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Any thoughts on ride-on lawnmower manufacturers (reliability)?



 
 
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  #1  
Old 10-07-2005, 04:23 PM
Geo
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Default Any thoughts on ride-on lawnmower manufacturers (reliability)?

Our club MTD mower is now due for its 5th repair this year by the Authorised
Dealer (cutter drive belts).
Getting really Pd off with this - any reliablity experiences with MTD or other
manufacturers of ride-on (or even walk behind). The engine has given no trouble
but the double-cutter twisted V belt is lasting for less than one cut...

Geo
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2005, 05:20 PM
roddy
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Engines generally won't give any trouble; there are very few manufacturers
and they are all mostly bullet proof.
Cutter decks are something else: sounds like the belt is getting chewed up
on the pulleys. My experience has been that the first thing that goes are
the cutter deck pulley bearings: you or someone else can replace them with
some difficulty: but my experience is that they never last as long as the
originals.
You really should try and do the work yourself: it's very basic mechanical
stuff.
Once cutter deck bearings and the deck itself starts to go it's better to
replace the lot.
Maybe you should try someone other than the Authorised agent; they haven't
done well have they? Think they live off the average punters inability to
get to grips with basic mechanical stuff. A little ditty a friend of mine
last year had an old Mountfield Empress that wouldn't start and took it to
an agent they fixed it at a cost of 150: i. a second hand working machine
wouldn't have cost more than half of that; I'm sure that a new replacement
power unit could have been found for a lot less.
My only experience was with the old Westwood brand cheap, cheerful and
pretty reliable: I used to have a 4 acre garden and grass cutting was a 6 to
9 hour job every week: replaced cutter deck bearings over a 9 year period
twice.
MTD is a US brand; if I had to buy now think I'd go with Countax or Honda.
Maybe someone else has more experience of these things than me; perhaps the
time has come to cut your losses.
Roddy


"Geo" wrote in message
...
Our club MTD mower is now due for its 5th repair this year by the

Authorised
Dealer (cutter drive belts).
Getting really Pd off with this - any reliablity experiences with MTD or

other
manufacturers of ride-on (or even walk behind). The engine has given no

trouble
but the double-cutter twisted V belt is lasting for less than one cut...

Geo



  #3  
Old 10-07-2005, 06:36 PM
Janet Baraclough
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Default

The message
from Geo contains these words:

Our club MTD mower is now due for its 5th repair this year by the Authorised
Dealer (cutter drive belts).
Getting really Pd off with this - any reliablity experiences with MTD
or other
manufacturers of ride-on (or even walk behind). The engine has given
no trouble
but the double-cutter twisted V belt is lasting for less than one cut...


I suspect you have some damage on the pulleys it goes round; or
perhaps they aren't properly aligned, and it's fraying the belt. If the
AD hasn't worked that out and done something about it, he's either
incompetent or just milking you.I'd find another dealer for the next
buy.

Almost more important than the make of mower, is finding a reliable
dealer, who will take the trouble to find out exactly what your needs
and circumstances are then recommend the best machine for it, then
provide reliable service and repairs quickly when you need him, years
later. IME the only way to do that is by local word of mouth and
personal visits. Well worth the effort, to be sure of getting good
service later.

We had good experience of Countax make. We rejected their first
Authorised Dealer ( not interested in us or his machines: no demo
available; chaotic workshop, letter to manufacturer from us warning them
he was letting down their product). The second AD was much further away
but delighted to travel 20 miles, look at our needs, come back with a
suitable machine for a free no-strings demo, and collect it whenever
asked for services etc. His workshop was neat, organised and busy, and
his service impeccable. We had also rejected a third, very close-by
local dealer in other makes because he had a reputation for poor
servicing and repairs and surliness to clients.)

Janet.


