View Full Version : Convertable Mower?

01-13-2000, 04:56 PM
I recently went to a turf and landscape trade show. Saw some great equipment. One mower that caught my attention was the convertable. You could walk behind or swing the controls forward and ride on it like a ZTR. They also have aerator and dethatching attachments that fit on the front and are controlled by an electric motor. the price seem to be $1000 to $1500 less that others the same size.<p>Is anyone out there using it or demonstrated one. I would like to hear all positive and negatives.<p>Thanks.<br><p>----------<br>Jeff<br>

Eric ELM
01-13-2000, 05:12 PM
Sort of strange, I was just talking to an owner of Rich that has had problems with it. He is thinking of getting a Dixie Chopper now. Maybe he will respond to this.<p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.townserver.com/elm/&quot;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;

Davis TLC
01-13-2000, 06:06 PM
Hi, <br>I 've got a 96 model Rich Convertible. I'm the one Eric mentioned. I've had a few problems with mine. I bought it as a demo in 96. They warranteed it like a new one. Had problems with the drive belt. Would come off unexpcectedly. Showed no damage, but would run for a short while and then fly to pieces. Rich finally put a high dollar Goodyear belt on it and it has been on for the last three years. Still comes off every now and then but still together. <br>The next problem I have had was the frame cracking at the castor wheels. They have added some bracing there now. They rewelded mine a couple of times and added braces the last time. I had them add a couple of gussets on each side to re-enforce it. <br>The Hydros are awfully close to the ground. And the belt pattern is not what I would call desirable. <br>The concept is a good one. I have used the walk behind mode several times when the ground was to steep to ride on. But it still wants to break away and slide. Tires have a tendency to spin or slide on braking very easily. <br>They may have improved the mowers, but I will not buy another. I have had to limit my clients due to the uncertainty of the mower. It has not been very reliable for me. That is why I have been checking out some others. Also there are no dealers for them in my area any more.<p>Richard <br>Davis Total Lawn Care<p><p>----------<br>Richard T. Davis<br>

01-13-2000, 06:15 PM
Oh, Eric!<p>The whole world's gonna use Dixie's by the time you're done. Actually, based on your web pictures, maybe they're worth another demo.<br>(Don't know if they can beat a Lazer, though)<p>Anyway, jnjnlc,<br>Rich mnfg has made some significant changes to that mower in 1999. Very innovative, but I still wouldn't buy one. There are too many better machines out there. Personal opinion.<p>And by the way, I thing saving money on the &quot;purchase&quot; of equipment (getting a cheaper brand) generally doesn't help the long-term bottom line.

01-14-2000, 05:23 AM
Thanks for all of the input guys. I am sure I will not go out and buy one since I just bout a Toro 44&quot; ZTR. I was mostly curious about how they performed. It seemed like a good concept but I can see where they might break down as mentioned. <p>Thanks for the input.<br><p>----------<br>Jeff<br>

Davis TLC
01-14-2000, 01:13 PM
Jeff,<br>The cut on the Rich is fine. On mine they had the blade speed too slow. Swapped and put the pulley for the 52 on my 61 deck, helped tremendously. There is no quick way to change cutting height since you have to pull and reposition 4 pins to raise and lower. <br>They just have a few bugs they need to work out in their design. I think they could do better on their hydro pumps. That is where I had the problem with the drive belt. The pumps are between the wheel motors with about 4-5 inches between the pulleys. The belt has to come from the motor around one pump (shaft is horizontal) to an idler under the motor back the 2nd pump and back to motor. Tension is maintained by a spring and eyebolt. It would be better if all pulleys were on the same plain. <br>If you have any more questions, just post them and I will try to answer them.<p>Richard<br>Davis Total Lawn Care

04-30-2002, 10:50 PM
We initially purchased two 52" units back in 1996. Both of these were brand new units and were used extensively. We had some minor bugs with these such as the mower deck belt coming off and they originally did'nt have any parking brake. But with Rich Mfg. help these problems were taken care of. The quality of cut is at least equal to if not superior to most ZTR's on the market. The best thing is not having to return to the truck to change pieces of equipment, simply press handle lock release and flip handle to rear and your ready to mow on the slopes, under the low trees, wearever. In walking mode we were skeptical at first that the cut height would vary too much, but to our delight it did'nt.

We were happy with the longevity and durability of these machines which ran approximately 2500 hrs before we sold them. The new owners are still using them. We however contacted Rich Mfg. and purchased two new units in the winter of 2001. They have been put to hard use since and are working out even better than the first two.

