Kev Quirk

Mower Failure

22 Aug 2023 | ~3 minute read

I decided to mow the larger of our 2 fields yesterday, but our plucky little mower couldn't handle it.

Our 2.5 acre homestead is split into 3 main sections; the "home" section, which contains our house, the gardens and outbuildings. Then we have fields 1 and 2. Here's an arial shot of our plot to give you a better idea:

A map of our plot at home
Blue is the "home" section, then fields 1 & 2

As you can see, field 2 is easily double the size of field 1, but we don't really use that field. Mainly because we don't know what to do with it yet and we can't see it from our house. So you know, outta sight, outta mind.

We recently had cows put on field 2 to get the grass back under control, as it was chest height (and I'm 6' 3"), but it's now been a few weeks since our bovine friends left us, so it was time for me to try and tackle field 2 with our mower.

I regularly mow field 1, and it's usually a very relaxing and satisfying experience now that the grass is under control:

Mowing one of our fields

But field 2 is a different beast entirely. It has a large hill right across the middle of it, and it's huge. But I decided to give it a go anyway, thinking the grass wasn't that long.

Mowing field 1 usually takes me about an hour, so I assumed field 2 would take around 2 - 2.5 hours...

After 4 hours I was still going.

The problem

At the bottom of field 2 is a fairly large, flat plane. The grass didn't look too long down there, so thinking that would be the easy bit, I decided to tackle the hilly part of the field first.

By the time I got down there, I was knackered, and a bit pissed off, as mowing a very steep hill on a little mower is no fun. Even 4x4 mower, like ours.

Then, to add insult to injury, the grass on the plane was really dense, so the mower really struggled. It actually struggled so much that the thickness of the grass stalled the 650cc motor more than once.

But I soldiered on and slowly chipped away at it. I literally had 2 small runs of grass left to do. I thought I was victorious, dear reader! I had conquered field 2. Life was good.

Then there was a bang and smoke started billowing from our plucky little Husqvarna. I turned the engine off and had a look - the poor girl had snapped a belt. We were so close! 😭

My mower, dead in a large field
My poor little mower, dead in field 2
A close up of my dead mower in a large field

As you can see, this is a pretty large field and I had just 2 strips to go!

I didn't do the very top section of the field as there's a natural spring there, so it gets very boggy - we're going to turn that into a pond soon.

What's next?

Luckily the problem wasn't terminal and replacing the belt should be very easy. Once I've repaired the belt, I'll be back in field 2 to finish off those 2 strips. Then I'll head back and do the rest of it all over again, except on a shorter cut length.

Once all the long grass mulches down and I have it under control, I should be able to mow the thing in a couple of hours. I think...

If that doesn't work, we will bring our plans forward to fence it off and put livestock on it permanently to keep it under control.

Maybe a few sheep? Who knows. 🤷‍♂️

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