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Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
Greetings. I have been watching for a while. Bert recommended that I seek out the real oil here rather than LW as ODK it is closer to home. Makes sense....
This is my first post.

I have been looking out for a dedicated mulch mower for a while. I know of the steel chassis Bolens but an alumium Victa or Masport was what I was seeking.

Then I came upon a Rancher with a B&S 5hp Quantum.
Quite a tidy looker, one owner (said), all stainless, 20 inch cut. Mig not TIG welded.

I have an older Steelfort aluminium chassis mower with the Honda 120GXV- no catcher.
The Steelfort handle and method of attachment is so much like this Rancher that I have a suspicion that it could be Steelfort (?)
I called Steelfort and spoke with a bloke who has been there since 1999; he had no recollection of a full stainless chassis from the factory. Mind you, he may be a newcomer AND not much interested smile
The attached image is not mine but identical to mine (image courtesy of the local auction site)

Is anyone familiar with this mower and can you offer information on it?


Attached Images
Rancher -.jpg (141.95 KB, 163 downloads)
What mower is this (2).jpg (179.26 KB, 147 downloads)
Last edited by CyberJack; 17/10/20 05:15 PM.
1 member likes this: CyberJack
Membership information
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
Seeking out information on this Rancher is like a trip down memory lane and has rekindled thoughts, memories of people and places over my time - quite strange that this is so.

A few years back I almost bought a S/S Rancher-chassis & wheels only from A1 Mowers then after some thought, I bailed out on it.This morning I called Tony at A1 Mowers only to find that his mower business was no more and that he had passed away late last year. Tony was a real helpful bloke with good knowledge, ability and a great personality.

Next was a phone call to Bobs Mowers in Mt Albert Road, Three Kings, Auckland; where decades ago after I first got married, I bought my first mower. A Masport with a Quantum 35 from the owner Brian.
Paul told me that Brian had sold and was working part time at Lawn, Heat & Leisure out Pakuranga way.
No, I was told, "Brian had retired proper last year but their mechanic, Kevin may be able to help".
It is long winded but are you still with me?

I spoke with Kevin and as good fortune would have it, he knew of the all-stainless chassis 'Rancher' smile
According to Kevin, they were built by the stainless steel fabrication company, H J Ryan & Company from Carr or Stoddard Road?, Mt Roskill.

More searching and I find this

Quote " H J RYAN LIMITED was registered as New Zealand Limited Company on 29 Jun 1928, registered at Roma Rd, Mt Roskill 4 , New Zealand. , and the status of this company is Removed now.
H J Ryan Limited 's dissolution date is 02 Jun 1995"

Now that is one long run.

It appears that the last director is a Sam Reuben.
Now living in NSW? - here -

Perhaps he would be willing to fill in some more on the history of H J Ryan & Company?

CyberJack writes on this company here in this thread.

I have had no further verification but am contacting a chap from Albany Mowers who could tell me the same or more...

Edit: I spoke with Robin at Albany mowers who confirmed that the 'Rancher' was manufactured by H J Ryan & Company.
Also, that they made full stainless chassis mowers in both dedicated mulch and conventional cather styles.
The catcher mowers were prone to stress fracture, especially if an unbalance issue existed - bent crankshaft or poorly balanced blade ??
The dedicated mulcher did not give this problem.
Although I imagine if someone persisted with a poor blade then stress fracture could come visiting.

H J Ryan & Company must have also contracted to other business as it is mentioned here in this link on the New Zealand made 'Classique' range hoods -

Last edited by slow_runner; 15/10/20 02:05 PM. Reason: more stuff
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 6,938
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G'day slow_runner

I am gobsmacked at the research you have done here.
A great NZ company that should be remembered.

We have more to write about Ryan's mowers.

This must be work in progress.


Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
Cheers Jack.
My Son delivered the Rancher here to me today. 'Hard to start' he was told by the seller.
You may notice that the motor is 180* to the normal set up.
A better configuration in my opinion as the plug, carb and control cable are not exposed to close encounters with undergrowth and branches.
This was pointed out and told to me by a mate who has one also; that this set up gave better weight distribution of the machine- maybe he is correct.

I gave the base a quick clean of the dry grass with a stick, checked the oil and petrol Petrol was down and likely old. Then set the carburetor cable to choke start.
Pulled the engine up to compression then first pull, start!
No bangs or clangs. cheers
I mowed a small bit of lawn as best I could from my chair.
It mows damn good, just the motor hunting slightly which could be ?? low fuel/old fuel/ main jet ?
Some quick observations - the wheel bearings are naff. The front axle is heavily corroded under the front apron area. Large areas of the powder coat are just sitting there - I'm not fussed about that at this point.
The chassis doesn't appear to be fractured. No rust either grin
It has quite a deep bowl. The blade is a mulch bar blade and (balance?) bar at 90*, I'm not familiar with this set up.

