US20110173941A1. Power Transmission for a Lawn Mower and a Lawn Mower Provided with Such a Transmission. Google Patents
Publication number US20110173941A1 US20110173941A1 US12/301,849 US30184907A US2011173941A1 US 20110173941 A1 US20110173941 A1 US 20110173941A1 US 30184907 A US30184907 A US 30184907A US 2011173941 A1 US2011173941 A1 US 2011173941A1 Authority US United States Prior art keywords transmission lawn mower wheel axle transmission part axle Prior art date 2006-05-26 Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.) Abandoned Application number US12/301,849 Inventor Leif Persson Original Assignee Leif Persson Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.) 2006-05-26 Filing date 2007-05-25 Publication date 2011-07-21 Priority claimed from US80334806P external-priority 2007-05-25 Application filed by Leif Persson filed Critical Leif Persson 2007-05-25 Priority to US12/301,849 priority Critical patent/US20110173941A1/en 2011-07-21 Publication of US20110173941A1 publication Critical patent/US20110173941A1/en Status Abandoned legal-status Critical Current
- 230000005540 biological transmission Effects 0.000 title claims abstract description 226
- JEIPFZHSYJVQDO-UHFFFAOYSA-N iron(III) oxide Inorganic materials O=[Fe]O[Fe]=O JEIPFZHSYJVQDO-UHFFFAOYSA-N 0.000 description 8
- 240000000218 Cannabis sativa Species 0.000 description 2
- 230000000875 corresponding Effects 0.000 description 2
- 230000003292 diminished Effects 0.000 description 2
- 230000002708 enhancing Effects 0.000 description 2
- 238000010348 incorporation Methods 0.000 description 2
- 230000005570 vertical transmission Effects 0.000 description 2
- A — HUMAN NECESSITIES
- A01 — AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
- A01D — HARVESTING; MOWING
- A01D69/00 — Driving mechanisms or parts thereof for harvesters or mowers
- A01D69/06 — Gearings
- A — HUMAN NECESSITIES
- A01 — AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
- A01D — HARVESTING; MOWING
- A01D34/00 — Mowers; Mowing apparatus of harvesters
- A01D34/01 — Mowers; Mowing apparatus of harvesters characterised by features relating to the type of cutting apparatus
- A01D34/412 — Mowers; Mowing apparatus of harvesters characterised by features relating to the type of cutting apparatus having rotating cutters
- A01D34/63 — Mowers; Mowing apparatus of harvesters characterised by features relating to the type of cutting apparatus having rotating cutters having cutters rotating about a vertical axis
- A01D34/74 — Cutting-height adjustment
- A — HUMAN NECESSITIES
- A01 — AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
- A01D — HARVESTING; MOWING
- A01D2101/00 — Lawn-mowers
The present invention concerns a power transmission for a rotary type of walk-behind lawn mower. The transmission comprises a first transmission part (7A) arranged to be mounted in a lawn mower housing (1) and comprising a transmission pulley (6). which in turn is arranged to be connected to an engine pulley (4) of a lawn mower via a drive belt (5). A second part (7B) of the transmission is arranged to be connected to a wheel axle (9) of the lawn mower, wherein the first transmission part (7A) is connected to the second transmission part (7B) via an articulated joint (11) such that the second transmission part (7B) and the wheel axle (9) are arranged to be pivotally mounted on said lawn mower housing (1). Thereby pivoting will adjust the height of said lawn mower housing (1) in relation to a ground plane. The invention also concerns a walk-behind lawn mower comprising such a transmission.
The present invention concerns walk-behind rotary lawn mowers of dimensions typically less than 700 mm diameter and most commonly 480 to 530 mm diameter and equipped with a powered transmission that drives either the front or the rear wheels, and a transmission for such a lawn mower.
FIG. 1 shows a typical height adjustment mechanism in a lawn mower. The axle 101 that drives the wheels 102 is typically located at a fixed position on the mower deck. The drive axle 101 from the transmission 103 typically goes through the pivoting point 104 for the typical height adjustment pivoting system. To transmit the power from the transmission to the wheels the most common solution is to utilize a small gear 105 on the axle 101 that drives a gear in the wheel—for example on cogs on the inside parameter of the wheel.
Another similar solution utilizing a chain drive system at the wheels is described in EP-A2-0 300 383.
With reference to FIG. 1. the bracket 106 that the wheel is located on can be pivoted to achieve different cutting heights—yet the smaller gear and the gear cogs in the wheel stay in full contact for the drive system.
In order to assist the turning of the mower, the drive system has a “freewheeling” device 107. This is done by means of a simple “one-way” ratchet device (or one-way clutch) or even with a differential built into the transmission. When a ratchet device is used it is positioned at a small gear by the lawnmower wheel. This can often lead to some complications due to rust and dirt entering the system.
