Indy mower repair man applies science to maintenance
You'd be surprised by how science can influence your lawn mower's performance, says Chris Arvin, a former junior high science teacher turned mower mechanic. "There are a lot of physics involved when you run over an object with your mower blade," he says. "The inertia of a spinning blade that stops suddenly transfers all that energy to the crankshaft and can break it."
Arvin says he's always taken a scientific approach. After leaving teaching in 1988 to start his own lawn fertilization franchise, he quickly learned chemicals alone didn't make a lawn look great. "No matter how many chemicals you use, the lawn won't look good if you mow with a dull blade," he says. So he switched to offering on-site blade sharpening in 1996.
But it wasn't long before customers like Catherine Moore of Zionsville, Ind., realized Arvin's technical know-how could be applied to tuning up mower engines and other components. "He's exceptionally knowledgeable about lawn mowers," Moore wrote in her recent Pages of Happiness report. "It's refreshing to see someone fill a niche for which he is well-suited."
Arvin says his business focuses on a simple principle: "It's all about taking care of people's needs." But members consistently credit more than Arvin's mechanical aptitude and convenient to-your-door service. Gary Gill of Indianapolis hired Mow Better to free up his mower's frozen engine and says he got great service and a great impression. "What a find this company is," he wrote in a recent report. "Competent and honest - Chris is as good as gets."
Arvin attributes his high customer service marks to keeping the mobile shop a solo operation. "I love being a one-man shop, it keeps the quality high and that's what I've always wanted in a business," he says.
His enthrallment with engines doesn't stop when he parks his toolbox on wheels at the end of the day. As a registered sport pilot and mechanic, Arvin spends his free time flying or repairing his two light airplanes, which also lends a certain air of credibility to the mower repair business. "People say, 'Oh, you work on airplanes? You can definitely work on my mower then,'" Arvin jokes.