raven hybrid mower

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Well, if it makes any difference, my John Deere seat switch, reverse-blade shut off switch, and ignition key switch were absolute junk. I disabled each and every one of those. I can now mow in reverse, I can now hit a bump and continue mowing, and the key switch no longer randomly shuts off the engine. I love my Deere, But, I've had significant issues through the years. I'd never condemn a machine for minor flaws. I just fix them. I'm more concerned that the major hardware continues to perform.
 
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stumpypete

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Agree with Cujet. Minor things like switch issues are an annoyance but not a deal breaker for me. If the engine, generator, electric motor and charging system seem sound I'd be inclined to keep it and have Lowes fix the switches. You got a good price and the extended warranty was a good idea just in case.
 
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So we should all rush out and buy what looks like a pretty complicated machine built by people who build ATVs and dirt bikes that last an hour before you need to replace spark plugs, spokes, inner tubes, starters, batteries, and throttle assemblies, and then have to re-weld parts of the frame. Maybe the tires will last more than 20 or so hours unlike the Chinese dirt bikes. On some of them you can watch the knobs on the tires wear down right before your eyes. I've given up on buying much quality these days. I buy an MTD rider every 5 years and have to work on it every tenth mow, but at least I can mow in reverse and don't have to cry over spending 3K plus on it. Look for a flood of these on Craigslist citing that it's a fabulous machine but is not needed because "we're moving". Our Chinese friends have FINALLY managed to manufacture a few generators and push mowers that "sort of" stand the test of time, but buying one of these contraptions is nuts. On the bright side, it would be another "Torch" spark plug I could throw in the bucket with the hundreds and hundreds I've replaced for people so far.
 
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JTK

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Where would you even take a Raven for warranty work? I don't think there's a dealer network for them. Lowes just sells them.
 
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@RavenOwner I feel for you. nothing like making a major purchase and then have an immediate nuisance breakdown. I'm sure there may be some buyer's remorse in there as well - i went through this too buying a new rider. Just try to be as objective and emotionally-removed as you can. Will it meet your needs? Can it meet your needs? Is it mechanically capable of doing the work? Does it meet expectation for what you paid? It'd be interesting to do a load test on the gen head. Slap 3-4-5 space heaters on that thing and see if it keeps up.
 
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Since it's been less than 30 days and there is a known problem Lowe's said to bring it back for a refund. I also bought the extended warranty just in case something like this should happen after the 30 days! Now I think I'll just buy the Husqvarna, but Lowe's doesn't carry the heavier models that I'm looking for. They may be able to do a special order though; we'll see!
 

JTK

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Oh man! Keep it. You're our only Raven info source! (kidding) If it's really a Husqvarna that you're after, get it from a dealer. It should be the same price and like I say, Lowes doesn't fix them. They have to farm out repairs to a authorized Husqvarnra repair center anyway.
 
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Originally Posted By: JTK
Oh man! Keep it. You're our only Raven info source! (kidding) If it's really a Husqvarna that you're after, get it from a dealer. It should be the same price and like I say, Lowes doesn't fix them. They have to farm out repairs to a authorized Husqvarnra repair center anyway.
Isnt Husqvarna, and most others for that matter built by MTD anyway? Thats why Im wondering why your so bent to get one of those. Heck, my cub LT1046 is an MTD. Although I did buy from my dealer,and so far very pleased with the machine.
 

JTK

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No, residential Husqvarna riding mowers have been made by AYP/Electrolux/Husqvarna (I'm not sure what it's called today). Same factory that makes riders for Sears. The non-MTD ones.
 
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I see the Raven has returned to the floor of my local Lowes. Salesperson said they were recalled briefly but all is good now. Price tag $2995 makes this slightly appealing with a 10% coupon.
 
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My Lowe's finally has one, I stopped and checked it out on my way home from work today. Of course, I couldn't actually try it out but I was able to look over it good and sit on it. Overall, I'd say it looks to be a reasonably well built machine. The frame seems pretty strong, it's built out of square steel tubing just like the frame on my Polaris ATV. The deck looks well built. It's not just flimsy sheet metal, it seems like it could take a decent amount of abuse. Steering and suspension components look pretty decent, although the springs are very stiff. I put all my weight (150 lbs) on both front and rear and tried to bounce it but there was barely any give at all in the suspension. Rear axle is definitely a beast. Never seen anything like that in a mower before, it really does look like a small truck axle. I wasn't able to tell if it had any kind of posi/limited slip or if it was just an open diff. I'd guess it would almost have to be an open diff or it would tear up the grass when turning, especially with the tight turning radius. Sitting on it, I thought it was very comfortable and all the controls are easily accessible. HOWEVER, I'm only 5'5" tall and I had the seat all the way back. I can really see it not being comfortable at all for someone 6 feet or taller. Plastic body parts are a little cheap looking, but they seem like they would hold up just fine. (unless you crash the thing of course) The seat switch (or operator presence switch as they like to call it) seems to have been a problem area. After looking at it, I can see why. People seem to say the switch is made out of flimsy metal and it bends. I really think the problem is the return spring, not the switch itself. The spring is really stiff, almost like a return spring in a set of drum brakes. It takes a considerable amount of force to push the lever down, which is why it bends. Put a lighter spring in there and I think it would solve the problem. The steering adjustment is a bit crude, but on most machines it probably wont be adjusted too often anyway. Also, the rear bumper/hitch hangs pretty low to the ground. Should have more clearance for a machine that's supposed to be capable of traveling over rough terrain. I can see it getting hung up pretty easily. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on the reviews and see how these things are doing. Might have to seriously think about getting one next year if they seem to be holding up. We have 2 acres and parts of our yard are pretty rough, so something that's built for that type of terrain would be perfect. We're also far enough out in the country that we could be without power for a while if a big storm comes through, so I was thinking that we should have a generator anyway.
 

JTK

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Good info KD0AXS! Thanks for posting that. I hope the shocks are better than my kid's little import ATV. They look the part, but are just telescoping metal tubes, wrapped in a spring. Ultra quality.
 
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Well, it was suggested by Lowe's to bring it back. I ended up buying a Husqvarna at a very good price with my military discount and they through in free shipping since I ended up buying some very large metal shelves that wouldn't fit in my F250. I noticed they brought back the Raven to the showroom floor. They fixed the seat safety switch buy just removing it all together and inserting a quick connector. The guys at my Lowe's store informed me that the manufacturer sent in reps. to all the Lowe's stores and fixed the additional problems with the brakes and steering problems. It may be a better machine now, but only time will tell. For now, I'll stick with Husqvarna.
 

JTK

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Sometimes it's months between my visits to BLowes, but I've never seen one of these Raven mowers on display. Curious to see how it pans out.
 
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ok, well Raven or some other kind, I loved that concept. Looking forward to see if something happens
 
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