Exmark stand-on aerator = slow up/down

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by americanlawn, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Exmark PR

    Exmark PR Sponsor
    Messages: 238

    Glad that you took the time to call into us, sorry that you got the feeling that who you were talking to wasn't interested in your situation...I can promise you that's not the case. Not sure who you were speaking to (the majority of our group is at GIE right now), but unfortunately we all occassionally have a lot on our minds and may not relate our true concern.
    I spoke with our QA guys, because honestly, I hadn't heard of an issue where we may put the wrong oil in the cylinder...they said the same thing, that it had never come up on their sheets before and warranty isn't showing anything either.
    Here's a couple things that I'd consider as to why it was slow to pick up.
    First, was it slow to put the tines down as well? If not, how much down pressure did you have it dialed up to? What I'm getting at is did you have so much down pressure that as you were going the tires are off the ground? If so, what happens is that when you release the switch, the weight of the machine forces the tines up faster than the cylinder is going. When there is no more equipment weight on the machines, the tines 'wait' for the cylinder to catch up, and then finally lift up. When running this unit, you want the drive tires to still drive the machine. If the tines are essentially driving the machine, you're going to really tear up any loose soil (speaking from experience there), and likely damage the drive chains and more over time. It also tends to scallop the ground instead of pull a nice core.
    If it is also slow to put pressure down, we want to start simple here. It could likely be a belt tension issue with the cylinder drive pump. If you look at the pump, just to the back-right of it you'll find a carriage bolt sittng in a slightly arced slot. If you look under the deck at that point, you'll see the belt...while it doesn't take a lot of tension to run this little pump, the belt must be tight (especially with the cooler weather we're now experiencing). Which brings up another point, the piston will react a little slower the cooler the weather, but it shouldn't take 5 sec's.
    With your current situation of it not wanting to go up at all now. I think that Hygard has a viscosity somewhere up in the 50+ range, that's simply going to be too 'thick' to run correctly. The reason it won't go at all is because there's likely aeration in the system now...about the only thing that can be done is run the machine and let it cycle and purge the air out of itself.
    I hope this helps. If not, or if you have any other questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact us.
    Exmark Technical Services Manager

    RABBITMAN11 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,480

    I too have experience with the ride on aerators!
    I have owned the first and all of the current ones! I caution making the belt to tight, a good way to pop a belt. This sounds more like a hydro problem not a belt issue! Had a similar issue ended up being a issue with the hydro Cold weather may affect it slightly but after running it for a half hour than the oil should be plenty warm enough to answer that question. If the tines are still staying down than more than likely its more serious, than a belt issue. My guess would be gear pump, or not enough hydro oil!
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  3. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,956

    I really appreciate everybody's help. RABBITTMAN has been most helpful, and I think he hit the nail on the head. Lenny, the dealer I bought it from (Adel Power Equipment) stopped by this afternoon. The owner is a trustworthy gentleman. He thoroughly inspected the entire machine. Everything was perfect except for twice as much air in the rear tires that Clive Power Equipment put in. I will deliver it to Adel Power on Saturday morning so they can do a flow test of the hydraulic system, because that's what they suspect is bad (just as RABBITTMAN thought).

    The most pressure I've had it up to was 325, but most of the time = 100 - 250 psi. When I release the foot pedal at 250 psi, it takes 5 seconds to get to 100 psi (then it's safe to turn without doing much turf damage). Then it takes 3 or 4 more seconds to get from 100 psi to zero. It usually takes about 5 - 8 seconds to get to the desired down pressure (let's say 175 - 250 psi). This is why I'm thinking about using John Deere HY-GARD low viscosity (AW-32) hydraulic fluid.

    The dealer is hoping he can fix the unit by next Tuesday afternoon. We'll see, but that's 5 crucial days lost, and the leaves are dropping very fast now (one reason I cannot attend the GIE). Bottom line - I'm disheartened, as I don't know when I will be able to use my brand new machine. I still have about 60 lawns to aerate that were flagged/painted by Iowa One Call. But leaves are starting to cover their painted lines, and customers are complaining cuz we have not been out yet.

    RABBITMAN11 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,480

    You better get my dual hydro walking unit for a back up!
  5. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,956

    Thanks Bill. I sent an email to my Agrium rep to see if he can list it. I quickly sold 3 of our older aerators because of him, cuz he sends it out to over 200 of his customers. PM me if you want his email/phone number.

    I feel disappointed that my "ten thousand dollar" Toro/Exmark aerator has failed so quickly. (includes sales tax)

    3 weeks & less than 50 hours on it. Of all 4 local dealers I checked with, NONE seemed to have any honest experience with the unit. Doubling up the tire pressure from what Exmark calls for, saying the belt was loose, saying the chains were loose, saying the chains needed oil. Lenny -- if you are reading this, I hope you understand my disappointments. Your dealers know nothing about this machine. At this point, I feel that I know more about this 30" stand-on aerator than they do.

    So where does my business stand now?? Any help is appreciated.
  6. Aleman

    Aleman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 204

    I don't want to hijack this thread but wanted to get opinions on my ride on problem since it seems there is a lot of knowledge here. I have a Lawn Solutions early model with the Subaru engine. I'm having a hard time keeping the drive chain for the wheels tight. I have a new chain on it but the idler sprocket is out of adjustment and the chain slips on the fwd sprocket. The sprocket shaft is new too. I've already destroyed one shaft. Does it make sense to grind the frame slot for the idler sprocket to get more adjustment? I've called lawn solutions all week but they don't answer the phone. Any solutions?

    RABBITMAN11 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,480

    Can you take a linc out?
    americanlawn likes this.
  8. Aleman

    Aleman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 204

    If I take a link out the chain is too short.
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    Larry I would be torqued about that customer service.
    The company sells the product....they need to deliver on the service promptly. Esp a high volume guy like yourself.
    americanlawn likes this.
  10. FdLLawnMan

    FdLLawnMan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,253

    There are several things that could cause so let's methodically think about it. If it worked previously to this it is mostly likely not the oil unless it was changed. If there was air in the system how would it have gotten there in the first place and I would think you could here it, the pump would whine. The pump belt maybe loose and slipping, easy to check and adjust. The flow is somehow restricted, can't imagine how unless a hose collapsed or some gunk got in the system. An internal seal blew in the pressure cylinder. Remember, stuff never breaks when you want it too. Remember Larry, with your T you don't even have a dealer, you figure it out yourself. If the marking company painted lines they also had to have put marker flags out, and why do you call those guys anyway? Do they bury the wires that shallow in Iowa. The only thing I have to worry about are those stupid underground dog fences and irrigation heads. Both of those are the homeowner responsibility.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    americanlawn likes this.

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