- Jun 10, 2019
- SE Alabama
A group of us vets have banded together to help some of the disabled vets in the area. We do things they can't, which includes mowing lawns. One of the disabled vets that we help has a push mower and about 1/3 acre to mow. I don't mind, even when it's 95+ I enjoy the exercise and take one or two breaks with a glass of tea on the porch. David apparently felt sorry for us and ordered up a Ryobi electric riding mower from Home Depot. It arrived Monday and I went over to uncrate it and do the assembly for him. Today I went over and tried it out. The crate that it's shipped in is seriously solid. It's an all metal framework crate; takes a few bolts removed to get the mower off. Assembly was easy-15 minutes and it was together and off the crate. The instructions say to charge it overnight, so we backed it up to an outlet, plugged the charger in and let it sit. Pulled the metal crate out to the curb and the scrappers were on it like flies on feces. Fast forward to today and time to mow the front yard. The thing is like an electric go-kart. With the mower off it's fast and quiet. There are no belts, just an electric motor for the drive and two electric motors for the mower deck. Pulling the mower switch sounds like an industrial fan, but there's no engine noise. It mows clean, but there's a real learning curve. I've been used to John Deere equipment with the two pedal hydro system or the older Bolens heel-toe pedal. The Ryobi could use a lesson from John Deere or Bolens; the drive pedal is jerky, and you have to come to a complete stop, press the brake, and flip a lever to change direction. It has a beeper that beeps when it is in reverse-seriously annoying and I'll figure out where it's located and clip the wires. There are no grab handles so if you're on a bit of a slope there's nothing to hold on to. Most of the real mowers I've used have grab handles on the fenders. On the good side it turns on a dime. The cut is as good as his Honda push mower or my Toro and it is surprisingly maneuverable. It claims a 2 hour/2 acre runtime, and it handled his 1/3 acre with ease and I didn't see the battery gauge move off full. The deck looks easy to remove, and it has attachments like a bagger and a snow blade (for the poor fools who suffer with snow). It also has a hitch so it can be use to pull a small trailer. I'm 6'2" and I didn't feel like a circus elephant on a tricycle. It was odd-when mowing the sound felt like a regular riding mower, but once the deck was turned off it was nearly silent. A few folks drove by when I was mowing and every one slowed and looked-the bright green stands out. Personally I would have opted for a small Deere or other Made in the USA rider. But for what it is it isn't bad.