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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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Old 06-18-2009, 08:11 PM
kb9nvh kb9nvh is offline
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Funny about the warranty is that there really is no "explode in flames" warranty so there really was never a point that SCAG would cover this I guess. SCAG lists particular things that they cover and fuel lines never enter in. Fuel lines are not in their maintenance list either (but I guess really should be) judging from your experience.

There are two aspects to this, one being safety and one being just warranty coverage. If many ford trucks started bursting into flames in 4 or 5 years you can bet there would be a recall, and if SCAGS started doing what mine did on a regular basis there would be a recall as well force by the cpsc. Hopefully for SCAG this wont be the case.

I wont deny that I didn't do a lot of close looking at my fuel lines and I will say right here that I would never have expected fuel lines to go bad in 2 or 3 seasons of mowing. Most of the lines were out in plain sight so i would like to think that I would have seen cracks before they became a problem.

I will go out on a limb here and say that there was no leak until 30minutes into my mowing when it occurred all of the sudden. I looked (had a guy go look actually) at the yard leading up the mower spot where the mower burned and there no dead grass trail. Also, I do believe I would have smelled even a small gas leak if it had occurred while I was loading/unloading the mower or even while I was mowing. The fact that the mower died suddenly within seconds of me smelling RAW fuel indicates to me that the fuel leak was sudden and not a gradual thing that came on over time.

Now, that said, from the evidence and my own personal observation, the leak HAD to be between the engine and the seat since there were flames there and the mower was slightly uphill so gas would roll backward. Also, if you have looked at the pictures you will see that all the clamps and hoses were still attached to all their nipples.
So, it seems the leak had to be, as improbable as this sounds to me, from a split in the fuel line coming from the right tank, in front of the motor and attaching to the fuel valve/switch.

I will concede that, if the fuel line that runs between the seat and engine did indeed turn to crap in 3 years as you say is your experience it would explain what happened. Before talking to you, I would have never suspected fuel lines to go bad that quickly and I have never seen this myself and even others who blamed this on my lack of maintenance still never admitted to having cracked fuel lines that soon.

And if that is the case then I will chalk it up to experience that fuel lines can go horribly bad in that short of time.

Now, one guy with a cub said that his 2 year old cub was having his fuel lines cut into by the zip ties that SCAG used to bind the lines. It could be that the zip ties did indeed cut into my 3 yr old degraded fuel line.

Now, agreeing with you that you scenario is probably the most likely one, I still don't think it should happen and with the proper design it could be eliminated. Also, if this is such a high probability of fuel leaks after 3 years then the fuel lines should be explicitly called out for replacement or inspection every few years. Fuel lines are given no special attention in the maintenance schedule.

also, the mower was in as good a shape as a 60 hour mower would be in with moderate cleaning and full "owners manual" maintenance compliance. Meaning I changed oil, checked hydraulic oil, changed blades, greased fittings as much or more than called for. The mower was kept in a pole barn so never got rained on or snowed on.

Originally Posted by musician/lawnman View Post
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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Old 06-18-2009, 08:18 PM
kb9nvh kb9nvh is offline
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I believe an extinguisher would have saved my mower and everyone would be wise to have one at the ready...

Originally Posted by justin_time View Post
I'm thinking of buying a fire extinguisher after I saw these pictures
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:51 PM
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Default Fuel line recall on 5000 Husqvarna tractors

It's not only ZTR that have fuel line problems

Tractors too
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:41 PM
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Interesting about these types of mowers is that the tanks are usually back behind/under the seat. Any gas leak just goes to the ground. My opinion is that if a gas leak occurs, its imperative that gas not reach the hot muffler. I don't think that any other part of the engine is really hot enough to cause ignition.

All the ztr's i've seen seem to have the carb right over the muffler (crazy) and even if gas leaks anywhere around the engine it flows back and off the rear deck right onto the muffler again. I think most ZTR's are of a fire prone design and could use some rethinking.

Originally Posted by justin_time View Post
It's not only ZTR that have fuel line problems

Tractors too
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:15 PM
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This does get me wondering how effective an extinguisher would be at stopping a fire when you have a continuous leak of gas onto a hot muffler. I am sure it would put a fire out but would it have any effect on cooling the muffler?

I was looking at your pics. Is there anyway you could kinda give us a walk through on some of the pics telling us or pointing out different issues?
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:46 PM
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Steve, Yes. A fire extinguisher could very well cool a muffler down, However impractical ... if memory serves, mythbusters found a fire extiguisher to be one of the fastest ways to get a beer cold!
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:15 AM
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Ok guys, I see there has been a more discussion on this but at the moment I don't have the time to sit, read, and digest the contents of it. I will try to either post a comment or post a link to an article/comment sometime in the next weeks time. I suspect some of the info that you will see may be shocking to some of you guys. So, let the suspense begin (yea right!)....

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Old 06-20-2009, 09:16 AM
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I gotta ask one question tho, kb9nvh what state do you live in?

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Old 06-20-2009, 09:39 AM
kb9nvh kb9nvh is offline
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Close to Bloomington, Indiana

Picked up my new Bad Boy mower yesterday...Its a real HOSS!! I need to mount my fire extinguisher today and evaluate the fuel lines (so that I dont get accused of poor maintenance again like on the other forum I posted this to).

Originally Posted by SuperiorPower View Post
I gotta ask one question tho, kb9nvh what state do you live in?

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Old 06-20-2009, 02:57 PM
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Here's my new mower
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