Mini Ride on Mowers

June 28, 2016 in Machinery, Uncategorized

Mowing the lawn can sometimes seem like a bit of a chore but a ride-on-mower can add a dash of fun and a bit of one-upmanship too. What better way then for the average suburban gardener of the 1960’s 70’s and 80’s to justify getting their hands on an affordable ride-on mower than to buy one of the many mini ride-ons that were available? However diminutive the lawn there was probably a ride-on that could fit the space even if a pedestrian mower may have been a better alternative. The sole purpose of all these machines listed below was for mowing duties and at a push a little bit of pulling a small cart or pushing a snow blade about perhaps, these machines have either mid-mounted or front-mounted engines as opposed to something like the Mountfield 25 rider with a rear mounted engine.

Here is a list of the makes of mini ride-on mowers we know about in the UK:

Mowett Mustangs on Show

Mowett Mustangs on Show

One of the best known is probably the Mowett Mustang dating from the 1970’s onwards (image right). These are quite popular in the UK and there are many about. This is a machine of US origin that was sold mostly via mail order (see advert). With either 5, 7 or 8hp Briggs and Stratton engines this mower was also rebadged by Deckson and also Continental  with their own decals and livery. This is certainly a small mower with a fixed-in-place 25″ single bladed mower deck, the mowing height could be altered by putting extra spacers on the drive shaft so the blade was closer to the grass. Mustangs have a single speed forward/reverse gearbox by Foote and have one feature missing – they have no brakes. 

Following in a similar design are the Huffy mowers (image below), these are fairly common and again feature a single bladed deck of about 24″ and with a standard 5hp Briggs and Stratton engine one could be yours for £169.00 plus £3 carriage. These machines have a simple gearbox setup but thankfully these feature brakes and have height adjustable mower decks too so a massive leap forward on the Mustang. 

Huffy Mower Tractor Advert

Huffy Mower Tractor Advert

Gutbrod mini ride-on-mower

Gutbrod mini ride-on-mower

All these machines follow the same design with a steel channel chassis with a mid-mounted mower deck (sometimes bolted in place) with an engine directly above to drive the blade.They are all low machines too with mostly small solid 8″ – 10″ wheels and basic steering linkage. It’s no surprise then that many manufacturers followed the same overall easy, cheap and basic design when creating their mini machines. Even manufacturers such as Gutbrod (image right) produced a small ride-on.

The pressed light steel small ride-on-mower market must have been fairly lucrative as Dennis the manufacturers of quality cylinder mowers produced their own 1971 mower called the RotoRider at £140.00 (Image left below). The very scarce Dennis machine has origins to another rare mower called the Pacemaker (Image right below).

Dennis Roto-Rider (Left) and Pacemaker (Right)

Dennis RotoRider (Left) and Pacemaker (Right)

As machines get slightly larger (and potentially more expensive) they start to differ from the basic Huffy and the Mustangs, they start to get pneumatic tyres and pivoting front axles and a little bit more comfort and usability too.

There are some machines of Australian origin. This includes the Bartrop/Greenfield mowers which made their way over to the UK (Bartrop (GM) Ltd, Swindon) (Images below). Although this is a slightly more sophisticated machine with the pneumatic tyres, pivoting front axle and a few more levers to aid the user, it still has a 5 or 8hp Briggs and Stratton engine and a 25″ mower deck as per basic machines.

Bartrop/Greenfield Ride-on-mowers

Bartrop/Greenfield Ride-on-mowers

In the UK Landmaster had their own small ride-on, this is getting into the area of being a larger machine, but is still primarily a mowing machine. It again has a pivoting front axle and pneumatic rear tyres whereas Mustang, Huffy, Gutbrod, Dennis and Pacemaker do not. Note that it has the same solid front tyres though.

Landmaster Ride-on-mower

Landmaster Ride-on-mower.

There may be other makes of basic ride-on-mowers like the Mustangs that we have missed from the above list, do you know of any? 

1 response to Mini Ride on Mowers

  1. Mount field 25. Briggs 7 horse engine. Electric start, 3 speed.
    Bought it for a song for the engine but had an old deck from a Toro which sort of fitted and now runs like a champion! Good for around the orchard!

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