The Riding Mower Bailout

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Stercutus
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The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by Stercutus » Sun May 21, 2017 9:12 am

I watched The Straight Story again the other night. I think it is an excellent movie. It is disguised as a story about a disabled man who can not drive a car and really needs to drive several hundred miles to visit his brother. He is too ornery and independent minded to except a ride so he takes a John Deere Riding Mower pulling a trailer across country and he has old man adventures on the way. It stars Richard Farnsworth and is worth the watch if you have the time.

While not as funny or even slapstick like The Waterboy the mower is prominent through the movie.

It did cause me to consider the advantages of this mode of transport.

- A mower can go just about anywhere. It is smaller, lighter, designed to be driven off road in lawn like conditions. In my state you can drive "farm equipment" on any public highway (but not interstate) legally. Riding mowers are included.

- Mowers are usually pretty reliable and low maintenance within their operating tolerances.

- Easy to operate, even a ten year old can run one. I did when I was ten.

Thoughts?
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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by CG » Sun May 21, 2017 9:59 am

Our lawn mower is definitely not low maintenance. Note that if you have to drain out the gas whenever you're finished and charge the (brand new) battery every other time you start it, your lawn mower may not be ideal for this purpose. :lol:
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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by RickOShea » Sun May 21, 2017 10:24 am

Welp, I don't know if my ZD 323 would be optimal since it has around a 1700 lb. curb weight. Top speed is 10 mph, it burns around one gallon of diesel per hour, and has a 13 gallon tank....so I guess my range should be about 130 miles before refueling (at max possible speed).
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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by teotwaki » Sun May 21, 2017 10:44 am

Stercutus wrote:------ A mower can go just about anywhere. It is smaller, lighter, designed to be driven off road in lawn like conditions. In my state you can drive "farm equipment" on any public highway (but not interstate) legally. Riding mowers are included.------
Legalities should not be an issue in a PAW, right?


How about some mods for speed?

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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by Stercutus » Sun May 21, 2017 10:48 am

Looks like a go cart with a JD body attached over the top. If you can convince the deputy it is a mower you should be GTG.
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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by woodsghost » Sun May 21, 2017 2:47 pm

My thoughts should be taken with a bit of salt.

Cars are made to run for hundreds of thousands of miles. Lawn mowers are made to run for some thousands of hours? I'm not sure, but my dad's does not have a mileage indicator, it has an hours indicator. I suspect they are built differently.

One idea is the Gator or the "utility vehicle?" That seems made for more miles and from what I was just now reading it seems to get better mileage. In some 2015 forum posts people were talking about an average of 20mpg for 825 series JD Gators.

Just another thought.
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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by flybynight » Sun May 21, 2017 3:56 pm

Lots of resources out there for this type of project







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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by eugene » Sun May 21, 2017 6:17 pm

Stercutus wrote: designed to be driven off road in lawn like conditions.
This is the key, most lawn mowers/tractors won't do well off of a smooth surface. You would be better off with a small tractor (a real farm/garden tractor)
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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by teotwaki » Sun May 21, 2017 6:54 pm

Stercutus wrote:Looks like a go cart with a JD body attached over the top. If you can convince the deputy it is a mower you should be GTG.
What deputy is going to be stopping mowers in the PAW?
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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by Stercutus » Sun May 21, 2017 7:41 pm

Oh I never said PAW.
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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by teotwaki » Sun May 21, 2017 7:54 pm

Stercutus wrote:Oh I never said PAW.
Okay, then riding a lawn mover for transportation is a really poor choice. Too slow, too noisy - especially for the driver, driver is too vulnerable to injury, probably easy to be in the blind spots of motorists, no turn signals (hand signals are inadequate) , no mirrors, the list goes on.

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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by Stercutus » Sun May 21, 2017 8:00 pm

teotwaki wrote:
Stercutus wrote:Oh I never said PAW.
Okay, then riding a lawn mover for transportation is a really poor choice. Too slow, too noisy - especially for the driver, driver is too vulnerable to injury, probably easy to be in the blind spots of motorists, no turn signals (hand signals are inadequate) , no mirrors, the list goes on.

Sure, as a daily driver or even across Kansas to visit a relative very unsafe. But if all the traffic is moving at 10 MPH the equation changes a bit.

Safety wise there are a few strong points: any single vehicle crash is going to be low speed, the noise can attract the attention of motorists, it isn't all bad. In the movie Farnsworth stops before dark every night and camps in fields and other places.
From this day to the ending of the world,
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We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by teotwaki » Sun May 21, 2017 8:30 pm

Stercutus wrote:Sure, as a daily driver or even across Kansas to visit a relative very unsafe. But if all the traffic is moving at 10 MPH the equation changes a bit.

