Why are mowers so darn loud?!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mobileboy, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. mobileboy

    mobileboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 233

    It is insane how loud all mowers are! Why can't engine manufacturers spend an extra 20 bucks and put a scooter-style muffler on the darn things?! Wouldn't it be nice to be able to crank our mowers whenever we wanted and not disturb the peace? wouldn't it be noce to be able to talk in a normal tone over our idling engines? Just frustrating...what do you guys think? are there any good aftermarket mufflers out there for a 19 horse Kaw?
     
  2. K/B

    K/B LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 480

    I saw a Honda riding mower once, it sounded like it had an electric motor on it. There probably was a performance sacrifice, though.
     
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Unless the engine is water cooled there is little point in trying to muffler the current style of engines any further than they are.

    Most of the noise you hear isn't coming out of the exhaust. It's coming out of the engine. The same cooling fins that help keep an engine cool are also very, very good at radiating sound. Motorcycles, scooters and some premium Honda engines are built to keep sound in. Block construction and rubber vibration dampers are the two biggest factors in reducing sound. But most of these engines aren't intended to be used in the harsh enviroments that mowers run in.
     
  4. mobileboy

    mobileboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 233

    Very interesting, Richard. Good info. Do you think it would hurt to try and fabricate another 'chamber' on the stock muffler? Would the extra heat hurt the engine?
     
  5. JimQ

    JimQ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,139

    The cooling fan on an air cooled engine also adds a lot to the noise equation.

    When you're cutting grass, the engine contributes less to the total sound power than the deck does.

    Those high-lift blades at 18.5K FPM make A LOT of noise.

    Q
     
  6. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Posts: 2,574

    that was going to be my statement
     
  7. k911lowe

    k911lowe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 526

    because you don't wear ear plugs like your supposed to.probably don't wear eye protection all the time either.the continuous sound at those decibels can hurt your hearing.
    sometimes the old ways still work.
     
  8. mobileboy

    mobileboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 233

    I ALWAYS wear eye and ear protection, but my customers shouldn't have to do the same while they're sitting in their houses. The noise doesn't bother me when I have my plugs in, but I hate bothering people and I hate excess noise. That's why I love my new Kawasaki trimmer. That thing is quiet! My Hustler Mini Z with 19 Kaw on the other hand is just plain obnoxious. Don't get me wrong; It is no louder than any other mower I've operated, but they're ALL too loud! I understand that much of the noise comes from the deck and cooling fins. I just fixated on the muffler because it seems to be the one area that could stand some major improvement. I can hear a huge difference when I am facing the exhaust outlet (much louder). That suggests that minor improvements to the muffler would reduce noise. Maybe only 5 decibels, but that's five less decibels!
     
  9. k911lowe

    k911lowe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 526

    have any of your customers complained about the noise.over the years i have met just about every type of customer;however i have never had one complain about the noise,that i can remember.sounds kind of like an anal thing.
     
  10. mobileboy

    mobileboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 233

    None have ever complained, because I schedule my mowing around their children's nap times! When my little girl goes down for her much needed afternoon nap and comes in my room crying 15 minutes later because my neighbor is mowing his yard 30 feet from her window, that's a problem. These are the scenerios that I try to avoid. I work in one neighborhood primarily. Over 50% of the homes have small children. This is not a rare concern.

    Many nights I get in from mowing at 8 -815. My neighbors (5 of them) have 6 kids ages 6 months to 3 years. I am always aware that most are asleep when I am offloading my gear. My neighbors understand that it is what it is, but I suppose I am just an 'anal' and somewhat considerate type of guy. I hate the noise. It isn't necessary. Before my last wreck, I owned a couple of motorcycles. You could barely hear them at anything less than 7000 rpms. My bikes cost less than a ZTR. Just seems like the engine manufacturers could put a little more effort into noise suppression.
     

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