I shared previously about my participation in Troy-Bilt’s Saturday6 Program and that I would be writing and conducting product reviews for the company. Well the next step was making the tough decision of selecting one product from their line up for my first review. I went back and forth before finally choosing the brand new FLEX to trial in my own yard!
In case you haven’t heard about Troy-Bilt’s new FLEX, it is an innovative set of power equipment created to help manage a range of outdoor tasks including mowing, leaf blowing, power washing, and even clearing snow. The FLEX system utilizes a single engine (the “Power Base”) that works with an expanding line-up of attachments.
The Transformer of Yard Care Equipment
With a simple “click” you can transform FLEX from a lawn mower into a pressure washer, a snow thrower, or a leaf blower, and back again in a matter of just seconds! It really is that easy and no tools are needed, you move the power base unit beside the attachment and it just snaps into place as you push down on the handle bars.
The concept behind the FLEX yard care system is designed to conserve storage space in your shed or garage, simplify maintenance by requiring just one engine that is shared by the various attachments, and save money as you customize and build your collection of outdoor power equipment.
I’ve started out with the power base, mower, and snow thrower, but I’m already thinking about how useful the FLEX Power Washer would be around the house this summer. And Troy-Bilt will continue to develop and release new Flex attachments such as a log splitter, water pump, and a chipper-shredder, to provide even more options to you.
Taking a Spin with the FLEX Wide-Area Mower
Now on to my hands-on experience with using the new FLEX in my backyard. Setup was just a matter of adding oil, checking the tire pressure, adjusting the cutting deck height to suit my lawn, and adding gasoline to the power base. Connecting the wide-area mower attachment to the power base was as easy as advertised and after clicking them together I was ready to do some mowing.
First of all, I have to admit that the “self-propelled” aspect of a lawn mower is a change of pace for me… my previous mower was a “human-propelled” machine so I expected an adjustment period on the new FLEX; fortunately it was an extremely smooth transition for me. The biggest adjustment was getting the feel for easing on the throttle when engaging the power to the wheels that propel the mower forward.
The FLEX Wide-Area Mower is larger and heavier than a typical backyard lawn mower, but it is very manageable and maneuverable. Halfway through mowing the yard I felt completely comfortable with the machine and had gotten the hang of controlling, starting, stopping, and turning the mower. And by the end I was loving the times saving that the self-propelled feature and most importantly, the wider cutting deck provided over my previous mower.
Overall Assessment of Troy-Bilt’s FLEX System
A couple notes on the steering of the FLEX Wide-Area Mower; you can set the front wheels so that they will either stay in line or move freely as you turn the mower. I set them to move freely and like the way that enabled me to maneuver the mower around easily. Early on I also noticed that I was able to pull the mower backwards without too much effort but found it much harder to push the machine forward when the power to the wheels was not engaged. Maybe this was part of a break-in period because by the end of the day I was able to manually push the mower in corners or tight spaces just fine.
My bottom line is that FLEX and the wide-area mower attachment are perfect for me. A riding mower is bordering on overkill for my lot size, and besides that I enjoy the exercise of walking as I mow the lawn; but the FLEX Mower allows me to get the job done faster and easier! The lawn looks great after mowing and the clippings were mulched fine enough that no raking was required even though I had allowed the grass to grow taller than usual.
I’m also happy to free up more space in the garage as the FLEX attachments take up less space and the handles on the power base fold down quickly into a compact position. I will be looking forward to seeing what additional attachments Troy-Bilt will come out with for the FLEX System and have already heard plans for releasing a log splitter and and chipper-shredder attachments.
All Prepared for Winter and Snowy Weather Conditions
Finally, I also like the fact that I’m replacing my 2-cycle snow thrower with the FLEX Snow Thrower attachment, and since I already have a Troy-Bilt 4-cycle string trimmer, my days are over for mixing oil and gasoline, or for storing separate containers of fuel dedicated to 2-cycle outdoor equipment.
Even though it’s only June, I’m anxious for a snowfall to go out and test the new FLEX Snow Thrower attachment and let you know how that performs. But as compact and portable as the FLEX is, maybe I’ll just take the show on the road and go looking for some fresh snow to move around!
Disclosure: The Saturday6 Blogger Program is sponsored by Troy-Bilt and compensation is provided. In addition, the equipment used for this review was provided to me free of charge in return for sharing my honest opinions.
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