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Health, Safety and Accident Issues. Discussion on health & safety issues that effect the lawn care, landscaping, tree care, power washing, snow plowing and other trades. Talks of accidents that have occurred and how they could have been prevented. OSHA rules.

My SCAG Tiget cub burst into FLAMES today!!


Health, Safety and Accident Issues.

Discussion on health & safety issues that effect the lawn care, landscaping, tree care, power washing, snow plowing and other trades. Talks of accidents that have occurred and how they could have been prevented. OSHA rules.
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  #21  
Old 06-05-2009, 08:47 PM
SuperiorPower
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In my opinion, you are the only one that really knows about the upkeep. And I think it is crappy what they are doing to you. Have you checked to see if there is a class action law suit being drawn up for Scag's treatment of their end users with mowers that burned up?
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  #22  
Old 06-16-2009, 08:57 PM
kb9nvh kb9nvh is offline
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No, I'm awaiting notification from the cpsc hoping there some type of recall. recently a gravely 2001 model burned up just like mine (on another forum).

Looks like the ZTR's are prone to fires.

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Originally Posted by SuperiorPower View Post
In my opinion, you are the only one that really knows about the upkeep. And I think it is crappy what they are doing to you. Have you checked to see if there is a class action law suit being drawn up for Scag's treatment of their end users with mowers that burned up?
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  #23  
Old 06-16-2009, 11:31 PM
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No, I'm awaiting notification from the cpsc hoping there some type of recall. recently a gravely 2001 model burned up just like mine (on another forum).

Looks like the ZTR's are prone to fires.
I don't think I would lump them all in together. I think that would be like saying that tractor type mowers are prone to falling out of the back of trucks. Which, by the way, I have seen before. Or to say the Tractor type mowers are more prone to flat tires. After all, I have seen far more flat tires on tractor type mowers than on ZTR mowers. I see your point, but don't think I would make a all inclusive statement to that affect.
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  #24  
Old 06-17-2009, 05:55 AM
kb9nvh kb9nvh is offline
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I would agree except, it seems to me, the configuration lends itself more to fire than the tractor type. The fuel tanks are usually gravity fed and any type leak works its way to the rear where the hot muffler is usually low where the gas drips too. I've just never seen it on other configurations like I have and experienced on the ZTR's. The scag recall had like 20 fires involved in that issue. I'm sure the ones we don't know about outnumber the ones we do and maybe there's more "tractor" type fires that I've not heard of also..?

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I don't think I would lump them all in together. I think that would be like saying that tractor type mowers are prone to falling out of the back of trucks. Which, by the way, I have seen before. Or to say the Tractor type mowers are more prone to flat tires. After all, I have seen far more flat tires on tractor type mowers than on ZTR mowers. I see your point, but don't think I would make a all inclusive statement to that affect.
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  #25  
Old 06-17-2009, 06:32 AM
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To play devil's advocate here:
Tractor mowers ussually only run for a couple years & then either the engine lets go, belts, pullies brake & I see them sitting in the yard on flats next to the house just rusting until they are thrown out. A commercial ZTR is much longer lasting. With that said, After a year & a half the fuel lines on my Z were dry rotten as hell & I had to change them to avoid having a leak & thus a fire. Yours was an 06 right? Had you changed the fuel lines? Filter?

I say this because if you watch the news clip of the story about the woman who was burned fataly on her scagg here in Florida, the news guy is standing next to what I believe is her other machine. Another scagg. He says " she was on a mower just like this one & we believe there was a fuel leak in this area..." as you look at it, that machine doesn't really appear to be very well maintained either. It's pretty beat up looking to be honest. There is always the possibility these cases are due to lack of maintenence &/or operator error.
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  #26  
Old 06-17-2009, 05:10 PM
kb9nvh kb9nvh is offline
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Wow, you seriously had cracked lines after only two years??? ...Gosh, I have a 21 year old wheelhorse with the same fuel lines on it when new. I would never had thought that after only after 2 years you would get cracked lines. Must be the ethanol or something.

Anyway, no one argues that maintenance needs to be done and no one blames the manf for wear items or age related wear when the result of that wear is an inoperable mower or even a broken down mower. The distinction here, (and other may disagree), is that the manf has a responsibility to design their equipment to be safe under normal foreseeable circumstances. Even if the operator fails to do maintenance and the mower fails, it should fail in a safe way. This is where I believe that SCAG fell short. The CPSC makes this type of determination and lots of things get recalled when they are found to be unsafe including the tiger cub in 1999-2004 for a faulty carburetor that leaked and caused a gas fire.

To answer your question, I had never changed the fuel lines or the filter although they were in plain sight for the most part, I never gave them a second thought. I do feel that when fuel lines begin to fail they begin to leak but not catastrophically and the failure becomes apparent before its a real issue. You had fuel lines crack and leak in two years so I and everyone reading this should take note of that and if they aren't inspecting their late model mowers fuel lines prior to each mow then maybe its time to start.

Also, I agree, the girl who died on here SCAG fire, the mower they showed looked to be in pretty bad shape. Even so, if I was a mower company I would strive to engineer a mower that, even if the fuel line ruptured, it would fail in a way that gas would not ignite on the hot motor but drain safely to the ground.


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Originally Posted by musician/lawnman View Post
To play devil's advocate here:
Tractor mowers ussually only run for a couple years & then either the engine lets go, belts, pullies brake & I see them sitting in the yard on flats next to the house just rusting until they are thrown out. A commercial ZTR is much longer lasting. With that said, After a year & a half the fuel lines on my Z were dry rotten as hell & I had to change them to avoid having a leak & thus a fire. Yours was an 06 right? Had you changed the fuel lines? Filter?

