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Author Topic: Harrier 56 Pro, 579A / 579B  (Read 297 times)

Offline Mick

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Harrier 56 Pro, 579A / 579B
« on: April 12, 2020, 11:16:44 AM »
Not over impressed with build quality on these atm. 

I like the overall look and layout of the latest models, but to me it's let down by a couple of things which could be vastly improved.

1: Roller bushes.  These apparently made of a "low wear" plastic material which I guess are fine on a smaller 41, but they don't seem to be lasting very well on the 56's that I've seen so far.  One which came back after three months had to have these bushes replaced as the chain was jumping.  Yes it was used latter part of the season and was wet and muddy conditions.  After cleaning all the muck out of the cam drives in the rollers, lubing them up and refitting the roller assembly with new bushes all seemed fine, only had a small amount of end play between rollers and bushes.

Roughly three months later the machine becomes difficult to turn, as one of the roller cam systems had jammed.  Looking at the rollers it was apparent that it had loads of end play again, thus letting moisture and debris into the cam mechanisms once again.  So not a good sign of things to come.

2: Chain:  The chains used on these machines are of pretty cheap quality and go loose pretty quickly.  I believe these are going to be upgraded if they haven't been already.

3:  Rear sprocket and the way it's mounted to roller shaft is a bit naff, it's a thin sprocket with two flats machined into the sprocket centre hole, and two flats on the shaft.  This is "held" in pace with a flimsy Circlip which has been known to come off during operation, especially if you have a lot of side play in the rollers.

Apart from a few other teething problems they had with the Blade brake clutch (BBC) and couple of other bits I really like the machines, but the roller parts, bushes sprocket fitment could do with a rethink IMO.

What are your experiences with the Hayter Harrier 56 Pro 579A / 579B ?

Oh, and below I've attached a couple of pics of the bushes taken from the first three months use.  In the first one you can see the wear resulting in the chain going loose and jumping.  In the second image you can see why so much end play in the rollers, because of the length difference in the bushes.




Offline Gregs mowing

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Re: Harrier 56 Pro, 579A / 579B
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2020, 06:26:17 PM »
Well all depends how a machine is used I guess. I have a 41 pro that after being used 1 day a week throughout last few years I finally worked out how the drive system all works. I even had a new plastic bush/bearing and compared to the ones from the machine. They hadn't worn down at all. however after seeing this post I am likely to be looking at my Toro prostripe during the winter and giving everything a good clean up and grease.

I do agree that the big sprocket is on the cheap side. seems like a flat sprocket where before they would have a collar and seemed a nicer material. it does fit on the shaft nicely however as its like a rectangle shape and the end of the shaft has been made that way. Nice machining. I am not sure on the chain. Might replace end of the season if they stretch, it's my main mower and does a lot of work. I am more concerned about the cheap plastic chain cover which I heard they are changing to have some metal on. Metal strip or all metal I am not sure. Even if it's like the Stihl that's ok but does look a bit cheap, something hopefully RC can improve on.

One thing I noticed on the 56 pro initially was the split rollers didn't seem to rotate individually freely. They did after time. I did email Hayter asking if it was supposed to be tight and they did say there was a bed in period, if they found it needed adjusting they will look into tolerances. Since then it's all fine so no real complaints.

I will say my 41 pro with the polypropylene rollers have been really good. Sound better on tarmac and paths than metal rollers and they rotate individually more freely than the pro metal rollers.Though 2020 onwards they have metal rollers as too many people wore the rollers out within the warranty period. I feel they sold a lot of 41 Pros during 2017 and 2018 due to the fact it collected better than the 48 Pro at the time. So compromised on the machine cutting width but get better collection and get job done quicker and easier.

There have been a few people question Hayter testing on the new models. Starting with the BBC linkage, new er came up during Hayter testing but once the parts were made on a more production scale they had a few more tolerances and had issues. As having both new 48 pro and 56 pros. I noticed the 56 wouldn't release the BBC linkage smoothly all the time, but 48 did. Then when the first recall came the affect swapped. 48 pro was worse but 56 was fine. Then there second recall and the notch went and all was good.
Then there was the collection in the wet. Around this time last year (spring) mowers up and down the country being used commercially and lots of people finding it bad at collection and jamming up the rear rollers, not everyone had that but I had it and a local company had their 56 pro jam up fairly early on! That really does beg the question of how was it tested? Hayter said the new models had thousand of hours of testing. So why does it then take up to 2 months of use to find it isn't great and far too quick. They really should have got 10 48 pros and 10 56 pros to different contractors up and down the country. speak with the dealers try and find out who does a huge amount of mowing and get the 20 machines to those commercial guys up and down the country. Need to be used on a lot of lawns but also by the more reckless people. I am careful with my machine but plenty of oiks are not careful.
The drive speed is seriously flawed. 48 pro far too quick for lots of people. 56 too. why didn't Hayter make things easy and just put 3 speed gearbox in both pros. I have heard the 3 speed Toro gearbox won't fit in the 48 pro. Huge disaster for cutting in different wether conditions and grass conditions.

The other problem I have and others have is the mesh bag isn't the best. Gets clogged up too quickly. Seen other bags that are a lot lighter and the issue is the air can't escape. Maybe look at Etesia with their mesh bags and the grass flaps has holes in the edges that goes next to the side of the bag. But plastic box is the best answer but companies are daft at times. Another issue with suggestions and costs. Hayter wanted the 56 pro to be in the same range as the lawnflite etc. So why has it got cheaper parts up and down the machine and a cheaper nasty engine. Look at the wheels - others have metal wheels. Bearings differ and the engine. I would love to try the 56 pro with a briggs and a Honda gxv engine.

Other than that lovely machines to use and Hayter do seem to see what's going on and they are listening.

Offline Mick

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Re: Harrier 56 Pro, 579A / 579B
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2020, 09:32:58 PM »
Greg, as said above I think those roller bearing would be fine on a 41, it's using the same ones on a 56 Pro that concerns me.  Especially in wet conditions which you pro's need to operate them in to make a living.  Most domestic users would wait for dry conditions before attempting to cut lawns. 

Something that intrigues me is why roller bushes used now are a offset mount design, instead of the inline design they used for many years without issues.  Now because they are screwed to the frame via the offset they break if given any side impact, and they have now made a strengthening plate kit which you see fitted on the 2020 models.  I'm sure if they stuck with inline design this wouldn't happen.  The old ones also had a bronze bush inside them which helped massively with side play issues because the bush provided a thrust surface for the ends of the rollers, or shims to run against. Instead of a bit of plastic.   

Regarding the speed issues on the 48 Pro's, the speed reduction kit Speed reduction kit for 48 Pro takes speed down from 3.4 mph to 3 mph.

Compare this to the Prostripe.  This has a three speed gearbox, and
1st gear 1.9 mph
2nd gear 2.5 mph
3 gear 3.2 mph

That makes the Harrier with speed reduction kit almost as fast as a Prostripe in top gear.  Which I agree is still way too fast for most people.

The new Harriers have some nice features, like being able to access most of it's workings from underneath by removing the under deck cover.  They are very easy to work on.  My only real gripe is with the roller and system tbh.  ;)