Friday, June 5, 2009

A tail of a mower.

My Toro mover of 15 or 20 years has lost its horsepower, instead of 5.5HP I think it is down to 1.2. So it was time to look for a new mower. Let's face it the economy needed a boost.

Part one research- Internet here we go again. Top ranked Honda - no surprise here, next John Deere, again no surprise and guess what Lowes is having a sale on John Deere mowers and I have a 10% off coupon, sounds like a deal. So off to Lowes. Purchase a JS25 mower and off to the lawn. Well after two hours it starts to act up, when you put the self propel into gear, it dies. Restart and go very slow, any fast speed and it dies. In any case just finished so I didn't even think about it until the next time, 2 hours into mowing, same thing. OK, back to Lowes and get a replacement.

Three hours into mowing, same thing. Right on the mower is an 800 number for customer service. Didn't even have to wait, Model Number he asks, what's can I do for you. I have this problem that is the same on two mowers..... He didn't understand, I explained it again slowly, ah he says "We do have an issue with that model in a few cases where the cable needs adjustment as the engine is getting a vapor lock when hot and it gets gas for the self propel."
Just take it to the warranty center near you and they will adjust it. I ask "If you have an issue why are you selling this." No answer just repeats about warranty and I do need help finding the warranty center. Thank you - good bye. Now being an engineer- I do not like things that need adjustment and warranty work, it also means every few years, if not every year it will need adjustment. After a while I would have to pay for it. So back to Lowes and a full refund. The salesmen at Lowes wanted to know why I brought back a second one and what was wrong. I told him not to sell it to anyone who took more than 2 hours to mow their yard. Better yet not to sell it to anyone. If John D knows it has an issue why are they still selling it. Oh I know most people mow in less than two hours. 5 Stars for Lowes return policy.

Back to research and a visit to Home Depot to look at the Honda and Toro. While the Honda looked good it was missing one thing, No side discharge. Check on the internet cites the one problem with the Honda - no side discharge and it jams in tall grass. Every review seemed to like the Toro. At Home Depot the sales lady in the lawn department proudly tells me she has owned the Toro I am looking at for two years and loves it. Lots of questions, and she has answers. Next I tell her about my John D and the 10% coupon, no problem they will match the 10% off.

The Toro actually has a better walk behind self pace system than the John D's system. I guess you pay extra for the green paint. The Toro also has a 1 inch wider deck, so maybe I will have 2 or 3 less rows to mow. The big test is next week when we go for a three hour run. Will keep you posted.


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