Review of Accelerator grass catcher

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LawnTamer, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    I recently purchased an Accelerator grass catcher for one of my mid-size Toro walk behind mowers. As there is a lot of discussion about this product, I thought I would write a review on my experience with it, so far.

    There are several things I am impressed with:

    -The welds are top notch
    -The unit is surprisingly light weight
    -It fills well, and is reasonably easy to empty
    -It is not nearly as dusty as I thought it would be

    There are also several things I am very disappointed with:

    -The unit has had 3 days of use, and has a hole! (see pic2) Using the mesh on the bottom may save weight and increase air flow, but it is the obvious weak spot on the catcher.
    -The mechanism attaching the catcher to the mower is poorly designed. It falls off constantly, if the mower hits a bump, the catcher is gone. I have to bungee it to the mower. I am using this on a Toro SFS deck, and the rail on the deck isn't really long enough for the placement of the rear hook. If the rear "hook" was moved up to be closer to the pin, it would stay on much better. (see pic 1)
    -Finally, the pin that holds the latch shut gets stuck, I think this is because my latch has been welded on crooked, (see pic 3)

    On the whole, I would not recommend the unit, not for the price. I could have bought 2 factory replacement bags for the cost. If it had a solid bottom, and the mower attachment were re-designed, it would be a great product.

    pic 1- The catcher mounts to the mower by inserting the pin in a whole on the rail of the deck, then the hook at the back falls over the rail.
    catcher 1.jpg

    Pic 2, the bottom of the catcher is mesh, I think mine must have hit a sprinkler head, or a curb or something:cry:
    catcher 2.jpg

    The rear door latches with a simple pin, the design is good, but on mine the pin receiver is crooked, so it is pretty hard to get the pin in and out, I suppose I could hit the pin with the grinder.
    catcher 3.jpg

    catcher 1.jpg

    catcher 2.jpg

    catcher 3.jpg
  2. tallimeca

    tallimeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,229

    i would also like to see them put a solid sheet of aluminum on the front portion of the bottom. Otherwise, this catcher trumps anything that's out there. Rack'em, Grass Gobbler......i've dealt with them all. Most guys get 2-3 years MAX out of the metal. The aluminum is getting twice that on average.
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Try the Grass Packer. I have over 4 years on mine with no complaints. Except for some sun fading it looks exactly like it did the day I bought it. Lightweight, easy to use and virtually indestructable.
  4. Groh's Mows

    Groh's Mows LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    Can any of you guys who use Accelerator catchers tell me how the work on scalps? I am wondering specifically how well they do with the dry and dusty Bermuda or other creeping grasses when you cut short and there is no moisture to pack the grass. How much of a problem have any of you had with the Accelerator bouncing off the mount on rough ground or bumps on a TTHP deck?
  5. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    I had made my mind up to buy the grasspacker, my dealer talked my out of it. He said, "We used to carry those but they just didn't hold up...." Yada, Yada, yada. I could have got the grasspacker for $220 on line, instead I paid $390 for the Accelerator :cry: I think I better start taking the "short" bus.
  6. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,578

    LawnTamer, With the Dis Likes you have with the Accelerator, did you not think to call and talk to Peter? The small gash in the bottom of the catcher is not Accelerator's fault, that would be the result of something you hit and hit hard. I respect that you said you hit something, but I've seen Accelerator's that looked far,far worse than yours and had no holes in them. As for the pin and bracket, again did you not think to call Accelerator? I have a 4.15cu ft model with the optional dust kit and I love it and would buy it over again in a heart beat. I had a grass gobbler and the Accelerator blows it away in quality,weight and ease of emptying the unit once it's full. Another thing I like about them is the bracket less mounting.
  7. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    Review revisited.

    It's been a few weeks with the Accelerator catcher now, and I would like to add a few things to my review, again, just trying to help those looking at buying a catcher.

    I altered the mounting plate on my mower, extending it and making it a little thicker. Doing this made a HUGE difference. The Accelerator no longer falls off. Though I am a little disappointed with having to do this, I realize that there are scores, perhaps hundreds of deck designs. It is perhaps unrealistic to think that Accelerator would have a catcher for every deck.

    I am impressed with 3 things about the Accelerator;

    1. It bags like a monster, it holds a ton of grass.

    2. It is surprisingly less dusty than the stock cloth bags

    3. It is very easy to take off and put on.

    I still wish they would put a solid bottom on.
  8. Mark

    Mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    :usflag:Ive had mine for 4yrs and have had no major problems at all, i did reweld the front pin it came off last yr, But was no prob...mine picks up very good, Does a great job around beds and helps alot in the fall. I mounted mine as flush as i could then took a angle grinder and grinded a slot out one sixteenth away from the outer blade, best walkbehind bagger ive found....Marks Mowing Service

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