Roller Mower - my shortlist, please help!


I want to buy a roller mower and as I work in small to medium sized gardens I'm going with 18/19"

After some thrilling bedtime reading, going through lots of old and very old posts on here and chatting to a few of you individually I think I have narrowed my choices down to four.

Hayter Harrier 48 Pro - not necessarily amazing at picking up in the wet, but reasonable if blades kept sharp and generally good workhorses

Cobra RM48SPS - more expensive but has roto stop. Doesn't mention if it has one central height lever or not. I don't know this brand very well

Honda HRX476QX - 6kg lighter than the Hayter. Seems similar

Mountfield SP505R-V - 3kg lighter than even the Honda and with variable speed. From what I can see this is also the only one to have a wash port. 

This will for now be my only mower for now but I'll probably end up getting a 4 wheel mower, potentially a 3 in 1 at a later date, when I've got some money in the bank from my hopefully substantial increase in spring customers.

I only started gardening in July 16 and up until now I've just been using a very cheap £150 mountfield domestic mower (!?), but they last one season and then get chucked. I have a bit of life left in my current one to be a back up and for very awkward access tiny lawns.

I've decided to stick at this gardening thing, rebranded and I'm going for a more premium service from now on, hence investing in a new mower

Can anyone help narrow the choice further, or potentially add something that I've missed (hopefully narrow down)

Lastly, I've read that it's better to go through a dealer to buy, to build a relationship. As of yet I've never been to a dealer, is anyone around Halesowen/Birmingham and if so can you recommend a dealer?

Thank you in advance

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  • Cutting Edge Machinery are south of you but excellent for Echo and Hayter
  • PRO

    They left a 56 pro with me for a few days. It had been used by 1 other person for 1 hr demo so was all but new. Their insurance I seem to remember, not sure. I used for a few days, and rather than return, just bought it.

    Tried out the 48 pro on similar terms a couple of months later, but didn't buy as no need at that point. I took it back as going going that way for something else, but they would have collected also. When we need one that size, that's what we will get.

  • PRO

    Okay, my comments - I do a LOT of mowing.

    Hayter in the wet - forget it - they just don't work.

    Just replacing a Kubota 21" pro roller after two seasons .

    This works in all weathers with its fan assisted collection - we do fit 'hi lift' blades though to help with this - keep the grass bag jet washed clean and it will work in all but the worst of deluges.

    The 19" model is probably a bit heavier than the Cobra you listed at 56KG but it is a proper PRO machine and with a bit of haggling can be got for around the same money as the Cobra (and in my opinion a much better machine). However the handles do NOT fold on the Kubota so its not suitable for small vans!

    • PRO

      thanks, the 19" looks good too, but why does it need replacing after two seasons? A lawn care specialist that I know has had both their hayters for more than two years with no issues except the cable breaking

      Also again like the Weibang my nearest dealer is 30miles away ... which is frustrating

      This is part of what is swaying me to the Hayter/Mountfield - I've found they have a dealer 3.5 miles away from me

      • PRO

        Why does it need replacing? - in truth and reality it probably doesn't! Indeed it has just had a full service, blade sharpened, the drive overhauled for our peace of mind etc.

        Only ordered a 19" this time due to contract changes not requiring the largest walk behind anymore - we go from 19" pedestrian mower straight up to ride on  or tractor now.

        The very core of our business is mowing so we replace the machines every two years regardless or whether they are worn out or not.

        We get good deals from our suppliers due to our regular, repeat business and for us its tax efficient too.

  • PRO

    I spoke to the Hayter people at Saltex. Was praising them about our recently purchased Hayter 41 Pro, it's allround performance etc. They acknowledged a lot of lost ground to new models from likes of Weibang etc.

    He basically said that they would be revamping the 48 and 56 along the same lines over the next year or so. Can't remember which order, sorry, but for me, it meant I would hold off buying a bigger hayter until the new models come out as he expects the performance to be much better.

    The Honda clones aka Kubota, Lawnflite, Kaaz are all nice, strong stripes, lovely to use. Any of these, or the Weibang will be a huge improvement over what you're using at the moment. Ditto a Hayter 41 Pro if slightly smaller good enough.

    • PRO

      thank you, that is very interesting to know. 

      Perhaps if I do chose the Hayter route I should buy second hand this time and wait to buy a new one until the new models come out

      Thanks to your and others comments I now have two on my list the Hayter and the Kubota - 19" pro models. .. the list could expand again tho

      I do like the fact the Kubota has BBC, though I've not used it before so it's not something that I would or could miss. 

      Whereas what I like about the Hayter is a very close dealer for servicing and repairs. Though I have driven past a small tool hire place many times, which does lawn mower repairs and services, it has good reviews online

  • PRO

    Hi Shell. I also live in the West Midlands and  used Oak Garden Machinery. They delivered a Weibang 56 for a demo, no problem. I actually bought a Weibang 48bbc and as they didn't have one in stock they left a standard non BBC model with me for the month it took to come in stock, not even asking for any deposit. All mowers were collected and delivered to me and now they have offered to collect it for service. Unbelievable level of customer service. They also do other makes of mowers so they might put a few on for you to try. I'll certainly use them again.

    One point about the Weibang though, it is very heavy so if you have small gardens to do, its not ideal. Lifting it on the van ain't ideal either!

    My first season on my own, I used the small Honda roller, HRX426QX (I think). No issues other than it was VERY slow. Starts first time every time and much lighter than most.

    One thing I would advise though, is think seriously about loading/fitting it on the van, length and particularly width wise. You may want to fit a 4 wheeler next to the roller mower at some point in the future. Happy shopping!!!

    • PRO
      Yeah I've dismissed the weibang as it's too heavy for me. Shame!
      • PRO

        Yeah, I realise that but just saying, Oak Garden M. stock a wide range of kit and are willing to bring some on sitevfor you to demo. Big thing, buying your main mower, it's helpful to try 'em out for a bit.

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