11 May 2017

Toro 580d - meadow killer - v2

After months of wrenching and welding,
mowing season has begun.
I'd been warned that this was part of the job.
Of the 300 or so acres,
about 100 are basically civilized,
and a lot of that needs mowing.
The main mowers are the Toro 580d's.
There are two.
One is 4wd,
the other is 2wd,
used mainly for the flatter areas.
As the main mech I get first pick.
The wet weather has brewed some soggy ground.
This heavy beast loves eatin mud.
Fortunately we have flip phones to call in the cavalry.
I can understand why they need fixin!
This fuel tank vent was plugged up,
creating a vapor lock situation.
It was tricky to figure out but an easy fix.
I cut the new hose on an angle.
We'll see how that works.
Sometimes the grass is too thick to cut,
especially in soft ground.
It helped following John in the tractor mower.
I got stuck trying to get that last little part,
which is typically the trap to avoid.
Fortunately he had a chain.
Much of the surrounding area is not flat.
There are berms and banks.
Most are outlined by fences,
bogs or ponds.
Fences like to catch the mower guide.
It'll snag and swing ya in.
Tough to get out once it slides down.
Fortunately we've got the winch truck.
Now I know why these ball joints get so worn.
They are the stabilizers for the wing decks.
I had to cut this one out.
It seems like every time I took a picture,
I'd get stuck right after.
This was a too thick-too soft situation.
Now I scout it and make sure its cuttable beforehand.
The other mistake here was starting low,
and not doing half cuts,
basically chippin away slowly.
This was some tall bog grass I shoulda known better.
So far I've gotten stuck 5 times.
Every situation I've learned what not to do,
and why not to do it.
There's a learned reaction controlling the hydraulics,
letting the deck weights counterbalance on berms.
The sloped parts are like driving a boat in rough water,
kinda like rock crawling-fun!
The flat sections aren't too exciting,
although a spiral pattern,
or repetitive S's are funner than long straight lines.
People looking at satellite pics are gonna wonder 
what the heck was that mower guy doing...
Also gotta watch out for electric cables.
Fortunately this wasn't used any more!
Here's one of my last fence traps.
I couldn't resist trying to get that tuft of grass.
I've gotten better at unhooking out of the chain link,
not over-reacting helps.
The past two days were stuck free.
There were some creek or slough side sections,
good drop offs.
I felt kinda bad cutting down ecosystems.
There's pretty meadows I've buzzed down.
The crows and swallows swoop in
and nab the newly uncovered bugs.
Right when things were going smoothly,
a bypass hose blew.
Conveniently located behind all this muck.
It was nice to have a shop day.

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