Good point, Ann. I don't know if Chris went online to see what other owners were experiencing with this lawnmower, but I would suspect there is a forum with a thousand complaints. This sounds like a design flaw rather than an individual problem.
It seems like all the "Fixed by Clever Humans"--oops, I mean, "Made by Monkeys"--columns are about products that were never tested, or at least, never tested in any way that's relevant to their actual use.
I have a self-propelled Troy-Bilt walk-behind mower. In 7 years of ownership, I had to replace the rear drive wheels, the front axle, front axle support bushings (three times!), rear drive transmission, and four drive belts. The paint flaked off the inside of the deck years ago. To be fair, when it is working, it works well, but I have invested 50% of the purchase price to keep it running for the last 7 years! More evidence that the monkeys work for Troy-Bilt (and their parent, MTD)! I will NEVER buy a Troy-Bilt product again!
Problem with a warranty claim, is you will only get the product repaired to the faulty design standard.
There are many times when I regard what I buy as not so much a product, more a set of parts from which to assemble something better.
For an item this expensive with only 7 hours of use, it surely would have been covered under warranty to troubleshoot the bad design. There may have been a technical bulletin explaining the issue that the repair tech could have reviewed.
Yes, Ann, another "Fixed by Clever Humans" column. I do wonder, though -- did the manufacturer bother to test this design? From what I'm reading here, the design flaw could have happened on any or all of its mowers. Shouldn't they have picked that up in test?
I have found numerous opportunities to choose better bolts, knobs, transistors, resistors, capacitors, etc. on various pieces of equipment in my days. And certainly, in many cases, I could have written a better manual after spending only a few hours with a product. I could certainly spell better than they did.
We shouldn't expect perfection with most devices. They only had to meet spec for marketing. He was lucky to have a lift and to see the problem. I wonder how many of these were sold off on Craig's List to some unwary soul who spent a fortune on repairs never to be satisfied?
Looks like another "Fixed by Clever Humans" column. I especially like how the author changed various dimensions, like distance from tensioner arm to bolt head and belt length. I agree with Nancy, he should have been the design engineer for this product.
Chris - I admire your tenacity in troubleshooting the problem. It seems that you should have been the design engineer on this mower. It also makes me wonder how much testing is done during the development stages for these types of products. It seems like this problem should have been recognized during product development.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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