Allow me to begin this post with a letter-
Since it appears that it’s becoming popular for companies and businesses to sue people who leave less than stellar reviews, be aware that:
1. This represents my experience with Troy-Bilt products.
2. This is my opinion.
3. I have a Right to Freedom of Speech and that includes my opinions and conveying my experiences with goods and services.
A VERY Dissatisfied Customer
Now, I won’t tell you not to buy Troy-Bilt mowers, but I will tell you that we never intend to buy another one! If someone gave us a brand new Troy Bilt, I’d sell it. Immediately.
We view our purchase and ownership of this 2017 Troy-Bilt Horse Hydro as one of those “lessons learned the hard way”. We bought this thing at Lowes on April 16, 2017.
Things I would tell myself if I could go back in time to the morning of April 16, 2017:
Get used to conversations like this:
Neighbor/mower repair shop/repair forums: What kind of mower did you get?
You: A Troy Bilt Horse riding mower!
Neighbor/mower repair shop/repair forums: “Oh.”
You’re going to find yourself wishing there were Lemon Laws for riding mowers like there are for vehicles.
This thing throws belts like a spoiled toddler throws tantrums- FREQUENTLY!
Be ready to stop what you’re doing and reseat the belt at anytime. Many times. Order a few new belts, they get torn up when the mower slings them off the pulleys. Carry the appropriate size wrench at all times to remove the pulley covers so you can reseat the belt,
Or… enjoy the peaceful walk all the way back to the house to get the wrench, then all the way back to the mower to fix it… again. But hey, take that opportunity while you’re at the house to grab a beer and continue trying to convince yourself that you don’t actually regret this purchase.
Go ahead and order a few extra spindles now so you don’t get caught without one when they let go without warning. In fact, get at least three of them… now. You checked everything else to keep the belt on the pulleys so when that belt starts jumping off, get ready for a new spindle! It’s like a friendly appointment reminder from a cruel dentist.
Remember, this is a modern mower, not like those old reliable ones you mowed with as a kid. Those mowers could pull a full size pickup truck uphill on a gravel driveway. This one? Might not be able to pull itself uphill on a gravel driveway.
And yes, even though you’re going to maintain it well, clean it constantly, and take good care of it, this new mower need its safe space, and it’s really only going to work when it’s “in the mood”, and that’s just not going to happen very often. It’s the mower’s schedule that matters, not yours. If you try to mow when the weather permits, or even worse… when your schedule permits; this thing is going to get ugly with you. It will stop working, but it will almost always wait until you are trying to mow the part that’s furthest away from the house. It likes to see you walk.
Yeah, while you’re at it, get a few replacement blade sets. When those spindles fail and the shaft falls straight out the bottom, driving the spinning blades into the ground at full speed… it ain’t good for the blade, or your day, but my oh my what a pretty design it leaves in the yard. Never mind those bits of blade hurtling out from under the mower at Mach 1 or the bucking shimmy of the cutting deck as you consider trying to wrap your legs around the back of your head to avoid injury.
Think of those “headlights” as more of a decoration than a functional part of the mower. Much like the motorcycle noises you made as a kid on your bike made you go feel like you were going faster, these “headlights” seem to only be there to make the mower look better- they’re going to both fail toward the end of the first day you use it. They will not work again.
That cutting deck is only “level” under certain circumstances.
Like, on totally smooth, absolutely level ground, and then only for the first use. After that, no matter what adjustments you make, it will never be level again. But you’ll get used to those funky scalloped looking stripes across your property. It makes you unique!
Speaking of the cutting deck, grab a few rattle cans of black spray paint. The rust neutralizing kind. Yeah, you take care of your stuff, but it’s not going to matter, that deck is going to rust no matter how clean you keep it!
That shrieking sound from the transmission is normal. Yes, it didn’t sound that bad until the third or fourth time you used it and yes, it’s so loud it almost drowns out the blades. The warranty people are going to tell you it’s normal. They’re also going to get snippy when you call about the constant failures by asking, and I’m gonna quote here so you won’t be shocked when they say it…
“How do we know you didn’t break (insert name of problem component) on purpose?”
The idler pulley is going to fail. Spectacularly. That’s simply this mower’s way. It’s really got that drama queen vibe going. When it fails, you will actually be mowing the furthest point away from your house. And you’ll have to push this sucker ’cause it’s ain’t moving No Mo!
You’re going to have to take allot of this thing apart just to get to the head of the bolt for that pulley. Instead of using a carriage bolt, or even spot welding the head of the regular bolt, they just popped it in there with no visible means of preventing it from spinning in place.
Tell yourself again that you really don’t regret this purchase as you lay under it for the umpteenth time; sweating, cursing, and offering promises to The Lord if He’d just let you get that nut off so you can replace the pulley. The pulley that sliced the drive belt almost in half on it’s way out. Sort of a Thelma & Louise going over the cliff together moment- that pulley and belt had been through allot, and were leaving together!
Don’t think of the weird transmission fan that has a huge cup in the middle as a design flaw, think of it as an unintended feature that has no drain holes, collects dust and dirt which in turn absorbs moisture, and severely rusts the nut and bolt that are the ONLY means of power transferring from the engine to the exuberantly loud hydrostatic transmission. Now you get to use several heavy doses of that penetrating lubricant that’s been sitting on the shelf feeling ignored. And whiskey. Several heavy doses of whiskey.
The mower parts section of Amazon is going to be far too familiar to you.
Far too familiar!
Yeah, it says “HORSE” on the side, but before long you’ll feel that it should say “POLITICIAN” ’cause allot of promises are implied, but allot of letdown follows. Your neighbors aren’t laughing AT you, they’re laughing WITH you; even though you’re not laughing.
Remember, no matter how desperately you want to, you must NOT push this thing into a ditch and set it on fire.