For the last few years, we’ve been focused on forms of efficiency, namely energy efficiency (LED bulbs, tankless water heater, new appliances, Nest), and time efficiency. Anything to have more hours in my day.
As much as I enjoyed pacing the yard to mow (and we push mowed our acre for a year and a half before affording the upgrade, including me during my entire pregnancy because I insisted and insist that it’s a great workout) we knew that one of our big investments would be in a riding lawnmower. For speed. For time. For rage-ability. For the hitch, to which we would obviously attach a trailer and then drag tons of branches/cement/flagstones/soil through our yard.
It was a pretty good plan, that plan we had to upgrade from push to our first riding mower. I can’t take any credit for the model we bought which is a Husqvarna YTH22V46 (46″ deck) mower, I just remember that Pete had made his decision, waited-waited-waited, and then jumped on it when it went on promotion mid-season at Lowe’s, had it delivered, and voila, was found inspecting his new toy in the driveway. I myself know very little when it comes to riding lawnmowers, mechanics-wise, thankfully my husband has his finger on the pulse and is happy to teach me things like which gas or oil or gas/oil can I should be using. I can do math, and I know that a wider deck in a yard like ours will be better for cut time efficiency which is why we splurged for a 46″ model, so that’s cool, but I also know that every last friend and family member who has owned a riding lawnmower has at some point burdened by obnoxious wear and tear and muttered obscenities over having had to send their rider to the shop for a new X, Y, or Z. To combat the latter, we did get a 4-year super premium warranty, the only anything either of us have ever decided on which to extend a warranty.
I thought about doing a review of the product or the overall purchase last summer, but by now you should realize that my product knowledge is limited to the fact that it had a pretty comfortable padded seat, was easy to switch between FWD>REV, and had a nice cup holder (which our baby stroller does not–mower FTW)… so as to say, I really had no qualification to give a review. And really, still don’t, so as much I think it’s fun to mow sitting down with a beer on a Saturday afternoon, don’t take my thoughts on this powerful tool too seriously, just do some independent research?
When one of the belts on the mower broke early this summer, I kind of figured that was routine maintenance; maybe a little premature, but inevitable. Pete bought a new belt at the store and replaced it himself, practically without me being aware of the matter. And then, while I was literally sitting inside starting to write this post, Pete was mowing and WHAM, a sound that triggered the thought “he definitely broke the mower this time.” And he did – the blade impaled on an exposed tree root, as we’ve both probably done dozens of times in our large tree-riddled yard, and all of a sudden the blade was dangling free beneath the deck, resting flush on the ground.
Well, crap. And as you warranty-realists might expect, not one of the damaged pieces are covered by the 4-year mega warranty (only covers maintenance parts – and come to learn that the measly belt we replaced a few months earlier would have been discounted 25%). It was a time when saving all of the paperwork really paid off, because within there was a map listing all mower components and ID numbers and within an hour Pete was able to raise the deck, ID the effected parts, troubleshoot the warranty coverage with the manufacturer, and place an order for replacements via Amazon for $45, which is a lot less than we were expecting to have to pay a mower mechanic. The spindle/mandrel housing is apparently a piece “intended” to break off (like a much larger version of a snowblower shear bolt, which we’ve also broken twice in a single season… another quasi-tool review for you). We added a set of 2 new blades and a keeper belt to our order to make the mower good as new (fingers crossed).
And I’m happy to report that it was a repair we made ourselves, so we can go about our business without expending extra money on repairmen.
Gotta go mow, and then I’ll be busy continuing to can our mass amounts of CSA crops. Starved for time, not starved for green beans! I’ll ttyl.