HUSQVARNA R 322T AWD
Don't even think about a different riding mower
I spent so much time researching (a good half a year)... I was looking for a machine to handle about an acre of lawn but would give me the flexibility to run other equipment like a snowblower, and some pull equipment like a tine harrow (for a gravel driveway). I have some trees and a few smaller hills.
I have owned the machine since June of this year and really had no intention of writing a review. However, every once in awhile you run into product where it becomes clear the designers had a magical moment and actually built a better mouse trap, so to say. Here are a few things that this mower does better than anything I have ever used (and I have been a professional landscaper and designer in the past and used nearly everything out there):
- Handles hills wonderfully. I took it over a buddy's house to help him install his lawn by using my harrow to grade and rake the soil. He has enormous hills and the tractor handled them very well even pulling the heavy time harrow. This mower handles hills like a mountain goat. I found it very challenging to keep a zero turn going straight when crossing a hill. The front end wants to drop requiring constant correction. The same thing happens with traditional riders only worse as correction is often not possible. With its AWD, this rider just mows across hills effortlessly. The AWD makes up and down hills actually enjoyable with little or no risk of slip and seemingly unlimited power.
- No trimming (zero). I use a Roundup type vegetation killer around my trees a couple times a year (careful not to spray the leaves on the smaller plants) and with the 11" turning radius trimming is a thing of the past. In fact, I use the vegetation killer to create about a 5" strip (barrier) around any stationary object in the yard and get a beautiful professional edge whether needing straight or natural lines along beds and structures. The front mounted deck is the final piece to having a zero trim lawn. I can scoot directly up to objects that can't be reached from the side. A zero turn or tradional rider just can't because the mid-mounted deck.
Great handling:. I know zero turns usually have great transition between forward and reverse but this articulating mover is just as smooth with its foot peddles. The auto breaking feature makes for a nice slow down if used gently and the transition into reverse is smooth as silk. Using reverse is so fast and efficient, I find myself sometimes backing up even when I could do a 365 degree turn. This flexibility has allowed me to mow using diagonals and other directions to keep cutting angles variable from week to week.
In the end, Huskvarna didn't invent anything new with this mower. Front mounted, rear engine, rear turn mowers have been around for decades. What Huskvarna did accomplish was to put a mower with these qualities within reach of any homeowner that was willing to purchase a rider in the first place.
October 28, 2012
This is an amazing mower!
I have owned this mower for less than a month and love it. I don't get stuck or hung up on anything. I can also mow where I never could before. It is so easy to clean the deck. I spent a little more than I had wanted to, but would do it again. I look forward to trying the snow blower.
May 18, 2014
Good rider for hills and obstacles
I finally got my R322T with a 48-inch side discharge deck the other day. After having a heck of a time getting the drive belt on, I was able to get in my first mow.
PROS: It can handle my hill with ease. I was even able to mow a circle around a small tree that is located on the steepest side of the hill (I know, not the smartest thing to do, but I wanted to put it through as much as possible to see what it can do). It does tend to slow down a bit going uphill on the steepest portions, but that is fine with me. Also, I was able to run the mower parallel with the hill. There is definitely some leaning, but I never felt too uncomfortable and it felt much more stable than a garden tractor. Going downhill is fine, just some getting used to (slow and steady wins the race).
I will have to figure out how to properly adjust the deck, but the initial cut was still very nice. I even had some professional landscapers (mowing the neighbor’s house) tell me that my mower was very interesting and the cut looked awesome. It only bogged once when I tried to run over a massive clump of clippings.
Cutting around trees and tighter areas is great. I can see where I want to go and as long as I take it a slow, I can get around almost anything I want. I am able to get to areas I know a ZTR or a garden tractor would never be able to get.
I love the fact that can have the mower blades still run when going in reverse.
CONS: Nothing too big, but going in reverse with an articulating AWD mower is definitely taking some time to learn. This issue isn’t bad for a simple back-up on the ground, but when I am trying to come off a trailer with a steep ramp, it’s almost like trying to direct a go cart with a trailer attached.
Another thing is the lack of power steering. I have absolutely no problem with it (since it as AWD, it sometimes feels like I do have power steering), but I can see it maybe being a problem for some.
The owner’s manual is very vague about some aspects, like putting the drive belt on. After some searching, I managed to download an exploded-view parts list off the Husqvarna website since the manual didn’t come with one.
The cutting height adjustment has a scale of 1-10, but it is not in any defined measurement like inches or centimeters. It’s a guessing game as to how high you are cutting.
