In the market for New Ride on Lawnmower

KOW

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309
New lawn sown on 1 acre site couple of months ago. Doing well.Next march/April cutting will start. A few questions for any experts out there.I want to purchase new ride on mower capable of tackling acre of grass with a few 20 degree slopes. In around 4k to spend.

1. Am I right in thinking now until Feb is a good time to seek out deal?

2. Is it worth looking over the non-hard border as many dealers seem to advertise from the north?

3. Should I collect or mulch. I have time on my hands for either?

4.Will a good mower with mulch plug/option really mulch well?

5. Want to purchase 20+hp any suggestions regarding make/model/dealer.

Thanks D
 

noproblem

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1,846
Not as big a lawn as you but watching with interest as i'm in the same boat. Don't want to spend €4k though if it can be helped.
 

cremeegg

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A lawn mower repair guy I deal with tells me that Westwood is by far the best brand for Irish, i.e. damp conditions.
 

galway_blow_in

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1,431
New lawn sown on 1 acre site couple of months ago. Doing well.Next march/April cutting will start. A few questions for any experts out there.I want to purchase new ride on mower capable of tackling acre of grass with a few 20 degree slopes. In around 4k to spend.

1. Am I right in thinking now until Feb is a good time to seek out deal?

2. Is it worth looking over the non-hard border as many dealers seem to advertise from the north?

3. Should I collect or mulch. I have time on my hands for either?

4.Will a good mower with mulch plug/option really mulch well?

5. Want to purchase 20+hp any suggestions regarding make/model/dealer.

Thanks D
Mulching only works well in very dry conditions, snapper are a good mower.

DoneDeal have end of season specials from a crowd in Newry from what I see. Weak pound = value.
 

thos

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147
New lawn sown on 1 acre site couple of months ago. Doing well.Next march/April cutting will start. A few questions for any experts out there.I want to purchase new ride on mower capable of tackling acre of grass with a few 20 degree slopes. In around 4k to spend.

1. Am I right in thinking now until Feb is a good time to seek out deal?

2. Is it worth looking over the non-hard border as many dealers seem to advertise from the north?

3. Should I collect or mulch. I have time on my hands for either?

4.Will a good mower with mulch plug/option really mulch well?

5. Want to purchase 20+hp any suggestions regarding make/model/dealer.

Thanks D
1 - Only concern buying off season would be stock, don't get shafted on 'deal' just because it's all they have.

2 - Yes, cash, VAT (ahem). Unless you've got someone local, and they'll look after you for any warranty or servicing issues, but even then I probably wouldn't be that loyal!

3 - Great having the option for either. As above, mulching is for dry weather, but for a new lawn it would be great to put it back in. Nice on those summer evenings to give it a nice quick mulching trim, and those grass piles build up quick if you're collecting all the time.

4 - Make sure it's got mulching blades as well as the mulching plug. The mulching blades have got more 'blade' cut into them, as the grass re-circulates around the deck and gets cut up more. The mulching plug alone just gives you a non-collecting mower.

5 - Castelgarden is the big name around my area. Myself, father in law, brother in law, neighbours, all have Castelgarden. Castelgarden, Stiga, Alipina are all effectively the same chassis with different bodywork and options. And most come with your standard Briggs and Stratton engine anyway.
Stick with main brands other than that - Mountfield, Honda, Stihl, Husqvarna.
Checkout local service spots to see what they prefer or do most of.

I would recommend automatic gears, typically known as hydro-static. Makes life a big easier.
Push button blade engagement is nice too instead of mechanical lever.
For an acre I'd be paying attention to deck width - you should be looking at 102cm / 40" or bigger.
I'd also be watching the bag volume if you're planning on collecting. I don't have volumes to hand, but my older mower has a bigger bag (+20l?) than my father in laws newer mower. I noticed the difference straight away. Same engine, same deck width, but I'd take the bigger bag anyday. (His mower does have a nice beer/drinks holder though ...)
With the space you've got, I'd also look at getting a mower with an option for a tow-bar. I've got a few attachments for mine and it's amazing how handy it comes in. Tipping trailer is a god-send, no more back-breaking wheel barrows. You can also get some nice tools like spreaders, rollers, spikes, de-thatching. Drag matt for levelling the gravel driveway (very posh).
20hp is loads, I wouldn't be afraid of anything from 17hp upwards. My 17.5hp motor died (turns out they need oil too .... oops), but replaced it with a 19.5hp, and no difference. Mind you, if you opt for a tow-bar and trailer, and end up pulling loads of soil around the garden a few hp more will certainly help.

