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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Aug 2008
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    NE

    Default Another Fatal Riding Mower Accident

    Lincoln city employee dies after lawn mower accident

    The victim was a city employee using a Heckendorn three wheel mower on inclines when it rolled. The mower weighs 1200 lbs and looks like a death trap, which is born out by this tragic event.

    Here's a picture of a Heckendorn three wheeler, These things look like they should be illegal...


  2. #2
    Elite Member Mace Canute's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
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    4,203
    Location
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

    Default Re: Another Fatal Riding Mower Accident

    The machine looks like it would be quite stable on level ground. Since the employee was mowing a "drainage easement" (ditch) it appears he either was not following proper usage for the machine or he wasn't properly trained to operate it...probably a little of both. Properly training would include how much of a sidehill the machine could be safely operated on. This was totally preventable with a little forethought and due diligence.

    The city of Lincoln has removed from service two three-wheeled mowers, including the one that tipped over which have an old design and are rarely used. The city also suspended mowing around all ditches.

    Kohles had been a city employee for about 2 1/2 years, so not really all that experienced on this particular mower, apparently.

    One news story says "About a year ago, Opfer (Scott Opfer, manager of Lincoln's street and traffic operations) said, workers told him they were concerned with the ditch Kohles was mowing Monday. Workers were using a different style mower at that time."

    So apparently the safety factor of mowing this particular ditch was an issue with the people who actually mowed it before and they made management aware of it. This should have triggered an immediate investigation into what mowers were safe to use...and what ones weren't. Those two particular mowers should have been clearly marked "for use on level ground only" and all the operators should have been made aware of that fact, but I believe it makes more sense to have all mowers capable of safely cutting everywhere. That particular ditch slope should have been reworked too (if possible) since even with the other mowers it seems to have been overly steep for comfort.

    Just conjecture on my part here...I believe there's a good chance the guy thought that since the ditch was mowed before, it was safe for that machine...after all, they sent him out there with that machine to mow that ditch. He probably looked at the outlying rear wheels and figured it would be stable, not realizing those wheels would simply move upwards when it started to go over. A fatal bit of judgment on his part, if that was the case.

    Someone dropped the ball and a man died because of it.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    Aug 2008
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    NE

    Default Re: Another Fatal Riding Mower Accident

    Quote Originally Posted by Mace Canute View Post

    Someone dropped the ball and a man died because of it.
    This is the part that makes one mad as **** at these types of accidents.

  4. #4
    New Member
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    Aug 2010
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    3

    Default Re: Another Fatal Riding Mower Accident

    Every year, approximately 75,000 Americans receive injuries as a result of lawn mower accidents. Children make up 10,000 of these injuries. so that it is necessary to follow some rules and safety

  5. #5
    Veteran Member The Haymaker's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    1,293
    Location
    Benton, Maine
    Tractor
    2008 T2220

    Default Re: Another Fatal Riding Mower Accident

    I'd be willing to bet the machine did roll, it went over backwards. Rear mounted engine, light in the front end. Aint no way that thing flopped on it's side. ROPS......

    I know a certain town who is soon to be paying a substantial amount of money in litigation.
    "Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    84
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Tractor
    Old Iron, 70's JD 1020

    Default Re: Another Fatal Riding Mower Accident

    Quote Originally Posted by The Haymaker View Post
    Rear mounted engine, light in the front end. Aint no way that thing flopped on it's side...
    You're kidding right? I ran on of those for 4 years while I was in college in the mid 80's. That front end is carrying the whole front deck weight plus the operator, the engine isn't really rear mounted, it's more closely aligned over the rear axle. One rule for that machine was don't get the front wheel in the mud, you'll get stuck. When we cleaned the deck, we used a gantry crane lift the front up so we could power wash it and sharpen the blades.

    My bet is he was going parallel to the bank, something started to slip, he turned down hill and it rolled over the front corner. While its easy to point fingers at others, ultimately safe operation lies with the operator. That comes to training and too often its not valued as it should.

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