Safety wise there are a few strong points: any single vehicle crash is going to be low speed, the noise can attract the attention of motorists, it isn't all bad. In the movie Farnsworth stops before dark every night and camps in fields and other places.
Where does traffic for any useful distance move at only 10 MPH?

"Single vehicle crash"? Like driving the lawn mower under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

And in the thread title, what do you mean by "Bailout"?

So are we only evaluating the fictional movie character's use of a lawn mower? Still a bad choice for real life. Movies are Hollywood dreams..
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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by Stercutus » Sun May 21, 2017 8:42 pm

Where does traffic for any useful distance move at only 10 MPH?

Here and there:

Image
"Single vehicle crash"? Like driving the lawn mower under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
I would not recommend that.
And in the thread title, what do you mean by "Bailout"?
See above.
So are we only evaluating the fictional movie character's use of a lawn mower? Still a bad choice for real life. Movies are Hollywood dreams..
Actually it was internationally produced and released by Walt Disney. Hollywood would not touch due to the kiss of death (G rating).

Regardless though it was actually a true story.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Straight
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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by teotwaki » Mon May 22, 2017 12:39 pm

Thanks for zeroing in on the word "bailout". That helps.
Stercutus wrote: Image
That prompted me to go look at videos from the freeways during the hurricane events and a person might get away with riding a mower. Toss up as to what LEOs might do but I'd hope that out of kindness that let a bug out mower pass on through.
Stercutus wrote:Actually it was internationally produced and released by Walt Disney. Hollywood would not touch due to the kiss of death (G rating).

The Walt Disney Studios is an American film studio, one of the four major businesses of The Walt Disney Company and the main component of its Studio Entertainment segment.[1] The studio, best known for its multi-faceted film division, which is one of Hollywood's major film studios, is based at the eponymous Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disn ... ivision%29

People can quibble about the Burbank location but the Disney studio is definitely part of the Hollywood establishment.

"Internationally produced" might cover the funding (Les Films Alain Sarde/Le Studio Canal Plus/Picture Factory), but all of the actors, crews and others are from the US entertainment industry (Hollywood). Lynch's close associate, AFS film expert Mary Sweeney not only edited the "The Straight Story," she also produced it and wrote the script.
Stercutus wrote:Regardless though it was actually a true story.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Straight
The movie is not a true story but we could agree it was "based" on a true story. Even Director Lynch and Producer Sweeney speak of the scenes they cooked up (Sissy Spacek praying) to tell the story they wrote. Understandable that they would invent dialog but the film was not a documentary. !t does make for a cool story illustrating long distance travel on a lawn mower.

The Final Chapter
In July of 1996 Alvin started a mower trip to Idaho. Near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, about 400 miles from Laurens, he was found in his pull trailer suffering from dehydration and severe sunburn. He never fully recovered from this, later suffering a stroke.

All in all a very cool topic because it made me think about interesting stuff. :mrgreen:
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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by Stercutus » Mon May 22, 2017 2:13 pm

Yeah, the second long trip did not go nearly as well.


When I said "disguised" the movie is really about ageing, dying gracefully and dealing with disability and infirmament that often comes with age. For a 73 year old disabled man to set out on a 400 mile journey on an 18 year old riding mower says a lot about either his grit or lack of mental faculties. The movie kind of lets you decide what you want to go with.

Farnsworth was dying himself when he made it and died the next year by his own hand while suffering from incurable cancer.
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd—
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother

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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by teotwaki » Mon May 22, 2017 4:02 pm

Stercutus wrote:Yeah, the second long trip did not go nearly as well.


When I said "disguised" the movie is really about ageing, dying gracefully and dealing with disability and infirmament that often comes with age. For a 73 year old disabled man to set out on a 400 mile journey on an 18 year old riding mower says a lot about either his grit or lack of mental faculties. The movie kind of lets you decide what you want to go with.

Farnsworth was dying himself when he made it and died the next year by his own hand while suffering from incurable cancer.

Double down on how amazing Farnsworth was. He was especially happy when he read in the script that Mr. Straight used a couple of canes.
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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by Dabster » Mon May 22, 2017 5:43 pm

We had a small John Deere when I was a kid. It was great for many things but the clutch was horrible -practically a full-body workout at every press. I would not want to drive it in stop & go traffic. Ever.
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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by RYANINMICHIGAN » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:44 pm

4x4 four wheeler will be
1 more quite
2 better on gas
3 more adept at off road
4 generally more powerful and reliable

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Re: The Riding Mower Bailout

Post by Stercutus » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:36 am

RYANINMICHIGAN wrote:4x4 four wheeler will be
1 more quite
2 better on gas
3 more adept at off road
4 generally more powerful and reliable

I agree.

But a riding mower is a bit cheaper and more likely to be on hand.
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd—
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother

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