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We receive a lot of press releases, and generally they feature one gimmick or another to try to attract our attention to the manufacturer’s latest offering. We usually skip over the gimmick, look at the tool, and either write about it — or don’t. In our opinion, however, this gimmick earned at least a mention: A dude is currently making his way across the United States on a Craftsman lawnmower. And no, we’re not kidding. Think your yard is big? He’s driving 3,300 miles, stopping for promotions at various Sears stores.

Said dude, named Lucas Van Engen (pronounced, he says in his/Craftsman’s Facebook blog, “like singin'”) headed out from Santa Monica, CA, about 20 days ago for his end target, New York City. Following him in tow is an RV carrying his two-man support crew and (one would assume) some spare parts and cases upon cases of sunscreen.

At each stop, Lucas will take a little time to mingle with the locals. Plus, he’ll present each of the local parks and recreation organization with a $5,000 check from Craftsman.

His ride: A 54-inch Kohler Courage 26-horsepower gas-powered riding garden tractor. With its little V-twin it’ll mow at up to 7-1/2 MPH, though in one of his videos Lucas says his’ll do 9 MPH on the road. It’s hydrostatic. And if you’d like one of your very own, just hit Sears with its catalog number (28948) and $2,800, and they’ll bring one out from the back.

Does this undertaking prove anything about the mower? Hell if we can tell. But we figure if a guy’s willing to sit on a riding lawn mower for that long to get Craftsman some press, we’ll comply. He earned it for ’em. And just remember: It’s good knowin’ he’s out there, that dude, mowin’ the concrete for all us sinners.

The Trip Blog [Facebook]
54″ Kohler Courage Tractor


14 Responses to One Man. One Mower. One Country.

  1. They should give some credit to Alvin Straight and David Lynch’s movie The Straight Story about 73 year old Straight’s 240 mile ride across Iowa to see his brother who’d had a stroke.


  2. Brian says:

    What a gimmick! This guys trip across America story is more interesting… http://imjustwalkin.com/

  3. jason says:

    I will say that this would be a great summer job for anyone… rather boring though i suppose.

  4. Tacotruck says:

    He isn’t making some incredible trip across the country, he’s driving from sears to sears advertising a lawnmower. What a joke.

  5. Chris says:

    I do use a gas powered push mower, and I know some people need riding mowers, but riding mower engines typically produce 34 times the pollution per hour as cars do. And that RV can’t be getting good MPG’s at 9 MPH. Do us a favor Sears, and end this wasteful stunt.

  6. KMR says:

    This seems like torture.

    I have a Craftsman Garden Tractor, which takes 2.5 hours to mow my property and I’m sick of it after just an hour. These things have no suspension, the seats suck, and there is no entertainment. I agree this is a dumb promotion by Sears, but it isn’t a fun one.

    I did push-mow my yard ONCE, it took 9 hours. That was definitely torture.

  7. Defiant says:

    Step One:
    Remove the mower deck, Einstein. It took Straight half his trip before someone else took care of it for him.

  8. Bill says:

    A 26HP hydro tractor that does 9 mph. An intelligent and efficient choice. Wonder in which state the first engine swap will take place?

  9. Rob says:

    It looks like the right front tire is wearing badly. I wonder if he’ll have to layover at a Sears parts store and wait for an overpriced replacement.

  10. Phil says:

    So typical of those lightweight tractors, the front axle is already failing, the tires cambering severely and the toe going nuts. It probably wanders quite a bit as well, with a huge dead spot on center.

  11. ambush says:

    I hope he has a good set of earplugs.

  12. Bill says:

    It looks like he’s wearing a set of muffs, which can actually be pretty tiring for long periods. Perhaps a few more stickers on the hood would up the HP, y’know, maybe an APC decal and crane cams or something. 5HP per sticker, if memory serves

  13. jason says:

    the picture also shows he could use a front end alignment. That tire shows a lot of camber/toe wear.

  14. Randy says:

    What about the back brace? Riding that thing has got to be killing him!

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