Is This the Best We Can Do?

One of the trade offs I made when I was laid off two weeks ago was that instead of buying a new lawn tractor, or continuing to pay for a landscaper, I decided to eke out another season with my 30 year old Yard Man.  It’s a venerable old tractor, and can still make it’s way around the yard reasonably well.  So Saturday I set off to Aubuchon to replace the hinge pins for the mower deck, which someone inadvertently threw out, even though they were on my work bench in a bag mark “Important Mower Parts, Don’t Throw Out”. 

Aubuchon of course had the parts I needed, and but didn’t have the proper battery, which is a small  motorcycle battery.  So I headed to WalMart and found they also didn’t have the size I required.  Off to the local auto parts store, where with a bit of looking they found one. 

I expected to be handed your typical sealed, precharged battery.  Instead, I got a box containing a battery case, a jug of sulphuric acid, and a stern warning that the battery had to be charged at no more than 1 amp using a trickle charger for 18 hours. 

How is it we can send a man to the moon, but we’re still handing out do it yourself battery kits?  On what planet does it make sense to ask your customer to play with sulphuric acid?  And why they heck can’t I get a precharged battery? 

3 Replies to “Is This the Best We Can Do?”

  1. You mentioned that it was a motorcycle battery, right? I think that’s the answer. Motorcycle stuff is rarely turnkey the way auto parts are, because part of having a motorcycle is the tinkering… having the trickle charger running in the garage, trading out stock parts for customizations, changing your own oil, etc.

    I recently got a new battery for my car & was shocked that it came pre-charged. That’s never happened with a bike (though if you call ahead to a motorcycle shop, they’ll generally put it on the charger for you).

    Some of this relates to the relationship between the biker and the bike. It’s much more personal than the typical car owner relationship. I’m still sentimental about my first bike, which last I heard is with an acquaintance in northern Virginia…

  2. Great point – one definitely would accept that with their beloved bike. The problem is I just wanted to mow the #$%#ing lawn! 😉

    On a side note, I was in Sears today and noticed that all the lawn mowers there use bigger batteries, and they sell sealed, pre-charged batteries for them. I guess my issue stems from using a 30+ year old tractor.

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