Good luck with the purchase and enjoy!

Tom
 

robe

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68
I have same size lawn . I started with a snapper side discharge. Great machine to cut .. but the clippings drove me mad . As they were dragged in on the kids feet.
I am now useing an etesia with a large collector bag . Expensive though . Got mine 2nd hand for 3 1/2 k. From Pat Geaney lawnmowers.
Its too big a lawn to mulch as you'd need to cut every 5 days in the growing season.
Either go side discharge or collecting . Don't go for both. If collecting make sure its from the back with a wide shoot . Ie. Not through a tube.
Happy cutting
 
Last edited:

MangoJoe

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127
I know a few people now who have moved to an auto mower (mainly Husquvarna) and are absolutely delighted. This seems to be settled tech now - reliable and works very well. Seemingly a lot of the people who will sell them to you will also set the guide wire on your site also which was the thing putting me off. (ie awkwardness, hassle, fear of me doing it wrong!)

One thing I noticed was that 12 months a year their lawns look immaculate, like a putting green as this little robot is scooting around day and night much later in the season and earlier in new cutting season (no worry re cutting up lawn in wet weather)

Although this gadget can be running day and night the actual charging costs per year on electricity bill are around €10 (am told...)

Also they have an alarm and disable function if someone tries to rob it - you enter a PIN to pick it up.
 

KOW

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Messages
309
Thanks for replies. I actually spoke to crowd up north earlier today who claim that they can beat any price down here by 3-400 euro. Warranty on mower would be covered here. One hundred delivery to door. Will as advised pick out a couple of machines I fancy and get down to end game.
As advised above and by a friend little trailer is well worth the extra few euro. Heard robot mowers are very good but although I dont want to kill myself I like messing about in the garden. Will post outcome over the next couple of months. Thanks again.
 

Jazz01

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709
Just throwing it out there, ride on mowers are great, but you need to have the grass area / lawn laid out to make the most of it (shorther cutting time), not too many turns / obstacles / tress and area(s) to put grass (assuming you won't be mulching all the time). If you do get one, try to get one with a rear discharge - block up less and depending on the model, you may be able to empty the basket without getting off the mower.

I had one - but sold it, between costs for servicing / repairs / getting it to & from repair shop, it wasn't working for me. Big thing for me was the lay out of the garden, wasn't suited to large sit on mower. A secure storage area for it is also needed - insurance needs to be updated to include it (if you want!). I switched back to large self propelling lawnmower - takes a bit longer, but get to see better where grass needs more TLC.

I'm thinking of purchasing the robot mowers, but worried re security (rural area) - but like yourself DCD, I enjoy messing in the garden - but maybe a change to planting areas / borders / trees is the way to go for me, rather than cutting grass every 5 days or so. Maybe Santa will get me a robot mower! Also, not on a site as large as yours, I'm on .5 arce.

Also, If the garden is wet / soil soft etc, the larger sit on mower will make indents in the soil, especially at turning - slow & steady :)
 

galway_blow_in

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Messages
1,431
1 - Only concern buying off season would be stock, don't get shafted on 'deal' just because it's all they have.

2 - Yes, cash, VAT (ahem). Unless you've got someone local, and they'll look after you for any warranty or servicing issues, but even then I probably wouldn't be that loyal!

3 - Great having the option for either. As above, mulching is for dry weather, but for a new lawn it would be great to put it back in. Nice on those summer evenings to give it a nice quick mulching trim, and those grass piles build up quick if you're collecting all the time.

4 - Make sure it's got mulching blades as well as the mulching plug. The mulching blades have got more 'blade' cut into them, as the grass re-circulates around the deck and gets cut up more. The mulching plug alone just gives you a non-collecting mower.

5 - Castelgarden is the big name around my area. Myself, father in law, brother in law, neighbours, all have Castelgarden. Castelgarden, Stiga, Alipina are all effectively the same chassis with different bodywork and options. And most come with your standard Briggs and Stratton engine anyway.
Stick with main brands other than that - Mountfield, Honda, Stihl, Husqvarna.
Checkout local service spots to see what they prefer or do most of.

