Rider mowers are suitable for mowing larger properties, domestically or commercially. They are capable of collecting, mulching or simply dispatching grass from out the side. Available as small machines to suit a 1/4 acre, right up to full commercial grade machines.
ENGINE POWER The engine size needs to be chosen in relation to the size of the lawn and mowing time. Also consider mowing conditions and frequency, as an under-powered rider may stall in heavy conditions.
CUTTING WIDTH Consider the cutting width carefully – undersized riders will take too long to do the job and put the machinery under strain. Oversized mowing decks can reduce the ability to mow close to trees etc..
What is a safe angle for Rider mower operation?
For all traditional two-wheel drive Rider mowers, with a mid-mounted mowing deck the manufacturers guidelines state a maximum safe angle of between 10 and 15 degrees. This will depend on conditions, such as moisture levels, terrain quality and so on. Please take care when choosing the right machine for your needs.
What is best, catching, mulching or side discharge?
This will depend on your lawn type, size of the area and quality of the terrain. As a guide we suggest that catching is only for a well-manicured lawn surface and if you have a use for the collected grass. Mulching is popular in the North Island, but not always suitable for all year round, so by default a side discharge machine that can also mulch is a good compromise.
What size engine do I need?
That's the million dollar question, and will depend on a number of factors. Firstly, the size of the lawn is important and if the lawn is traditionally hard work, or thicker kikuyu style grass consider the need for extra power. Secondly, the engine size must be matched to suit the mowing deck size. There is no point having a huge mowing deck, with insufficient power to drive the blades properly.
What type of blade system is best?
If your lawn is well maintained any blade type will be fine (bar or flail). However, if the surface is a bit lumpy, or the Rider may venture into a paddock for topping, we would recommend buying a Rider with a flail-blade system – a disc with mounted swing-style blades. This blade system will prevent damaging the deck spindles, and damage to belts, decks and so on.
For a domestic Rider suited to lumpy, rough and tough lawn types, we would fully recommend the Australian-made COX machines. Please note: American manufactured Riders will always have a solid bar blade fitted. This is the most popular economic choice for large reasonably maintained lawns.
My Rider belts keep breaking. Why is this?
It is important to remember that the drive belt is the weakest link and must be treated with care. Otherwise they may have a tendancy to break, be burnt out or rolled over. Belts breaking can be caused for a number of reasons, but the most common causes are: non-genuine belts being fitted, mowing long grass and the belt slips and heats up, incorrect idler adjustment, hitting objects on the lawn, trying to mow on a low cut in heavy conditions, or incorrectly adjusted belt tension. If you are still having problems, please Contact Us for advice.
How often should my Rider mower be serviced?
On average, once a season for a regular lifestyle block operators, and more frequently if you have clocked up a lot of hours. Engine oil should be changed every 25-30 hours. If you don't have an hour meter on your machine, time how long it takes to mow, then estimate how many hours per year it will be used. Hour meters can easily be installed.
I have heard a lot about mulching mowers, what exactly is a mulching mower?
Mulching mowers are designed to cut and re-cut grass clippings into fine particles that are forced back into the turf, sight unseen. These reduced particles provide moisture and nutrients to help keep your lawn looking great, without creating thatch. Mulching mowers basically come in two forms: Dedicated and Convertible, or Combo. A Dedicated mulching mower will only mulch, while a Combo mower allows mulching as well as converting back to a standard rear-catching mower. Grass clippings are 85% water, and as they break down they provide valuable nutrients to the soil, contributing to a more healthier lawn. In fact, a season's worth of mulching can actually provide about 25% of your lawn's fertilizer requirements.
What is the ideal grass length?
Cutting grass very short is a bad habit in New Zealand. The result is damaged turf, the inability to control weeds and daisies, and a burnt lawn in especially hot and dry weather. It is recommended to cut no more than the top third of the grass blade at each mowing, usually before the grass reaches three inches tall. The shag-pile longer look reflects a better and more attractive lawn to be proud of. This is especially necessary when mulching your grass. Grass cut to less than 25mm has difficulty in protecting itself from natural elements which can cause root deterioration.