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  #41  
Old 05-21-2012, 08:41 PM
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GMLC GMLC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leon2245 View Post
Just got back from the honda dealer. ONly just now learning that you don't have a "manual reverse" when the gear is disengaged with the blade cutting on either the HRC or HRX. There is still resistance even when it's not in gear.

So only snapper, exmark, & toro become essentially a push mower when the drive lever is not engaged?
I have a 1996 HRC that is still going. The hydro drive is awesome. The resistance is a non-issue. You really have to feel for it to notice it. The mower is very well built and heavy if anything.
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  #42  
Old 05-21-2012, 08:42 PM
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weeze weeze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonsLawnCare1 View Post
i'd get the opti-drive system that has variable speeds. that's similar to the mower i have now. it uses a belt but i've never had to replace the belt and it still works great. i'd never get a hydrostatic/cruise control system. it's just more maintenance and if it goes out you're screwed. the belt drive all you would have to do is buy a cheap belt and you could even use it to push manually until you got a belt for it without having any resistance.

i hate reviews like this when they say things completely opposite of the truth though. the honda engine on my pushmower runs smooth as butter and always has. it doesn't surge or run rough or knock at all and never has. no honda engine i've ever used has including my trimmers so i dunno where all of that comes from. just a review that isn't true in my experience.
sorry it's called smart drive i think. i don't think the honda uses a belt either it uses some type of cone clutch technology so i doubt you'll ever have to replace that at all.
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  #43  
Old 05-22-2012, 12:47 AM
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leon2245 leon2245 is offline
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I'm confident that honda's system is a more robust, durable, & better choice for 99%+ of users, but I'm so used to what I do with a push 21" that I'm not going to do without my instant self powered reverse- the mower has to be able to cut while I'm quickly pushing & pulling it around tight spaces, & without the drive adding any resistance to the wheels when not engaged.

I realize I'm probably the only one with such a weird requirement, so the "negatives" of the Hondas (along with not having as tall handle bar as others) for my purposes will not likely apply to anyone else.
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  #44  
Old 05-22-2012, 03:31 PM
robert@honda robert@honda is offline
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The drive system in the Honda HRC216HXA is a shaft-drive, fully hydrostatic design.

The HRC216 features the GX160 engine and it has has a special Power-Take-Off that turns a rigid shaft and operates a pump inside the transmission. The pressure created is then modulated by the controls on the handlebar, and causes the rear shaft/wheels to turn. There are no belts or pulleys on the HRC216.

All other current Honda self-propelled mowers use a belt-drive design. Those with the SmartDRIVE controls use a cone-clutch, and will this year move to a slipping belt arrangement. Two of the HRX-series models use a hydrostatic-style transmission, and the third is SmartDRIVE.

I'll speculate that you have not seen a Nexite deck commercial model from Honda are probably:
• the commercial-grade hydrostatic transmission in the HRC won't fit the current Nexite deck
• the commercial-grade hydrostatic transmission requires a shaft-drive, which is not a feature of the GCV190 engine found on the other Nexite mowers.
I don't think any of the belt-drive transmissions are would pass Honda's commercial durability standards. Fine for homeowner use, of course.

-Robert@Honda

Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding was my opinion alone.
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  #45  
Old 05-23-2012, 08:31 AM
mikeclfc mikeclfc is offline
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I have 2 of these mowers and have been using them for 18 months mine do not have the blade clutch though as i just see that as another thing to brake - the first one i bought has maybe 2000 hours on it now and the engine still cranks up first time everytime, maybe this is due to changing the oil every 7 days. what has gone out on it is the rear wheel drive, i have spent maybe $200 trying to fix the problem and i now have a working drive but its not really strong enough to pull the mower - so essentially it is now a regualr push mower. i repalced the drive belt and whole transmission assembly, i dont know what else would cause the drive to weaken the wheel gears and bearings all look good.

In my opinion these mowers offer a great cut quality, they are efficient on gas and reliable for an affordable price, my understanding is that the difference between these and a full commerical model is the transmission, which explains my problems. but hey after 2000 hours for $600 id happily buy a new one every 2 years. Money well spent if you ask me.
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  #46  
Old 05-23-2012, 12:31 PM
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leon2245 leon2245 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertcoats View Post
The drive system in the Honda HRC216HXA is a shaft-drive, fully hydrostatic design.

