As with most machinery it is important to establish what your needs are as one type of mower is always going to be more practical than another.
There are two basic types of mower, walk behind which are the most common and tractor mowers (ride-on), these are clearly easy to differentiate.
Engine power makes less of an appearance, they do vary, but a particular mower will always have the same engine performance being optimised for the proportions and features of an individual mower.
This is the main point, simply the wider the cut the faster the lawn will be cut. If you have a wide square section of lawn then a large deck will enable you to cut quickly. Whereas if the lawn is separated by flower borders then a smaller machine may be better suited as they are more agile.
A mower with a rear roller will give a traditional striped finish, however if flower borders are a factor then this pattern may look haphazard, so a mower with four separate wheels would be more appropriate.
To make cutting easier, some mowers are fitted with a self propelling gearbox that drives the mower along taking the effort out of pushing. These machines can be spotted by the second lever under the handle, this is so the drive can be quickly engaged when mowing in straight lines and disengaged when reaching a corner.
Most mower engines start by a pull cord, however a few models may feature an electric key start.
When mowing large areas of open lawn a tractor mower is a very practical choice, with the wider cutters than any walk behind, they cut quickly, and as the operator is seated on board no physical effort is needed, put simply there is no easier way to cut grass.
Most mowers are equipped with a grass collection box, walk behind mowers are emptied by hand, whilst tractor mowers empty by tipping the collector.
This is an open ended question, but the following table can be used as a guide:
|Size of Lawn||Type of Mower Most Suitable|
|Up to 0.5 Acre||Walk behind mower|
|0.5 - 1 Acre||30 - 36 inch Tractor|
One acre being about the size of a football pitch. For areas larger than those listed machines are available as a special order.
Mowers use four stroke engines so oil is kept separate to the petrol in the same way as a car engine does, SAE 30 is the standard grade for Briggs and Stratton engines, with some Honda engines using a 10w/40. A new machine will need 600ml as no oil is present in a boxed machine. It is essential to add oil before starting a new machine. Refer to the manual or speak to a member of staff to guide you on the right oil for your model.
Useful to make sure the correct petrol is used, especially important if you also own has any two stroke machines, the cans can be labelled to avoid confusion.
For Electric models an RCD circuit breaker is essential and an extension lead will help you get to further away places.
This can be used to aid removal of grass clippings if there is no compost heap, especially useful with tractor mowers.
There are some basic engine care routines that you can do to help keep your mower in top condition. Electric mowers, however, need specialist attention and therefore your local dealer should be contacted. Whenever dealing with an electric machine always disconnect the mower from the mains.
For petrol engines always remove the spark plug to maximise your own safety when working on a petrol engine. The air cleaner should be checked and cleaned regularly particularly if working in dusty conditions. A blocked or partly blocked cleaner will affect the running of the engine and with prolonged use in this condition will accelerate engine wear and tear.
Countrywide has its own Garden Machinery Service Centre, where most types of garden machinery are catered for. Deliveries to and from any store by our own transport network mean that you can bring your machinery in to your nearest store to get it serviced. Speak to your local store to find out current waiting times and standard servicing costs.
Always seek specialist advice when choosing a lawn mower. Staff at Countrywide will guide you on the most appropriate machine for your needs and supply relevant safety clothing and accessories.