  #4  
Old 10-07-2005, 07:44 PM
shazzbat
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Default


"Geo" wrote in message
...
Our club MTD mower is now due for its 5th repair this year by the

Authorised
Dealer (cutter drive belts).
Getting really Pd off with this - any reliablity experiences with MTD or

other
manufacturers of ride-on (or even walk behind). The engine has given no

trouble
but the double-cutter twisted V belt is lasting for less than one cut...

The belt is almost certainly fouling something to last such a short time.
Can you remove the covers yourself and check what has been touching what?
There should be some form of witness mark such as missing paint/ shiny metal
to give you a clue. Also (carefully) rotate the belt and cutters by hand to
check what play there is in any pulleys/idlers, and is the belt rubbing on
itself where it is twisted?

Steve


  #5  
Old 10-07-2005, 07:52 PM
shazzbat
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Default


"shazzbat" wrote in message
...

"Geo" wrote in message
...
Our club MTD mower is now due for its 5th repair this year by the

Authorised
Dealer (cutter drive belts).
Getting really Pd off with this - any reliablity experiences with MTD or

other
manufacturers of ride-on (or even walk behind). The engine has given no

trouble
but the double-cutter twisted V belt is lasting for less than one cut...

The belt is almost certainly fouling something to last such a short time.
Can you remove the covers yourself and check what has been touching what?
There should be some form of witness mark such as missing paint/ shiny

metal
to give you a clue. Also (carefully) rotate the belt and cutters by hand

to
check what play there is in any pulleys/idlers, and is the belt rubbing on
itself where it is twisted?

Steve

A couple of other thoughts....

Isn't there a mechanic in your club who could take on the maintenance of
this machine, or at least diagnose this fault.

OR

Go to the AD with the instructions " Rectify repeated belt breakage", and
tell them you want to know the cause of the breakage.

Steve


  #6  
Old 10-07-2005, 09:08 PM
roddy
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Default

Belts; these stretch with usage but have never had one break; as someone
else has said it must be fouling something in the drive chain.
Get underneath the machine; tip it if you have to; away from the carb side
of the engine and determine where it is fouling or put it up on a ramp..
By the way there are dealers in belts all you have to know is the width,
depth and circumference: you don't have to buy a MTD part: look in the parts
manual which came with the machine; or measure it. Find a person who is
competent with things mechanical.
Look after yourself.
Roddy

"roddy" wrote in message
...
Engines generally won't give any trouble; there are very few manufacturers
and they are all mostly bullet proof.
Cutter decks are something else: sounds like the belt is getting chewed up
on the pulleys. My experience has been that the first thing that goes are
the cutter deck pulley bearings: you or someone else can replace them with
some difficulty: but my experience is that they never last as long as the
originals.
You really should try and do the work yourself: it's very basic mechanical
stuff.
Once cutter deck bearings and the deck itself starts to go it's better to
replace the lot.
Maybe you should try someone other than the Authorised agent; they haven't
done well have they? Think they live off the average punters inability to
get to grips with basic mechanical stuff. A little ditty a friend of mine
last year had an old Mountfield Empress that wouldn't start and took it to
an agent they fixed it at a cost of 150: i. a second hand working machine
wouldn't have cost more than half of that; I'm sure that a new replacement
power unit could have been found for a lot less.
My only experience was with the old Westwood brand cheap, cheerful and
pretty reliable: I used to have a 4 acre garden and grass cutting was a 6

to
9 hour job every week: replaced cutter deck bearings over a 9 year period
twice.
MTD is a US brand; if I had to buy now think I'd go with Countax or Honda.
Maybe someone else has more experience of these things than me; perhaps

the
time has come to cut your losses.
Roddy


"Geo" wrote in message
...
Our club MTD mower is now due for its 5th repair this year by the

Authorised
Dealer (cutter drive belts).
Getting really Pd off with this - any reliablity experiences with MTD or

other
manufacturers of ride-on (or even walk behind). The engine has given no

trouble
but the double-cutter twisted V belt is lasting for less than one cut...

