52cm (21") LM-2122E-SP self propell question

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 2 months ago
Good morning,

I am having a hard time getting used to the self-propell system of my EGO mower. First thing, I noticed that it's difficult to pull the mower back right after disengaging the self-propell. I am doing my best to take that into account and remember to release the lever before reaching obstacles. Most of the time I fail but that's probably just me. Anyway, this sounds like a well-known and already discussed problem.

My biggest issue with self-propulsion is that, when I press the lever, there is a very noticeable delay before the system actually engages. This is a especially annoying during direction change, not having precise control of the propulsion when making turns is seriously hurting my (otherwise very good) experience with this mower. Having read a lot of reviews, I am surprised that it hasn't been pointed out. Did I buy a defective unit or is it just the way it works?

If so, I must have been spoiled by the excellent self-propelled system of my previous mower (honda smart drive).


Photo of Stéphane Cl

Stéphane Cl

  • 338 Points 250 badge 2x thumb

Posted 2 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 83,354 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
That is a safety feature designed in the EGO mower. It is there to prevent accidental roll back if you happen to stop and let go of the mower for some reason while on a slope. 
It really is easy to just release the SP a step or 2 before stopping to avoid that feature engaging. I think it becomes second nature after awhile of use. 
A lot of EGO's tools have a bit of a delay built into them. I feel it's another good safety feature to prevent accidental starting if a button were pushed accidentally. 
(Edited)
Photo of William E Hanson

William E Hanson

  • 20,928 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
All true and you will get accustomed to its quirks with time. My previous other brand cordless mower had the same features.
Photo of Stéphane Cl

Stéphane Cl

  • 338 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
Thanks for your replies...
I really hoped that it would be an issue from my unit that I could get fixed somehow. 
While moving on slopes and challenging areas, the responsiveness of the drive assist is crucial to me...  How can this "delay" be an intentional design decision? That's beyond me.

Fine, it can't be helped. I have noticed that you are getting a new model in the US, does SP work the same?
Photo of Prairiedog

Prairiedog

  • 12,122 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
You can always start pushing unaided then engage the SP.  Then it will move the instant you want it to.  The pause on mine is less than a second. I can't imagine how that could be such an unacceptable delay, even on a hill. I use it all the time on a steep one.  It's not like it is going to roll back before it engages, that is what the roll back lock out is for. Without knowing how long your delay is, we have no way to know if yours is defective. 
Photo of Stéphane Cl

Stéphane Cl

  • 338 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
The pause is also less than a second on mine, so it's clearly not specific to my unit. Having read and watched tons of review, I anticipated issues with battery life, cut quality, sucking power and finally had no problem with any of these. The EU version of the 21" SP mower is equipped with the high lift blade and has a brushless motor, that certainly helps.

I did not buy this mower because I was tired of gas, but because of the low weight, thinking it would result in less fatigue.  Now I realize that making U-turns is easier with my dad's 45kg (100 lbs) honda mower just because it has a responsive self-propell system and a variable speed trigger. So it's a bit of a step backward in an area where I expected a lot of progress. 

You are probably right when you say it's not "so" unacceptable but I admit I am a bit frustrated right now, especially because I discarded the toro 60v, thinking their "personal pace" SP system would not allow for precise control. Very ironic, isn't it? Please take into account that, In Europe, Ego mowers are only sold through dealers (like Stihl and Husqvarna) and cost 3 times as much money as in the US, as a result our expectations are set very high. 

Also we have no return rights, so I can only hope that I will learn to live with it.

(Edited)
Photo of Tim Krehbiel

Tim Krehbiel

  • 1,202 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
I had the exact same complaints when I first got the mower.  2 years later (I think it's been 2 years), it's all just second nature.  I've learned when performing a 180 degree turn to squeeze the self propel lever after I've turned about 90 degrees. By the time I get to 180, the self propel is actually working.  I've adjusted my behavior, and now the mower isn't a problem anymore.

Same with the clutch system preventing rollback. At first the tires were always locked when I pulled the mower back. Now I've learned to let go of the lever a split second earlier, and it isn't a problem anymore.  

In the end, both of the inconveniences were an acceptable trade-off for never changing oil again, or putting gas in a motor, or needing to wear ear protection when mowing.  I wish it was better, and I hope Ego does better in the future. In my opinion, I shouldn't have to adjust my behavior to deal with design problems of a $500 mower.  But for now, I'd recommend just using the mower for a few hours.  After a short period, you'll be "used to it", and neither feature/defect will give you trouble anymore.  
Photo of Stéphane Cl

Stéphane Cl

  • 338 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
Thanks for sharing your experience Tim, I am also happy to hear that your initial impression has improved over time!
I would not like to sound like a troll, but it is still not clear to me if that delay is actually a safety feature and not a technical limitation. In any type of vehicle, when I press the gas pedal/lever, I expect an immediate reaction, I don't understand anybody arguing the opposite.