The drive axle 101 does not typically carry any of the weight of the mower. When utilizing the described height adjustment system it will also require that a very sturdy height adjustment bracket is used since the weight of the mower will try to bend the bracket. This does not only ad weight, but also complication to the system. The wheels are attached on a separate wheel axle 108 and a shield 109 is provided to prevent dirt from entering the inside of the wheel and gear mechanism.
A more simple system is to attach the wheels directly on a straight axle that runs from the left to the right side. The axle is attached directly to the height adjustment pivoting arms. This means that the height adjustment arms do not have to be designed for any of the torsion load generated by the wheel since these forces are carried by the wheel axle. Attaching the wheels directly to the axle is used on many successful designs in particular for an axle that does not drive the wheels such as a front axle on a rear wheel drive system. The systems in use, where the drive axle is directly attached to the wheel typically utilize a very complicated drive system enabling the belt drive to be fixed. One such design is described in the U.S. Pat. No. 3,529,482 of a friction disc transmission. In the known designs the drive axle is typically attached to a car type differential design. The use of a car type differential does not provide a reliable drive on small lawn mowers unless operated on flat ground—due to large weight shifts on the driven wheels when operating on a slope. The less weighted wheel will spin. This phenomenon can be prevented by using a “differential lock” design for small lawn mower transmissions.
There are transmission designs that utilize a system where the wheel is attached directly to the wheel axle of the transmission and where the entire transmission moves up and down relative to the mower deck when changing the height of the mower. One such solution is described in for example U.S. Pat. No. 4,554,780. The solutions used in those cases utilize a specialty engine with an internal power take off specifically for the transmission and separated from the crank shaft driving the rotary mower blade. The transmission is also in those cases powered by a propeller shaft as opposed to a simple belt and pulley design.
An object of the present invention is to provide a transmission that overcomes some of the shortcomings of the transmissions of the prior art.
Another object is to provide a transmission which will lead to cost and weight savings of a lawn mower by reducing the final drive system to one location in the transmission as opposed to one in each wheel.
According to the invention a power transmission for a rotary type of walk-behind lawn mower is divided into at least a first and a second part. The first part is arranged to be mounted in a lawn mower housing and comprises a pulley arranged to be connected to an engine pulley of the lawn mower via a drive belt or similar. The second part is arranged to be connected to a wheel axle of a lawn mower. The first part is connected to the second part via a pivot axle such that the second part and the wheel axle are arranged to be pivotally mounted on said lawn mower housing. Thereby pivoting will adjust the height of said lawn mower housing in relation to a ground plane.
This brings about a transmission to be used in a lawn mower that in a simple yet effective way can be vertically adjusted. The wheel axle can thus be driven by the lawn mower engine and without use of a special engine design for driving the transmission and without using sturdy height adjustment brackets.
According to a preferred embodiment the transmission is provided with an internal freewheeling device. This hinders rust and dirt from entering the system since a freewheeling system arranged within the transmission housing is not exposed to dirt as a freewheeling system arranged in proximity to the wheels.
An object of the present invention is also to provide a lawn mower with the wheels attached directly to the wheel axle of the transmission and where the transmission is powered by a simple belt and pulley design.
A further object is to provide a lawn mower which height can be adjusted in relation to a ground plane without affecting the parallelity between a vertical transmission axle and an engine crank shaft.
According to the invention this is accomplished by a new rotary type of walk-behind lawn mower. The lawn mower comprises a housing, an engine mounted upon said housing, a mowing blade coupled to said engines crank shaft, an engine pulley coupled to said crank shaft, and a divided transmission. The divided transmission comprises at least two parts. The first part comprises a pulley connected to an engine pulley of a lawn mower via a drive belt or similar. The second part is connected to a wheel axle on one side of the second transmission part and is on another side connected to the first transmission part via a pivot axle. Thereby the second transmission part and the wheel axle are pivotally mounted on said housing via the pivot axle connecting the transmission parts. Pivoting around the pivot axle will adjust the height of said housing in relation to a ground plane.
This makes it possible to use a simple belt drive transmission as opposed to a propeller shaft transmission.
The invention will in the following be further explained, in a non-limiting manner, and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 2 shows an elevational side view of a lawn mower equipped with a transmission according to an embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 3 shows a cross section of a transmission according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 4 shows a detailed perspective view of a first and a second transmission part according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, where the second transmission part is open,
FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of a lawn mower according to the invention where the mower deck is arranged in a low position,
FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of a lawn mower according to the invention where the mower deck is arranged in a raised position, and
FIG. 2 shows a side view of a lawn mower equipped with a transmission according to an embodiment of the present invention. An engine, which can be any preferred known engine situated within a housing 1, is connected to a crank shaft 2, for rotation of the cutting blades 3. At the crank shaft 2, an engine pulley 4 is arranged for receiving a drive belt 5. The drive belt 5 connects the engine pulley 4 with a transmission pulley 6 arranged at a transmission/ gear box 7. The transmission 7 is equipped with a hinge or an articulated joint or a pivot axle 11 which divides the transmission into two parts. The second part of the transmission is in turn connected to the wheel axle 9 running through the second transmission part.
