Category Archives: Tools

How To Replace Lawn Mower Tires

Lawn Mower Tires, The Essential Difference

The essential difference in replacing a car tire and flat tire of a lawn mower is,

* You do not carry a spare tire with you all the time when you move along with your lawn mower

* Your equipment for replacing the tire like jack, spanners etc. are not with you, they are in your basement workshop

* Your house is nearby so you can summon help from your family members

* You may not be in a hurry to change the tire and you are not putting anyone to difficulty by leaving a vehicle with a flat tire on your premises, as you would if you leave your vehicle on a public road.

* You can change the tire at a more convenient time

* Depending upon the size of tire, you may require some external help

– Changing the tire

A lawn mower works on an undulating surface too. Therefore if your tire has gone flat where not all the tires are on a level surface, do not try to change a flat tire at that place. Depending upon where the tire has gone flat, you can change the following procedure slightly, but ensure that the spirit of safety precautions is not violated.

If you have a portable air compressor with you, (even a foot operated one will do), try to inflate the tires and then shift your lawn tractor to a flat and level surface, it will be best for the tractor. If you do not have an air compressor and the flat area is nearby, take your tractor in, as is condition, to the flat surface. The lawn mower tires are a rugged lot. The tire will take this punishment without a murmur.

The procedure for changing the tire is as follows.

* You have already brought the tractor on a flat and level surface. Park it there. Shut off the engine. Pull the hand brake and remove the tractor keys in order to prevent accidental re-starting.

* Clean the tire to be replaced and the area around the tire with water. This will take away any dirt from the nuts holding the tires and reduce the work load on you while taking out the tire

* Loosen the nuts holding the tire slightly. Make it a point to ensure that all the nuts are loosened slightly. Any one remaining to be loosened might give you a problem later on. Do not back off completely. Just loosen them and that is all. If you are not in a position to back off even a single nut, do not proceed further. Re-tighten the loosened nuts and ask for professional help.

* Fix up other wheels with a wheel lock or slip a wooden plank or a stone so that the wheel may not move. Do this to two wheels at least.

* Next slip a hydraulic jack or a crew jack at a convenient place on the chassis, (This place is usually indicated in the maintenance manual) and raise the wheel to be replaced)

* Back off all the nuts holding the wheel and take out the wheel. You may require some help in this as the lawn wheels are slightly larger than car wheels.

* After taking out the wheel, clean the brake drum (if you have one) and wash off all the dirt that has collected, remove anything lodged in there.

* Put a new wheel and get the other one repaired.

– Safety Precautions

1. Wear hand gloves all the time. This will prevent injuries to your hand

2. When loosening the nuts, give particular attention to slippage of spanners. They can cause serious injuries to hand or head as you will not be able to control your movement when spanner slips

3. NEVER EVER change a tire on an undulating surface. There are many cases when the jacks have slipped from their position due to this and deaths have resulted from persons being crushed beneath lawn mower.

Are Robotic Lawn Mowers Safe?

You’re standing in your front yard minding your own business when a robot with three razor sharp blades spinning at 5,800 rpm starts racing toward you. What do you do?

Is this some kind of nightmare? No, you’re awake and this is really happening, so once again, what do you do?

The answer is nothing. It will just bounce off you and go another direction. Rather anti-climatic ending wasn’t it? That is just the way the robotic lawn mower companies want it to be.

The greatest concern most people have about robotic lawn mowers is safety. Bots with Blades just cant be safe. According to Ames Tiedeman, National Sales Manager for Systems Trading Corp., the US distributor for the Friendly Robotics Robomower, over 72,000 emergency room visits involved lawn mowers in 2005. ZERO involved robotic lawn mowers.

These mowers have so many safety features and shut-off triggers that it is amazing that they are actually functional.

The Friendly Robotics Robomower turns the blades off at 16 degrees, not even high enough to get a hand under. Even if a small hand could get under, the blades are far back and recessed into a chamber in the body. It would take creativity, not stupidity, to get to the blades while they are still turning.

