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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.
DE dirt

 

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Impressive DE Dirt. How long to change it out to use other rear implements?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Clipping container off the QH is as fast as pulling the discharge hose off and finding place to drop the container. The hose has a metal sleeve that slides over the blower smaller sleeve, just a snug fit. The blower can be removed in 5 - 10 minutes. Total: 15ish.
DE dirt
 

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Very nice, DE Dirt! I am still on the fence about the Protero and this post and great pictures are a big help. I know I've told you privately, but just for others, Protero will sell the PV18 without the blower unit if you already have a JD powerflow or don't want to deal with the extra weight of the Protero blower. They include a boot to accept the JD chute as well. Don't quote me but I think the price was around $500 less. ($1700 + shipping?). So the price is a wash either way.

When you lower the 3 point hitch, is it low enough where you can easily pop the unit off or will you need to make some sort of rolling dolly for it? It looks rather bulky to handle alone. Also, do you feel you need to use counterweights in the front? It looks like it will easily pop a wheelie under load.

Please keep us posted with any other thoughts or experiences and am very curious to hear how it handles during leaf season.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
When you lower the 3 point hitch, is it low enough where you can easily pop the unit off or will you need to make some sort of rolling dolly for it? It looks rather bulky to handle alone. Also, do you feel you need to use counterweights in the front? It looks like it will easily pop a wheelie under load.

Please keep us posted with any other thoughts or experiences and am very curious to hear how it handles during leaf season.
The 3pt takes it down low enough to drop it on a block or some wood but you will need someone to keep it steady until you can assist in laying it down. It's not heavy, just awkward and bulky-the trade off for capacity! I'll be building a cradle out of some wood since I have to do everything myself. Counter balance: I ran around with and without front ballast and found no difference in handling or front tracking but remember, I am on flat land. When the container was max full, I could not lift the front end of the tractor and didn't expect to. What I did feel it the tractor wiggle some in turns from the higher center of gravity and with the added JD 42lb. X 4 =168lbs., it seemed diminished, but that could have been psycological.

DE dirt
 

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When you get a chance, can you measure how far it is from the rear of tractor to rear of Protero? This really looks huge! (in a good way)

Protero PV18 (12) (Small).JPG
 

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protero bagger

42" from the ROPS hinge to end of container. 28" from QH lower pin to end of container.
DE dirt
Since you've had the protero bagger for awhile now,

How has it been holding up? Do you still like it?

Any pro's / con's?

I'm looking at there PTO version for a 1025R
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Since you've had the protero bagger for awhile now,

How has it been holding up? Do you still like it?

Any pro's / con's?

I'm looking at there PTO version for a 1025R
In fact, I just used it again tonight more collecting the fallen leaves. The Protero performs perfectly and has not given me one headache. The belt has shown little wear and the blower shows no wear. I do service the beating via grease fitting and remove and install with relative ease. I am 100% satisfied with the unit. This fall I welded up an additional support arm for the blower mounted to the FEL mount. The blower unit is sturdy and heavy driven off a pulley mounted atop the outboard blade drive pulley. I find the added weight to one side will cause occasional scuffing so a little ingenuity and a buzz box, I designed an arm to hold the 60" deck level. Once I set the blade height to my desire, the threaded blower support hook adjusted and I'm off. Works great and leaves and grass are deposited in the compost. The Protero vacuums up leaves and leaves very few behind.
DE dirt
 

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Ordered Protero

I ordered the PTO powered PV18 with hydraulic dump. We'll see how this works! They now have a caster stand that slips on the unit before you detach. This allows easy movement for storage. The PTO version should be less weight on the mower deck since the blower is mounted in the back by the catcher.
 

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I ordered the PTO powered PV18 with hydraulic dump. We'll see how this works! They now have a caster stand that slips on the unit before you detach. This allows easy movement for storage. The PTO version should be less weight on the mower deck since the blower is mounted in the back by the catcher.
Nice, are you going to have the chance to use it this year? would love to see some pics of it.
 

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I'm hoping I'll be able to test it out before the snow hits. I just traded my 2305 for a 2015 1025R also ordered a heated ROPS cab from tektite that is suppose to be in the first week in December. I'm hoping to have everything going before the snow hits! I'll take some pictures of the catcher once I get it installed. I'm planning on doing a walk around video for both the cab and bagger system. I know when I was looking there is very limited information on cabs and bagger systems.
 

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Really nice. Maybe some day I'll have one. Like your support bracket too. In the mean time my little rig on a carryall is working just fine compared to what these cost.
 
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