FIG. 3 shows a cross section of a transmission according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention. A transmission axle 10 transfers the momentum from the transmission pulley. A pivot axle 11 located in the first part 7A of the transmission 7 forwards the momentum and via a cog-chain system 12 a wheel axle 9 is arranged to rotate. According to this embodiment the wheel axle is divided into two parts each part being connected to a separate wheel. By dividing the axle into two parts a freewheeling system 14 can be provided in a second transmission part 7B. The freewheeling system 14 consists of a one-way ratchet device or a one-way clutch provided on each part of the wheel axle 9. By arranging an internal freewheeling device 14 in the transmission 7, problems encountered with conventional freewheeling systems, where the one-way devices are provided in close connection to the wheels, such as dirt, grass and rust can be diminished. The second transmission part 7B is pivotally attached to the first transmission part 7A at the pivot axle 11. The vertical position of the second transmission part 7B is kept at a constant vertical height in relation to the ground plane unless the wheels lose their contact with the ground. The wheel axle 9 is kept at a constant distance from the pivot axle 11, which corresponds to the pivot length 15. Due to the pivotal connection of the two transmission parts the vertical position of the first transmission part 7A can be changed which results in a raising or lowering of the mower deck relative to the ground without changing the vertical position of the second transmission part 7B. I.e. the transmission parts 7A, 7B can be vertically moved relative one another. A certain relative horizontal movement between the parts 7A, 7B will of course also take place. The first part 7A is to be attached to, or mounted in, the lawn mower housing 1. The second part 7B is to be attached to the wheel axle 9 preferably belonging to the rear wheels. When pivoting takes place, the first part 7A will move in relation to a ground plane and the lawn mower housing 1 will move in a corresponding fashion. The transmission axle 10 and the crank shaft 2 will thus keep its parallelity regardless of how much the position of the first transmission part 7A is changed, since the crank shaft 2 also is connected to the housing 1 in a similar manner as the first transmission part 7A.
The transmission 7 may also consist of more than two parts, although two parts are sufficient for achieving the objects of the present invention.
FIG. 4 shows a detailed perspective view of a first 7A and a second 7B transmission part, where the second 7B transmission part is open. In the figure the first 7A and the second 7B parts are separated from each other. The driving connection between the pivot axle 11 and the wheel axle 9 is not shown. The driving connection is preferably in the form of a regular chain connecting the cogs provided on the wheel axle 9 and the pivot axle 11 respectively. A rigid housing 16 makes sure that the distance between the two axles 11, 9 is kept at a constant pivot length 15.
FIGS. 5 and 6 show perspective views of a lawn mower according to the invention where the mower deck is arranged in a low and a raised position respectively. For adjusting the lawn mowers cutting height a height adjustment mechanism 17 is interposed between at least one of the rear wheels and the housing/ deck 1. The height adjuster mechanism 17 includes an adjusting bracket with connection points. One connection point 18 is connected to the wheel axle 9, a second connection point 19 is in alignment with the pivot axle 11 of the first transmission part 7A and connected to a mechanism preferably located in, or connected to, a handle 20 of the mower for influencing the height adjuster mechanism 17. The locations of the first 18 and the second 19 connection points on the bracket must be separated, and the second connection point 19 will constitute the rotational axis for the transmission since it is provided in line with the pivot axle 11. The connection point 19 and the pivot axle 11 can be indirectly connected to, or separated from, each other.
An operator can move the height adjustment mechanism 17 fore and aft, causing the wheel axle 9 and the pivot axle 11 to move relative one another and to raise or lower the mower body 1. Since the engine and the blade are mounted directly on the body 1, the blade moves up or down with the body 1 when the body 1 is raised or lowered by the height adjustment mechanism.
In this embodiment the transmission is provided in the rear of the lawn mower. However, the transmission can also be located in the front of the lawn mower in order to drive the front wheels instead of the back wheels. A connection can also be provided between the front and the back height adjustment brackets so that the entire lawn mower will be raised or lowered at the same time. Separate mechanisms for adjusting the heights for the front and the back wheels can also be provided.
FIG. 7 shows an elevational top view of a lawn mower according to the invention. In order to facilitate the drive between an engine and a transmission by means of a belt and pulley design the invention assumes that a belt 5 is powered by a pulley 4 located on the shaft 2 that powers the cutting blades—typically the crankshaft on a gasoline powered engine. The belt 5 transmits the power from said engine pulley 4 to a second pulley 6 located on the transmission that powers the shaft 10 for the wheel axle 9. In order to leave the belt transmission at a fixed point yet allowing the wheel axle to move up and down relative to the mower deck, the transmission has a pivoting or articulating joint 11 that will correspond to the relative length and pivoting position of the height adjustment bracket that directly connects and supports the wheel axle to the mower deck. The articulating transmission can be combined and integrate any type of freewheeling device or even a differential design to enhance and enable easy turning of the lawn mower.
