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  • Writer's pictureF.B.I

Murrays Lawn Care- 10 Minutes

I will start with a brief about myself. I am 65years old, getting some pocket money from Jacinda, but not ready to drift off in total retirement yet!

Active and reasonably fit enjoy mountain biking especially adventure riding, have ridden many trails in both Islands of our wonderfull country, Timber trail, Pureora Forest park. Motu trails in BOP, Great Lake trail around Lake Taupo, Nevis range trails, Alexandra-Roxborogh trails, Nasby trails in Central Otago as well Moonlight outback trail and Coronett peak trails Queenstown. Queen Charlotte track as well as the exploring many specialist bike parks , Taupo, Rotorua, Christchurch, Wellington etc.

Also keen jet boater, still got our original Alloy jet boat which myself and a good friend come work mate built some 43-44 years ago. Cut our teeth boating on the beautiful upper Rangitikei River ,also spent many hours boating on Ngararua River HB, Wanganui River, Patea River, Raumahunga River, Otaki River, Manawatu River including through the gorge and into upper reaches. Whakatane River, Mohaka River- also did a jet boating trip into upper S.I. In single days, boating Wairua River, Waimea river over Nelson way and got talked into exploring or rock hopping a couple of bonny creeks up Inangahua way by some lovely local JB'ers..very challenging.

Married to Glennis for some 37 yrs. Have Two adult children, son Kyle lives in Feilding has own concrete placing business ,is married with one 21/2 yr old., our Daughter Bronwyn lives in Brisbane, is married with a young family of two lovely gran kids a 5yr old girl and 7yr old boy. Bought up in Taihape.

Started work at garage in a Taihape automotive dealership working in Automotive Parts for couple of years before being accepted as apprentice mechanic. Couple of years into this, problems arose with dermatitis affecting my hands, it appeared I had a reaction to oil and grease on my hands

After many unsuccessful specialists appointments to try to counter the problem I was faced with having to give up on my chosen occupation and give my mechanics career away.

Went back into parts administration, did a stint in car sales selling new and used cars for few years, also took on role of automotive workshop administration and service management.

After the dealership where I had worked for some 14 years closed down , went into a partnership with one of the mechanics from the dealership and operated our own automotive repair workshop for a few years. then purchased a NOVUS windscreen repair franchise, which operated with my wife for 18yrs.

Moved from Taihape to Feilding in 1996 to develop our Novus business in Manawatu/ Wanganui area more fully.

Sold Novus in 2005 and got a job working part time with Kester @ Automotive Direct, Job soon became full time. Enjoyed working with Kester and Sandra, came to an end some 13 years later. Kester has become a good friend and our friendship still is strong today.

Spent 3 years working in retail outdoor power equipment store, selling lawn mowers, chainsaws and host of other OPE as well as cycle sales and service. Called time on this, as getting sick of the hours and generally not happy in retail environment. This was when the lawn mowing business proposition came up.

The business had been operated for some 13 years, but the owner whom had a very sick wife to look after had cut back on lawn jobs so as to have time to help look after his ailing wife, eventually he came to conclusion that selling the business was best option.

The business included a Walker ride on mower with its equipment. Having seen the problems and frustrations many ride on mower owners have with other brands of ride-ons and having the opportunity to sell the Walker range of mowers, it was a no brainer to look seriously at this small 1 man band lawn mowing business. Eventually we bit the bullet and purchased the business some 15 months ago.

Have grown the business from 36 regular lawns to some 45, mainly bigger lawns. Just need to be careful not to overcommit, as do not want to have to be on the mower 6 + days a week to keep up and also want to be able to fit in the occassional one off job ,which come up from time to time, especially tidying up of overgrown out of control property which can command a higher price.

A little bit about the Walker mower difference: They are the “Rolls Royce” of ride ons. Completely US designed and built. Tough – fully fabricated and welded steel chassis and deck construction. Unlike most other mowers which have chassis construction of thinner pressed steel which is bolted/riveted together and with even thinner pressed steel decks that are prone to rusting out or cracking.

WALKER mower has many user friendly features, including zero turn-can turn in its own length. Very nimble, manoeuvrable and precise steering.