I say this because if you watch the news clip of the story about the woman who was burned fataly on her scagg here in Florida, the news guy is standing next to what I believe is her other machine. Another scagg. He says " she was on a mower just like this one & we believe there was a fuel leak in this area..." as you look at it, that machine doesn't really appear to be very well maintained either. It's pretty beat up looking to be honest. There is always the possibility these cases are due to lack of maintenence &/or operator error.
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  #27  
Old 06-18-2009, 06:35 AM
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Yeah those fuel lines I had were shot to hell.

I don't know how you could engineer fuel lines to "fail safely". If the leak near a hot engine you could have ignition, that's a real possibility. If there was a fool proof way to prevent catastrophic failure of any mechanical part then NASA wouldn't have had a multi-billion dollar shuttle blow up on them.

So if they haven't perfected the technology for shuttles.... what are the realistic chances that the mower manufacturers are investing that kind of money to perfect it for a $6000-10,000 lawn mower? Not good I bet.
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  #28  
Old 06-18-2009, 08:11 AM
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I'll try and give a few examples of a "safe" fuel delivery system.
1) You can put a vacuum operated pet**** at each tank so that if the engine stops running the fuel is stopped at the source (like on my 1981 honda silverwing)
2) When possible, put your failure points above the fuel level so that if the line is pulled loose gravity wont empty the tank.
3) Where fuel lines are at risk add protection or use steel braided line to lower the chance of catostrophic failure.
4) Use threaded joints rather than the cheaper push in type
5) Use alchohal rated lines so that they dont degrade in two years (dont you find it alarming and unusual that your lines were so bad in only a two year timeframe?)
6) Protect igntion points (hot muffler) from fuel flow in case fuel does begin to leak around the engine.

Safe engineering is done all the time and the trade off is cost vs safetly. I can give many examples in automobiles, chainsaws, propane tanks and even your electric guitar amp. Again, I dont know what caused my fire, I really dont think 32 months should degrade a mower enough to cause such a fuel leak. Most mower dont have fuel leaks after 2 seasons (including SCAG) so I consider this a rare occurance and I would buy a SCAG again if my only consideration was safety...but I feel SCAG should have done more for me in this situation (other dont and everyone is free to make their own decision on if SCAG did right by me or not). I've presented the facts in an honest way and for the most part everyone has discussed the issue civilally which I appreciate.

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Originally Posted by musician/lawnman View Post
Yeah those fuel lines I had were shot to hell.

I don't know how you could engineer fuel lines to "fail safely". If the leak near a hot engine you could have ignition, that's a real possibility. If there was a fool proof way to prevent catastrophic failure of any mechanical part then NASA wouldn't have had a multi-billion dollar shuttle blow up on them.

So if they haven't perfected the technology for shuttles.... what are the realistic chances that the mower manufacturers are investing that kind of money to perfect it for a $6000-10,000 lawn mower? Not good I bet.
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  #29  
Old 06-18-2009, 06:36 PM
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Bud,
I am not trying to be a jerk by any means. Yeah I too think Scagg should do more. Then again.... a 2 year warranty is a 2 year warranty.
If my ford burst into flames at 40,000 miles I am SOL. They aren't obligated to do anything & probably wouldn't, beacuse if they did then what happens when another truck happens to burn up at 45,000 miles? Then another at50,000 miles?
Manufacturers have to draw a line in the sand somewhere & they do, with a warranty limited by time (for a mower) by time & mileage for a vehicle. For that warranty period they are willing to gaurantee that the vehicle/equipment will operate properly & be free from defects &/or workmanship issues. After that they require maintenence & upkeep to remain in good working condition. Those factors are beyond the manufacturers control so.... no more warranty.
Yes, I was suprised to find my fuel lines on that mower as dry rotten as they were after less than 2 years! But, I run the machines hard for 8-10 minutes at a time, then they go in an enclosed trailer for a 3 minute drive, then back out for 8-10 minutes etc. It's not unusual for us to have 100+ degree days here, then the hear of the engines in an enclosed trailer. Plus they are about as close to the engine (as you would expect) as can be, exposing those fuel lines to temeratures in the hundreds on a regular basis. Air cooled mower engines can hit bettween 350-400 degrees man! That's alot of heat! So yeah, I wish the fuel lines lasted longer, but I check over my machines LOOKING for any & all issues a few times a week. MAINTENENCE IS KEY.
It is unfortunate that you lost a machine this way, I am sorry it happend & glad you are ok. You said you smelled fuel just before the fire which means you had a leak. With a machine gaining on 3 years of dependable service working well.... this wasn't likely a defect. It was a maintenence issue from what I can gather. The flashpoint of fuel is supposed to be around 535 degrees. So the mower was either very hot, or you had bad spark plug wires to on top of your fuel leak issues that arked & provided an ignition source that way.
I could very well be wrong here? I of course never saw the mower before it was burned up & have no idea what maintenence was/wasn't done. Maybe it was a freak accident or a defect? But from what you've said, the above is what I would suspect. I am not an argumentative person (you can ask the others here on the forum) I am not one to stir up crap. I am just calling it like I see it which is how I am all the time with everyone I encounter.
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  #30  
Old 06-18-2009, 06:41 PM
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I'm thinking of buying a fire extinguisher after I saw these pictures
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