The wheel axle 9 is attached to the height adjustment devices 20 on the lawn mower. The articulated gearbox 7 has its pivoting point 11 in line with the pivoting point 19 of the height adjustment of the mower. The wheel axle 9 is in principal a rigid axle and the pivoting of the transmission 7 will therefore occur automatically at that time of a normal change of the cutting height of the mower.
The articulated transmission can be coupled to any type of reduction gearbox between the belt pulley and the final drive system. The belt drive can also consist of a simple variable ratio belt drive. The power from the engine is transmitted through a common V-belt. However, any other types of belt or chain could also be used.
In the known designs utilizing the system with a movable transmission the wheels are provided with a vulnerable freewheeling device.
By integrating final drive reduction typically located in the wheels and incorporating the freewheeling mechanism typically located at the wheels into the protected transmission/gearbox housing the inherent problem with rust and dirt is solved. This design will also result in substantial cost and weight savings by reducing the final drive system to one location in the transmission as opposed to one in each wheel. The incorporation of the freewheeling mechanism in the transmission can also be realized in a conventional transmission. The wheel axle must however be divided into two parts in order for the freewheeling to function.
It should be clear that the invention is not limited to the explicitly illustrated embodiments, but that it can be varied in a number of ways within the scope of the appended claims.
Gearbox for lawn mower
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OEM ODM rotary lawn mower gearbox
Place of Origin China Payment Terms Negotiable Production method Negotiable Shipping / Lead Time Negotiable / Negotiable Keyword right angle gearbox, rotary mower gearbox, rotary cutter gearbox, rotary lawn mower gearbox, Category Gearboxes
ZHEJIANG HONGYE AGRICULTURAL EQUIPMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CO.,LTD.
Membership BIZ Country / Year Established China / 1997 Business type Manufacturer
Verified Certificate 6
|OEM ODM rotary lawn mower gearbox||–|
|right angle gearbox. rotary mower gearbox. rotary cutter gearbox. rotary lawn mower gearbox||–|
Country / Year Established China / 1997 Membership BIZ Business type Manufacturer
President Albert Wang Address No.5 River Road Phase II Industrial Park economic development Zone Wenling City, Taizhou,Zhejiang Province, China Product Category Gearboxes Year Established 1997 No. of Total Employees 101-500 Company introduction
Zhejiang Hongye Agricultural Equipment Science and Technology LTD was established in 1995, located in economic development zone of Wenling city, southeast of China. Hongye commits itself to development, production, sales and service for transmission products. Its products include spiral and straight bevel gearbox, cylinder gear speed reducer, worm reducer, and transmission case etc, widely used in various fields as lawn mowers, grain transportation and storage equipments, rice harvesters, corn harvesters, rotary tillers, pesticide sprayers, fertilizer spreaders, potato harvester, post-hole diggers, snow-blowers, garden machines and oil exploitation fields, etc, with the annual quantity over 250,000pcs.
Based on the advocacy of core value “technology precedence, value-added service”, Hongye provides good quality products and professional service to various countries and regions, wins great reputation among domestic and international agricultural field customers.
China is in its youth, and Hongye is in its teenage with bright prospects. Hongye adheres to the “honesty, harmony, excellence, win-win” business purpose, shoulders the mission of “Hongye always be the best partner for global stakeholders”, trying to build the world-class leading brand in transmission manufacturing field.
Gearbox for lawn mower
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Specification: No. Of Phases: 3 Nominal Voltage: 24VDC Resistance: 2.4 OHMS No Load Speed: 8900RPM No Load Current:0.5 Amps Rated Torque: 0.03N-m Rated Speed:7100±200RPM Back EMF Constant:1.6 V/kRPM Torque Constant:0.015N-m/A Motor Specifications With Planetary Gear Box Rated Torque: 1.5N.m Rated Speed: 94 RPM Ratio:76:1
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Nominal Voltage: 24VDC
Resistance: 2.4 OHMS
No Load Speed: 8900RPM
No Load Current:0.5 Amps
Rated Torque: 0.03N-m
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Motor Specifications With Planetary Gear Box
Rated Torque: 1.5N.m
Rated Speed: 94 RPM
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Lawn Mower Parts
Search and shop all the parts you need for your riding lawn equipment and Gator UTV including lawn mower blades, filters, belts, spark plugs, oil, and home maintenance kits.
Search part numbers and John Deere parts diagrams to identify exactly what you need to keep your equipment running smoothly.
Quick Reference Guides
As a John Deere owner, when it’s time to maintain, service or repair your equipment we have easy-to-use information sheets that keep your John Deere equipment running well.
Home Maintenance Kits
Feel confident in tuning up your lawn mower or garden equipment this season with our Home Maintenance Kits. Easily find the right product so you can DIY and save!
Looking for your Serial Number?