My first cut; while learning all the controls and figuring out the lay of my land, it took me about 1.5 to 2 hours for my 1.1 hilly, bumpy, obstacle filled, high grass lot. I am sure after a few more mows I will be able to get it around an hour or under.
So far, I am pretty pleased with my purchase. I have yet to use the flip deck option due to the belt was so hard to get on. Hopefully, over time, the belt will loosen up and I can start cleaning out the deck with some ease.
May 14, 2014
Ready for another season
Now that I have finished my first mowing and snow blowing season, it has performed well and satisfied my expectations. I have had a Bolens Lawn tractor for 23 years and then a Craftsman Lawn Tractor (built by Husqvarna) for four years; both with snow blower attachments. Then I upgraded to an AWD unit and this 322T was half the price of a Kubota and 1/3 the price of a John Deere AWD tractor. Some things to note; I did end up burning up a drive belt during my 2nd snow storm. As another reviewer noted, I smelled some burning rubber but wasn't sure what was causing it and it was starting to fray. Fortunately I had already purchased a spare belt and then analyzed the issue. I believe the front drive belt and the attachment belt which work off of the dual front pulley were reversed. If you look at the manual very closely, they need to be in the right position to prevent any rubbing. Once the belts were in the right position, I had no further issues, nor did I smell any more rubber burning.
I also had the dealer test the engine rpm which turned out to be lower than the specification. Once that was adjusted, I had a lot more power when going uphill pulling a lawn sweeper or aerator. I also had to adjust the tension for the disengagement latch because a few times while snow blowing, it would not disengage when I pulled the lever all the way up. I believe this was caused by some build up of snow/ice. I added tire chains on the rear wheels while snow blowing even though I may not have needed them.
Overall, I am enjoying the unit very much and plan to have it for many years. I added some additional fog lights in the front because I occasionally cut the lawn in the evening and snow blow at night, plus it looks cool and the alternator can handle it!!
April 29, 2014
I bought this unit at the end of summer 2013 for the purpose of mowing my lawn, which has quite a few trees, and also blowing snow. As a mower it is amazing, although I wish it had power steering. My Toro zero turn did not get close enough to the trees and consequently I had a lot of clean-up to do when I was done. This unit totally eliminates this clean-up work.
Approximately the third time I used it I completely lost steering. Luckily I didn't fall off the edge of my property, about a 3 foot drop into the water. This turned out to be a rather simple fix as a bolt that linked the steering column had fallen out. The balance of the mowing in the fall went great.
Now I am struggling with the snowblower. The dealer came to my house to install the unit. After installation they ran it. It was incredibly loud and I could smell hot rubber. They inspected the installation and everything seemed correct. It is getting cold and soon we will have snow so today I decided to run the unit and look into this myself. It still was extremely noisy and again the smell of hot rubber.
Regarding the smell of hot rubber... After about two minutes of running I was noticing fragments of black fiber being deposited on the garage floor under the unit. This turned out to be from the belt. Maybe I have this one figured out. The snowblower is raised by a lever separate from the lever that raises the mower deck and disengages the drive. So it is permissible to raise the snowblower without disengaging the drive. If this is done the belt brake engages without disengaging the drive. Under this condition the rotation of the pulley is restricted, the pulley and belt heat up and the belt wears rapidly. I do not see anything in the manual that warns of this condition but now I know not to raise the snowblower without first disengaging the drive.
Regarding the noise. My father has a John Deere X360, Power Steering, and Hydraulic lift. When you engage the snowblower on this unit you can hardly know it is running.
I am still hopeful that these problems will be resolved but at this point I am not ready to recommend this product.
November 12, 2013
Well designed and constructed
I have owned my R322T for 5 months and have about 30 hours on it cutting my steep and hilly lawn. The traction is incredible in forward or reverse. The steering is excellent once you become used to the rear pivot steering. I have the 41" combi mulching deck and has excellent grass mulching. Rear discharge works well for tall grass but some clippings build up on the front trans. I have a steep paved driveway as well and we get snow here in Va so I will be purchasing a frt blade or snowthrower soon.
October 5, 2013
retured 2 mowers within 2 weeks
Purchased 1 then returned because leaking fuel.
The replacement leaked oil.
bought a Deere
August 19, 2013
I've had this mower for about two months now (after trading in a Husqvarna lawn tractor) and it's by far the best mower that I've ever owned. Because of the turning radius I am able to cut in places that I could only reach before with a trimmer. Because of the 4WD I am not worried at all about slipping or getting hung up like I have on previous riders. Lastly, I put a mulching kit on that works better than I had hoped and the lift up deck makes it a breeze to clean.
August 5, 2013