Thursday, October 10, 2019

Unintended consequences

The cattle are getting close to the end of the grass in the pasture. Sprite decided to feed them hay on my pasture.

That is to my benefit. The hay they eat is pooped out on my pasture, enriching the soil. The other benefit is that they may eat mostly hay but they will continue to nibble the grass for dessert. Having the grass nibbled down close is good for frost seeding in mid-winter.

I may lose some red clover I planted last winter because it won't have time to recover from prolonged defoliation, but on the whole I think I will come out ahead.

When safety features aren't
The unintended consequence is related to the seat switch.

Sprite weighs about 80 pounds and doesn't have enough lead in her pockets to keep the seat switch closed. Several times she hit some bumps. The bouncing caused the seat switch to un-make and the tractor stopped RIGHT NOW.

It will be very, very hard for her to feed the cattle the 150 round bales she has if she cannot use the Captain's her tractor.

I swung by the Kubota dealer and asked if there were lower-rate springs that can be installed in the seat. The parts man said, "Sorry buddy. Lawyers run the world. Can't help you out."

Then he went on to tell me that removing one of the two springs was also forbidden as that deviated from the design as validated by the factory. He especially advised against removing the spring on the same side of the seat as the sensor module as that would make it so even a 79 pound pre-teen could use the tractor.

I thanked the man profusely not being able to help me out. Of course, I cannot remember his name nor can I remember which Kubota dealership I went to.


  1. ANd that is how one helps people without telling them how to fix the issue in an unsafe manner .......Customer service without the liability.

    Gotta love it

  2. On my(old) Kubota it's a reed switch with a flexible metal switch arm, and I absolutely couldn't bend the arm to a more favorable angle so that the slightest pressure on the seat would close the switch and keep it running.

  3. Think, "Jet Ski safety lanyard". Then think, "Cheap, but does the same thing".

    Answer: A snowblower starter switch attached to a lanyard of your own making. See "Stens 430390 Starter Switch" for $8.95 at or your local small engine shop.

    Implementation: Put switch in parallel with existing seat switch. "Key Out" means seat safety switch in control. "Key In" means "dead man" lanyard in control.

    All bets off if one forgets to attach the lanyard to themselves.

  4. A neighbor of mine simply bypasses such switches. I don't support this methodology.

  5. Schwartz György and his tribe in action.


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