Loving my new Honda HRC-216

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rbljack, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. rbljack

    rbljack LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 702

    I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who posted info about their commercial mowers and helped me decide. I read through a bunch on posts on here, and finally decided to take the plunge. After a weeks use, im really liking the new mower. Its a lot to spend for a 21 inch mower, but I need one for most of the lawns I cut because the gates are so small to get into back yards.

    It runs smooth, the handle configuration took a little getting used too, but isn't bad at all. I love the fact that you can leave the mower running and disengage the blades. It allows you to pick up trash or debris with ease, and get back to mowing with minimal problems. I havent bagged with it yet, but im sure that the blade disengagement will be handy for that also. The texas summer was hot and dry, but the grass has greened back up with recent rain, and im able to start putting this great mower to use.

    The drive system runs smooth as silk, and although the unit is heavy as others have mentioned, it isnt to the point where its unmanageable. So far, im very happy with this unit. Hopefully years down the road, I can still be this positive about the mower. :clapping:
     
  2. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    The only complaint I have about mine is that the drivelines don't last very long in it, and they're somewhere in the ballpark of $100 when you buy a new one. It seems like I have to replace the driveline once every 5 or 6 months. Not sure what everyone else's experience is with this, but that seems like an awful short lifespan for that part. Overall though, I'm happy with the machine.
     
  3. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Love my HRC 216. Never had a drive problem and its a 1996. HRC's drive is hydro.
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  5. I have had no drive issues. I have owned 3 HRC since early 90s. Weight has never been an issue either...use ramps if it is a problem. Love the handle bars and all the controls. Lots of suction. Excellent bagger.
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  6. saw man

    saw man LawnSite Bronze Member
    from utah
    Posts: 1,021

    You do not need to buy both sides of the drive shaft, you can just buy the half that is worn.

    Try not to slam the mower into drive as hard, try to be a little smoother with it. If you redlined your car and dropped the clutch every time the same would happen.
     
  7. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    I tried replacing just the half that was worn, but more than once, I ran into a problem of incompatibility with the new part. It's weird because I'd have the shop look up and order what should be the right part for this specific model of the 216, and everytime it'd come in, there'd be something slightly different with it. This has happened when I've given them the part number, and even when they looked up the mower's model/serial number, and found what "should've been" the right part. The last time I went through this, the shaft was too long, and I ended up having to cut it down to size just to make it work because I didn't have time to dink around with the shop at that point. So far, this modified drive shaft hasn't screwed up. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    As for driving it more smoothly, I admit I was a bit rough on it at first, but I've learned to be more gentle with it. Especially gotta be more gentle with it when cutting a lawn that has a bad problem with thatch as I've noticed it has a bit of a hard time accelerating on those thick/nasty lawns.
     
  8. rbljack

    rbljack LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 702

    for the people who have encountered driveshaft issues, do you primarily bag? Maybe the extra weight of the full bag of grass is putting more stress on the drive shafts?

    Just a thought....i primarily mulch, so maybe that will help.
     
  9. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    I bag grass all day everyday, and I do it with the Accelerator catcher, so that probably has something to do with it. There's rare occasions where I'll mulch, but it's next to never.
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  10. bel-nor

    bel-nor LawnSite Member
    Posts: 194

    rbljack i also have followed some of the postings recent and archived. I also just purchased one last week and was a little concerned on the price, performance and ease of operation compared to the JS series by JD that I have used for years. The wheel adjustments took getting use to and the turning of the machine. The lower power sound was suprising , however there is more torque and heavier parts compared to other Honda series. I purchased extra blades at purchase time and hoped for the best.

    The first couple of jobs were overgrown with the owners wondering if they needed their lawns mowed due to slow growth/cooler weather.....Dahhhh. The served as a good training process and familiarization of the Honda. The test was yesterday was my daughters house which is the only lawn that requires a 21" front and rear. I was very impressed with the performance on the front hill. The rear is very thick but flat.

    I am satisfied with the Honda HRC 216 I would recommend it to any one, and I will when needed purchase a second one. The price makes me a little leary of having a helper use one but proper instruction will be needed. I saw three guys Wednesday mowing a church with some beat up 21" mowers and I stoped to talk to them and they were all older HRCs. They were checking the oil, cleaning decks and making money. GO HONDA!
     

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