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Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 160
Likes: 5
N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Hi All,

I've been mowing a tricky one acre property with a 21" utility mower and some old Victas - it's very hard work as it's all very thick kikuyu, a lot of it is sloped and there's a lot of trees and exposed roots etc. Add on the summer heat which means it needs doing literally every 4-5days in peak times and effects of aging and though I've managed it for 5yrs I'm sensing the end might be nigh.

I am not going to be able to use the rideon for the entire property - as some areas are just too tricky but it'll enable me to knock over the 70-80% which is the most physically demanding much more rapidly. Will just be side throwing, not catching.

I've decided to keep a look out for a good quality rideon. So wondering what people recommend?

I don't need/want any overly large one - I'd say a 30-32" cut is more than ample, likewise don't envisage needing a big engined model. I'd like it to be a model/brand known for reliability and also one that i could perform all the periodic maintenance & simple repairs on myself.

I hear good things about Greenfield - and also to a lesser degree Cox. Are their any specific models of these or other brands(as I know it's simplistic to say only get a certain brand) I should keep an eye out for?

Happy to pay fair market price for a good quality model - as I've had a bad habit of always getting other people's 'broken toys' and sometimes repairing these is sanity testing or just not feasible.

If any more info needed to assist you in advising, please let me know.

Thank you in advance for your assistance. :-)

Last edited by N1KK0; 15/01/21 02:44 PM.
Membership information
Joined: Jan 2016
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi N1KK0,
simple answer really is a Deutscher look for a 36 because they have the duel rear wheels, simplest, toughest machines ever built

Joined: Jan 2020
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Hi Norm,

Thanks for your reply.

I neglected to say that Deutscher's have also been a brand I've been regularly searching for. Do you feel it's literally a 'Deutscher or bust' choice? Or just that the Deutscher 36 is by far the best choice?

As mentioned, I've been looking out for them - but rarely come across one - likely mainly as they've got such a good reputation but also they're just pretty thin on the ground.

Failing coming across one of those (I actually know the model specifically and have seen pix of them - recall thinking the dual rear wheels were odd) - is there anything else you feel worthy of consideration.

Thanks again - I know your knowledge in this area is terrific so very much appreciate it.

Joined: Jan 2016
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi N1KK0,
Terry Scanlon is the Deutscher go to man, he is in Tahmoor NSW He does come on here occasionally . I'm not sure if this email and phone number are correct tscanlon@webone.com.au 0407413038. I have a couple of 36's here but they still need a fair bit of work done to them

Joined: Jan 2020
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Thanks Norm, yes I've been reading articles on them since you recommended them - noticed him popping up over and over. Seems he's more of a repair wizard, logger of known models than a seller but thank you none the less.

Have set up a few searches to let me know if they come up for sale, but if anything else is recommended I'd welcome it as well. :-)

Joined: Jan 2016
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi N1KK0,
I have bought parts from Terry but I do know he has a mountain of all types of Deutscher machines and if you can't locate one he would be the person I would be contacting. The Greenies are a good machine but anything I end up with has been flogged to withing an inch of its life and there is massive hours involved in getting them back into good working condition. Deutschers can also end up in this condition as well but there is less parts , particularly the steering that can cause you grief. An early Rover tiller steer might also be an option, but they all generally need a fair bit of work

1 member likes this: N1KK0
Joined: Jan 2020
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Thanks Norm. I didn't know that - only thing is he's a long way from myself - I'm near Coffs Harbour and it appears he's well south of Sydney. Transport costs for that distance would likely make any buy pretty sketchy.

Yes, I'm wary about taking on another 'bird with a broken wing' project - I've had enough of those with my last couple of mower buys. So this time around I'm happy to pay a fair premium for something thats working and will continnue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Much thanks again for the info - if other folks have ideas or feedback it's very welcome.

Joined: Jan 2016
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi N1KK0,
the problem with rideons is that they work hard and cop a battering. I rebuilt a Greenie for a mate some years ago and it is still going fine but I spent about 6 months repairing it, not working on it flat out but reasonably consistently and the previous owner had spent $1150 on it before he cracked the sads with it (he gave me the receipts) and I spent another $650 on it. New motor and all the other bits that still needed fixing after the $1150 he had already spent on it. And I didn't get the brake to work properly but luckily his land is reasonably flat. Generally you won't find a "bird with a broken wing" usually it will have both legs and wings broken.

