Saturday, March 17, 2007

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

Its here! The day has arrived. The start of the ‘big idea’ season.

Today I begin the 7 month long mowing season. I will climb aboard my super-fast eXmark zero-turn radius commercial mower and commence the first of approximately 30 outings to lay low the grass spread across my 11 acre lawn.

All my friends think I’m crazy for spending 4 hours on the mower each week and ask why I don’t hire someone to do it for me. The answer to those two questions are easy:

1. Why would you spend all that time mowing? Because those 4 hours of relative silence (I wear the same ear muffs tarmac workers do at the airport) are beautiful. From those hours of mindless mowing come a river of thoughts, ideas and projects that help propel my business. Sometimes I put my MP3 player inside the headset and enjoy music. On occasion a beer or two is nice, though I notice the lines and angles on the finished lawn are not as sharp and straight as usual.

2. Why don’t you hire someone to do the lawn? I got a couple quotes on the project when we first moved here. $600 per week. $2400/month for 7 months out of the year. That comes to $16,800 per season, and $504,000, not including inflation and rising mowing costs, over the next 30 years (assuming that is when I will cease to be able to do it myself).

A few tidbits of information you might find interesting:

The mower drives on average about 8 mph. The 4 hour mower job each week means I am traveling 32 miles per mow, 134 miles per month, and 938 miles per season.

I rotate the angles each week- one week straight up and down the lawn, next week side-to-side, next week 45 degree angle to the right from the front of the house, and the next week 45 degree angle to the left. Then start over again.

½ of each beer must be guzzled down standing next to the refrigerator in the garage before boarding the mower. This is to prevent sloshing onto the mower when hitting bumps.

I don’t slow down, swerve or stop if small animals stray in front of the mower- that would result in noticeable imperfections in the cut patterns left on the lawn.

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Leighton @ My Best Investments said...

That's an awesome specimen of lawn machinery. If coveting another man's mower is wrong, I don't want to be right.