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19 inch roller mower

We bought a Hayter Harrier 48 variable speed BBC spring 23. Chosen because of weight and maneuverability and variable speed for some medium size intricacately shaped lawns, it's absolutely useless to collect in anything other than bone dry conditions and as we start early morning even a slight dew will defeat it. New clean box., revs speeded up hopeless.  Gone back to using our Hayter 56 Pro,s which are a totally different beast in wet conditions which with revs increased and a clean box will collect. But are a maul to use on these type of lawns. 

We did look at the Honda 476 roller but even with revs increased  the fixed speed was too slow but will have to reconsider now, anyone using ? Thoughts appreciated. 

The Stihl is an option but our multi franchise dealer who sells rubbished them.

Ideally want BBC, variable speed and because of the twists and turns a split roller and max weight of 45 kg  and of course good wet collection,  any ideas? Or are we looking for a mower that doesn't exist?

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  • PRO

    Hi Peter

    Something that may help - I ran a hayter 48 for a while. I managed to inprove the wet pick a little by using a soldering iron and putting quite a few holes in the bag. ( Increases airflow )


    • I do exactly the  same with all my collection bags       a dozen or more15mm approx holes at the back near the top makes quite a difference.  As you say.....Soldering iron works well but if you haven't one, heat a bolt up on the cooker.... when the missus isn't about!!.............. and that will do the trick too.   Can't understand how they can sell a machine with such terrible wet collection. 

  • PRO

    It's crazy that you pay upwards of £1000 for a mower and have to doctor it with a bloody soldering iron.  I held off on the purchase of a roller mower as it seems nobody makes a decent one less than 21 inch

    Have you considered the Hayter pro 48 Peter, if you like the 56 is the 48 not very similar?

    • Hi Jake. The 48 pro is fixed speed and even with the speed reduction kit just too fast and like the 48 we have is grossly underpowered which is part of the problem. As you say you spend £1200 and the bloody thing is useless in even slightly damp conditions.  As much as I  don't like them think we're going to end up with the Stihl 545 vr which is only 17 inch the roller is roughly the same size as my wife's pastry rolling pin ! Talk about let's see how cheap we can make a roller mower and I know the gearboxes are made from recycled chocolate! 

      • PRO

        I have owned a Viking 545 roller mower for many years I purchased in used condition and it's never had a single issue but I kept hearing negative reviews but I think perhaps some were unlucky which is possible or some were pushing their machine beyond its limits so I ignored the negative reviews and it's proved to be a reliable workhorse in both dry and wet conditions .

        The Stihl 545 roller mower must be the same as the Viking 545 and again mixed reviews which makes you wonder   

        The only thing I have encountered is wet grass sticking to the wheels and then depositing itself on the lawn which is to be expected under such conditions .

  • PRO

    Have you tried masport?

    Customer had one for 20yrs. Picks up well in the wet. A bit slow, cause its not mine, I haven't tried speeding it up.

    • I've used Masport Rotarolas 18" for 20+ years................... fantastic machines................. collect well in the wet.............. a simple belt drive which never causes problems and can  be changed in minutes if its looking a bit tired..... in fact the one I've been using this year is the 20 year old one though I did replace the engine with a secondhand one some 10 years back.    Pretty much indestructible with an aluminium chassis and a heavy duty motor. You're right.... not particularly fast butI'm not cutting huge areas with it so not really a problem.   The only problem is I'm using models that they stopped making in 2007 where you  had a B&S engine with a side PTO so I can't really testify to the newer models but I'd certainly recommend looking into them. . 

    • Yes have looked at them. The only reviews on YouTube are from the USA.  The 18 inch seems to be available with either Lonciin, Briggs or Honda engines, the roller doesn't appear to be full width? Does anyone run one of the newish 18 inch models? Be grateful for comments. 

      • PRO

        Sadly I haven't used the recent models. My dealer used to sell them some years ago. I believe they are originally from newzeland, so may be worth a look at nz Websites,YouTube and gardening forum's.

    • Following other suggestions, finally found a localish masport dealer with stock. Big disappointment, there's a handle bracing bar almost level with the grass box which makes taking it off awkward and putting it back on a work of art! The box is on the small side and the only way it's retained on the mower is by one small plastic lug on each side which are integral to the box and look like they will last at least 5 minutes. So it's back to plan b, whatever that is! 

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