1 member likes this: N1KK0
Joined: Jan 2020
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Haha - good one Norm. I have to say I concur with your thinking - I think the average person treats their mower, rideon or not pretty horribly.....then wondering why it either dies early &/or is always having issues. I've no doubt 99.9% of users on here are in the minority as we understand simple common sense maintenance which keep our gear running well for yrs.

So I will take your advice onboard - as my past buys with mowers have generally been the 'both legs and wings' category far too often - trying to sniff out a bargain and then discovering that the previous owner had done all kinds of horrors to them. While I can struggle through (as shown by my threads) with smaller mowers on this stuff - with a larger rideon it'd be pushing things as my mechanical abilities are nothing like yours.

The only other machines I've given much consideration to are the walk behind mowers/slashers. Again they're pretty rare to see for sale Deutscher make a 22" and 28" cut version - thing is they seem a tad slow. Top speed being 3.6km/hr for the 28, which is likely the only one I'd consider as a 22 is basically the 550 Pro size.

They seem pretty bulletproof though as a design - walk behind slasher/mowers in general - I'd imagine they'd be less prone to 'issues' than rideons? As you'd not have a persons weight on them and moving at a much higher speed etc?

Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 160
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Oh I've also given a little consideration to the newish Toro Turfmaster HDX, which is meant to be a heavy duty version of their Timemaster. When we first moved here I had a Toro Timemaster for a yr or so. Haha again it was a 2nd hand buy but was in good condition and never really had any issues with it.
https://www.toro.com.au/product/30-762-cm-turfmaster-hdx-22215

I only sold as I was sure that it was just a matter of time until it had a major issue - as they were known for being prone to transmission failure (apparently some critital part was made of plastic which caused them to fail) and they also were known for having idler pulleys fail which caused the timed bar blades to impact each other which caused a bill of $500-1000 in parts and repairs.

But even though I had the generation 1 Timemaster, which was underengined with an 190cc B&S 850 - I found it very good and for a 30" mower it was remarkably easy to turn as I think it was very well balanced. Typcial Toro though it was pretty questionable build quality.

Downer with the HDX is that it oddly only has a kawa 179cc engine on it! For a 30", SP mower that weighs 80kg! As good as that engine is it's incredibly out of its depth given that Toro also uses it on it's 21" commercial thats 25kg+ lighter. Seems they've conceded this is a mistake in the US as they're now selling them with a 200cc Kohler engine thats very well regarded.

And even the 'consumer' level Timemaster here has a 223cc B&S on it - though I no longer have much confidence in the quality of these but thats a lot more power than it's 'upgraded' sibling that costs near double it's RRP here - $1500 vs $2700.

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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
If I had to decide I would take a Deutscher slasher,walk behind any time, head and shoulders above anything else, even if I had to drive many hours to pick one up

1 member likes this: N1KK0
Joined: May 2010
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Apprentice level 4
All generally comes down to what you want to spend. If you want a late model Greenfield 34" with low hours expect to pay around the 4k mark, less if you are looking at a 13-32 or similar. If you are worried about the hills use the diff lock and chuck some ATV tyres on the back.

Cox there is nothing wrong with as such, depending on the model. all the new ones are hydro drive, not really ideal on big slopes, if you find an older one with Live drive (cone) they work but you will wear cones out on the slopes.

Deutscher are good but getting old these days and I know in qld are hard to find parts for.

Comes down to if you have the budget, the best modern gear you will get is a Greenfield, if not, older gear like a deutscher will come with its problems.

looking at slashers is a different thing entirely. Deutscher and Greenfield both made very nice self propelled machines, Victa made the big super 600, not self propelled but very light and easy to use for its size.

I personally would never touch the modern toro stuff, mostly pressed tin american junk, you do get a warranty with new gear though