Perhaps a marketing decision to tick the "self-propelled" box on the product sheet at the lowest possible cost, who knows? Reputable gas mowers manufacturers are going through serious engineering efforts to make self-propulsion as convenient as possible (see honda's smart/hydrostatic drive, toro's powereverse / personal pace / <insert name here>). It's entirely possible  that Ego is just at the beginning of this process. This is why I would be interested to know if the newer LM-2135 has received some improvement.

Photo of Prairiedog

Prairiedog

  • 12,122 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Omg! give it a rest. Listen to yourself! In a world where people are dying by the thousands you are whining about a millisecond delay mowing your lawn! Be glad you are above it and not below it. The delay is a function of the physics of an electric motor. Even a Tesla has one Go sell your Toros on the Toro board. It is clear now you are just a troll trying to plant a fake non-issue.  
Photo of Stéphane Cl

Stéphane Cl

  • 338 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
If I am a toro seller, why am I asking how SP works on the newer models?

I admit I don't like the current system, I find it needlessly inconvenient compared to other options on the market (which I have used) and think it could be improved. It's an opinion, not an insult. Given that english is not my first language, I can eventually apologize for making excessively harsh statements but that's about it.

Negative criticism against a mower self-propell system is nothing to get upset or angry about.
 
Photo of Tim Krehbiel

Tim Krehbiel

  • 1,202 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
I personally feel like the delay for the self propel function is likely a side effect of the "soft start" for the drive motor.  We do the same thing for brushless electric motors in RC cars and airplanes.  When you first crack the throttle, you don't want 100% of power right away.  It's hard on everything in the system....gears, belts, tires, whatever.  It would also spin the tires all the time.   So, current is limited by the speed controller at first so the motor gradually ramps up to 100% power.  

The "delay" is probably just a parameter in the speed controller that was set a little too conservatively, and now the motor ramps up too slowly.  I don't know if it's a safety feature, it's likely just how it was programmed to give the user the smoothest acceleration experience.  

As already said, I just got used to it.  The Ego is unquestionably the best mower I've ever had.  The cut quality isn't that great, and the self propel function isn't that great, but the rest of it is awesome. It starts every single time with no maintenance, and it's quiet.  To me, that makes it the best. 
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 83,354 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
Probably semantics whether calling it a safety feature or a program setting. It protects the mower so in that respect it is a safety feature. Not unlike a circuit breaker protects wiring is a safety feature. 
Photo of William E Hanson

William E Hanson

  • 20,928 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Tim, but EGO doesn't view these as design errors, but are safety features. Engineers aren't usually the users and they overthink their design.
Photo of Oregon Mike

Oregon Mike, Champion

  • 83,354 Points 50k badge 2x thumb
I will have to respectfully disagree with this. My entire career was in manufacturing and R&D. I worked closely with Engineering in both a technician capacity and a Process Engineer capacity. Every engineer I worked with could not only build what we built, but could run it. Engineers don't want to add unnecessary features to anything. Safety features exist because for each safety feature someone at some point tried doing something and ended up injured or worse and so the safety feature had to be implemented. No one is adding safety features with overthinking in mind. Most safety features are added with much resistance to the change because it causes dramatic changes in design, additional testing, and price increases. Also can have a huge effect on existing inventories as in they might not be able to be used because the new safety feature won't work with existing design. Very expensive to scrap existing inventory.
No one argues that safety is bad. But, it can be expensive. But, what price to pay? For someone's pain and suffering or to prevent someone's pain and suffering. 
A story for another day, but remind me to talk about defeating safety interlocks on lasers at a company I worked for (not me, someone else).
Photo of mike Arnold

mike Arnold

  • 680 Points 500 badge 2x thumb
  Most safety features are the result of lawyers getting big $$ for someone who did something really stupid.
Photo of William E Hanson

William E Hanson

  • 20,928 Points 20k badge 2x thumb
Mike Arnold, sad, but truer than most would realize.
Photo of Stéphane Cl

Stéphane Cl

  • 338 Points 250 badge 2x thumb
Trying to find more information on this, I found a video showing that the SP motor has been upgraded in the newer versions of the 21" single-battery models. The most recent version looks similar to the one used on the dual battery mower.

The video contains a demonstration of both systems side by side, both seem much quicker to respond than mine. I think I need to check with my seller if we can arrange a comparison.