and because I took a stupid pill this morning. Yes, even though this wall is flat, concrete, and at least twelve inches wide, I fell in the water. It was only crotch-deep and remarkably flat (considering the rest of the area was lined with rock, which would have twisted my ankle, causing me to fall completely in and drowning my FS85 Stihl), so the trimmer stayed dry. I got right out and looked for witnesses. I didn't see any and then start laughing.

    Lastly, I can't leave the Lazer HP where it is. If someone wants to be funny, or touches the parking break, it will roll down the slope and probably into the lake (over the same retaining wall I fell off). I have to move this thin by myself. All I had to do was turn it and move ten feet, where the slope went the other direction and towards a flat area. While grabbing the front strut with one hand to turn it, and rolling the tire with the other, I was able to get it where I wanted. However, it was during this procedure that I found out why I seemed to keep smelling dog poop. It seems I ran some over and it was smooshed in the tire tread that I had just pushed my hand on. Yes, there was now a waffle-like pattern of dog droppings on my hand. Great. I'm done. It's time to go home.

    Tomorrow will be a better day.

    By the way, I haven't changed belts on this type before. What is the easiest way to do it, at a mobile location? Has anyone else had a belt fail this early?
  2. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    Gee, I dont know how to change the belt on that model, but reading your days events releived my thoughts that that stuff only happens to me:blush:
  3. the scaper

    the scaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 690

    well if you had just stayed home today, all of this would have happened tommorow, so just be happy that its all over with! except for getting your mower, thats tommorow :) good luck buddy
  4. EJK2352

    EJK2352 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,150

    The belt change on an HP is no 5 minute job. Do you have an UltraVac?? Do you cut alot of hilly areas?? I replaced my HP hydro belt when my machine had a little over 100 hrs. My dealer got me a heavier spring for the idler pulley on the pump belt. Exmark told me to expect reduced belt life if you cut hilly areas or have an UltraVac on the unit. The stiffer spring has helped the belt life as I have only put 2 belts on in 935 hrs. Hope tomorrow is a better day for you!!
  5. lawncare3

    lawncare3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,981

    That's even suckier then my days. :rolleyes:

    Good luck tommorrow. :)
  6. conepile

    conepile LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    No Ultravac, and most properties are flat, except for a few. What can I expect when I change it? I couldn't even see under it this evening. I think the only thing I can do is use a floor jack and jack stands to lift it. Any suggestions or tips will be most appreciated.
  7. EJK2352

    EJK2352 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,150

    You have to remove the deck belt off the pto clutch, unplug the wires going to the pto clutch, remove the idler spring and unbolt the hydro belt idler arm. The hardest part of the job is unbolting the idler arm, as you will need someone to hold a wrench on the top side while you unbolt it from underneath. If you are good at mechanical work you could probably do it yourself, if not I would take it to the dealer. I would recommend getting an Exmark replacement belt from your dealer. Good luck!! :) ED
  8. Jimmy348

    Jimmy348 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    Yep, also had one today but not as bad as yours.
    Starts out late figure I will get 2 res out of way before rain.

    1st lots of ruts in yard and me being a professional... I have mastered the art of raising deck while on the go (should have done this with a dry boot) so I hit the rut, foot slips, deck drops, mower bogs and 52" of tri-circular mud suddently appears just as customer pulls into driveway.

    2nd finish ruining the yard (soft and muddy) then grab the brand new echo trimmer. Customer now in window viewing the 300 or so pulls it takes to get the thing running. Next is the rain and then I gave in.

    Today, I should have just stayed at home :(
  9. Frank2

    Frank2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    conepile....that is to damn funny. If I had a day like that, I would probably quit. Better luck tomorrow.

    Jimmy....isn't that how it always happens. Something you don't want the customer to see and they always show up or look out the window at that exact time. pisses me off.
  10. griffin16

    griffin16 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 111

    I was feeling pretty depressed about mowing between rain storms, and getting way behind in my work.
    Then I read about your day, Thanks I feel good now

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