Unlike push and riding lawn mower safety devices, robotic lawn mower features are not easily disabled. The tilt detection devices are soldered on to the main boards. Even the resistance against the blades and the ability of the software to stop them is measured in thousandths of seconds.

Since these robotic lawn mowers are designed to mulch there is no easy outlet for flying debris. Pebbles and pine cones do not get tossed very far and at low velocity.

Some robotic lawn mowers have sonar detection systems that if any moving objects get close theyíll slow down and at another point stop the blade before even being touched. All have some sort of touch sensors that when they lightly bump into a stationary object that they change direction. So actually getting run over is unlikely.

Another big concern is pets getting chopped to bits, again, no reported accidents involving robotic lawn mowers. Dogs have a tendency to chase and bark, but not attack. A dog actually chewing up a robotic lawn mower is more feasible than a robotic lawn mower chewing up a dog.

Robotic lawn mowers move relatively slow, people and animals can easily move out of the way. Although it takes a lot longer to mow, if everyone used them there would be 72,000 fewer hospital visits this year.

This article was written to educate people that robotic mowers under intended circumstances are safe. There has been a great deal of thought and engineering involved to make robotic lawn mowers safe for public use.

STIHL Introduces Walk-Behind Battery-Powered Mower for Suburban Yards

STIHL Introduces Walk-Behind Battery-Powered Mower for Suburban Yards
STIHL Introduces Walk-Behind Battery-Powered Mower for Suburban Yards

The STIHL RMA 460 lawn mower is the first lawn mower in the AK Series of the STIHL Lightning Battery System®, giving AK battery users a full line of products to complete tasks around their lawns. This lawn mower is compatible with the STIHL AK 20 battery or STIHL AK 30 battery, providing homeowners with performance options based on yard size. With a cutting deck width of 19 inches, the RMA 460 is highly maneuverable for quick and efficient grass cutting with each pass. Its 15.85-gallon grass catcher allows for more mowing and less stopping, while the handlebar is easily adjustable for user comfort.

“This mower is ideal for homeowners with small- to medium-sized residential yards*,” said Brian Manke, product manager at STIHL Inc. “Users don’t have to worry about gas or fuel mixing. Pair that with zero exhaust emissions and the RMA 460 provides a more environmentally friendly lawn care solution compared to traditional gasoline-powered mowers.”

Quick, Efficient, Cost-Saving Battery-Powered Mowing

Users of the RMA 460 enjoy a low cost of ownership over the lifetime of the mower due to minimal maintenance (no engine or filter maintenance) and low operating costs.

The powerful RMA 460 features:

  • Multiple performance options based on yard size and can mow:
    • Approximately 2,475 square feet on a single charge using the AK 20 battery
    • Approximately 3,440 square feet on a single charge using the AK 30 battery
  • commercial-grade, brushless electric motor with ECO Mode which automatically reduces power when mowing through light grass and adjusts to full power in tall grass to conserve battery life and extend run time
  • Seven different cutting heights from 1 3/8 – 3 3/4 inches with quick and simple single action cutting height adjustment
  • Mulching functionality which returns nutrients and moisture to the soil for a thicker, healthier lawn
  • Quiet operation, ideal for noise-sensitive areas
  • Instant start — just push the button and squeeze the bail
  • Standard mower accessories: a rear bagger, side discharge chute and a mulch plug
  • 10-inch rear, 8-inch front ball-bearing wheels which allow for easy pushing over rough terrain
  • Folding handlebar for easy storage
  • Removable fuse key to prevent accidental or unauthorized use/startup of machine
  • Multiple storage options allow mower to be stored in three positions: folded or unfolded on all four wheels or upright and folded in the cleaning position with blades facing the wall to save space

STIHL Lightning Battery System® Technology 

  • Advanced STIHL Lithium-Ion battery technology offers users an option to reduce their impact on the environment and provides a powerful alternative to gasoline-powered equipment
  • Low maintenance and operating cost — eliminates hassle and cost of fuel
  • No battery memory limitation, no gradual drop in power — high performance; runs at full speed until battery is depleted