Fire on Board!


LawnSite Senior Member

Well, I was mowing underneath a cluster of very large white pines the other day with my 60" Turf Ranger (completely eliminating the need for trimming underneath - hehe - try that with your Z) you know, sticking the deck way underneath, reversing out, repeating, etc.

Low and behold, about 30 seconds later, flames shot up in front of the Kohler 20. Couldn't tell what was going on at first but needless to say I was running scared...

Seems as if the mower "pruned" a dead white pine stem about 18" long with two or three tufts of dead white pine needles attached and the muffler had ignited it. It was burning right there next to the rubber fuel line. I estimated I had about 5 seconds to react so after shutting down the mower I jumped off and found a small section of not-yet-burnt stem to grab and toss away from the machine. Net result: no damage.

O.K., O.K., I'm trying to figure out what the moral of the story is....any suggestions?


little green guy

LawnSite Senior Member
I had something like that happen to me last fall. I was doing a fall cleanup and we where pushing big piles of leaves into the woods with my bobcat walkbehing. Some leaves got caught around the mufler and it caught fire. The flames where right near the fuel life and there was also a huge pile of leaves. The where to other people with me, one just ran away, the other ran to get some water and i grabed a rake and started smothering the fire, then we through some water on it and it was all good. We had no major damage but we almost burnt down a forest and blew up a mower. not a good thing. The moral- Mufflers are hot.

Eric ELM

Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
Chicago, IL USA
I thought you were a Z Master fan now.


LawnSite Bronze Member

The Z-Masters are purely a business decision, if I as much pride in mowing as you do, I'd get the Lazer Z.

--'course I got really serious, it'd be DC all the way! :)
Hello Everybody:

I can't understand why you guys don't have fully automated Fire Extinguisher Systems on those mowers. Safety first!

If nothing else a bucket of sand, bucket of water, fire blanket & LOL have someone beez fire watch for ya, while mowing! Making that kind of money, you can't afford down time.

If nothing else maybe a safety quick disconnect so if the engine does catch on fire you can just pull over to curb leave the fire & quickly hook up another power unit!

I could never afford that so I just carried enough Beerze on my mower to put it out. If no fire by end of day if I'm still sitting on the mower, me & crew just drink them in front of last customers lawn.

Please don't get me wrong, we didn't drink just average Beer, we drank 24oz. Schlitz Malt Liquor, better known as Master Cylinders. The only beer that I drank that made me better looking, younger, twice as big & 10 times richer.

Here in JawJa we are required by law to carry a days supply of Beerze & at least 1 gun per person. If not we could get our K-mart driving license snatched in a Nu Yark minute!

BTW, How's it going ED?


LawnSite Platinum Member
I was power edging last year during the drought. The sparks from the edger set the dried grass of fire. I danced all over it to put it out. It left about a 2' diameter circle. Now I have a fire extingisher mounted on my trailer.