Have you ever bought something after reading about what makes it so good, only to be disappointed by things you hadn’t thought about? It happens more often than you think, especially when it comes to power tools and equipment. With so many options available, it can be easy to focus on price when a number of products share similar specifications.
One category that has plenty of options is zero-turn ride-on mowers, and in particular our BOB-CAT range. We’re big fans of their zero turn machines and we think they’re great for New Zealand lawns. But, like most products, there’s no way they can be perfect.
When it comes to power tools and equipment, asking what it doesn’t (or can’t) do is often just as important as asking what it can do. Sometimes we get asked, “what kinds of things go wrong with these mowers?”. And while BOB-CAT are exceptionally strong and reliable machines, we’ve taken the time to go over the questions and comments we receive from our customers.
No fuel gauge
With some of the smaller BOB-CAT models, this one comes up regularly because it can betricky to know when to fill up your machine. It’s not something that comes up on the digital display, so manually checking the tank by removing the cap is the only way to get an idea of fuel levels. The reason they can’t fit fuel gauges is due to the extremely heavy-duty rotational moulded tanks BOB-CAT construct their mowers with. But to make it relatively simple to check the fuel level by eye, they have designed their machines so that the tank’s cap is within reaching distance while you’re seated.
Compared to solid tyres, inflatable tyres can puncture when debris is lying around. But for lifestyle block and private homeowners this generally isn’t a problem. Inflatable tyres actually provide greater traction and comfort, and the front tyres of BOB-CAT mowers are semi-pneumatic. This means they’re still inflatable, but because they are made of thicker rubber they can withstand punctures. Inflatable tyres are also lighter and they leave far less scuffing on lawns too.
Battery storage over winter
This issue is something that comes up with any ride-on mower, but in fact it’s something we haven’t encountered with BOB-CATs yet. In New Zealand, mowers are generally kept in the shed or garage for only a couple of months over winter so holding charge isn’t really an issue.
No shock absorbers or suspension
Compared to other mowers that have suspension in the seat or shock absorbers beneath the
chassis, BOB-CAT have remained firm on not incorporating them into their mowers. They actually use elastomeric vibration control (EVC) for seats to provide comfort over rough ground, or in the case of several of the professional series BOB-CAT mowers, you get a fully adjustable mechanical suspension seat. Their reason for not including suspension is by adding it they would need to include a number of moving, load-bearing parts that would be more prone to
wearing out or breaking. With suspension comes added joins too, and it would mean BOB-CAT couldn’t use their strong, fixed chassis and offer such great warranties either.
No wash port or flip up deck
Other brands out design their machines with wash ports that are intended to make cleaning mower decks easier. But, in our opinion, we find that they only swish water around the port, become rusty over time and can’t clean the entire deck. Flip-up decks are a more efficient alternative, but they inevitably add substantial cost to mowers. To compare two zero-turn mowers with near-identical specifications, the only significant different between a BOB-CAT CRZ 48” zero-turn and the Hustler Raptor Flip-up is the price. The BOB-CAT retails at $9,895.00 while the Hustler costs $14,745 inc. GST.
BOB-CAT don’t have a quick-change mulching kit
Unlike other mowers, including Hustler machines, BOB-CAT mulching kits are either on or off. This makes it difficult to switch between mulching or side-discharge, but in our experience we’ve seen the benefit of dedicated mulching kits. For the minimal effort required to attach them, they perform far better than hybrid kits that tend to be a jack of all trades, but a master of none.
See how well they work for free
As you might have gathered, the perceived problems or shortfalls of BOB-CAT mowers actually increase the overall quality and lifespan of their products. It means BOB-CAT can offer warranties of up to six years, and that includes commercial use. At OMC, our nationwide network of dealers can arrange a demonstration at yours so you can see the difference one can make to your property or business. Feel free to get on touch and book your's today.