Convertable Mower?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jnjnlc, Jan 13, 2000.

  1. jnjnlc

    jnjnlc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 231

    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>
     
  2. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    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;
     
  3. 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>
     
  4. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446

    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.
     
  5. jnjnlc

    jnjnlc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 231

    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>
     
  6. 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
     
  7. Dadschulte

    Dadschulte LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    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.
     
  8. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    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
     
  9. 1 cutter

    1 cutter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    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.
     
  10. ceaman

    ceaman LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 131

    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.
     

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