Finding your lawn mower’s model number and serial number is as easy as locating the identification tag on your machine. As seen in the example, the model number will be displayed below the MODEL heading (Example: Z235), and the serial number will be underlined on the top-right corner of the tag (Example: 130002).
If you’re looking for the engine number, that can be found directly on the engine itself.
Home and Garden, eat your heart out.
Get the latest on how to care for and enjoy your yard and garden. The articles and videos are informative and the ideas are amazing.
MowerPlus Mobile App
MowerPlus is the app you need to keep your John Deere riding lawn mower running well and your lawn looking great this season. The app tracks and records yard tasks and serves as a one-stop shop for seasonal care tips and maintenance activities. Know your mower and know how you mow with John Deere’s MowerPlus app.
The Right Part. The Right Price.
At John Deere, you get the value of choice for your maintenance and replacement parts for all makes and ages of machines – at any budget.
Genuine John Deere Belts Blades are your best choice for your newer machines.
Alternative Parts are an economical solution for your John Deere equipment.
The John Deere Easy Change 30-Second Oil Change System
Never drain engine oil again.
We’ve changed the oil change. Revolutionized it really. See how fast and easy changing your oil can now be on 100 Series Riding Lawn Tractors with the John Deere Easy Change 30-Second Oil Change System. Only from John Deere. Included on the E120, E130, E150, E160, E170, and E180 models.
Step One. Take it off.
Lift the hood. Make sure the engine is cool, then, twist to remove. It’s that simple.
Step Two. Twist and lock.
“Grab” the new Easy Change Canister, twist and lock into place. Make sure the arrow on your Filter System aligns with the arrow on your engine.
Step three. Done.
Close the hood and mow. John Deere recommends the Easy Change 30-second Oil Change System every 50 hours or at the end of your mowing season. Don’t drain engine oil ever again.
Draining engine oil is so 2017.
The engine modifications and new technologies are in. The re-envisioned oil filter with a media designed to resist breaking down in oil over time is here. The thousands of hours of testing are done. The end result is an all-in-one, oil and oil filter system like no other. The first of its kind. And thanks to the new John Deere Easy Change 30-Second Oil Change System (“System”), you’ll never have to drain the oil from 100 Series Riding Lawn Tractors again.
Here’s why: The new System captures contaminants and recharges your engine with nearly a quart (0.8qt) (0.76 l) of new oil. In fact, this System increases the amount of oil in the engine by nearly 40%. 2 Your engine likes that.
What do you mean, I will never have to drain oil from my engine again? How is that possible? The answer is simple. We have developed a better filtration system and filter design for our 100 Series Riding Lawn Tractors 1. This fully synthetic filter media has greater surface area which increases its capacity to hold harmful contaminants. What’s more, the filter media is designed to resist breaking down in oil over time. Which means you’ll get a cooler running engine. And a cooler running engine and better filtering helps increase engine oil life. John Deere’s recommended oil service for 100 Series Riding Lawn Tractors 1. is to change the System every 50 hours or once a season, whichever comes first. Remember, the System replaces a portion of your engine oil. And that’s plenty.
The System uses John Deere Turf-Gard Oil. Using John Deere Turf-Gard Oil ensures you are using the exact oil specified by John Deere engineers.
Testing. Testing. Testing. Thanks to thousands of hours of rigorous and extensive testing, you can feel confident your engine will run for years to come.
1 The John Deere Easy Change 30-Second Oil Change System is available on E120, E130, E150, E160, E170 and E180 Lawn Tractors today.
2 Compared to similar V-Twin engine models that do not have the John Deere Easy Change 30-Second Oil Change System. That includes equivalent Deere 2017 models and 2018 models without the System.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is new with John Deere Riding Lawn Equipment?
We are excited about the exclusive John Deere Easy Change 30 second oil change system. Exclusive to John Deere and only available on certain models of the new 100 Series Lawn Tractors. These tractors are designed for ease of use for both operation and maintenance. The John Deere Easy Change System (“Easy Change”) allows the user to easily complete the recommended engine oil and filter maintenance in 30 seconds.
What is this new oil change system?
We changed the oil change. The all-in-one oil and oil filter system gives the owner the ability to change a portion of the oil and the filter in less than 30 seconds.
What happens to the rest of the oil in the engine when the Easy Change system is replaced?
The Easy Change system replaces.8 quart of oil. The remaining oil in the engine is refreshed by the charge of new oil included in the replacement Easy Change system. Combined with 40% more engine oil capacity, improved filtration and cooler running temperatures which help extend oil life, it is no longer necessary to remove and dispose of all the oil in your engine during service.
What makes the Easy Change system unique from other filters?
It is not just a filter. It is a newly developed technology system that allows a new “filter” to come already charged with oil and allows you to remove an existing filter and the contaminants inside without tools and without making a mess. Beyond the filter, technology within the canister and on your engine makes this possible.
Models with the Easy Change oil system use a fully synthetic filter that has more capacity to trap and hold contaminants. The larger surface area of the Easy Change canister acts like a radiator helping the oil to stay cool.
