My husband has been laid up the last few months. So, I have been doing all the farm work--fence repairs, working with cattle, working in the barn, mowing, cutting trees.... Needless to say, a good part of it I have done before and a good part of it has been a learning curve.
I have always done the mowing....and the breaking of the mower. But, he has always done the repairs on the mower. Until this time. Last week I just started to mow. As usual, the lab comes out and thinks he has to lead the way of the mower. So, to humor him, I followed. We cut a few crazy patterns in the yard (I don't know, maybe he was trying to cut his name in the grass). Then the mower stops, with a loud bang. The tractor still runs, but no mower. I look down and the belt is off. Further investigation reveals the bolt that holds one of the 7 pulleys on has broken.
So, the pilot daughter and I head into the city to Lowe's. We got a new bolt and nut (that was an adventure in itself. New kid working, had no idea bolts "came in metric" or how they were sized....
Today, I got it the broken part put back together and went to get the pulley back on. Even though I had a diagram to go by, it wasn't easy. I had to watch two different places at once and hold the belt on 6 of the 7 pulleys at once, and push a nosy lab with bad breath out of the way. To replace the belt requires 9 hands and 2 heads. I only have 2 hands and 1 head. Childbirth was easier. Finally, I got it back on and pulled the tension rod back. Still had slack. Too much slack. Further investigation revealed that the diagram I was looking at (on the back of a package for a new belt) wasn't right. The belt fit 2 different models of mowers. The diagram was of the other mower. It took me another 5 minutes to figure it out and another 20 to get it back off and back on the correct way. When I said childbirth was easier, I meant that. And, I have had twins. Birthing twins was easier.
All for a broken $2 bolt.
But it worked. Saved about $250 (what the shop I called wanted to do it--but I will admit, they would have earned every penny of it). And, I got about 2 hours of mowing in. Eight more hours of mowing and then I get to start all over. Yes, it takes 10-12 hours to mow our place.
Tomorrow, I am going to send an email to the manufacturer. This mower is less than a year old, and only has a little over 100 hours on it. This should not have broke.