1 member likes this: N1KK0
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
As nath said, depends on how much you are prepared to spend. We all chase the bottom dollar but this always comes with the fact/cost you are going to have to do a lot of work on any old machine to get it working properly.
https://www.deutscher.com.au/l/mowe...-he660-slasher-honda-gxv390-recoil-start
https://www.deutscher.com.au/l/mowers-walk/display/1-deutscher-xf560-mower-briggs-and-stratton-190cc
With these you could fit a sulky on them so you don't have to walk but then there is the issue of how steep your ground is and would this cause oil starvation in the motor if the motor was sloped the wrong way for a prolonged period. This is the advantage of the 2 stroke Victas. As you have found out it is a very difficult balancing act, there is no machine made that will cover all the things you require
I have often thought about building a 2 stroke machine on one of the older big self propelled chassis and using a 2 stroke to power the drive and another up front for the cutting. Would be a bit on the long side but would overcome this gutting grass on sloping ground problem
On something like this you could stand a full crank vertically to run the drive and another full crank to belt drive the cutter. Quite doable just a bit of work but could be done. This solves all the problems and because the drive motor is only doing the driving it would have no problems pulling a sulky
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/kerang/lawn-mowers/self-propelled-mower/1257778232

Last edited by NormK; 17/01/21 10:09 AM.
1 member likes this: N1KK0
Joined: Jan 2020
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Great replies gents - much thanks to each of you.

The good thing is I've soldiered through the worst of this summer and so I THINK I'll try and keep a lookout for a Deutscher - I always liked them ever since I saw them a while back and the endorsement of folks here means a LOT.

Appreciate the endorsement of Greenfield or Cox as well - had considered both and was aware the hydro drive was a potential issue, the slopes aren't major or expansive but just something to factor in - perhaps I'll get some pix up at some point to add context.

Much thanks - as I've said to my wife at PRESENT (with my combo of using 3 different mowers on a full mow, 18" Victa 2 stroke utility in the chicken yard and VERY sloping bits, Victa 550 SP on the main bits and Honda HUT216 on the very convuluted front) you have to think of the mowing as a 'cardio' session as the amount of effort required - but when seen that way it's not so bad....atleast and hour or so after being done.

Much thanks again - great info and I've made a note of ALL of it.

Joined: Jan 2016
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Ok so does anybody have any thoughts on my twin engine slasher idea or is it just a stupid idea. I won't take offence LOL

Joined: Jan 2012
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Moderator
Nothing's stupid if it works, Norm!

That setup would work just fine, and be a lot simpler than at least one alternative way to approach that situation; which would be to use a 'dry sump' 4 stroke engine...


Cheers,
Gadge

"ODK Mods can explain it to you, but they can't understand it for you..."

"Crazy can be medicated, ignorance can be educated - but there is no cure for stupid..."
Joined: Jan 2016
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi Gadge,
Getting hold of a dry sump motor is going to be a lot more expensive than any mower engine I can think of. It used to cost me Around the $1000 mark just for parts to rebuild Enfield motors and I have no idea how many of those I rebuilt over the years

Joined: Sep 2015
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi Norm ,Gadge ,N1KK0 and Nath

I was thinking of using 2 engines on a ride on mower ,one for the drive and one for the blades
but it was easier just to use a $50 125 cc Quad bike and tow a lawn mower.

The front sprocket was replaced with a smaller one so it will climb any hill slowly ,I've
been using this on my steep back yard for 3 years now with no maintenance ,just
fill the fuel tank and go .

Cheers Max.

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Joined: Jan 2016
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi Max,
pretty ingenious setup there and the bike has a pumped oil system so the slopes do not present a problem to it and I guess the fact you are using a Briggs means that if it oil starved you could just grab another motor from your pile.Seems a bit of a waste just dragging an 18 inch cut around like that, a 24 would be a better option I would have thought. Another option I think would be to forward mount a 24 on the quad bike and fit a pair of castor wheels on the front of it. This gives you pumped oil in the quad bike and a 2 stroke for the mowing, couldn't go wrong and eliminates all the issues with trying to keep a ride on mower maintained. This to me sounds like the best option if I had to build something. The 24 out the front would be made removable so the bike could be used for other things if needed. Something like this could be built for a fraction of the cost of a Deutscher etc.

Last edited by NormK; 19/01/21 10:38 AM.
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 160
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Originally Posted by NormK
Another option I think would be to forward mount a 24 on the quad bike and fit a pair of castor wheels on the front of it. .
Oh Norm, you never miss a chance to push the virtues of a Super 24 now then do you ;-)

Seriously though that would be a step up from a 18" towed backwards (seems from personal use mowers always cut a lot better moving forwards then when you do the bad habit of cutting pulling backwards). It'd be a great little project to follow on here as well.

Love the outside the box thinking to solve a problem so simply and with what was essentially already onhand, rather than going to buy a Grillo etc for a fortune.

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