This spring we bought a new lawnmower; one that catches grass clippings so we can use them for mulch or put them on a compost pile. Here's a picture of the lawnmower ready to go with the bag attached at the rear.
A hinged plastic flap at the rear of the mower body lifts so the bag can slide in and latch. Then the flap closes down onto the bag frame to form a chute that directs the cut grass into the bag. The flap has a built-in baffle to help direct the clippings into the bag, as shown here:
Note that the baffle has an open end, so when I pull up the flap to remove a full bag, the open baffle is full of grass, too. I can't hold the flap up and walk to the place where I dump the clippings at the same time!
So, letting go of the flap dumps clippings on the driveway, or back onto the lawn.
I wonder if any of the lawnmower designers or marketing people at Troy Bilt ever tested a prototype.
This design flaw has several solutions. First, use duct tape to cover the opening. Sounds messy and unsophisticated. Second, use a bungee cord to hold the flap open. That means something to carry around, and attach and unattach each time I want to remove the bag. Third, use some expanding polyurethane foam. I'll probably use the foam.
Jon Titus works from Utah's Salt Lake Valley as a grass mower, freelance technical writer, editor, and sometime designer. He has a BS from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an MS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a PhD from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.