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If you’re like me, you get a kick out of sponsored advertising that pops up on your facebook wall. I will be researching a product like dewalt tools one day, and for the next week or more, I’ll be having sponsored ads on my facebook wall that are all about Dewalt tools. But othertimes, it is obvious that I am just the target audience for the brand. I think this is the case with Off.

Off (an SC Johnson brand) has had an impressive targeting campaign going over the past week or so. It has been titled “Get Back Out There” (using the hashtag #GetBackOutThere.) Basically, it has been a countdown of various events. Back to School, Back to Fall…

I saw this one yesterday:

Off Lawnmowers become Leafblowers

Now I get it. Everyone knows someone (and will deny that they themselves actually do this) who uses their lawnmower to chop up and cleanup leaves in the fall. It is a clever use of visual and ad copy that Off has used. But I think casually suggesting that your lawnmower become your leaf blower is dangerous to the equipment. Perhaps Off should stick to repelling insects.

Now, some mowers are capable of mulching leaves and even bagging them, but the fact remains that this is not what that lawnmower was made to do.

Lawnmowers are meant to cut grass. The blade is designed for blades of grass and not for piles of leaves. Misuse of equipment is one of the 3 major ways that equipment gets damaged requiring repairs.

What are the other 2 ways? Neglect and Abuse.

Neglect

Most people know that they need to properly maintain their equipment. Whether they actually do it or not is the question here. You need to properly maintain your equipment (change oil, filters, sparkplugs, sharpen blade, tighten fasteners) to ensure a long life for your power equipment.

Abuse

When you drive over a landscaping timber or a paving stone, and bend your blade, you have just abused the piece of equipment. It may have been accidental or it might have been on purpose… regardless, abuse has happened.

Misuse

Here’s the one that most folks don’t truly consider. Your equipment has a specific list of proper ways to use the equipment… and then others that aren’t so obvious. Perhaps reversing the mower (or pulling it backwards) while a self propel system is engaged. Perhaps the conveniently flat surface of your mower deck to carry a tree or large plant from one side of yard to another… perhaps using your mower as a leaf collection machine.

If the blade and collection system is overworked, the spindle and engine may be overworked leading to damage or failure.

Simply deciding to use your mower as a leaf blower/collector could void warranty on that $400+ piece of equipment.

The answer? Use the right product for the right project.

Get a backpack blower (because who wants to rake leaves) or a handheld blower. Get a shredder/vac that is made for leaf collection.

Also… Pick up some Off and Get Back Out There. Projects have to be done… but life needs to be lived too.