Sunday, June 23, 2013

If all else fails, follow instructions

After much rain and with grass that was growing like a beanstalk, I thought I had better mow our lawn.  I had made an attempt a few days ago and decided the grass was too wet.  I felt the grass and it seemed reasonably dry.  OK, let's get it done before supper time.

Digression: Last year I had traded our gas lawnmower in for a light-weight electric mower.  The old lawnmower's wheels didn't really grab going up the short but sharp incline in front.  It was a lot of work to heave it around and I didn't want to pay the repair bill to get the clutch readjusted.  Even though the electric mower didn't cut as wide a swath, it sure beat heaving the gas mower around.

I started mowing and the blade would slow down.  I banged the mower up and down and big chunks of grass would fall out.  Repeat.  And again.  Then the mower stopped and the gauge showed no power!  What have I done?

I took the battery inside and plugged it into its charger.  Then I started looking for the instructions.  And looking, and looking, and…  I found an update on charging the battery.  The only info I got was that it should take 8-14 hours to charge.

I looked again for the instructions, and looking, and …   Finally I found them, sort of in an obvious place, but under something else.

I looked under "Trouble shooting" and found three important pieces of information.

If the grass is too dense, it might trip the circuit breaker.
If the grass is too dense, raise the height of the deck.
The circuit breaker is located at this place on the handle.

I found the circuit breaker, pushed it, and it went in and stayed in.
I raised the height of the deck to its highest, three inches.
I put the battery back in and worked the controls to get the engine running.

I was no longer shaving the lawn but I was making it look more even than it had.

The time and energy to cut the grass was less than the time and energy to find the manual and make the correct adjustments.

Panic and frustration can be such time wasters!  When will we ever learn to be calm and focused in the face of unexpected problems?

Have I learned my lesson?  Probably not!

See also "If all else fails, read directions".