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ACK! Exmark 32 Metro question!

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by Doogiegh, May 29, 2002.

  1. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    Long story, but quick question for the Exmark support:

    I did a real true bone-head move on my Exmark 32" Metro 12.5 Kaw gear drive. Just bought the machine brand new on April 20th.

    I was doing a residential property located on a very busy street. They have an extra-wide driveway and I'm using a small lightweight 4' by 8' trailer.

    I pulled into this properties driveway and the easiest way to turn around is to disconnect the trailer from the truck, turn the truck around, turn the trailer around by hand (walking), reconnect the trailer to the truck and viola! you can pull out of the driveway going forward. Forget about trying to back a trailer into this driveway, backing out into the street when done or parking anywhere else.. weird situation, but that's the way it is.

    So I unloaded the trailer of my gear so it's easier and much lighter to turn around. I put my gear on the side of the driveway. Note that the length of the driveway is edged by a 1.5 inch curb. So I put the Exmark to the side of the driveway, disconnected the trailer, spun it around, hoped in the truck and began to do my "K" turn to turn the truck around to reconnect. Got the picture?

    Well, when I drove forward, the mower was below the hood line of my Dodge Ram 1500 truck, so I didn't see my own mower and drove right smack into it!! The mower, being pushed up against the curb that lines the driveway didn't go anywhere at all, but I heard a metal crash sound, stopped and broke into a massive panic attack that I had just killed my brand new 1 month old machine.

    As my truck moved forward, it bent the main left grip of the handlebar (part # 103-0211) of my pistol grip equipped machine forward. So now instead of having 2 grips that are even like a bicycle, I now have a handlebar that has a bad case of club-foot on the left side. I think she needs surgery, doc.

    There was amazingly no damage to the truck which is also new, I thought for sure I went right thru the headlight assembly, thank goodness cause I know that molded plastic isn't cheap. <G>

    So I check out the machine, it starts. Why the front caster wheels didn't bend or just simply jump the curb, I'll never know, but I guess I hit it just right, got wedged, and the handlebar took the impact.

    When I went to drive the machine, it would go forward fine, but I had no left brake or turn.. it was a run away machine. Blade engages fine. Or I could cut grass making nothing but right turns all the time.. <G>

    I took the machine home and adjusted the drive linkage so I have it pretty much back to where it was originally as far as braking and turning so we're currently running mechanically, which is a very very very good thing.

    My question is I need a new handlebar weldmount, part 103-0211. Do you have a "msrp" list price of what this part would be? I know I'm looking at this part only, as nothing else was damaged, but I am expecting it to be an expensive part due to the welding and weight of metal used. I've been using the mower for 1.5 weeks since this incident, and it continues to work fine, although kinda weird to steer, so I'm rather confident that I need only a 103-0211.

    In reviewing messages on here, I'm considering if I should switch the entire machine to ECS grips being that I'm re-doing the handlebar anyway? How is part availability of the ECS conversion kits for the 32 Metro's at this time?

    I guess I can't see spending $150 for a metal handlebar, plus $75 in labor (guessing totally) to have the shop uninstall the bent one and put a new one on), when I can switch over to ECS for a higher price overall, but with what many many have said is simply a better system.

    Sorry for the length of this, hope it made someone chuckle as to what a real bonehead move is.

    And yes, I learned my lesson that all machinery goes onto the grass physically at all times, never on a driveway where I or someone else could run it over. <G>

    Thanks for any advice and "suggested" pricing on that part you can provide.

    Gary in New Jersey
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Messages: 4,258

    Hey Gary,

    Thanks for the post, and sorry to hear about you little mishap. If it makes you feel better, I had had a similar thing happen to me recently, except it was with my Ford F-150 and my wife's Nissan Sentra. I really hate it when you start thinking about something else and forget that there's a big truck behind a little compact car. :eek: Needless to say that my Ford survived without a scratch, but my wife's Nissan didn't fair so well. It put a nice ding in the trunk, pushed the bumper back, and made the trunk difficult to shut. I was driving too, and my wife was in the passenger seat. She didn't say much, and she didn't have to. I was doing even cussin' for the both of us! I think it's going to cost at least $500 to get it fixed. :cry:

    Anyhow, you're right. You'd probably be better off switching the handles over to the ECS system. By the time you add sales tax to the price of the Handle Weldment, you're looking at around $200, and that's before your labor. You could purchase the entire ECS conversion kit for approximately $300-$320

    We have enough of these kits in stock, so availability shouldn't be a problem. If you're serious about getting one, you might want to place your order as soon as you can because I doubt if your dealer will have one of these in stock. They'll have to order one from the distributor, and if they don't have one, they'll have to get it from us! If you have any questions, feel free to create another post.

    Feeling your pain,

    Exmark Customer Support
  3. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    I will be contacting my dealer to see what they reccomend as well as to probably order the conversion kit. It does make sense that unfortunatly for "only" $100 more, I might as well switch from the pistrol grip to the ecs style.

    With the pistol grips, I know it's a 3 position rocker on the thumb levers that control the parking brake, drive or neutral lock. I also know of course the grip levers that when let go make the machine go forward and as you squeeze them, you slow down, hit neutral, or brake.

    What method to the hardware does the ECS system use? Is it the same overall kind of idea, just the handles are turned upward toward the chest?

    My main interest is how do you vary forward speeds in a particular gear with the ecs system. I'm getting the handling down of the pistol grips now pretty good, especially in tight corners in forward speed 1 or 2.. I can "clutch" neutral pretty good to get around trees, etc.

  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Messages: 4,258


    Thanks for the question. Dustin is out today so I figured I'd jump in.

    The ECS operates under the same basic principle only for many if offers much less hand and arm fatigue, strain and also requires less strength. In my opinion the ECS is also a more "natural" position for your hands and allows you to operate it much easier and for longer periods of time.

    The thumb latch or neutral, park brake latch operates in the same manner only it's easier to lock into a given position with out having to fish around and look for the right position. This in itself was enough to sell me on the concept when it was first prototyped.

    The only really way to determine if it's going to work for you is to try one. There should be a dealer in your area with an ECS walk behind. Even if the only thing you can try is the hydro it will still give you an idea if the controls will work for you.



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