“What’s a choke?”
30 June 2020
That’s the question a baffled customer asked a hirer recently.
He was picking up the four-stroke brush cutter he had ordered online to tackle some heavy vegetation while he was furloughed, and the hirer was explaining its operation.
When describing how you had to move the choke lever to the start position, then switch it back once the engine had fired, the customer thought he was listening to a foreign language.
He said the only engine he was familiar with was the one in his car, and he just had to turn the ignition and drive off. He didn’t know what a choke was, let alone what it did.
The hirer was relieved that the customer wasn’t hiring a two-stroke machine and needed to be told how to mix oil and fuel in the correct ratio. That would be some conversation!
The episode raised a serious question: in an age when so much is digital, electronic and automated, do users today expect simpler solutions?
As a consequence, this particular hirer is now going to invest in heavy-duty cordless tools for his hire fleet (like the Husqvarna brush cutter pictured above). Pressing a button to start the machine and releasing it to stop is easily understood, and modern batteries deliver decent power and running time.
During lockdown, many people have tackled DIY and gardening jobs, and some have hired equipment for the first time. So battery powered tools could be the way forward for many applications.
And as we all use smartphones and laptops, everyone surely understands the concept of charging things.