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2010 Exmark: Website Updated, Vantage Release Date

jtkplc

LawnSite Silver Member
Just wanted to let everyone know that within the last day Exmark has updated their site with 2010 information. The Vantage release date is said to be in March.
 
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Roger

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
McMurray, PA
I see some pages of the 2010 offerings devoted to their new entry into the 21" hand mower arena. For those of us who use hand mowers extensively, this is of great interest.

The specs are pretty clear. It seems they have many more models than they need, so am not sure if this is a shotgun-spray approach for the first year, or not. The major missing piece of information was about the variable speed ground drive. The word "hydrostatic" wasn't used. Neither was "gearbox" used, and no reference to "x speed." A ground drive speed range is given.

Does anybody know for sure how it works? I am left to think that is a a "belt slip" scheme - essentially a one-speed gearbox, but using varying positions for the bail, the ground speed will depend upon how much the belt drive is slipping. Can anybody confirm? This machine looks good, but if it is a "belt slip" scheme, my interest level just left the room.

No prices are given either. Any information on prices? The range could be large, from push drive to BBC with Kaw KAI engine. That all could amount to nearly a factor of two.

Any news when they might in showrooms?

BTW, the web page design for these machines is horrible. The clickable choices on the various machines is very difficult to use. With video so easily made and posted on a web page, why don't they make a five minute video and cover all the important features on a walk-around? Who cares about all those still shots in front of some nice landscaping? I want to see how this thing works, and the usefulness of some of the important features on video.
 
OP
jtkplc

jtkplc

LawnSite Silver Member
BTW, the web page design for these machines is horrible. The clickable choices on the various machines is very difficult to use. With video so easily made and posted on a web page, why don't they make a five minute video and cover all the important features on a walk-around? Who cares about all those still shots in front of some nice landscaping? I want to see how this thing works, and the usefulness of some of the important features on video.
I couldn't agree more. Sometimes I wonder who actually puts these sites together and who decides the information that goes on the sites. I don't think they ask us, the end user, what information we need to obtain to make good purchasing decisions. Exmark is better than some, but for supposedly being one of the front runners in this industry, you think their website would reflect that. On top of that, with the high price tags on there line up of mowers, you think they could plop a little more cash into the site with videos, up-to-date pictures and more detailed information like Hustler has.

At least it's not as bad as Lastec, whose information is all over the place and very sparse at that or ever Wright, who doesn't seem to ever like to update their information or provide us with many up-to-date pictures either.

I just don't get it....:dizzy:
 

tallimeca

LawnSite Bronze Member
They are a vari speed (belt slip transmission). There are good and bad about this but more good then bad. The height adjust on this is real slick. The whole rear transmission assemble drops out in one piece with just a couple bolts, so changing the belts is easy.

Reason for this vs a hydro...... Price, replacement cost, maintanence. The replacement trans on these is like 100 bucks and you can change it out yourself in probably 45 minutes tops.

These machines aren't for everyone.

The hydros used on the competition are expensive to replace, both parts and labor, and don't do well when caked up with grass and dirt.
 

Roger

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
McMurray, PA
The pic by Richard looks like the speed variation is achieved by variable sized sheaves. As the left one is squeezed tighter, making the belt run higher on the grove, the right sheave has the belt running deeper in the groove. Depending upon where the belt runs on each of the sheaves, the effective pulley diameter changes, making the drive speed ratios between the two larger or smaller. This is a scheme that I thought would have been used on hand mowers long ago -- it is simple, effective, gets any speed desired. But, it has never been used. It is what I was hoping for the new Exmark hand mower series.

I think what tallimeca is telling us, the pulleys remain the same size, and the slip of the belt on the smaller pulley will determine the ground speed. This is the same scheme used by the LB commercial mower of a couple of years ago, now rebadged as a Toro. When looking at the LB mower in its first year, this is the primary reason I did NOT buy.

I agree with the cost of the hydro drives, and being vulernerable to failure. It is a "weak link" on any mower, both in terms of failure rates, and in terms of cost of repair. The belt slip idea is so much simpler.

I realize that only 45 minutes may be needed to replace, but that alone would not drive me to buy one of these mowers. I know, I know, ... people have posted comments here about "they work," and "they don't wear out." I guess I need to operate one for a couple of days, under different circumstances, to be convinced. I have a hard time imagining holding the bail at just the right position to get the speed I want. There is no stop, no index. Every time after a turn, I would have to find the sweet spot again. Being able to set a given speed, and then engage something to fullest extent, without having to be concerned about finding the right speed again. Every turn, every mode of operation, isn't while neatly standing behind the mower, on a level surface. Often, the operation is done at "arm's length," and with one hand, while at some position off center of the machine.

I like a lot of what I see from the specs, and from the pictures. But, this drive system seems to be the stopper. I am willing to be convinced otherwise.
 

Richard Martin

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Greenville, NC
The pic by Richard looks like the speed variation is achieved by variable sized sheaves. As the left one is squeezed tighter, making the belt run higher on the grove, the right sheave has the belt running deeper in the groove. Depending upon where the belt runs on each of the sheaves, the effective pulley diameter changes, making the drive speed ratios between the two larger or smaller. This is a scheme that I thought would have been used on hand mowers long ago -- it is simple, effective, gets any speed desired. But, it has never been used. It is what I was hoping for the new Exmark hand mower series.
The only problem with it is the pulley "size" is regulated by engine RPM. They're kinda useless if you want to maintain any given RPM. Most mowers are set up at around 3400 to 3600 RPM.

If I remember correctly (I may be wrong, it's been a long time) the front pulley moves in and out depending on engine RPM and the rear pulley is spring loaded and gives and takes pulley diameter based on what it is given by the front pulley in terms of belt "length".
 
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