It’s tractor time!

A good 7 months and change after I bought it (well traded for it), I finally got my riding mower out for the first mow. It had gone through a few problems. First of all, the battery died. After testing it out with the van battery (and possibly destroying the van battery in the process?), I finally went out and bought a new battery on Saturday.

So Saturday I got it started and took it out and about. But I couldn’t get it to actually cut. Eventually I figured out that there was a lever to pull that drops the cutting part down to the ground, but even after I pulled that (or pushed it I think), it still wasn’t cutting. It was hot and I didn’t feel like messing with it any more so I gave up.

But last night I was back with a new batch. After taking it out and trying a few things, I noticed a new lever I hadn’t pushed before. It was a little sticky but I flipped the switch and lo and behold the blades started a-swirlin.

I’m not sure what “PTO” means but apparently that’s code for “turn the blades on”

So I spent an hour or so cutting the grass. It was kind of cool. As I have mentioned before, there’s just something cool about the first time you do stuff like this (mow your own lawn, or shovel snow, etc) – some sort of sense of just pride I guess. The 2nd through millionth times you do them? Not so much.

Anyways, I’m still (obviously) a rookie on the tractor and so I’m working on figuring out the best way to cut the yard. As you no doubt can imagine, the tractor doesn’t have quite the turning radius of a hand mower. So it makes the corners (and near trees and such) a little more tricky. Seems like it would be a good math problem. Given a tractor t with turning radius r, determine the optimal path for cutting a yard with dimensions d. Or somethin.