The HRC216 features the GX160 engine and it has has a special Power-Take-Off that turns a rigid shaft and operates a pump inside the transmission. The pressure created is then modulated by the controls on the handlebar, and causes the rear shaft/wheels to turn. There are no belts or pulleys on the HRC216.

All other current Honda self-propelled mowers use a belt-drive design. Those with the SmartDRIVE controls use a cone-clutch, and will this year move to a slipping belt arrangement. Two of the HRX-series models use a hydrostatic-style transmission, and the third is SmartDRIVE.

I'll speculate that you have not seen a Nexite deck commercial model from Honda are probably:
• the commercial-grade hydrostatic transmission in the HRC won't fit the current Nexite deck
• the commercial-grade hydrostatic transmission requires a shaft-drive, which is not a feature of the GCV190 engine found on the other Nexite mowers.
I don't think any of the belt-drive transmissions are would pass Honda's commercial durability standards. Fine for homeowner use, of course.


-Robert@Honda

Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding was my opinion alone.
Re: drive compatibility- what about a push commercial grade with a nexite deck:

Quote:
At that time, someone in this thread mentioned Honda switching their commercial models to the Nexite decks too. Guess that didn't pan out. Would have been nice. Imagine how light their HRC push model could have been.
Or even a push HRX model, I'd like to see.
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  #47  
Old 05-24-2012, 07:24 AM
NORTHMAN NORTHMAN is offline
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robertcoats,sir,I have a HRX217 and so far,I'm happy with it,what would the HRC216 do better?The HRC216 has a smaller engine,why and is it able to keep up with the larger non-commercial Honda powered mower?Thyank you.
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  #48  
Old 05-24-2012, 09:28 AM
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Outlawn Outlawn is online now
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I haven't read this whole thread, but I like my HRC216HXA. I don't have that Versa-cut function some of ya'll mentioned, just a mulching plug. I have had the same issue with some of the clippings falling out of the left side of the bag, however pulling back 6 inches before engaging the clutch will suck them right up.
My only complaint is about the "Micro-cut" dual blade system. This is great for mulching and even bagging on regular length grass and leaves a great cut on normal length, well maintained grass. However in taller (>6") grass/weeds it tends to turn the grass into a paste that gunks up under the deck.

I am, I suppose, somewhat biased because this is all I have ever used. I took over the business from my dad, and I think he has had 4 all together.
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  #49  
Old 05-24-2012, 10:29 AM
NORTHMAN NORTHMAN is offline
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Also,any plans for Honda to come out with a larger deck(than 21")mower?
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  #50  
Old 05-24-2012, 10:35 AM
robert@honda robert@honda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NORTHMAN View Post
robertcoats,sir,I have a HRX217 and so far,I'm happy with it,what would the HRC216 do better?The HRC216 has a smaller engine,why and is it able to keep up with the larger non-commercial Honda powered mower?Thyank you.
From Honda's perspective, consumer products are not expected to be used commercially, and vice-versa, so the design and engineering standards are different. Honda builds commercial grade equipment for the professional, who is likely to use the machine daily, and needs it to be rugged and reliable. If a machine is in the shop, it can't make the operator any money.

Of course, there are thousands and thousands of commercial operators who use consumer-grade Honda mowers like the HRX and HRR series. These models are built to homeowner wants/needs, and that is why they have variable mulch/bag systems, electric start, etc.; these kinds of features aren't a high priority for commercial operators.

The HRC216HXA uses the 160cc engine, and it's plenty of horsepower and torque for the job, and has been for a long, long time now. The less costly HRX with its larger 190cc engine may sound appealing, but the lack of a commercial-grade transmission and other commercial features like handlebar supports, shaft drive, etc. can make it less attractive. I think the final straw is the warranty: HRC models get 24 months on the engine, and 12 months on the mower. All other consumer grade Honda mowers get just 3 months of warranty when used by commercial operators. Genuine homeowner users get 36/60 months depending on the model, and a lifetime warranty on the Nexite deck.

So what's the bottom line? If the consumer grade mower is doing a great job for you, stay the course. If you're unhappy with it, or it breaks down too often, consider spending more for a true commercial machine that's designed for daily professional use.

-Robert@Honda

Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding was my opinion alone.
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