I would recommend automatic gears, typically known as hydro-static. Makes life a big easier.
Push button blade engagement is nice too instead of mechanical lever.
For an acre I'd be paying attention to deck width - you should be looking at 102cm / 40" or bigger.
I'd also be watching the bag volume if you're planning on collecting. I don't have volumes to hand, but my older mower has a bigger bag (+20l?) than my father in laws newer mower. I noticed the difference straight away. Same engine, same deck width, but I'd take the bigger bag anyday. (His mower does have a nice beer/drinks holder though ...)
With the space you've got, I'd also look at getting a mower with an option for a tow-bar. I've got a few attachments for mine and it's amazing how handy it comes in. Tipping trailer is a god-send, no more back-breaking wheel barrows. You can also get some nice tools like spreaders, rollers, spikes, de-thatching. Drag matt for levelling the gravel driveway (very posh).
20hp is loads, I wouldn't be afraid of anything from 17hp upwards. My 17.5hp motor died (turns out they need oil too .... oops), but replaced it with a 19.5hp, and no difference. Mind you, if you opt for a tow-bar and trailer, and end up pulling loads of soil around the garden a few hp more will certainly help.

Good luck with the purchase and enjoy!

Tom
Castlegarden are indeed everywhere but are a pretty middle of the road mower, mass produced generic mower,snapper - simplicity is of a much higher quality,I'd still choose Castlegarden ahead of husqavarna though as at least they are cheap, husqavarna are extremely over rated,just be aware OP, John deere and Honda are usually just castle garden with a different badge, nothing special about John deere when it comes to lawnmowers.
 

thos

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Messages
147
My 14yr old Castelgarden is more akin to Triggers Broom at this point - new engine (my fault), new battery this year, new clutch, new blades last year. New chute after it took some damage (nicely waxed for smooth grass flow!). Deck is hanging in there, but not going to last forever. I've found them easy to get parts for, easy to work on. Same might be said for others - if it's the Nissan Sunny of mowers, then it's still done the job.
 

galway_blow_in

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Messages
1,431
My 14yr old Castelgarden is more akin to Triggers Broom at this point - new engine (my fault), new battery this year, new clutch, new blades last year. New chute after it took some damage (nicely waxed for smooth grass flow!). Deck is hanging in there, but not going to last forever. I've found them easy to get parts for, easy to work on. Same might be said for others - if it's the Nissan Sunny of mowers, then it's still done the job.
They are grand, probably a better buy second hand as there are so many of them.
 

Drakon

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Messages
387
I just sold my ride on last Sunday. A two year old Honda. Sold it because we’ve moved house, from a large rural garden to a modest urban one.
Can’t say I’m sad to see it go. I’d never experienced a ride on before. I found the large turning circle a real nuisance and I never fully got used to it. Maybe a zero turn ride on is the way forward.
For me it’s a question of whether you want to cut the grass or mow the lawn. For the former a ride on does the job, for the latter a powered push mower is needed.
As Jazz01 stated, layout is a large factor on how you’ll get on. I’d two apple trees, a septic tank and its two vents to contend with, and they really complicated the mowing. I had advised my wife on where to plant the two trees, but she planted them a couple of yards away from where I specified, and they really became the bane of my mowing.

Servicing my push mower is €20 per annum; the ride on was €121 the first year, €227 the second.
 

KOW

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Messages
309
Update--Ended up buying a Stiga 6102. Best price seemed to be from a crowd in Monagahan. Went to local dealer and asked him to match price which he did. It too is a 22hp machine. I mulch and do not collect the grass. Around 40hrs on machine all good so far. Thanks for replies and advise.
 

noproblem

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Messages
1,846
I'm presuming you bought a used one? Can you give us an idea of the price please? Also, what depth do you cut the grass, ie, what no setting do you place the cut level and how long does it take to cut an acre? Thanks.
 

KOW

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Messages
309
I'm presuming you bought a used one? Can you give us an idea of the price please? Also, what depth do you cut the grass, ie, what no setting do you place the cut level and how long does it take to cut an acre? Thanks.
Hi noproblem.
I bought a new one 4200. The 6102 has cutting width of 102cm. Cutting has 7 settings from 30-90mm. I set it at 4 which is 40mm. My garden is on four levels so cutting across the four slopes is slow because they are steep. It takes me 90minutes to cut the full lawn.
 
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