Review: Jungle Jim's MTR w/pics

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HighGrass, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    Jungle Jim's MTR (Mower Trimmer Rack)

    In the last few years, I have accumulated a number of lawns that are in clusters of 2-4each. This is always a plus since it cuts down on the travel time and you spend more time making money (usually) then you do driving. But, even though the properties can be next to each other, it can sometimes create a time deficit by walking from one property to another with your trimmer, or blower.
    I saw the Jungle Jim MTR on a while back and never really was interested in one until my present situation. Retail for the unit is listed as $76.00 on their website and I ordered mine through my local dealer. Let me state by saying that this review is presented from my application perspective. As you'll see I modified the unit for my needs and did not necessarily follow the manufactures suggestions. Having said that, I was somewhat surprised that the unit I received in no way reflected the units I saw in Jungle Jim's photos on their website. Now I'm not trying to be picky, but if I were selling something on the internet, I think I'd want to have my photos up to date, wouldn't you? You can see for yourself by going to their website but the bracket areas on both the fore and aft units are different on mine then in the photos. Because I don't have "before" photos, take my word for it that the front bracket's attach area is the same as it is in their photos, but the aft bracket is way different in the photos on their website than the unit I received. The upper areas on the brackets on both the front and aft brackets are both different from the website photos. Confusing? Well, just look at my photos and then theirs and compare.
    Instructions. In this day in age of high resolution computer graphics and copy technology, there is absolutely no reason for poor quality photos especially when it comes to instructions and step by step photos. The instructions I received were black and white. Only the parts break down photo was of decent quality though in black and white. The rest of the photos were also black and white but useless as far as seeing details. The written instructions were what you would expect for something that may have to have some fabrication for fitting. Though I will say they should have spent a little more time giving some installation samples of various mowers. Using the website photos would be fine, if the received unit and the website photo were the same and as I said above, they are not. Since I was taking a different approach on my installation, the included instructions were almost useless to me all but the installation of the forward friction knob on the front bracket. Again, this feature is not reflected in the Jungle Jim Photos I saw.
    Installation. The installation is interpretive from mower to mower. If you get creative, there are ways to even install this unit on a walk behind. Basically, you bolt on a hear holder and a front holder to suit your needs. Adjustments are necessary to accommodate different trimmers and to keep clearances correct taking into consideration things like:
    1-Front Castor wheel interference.
    2-Effects of raising and lowering the deck (if any).
    3-Protrusion outside the profile area of the mower itself. In other words, can I mow as close the that tree, stone wall and oh yea, can I back up without taking out the trimmer motor?
    4-Control lever throws not being interfered with.
    5-Access to motor areas such as Oil dip stick etc.

    For me, when I saw that the instructions called for bolting the forward bracket to the deck itself, and that bending the mount plate may be required, I wanted an alternative to mounting as drilling holes in my mower deck and having one more bump under that deck while cleaning wasn't what I wanted. Then it hit me, “Why bolt any of it on at all?” Why not just use what I already have for mounting. On my Scag wildcat, my 3-bag bagger utilizes square tubing in the front for “slide over” mounting and square tubing for the rear brackets to hold and retain the bag unit itself. So why couldn't I modify the MTR so that they too could slide onto these existing front and rear brackets?! They could be pinned in place and then removed in the fall to accommodate the the bagger. In the fall, I do no trimming if I'm doing fall clean-ups and I could store the brackets safely away until spring. Yes, you're right. If I bagged grass during the year then I would have to take a different approach, but I don't so it isn't an issue with me. I don't have a welder so I took the unit, my mower and a trimmer to my local welding guy. I told him what I wanted and gave him some rough sketches. In a day I had it back and away we go!

    Using it. The idea here is that the front holder has a small adjustable rubber knob that allows the proper amount of down force be applied to the front of the trimmer while the rear holder is spring loaded to be opened and closed when removing or hanging the trimmer. You simple walk up to the machine, place the front of the trimmer shaft in the front bracket, and with your left hand, raise the spring loaded bracket holder and flop in the upper part of the trimmer with your other hand. The spring for that back bracket takes about 50lbs of force to fully open. My point is that it's over kill in my opinion. It needs to have a much lighter spring. Other than that, I love it. The trimmer hangs there securely and is never in the way. Getting the trimmer off is a lot easier than putting it back on, because of the aforementioned spring. If it doesn't lighten up in time, I'll modify it with a lighter spring. Again, I don't bag grass (99.9%) so this installation works for me.
    Would I buy it again. Yes. Even with all the modifications to the original unit I wouldn't attempt this from scratch though if I had a welder, I might. Paying a welding to fabricate this from scratch would be nuts if you can buy the basic unit for $76. Even after welding costs, I forecast to recover the cost of the unit within a month of so.
    If anyone wants more photos of differing angles etc., let me know and I will take/post whatever is needed.
    Closer look at front mount...notice it slants? Small sqaure plate and square tubing were added...
    And now the rear mount.
    Another view...

    If someone needs more detail, let me know.

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