Roundtuit

Petrol hover mower

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Anyone got experience with petrol hover mowers?  I've come to the conclusion that I need one (well, want one.  You know how it is...!), but I'm a bit cautious as I've never used one.

 

Current situation is: ~ half an acre of rough grass (garden, pre landscaping) that I'm trying to keep on top of with a strimmer (screams like banshee and potentially pi$$es off neighbours, family and me), and a little rotary petrol mower which I abuse over the flatter parts (hard work, hopelessly underpowered and on the road to destruction).

 

In the future, a ride-on mower will be the primary mower, but there's no way it would be feasible now. So; whatever I invest in now will be a second mower for the crappy bits/verge/dyke sides, and it needs to be able to handle rough ground.  A decent petrol hover seems to fit the bill; any thoughts please? 

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Had a couple of petrol flymos over the years. They're heavier to handle than an electric one and don't give the shortest neatest ever cut.  But they will tackle anything you can get them to plough into.

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My Father chopped some toes off with his petrol Flymo.

Just for clarity, if you chop your big toe off, you only temporarily loose your balance.

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Had a petrol Flymo for several years, was as tough as old boots, which is what you need if you don't want to cut your big toe off.

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3 minutes ago, PeterStarck said:

was as tough as old boots

Tougher in fact.

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Livestock?

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I've been looking at 2nd hand ride-on mowers and the prices are not too horrible given the amount of time it will save.

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Two other options.

 

One is a wheeled strimmer.

 

Eg

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Cobra-WT56B-22-Wheeled-Lawn-Trimmer-Grass-Paddock-Strimmer-Field-Lawnmower-Mower-/272732108034

 

The other is a ‘two bladed scythe’, which is like a two bladed hedge cutter on the front of a mower platform.

 

https://www.frjonesandson.co.uk/products/apache-m210-sicklescythe-mower-87cm-cut

 

The difference is that both of these will cut your plants and grass from the bottom, rather than shredding it like a Flymo. They should have large wheels, and are perhaps less prone to go wandering than a flymo .

 

These are perhaps the sort of machine that you would use once or twice a year to stop a small field going to scrub.

 

Ferdinand

 

 

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Ralph said:

I've been looking at 2nd hand ride-on mowers and the prices are not too horrible given the amount of time it will save.

 

Neighbour has a ride on - makes short work of his big flat lawn but needs good maintenance and an annual service so you need to factor that in. 

 

Be wary of second hand models as their gearboxes etc may be shot and will be expensive to replace.

 

I got an old Lawnflyte self propelled professional mower (honda engine) with an aluminium deck (not steel, that will rust) on ebay and after the first few years of use got it overhauled (few hundred) to refurb gearbox etc.

 

Lived in the greenhouse and in the open over a few winters before we had the garage and still starts fine every spring. Have only ever needed to replace the blade, oil and air filter all for a few quid and it's still running fine 10 years later. 

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Posted (edited)

I think for secondhand mowers it is the same as anything else. 

 

Buy a recognised brand, especially of engine, and probably one that is heavier duty than you thereotically need, and do as much as you can to verify it.

 

The best ride-on I ever had was a brand called Simplicity. We were advised to buy American at the time, and because it was specced via a pto for things like rotavating the basic machine was solid. Would recommend as robust.

 

F

Edited by Ferdinand

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I bought a petrol mower from Screwfix and to put it bluntly it's a pile of crap. Paid extra to get the Honda version over the mountfield one. It comes with an automatic choke which is a wax plug which moves in and out depending on how warm or cold the engine is. Sometimes it heats up in secs others it could be 10 mins or sometimes it just chugs along choking itself out time after time until I crack up and put it away.

The other thing is it will only run on bp ultimate petrol the most expensive in my town. Any other fuel and it just doesn't have the power to cut any length of grass.

The mechanic who fixes mine says it's not a real honda but a chonda , a chinese made Honda copy type engine. 

https://www.screwfix.com/p/mountfield-sp53h-51cm-167cc-self-propelled-rotary-petrol-lawn-mower/976fy

This is the newer model , mine is 2 years old and I leave the shed door open hoping some poor theif takes a liking to it but have had no luck so far.

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3 minutes ago, Bitpipe said:

 

Neighbour has a ride on - makes short work of his big flat lawn but needs good maintenance and an annual service so you need to factor that in. 

 

Be wary of second hand models as their gearboxes etc may be shot and will be expensive to replace.

 

I got an old Lawnflyte self propelled professional mower (honda engine) with an aluminium deck (not steel, that will rust) on ebay and after the first few years of use got it overhauled (few hundred) to refurb gearbox etc.

 

Lived in the greenhouse and in the open over a few winters before we had the garage and still starts fine every spring. Have only ever needed to replace the blade, oil and air filter all for a few quid and it's still running fine 10 years later. 