Geo





  #7  
Old 10-07-2005, 10:20 PM
ned
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Posts: n/a
Default


"Geo" wrote in message
...
Our club MTD mower is now due for its 5th repair this year by the

Authorised
Dealer (cutter drive belts).
Getting really Pd off with this - any reliablity experiences with

MTD or other
manufacturers of ride-on (or even walk behind). The engine has given

no trouble
but the double-cutter twisted V belt is lasting for less than one

cut...


We have a Bolen double cutter mulching ride on mower (USA make).
Had it 9 years. Copes with 0.5 acres of grass.
Fault log - 1 flat battery, my fault! That was the year it didn't get
an annual service.
Original battery topped up, recharged, and still going strong.
No complaints.

--
ned

http://www.bugsandweeds.co.uk
last update 09.07.2005


  #8  
Old 10-07-2005, 10:53 PM
Anthony
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Default


"Geo" wrote in message
...
Our club MTD mower is now due for its 5th repair this year by the
Authorised
Dealer (cutter drive belts).
Getting really Pd off with this - any reliablity experiences with MTD or
other
manufacturers of ride-on (or even walk behind). The engine has given no
trouble
but the double-cutter twisted V belt is lasting for less than one cut...

Geo


Hi
Two years ago a friend of mine leased an MTD for his large grassed area.
When the machine arrived it looked really smart, its first work was on a hot
dry day, worked faultlessly, everybody happy.
Next time out of the shed, heavy dew, started cutting and within a few
yards, 'ping' the belt had snapped, not worn or been rubbing but snapped.
To cut a long story short the dealer could not sort the problem out, even
with new rollers, different make of belts and various different 'cures'.
So away went the MTD and along comes a Honda, not a problem since.
This would be a simple story to stay away from MTD ride on mowers, but no,
my brother uses them almost on a daily basis on the Caravan Park and swears
by them.
So maybe MTD suffer from the occasional rogue machine being sent out or not
being properly adjusted in some way. Either way it seems to me if you have a
'bad un' get rid would seem to be the answer.

Anthony


  #9  
Old 10-07-2005, 11:36 PM
Sue Begg
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Default

I
Our club MTD mower is now due for its 5th repair this year by the
Authorised
Dealer (cutter drive belts).
Getting really Pd off with this - any reliablity experiences with MTD or
other
manufacturers of ride-on (or even walk behind). The engine has given no
trouble
but the double-cutter twisted V belt is lasting for less than one cut...

Geo

Hi
at the moment I am using a craftsman (another American make) The only
problems I have had are probably both my fault to some extent. The deck
belt broke, but I was attempting to cut jungle with it :-(
and if the grass gets at all long and wet, the chute delivering the
grass to the collecting bag gets bunged up, this usually involves a
green arm up to the armpit as you remove all the snotty green mush.It is
not very pleasant and makes you sympathise with vets :-).
But if I keep up to the mowing it copes easily with an acre and a half
and gives a nice finish
--
Sue
Remove the puppies to reply
  #10  
Old 11-07-2005, 03:09 AM
Stan The Man
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I've owned my Stiga Park Compact hydrostatic "out-front" 15hp mulching
mower for two years and it hasn't put a foot wrong on my 1/2 acre
mole-rutted lawn apart from the occasional wheelspin/skid mark (my
fault anyway).

It excels at, er, mulching. The clippings seem to vaporise since I've
never seen any and never walked any into the house. Not collecting the
grass/emptying the container/unblocking the tube reduces mowing time by
at least half and encourages more frequent mowing (good idea anyway for
mulchers). It can also cut grass under overhanging shrubs and even
under a table. Works well on wet or dry grass and delivers constant
power as it has no escalating grass load to carry.

Previous mower was a grass-collecting MTD Lawnflite tractor which was
just awful. Very sluggish when the grassbox was half full, very prone
to slipping drive belt - and it never man enough to complete the first
cut of the season (out came the strimmer).
 




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