Does the Easy Change system somehow decrease the life of the engine?
The John Deere 100 Series lawn tractor models, with and without Easy Change, are specified for the same lifetime and are rigorously tested to the same standards to ensure the life of the tractor meets expectations.
Can I add the Easy change system to an existing tractor?
Because this system also requires unique features within the engine, the Easy Change system cannot be added to an engine that was not equipped with it at the factory.
Can I change all the oil if I choose to?
You could if you wanted to. There is an oil drain plug. It is not required for maintenance.
How often do I need to change the Easy Change canister?
Every 50 hours or once a year. The 100 Series Lawn Tractors with and without the Easy Change system have the same maintenance schedule.
What type of oil is recommended?
We recommend only John Deere Turf-Gard 10W30 Oil. The Easy Change canister comes pre-filled with John Deere Turf-Gard 10W30 oil.
How do I recycle the old oil?
Many local government recycling programs, authorized retailers, auto repair stations, and auto parts stores will puncture and recycle used oil filters and oil.
Do I ever need to add oil?
Yes. Consistent with our service recommendations for this product, you should check oil level daily and add oil if required.
The Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers in 2023 for Making Your Yard Work Easier
These lawn mowers drive themselves, taking the load off you in the process.
By Roy Berendsohn Published: Mar 21, 2023
One of the perks of the warm-weather season is getting to spend time outside. If you own your own home and have a yard, it’s very likely that in order to enjoy your outdoor space, you need to mow the lawn. The larger the yard, the more work it will be to maintain. If you have a lot of grass to cut, you’d be wise to consider a self-propelled lawn mower especially now that there are a ton of sales just in time for Memorial Day.
The primary difference between a standard push mower and a self-propelled mower is that the former moves when you push it, and the latter essentially moves itself with only your guidance. Once the engine is running, all you have to do is squeeze a handle or push a lever and the mower will start moving forward with you as you walk.
Turning the mower around is your job, but once you have your heading, just keep the drive handle squeezed and escort the mower down the path, no pushing necessary.
From Popular Mechanics
Self-propelled law mowers take power off the engine and route it via a belt to a pulley on the transmission and axle. When you move the drive control lever on the mower handle, you tension the belt, causing the pulley to turn, and this drives the transmission, moving the mower forward.
Move the drive control lever back and the tension is released, the pulley stops turning, and the mower stops moving forward. The belt-driven transmission is a time-tested design to power the mower and take the load off you in the process.
What to Consider
A mower is like many consumer products in that the more features a manufacturer adds, the more expensive it becomes. But a longer or more eye-catching list of features isn’t necessarily better. Sometimes less is more. Here are the most important to keep in mind.
Front-wheel drive mowers tend to be less expensive than rear-wheel drive units. They can be easier to turn because you don’t have to disengage the drive wheels to do so. Simply push down on the handlebar to raise the front wheels off the ground. However, their traction isn’t as strong on hills or when the bag is full, as there isn’t as much weight over the drive wheels.
Rear-wheel drive mowers do cost more and aren’t as easy to turn, as you do need to disengage the drive—but this isn’t too much of a hassle. Rear-wheel drive mowers shine on hills and inclines, and when the grass bag is full. In either scenario, weight is shifted rearward and over the drive wheels, which enables superior traction, thus making the self-propel more effective.
An engine as small as 125 cc can power a mower, but most are somewhere in the 140 cc to 190 cc range. A large engine helps when powering through tall, lush grass or in extreme conditions, such as with a side discharge chute in place and mowing tall weeds in a border area. Also, the extra torque provided by a larger engine can improve bagging when the going gets tough (tall, leaf-covered grass in the fall). But if you mow sensibly and pay attention to deck height—and especially if you don’t let your lawn get out of control—an engine between 140 and 160 cc has more than enough power to get the job done.
A mower can have all four wheels the same diameter (7 to 8 inches), or it may have rear wheels that range from 9.5 inches to 12 inches in diameter. Larger rear wheels help the mower roll more easily over bumpy ground.
With some mowers you can start the engine with the twist of a key or the press of a button. It’s a great option, but a luxury. Keep the mower engine tuned and use fresh fuel with stabilizer added to it, and you’ll never have trouble starting.
Any number of mechanisms can control a mower’s ground speed—a squeeze handle, a drive bar that you press forward, even a dial. There’s no single right answer here. Look at the design and think about how you like to work. For example, if more than one person will be using the mower (and not all of them are right-handed), a drive control like that on a Toro Personal Pace mower might be the answer. Just push down on the bar to make it go faster. Let up on the bar to slow down.
A mower that can bag, mulch, and side discharge is known as a three-function mower, the most versatile kind. Two-function mowers bag and mulch or mulch and side discharge.
Mowers will typically have one, two, or four levers to control the deck height. Single-lever adjustment is the easiest to use, but it requires more linkage, which adds weight and complexity. If, for some reason, you find yourself varying deck height frequently, it’s a good option. Otherwise, two or four levers work just fine.
