It’s that time of the year again when the hand mowers and ride-ons start howling into life, and with the good winter and spring rains we’ve had in the Canowindra region there’s likely to be a lot of grass to cut this summer.
This is when Steve Brooks really gets down to business at 190 Gaskill Street as a small engines expert fixing mowers, chainsaws and brush cutters. He’s the man to go to when you pull on the starter cord, pull again, and the infernal machine refuses to play ball.
“If you pull the rope more than six times and nothing happens it’s time to get the mower to a mechanic,” he advises. And there are a variety of reasons why a mower won’t start -a spark plug that needs cleaning or replacing or an air filter that’s become clogged with grass and dirt the previous summer. Or there’s water in the fuel, meaning a leaking carburettor, or you’ve forgotten to check the level of the oil. “Simply cleaning the underside and blades of a four-stroke can mean problems,” Steve advises. “If you tip it up, tip it with the spark plug uppermost to avoid leaking oil into the air cleaner. If you pull the primer plate off to try to fix it yourself, make sure you don’t lose parts out of it.” Steve warns against changing the blades yourself. “The disks that hold the blades have to come off first, and that needs an expert hand. Also, a lot of people will work from the back of the mower to change blades. “The result can be blades that are not fitted properly — and the litigation that one customer went through because a blade flew off and damaged a neighbour’s fence. It could also badly injure someone!”
By Derek Maitland