The B&S engine is a model 124702-0206-01 with
serial # 92081856
assuming time for shipping or the engine was ex stock, that would place this mower in 1992 or 1993?

I will find out more on Sunday and post some images.
Here is a couple from the listing

All in all, I am quite happy.

Attached Images
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
More images.
The mulching bar is 19 1/2" inch. There is plenty of corrosion on the blades; not particularly deep though. Does anyone recognise what brand it may be?
The front axle looks to need replacing. Judging by the pitting, the plug is as old as time.
The wheel bearings are all naff, especially the front ones.

I water blasted it and surprise, now it doesn't start. A day drying thoroughly then I will check for spark, fuel.

Attached Images
RANCHER #1 -.jpg (461.08 KB, 84 downloads)
RANCHER #2 -.jpg (446.82 KB, 85 downloads)
RANCHER #3 -.jpg (488.57 KB, 90 downloads)
RANCHER #5 -.jpg (180.83 KB, 83 downloads)
RANCHER #7 -.jpg (232.52 KB, 84 downloads)
RANCHER BLADE #2 -.jpg (218.74 KB, 84 downloads)
RANCHER BLADE #3 -.jpg (218.3 KB, 83 downloads)
Last edited by slow_runner; 19/10/20 07:05 PM.
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 6,938
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Forum Historian
Hello slow-runner
Many thanks for recording these images!

You have alerted me to something that I never knew -
Ryan survived in the modern era, with dissolution only
occurring on 1 June, 1995.

From what I can gather, the Rancher brand replaced their
Speediescythe, that date to the mid-1950s.

Ryan was a survivor.


p.s. I have started to write about the Speediecut.

Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
I managed to have a good look at the mower.
As mentioned, the mower wheel bearings are all shot, especially the front ones that have now collapsed causing the wheels to lock up - the water blast probably dislodged what little was holding the balls in place smile.
The front axle is almost rusted through and will require replacing or rebuilding; maybe the axles too. as the wheel bearings are locked on.
The air filter was chocka with oil, debri and dirt.

Replace with a genuine B&S or a generic filter? Any suggestions?

After a good clean and dry.
There is spark and fuel yet the engine refused to start. Over the weekend my Son visited - a few good pulls of the start cord and the pull drive thingy pulled free - the securing rivets gave way.

This mower is put to one side for a while as a load of health related issues have dumped on our life.
I will post next when I am able.

Last edited by slow_runner; 01/11/20 10:13 AM.
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 6,938
Likes: 278
Forum Historian
Hi slow_runner

Many thanks for the update. smile
You have given folks valuable information for the history record.

If you can get a genuine filter use that.
These Quantum engines are a great design.

Sorry to hear about the health issues.


Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 8
Likes: 1
Hi, things are still not the best here. I thought that a catch up post was overdue.

I knew that it would be a while and my mate Ken would do a faster job, so I rang him then delivered the Rancher to him over the North Shore.
I got a call from Ken that next day, the mower was ready.
Wheel bearing replaced, pull start reattached, carb checked and an engine tune.
A rivnut is on the loose side so I will compress it a tad more, maybe that will work, maybe not. They are cheap enough to replace.

Set to choke, pull the starter cord and It starts effortless first time, every time.
I still have to replace the the front axle when time and circumstances allow.

Gidday Jack, there have been a couple of the catcher models listed on the auction site. I have captured the images for the forum reference.

Attached Images
Rancher mower - catcher model - (1).jpg (488.1 KB, 47 downloads)
Rancher mower - catcher model - (2).jpg (331.52 KB, 47 downloads)
Rancher mower - catcher model - (3).jpg (271.5 KB, 45 downloads)
Rancher mower - catcher model - (4).jpg (285.27 KB, 45 downloads)
Rancher mower - catcher model - (5).jpg (352.75 KB, 45 downloads)
Joined: May 2023
Posts: 1
@slow_runner, why did you get rid of your Rancher mower? I've found it and I'm thinking of buying it with the thought of possibly swapping the engine (or some internals) over to my Husqvarna mulcher that currently has a similar (but slightly newer?)127802-1531-21 96090656 engine which is getting very worn out.[Linked Image]

Attached Images
2023-05-29-15-54-25-233.jpg (235.28 KB, 21 downloads)
2023-05-29-15-54-57-034.jpg (364.91 KB, 21 downloads)
Last edited by flangefrog; 29/05/23 10:46 PM.

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