Only Honda makes a gas-engine mower with a high-impact plastic deck (there are battery mowers that have plastic decks). Otherwise, mowers generally have a steel deck, and a few manufacturers—Toro, for one—offer a corrosion-resistant aluminum deck. An aluminum deck won’t rot the way a steel deck will, but you still need to keep it clean.
This is a hose fitting mounted on top of the mower’s deck. When you’re done mowing, hook up a hose and run the mower to power wash the underside of the deck. We’ve had mixed results with these, but they’re better than just letting a mass of dried grass clippings accumulate.
expensive mowers come with a more durable bag with more dust-blocking capability. If you bag a lot, especially leaves or other lawn debris in the fall, then you need a mower with a higher quality dust-blocking bag. Having said that, if you rarely bag, the standard one that comes with a mower will last you the life of the mower.
Also called wide-area mowers, machines in this subgroup help homeowners better reconcile their need for more power and speed with the fact that they may not have enough storage for a tractor or zero-turn mower. A typical residential walk mower has a single-blade deck that cuts a swath from 20 to 22 inches wide. Wide-cut mowers (built for homeowner use) have either a single blade or, more typically, a pair of blades, cutting from 26 to 30 inches with each pass. Some of these are rated for light commercial use and have larger decks, in the 32-inch range, and engines that start at 223 cc and go up to about 337 cc.
Wide-cut mowers typically employ gear or hydrostatic drive transmissions, and they have top speeds of about 4 to 6 miles per hour. At their fastest, they move so quickly you have to trot to keep up with them. Needless to say, they’re overkill for small yards; only opt for one of these if you’ve got a significant plot of land that you need to keep tidy, but not one so large that you’d be better off going with a full-on riding mower.
How We Tested and Selected
We compiled this list based on Popular Mechanics mower testing and our knowledge of the lawn mower market at large. For our testing, we put mowers through the paces using our standard Popular Mechanics methodology: We cut turf grasses such as fescues and blue grass and rougher non-turf grasses like Timothy, clover, orchard grass, and wild oats, all in both normal and shin-deep heights. We mow uphill, downhill, and across the faces of hills. The maximum slope we cut is about 30 degrees.
That may not sound like much, but it’s about all you can do to stand on it, let alone push a mower up it or across it. We mow damp and wet grass to test general cutting performance and whether clippings accumulate on the tires. And we cut dry and dusty surfaces to see how well the bag filters under less-than-optimal conditions.
Honda HRN 216VKA
Honda HRN 216VKA
Honda mowers enjoy a sterling reputation. Having tested their walk and self-propelled mowers for the last 30 years, we feel confident that Honda’s entry level mower is a great choice for homeowners looking for power and durability. The HRN features a GCV 170 gas engine that’s built to withstand long hours of operation.
If you do your own maintenance (and most owners who buy this class of product do), you’ll appreciate the easily accessible spark plug and the fuel shutoff valve that enables better winter storage. Close the fuel shutoff and run the mower until it sputters to a halt. This will clear the carburetor of any gasoline, which will prevent the ethanol in it from disintegrating and causing running issues later on. Open the shutoff valve in the spring, add some fresh gasoline, and the mower should start easily.
All this maintenance stuff is great, but we can also tell you that our past test findings on other Hondas prove that their cut quality is outstanding for cleanliness. Sharp blades deliver a velvet-like finish. And their bagging ability is also quite good, in the same league with other well-bagging mowers from Toro.
In all, if you take mowing seriously, you should enjoy this Honda. If you have a little wiggle room in your budget, consider the Honda HRX, which features a mower powerful engine and a composite deck that won’t rust and is renowned for its durability.
One note is that Honda has announced that it will cease selling lawn mowers in the United States after this year—so if you’re considering buying one, best do it sooner rather than later.
Toro Recycler 60-Volt Max Lithium-Ion
Toro mowers have garnered more recommendations from us than any other brand for two reasons: build quality and cut quality. These were amply demonstrated in our testing as the Recycler turned in the best ratio of cut area per amp-hour of battery in the self-propelled category, while at the same time not skimping on cutting, mulching, or bagging quality.
We attribute this outstanding mower performance to three features, all upgrades to the previous version of this machine. First, the air vent at the front of the mower deck seems to improve mulching and bagging performance. Toro calls it Vortex technology, a design that increases air flow under the deck. This helps to stand the grass for a cleaner cut, which improves mulching performance, and also allows better airflow into the bag when collecting the clippings.
Next, the company’s redesigned “Atomic” blade configuration appears to assist the air flow and clipping movement. Finally, the three-phase, 60-volt motor is exceptionally efficient, resulting in a large cut area for a single battery.
Toro has maintained features that make this mower work: rear wheel drive, a one-piece deck that’s all steel (no plastic nose), 11-inch wheels to help it roll over roots and crevices, and the same fold-forward handle that was an industry breakthrough when it was introduced some years ago.
