More years ago than I care to admit, I bought a used 5 hp Sears riding mower. Given the size of my yard, it did just fine. Unfortunately, it only lasted three seasons. (It was in pretty bad shape when I bought it.) Even so, I only paid $100 for it and it saved me a lot of walking.
I wouldn’t mind having something similar today, but I can’t find a riding mower that is smaller than 8 HP. Moreover, they like to make the things far more complex than they need to be. For instance, the little thing I bought had hard rubber wheels and I didn’t need to concern myself with flats. All the rider mowers today have pneumatic tires that might require repair or replacement.
There is one thing the little Sears mower lacked that I would have preferred, an electric starter. Sometimes I had to pull on that rope 4 or five times to start it. Back then, it wasn’t a problem. Now, I am 70. Pulling on starter chords can cause real back pains, especially if I have to pull on it multiple times.
For this reason, I now use an electric mower. For quite a while, I used one with a power chord. It was a nuisance. I spent more time managing the chord than I did mowing.
So, I bought a battery powered mower the other day. It cuts well and it is very quiet. There is no power chord, and I’m sure the tree huggers would just love it. I just hope the battery last more than one or two seasons.
Then, a few days ago, the thought occurred to me. For years they have been pushing electric cars to cut down on pollution. If it’s good for cars, why not rider mowers?
I don’t need a big one. It would have two parts. The mowing part could be very similar to the mower I have. The second part would be the tractor like part. Each part would have its own battery. It would allow me to get around should the mower battery run low.
Other than the batteries, they would likely last just about forever. The batteries would likely have to be replaced every 3 to 5 years. There would not be a reason to make special trips to get gas, not to mention the hazards of storing it. Also, of course, there would be no need for any belts. The mower and both rear wheels would be powered by separate motors.
Also, it would negate the need for a starter, which adds quite an expense to the gas powered mowers. If I want to go, I press a lever or pedal. There would be no need to engage or disengage the cutting blade. It would be a matter of toggling a switch. (The mechanism for engaging the blade is not complex, but likely adds fifty dollars to the cost of the riding mower,)
I’m sure such a mower would not replace the big 12 hp mowers. Some people have big yards. Me. If I got a 12 hp mower for my little lot, it would be like using a sledge hammer for a thumb tack. Besides, if I was able to use the little electric riding mower, I could claim that I am doing my part for the environment.
Now if I can just figure out a way to put an air-conditioner on it.