Out front mowing- the mowing deck is immediately ahead of operator - means great visibility of where you are mowing – this is especially handy when mowing on heavily landscaped property. can reach under shrubs, hedges and bushes and get into tight spots which dramatically reduces time trimming,

Also very versatile, as deck can be easily tilted up for cleaning, blade sharpening etc; The mowing deck is also fully floating, so it glides over bumps and dips and follows ground contours. Very little weight on the small front mounted wheels.

Also the fact that the blades get to cut the grass before the weight bearing wheels get to roll over the ground makes a huge difference to the finished job. Multi deck- gives options of cutting and catching grass, mulching the grass or side chuting the grass. Simply by removing or replacing catcher or side chute plates on the deck.

Twin flail blade system The Patented blade system is a huge advantage in the grass cutting efficiencey – each blade bar has 2 pairs of flail blades, which deliver an exceptional cut,manicuring lawns – mulching of grass when not too long or thick leaves little or no sign of clippings on the lawn. The blades counter rotate, one rotates clockwise the other anti clockwise, meaning each blade fires the cut grass into the other, which ensures cuttings are very finely mulched which makes for more efficient catching of grass clippings or if mulching the clippings are dispersed back into the lawn leaving very little evidence that the lawn has in fact been mulched.

The blades are direct driven mechanically via a drive shaft and heavy duty angle gearboxs- which aids blade speed to be consistent, unlike other ride ons, which great big long vee belts that drive blades and the actual machine. These belts stretch, slip and cause blades to loose speed and start all sorts of belt failure and tensioner pulley bearing problems, not to mention inefficient grass cutting because of jamming up off blade rotation.

This mechanical direct drive of blades is important in maintaining consistent blade speed of 3600-3800rpm meaning quicker more efficient cutting and a better finish. There is also a winter blade option available where the lower blade has a bigger upturn on rear edge of the blade. This creates more air movement under the cutting deck, to keep heavier wet grass suspended and dispatched better.

To assist in more efficient catching of cut grass, a 10” dia. Blower is simply engaged so the cut grass is fed from the chute opening in rear of deck into the inlet part of the blower and then is ejected out of the top of the blower into the top mounted catcher mounted directly behind the operator. This maximises the filling of the 7.5 bushell catcher, even when grass is wet. The catcher holds approx 5-6 regular house hold rotary mower catchers.

At this time of the year, falling autumn leaves can become a messy problem to clear and catch up off lawns, but this job is a breeze with the Walker. The twin flail blades chop up big leathery leaves and dispatch them to the catcher via the blower system no problems.

As you can no doubt tell, I have a real respect and understanding of the advantages of a Walker mower and have been lucky enough to go through factory training courses on the use and general servicing of these machines.

There are also a number of other attachments available for the Walker to assist in lawn care, such as a Dethatching unit.

DETHATCHING... Thatch is a layer of dead turf and weed that accumulates at the very base of the turf grasses. It smothers the the soil, making it near impossible for moisture and air to get to the soil below.It also creates an environment for grass diseases to grow and damage lawns.

De thatching removes this layer, bring the clumps of thatch to the lawn surface so it can be raked up or picked up using mower on a higher cut and disposed of.

The WALKER De thatching attachment mounts on front of mowing deck and has 3 rows of stiff spring tines pointing downwards into the lawn. As the mower is moved forwards over the lawn, the tines dig down into the thatch layer flicking the clumps of thatch out onto the surface, to be collected up by the activated blades and catcher blower system and dispatched to the catcher.

Weed control in lawn is another job we do. Sprays for this are best applied in spring and autumn, to control a wide range of broadleaf weeds, clover, chick weed, onehunga weed , prickles, daisies etc; Can also be done with grannuals but this method will require a good watering after application, so lawn is not burnt off.

Fertilising of the lawn also best done in spring and autumn. Promotes fine grass growth, healthier thicker greener grass. Mulching of lawns also great way to feed the the lawn, especially over the long hot summer conditions.

Other work we do is section clearing of overgrown lots especially new developed sections.

I really love my job and get great satisfaction in seeing the results of my work.

We tend to get a lot of refferal work from customers whom appreciate the job done on their lawn which is quite rewarding.

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