The long anticipated arrival of the PV18 was soon forgotten after the first run yesterday. The unit operated smoothly with some minor modifications to fit my 1026R with 60” MMM. The rigid plastic container mounted easily to my HF-QH but I had to heat and bend the dump lever to clear the ROPS mounted hazard light (with guard). I had to heat the bar while still mounted to the container or else it would have required extensive disassembly. I may heat and bend the handle to give it an “S” shape to give it a better look and improve functionality. Dumping was performed while seated and “popping” the accelerator emptied the remaining clippings. The sight window is ideally placed for monitoring capacity and time to dump. I cut my grass at maximum “lock” height on the MMM (4-1/4”) and this puts the container at highest position on the 3pt which causes the container to rub on ROPS upper bar. Since all my property is flatland, I felt comfortable removing the upper bar since I keep it lowered to clear the trees anyway. If one had Independent Lift, there would be clearance to run with the ROPS installed.
Blower: This is one heavy unit and the vanes appear to be indestructible. The bearing has a grease fitting and is substantial in size.The mounting instructions were pretty good and I am still not finished the final tweaking. Belt guard: I attached a 1/2” plastic block to the drive overplate rather than drilling the MMM deck to add the supplied supports. One screw and the guard is off but I still need to hole saw access to the spindle grease fitting. The supplied pulley mounted easily to the JD pulley and I will be using the supplied drive over plate riser since it will clear the underside when in the full up deck position. This will permit removal of the drive belt quickly. The plate provided for blocking clippings from exiting the gap at the rear of the blower to deck area, stops the blade from rotating. I cut a piece of 1.5” plastic board and cut at an angle to fill the void, clear the blade,and keep the clippings from leaving the vacuum path.
Ratchet Strap: I found the weight of the blower caused the deck to drop over 1.5” plus the bounce over uneven terrain leaves an uneven cut. My solution was simple and works perfectly. I attached a small strap tothe mower deck, over the FEL pylon and leveled the deck while reducing the strain on the MMM attaching hardware. I leveled the blade height with the JDgauge.
Pros: Overall performance, excellent, the system works as described. The blower sucked up all clippings and deposited in the container without clogging (Tall Fescue, thick, not dried out, rained the day before)installation not difficult if you have simple tools and drill bits. Dumpingfrom seat, easy. Construction: robust, all parts for assembly included.Instructions: complete, easy to follow. Removal and installation after assembly; as expected.
Cons: Time from order to ship 42 days, unacceptable.Communication with Protero: average. Weight of blower; since I have nothing to compare it to, I found the unit heavy but, it is built for commercial use and abuse.