As a retired Master Auto Tech, I have learned that quality is not built in. It is designed in. Great build on this mower!
The mower came 10 days late, not Home Depot's fault. Tforce Final Mile really dropped the ball on this delivery. Sat on a dock in Seattle from June 29th to July 11th. Crazy!
Anyway once it arrived, The truck driver and I were amazed how frikkin' heavy the pallet was. Once I took off all the wrapping and the steel cage which protected it, I understood why all the weight was there. It really protected this baby from damage in transit.
Getting it off the frame of the pallet was way tougher than assembling it. The rear tires would just spin because the metal frame has glossy paint. Had to winch it off the first foot to get the rear tires out of the slot in the pallet. And since I backed it off and saw the earlier reviews that reverse is quite abrupt, let gravity do the rest.
Anyway, the assembly was easy, and after an initial overnight charge of the batteries, it has 4, I proceeded to mow all of my 1/2 acre lawn, my neighbors 3/4 acre lawn and the battery charge indicator shows 90% charge left. Very nice!
First off, I am very pleased with the build quality, but there are are a few issues that were easy to take care off.
The ride on my bumpy yard was rough, really bone jarring rough! The manual recommends 20 psi in all tires. Forget that! I put 10 psi in the front and 14 in the rear, just like my Lola race car, and what a difference. I do not see a safety issue with that as I don't have any hills to worry about the tire rim loosing a bead from side pressure.
The trim chute is way too long, so much that you have to go around any close obstacles on only the left side. That was easy to cure with a hack saw and a trim guide.
The seat switch is way too sensitive, as it would cause the blades to stop anytime you leaned in the seat to miss a low branch. This IS a safety issue, and you really want this feature to work if you fall off for some reason. I hooked up a marine shut off tether just like on my fishing boat. You know, the line with a clip you attach to your shirt or jacket so the boat will stop if you fall out of it. Does a nice job here, and as long as you don't snag a branch with it, the clip cord works way better than the seat switch. Cheap fix!
Performance wise, this mower rocks! There were some complaints in earlier reviews about the hard reverse engagement, and the steering not turning very tight. The reverse system must have been redesigned, as this one is very light and smooth. This has a very tight turn radius, very maneuverable and a tight solid feel to the steering. I think Ryobi is listening to our reviews, as slight changes must have been made.
It will go through medium tall dry grass, 2 to 4 inches, at a pretty good speed, but just for fun I went over into one of the vacant lots near the house and charged into some 3 foot high stuff. It would do it, but you had to go slow. Impressive! We are 60 miles west of Seattle, so the grass does get wet here, and that will be the real test around here.
I'm thinking of dropping off the mower deck and putting a golf bag rack on the back some day soon. Why not, it should go the 4 miles on a golf course. Will report back later. Hey, it does have a cocktail beverage holder on it.
Overall very pleased with this mower! No more gas fumes, and it is much quieter than a gas mower and it really mows well!
Thank you Ryobi!