 

I have been concerned about it only working on flat lawns, neighbour told me to get a garden tractor not a ride-on, spendy.  Maybe a decent self propelled is the way to go.
My wife has this idea that we can leave most of the 1 acre site as a "natural meadow" and does not seem to believe me that it will still need some sort of maintenance to avoid 6ft of nettles and cow parsley. Maybe a couple of goats is the way to go.

 

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38 minutes ago, Ralph said:

 

I have been concerned about it only working on flat lawns, neighbour told me to get a garden tractor not a ride-on, spendy.  Maybe a decent self propelled is the way to go.
My wife has this idea that we can leave most of the 1 acre site as a "natural meadow" and does not seem to believe me that it will still need some sort of maintenance to avoid 6ft of nettles and cow parsley. Maybe a couple of goats is the way to go.

 

 

Do meadows not require to be unimproved soil,and so the clippings need to be removed after their summer cut?

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Posted (edited)

You need one of these, 68 years old (not the topper on the back or the driver) and still going strong, a real classic.

120FFF32-5263-451F-A947-34DD1FC00C61.jpeg

Edited by joe90
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2 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

Do meadows not require to be unimproved soil,and so the clippings need to be removed after their summer cut?

That's a good point so something with a collection box would be necessary.

 

7 minutes ago, joe90 said:

You need one of these, 68 years old (not the topper on the back or the driver) and still going strong, a real classic

I'm assuming that's a Ferguson going by the colour, very nice.

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You win the game of lawnmower bingo if you get one that is as old as you.

 

.🦆

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Ralph said:

That's a good point so something with a collection box would be necessary.

 

I'm assuming that's a Ferguson going by the colour, very nice.

 

Might argue for a decently strong ride on with a big collection bag or even a trailer. 

 

TBH that is traditional management of hay meadows. I would check with someone who has a small wildflower meadow of your type, or eg your local Conservation Organisation, or cold call the council verge man. For example our previous Residents Association ran a community hall and woodland in the village; they would know.

 

Of course, in a strict world that means you would have to poop a scoop your goats. 😁

Edited by Ferdinand

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3 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

TBH that is traditional management of hay meadows. I would check with someone who has a small wildflower meadow of your type, or eg your local Conservation Organisation, or cold call the council verge man. For example our previous Residents Association ran a community hall and woodland in the village; they would know.

 

That's a good idea. This place is about 10 minutes away from us and is amazing. A mini version would do fine.

 

20190629_151804.thumb.jpg.084e51a15a9fb7f733c41cfa1fb1cfff.jpg

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Thanks all.  A ride-on isn't currently an option as the ground isn't flat enough, and a wheeled strimmer-type thing will become redundant when I do eventually get it levelled and seeded.  I think I'll try and pick up a decent used hover with a Honda engine and give it a go (whilst wearing steel toecaps...)

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3 hours ago, Ralph said:

I've been looking at 2nd hand ride-on mowers and the prices are not too horrible given the amount of time it will save.

My friend has recently completed a self build A massive house in a very posh area 

He’s done vertically everything himself Nearly killed him

Anyway he put the back to lawn as he was running low on funds 

While he was mowing with his self propelled mower 

A little bit from next door asked him if he was poor As they have a man that comes with a ride on mower 

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37 minutes ago, Roundtuit said:

Thanks all.  A ride-on isn't currently an option as the ground isn't flat enough, and a wheeled strimmer-type thing will become redundant when I do eventually get it levelled and seeded.  I think I'll try and pick up a decent used hover with a Honda engine and give it a go (whilst wearing steel toecaps...)

 

If you plan to collect your clippings, shredded grass is more difficult.

 

The other option would be a traditional scythe, which might be quite fun on half an acre once a year.

 

(Full disclosure: I do not have half an acre of grass.)

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19 minutes ago, nod said:

My friend has recently completed a self build A massive house in a very posh area 

He’s done vertically everything himself Nearly killed him

Anyway he put the back to lawn as he was running low on funds 

While he was mowing with his self propelled mower 

A little bit from next door asked him if he was poor As they have a man that comes with a ride on mower 

Imagine mowing your own lawn! Some people live in a completely different world.

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17 minutes ago, Ralph said:

Imagine mowing your own lawn! Some people live in a completely different world.

😂 My said I wasn’t poor till I started this SB 

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2 hours ago, Ralph said:

I'm assuming that's a Ferguson going by the colour,

 

Yup, a tea20, known as a grey furgy, I have another one for sale if anyone is interested? I picked up the tractor and topper for £1500. You can still get every spare part fir these old tractors so very maintainable.

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2 hours ago, joe90 said:

I picked up the tractor and topper for £1500.

What a steal ! Great way to cut a big lawn. 

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