How Many Hours Will an eXmark Last?

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by Eric D, May 31, 2007.

  1. Eric D

    Eric D LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 295

    Can someone from eXmark post the expected life expectancy (hours) of the key components of one of your commercial mowers following the suggested maintenance procedures? I understand that there are a number of contributing factors, but on average what can we expect?

    1. Engine
    2. Clutch
    3. Spindles
    4. Pulleys
    5. Belts
    6. Hydraulic motors
    7. Pumps

    Am I missing anything else?

    For us end users, how many hours before having to change your engine, clutch or other key item?
     
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Eric,

    There really is no good answer to this question...how I usually respond to this is 'you'll get out of it, what you put into it'. Due the minimum maintenance, and you can be guaranteed the minimum life.

    1. Engine: This has changed dramatically in the last several years, mainly due to the introduction of the Heavy Duty Air Filter. It's not uncommon at all for engines to last past 2K hours with appropriate (not minimum) maintenance.

    2. Clutch: The life of a clutch is more related to cycles than hours. People that mow very large pieces of property tend to get a lot more 'time' out of their clutches than people mowing small properties because they don't cycle the clutch as much. I will tell you that the majority of the failed clutches we see and hear about under and around 1K hrs has to do with how the clutch is disengaged. The clutch is also a brake and this brake is much like the brake pad on a car. The higher throttle you disengage the clutch, the more wear on the brake. Eventually the brake is worn so far that it opens the clutch gap and makes it difficult for the field coil to engage.

    3. Spindles: 1 hour to 2K+. Basically last as long as you let them. Don't hit anything, keep balanced blades, don't allow water and debris to sit on top of them, keep the bearing clamp load, and they'll continue to work. We have two different spindles, the Triton Spindle and the standard spindle assy. To the best of my knowledge we have yet to see one single Triton spindle failure. Our standard spindle failures have decreased significantly over the last few years as well through increasing clamp load, bearing guards, and filling the cavity with grease.

    4. Pulleys: Split steel pulleys will dang near last for ever as long as you don't bend them. Most of that happens by people leaving the belt shield off and stepping on them or dropping their trimmer on them. If for some reason a belt jumps off and goes underneath the pulley, it can also bend them.

    5. Belts: On average we like to see at least a season out of a belt, but there are some that tend to last much longer (Lazer Z pump drive belt), and some maybe not as long (UV drive belt), it simply depends on the application. Keeping proper tension, watch for debris build up in the sheave groove, and avoid sticks from getting up in them and they'll usually last to the upper end. There are a several things that our engineering team has amazed me by, and one is our spherical idlers...I'd say this idler has done as much to increase not only the performance of machines as they age, but the life of belts as anything else out there.

    6. Hydraulic motors: Don't have wheelie contests, drive off curbs at full clip, and when you get stuck, don't try to 'rock' it out and they tend to last the life of the machine.

    7. Pumps: Keep up with oil and filter changes and keep them clean and free of debris built up on or around them and they should do fine. Also note the items in #6.

    I know this is a little vague, but hopefully I've at least given you some tips to increase the life of your machines. Most of this will translate to any machine, whether or not we were fortunate enough to get your business.

    Let us know if you have any questions.

    Lenny
     
  3. Eric D

    Eric D LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 295

    Lenny,

    Very nice and informative write-up, I understand the need to keep it vague.

    As I’m sure you are well aware of, there is a lot of talk about the best way to engage and disengage the PTO clutch for maximizing life. Could you possibly add a little more to this topic as to what your engineers say is best for engagement and why? I have a 74245 Toro, and the manual suggest full throttle engagement of the PTO and I don’t recall any recommendation for disengagement. From what others have posted and what I’ve read in the eXmark manuals, I see half throttle engagements. Why the difference from Toro to eXmark?

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond. It can help all of us make our machines last longer.

    Eric D
     
  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Eric,

    For maximum clutch life, disengagement is easy, the clutch should be disengaged at idle.

    Engagement is much trickier, and there are probably as many opinions on what you should do as there are possibilities. With engagement you have to manage the clutch, the belt, and the engine. Some machines because of their belt set-up or engine option may require higher or lower engagements, but with our machines, we believe half throttle is the best way to manage all three.

    In the end, the vast majority of clutch failures happen because of high throttle shut-offs wearing down the brake module. Because of this, Exmark with the help of Warner has made the brake module replaceable to help reduce the repair cost on low hour clutches in which this occurs on many of our machines.

    I hope this helps. Let us know if you have any questions.

    Thanks,

    Lenny
     
  5. mini14

    mini14 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    only thing i would like mentioned is that knowwhere in the maintainece section of your manuels do u discuss changing the engine breather foam, it clogs and cauzes leaks. speaking about kawi engines only, now that i know, i change the breather element every year.
     
  6. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,775

    Who is the biggest dealer in DFW?
     
  7. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Hello,
    Ed's Lawn Equipment
    15307 Midway Road
    Addison, TX
    972-386-3999

    Brian
     
  8. treemonkey

    treemonkey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    Great tip on the clutch disengagement at idle. I don't recall reading anything about that in my new HP manual.

    Minimum maintenance? Do you consider the manual's maintenance intervals to be the minimum vs. optimum? IE. - engine oil change interval of 100 hours. Is that minimum maintenance and is 50 or 75 hours preferable?

    Thanks for the timely advice - personal attention to your customers is appreciated. You should make a sticky titled "Tips every Exmark owner should know".
     
  9. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Hello treemonkey,

    We do not want to interpret the engine manufacture's manual, but it is our recommendation that the listings are for maximum interval changes. Keep in mind the service intervals indicated are to be used as a guide. Service should be preformed more frequently as determined by operating conditions.

    Christie Moore
    Customer Service Associate
     

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