04-30-2002, 11:11 PM
way to do a search! sad seeing the members that are no longer around.

anyways i to have seen these often and even in person. they look good

1 cutter
04-30-2002, 11:19 PM
i saw one, never mowed with it, it looked ok for homeowners.

nice concept, but didn't impress me enough to purchase.

not sure how you got 2500 hours on them, unless you left the key on...that doesn't count!

i would guess their lifespan to be in the 500 hour range, just not built tough enough for any more than that no matter who used it.

04-30-2002, 11:26 PM
you never used one but you are going to say they wouldnt last more than 500 hours? I am putting 25 hours a week on my equipment now.... does that mean if I had one of those I would have to buy new equipment 2 times a year???? I dont think so.

1 cutter
04-30-2002, 11:36 PM

you got one? sorry to here that......

yes i can look at a machine and tell you if it's something that will last or not, just by frame work, moving parts, nuts, bolts, welds and stress points.

i've been mowing for 25+ years and cut over 400 acres a week and have used alot of different equipment and have had my share of breakdowns and letdowns.

this is my opinion only!

if you like, it buy it, but don't say i didn't tell you so.

.02 Joe

04-30-2002, 11:46 PM
Well, like I said before. I just want to know who the gal is in the advertisements!:blob4:

Ken Wills
05-01-2002, 01:15 AM
I recently traded in a Convertible mower that I purchased 4 years ago. It had over 1800 hours of use. I also purchased a second Convertible 2 years ago.
The new model I purchased this year has many new features.
Among them is a foot activated heigth adjustment and a great suspension seat.
Many of the properties I mow have a varied terrain that makes being able to convert the rider to a walk-behind a big time saver.
I have been mowing commercially since 1974 and have used over 8 different mowers. The Convertible has held up as well or better than any mower I used in the past.
I would highly recommend the Convertible to anyone who needs both a rider and a walk-behind.

05-02-2002, 11:08 PM
It is'nt hard to put 20-25 hours per week on our mowers. We certainly don't have to replace machines at 500 hours. If I wanted that kind of junk I would'nt have purchased the two new Rich mowers. I would like to have the new foot operated deck heighth control. Anyway I definitely would refer these machines to anyone needing a serious mowing walk-behind machine or ZTR. The best thing about the Rich Convertable is you get both.

08-15-2006, 12:20 PM
Do you still have your Rich mowers? I am a regular residental cutter, my own only, and just about a used 61 inch Rich, it only has 77 hrs on it. The guy who originally purchased it just found it not to be what he needed for his landscaping business...so it sat in his barn till he recently had it up for consignment at a local dealer.

I gave him 1500 for it and it seems to be in good shape. I am concerend a bit by having to ride on top of the engine, for the heat thing..but just wondering if they are still working out for you, thanks, RonW

08-15-2006, 05:37 PM
To anyone reading this thread pay no attention to 1cutter, he is about as wrong as someone can be. I purchased a 2006 52" Convertible in February of this year and, simply put, it is an excellent mower. I have not had any problems at all. The time and money saved by using one machine to do steep hills and flat ground is substantial. The suspension seat keeps the ride as smooth as can be expected. There is a pedal controlled cut height adjustment. The cut is as good as any other machine and I have found the steering controls to be the most precise and responsive I have ever used. I have the 28hp EFI Kohler and it is great on gas. It will back up much quicker than any other walk behind. I realize that won't save you much time but anyone who has become frustrated in how slow a normal walk behind backs up 3 or 4 feet will appreciate the Convertible. I have used John Deere, Scag, Toro and the Convertible. I would not hesitate to recommend the Rich Convertible to anyone.

08-15-2006, 07:45 PM
Thanks Indy2tall, just got mine delivered today infact. As I said it is used by a local guy but it didn't work out for what he needed. Im using on my house only and a 61 inch cut will be a step up from my 42inch cubby.

It has the Kohler 25hp, which is supposed to be a fine engine, especially compared to the Briggs.

I drove it around my property and it moves very well, I cut only a bit however, just checking it out.

I called Rich the other day and they are sending a owners manual and parts book for my 2002 model. The only thing I noticed is when in the driving position, both handles forward, it wants to go to the right. It needs an adjustment, can't be that hard but I have not had time to check it out yet.

It seems like most who have this mower seem to like it, the ones that squeal the most do not even have one, nor have seen one in real life, lol.

06-15-2009, 07:48 PM
Im thinking of purchasing one but with all the negativity Im having second thoughts..
They look awesome but apparently are not dependable from what Ive read... Is there anyone out theere with a positive influence on the convertable present machines say an 09 model for $5500. Thanks for the reply..