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Toro Yard Equipment - Not really a premium brand as far as I am concerned

By Andrew Pollack on 02/05/2019 at 09:14 AM EST

Dear Toro Customer Service,

I arm writing about the following machine:

Toro Power Max 1120 OXE
Model:38654
S/N:31000####

Specifically, bearing part #:63-3450

This is the part ($15 online / $25 at the local dealer) that caused me to raise my objections on-line. This piece of garbage is supposed to be a bearing. It carries the shaft which drives both stages of the auger. The shaft passes through the bearing (which is what bearings do) after the auger drive pulley as the shaft goes through the back (engine side) of the front scoop/auger assembly.

This "bearing" has no actual ball or roller bearings as you'd expect on an axle bearing. It comes from the factory with grease but has no way to re-lubricate ones in place. It's NORMAL operation is through the friction of the soft metal (copper alloy) inner bushing rubbing directly against the steel of the shaft. There is literally no way, over time, for the shaft not to wear down that bushing. It's built to wear out.




Even that would be acceptable (this kind of bearing does have its uses in mechanical systems) if it were easy to change. It is not. Changing this request the complete removal of the front scoop assembly, disconnection of the auger directional control arm mechanism, and even the removal of the auger drive pulley -- something which request a "pulley puller" tool, which very few home owners are likely to have ever heard of, let alone own.

The homeowner is essentially all but required to take the machine to an authorized dealer and pay for many hours of labor -- in the middle of winter, of course -- for the machine to work properly. This job took me a bit over 7 hours. As it's the first time I've done it, I'm going to assume a qualified shop would take about 4 to do the job. With the cost of parts, labor, pickup and delivery (this machine won't fit in most cars) that's an expense of around $400.

Clearly most homeowners do not want to spend 1/3 of the cost of the machine on a single repair while being without the machine for a week or more, not knowing what will break next, so realistically most of these machines are probably retired and people are having to replace them.

This is NOT the kind of design I expect in an expensive "premium brand" product.

I am fortunately the kind of person who actually owns the tools and has the skills to do this kind of repair, and my machine is now operating properly again. When it does fail, or when I need other yard maintenance equipment, I will not be considering Toro a brand I would recommend or pay a premium price for.

Your former customer,
Andrew Pollack
andrewp@thenorth.com
3 Candlewick Lane
Cumberland Maine, 04021
207-829-2131

CC: consumer.service@toro.com

Toro Power Max 1120 OXE
Model:38654
S/N:310001439

Bearing Part #:63-3450

This is the part ($15 online / $25 at the local dealer) that caused me to raise my objections on-line. This piece of garbage is supposed to be a bearing. It carries the shaft which drives both stages of the auger. The shaft passes through the bearing (which is what bearings do) after the auger drive pulley as the shaft goes through the back (engine side) of the front scoop/auger assembly.

This "bearing" has no actual ball or roller bearings as you'd expect on an axle bearing. It comes from the factory with grease but has no way to re-lubricate ones in place. Its NORMAL operation is through the friction of the soft metal (copper alloy) inner bushing rubbing directly against the steel of the shaft. There is literally no way, over time, for the shaft not to wear down that bushing. It's built to wear out.

Even that would be acceptable (this kind of bearing does have its uses in mechanical systems) if it were easy to change. It is not. Changing this request the complete removal of the front scoop assembly, disconnection of the auger directional control arm mechanism, and even the removal of the auger drive pulley -- something which request a "pulley puller" tool, which very few home owners are likely to have ever heard of, let alone own.

The homeowner is essentially all but required to take the machine to an authorized dealer and pay for many hours of labor -- in the middle of winter, of course -- for the machine to work properly. This job took me a bit over 7 hours. As it's the first time I've done it, I'm going to assume a qualified shop would take about 4 to do the job. With the cost of parts, labor, pickup and delivery (this machine won't fit in most cars) that's an expense of around $400.

Clearly most homeowners do not want to spend 1/3 of the cost of the machine on a single repair while being without the machine for a week or more, not knowing what will break next, so realistically most of these machines are probably retired and people are having to replace them.

This is NOT the kind of design I expect in an expensive "premium brand" product.

I am fortunately the kind of person who actually owns the tools and has the skills to do this kind of repair, and my machine is now operating properly again. When it does fail, or when I need other yard maintenance equipment, I will not be considering Toro a brand I would recommend or pay a premium price for.

Your former customer,
Andrew Pollack
andrewp@thenorth.com
3 Candlewick Lane
Cumberland Maine, 04021
207-829-2131

CC: consumer.service@toro.com


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