What is the scariest thing that has happened to you on the job?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MuskTurfKing, Sep 9, 2001.

  1. MuskTurfKing

    MuskTurfKing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 338

    For me it would have to be last week on my lawn tractor I was going down the driveway in reverse and whipped it around forward, I usually push in the clutch in the process and slow down while turning...Well, I guess I timed it all wrong because when I was pushing in the clutch I kept going...turns out I was on 2 wheels... I prefer to not try to be a "lowrider" on the mower...One of those times when the old heart skips a beat.
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Probably about the most scariest thing that ever happened to me on a job was when my walk behind caught on fire. I was cutting a small commercial (small restaurant - closed) on a busy corridor, when I noticed the smell of something burning. I stopped the mower, walked around to the front of it, and sure enough, here is some smoldering and even a small flame. Now, this has happened, at times, before and was no big deal. (For those who run the B&S 16 hp twin cylinder I/C engines, make sure you loosen the shrouds up and keep all the chaffe and grease deposit blown out of the fins and elsewhere.) Anyway, many of times, I could just blow the smoldering out, spit on it, or just add a little water. Well, this one grew even before I could do that. I knew it wasn't bad enough for the extinguisher, and I knew I had a water bottle in my truck I had been drinking. I quickly went to my truck to discover that my water bottle was EMPTY. (Oh, THA'ts right!) So, I figured this DOES call for the extinguisher. When I flipped my seat forward to grab it, you can imagine the look of fear and dismay on my face to see that it was not there. Someone had taken it out and not replaced it! At this point, I look back at the mower to see that this was NOT going to go out> Not knowing what else o do, I pushed the mower down onto the parking lot, and away from the truck and trailer. Knowing there was a supermarket across the street, I knew that was my only hope. I sprinted across the busy road, across the parking lot, and into the store. As I ran past all the checkout lanes, entering the store, I loudly asked someone where their water is kept. They pointed toward the BACK of the store. (par for the course) I got back there, and quickly scanned the area near the coolers to find NOTHING that resembled water. The only thing going through my mind then, was something WET! I rushed to the cooler and grabbed a gallon of milk. Yes, milk! I ran to the front of the store, and yelled to the cashier. "I'll be back!" I sprinted across the parking lot, over the road. By this time some cars were slowing down as I could see 2 ft. high flames and smoke. I opened the milk as I ran across the road and said a quick prayer for NOT having an explosion, and as I reached the mower I splurged the milk all over the burning area and engine, and the flames were quickly extinguished. I quickly reache underneath and shut off the fuel valve on the tank. Just then, while walking to the front of the mower to look at the mess, the fuel line on the carb broke open pouring fuel down that remained in the line down. It really made me think, possibly 1 second later, and the whole thing could've blown. So, there I stood, in the middle of this lot, alone, with my milk covered, burned up mower. THEN, I reached a whole different dilemna. How am I gonna get this thing up the gate by myself? I ended up hoohing a chain underneath, and pulling it straight up with another mower. After inspection when I got it home, all I needed to replace was a little electrical, the coil, and the fuel line. This is one of the reasons why I am such an advocate on fire extinguishers today. You just never need one until you need one. Oh yeah, I DID go back into the store afterward and pay for my milk. They knew who I was, so I don't think they were TOO concerned about the payment. :blob2:
  3. summitgroundskeeping

    summitgroundskeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 410

    I was cutting string at a job for a weed whip with my new Smith & Wesson S.W.A.T. knife I bought at the EXPO in Kentucky. Anyway I was putting a point at the end of the sting so I would have an easier time stringing it. As I was doing this, my girlfriend calls me, so I started to talk to her. I got distracted and felt a lot ,and I mean a LOT, of liquid in my hand. Blood every where, so I hang up on her run to the truck looking for bandaids or something to stop the bleeding in the first aid kit. Empty. Clean away the blood and see half of my index finger on my left hand with a HUGE slice in it. Find a napkin in the truck, wrap the finger, throw everything on the trailer, hop in the truck, and drive like mad home to fix it. Get back to the job and felt so stupid. "Don't mix business with pleasure", from then on I realized a whole new meaning to that phrase.:p
  4. Southern Lawns

    Southern Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 259

    My wife driving my Lazer Z :p
  5. Scarriest thing ever happened was last year. Cut down a locust tree for a friend. It fell wedged between some other locusts. Started cutting it up into about 10' long sections. Got the first piece out, no problem. Went to the second piece and the saw got stuck. Told my buddy to get his saw and cut me out. Well he went around to the other side and started cutting with his small saw. (tree was about 20" or so in diameter) Anyways, he is cutting, and all of a sudden the tree snapped and hit him square in the chest. It knocked him back about 15 feet.
  6. Well the trunk hit him in the chest sending him back about 15 feet on his behind. It knocked his helmet off of him, and threw his chain saw off to the side. He was unconscious for a couple of seconds. He got up and was hurting, he was limping for several days, and his chest was hurting him. Luckily he was alright. But when this incident happened it was only he any myself at his house.
  7. Henry

    Henry LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 549

    Got milk?
  8. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    Friday afternoon, trying to make up for lost time due to worker related problems! I was on a pretty steep embankment along side a pound with my Tiger, and began to make a downward slide. Not a good feeling I will tell ya, the tires just aint what they used to be, in fact I think I am mowing a 1/2 lower then my deck says due to tred loss. In any event, by the Grace of God, I caught traction, and was able to nose my way up the hill, where I retrived the faithful walk behind. Cutting corners can be mighty dangerous!

  9. KDJ

    KDJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 325

    Finished a job for a wonderful little old lady. She wanted me to come in her house to get paid. Well let me just say she had other things on her mind. Makes me think? Twenty years from now this could really be a great job!!!!!
  10. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,662

    A couple of years ago, while still doing lawncare part time, I was asked to take down a big ,dead tree on a large commercial account's property. Sat. was the only day I could do this work. My little Homelite chainsaw was not up to this size job, so early Sat., I go and rent a big Stihl at the local rental house.
    Got tree down with no problems, and begin to cut everything into short pieces to load on trailer. As I am slinging chainsaw around here and there, I glance down and see that my jeans leg is cut open at the knee on my right leg. I put the saw down and upon close examination, found my knee was sliced open so I could see the kneecap! I kept my cool, got out the first aid kit, got a big bandage rigged on it, and drove myself to the emergency room. It took 14 stitches to close the wound. I never felt it when I cut it, but it sure scared the heck out of me.
    I learned 2 lessons: Don't do this kind of work alone when no one else is around, and, leave the cutting of large trees to the pros. I sub out all of my tree jobs now.:)

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