"The Lawn Mower Repair Man's Front Page"
Did you ever walk your dog? Why? Hey, stuff happens, right?
Before even firing up your power equipment, walk your yard. Stuff happens and it really isn't to pleasent running over some of it up and getting all over things. So pick it up and dispose of it. This is a good time to also look for rocks, hangers, dog bones or any number of objects the kids may have thrown around that a lawn mower blade or line trimmer can set sailing at a dangerous velocity.
The tip of your mower blade is moving at 200 mph and you wouldn't even think of sticking your hand under there would you? Would You? Well......., some mentally challenged folks might but thats another subject. The point is, rocks and other foriegn objects can get flung out and at 200 mph, if it hits you it's going to hurt, injure or possibly kill.
Even if the object is detained below deck, the blade will sustain a knick or worse. If your mower has a cast deck you can knock a hole right through it. Walking the yard doesn't take very long but it can save you a lot of grief and money.
One more thing from a service mans point of view. Often when doing a repair I'll do little extra's here and there that doesn't take much time but makes the job more complete, it's kind of a matter of good customer relations type of thing. When I get a mower up on the table and its tires are smeared with dog stuff I immediatly forget about doing any favors. Hey, if you don't care what got smeared on your mowers tires and you just hauled that sucker to the shop in your car with that stuff rubbing off in your trunk, I figure you just don't care. Stuff on me? Noooo! Stuff on you. Still got all your fingers?