Ryobi 40-Volt Brushless Self-Propelled Mower
This is one of Ryobi’s top-of-the-line mowers, and it’s American-made construction is something we wish we saw more of. It delivers a tremendous cut area with its two 6-Ah batteries providing a total of 12-Ah of capacity, and its X-shaped blade leaves a pristine surface in its wake.
Ryobi estimates the design should provide 70 minutes of run time; we didn’t time our cut, but it strikes as plausible. Its rear-wheel drive and reasonably aggressive tire tread pattern provide good hill climbing and sidehill cutting performance, and its bagging on all surfaces (level, sidehill, and uphill) is also commendable.
Other ease-of-use features include an easily installed or removed bag that mounts and dismounts straight up and down through the handle; deck adjustment is quick and easy thanks to a single-level deck height adjustment. The straight edge deck is polypropylene; it will never rust and needs very little care other than basic cleaning.
Toro TimeMaster 30 in. Briggs Stratton Personal Pace
Toro TimeMaster 30 in. Briggs Stratton Personal Pace
The Toro Timemaster 30-in. mower has been around for several years and has earned a reputation as a sturdy workhorse for homeowners who want to cut down on their mowing time. It’s also used by some professionals as well. A few years ago the Timemaster got a slightly more powerful Briggs and Stratton gas engine, so it should have no issues powering through most demanding mowing jobs.
The Timemaster is rear-wheel drive and features Toro’s Personal Pace drive system that’s used on many of its self-propelled mowers. This allows the mower to move at your speed by simply pushing down or releasing the handle, which is spring-tensioned.
With a 30-in. deck, Toro claims the Timemaster will help you reduce your mowing time by about 40% compared to using a standard-sized mower. You can mulch, back, or side discharge with the Timemaster, and the handlebar can be locked in a fully vertical position to reduce space consumption in storage.
If you have half an acre to a full acre of lawn to mow and prefer the experience of a walk-behind mower versus a tractor or zero-turn, the Timemaster is worth a look.
Craftsman mowers have been doing very well in our tests, so we can recommend this one because it’s so much like the many other of the brand’s models that we’ve tested. If you’re looking for a good blend of maneuverability and power, you’ll get it with this mower. Its front drive helps move it along and makes it easy to turn.
It’s important to note that front-drive mowers do lose some traction when running uphill, particularly with a full grass bag. But if your slope is less than 20 degrees, and you’re not bagging uphill, you’ll be fine. The side discharge will also help you handle tall grass. Adjust the two deck levers to bring the mower up to full height and have at the rough stuff.
The fact that this mower bags, mulches, and side discharges is a plus, enabling you to handle a wide range of mowing conditions, from early spring and late into the fall. Three-function mowers like this are our preference for that versatility.
Toro Super Recycler Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
This is a beauty of a mower, with a cast-aluminum deck and a smooth-running Briggs Stratton 163-cc engine. We tested the Honda engine-equipped version, and it was effective at both bagging and mulching, even in moist grass.
Equipped with rear-wheel drive and the Personal Pace system (the farther you push the drive bar, the faster the mower goes), it’s an effective hill climber and moderately effective on sidehill cutting. It has relatively small 7.5-inch tires on all four corners, which causes this Toro to bump up and down a bit on washboard surfaces. But the good news is that it’s equipped with a far higher quality tire than we’re used to seeing these days. We didn’t notice them pick up any grass on moist surfaces.
Other features we like include its forward-fold handle that has a built-in shock absorber that Toro calls a Flex Handle Suspension, and a high-quality grass bag that loads through the handle, from the top.
Are there special maintenance considerations with self-propelled mowers?
Yes. Both front- and rear-wheel drive mowers typically feature a drive belt, which can crack or wear out over time. Fortunately these belts are not difficult or particularly expensive to replace.
Secondly, you may have to replace the drive wheels occasionally. These wheels are driven with gears. there are typically teeth on the inside diameter of the drive wheel that line up with a gear on the axle. These teeth can wear out, especially if they are made of plastic. Higher-end mowers may feature drive wheels with a metal gear that meets the metal axle gear, which improves longevity of these components.
My lawnmower says I don’t ever have to change the oil, but just add oil when needed. Is this OK?
It’s not a good idea to never change the oil in your lawn mower. In a lawn mower, same as a car, oil degrades over time and is less effective at reducing heat and friction in metal components. Changing the oil in your lawn mower is easy to do and will significantly increase its service life. For most homeowners, changing the oil at the beginning or end of each mowing season should be sufficient, though there is certainly no harm in doing it more often.
Roy Berendsohn has worked for more than 25 years at Popular Mechanics, where he has written on carpentry, masonry, painting, plumbing, electrical, woodworking, blacksmithing, welding, lawn care, chainsaw use, and outdoor power equipment. When he’s not working on his own house, he volunteers with Sovereign Grace Church doing home repair for families in rural, suburban and urban locations throughout central and southern New Jersey.