As you can see from the photo the box fits easily in the back seat of the car, this particular car being a Vectra. It would also have fitted comfortably in the boot.
The official weight of the Rotak 43 Ergoflex is 12.4 kg, so with a bit added on for packaging the weight will be around 15 kg. I found the box comfortable to carry, certainly not too heavy, but please take into account that I am over 6 foot tall and maybe not everyone would find it as easy.
Here you can see the unopened box on the somewhat neglected lawn that it is shortly going to be mown. To the left of the picture you can just see part of my last mower, which gave up the ghost three weeks ago, hence the state of the lawn!
The box was sealed with two security labels, one of which can be seen in the picture.
A quick look at online reviews of this mower reveals that there is a feeling that the assembly instructions leave something to be desired. Below is a step by step guide to putting the Bosch Rotak 43 Ergoflex together. It took me less than an hour, which included photographing each stage and also shooting some video. I think most people would be able to assemble this lawnmower in 15 to 20 minutes. You will need a medium sized standard slotted screwdriver.
On opening the box you will not find lots of extraneous packing. When you take out the contents you should have the following :
- the main body of the mower, linked to the handle by a short length of cable.
- three sections that fit together to make the grass box
- two metal arms that will support the handle
- one mains lead
Also there should be two sealed plastic bags (in mine these were attached to the handle), one of which contains the instruction booklet, a small plastic clip for attaching the mains lead to the handle of the mower and two self tapping screws, the other containing two bolts which are used to attach the handle to the support arms.
The first thing you should do is have a quick look at the much maligned instruction booklet. This is entirely diagrammatic – there are no written instructions.
Attaching the support arms to the body of the mower
The support arms are inserted into vertical holes which are found at the sides of the machine, immediately in front of the rear wheels. The shorter section of the arm is placed into the hole in the body ensuring the hole drilled into the metal tube is facing outwards.
One of the self tapping screws should then be inserted through the small hole provided in the body of the machine and screwed through the hole in the metal arm. Some people have reported having problems with this task. On my mower the plastic body needed to be pushed down a fraction on one side so that the hole in the plastic was not blocked. It could be a little fiddly to line the hole in the plastic and the hole in the metal bar up, but really it only takes a few seconds.
The self tapping screw goes in easily at first but it is important that the correct size of screwdriver is used so that the screw can be fully tightened. I have seen quite a few comments on the web saying that the screw does not fit or will not fully tighten. I am certain that this is because people have not used the correct screwdriver. I started by using a Pozidriv screwdriver that was a reasonable fit, but I could not tighten it, leaving the screw sticking out may be a quarter of an inch (see photo, rather blurry sorry). Swapping to a standard slot head screwdriver made the task of fully tightening the screw trivial.
The process needs to be repeated on the other side of the mower’s body.
Attaching the handle to the support arms
For this task you will need the two bolts, or clamping levers to give them their correct name. These bolts go through holes in the support arms and in the tubing of the handle. As you can see in the photo, on the support arm there is a choice of two holes to give a degree of height adjustment. As I am tall I used the higher of the two holes.
The clamping levers consist of a red plastic lever with a bolt passing through, and a black plastic clamp with a nut to attach it to the bolt. N.B. The nut is not captive so be careful not to lose it if it falls out of the plastic clamp.
Unscrew the nut from one of the clamping levers and remove the plastic clamp, exposing the full length of the bolt (see photo above).
Fixed to the power lead you will find a black plastic holder that is used to clamp the power lead to the handle. This is done using the clamping lever on the right-hand side of the handle. Push the bolt from the clamping lever through the black plastic lead holder, the hole in the right-hand support arm and the two holes in the tube of the handle. This can be a little fiddly as you also need to support the other side of the handle at the same time. It’s quite possible to do this on your own, but this is the one step in putting the machine together where you may need the help of a second person.
A tip here is do not try to use the black plastic clamp at this stage, just use the nut. I found it much easier to do this as it was difficult to get enough of the bolt through for the nut to get a start when the clamp was also used (see photo above).
The second side is a little easier. Just repeat the process, this time there is no clamp for the mains lead, but you will use the black plastic clamp. You tighten the bolt by flipping the red plastic clamp out at 90° to the handle, then turning clockwise. Do not over tighten – you do not want the bolt to pass through any further than the end of the nut.
This brings me to more comments I have seen on the net. Several people have commented that burs in the holes made it impossible to push the bolt through. There was indeed a burr on the inside of one of the holes on my mower, but all that was required to clear it was to push it back with a screwdriver.
Now you can release the nut on the other side, placed the black plastic clamp in position with a nut in the end and tighten the bolt using the red plastic lever as a handle to turn the bolt. Do not forget to flip the lever out first.
Next fit the small black plastic clip to the right-hand support arm, securing the mains lead to the arm (above). There is a prong on the clip which fits into a hole in the arm, thus preventing the clip from sliding up or down.
Assembling the grass box
The grass box comes in three parts. This is another component that I have seen quite a few comments complaining about. I fail to see why, fitting this together is very straightforward.
First place the two bottom parts together as in the photo. You can see holes in one side and clips in the other, these need to be lined up carefully. Then simply push together until they click into position.
Now the base of the grass box is complete you will see a series of raised clips around the top of it. Place the lid of the grass box on top of the base. The lid contains a number of sockets corresponding to the clips on the base. Make sure these are lined up.
Push the lid and the base together, starting at the back, until the clips click into place. When this is done correctly you will hear and feel a definite click. Continue clicking into place working forwards one clip at a time on one side of the box, always making sure that the lid is in the correct position. It is easy to miss if one clip gets out of place. See photo below. Repeat along the other side.
Your grass box is now assembled. I have seen this box described as flimsy but again I don’t see why. In my opinion it is more than adequate for the job.
Fitting the grass box to the mower
At the rear of the mower there is a flap that lifts up. The grass box will attach here. Raise the flap (you will need to hold it open as there is a spring inside) and place the grass box into position, then close the flap. Your mower is now almost ready for use.
Adjusting the height of cut
The height of cut can be adjusted from 2 to 7 cm at half centimetre intervals. This can easily be changed using the red plastic lever on the left side of the machine. Push the lever gently inwards and then slide to the required position. In practice you will need to gently lift the body of the mower if you are raising the height of the cut, lowering will work perfectly just using the lever.
Attaching the mains lead
The mower is supplied with a 15 metre mains lead with a UK three pin plug at one end, and a socket at the other which fixes securely to the handle. You are now ready to mow!
As can be seen from the photo there is very little waste packaging, just a few pieces of polythene which unfortunately my local council does not take for recycling. I plan on keeping the box just in case the mower needs to be returned in future. Bosch do provide a two-year guarantee.