Confessions of a Lawn Tractor Driver


| 5/30/2012 6:58:49 PM


Tags: lawn mowing, safety, riding lawn mowers, lawn tractors, Minnie Hatz,

Minnie Hatz headshotA lawn tractor is not a tractor. I mainly drive lawn tractors. That is probably about right for my driving skills. I am not always successful at backing a fertilizer spreader. I have knocked the grass catcher off a couple of times. I have been stuck in loose dirt and high centered. Mostly these things have taken place where other people can see me in my embarrassment. I can only imagine what kinds of things could happen if I spent much time on a full-sized tractor.

In my defense, I have a lot of grass to mow. Also, most farm tasks that require a full-sized tractor are not the obstacle course that lawn-mowing presents, although maneuvering is certainly a useful skill for all.

I can certainly see the value of the bigger tractors. They can do a lot of work that can not be done either way. Perhaps someday my tractor driving skills will improve to where I can "graduate".

Some things that I have learned on the garden tractor: Watch for low hanging limbs, swings and other things that may be out of your main vision as you watch the edge of the mower platform. Not only can you do real damage to yourself, but also the mower or grass catcher can be damaged. Also, you can do damage to the shrub or whatever is above you.

As tempting as it is sometimes, I don’t take passengers and I don’t disconnect the interlocks to allow getting off the tractor while it is running. I read the safety instructions and I am pretty sure that these warnings and interlocks are present for a reason.

I don’t mow when it is wet and I always wear shoes. While those may sound unrelated good tractor for tires and feet are important. Dry grass cuts much nicer also.

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6/18/2012 1:35:09 PM

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nebraska dave
6/4/2012 3:06:36 PM

Minnie, I've put off getting a lawn tractor and really with my small yard I can do without one. However, my love for anything that has a motor on it started way back in the middle school years. A neighbor and I worked on small engines, mini bikes, and garden tractors then graduated to cars in the high school years. Since dad moved to the country (114 acres) just outside of town tractors were needed to care for the gentlemen crops we grew. My first experience with tractors was on my uncle's farm and I really don't know at what age I started steering the '49 B John Deere from my uncle's lap. By age ten I was driving the John Deere by myself and pretty much doing anything required. I never got the hang of backing up a wagon. It would never do what I wanted it to do. My uncle made it look so easy. I actually bought a small John Deere "D" model. I really wish I'd kept that one but with a fortune to make, places to go, people to meet, and world to change, I scampered off to college and never returned to the farm. Now almost a half a century later, I've revived those genetics and have bought land for a large garden. I've come full circle. Have a great lawn tractor day.





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