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Lawn mower repair shops working overtime

By Orlando Salinas, osalinas@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 24 2013 09:23:26 PM EDT

The tall grass is keeping landscapers, and repair shops busy.

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. -

All the rain over the past month has lawn mowers working overtime.

We did some checking and found all that tall grass is keeping landscapers and repair shops busy.

This reporter is one of those folks having issues mowing the lawn. The biggest problem is my mower doesn't work. I cleaned out the carburetor but that didn't help. Turns out that lots of folks are having lawn mower issues.

We stopped by Powerzone in Christiansburg to find out how busy it really is at one repair shop.

Inside the shop there's rock and roll playing on a radio in the corner. James Craven is working on an industrial mower sitting about five feet high on a lift.

"It's been wet' said Craven, "and that right there really keeps us busy because of the rain. Everybody's mowing like every week sometimes twice a week."

Around the New River Valley for 18 of the past 24 days, storms have passed through this region.

Craven points to a packed lot behind a tall fence, and says more than 200 mowers are either waiting to be repaired or are ready to be picked up.

I can see push mowers and a whole lot of those ''lazy boy'' mowers, you know, the kind you just sit on. Mower mechanics say when grass grows like a monster, like it is now, they get swamped with repair work.

Jeff Aistrop works mostly on smaller two-cylinder engines. He stopped and showed us a brand new air filter right next to a dirty one.

"This is what we find a lot of' said Aistrop, "typical air filter nobody ever changes."

Then he lifted up a glass jar full, where gas and water have separated.

"Typical rain water' said Aistrop, "people leave their gas cans open, leave the cap off their lawn mower."

I did some checking around, and sure enough around the New River Valley, there's a waiting list to get your lawn mowed and there's a waiting list to get your lawn mower fixed too.

We saw another Powerzone employee moving mowers from one spot to the next. It reminded me of someone trying to work one of those Rubik's cubes, trying to make the puzzle fit. The man smiled and shook his head, "I'm trying to find a place to put all this stuff."

There are so many mowers here on the lot, packed in like pairs of shoes inside an awfully tight shoebox. I was watching and listening to Aistrop, when I noticed surgical clamps hanging from his t-shirt.

"Yeah I work alot of two cycles," said Aistrop, "so you got hoses, little wires. I can't get my hands down into stuff."

Now I understand why those surgical clamps are hanging from his shirt.

I asked him if was a doctor. He smiled and said he's a doctor ''when it comes to fixing up these mowers.''