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Chapter 18

Weed Eaters

Yes folks, the game is tied one all at the half. I consider twenty years as a half period but more about that later.

I have owned WEED EATER products, now POULAN, almost as long as we have lived here which was twenty-two years April 11, 2002. Now you know where the twenty year half comes in to the picture.

I don't know of any other piece of equipment that adds to the beauty of a well manicured lawn except maybe a Japanese gardener with a pair of shears. That little whirring piece of .065 diameter monofilament can flick a single blade of grass with the accuracy of a sniper.

The summer of 1982, I purchased my first ten inch model. I had grown tired of going around the outside perimeter of my yard, some three hundred feet, on my hands and knees clipping the grass the mower did not reach. This little machine lasted until late summer when I made an error in judgment. I got too close to the concrete base around my air conditioner and the cutting head and guard flew in to a hundred pieces. My fault right?

Back to good old Ace Hardware where I purchased a twelve inch model, vowing to be more careful in the future. One day out in the workshop I noticed the first model under the bench. I took it apart and the only damage I could see was the cutting head and guard. I also spotted an 800 number. When I purchase any appliance, large or small, I note date of purchase, cost, serial number, etc., on the set of instructions and file this information. JIC (Just in case.) I called the WEED EATER COMPANY in Shreveport, Louisiana and spoke with a young lady with an accent that just dripped honey. I told her the cutter head and guard had shattered but did not mention why. All she wanted was my name and address, model and parts needed. Sure enough, three days later, UPS arrived with new parts. Now I had two WEED EATERS.

Some time after that my buddy Don Howard, the worlds greatest scavenger, spotted what appeared to be a new WEED EATER and the carton it had come it mixed in with the garbage in front of a rural residence. We stopped, put the find in the truck and went our merry way. The only thing wrong with this unit was a shattered guard. Didn't take a rocket scientist to determine the cause. The previous owner had replaced the line with commercial .090, much too large for the cutter to handle and the guard shattered. A call to the lady in Louisiana produced a new guard free of charge. I traded Donald an old light fixture for his half and now I had three good units and this latest was the super duper, top of the line edger and trimmer with a fifteen inch cut.

The second unit I had purchased quit working one day. I found the brushes worn and called my friend. She told me they didn't service motor parts but asked if a comparable unit would be satisfactory. Sure I said. Okay she said, end of conversation. Yep, UPS arrived three or four days later with new WEED EATER. Now have four and in the meantime found some brushes at a small motor shop for ninety cents.

Last month, the super duper unit quit in mid whir. Took it apart and saw two problems. Worn brushes and the race had become detached from the plastic motor mount. I called Louisiana where I spoke with a very nice gentleman who offered condolences but little else. I had an extra set of brushes and devised a way to attach the race with some NASA inspired cement. This is where the fun started. The motor is housed between two plastic shells. Rather than reassemble the unit, I hooked up the electrical connections while the motor rested in one half of housing. I pressed the trigger and immediately released it. The motor had spun up and I could just see success on the horizon. Next time I pressed the trigger full on without securing the housing. Boy, that thing really generates a lot of torque! It leaped from the work bench right in to my lap, still whirring. Luckily, one of the connections slipped off and a good thing. I was so shocked I still had the trigger pressed. To bring this to a close, my repairs worked, unit is good as new and performed without a hitch. Have no idea how long it will last but then who knows? The Shadow maybe?

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