by Jonathon Turner
(Salt Lake City, UT, USA)
For the last two years, I have been using a Troy-built Z-start lawn mower. For the most part, it has been a reliable mower. The 6.5 horse power engine has just enough guts to give me a good work-out. I receive a lot of cardiovascular exercise due to the walk-behind nature of the machine. Occasionally, I get a nice upper-body workout when I have to start the motor.
Usually, the machine doesn’t start well after the winter hibernation. Here’s my formula for starting the mower. I turn the throttle up to the “rabbit” setting and pull the cord two to three times. Next, I push it around the lawn for a minute. (For some reason, I think this gets the fuel moving through the system.) Next, I put the throttle in the choked position, and I pull the cord a couple of times. After pushing the mower over the lawn for another minute or so, I can usually start the machine with the throttle in the “rabbit” position.
Here’s another thing I have noticed: As long as I mow the lawn every four to five days, the machine will cut the grass rather well. However, if I wait any longer than that, I will either have to mow the lawn twice (on two different height settings) or I will have to go forward and backward a hundred times with the mower just to get across the lawn. The former option takes a little longer, but the latter option leaves half-cut grass residue all over the lawn and crammed up inside next to the blade.
I don’t like cleaning the moldy grass out from the inside of the machine, but I grew up with a mower that needed this kind of maintenance. Aside from cutting my knuckles a couple of times while changing the height of the blade, I haven’t had any major problems with the machine.